The 2023 Vineyard literary list


Most of the 2023 year-end book lists we’ve been reading are categorized by genre. Not this one. This impressive list of books published in 2023 will be sorted into categories that those of us who visit and live on the Vineyard spend quality time debating. The three categories for this list of books have to do with the author’s time spent on the Island. They are year-round Vineyarders, seasonal and shoulder-seasonal, and summer visitors or otherwise connected. Admittedly, the lines are often inexact, and since the Steamship Authority wouldn’t grant us access to their records so we could see who qualifies for preferred status, we’ve had to develop our own methodology. While we regret any mistakes and omissions, we encourage you to celebrate the wealth of literary talent on this Island by starting 2024 with this 2023 reading list.

Year-Round Vineyarders

  • “Beautiful Bread: Create & Bake Artful Masterpieces for Any Occasion,” by Theresa Culletto
  • “Washed Ashore,” by Bill Eville
  • “Borders to Bridges: Arts-Based Curriculum for Social Justice,” by Lynn Ditchfield
  • “Attacked!” by Marc Favreau
  • “The Sacred Depths of Nature: How Life Has Emerged and Evolved,” by Ursula Goodenough
  • “Martha’s Vineyard in the Roaring Twenties,” by Thomas Dresser
  • “Sea Change,” by Kate Hancock (This book was published so late in 2022 that we decided to bump it over onto this list.)
  • “Wings of Red,” by James K. Jennings
  • “Sea of Gold,” by Gregory Mone
  • Artistic Visions: The Martha’s Vineyard Museum as Muse,” by Abby Remer
  • “You Can Make This Sh*t Up!” by Gwyn McAllister. (Technically, McAllister is no longer a year-round resident, but as a frequent contributor to this paper, we’re giving her a pass.)
  • “A Smoke and a Song,” by Sherry Sidoti
  • “A Vineyard Season,” by Jean Stone
  • “Beyond This Harbor,” by Rose Styron
  • “Vineyard Folk,” by Tamara Weiss and Amanda Benchley
  • “Live Learn Love Well: Lessons from a Life of Progress Not Perfection,” by Emma Lovewell. (While Lovewell is currently living in New York, she grew up on the Island, and once an Islander, always an Islander.)

Seasonal and Shoulder-Seasonal Residents

  • “Emptying the Nest: Getting Better at Goodbyes,” by Morgan Baker
  • “To Walk It Is To See It,” by Kathy Elkind
  • “Death of the Great Man,” by Peter D. Kramer
  • “The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History’s Most Astonishing Murder Ring,” by Patti McCracken
  • “Sleeping as Fast as I Can,” by Richard Michelson
  • “Trial,” by Richard North Patterson
  • “Renegade Teacher: Inside School Walls with Standards and the Test,” by Kay Scheidler
  • “The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly,” by Katherine A. Sherbrooke
  • “Daughter of History: Traces of an Immigrant Girlhood,” by Susan Rubin Suleiman

Summer Visitors or Otherwise Connected

  • “Rewriting Illness,” by Elizabeth Benedict
  • “Black Love Letters,” by Cole Brown and Natalie Johnson
  • “Underwater Daughter,” by Antonia Deignan
  • “I Could Live Here Forever,” by Hannah Halperin
  • “The Half Moon,” by Mary Beth Keane
  • “Home Sweet Island,” by Cathryn Newton, illustrated by Will Kefauver
  •  “When the World Didn’t End,” by Guinevere Turner
  • “The Lioness of Boston,” by Emily Franklin
  • “A Border Town in Poland: A 20th Century Memoir,” by Hirsch Bieler, as told to Nora Jean and Michael H. Levin

Kate Feiffer is the illustrator of “The Lamb Cycle,” which was also published in 2023. 



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