The most recommended books about Vermont

Who picked these books? Meet our 61 experts.

61 authors created a book list connected to Vermont, and here are their favorite Vermont books.
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What type of Vermont book?


Pioneer Species

By Ross Thurber,

Book cover of Pioneer Species

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From the list on wine, love, and landscape.

Who am I?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Why did Deirdre love this book?

Pioneer Species is a book of poems by friend and farmer-poet Ross Thurber. A small vineyard I work with in southern Vermont, my own agricultural essay and investigation on a sense of place different than my own, is part of Ross’s Lilac Ridge Farm. Like Mary Oliver, Ross is intensely bound to the natural and cultivated world of his farm in which he lives and his poems capture a language that brings forward the light, the shadow, the fog, the till, the butterfly, the flower, the cow. I am constantly inspired by his poems to be out in my own fields and to contemplate and communicate my own place in them. A delicious collection about a deeply personal and lyrical view of farm life.

By Ross Thurber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pioneer Species as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection of poems from Vermont farmer Ross Thurber is divided into four sections: "Green Popplewood," "Sunburnt Juniper," "Stag Horn Sumac," and "Snow Melt, Black Brook." Each section represents a seasonal form of succession that is both literal and abstract. Ultimately the poems in this manuscript have been winnowed to represent a narrative that echoes the idea that, like a lyric poem, stability is only a moment in time―one to be cherished.

Flavor of the Month

By Georgia Beers,

Book cover of Flavor of the Month

Clare Ashton Author Of Meeting Millie

From the list on sapphic second chance romances.

Who am I?

I think all romance writers have their favourite trope, and second chances has the strongest hold on me. I’m a person who makes mistakes, so I love to see equally fallible humans getting their second chance at a happy ever after too. People with a history always lend depth to a story too. At any point, you can pluck a moment from their past to show an element of their relationship. And angst. I love a good dose of angst. With second chances, it's likely been a rocky road. Then the clincher for me, that sense of fate and destiny of people who’ve gone separate ways but find themselves drawn back together.

Clare's book list on sapphic second chance romances

Why did Clare love this book?

Equally, pick a sapphic romance trope, and Georgia Beers will likely have written one of my favourites.

She has a wonderful balance of cosy with enough tension and angst to keep you flying through the pages. She has written many, and I so admire that she’s still producing her best work. Her recent Camp Lost and Found is one of my favourites yet.

For second chances, I’ve gone with Flavor of the Month. This one has so many wonderful ingredients. Small-town setting, food focus, chemistry, angst. A romance to snuggle up with.

By Georgia Beers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flavor of the Month as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Charlie Stetko had a life to envy. A penthouse in Manhattan, a beautiful girlfriend, and a high-octane marketing career. Or so she thought. When her girlfriend sends her packing, Charlie ends up unemployed. Without a place to live or money of her own, she’s forced to do the one thing she vowed she never would: go back to Shaker Falls, Vermont. Back to her parents and back to the small town life―and the people―she left behind. Back to a part-time job in the new bakery in town.

  Emma Grier thought Charlie was the love of her life until that uppity…

Book cover of The War for the Union, Vol. 1: The Improvised War, 1861-1862

Tom Kratman Author Of The Romanov Rescue

From the list on history and practice of war.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by war since I was literally a toddler. True story, I was the only two-and-a-half-year-old in South Boston, Massachusetts with an adult library card. I had to get one, and to get it to prove to the librarian that I could read, in order to check out certain books that I wanted. I only recall one title, The Battle of Midway. Since then, though I’ve done other things like practice law and become a novelist, most of my adult life was still spent as an enlisted man, non-commissioned officer, and company grade and field grade infantry officer in the Army.  

Tom's book list on history and practice of war

Why did Tom love this book?

Yes, I know: “Eight volumes? Are you mad, Kratman?” 

This is unquestionably the greatest single history on the American Civil War ever written. There are over sixty thousand books about the Civil War in existence. You cannot hope to read them all. This being true, if the subject interests you—and it ought, because the Civil War made the United States what it is—if you can read only eight, make this series the eight. Think of it as a really long single volume work.

By Allan Nevins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War for the Union, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adventures of the leader of the Vermont militia which took on the British Army during the American Revolution


By Peter Straub,

Book cover of Shadowland

Polly Schattel Author Of The Occultists

From the list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy.

