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5 Essential Nantucket Books


Nantucket Activities

Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival

There is a story at every turn on Nantucket. The rich history of the island is at the forefront no matter where you are, leading to a lot of questions like: What is that? Where did all these cobblestones come from? How old is that? Why are all the houses gray? 

It seems impossible to ignore all the potential tales here, so it’s no surprise that so many books have been written about our beloved island and so many writers call the island home. Whether you’re hoping to learn more about Nantucket history, dive into a juicy romance or thriller, or support local authors, there’s a book for you. Chances are, there’s even something written about your own neighborhood. 

Here is our essential Nantucket fiction for a well-stocked home library. 

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

moby dick book cover herman melville nantucket

“Nantucket” is the fourteenth chapter of this American classic. While Melville hadn’t been to the island before writing it, he describes Nantucket as if he had, calling it “all beach.” The Fisher team tends to agree! If you want to go the extra mile, try spotting all the Moby Dick references around the island.


The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

the guest cottage nantucket nancy thayer

Thayer, another local bestseller, knows how to write the perfect Nantucket beach-read. Better yet, this one’s about a guest cottage, something we know a thing or two about. The story centers around two lost souls meeting after accidentally renting the same cottage, a situation we know absolutely nothing about. 


Nantucket Nights by Elin Hildebrand

elin hilderbrand nantucket nights

Hildebrand is yet another local bestseller. What begins as three friends enjoying a carefree night on the beach, turns into a life-altering loss. This book captures the island in a way only a local can. Its twists and turns will keep you glued to your beach chair. 


The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill

amy brill the movement of stars

Brill’s novel is loosely based on legendary islander Maria Mitchell, our country’s first female astronomer. It tells the story of Hannah, a young Quaker librarian at the Atheneum, as she searches for a comet. As if you needed another reason to get outside and check out Nantucket’s famous stars.  


Comet’s Nine Lives by Jan Brett. 

comets nine lives jan brett

The kids need some books too! This is the adorable tale of Comet, a Nantucket cat, searching the island for a home. In the process, he gets into trouble and (spoiler alert) almost loses his nine lives. Seems like it would have been a lot easier to go to Fisher Real Estate. 

Book Resources:

The Nantucket Atheneum, our local library, has an entire section dedicated to the island and would love to help you learn more about the island.

Nantucket Book Partners, namely Mitchell’s Book Corner and Nantucket Book Works, also has a wide selection of Nantucket books, including: fiction, non-fiction, photo books, and guides.