Books: 100 New England Recommendations

The Boston Globe offers up 100 books, all genres, connected to New England to vote on, or put on your to read list here.

I was surprised by two facts: one, I had read one third of the books mentioned, and several outstanding authors from Maine and Vermont were excluded.

During my respective sojourns in Maine and Vermont, I made it a habit of focusing my reading on local authors and buying books at local bookshops. At the Leftbank Bookshop, (Searsport, ME) I had the pleasure to be introduced to several writers, one of whom stands out above the rest: Mary Peters, a novel by Mary Ellen Chase (Maine), a 20th century unsung gem of a novel recently reprinted

Ms. Chase's books are often hard to come by and appear on few reading lists. A former professor at Smith, she has a way of bringing one directly into the lives of her characters, enriching your reading pleasure with small peaks into regional Down Under life and capturing your imagination for all that is Maine.

Archer Mayor's (Vermont) more than a dozen mysteries all set in the Brattleboro area engaged my full attention. I had the pleasure of reading all of Mayor's published works (through 2007) courtesy of the Guildford Free Library of which I was a member. I could drive, walk or bike to nearly all of the mysteries' settings and occasionally one might spot Mr. Mayor in Windham County and wonder if he was spinning a tale or just enjoying a good cup of java.

Mayor is to Vermont what Tony Hillerman (was) to New Mexico and the Navajo--a writer that captures the locale and inspires a connection to its people.

Highly recommend a read by either author and most of the Globe's recommendations.

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