Who am I?

My name is Polly Schattel, and I’m a novelist, screenwriter, and film director. I wrote and directed the films Sinkhole, Alison, and Quiet River, and my written work includes The Occultists, Shadowdays, and the novella 8:59:29. I grew up loving fantasy—Tolkien, Moorcock, Zelazny—but phased out of it somewhat when I discovered writers like Raymond Carver, EL Doctorow, and Denis Johnson. Their books seemed more adult and more complex, not to mention the prose itself was absolutely transporting. In comparison, the fantasy I’d read often felt quite rushed and thin, with get-it-done prose. I drifted away from genre fiction a bit, but dove back to it with my first novel, the historical dark fantasy The Occultists.

Polly's book list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy

Why did Polly love this book?

There’s a valid argument to be made that Shadowland is perhaps more of a horror novel than fantasy, but it’s never really out-and-out scary.

It’s certainly more magical than bloody, concerning two friends in the 1950s who spend a hallucinatory summer at an uncle’s place in the Vermont woods. And man do things get weird.

After a long, lovely prelude at a boarding school, Tom and Del have to navigate their failing friendship and the strange happenings in the woods, but most of all they have to look out for Del’s uncle Cole, an old-school magician who, it turns out, is far from an avuncular old guardian.

Full of fairy tales and fables and wonderful digressions (with Straub, the digressions are often the point), Shadowland feels timeless in a way Stephen King never does. It might be the best book I’ve ever read.

By Peter Straub,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadowland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic tale of supernatural horror from the acclaimed author of Koko, The Talisman and Mr X.
Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.


In a private school in New England, a friendship is forged between two boys that will change their lives for ever. As Del Nightingale and Tom Flanagan battle to survive the oppressive regime of bullying and terror overseen by the sadistic headmaster, Del introduces Tom to his world of magic tricks. But when they escape to spend the summer holiday together at Shadowland -…

Crossing to Safety

By Wallace Stegner,

Book cover of Crossing to Safety

David Sax Author Of The Future Is Analog: How to Create a More Human World

From the list on picks for book club.

Who am I?

I’m a writer by profession, but until recently I was never in a book club. My wife was, briefly, and my friend Ben’s wife was (he’s also a writer). One day I said to Ben “why don’t we start a book club?”, and we did. Seven years later, the club is not only going strong, but it has assumed a central place in the lives of the seven of us who make it up. The book is the excuse to get together, to create and deepen friendships, to build a community around ideas. Start a book club. Choose some books. These are a good start. At least in my opinion.

David's book list on picks for book club

Why did David love this book?

Often, there’s a bias when picking book club books to go big. Big stories. Big titles. Epics. Challenges. But sometimes, the best read is something smaller. Shorter. More personal. Crossing to Safety is a book like that…a perfect, beautifully written story about the friendship between two couples over the course of their lives. Read this book, and inevitably the book club discussion will turn to the very nature of your own relationships, friendships, and how those evolve and change over the decades, as people age, circumstances change, and the bonds are tested. There aren’t a lot of books in our club over the years that were universally loved, but this one was up there. 

By Wallace Stegner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Crossing to Safety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel of the friendships and woes of two couples, which tells the story of their lives in lyrical, evocative prose by one of the finest American writers of the late 20th century.

When two young couples meet for the first time during the Great Depression, they quickly find they have much in common: Charity Lang and Sally Morgan are both pregnant, while their husbands Sid and Larry both have jobs in the English department at the University of Wisconsin. Immediately a lifelong friendship is born, which becomes increasingly complex as they share decades of love, loyalty, vulnerability and conflict.…

Stealing Faith

By Leora Skolkin-Smith,

Book cover of Stealing Faith

Caroline Leavitt Author Of With or Without You

From the list on hidden gems that won’t stay hidden for long.

Who am I?

I’m a voracious reader, an author, and also a book critic, so hundreds of books cross my desk. What I love the most is the feeling of discovery—reading a book whose likes I haven’t seen on any bestseller list or on a front display in a bookstore. There are so many, many hidden gems—books that have stayed with me long after the publication day, and I always want others to have the same devotion to them that I do!

Caroline's book list on hidden gems that won’t stay hidden for long

Why did Caroline love this book?

Everyone reveres Grace Paley, but what if you could read a fictionalized account of Paley and the young writer she mentored—and even created a publishing company to publish her?

