The 5 books you should read before visiting Maine

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Located in the northeastern United States, Maine is the perfect blend of older American culture and natural beauty. From the mountain peaks to the small fishing villages, its history and landscape have contributed to plenty of literature over the years. If you’re interested in visiting the state, consider reading up on the history or delving into a novel to get a sense of the unique place. Here you will find everything from poetry to short stories and children’s books to novels and non-fiction.

Lost On A Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler

Most Maine natives (and indeed many people of a certain age across the nation) know the story of Donn Fendler. At the age of 12 in 1939, he managed to get separated from his family and had to survive on his own in the woods of Maine for nine days. Although hundreds of volunteers could not locate him, this scout managed to find his way out by following a telephone wire. Until his death, he told his story to schoolchildren across the country. The book is a full account of his harrowing experience and a testament to his endurance.


The Cider House Rules by John Irving

You’ve probably heard of John Irving’s work before, either through his books or film adaptations. As a New England native, many of Irving’s works are from these small villages. The Cider House Rules has a raw story to tell in a fictional coastal town in Maine. Although the story itself comes from his own imagination, the themes represent an important time in Maine history.


The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau is perhaps best known as Walden, although his works about his travels to the woods of Maine probably deserve their own recognition. His love for nature and a minimalist life can be felt on every page. If you are interested in reading a bit more about his transcendentalism, simple life or civil disobedience, this one is for you.


Carrie by Stephen King

You could actually take almost any famous Stephen King novel and immerse yourself in a little piece of Maine. Carrie is perhaps his best-known work, although Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, Cujo and It are other top contenders for that spot. The small, quiet towns of Maine provide the perfect backdrop for the horror and suspense of his works. Born in Portland, Maine, the author has brought attention to this state. Just make sure you don’t read one of his books before bed!


Selected Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Another Portlander, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is one of the most famous American poets of the 19th century. Best known for Paul Revere Ride and The Song of Hiawatha, his collected poems showcase the strength of the American spirit. He was known as one of the Fireside Poets of New England and was very popular both in the United States and Europe. Although his popularity faded somewhat after his death, most American schoolchildren have heard of his work in some way.

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