Suggested Reading List
Against the Tide, The Fate of the New England Fisherman
Author: Richard Adams Carey
Description: A discussion the crisis that faces the New England fishing industry from a journalist who spent a year among the fishermen of Cape Cod.
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Description: A first-rate example of historical fiction, this absorbing, lyrical and well-researched novel was inspired by Melville, Nantucket whaling and 19th-century America.
Away Offshore, Nantucket Island and Its People
Author: Diane Swartz, Nathaniel Philbrick
Description: A cultural history of Nantucket and, most notably, of its storied whaling industry. This book is informed and entertainingly written, with a strong slant toward telling the stories of individuals.
Author: John Hersey
Description: In this classic novella, Hersey turns a tale of a young stranger and an experienced fisherman, out fishing on Cape Cod, into a marvelous meditation on fishing -- and the natural history of the region.
Author: Henry David Thoreau, Paul Theroux (Introduction)
Description: Thoreau muses on the ocean and his surroundings, as he combs the beaches of Cape Cod in this compelling portrait of coastal Massachusetts, its human and natural history.
Author: Henry David Thoreau
Description: The classic work, accompanied by Scot Miller's stunning photography of beach scenes which may have inspired Thoreau.
Cape Cod Map
Author: Rand McNally Maps
Description: A map of Cape Cod, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island, at a scale of 1:107,000.
Cape Cod Seashore Life, An Introduction to Familiar Plants and Animals
Author: James Kavanagh
Description: A handy foldup plastic card with color illustrations for easy identification.
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket: An Explorer's Guide
Author: Kimberly Grant
Description: A practical guide to the popular tourist destinations of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, compiled by a local photographer and writer.
Cod, A Biography of a Fish That Changed the World
Author: Mark Kurlansky
Description: A sparkling extended essay on the cod in the tradition of Lopez or McPhee, looking at the importance of the fish to cuisine, commerce and history, throwing light on Viking voyages, the Hanseatic League, and both Scnadinavian and Canadian economic history.
Death of a Hornet and Other Cape Cod Essays
Author: Robert Finch
Description: A collection of serene essays on the nature, wildlife, and inhabitants of Cape Cod by a keen observer and year-round resident.
In the Heart of the Sea, The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
Description: The seafaring tale of fearsome whales, cannibalism and sturdy 19th-century Nantucketers; a history of the true life events that inspired Melville's "Moby Dick" -- and a fascinating history of 19th-century society in Nantucket.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England
Author: Brian Cassie, Peter Alden
Description: A compact, easy-to-use overview of 1,000 of New England's trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects and other flora and fauna. It also provides an extensive overview of the area's geology, weather patterns and natural sites.
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Author: Jon Dunn
Description: From Alaska to Baja California, Nova Scotia and Florida, this guide is the veteran's choice for birding anywhere in the United States. Tabbed for easy access, the color range maps in this sixth edition are outstanding.
The Big House, A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home
Author: George Howe Colt
Description: The author's personal tribute to the elaborately eccentric home where he spent most of his summers. This poignant memoir records 100 of history of the house, which was perched on a Cape Cod promontory overlooking Buzzards Bay.
The Enduring Shore: A History of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
Author: Paul Schneider
Description: The natural and human history of Cape Cod and its surrounding islands, as written by a resident of Martha's Vineyard.
The House on Nauset Marsh
Author: Wyman Richardson
Description: A Cape Cod classic first published in 1947, these leisurely essays form a reflective portrait of the land, sea and wildlife.
The Outermost House, A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
Author: Henry Beston
Description: The chronicle of a year spent living alone in a remote Cape Cod beach house in 1925. These beloved essays, first published in 1928, capture the essence of the Cape, the sea, weather and animal life.
The Perfect Storm, A True Story of Men Against the Sea
Author: Sebastian Junger
Description: A gripping, now-famous blow-by-blow account of a 1991 disaster at sea. Junger reconstructs the final hours of six men aboard a 72-foot swordfish boat in the North Atlantic, battling against a torrential storm.
Author: Philip Hoare
Description: A deeply engaging meditation on all things whale. Philip Hoare saves his special love and attention for the sperm whale -- not only via a beautiful literary analysis of Moby Dick -- but also by indulging in a childhood fantasy and actually swimming with the whales in the Azores.
Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket
Author: Frank Conroy
Description: An impressionistic memoir and account of life and love on the island of Nantucket. Conroy first visited as a 19-year-old in 1955.