That’s writer Leora Skolkin-Smith’s story and it’s so gripping, so passionate, so real. Set in the tumultuous 1970s, it’s about female power, trauma, and how mentoring works—and sometimes doesn’t work. Plus it is so gorgeously written, a gripping page-turner about finding our voices, both on the page, and off. I just adored it—so much that I got all of Skolkin-Smith’s other books, too.

By Leora Skolkin-Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stealing Faith as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Allegra Gordon knew there was much she could learn from Faith Hale. From the moment she met the esteemed writer and feminist icon on the campus of New York's Abigail Stone College, Allegra understood that Faith would be a force in her life, one that would wrench the best work from her and encourage her to lay her soul bare. The relationship that evolved would simultaneously be the most liberating and most shattering Allegra ever encountered. And it would change both women in profound ways.

From political rallies in the early seventies to soaring tributes at the turn of the…

A Borrowing of Bones

By Paula Munier,

Book cover of A Borrowing of Bones

Peggy Rothschild Author Of Playing Dead

From the list on mysteries for dog lovers.

Who am I?

I’m a lifelong mystery fan and animal lover. I’m drawn to mysteries that provide a window to a new world. And, since I love animals, I enjoy the added fun of having a realistic animal sidekick in the mix. All the books I’ve recommended here pulled me into their worlds, letting me spend time with fascinating characters as they untangled various mysteries—as well as with their wonderful, if fictional, canine companions. 

Peggy's book list on mysteries for dog lovers

Why did Peggy love this book?

I’m recommending another first book in a series here. Mercy Carr, a former MP, and her retired bomb-sniffing dog, Elvis, have come home from Afghanistan to heal in Vermont’s Green Mountains.

Both suffer from PTSD and are grieving the loss of Carr’s fiance and Elvis’ original handler.

The story brings to life a beautiful setting as well as takes us on the duo’s journey toward wellness. There’s a great mystery with a strong emotional current.

As a bonus, I love mysteries where the characters actually grow.

By Paula Munier,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Borrowing of Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It may be the Fourth of July weekend, but for retired soldiers Mercy Carr and Belgian Malinois Elvis, it's just another walk in the remote Lye Brook Wilderness - until the former bomb-sniffing dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones. U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy's 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Vermont safe on potentially the…

The Immortality of Influence

By Salome Thomas-El, Cecil Murphey,

Book cover of The Immortality of Influence: We Can Build the Best Minds of the Next Generation

Annie Fox Author Of Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

From the list on helping kids become themselves.

Who am I?

In college, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies and found my calling – to work with kids and create SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) content for them. While still an undergrad, my first book was published (People Are Like Lollipops - a picture book celebrating diversity.) Throughout my career, I’ve continued writing books and creating multimedia content for kids and teens while helping parents support their kids’ character development in the digital age. I read a lot of parenting books, but I don’t always learn something new that opens my heart and mind. Each book I’ve recommended here did that for me. I hope the books on my list will help you on your parenting journey.

Annie's book list on helping kids become themselves

Why did Annie love this book?

Written by Salome Thomas-El, a parent and a nationally acclaimed educator, The Immortality of Influence nails a parent’s job description: We’re here to help kids recognize and realize their full potential. Simply put, that’s our legacy to our kids, grandkids, and any young person we take under our wing. I loved how the personal stories throughout this book demonstrated, again and again, the positive and lasting impact a consistently caring and responsible adult can have on a child’s life. Having had the honor of visiting Principal El’s school, I can attest to the fact that he walks the walk in a special way that’s immediately apparent to every child he encounters.

By Salome Thomas-El, Cecil Murphey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Immortality of Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning educator and the highly-praised author of I Choose to Stay, has helped hundreds of troubled children get into magnet high schools, major colleges, and universities. Yet he still finds himself devastated by the long-ago death of a promising student named Willow Briggs. Salome worked with and consistently encouraged this troubled boy, who ultimately became one of the school's top chess players and students. But when Willow moved on to high school, he found no real positive influences. He struggled academically and was murdered on a street corner at the age of sixteen. More than any other factor,…

Book cover of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Erica Bauermeister Author Of No Two Persons

From the list on (re)immersing you in the magic of books.

Who am I?

