Home > Recommended Reads
Choose a sub category:
Book Reviews
Sort By:
Page of 1
Poems of the Sea Poems of the Sea

A consummate collection of swash-buckling poems about man's fascination with the sea. Pirates, mermaids, and shipwrecks abound - from "Davy Jone's Locker" to Shakespear's "Full Fathom Five". Noteworthy poets including Keates, Longfellow, Whitman and Dickinson, in this timeless, pocket-sized volume of sea chanteys, ballads, hymns and prayers...alluding to man's everlasting respect and admiration of the sea.

Price: $14.95
America's First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie America's First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

Wow! This is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary woman – Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, Martha (Patsy) Jefferson. Daughter of a president, wife of a governor, mother of 12, and care-taker of her father’s legacy – Patsy heroically lived through an amazing time in history, as well as hardships no woman should have to. This well-written, entertaining, juicy, historically accurate novel, relies heavily on Thomas Jefferson’s personal letters – from Monticello, to Revolutionary Paris, to the Jefferson White House. You will learn not only about the dark secrets of the Jefferson family, but how Patsy’s personal choices helped shape this nation. Once you pick this book up, you won’t want to put it down! (Christine)

Price: $15.99
The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman was the youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Her original poem can be found here in this small but mighty little yellow book. Powerful, meaningful, unforgettable…I can hear her confident wise voice speaking to me as I read through the pages, just as I did on Inauguration Day. It is a joyful celebration of the promise of America, at a time we so desperately needed it! ~ Christine

Price: $15.99
Remembering Katharine Hepburn Remembering Katharine Hepburn

Nyberg, founding member of "The Kate" Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, writes about “the CT gal who rose to the stars" in a series of vignettes. This book is a celebration of a life that, beyond the bright lights and scripts, was very much a down-home New England one. We are big fans of both of these women.

Price: $16.95
My Dear Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie My Dear Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

This is a heart-wrenching, historically accurate, novel about the life of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's wife. Founding fathers and founding wives, and their relationships, struggles and hardships are detailed in this novel. They say behind every great man is a strong woman, and Elizabeth Hamilton is that woman! This book is a true pageturner!

Price: $16.99
Quotable New Englander, by Eric D. Lehman Quotable New Englander, by Eric D. Lehman

This book contains the wit and wisdom of both present and former New Englanders, who remain some of the most quotable people in the world. From politics to sports, from literature to theatre, it includes a variety of notable quotes from William Bradford, Samuel Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Geno Auriemma, Timothy Leary and Ken Burns. As Lehman suggests, there is more that binds New Englanders together besides cranberries, maple syrup and clam chowder…perhaps it is the salt air and landscapes, or the fact that this country was founded here, that affirms that rugged New Englanders have a lot to say! ~ Christine

Price: $18.95
A History of the Connecticut River A History of the Connecticut River

Local author Wick Griswold takes you on an historical journey down the Connecticut River. This book details the river's many inhabitants  - from the Algonquin speaking Indians, through the early ship-building days and the steamboat-era, and beyond.

Price: $19.99
Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

People of colonial New England drank “quite a bit”! Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England by Corin Hirsch recounts where, what and how much our Yankee forebears consumed.

Price: $19.99
Portrait in Blue Portrait in Blue

Based on the lives of the Champlins, an Essex family, this historical fiction meets illustration re-creates the search for the missing portrait of Amelia Hayden Champlin. Written by Beverly Page, Illustrated by Robert Hunt.

Price: $20.00
Around Essex: Elephants and River Gods Around Essex: Elephants and River Gods

Contributing authorship from the Ivoryton Library Association offers rich accounts of Essex, Centerbrook, and Ivoryton—which comprise Essex village, or “The Point” of Petapoug Quarter. Filled with 19th century photography, history, and storytelling at its best, covering the over 300-year history of this area.

Price: $21.99
Steamboats on Long Island Sound Steamboats on Long Island Sound

A detailed historical account of the Steamboat era on Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River between 1815-1942. This book contains all the glamour and all the danger of traveling on these big white vessels.

Price: $21.99
Gillette Castle Gillette Castle

During his career as an actor, William Gillette portrayed world-renowned character Sherlock Holmes in more than 1,300 performances. His career as a playwright and actor afforded him the opportunity to purchase a 184-acre estate, where he also built a twenty-four-room medieval-style castle. Overlooking the Connecticut River, Gillette's castle was complete with spy mirrors, sliding furniture, hidden rooms and a three-mile quarter-scale railroad. Since becoming a state park in 1943, it has evolved into one of Connecticut's most popular tourist attractions. Writer and award-winning journalist Erik Ofgang examines the history of an iconic structure and Gillette's life and role in the evolution of Sherlock Holmes.

