A Boston Book-cation

Danielle has posted yesterday about a book-cation to Jerusalem, and by now I am seriously dreaming about books set in Boston where we will be… next week!

During spring I watched the movie version of The Bostonians by Henry James (the Merchant Ivory version with Vanessa Redgrave). I listened to Haruki Murakami’s memoir of running along the Charles River to prepare a triathlon (that I will never do!). It’s been a while but I still have a fond memory of a cozy mystery set around the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and perhaps we will get there. Boston suburbs make me think of Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, and of Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar (which I had trouble finishing a lifetime ago). On a whole other planet, there’s the detective rabbi from Harry Kemelman’s series. And of course there’s Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter too.

I didn’t remember that Shutter Island was supposed to be an island off Boston coast. Nor did I know that Dennis Lehane’s crime fiction is set in Boston, because I never managed to get past the few first pages of Mystic River (I’m probably missing out, perhaps I’ll be inspired to try again after our trip, who knows?).

In pop culture, I associate Boston with Ally McBeal (which probably will make you guess my age) and Legally Blonde, a silly movie I still can’t disown (shake your head in disgust if you want, to me it’s a feel-good movie for one of these bad days…).

If I extend my book-cation to embrace all of Massachusetts, of course we might go to Concord and see a bit of Louisa May Alcott, or try Lenox for a quick hello to Edith Wharton who adored France, although her Massachusetts-based Ethan Frome is even more depressing than her other city tales. Or maybe Salem for the Crucibles? Or Amherst for Emily Dickinson? The choice is so hard, and I haven’t started to dream about bookshops yet.

What did I forget? Do you have any recommendations for books set in and around Boston? Any special place?


2 thoughts on “A Boston Book-cation

  1. I don’t have anything to add for a Boston reading list, but I do defend Legally Blonde. Sure it’s silly, but it’s also awesome. Definitely a comfort movie of mine too.

    Oh, as I was about to hit “post” on this, I remembered a Boston movie, Good Will Hunting. What a great film. The ratio of how often I mock that film to how often I watch it is pretty high, but I still think it’s an excellent movie and I love rewatching it.

    • Oh, Good Will Hunting, indeed! Didn’t remember it was set in Boston. Robin Williams, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon… I should probably rewatch it too! Thanks for the reminder.

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