I've been book-besotted my entire life. I've read, studied, taught, reviewed, and written books. I went to “gradual” school, as John Irving calls it, earning a PhD in literature before gradually realizing that what I really loved was writing. For me, books contain the intellectual challenge of puzzles, the fun of entertainment, the ability to fill souls. They have changed my life, and the best compliments I have received are from readers who say my books have changed theirs. I read widely and indiscriminately (as this list shows) because I believe that good books are found in all genres. But a book about books? What a glorious meta-adventure. 

Erica's book list on (re)immersing you in the magic of books

Why did Erica love this book?

Magical doors that appear out of nowhere, a fantastical book that may not be fiction, some truly sketchy villains, a quest, and an intrepid heroine.

The author had me at fantastical book, but what I love about this novel is the world and character building, that feeling of opening the cover and being somewhere that has nothing to do with ordinary life.

And yet, there is mystery. And romance. A lost father. A daring daughter. You’ll want to race through it, but slow down at the same time, just to savor the ride.

By Alix E. Harrow,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Ten Thousand Doors of January as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers, and the doors they lead us through...absolutely enchanting."—Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice and Lost Boys

LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER! Finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. 

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely…

Survival Instincts

By Jen Waite,

Book cover of Survival Instincts

Jenny Milchman Author Of The Second Mother

From the list on thrillers where women win.

Who am I?

I've always been obsessed with justice, but as a five-foot, zero-inch woman, I can't exactly kill a bad guy with my bare hands. So I right wrongs in my books, which always end on a note of triumph, and where people who do dread, nefarious things tend to meet with rightful ends. Before I became a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist, and one day I was assigned the case of this adorable five-year-old who had just killed the family pet. Drilling down into the reasons behind the acts people commit helped me save this child, and has come to consume me. It also happens to be something every author on this list does brilliantly well.

Jenny's book list on thrillers where women win

Why did Jenny love this book?

Three generations of women act victoriously throughout this white-knuckle tale. Anne, who met the man of her dreams – slash the man of her nightmares – right out of college; her daughter, Thea; and the tough matriarch to them all. When these women thread their way through the winter woods to hole up in a cabin, they don't know the identity of the man who has chased them there, or the threat they will face. They only know their fierce love for each other, a bond too strong for any man to break. Told in the voices of these women, with interlocking timelines, there is an ageless, fairy tale quality to this thriller. It will raise your heart rate even as it tugs at your heartstrings.

By Jen Waite,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Survival Instincts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the bestselling author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, a haunting thriller about a mother and daughter who must draw strength from each other when they find themselves trapped in a cabin with a stranger who wants to either control them--or kill them.

FOURTEEN YEARS BEFORE THE CABIN: Twenty-something Anne meets the man of her dreams right out of college, but after they get married, Anne notices that her husband begins acting differently. Why is Ethan suddenly so moody? And will their marriage endure?

A WEEK BEFORE THE CABIN: Ten years later, Anne and her twelve-year-old daughter, Thea, are safely…

It Can't Happen Here

By Sinclair Lewis,

Book cover of It Can't Happen Here

Larry Mellman Author Of The Man With Sapphire Eyes

From the list on historical fiction with a twist.

Who am I?

I have always loved historical fiction as a reader, but my passion to write it caught fire during the years I lived in Venice, Italy, when I discovered the curious institution of the ballot boy within the Byzantine complexities of the thousand-year Venetian Republic. Since ballot boys were randomly chosen over a period of six hundred years, choosing my particular Doge and ballot boy required a survey of the entire field before I circled in on Venice, 1368, IMHO the peak brilliance of that maritime empire. It is a peculiarity of history that the names of all 130 doges of Venice are recorded, but none of their ballot boys are mentioned. The challenge was irresistible. 

Larry's book list on historical fiction with a twist

Why did Larry love this book?

Dystopian when it was written, Lewis set the book distinctly in its own period, the depth of the Great Depression. He could not have written a better account of the Trump presidency had he tried.

Buzz Windrip, the whirlwind populist demagogue president, is the very essence of Trumpism. The story that follows, of the fascist oppression of his enemies and his inevitable self-destruction, often funny, often not funny at all, packs all the punch of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, written almost a century later, which looks in hindsight at the same phenomenon as Charles Lindbergh unseats FDR running for an unprecedented third term.

Sinclair Lewis takes the palm for seeing it first and exposing how it can happen here.   

By Sinclair Lewis,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked It Can't Happen Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”—Salon

It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.

Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.

Called “a…

The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Book cover of The Night Sister

Mae Clair Author Of Cusp of Night

From the list on supernatural mysteries with dual storylines.

Who am I?

I’ve loved mysteries since childhood. That passion started with silly attractions like Scooby-Doo, Dark Shadows, and Nancy Drew. As I grew older, my love of mystery expanded to include the “what if” elements of folklore and urban legends. I’ve written two, 3-book series employing dual timelines, each wrapped in multiple layers of folklore. Crafting separate plotlines then weaving them into a tidy ending takes patience. I enjoy reading books that are well-executed and if they include a touch of the supernatural, all the better. My passion for urban legends has led me to give presentations to local community groups and also to engage in travel when needed for on-site research.

Mae's book list on supernatural mysteries with dual storylines

Why did Mae love this book?

My first experience reading a book with dual storylines, this novel held me spellbound cover to cover. McMahon has since become an auto-buy author for me, thanks to this fantastical story that puts a magnifying glass on the life of two sisters, a childhood friend, and an unexplained disappearance. The story moves between past and present and revolves around the Tower Motel in Vermont, now a ruined shell that refuses to yield its secrets. Secrets the girls discovered while playing games there as children. 

An unexpected splash of the paranormal and the use of letters from one sister to Mr. Hitchcock (yes, that Hitchcock) add the perfect touch to this disturbing gem.

By Jennifer McMahon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Night Sister as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People) comes an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.

The Tower Motel was once a thriving attraction of rural Vermont. Today it lies in disrepair, alive only in the memories of the three women—Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot—who played there as children. They loved exploring the abandoned rooms … until the day their innocent games uncovered something dark and twisted that ruined their friendship forever.

Now, Amy stands accused of committing a horrific crime, and the…


By Susan Scarf Merrell,

Book cover of Shirley

Ellen Prentiss Campbell Author Of Frieda's Song

From the list on life in a haunted house.

Who am I?

In my stories and novels, in my reading, and in my life, I'm inspired and captivated by what I call resonant places, places with deep connections to the past as well as the present moment. I grew up in a mid-century modern house my parents built. Although no other family had lived in it before, our own family—like all families—was haunted by ghosts of our past. My childhood home was bulldozed by the next owners; the house has become a ghost itself. But memories remain long after a family or a home is gone. As a writer, a reader, and a psychotherapist, I believe that memories are the seeds for both remembering and imagining.

Ellen's book list on life in a haunted house

Why did Ellen love this book?

Shirley is set in author Shirley Jackson’s rambling Victorian house in Vermont, adjacent to the Bennington College campus. This is a story of psychological intrigue and intertwined creative and destructive influences, families in trouble, and ghostly presences. The story is narrated by a young faculty wife, Rose. She and her husband, a new professor at the College, live with Jackson and her husband, Professor Stanley Hyman. The house and the household are attractive and sinister, emotionally fraught and seductive. Merrell and I met as classmates in the Bennington Writing Seminars. We exchanged manuscripts for our then novels-in-progress. Now, as I re-read Shirley, I remember our walks past the house.

By Susan Scarf Merrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shirley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


“Susan Scarf Merrell brilliantly weaves events from Shirley Jackson’s life into a hypnotic story line”* in this darkly thrilling novel about the author of The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery.

Two imposing literary figures are at the heart of this captivating novel: celebrated author Shirley Jackson and her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, a literary critic and professor at Bennington College. When a young graduate student and his pregnant wife—Fred and Rose Nemser—move into Shirley and Stanley’s home in the fall of 1964, they quickly fall under the…

Count the Ways

By Joyce Maynard,

Book cover of Count the Ways

Jen Craven Author Of The Baby Left Behind

From Jen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Booktrovert Potterhead Grammar nerd Chocoholic Reluctant runner

Jen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Jen love this book?

Here’s the best way to describe this book: utterly heartbreaking and yet simply beautiful. Some reviews call it depressing, but I don’t see it that way. Maybe I just love sad books?

There’s something about being gutted by such rich storytelling, in this case about a family navigating the ups and downs of life, following a tragic accident involving one of their own. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a story that so resonated with the female experience in marriage and parenthood. It will make you smile, it will make you cry, and it will stay with you long after reading. 

