Nine Nantucket Books from 2022
by Tim Ehrenberg of Tim Talks Books and Nantucket Book Partners
What a year for Nantucket Books! N Magazine’s resident bookworm Tim Ehrenberg of Tim Talks Books on Instagram, marketing director for Nantucket Book Partners, and Vice President of the Nantucket Book Foundation, gives Fisher Real Estate his end of year recap of Nantucket related books from 2022 to gift and receive this holiday season. He also gives us a list of books to look forward to coming up next year in 2023.
The Nantucket Book of ABC’s by Bobbi Ann McPeak
Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book was one of my very favorites when I was young. It’s basically how I learned to read and become the book worm I am today! This holiday, give the gift of the alphabet in Nantucket style with Bobbi Ann McPeak’s The Nantucket Book of ABC’s. Now you can teach the ‘love of letters’ to the next generation with the help of illustrations from your favorite island!
We are on Nantucket Island! What will we see? Take a fun-filled trip from A to Z! A is for Arbor, B is for Brant Point Lighthouse, C is for Cottage…
Summer Love by Nancy Thayer
Summer always starts with the new Nancy Thayer novel and this year was no exception with Nancy’s thirty fifth book – Summer Love! Four strangers rent bargain basement rooms near the beach on Nantucket. Meet Ariel, Sheila, Wyatt, and Nick. They embark on the summer of their lives, experiencing young love, discovering the island, and forging life-long bonds. Fast forward twenty-six years later when these four friends gather at the same place for a life-changing reunion of love and reflection. Nancy calls this book a beautiful story on lifelong friendship, and it would make a meaningful gift this holiday to that ‘forever friend’ of yours.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
The #1 book of the summer, claiming the top spot on the New York Times Best-seller List for 4 weeks in a row, and in everyone’ beach bags this season, was Elin Hilderbrand’s The Hotel Nantucket. Inspired by The Nantucket Hotel, this novel has it all, from memorable characters (including a chambermaid ghost from 1922 haunting the hotel) to beloved Nantucket locations.
After a tragic fire in 1922 that killed 19-year-old chambermaid, Grace Hadley, The Hotel Nantucket descended from a gilded age gem to a mediocre budget-friendly lodge to inevitably an abandoned eyesore — until it’s purchased and renovated top to bottom by London billionaire, Xavier Darling. Xavier hires Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton as his general manager, and Lizbet, in turn, pulls together a charismatic, if inexperienced, staff who share the vision of turning the fate of the hotel around. They face challenges in getting along with one another (and with the guests), in overcoming the hotel’s bad reputation, and in surviving the (mostly) harmless shenanigans of Grace Hadley herself — who won’t stop haunting the hotel until her murder is acknowledged.
We’ll Always Have Nantucket by Doreen Burliss
Doreen Burliss’s love for this island is wonderfully apparent in the pages of her debut novel “that celebrates friendships, both new and everlasting, the abiding pull of family and traditions, and the enduring effort of reconciling the past and understanding that the future always contains the present.” Audacious, environmentalist, surfer-girl, Teddy, abandons her California university position in a fall from grace for a summer on Nantucket to reevaluate her dubious personal and professional choices. Teddy’s mom, Sadie, braids her island visit with her daughter’s; their first return to the cherished summer vacation spot since the death of Teddy’s father four years ago. Shenanigans ensue, taking the characters to all your favorite Nantucket places for a summer beach read you won’t soon forget.
Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade
Must Love Dogs! I love how Nantucket embraces our furry friends and this book is the perfect companion for island dog lovers everywhere. Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break.
Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.
Endless Summer: Stories by Elin Hilderbrand
In Endless Summer, Elin Hilderbrand offers nine delectable short stories—prequels, sequels, and “missing chapters” from her cherished books—some of which have never been published, until now. This book is for ultimate Elin fans, or #Hilderbabes, as I call them. Every order of this particular book online comes with an exclusive watercolor map of Elin’s Nantucket hand-painted by local artist Meredith Hanson. The map is the perfect companion as it shows you the actual places you’ve grown to love through Elin’s book collection. I’ve heard of many people framing it!
Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews
This new addition to the Merry Folger Nantucket mystery series features three of my favorite things: Nantucket Island, Christmas Stroll, and a murder mystery. Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews is the perfect read to cozy up with to get you in the holiday spirit, well minus the murder in its pages. This mystery packs in so much from the filming of a tv series with Hollywood elites to a fictional Secretary of State visiting the island with her family. There is also birding, cooking, the pandemic, Nantucket locals and tourists, and two dead bodies all set during one of my favorite weekends of the year – Nantucket’s Christmas Stroll.
These next two books may not be set on Nantucket Island, but their authors are Nantucket local writers, both with intriguing stories to tell.
The Great Air Race by John Lancaster
I grew up going to the EAA Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin since before I can remember. Aviation and history have been in my flight path since my earliest days, so I flew at the chance to pick up local author, long-time ‘Sconseter John Lancaster’s, book – The Great Air Race. It “reclaims one of the most important moments in the history of American aviation: the transcontinental air race of October 1919 that saw scores of pilots compete for the fastest roundtrip time between New York and San Francisco in frail, open-cockpit biplanes. Riveting the nation, the aviators—most of them veterans of the Great War—pioneered the first coast-to-coast air route, braving blizzards and driving rain as they landed in fields or at the edges of cliffs. Bringing the pilots and the race’s impresario, Billy Mitchell, to vivid life, journalist and amateur pilot John Lancaster captures the challenges of flying in that almost prehistoric age—the deafening roar of the engine, the constant fear of mechanical failure, the threat posed by mere rain. As he demonstrates, the race, despite much drama and tragedy, was a milestone in the development of commercial aviation. The Great Air Race is a captivating story of man and machine, and the debut of a major new popular historian.”
The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber
This book isn’t new, originally written in 2013, but the movie adaptation starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain was new in October and debuted as the #1 show on Netflix during its first week. The movie was great, well-acted and creepy, but let’s face it, any bookworm knows, the book is always better. The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber takes you inside the mind of America’s most prolific serial killer, Charlie Cullen, whose 16-year long “nursing” career left as many as 400 dead. “Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, wire-tap recordings and videotapes and interviews with whistleblowers and confidential informants, and years of exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself, the homicide detectives who worked against the clock and administrators to try and finally crack the code on Cullen’s crimes, and Cullen’s fellow nurse Amy, an overworked single mom asked to choose between protecting her friend Charlie and stopping a potential serial killer, The Good Nurse weaves an urgent and terrifying tale of madness, humanity and heroism.” If you liked the movie, you’ll love the book!
2023 Nantucket Books Coming Soon!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! There are several noteworthy Nantucket book releases on the horizon for next spring and summer. This March, Julie Gerstenblatt is out with Daughters of Nantucket, a novel set against Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846. Both Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand will be back in your beach bags with All the Days of Summer and The Five Star Weekend, respectively. For your youngest bookworms, watch for a new Barnaby Bear book by Wendy Rouillard in June, and also the Magic Eyes Book by Lauren Fornes, illustrated by Meredith Hanson. Look for the first in the Nantucket Nelly book series by Alison Atalya, illustrated by Annabelle Meszynski. Tara Moss’s book Nantucket: The Ultimate Playground, with photography by Rebecca Love Photography, is both a captivating read and a visual guide for anyone seeking to experience the joys of this idyllic island.
Happy Reading, Nantucket!
-Tim Talks Books