Price: $21.99
Connecticut River Shipbuilding Connecticut River Shipbuilding

Connecticut River Shipbuilding by Wick Griswold & Ruth Major

Price: $21.99
Connecticut Rock n' Roll, Toni Renzoni Connecticut Rock n' Roll, Toni Renzoni

In 1961, while The Beatles were performing for the first time in Liverpool, a teenager by the name of Bob Dylan was singing at a Folk Festival in a small, East Coast town across the pond. It was Branford, Connecticut. Such begins Renzoni’s odyssey exploring our state’s contributions to the genre— through sock hops, billboard charts, band interviews, and raw photographs (see Joe Sia’s Jimi Hendrix shot at Yale), this CT resident/rock enthusiast highlights musicians both in and out of the limelight. Because in the end it isn’t about the big crowds and bright lights, but the garage-jamming, down home, grassroots love for the music. ~Ellen

Price: $21.99
Houses of Essex: Vol. 1 Houses of Essex: Vol. 1

This book, the first of a two-part series provided by the Ivoryton Library Association, explores the history of Essex, Connecticut (and it's hamlets of Centerbrook and Ivoryton) through a study of the town buildings-- all of which were built prior to 1930 and held cultural significance within the Connecticut River Valley. This is a must-have while roaming the streets of Essex by foot: many homesteads and their interesting histories can be found in this compilation.

Price: $22.00
Houses of Essex: Vol. 2 Houses of Essex: Vol. 2

This book, the second of a two-part series provided by the Ivoryton Library Association, continues to explore the history of Essex, Connecticut (and it's hamlets of Centerbrook and Ivoryton) through a study of the town buildings-- all of which were built prior to 1930 and held cultural significance within the Connecticut River Valley. This is a must-have while roaming the streets of Essex by foot: many homesteads and their interesting histories can be found in this series.

Price: $22.00
New England's Colonial Inns & Taverns New England's Colonial Inns & Taverns

A beautifully-photographed historical collection of New England’s notable, best and distinctive Colonial inns and taverns, whose buildings date back to the 1600s. Noteworthy inns include the Red Lion of the Berkshires, and the “legendary” Griswold Inn of Essex. A wonderful inspiration to plan your next weekend getaway.

Price: $22.95
Connecticut 169 Club Connecticut 169 Club

This thoroughly researched, hard-covered volume contains detailed information on every town including historical landmarks, local eatery recommendations, famous people who lived there, and interesting places to visit. There’s even a check–list of towns at the back of the book to complete – and once you’ve visited all 169, you can receive a special “Leatherman Patch” for your efforts! So grab your walking stick, or hop in your car and explore Connecticut! ~ Christine

Price: $24.95
Course of History, by Struan Steverson Course of History, by Struan Steverson

Imagine sitting at the dinner table with the likes of Jefferson, Hamilton, Churchill, or Hitler; and listening to history unfold as you dine and drink sumptuous feasts! I felt delightfully transported to ten delicious power dinners in this book – each one rich in historical and culinary detail. It includes recreated recipes from soup to desserts, by celebrity chef Tony Singh - an utterly clever way to portray the importance of food and wine to modern history! ~ Christine

Price: $25.99
A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style

A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style, by Caryn B. Davis
The quintessential Americana Christmas starts in Connecticut—with its coastal hamlets, 17th century villages and old world traditions, there’s no other place to be for the Holidays. Customs of bygone eras are still alive today, and Davis’s book illuminates these so perfectly, the photographs seem to sparkle off the page. Paired with historical essay, this is an exquisite tour of CT history and holiday— and a celebration of a time and place untouched by modernity. Complete with stately homes, extravagant settings, trees, farms, and festivals, you’ll find familiar places therein (Gillette Castle, Essex Steam Train, and of course The Griswold Inn!)

Price: $26.00
Connecticut Waters Connecticut Waters

Connecticut Waters is a tribute to our state's maritime culture both past and present. Take a magical journey on your favorite historic ferry or charter boat and explore the many ways Nuttmeggers use our lakes, rivers, seas, and shores for industry, education, and recreation. You'll find a world of lobster shacks, aquariums, and lighthouses, and meet boatbuilders, shad anglers, and oyster farmers. Along the way you will learn the many ways Connecticut waters have shaped our shared heritage.

Price: $27.95
Connecticut Coast: A Town-by-Town Illustrated History Connecticut Coast: A Town-by-Town Illustrated History

With photographs compiled by The Connecticut History Society, this is a richly-depicted history of the CT shoreline from New York to Rhode Island. All twenty-four shoreline communities are featured, each with narratives and accompanying photographs.

Price: $29.95
The Connecticut River From The Air The Connecticut River From The Air

An intimate perspective of New England's historic waterway.

This extraordinary visual journey, with ae
rial photography from Tom Walsh, from the river’s mouth to our nation’s northern border, brings you to places few have ever seen.
This highly anticipated book, told as only Jerry Roberts can, is sure to find a place in any Connecticut history lovers’ library collections.

Price: $50.00