By Joyce Maynard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Count the Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family-from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives

Eleanor and Cam meet at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s. She's an artist and writer, he makes wooden bowls. Within four years they are parents to three children, two daughters and a red-headed son who fills his pockets with rocks, plays the…

The Starless Sea

By Erin Morgenstern,

Book cover of The Starless Sea

Linh S. Nguyễn Author Of No Place Like Home

From the list on that feel like slipping into a fairytale.

Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to fantasy stories as an escape from real life. In my fourth year of university, my children’s literature professor pointed out that this interest might be tied to my experience as an immigrant moving between worlds. I was hooked on comings-and-goings, strange lands, and stubborn heroines. While I love to read across genres, fantasies (especially children’s stories) hold a special place in my heart as a reminder of the wonder of reading. These books capture that magic that drew me to books in the first place, and I revisit them when I need to fall in love with the world again.  

Linh's book list on that feel like slipping into a fairytale

Why did Linh love this book?

I first fell in love with The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel (a NaNoWriMo book, just like mine!).

I picked up The Starless Sea eagerly when it came out and brought it to my book club for discussion. We agreed that though the plot is loose, the descriptions and world-building are so vivid and beautiful that it suffices to enjoy it for those reasons first and foremost.

Consider this book a walk through a museum and let yourself sink into the splendor.

By Erin Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Starless Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Discover the enchanting, magical bestseller from the author of The Night Circus, now in a stunning new edition.

We are all stardust and stories...

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a mysterious book containing details from his own life among its pages, it leads him on a quest unlike any other.

Following the clues inside, he is guided to a masquerade ball, a dangerous secret club, and finally to an ancient library hidden far beneath the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their…

The Secret History

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Secret History

David B. Allison Author Of Controversial Monuments and Memorials: A Guide for Community Leaders

From the list on memory that make you question how you see the past.

Who am I?

Memory is capricious and impacts our view of the past. That’s why I do what I do! I am a twenty-year museum professional who began my career at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, worked at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for almost ten years, and am now part of the Arts & History department at the City and County of Broomfield. I have designed and developed programs and events, as well as managed teams in each of these stops. I seek to illuminate stories, elevate critical voices, and advocate for equity through the unique pathways of the arts, history, and museum magic.

David's book list on memory that make you question how you see the past

Why did David love this book?

Unlike many murder mysteries, the murder in this book is not the climax. Instead, the murder happens fairly early in the story, and the rest of the novel is about the internal struggles, remorse, and regret of those involved.

Set at a liberal arts college in New England, Tartt taps into her character’s memories and the complexities of friendships knit during impressionable years to show how seemingly normal people can be driven to the unthinkable. 

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Secret History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together---my future, my past, the whole of my life---and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!'

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries.…

Book cover of The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

Amy Watson Author Of Closer to Okay

From the list on using food as a catalyst to a better life.

Who am I?

I used to write a food blog because I love stories about food, be they fiction or non-fiction. Food has the power to bring joy, healing, love, anger, sadness, etc.—you name the emotion and food can evoke it or remedy it. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life and the kitchen makes me feel better. Hearing that my chocolate cookies are amazing heals my heart a little at a time. Food and emotion go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I’m the first to pick up a book that skillfully employs both.

Amy's book list on using food as a catalyst to a better life

Why did Amy love this book?

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living drops you into the action from word one and immerses you in the main character, Livvy’s, life (and the wreck she’s made of it) immediately. The story sucked me in, and rural Vermont as the setting made me wish I could be there. Then there’s the food… Oh man, I would have made a hundred apple pies if I’d headed into the kitchen every time I wanted to when I read this book. Martin is the perfect book boyfriend, too. Their relationship builds slowly, and he is so delicately written that he almost seemed ghost-like to me sometimes – a wonderful foil to the boisterous Livvy.

Louise Miller’s writing is straightforward, beautiful, and sticks with me way after I’ve finished reading. She’s one of the first authors I look for if I want something real but perpetually hopefully even at the bleakest momen…

By Louise Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The City Baker's Guide to Country Living as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Mix in one part Diane Mott ­Davidson’s delightful culinary adventures with several tablespoons of Jan Karon’s country living and quirky characters, bake at 350 degrees for one rich and warm romance." --Library Journal

A full-hearted novel about a big-city baker who discovers the true meaning of home—and that sometimes the best things are found when you didn’t even know you were looking

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home…

The First Time I Died

By Jo Macgregor,

Book cover of The First Time I Died

Jessica Ingold Author Of The Spirit Catchers

From the list on contemplating your own mortality.

Who am I?

Jessica's book list on contemplating your own mortality

Why did Jessica love this book?

In my book, the character learns that death is not a permanent phenomenon, but something more cyclical – so it’s no surprise that The First Time I Died sits at the top of my list. The novel centers around Garnet McGee, who returns home for the holidays and gets swept away in a cold case involving the death of her boyfriend. That is, until she falls into a frozen pond and drowns. This story is a dark roast coffee with just the right sprinkle of sugar – a tragic death interwoven with memories of a once-in-a-lifetime love. 

By Jo Macgregor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First Time I Died as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone.

When Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown for the holidays, she vows to solve the mystery of the murder which shattered her life ten years ago. Then she dies.

After she's resuscitated, she starts hearing voices, seeing visions and experiencing strange sensations. Are these merely symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and an over-active imagination, or is she getting messages from a paranormal presence?

Garnet has always prided herself on being logical and rational, but trying to catch a killer without embracing her shadow self is getting increasingly difficult.…

The Taming of the Drew

By Stephanie Kate Strohm,

Book cover of The Taming of the Drew

S.M. Stevens Author Of Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers

From the list on for tweens, teens and young adults who love theater.

Who am I?

As a teenager, I didn’t have the lack of inhibition or abundant self-confidence to excel in high school drama. Like Sadie in Bit Players, I finally wowed the directors at my senior year audition, only to learn the lead was promised in advance to someone else. I recovered and stayed involved in theater: cast, crew, and front-of-house jobs for a summer theater program; the box office for Cornell’s MFA program; and supporting my kids’ drama activities. Performing in a show is different from any other experience. If you’ve been in a show, you know this. If you haven’t, read on to enter the magical world of theatre.

S.M.'s book list on for tweens, teens and young adults who love theater

Why did S.M. love this book?

Many YA novels set in a theatrical environment are heavily romance-focused. This book is the best I’ve found in that category. The hero, recent high school graduate Cass, has a super-strong voice that made me laugh out loud. She’s snarky, off-color, bold, and impatient. The theater plotline weaves throughout the story as Cass and cohorts perform The Taming of the Shrew at a summer theater. She steals ideas from Shakespeare’s play to torment her costar and nemesis, Drew. 

Theater Quotient: High. Much of the plot revolves around rehearsals and elements of the play trickle into real life.

By Stephanie Kate Strohm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Taming of the Drew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cass McKay has been called stubborn, temperamental, difficult, and that word that rhymes with "witch" more times than she cares to count. But that's all about to pay off. She has finally landed the role she was born to play-Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew-in the summer apprentice program of a renowned Vermont Shakespeare theater company.

But Cass can barely lace up her corset before her troubles begin. The leading man, Drew, is a complete troll, and he's going to ruin Cass's summer. Even worse, Cass's bunkmate Amy has somehow fallen head over heels for Drew. Eww! Cass can't…

Book cover of The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach

Anna Hess Author Of The Ultimate Guide to Soil

From the list on for beyond-organic gardeners.

Who am I?

If I'm honest, I became a gardener because I like getting dirty. Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Tom Kitten is the story of my childhood (and my adulthood too, only now I don't have to pretend I'm going to stay clean). Of course, high-quality soil leads to high-quality produce, and I deeply adore the flavors of strawberries growing in deep, dark soil. Biting into a juicy, homegrown tomato still warm from the summer sun is bliss.

Anna's book list on for beyond-organic gardeners

Why did Anna love this book?

This book has all of the same selling points as Carol Deppe's but is geared a bit more toward those with larger homesteads rather than a simple backyard plot. Even if you're an urban homesteader, though, the title is well worth a read to drum up outside-the-box ideas.

By Ben Falk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Resilient Farm and Homestead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A practical, comprehensive, and essential how-to manual with information on growing perennial crops, soil fertility, water security, nutrient dense food, and more!

"Essential reading for the serious prepper as well as for everyone interested in creating a more resilient lifestyle."-Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener

The Resilient Farm and Homestead is for readers ready to not just survive, but thrive in changing, unpredictable times. It offers the tools to develop durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems anchored by preparation, regeneration, and resiliency.

Ben Falk is a land designer and site developer whose research farm has drawn national…