The Greatest "New Hampshire" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 268 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    The novel tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a man with a disturbing obsession for young girls, or "nymphets" as he calls them. His obsession leads him to engage in a manipulative and destructive relationship with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Lolita. The narrative is a controversial exploration of manipulation, obsession, and unreliable narration, as Humbert attempts to justify his actions and feelings throughout the story.

  2. 2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

    Set in a New England boarding school during World War II, this novel explores the tumultuous friendship between two boys, a charismatic and daring athlete and his introverted, intellectual roommate. The story delves into themes of envy, identity, and the loss of innocence, culminating in a tragic accident that forever changes their lives. The backdrop of the war adds a layer of tension and urgency, reflecting the inner turmoil of the protagonists.

  3. 3. Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson

    The book is a groundbreaking work of African American literature, providing a harrowing account of the life of a free black girl in the antebellum North who becomes bound as a servant to a cruel family. It explores themes of race, identity, and servitude as the protagonist endures physical and emotional abuse while struggling to maintain her dignity and spirit in the face of relentless oppression. The narrative serves as a powerful critique of the myth of Northern racial superiority and the complex social dynamics of race and class during the 19th century.

  4. 4. The Rules Of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

    Set in the 1980s at a small, affluent liberal arts college in New England, the novel captures the lives of a group of self-absorbed, hedonistic students as they navigate a world of casual sex, drug use, and apathy. Through a series of first-person narratives that often overlap and contradict each other, the story delves into the disaffected and aimless existence of these young adults, exploring themes of unrequited love, the search for identity, and the meaninglessness of the college social scene. The characters' intertwining relationships and the consequences of their actions paint a bleak picture of the disillusionment and moral ambiguity of the era.

  5. 5. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

    The novel follows the Berry family, whose eccentricities and resilience are tested over generations, particularly through their experiences running various incarnations of the eponymous hotel. From their original establishment in New England to a second in Vienna, the Berrys encounter a cast of quirky characters, endure tragedies, and navigate complex relationships. Themes of love, loss, and the pursuit of dreams are explored against a backdrop of political and social upheaval, with the family's unique motto, "Keep passing the open windows," serving as a refrain for their determination to persevere in the face of life's absurdities and challenges.

  6. 6. Journal Of A Solitude by May Sarton

    "Journal of a Solitude" is a reflective and intimate exploration of the author's year-long journey through solitude, where she delves into the complexities of her inner life, creativity, and relationships with others. As a deeply personal account, the narrative weaves through the seasons and the natural world, offering insights into the challenges and rewards of a life dedicated to artistic expression, self-discovery, and the pursuit of emotional and intellectual growth. The author confronts her fears, joys, and the often solitary nature of the creative process, revealing the profound impact of solitude on the human spirit.

  7. 7. Affliction by Russell Banks

    "Affliction" is a powerful and haunting novel about a man named Wade Whitehouse, a small-town cop in New Hampshire, who descends into a spiral of violence and despair triggered by the fear of his own impotence. The narrative delves deep into Wade's past and present life, his struggles with alcoholism, his failed marriage and difficult relationship with his daughter, and his abusive father, all leading to a tragic and shocking climax. The book is a profound exploration of the struggle for self and identity in a harsh and unforgiving environment.

  8. 8. New Hampshire by Robert Frost

    "New Hampshire" is a collection of poems that delve into the rustic beauty and the complex social and natural landscapes of rural New England. Through vivid imagery and masterful use of language, the poet explores themes of nature, human experience, and the passage of time. The work reflects on the interplay between the individual and the community, the fleeting moments of joy, and the inevitable changes brought by the seasons and life itself. With a mix of longer narrative poems and shorter lyrical pieces, the collection captures the essence of early 20th-century American life, grounded in the specificities of the New Hampshire countryside.

  9. 9. The Dogs of March by Ernest Hebert

    The book follows the story of a man named Howard Elman who is struggling to make ends meet in a small town in New Hampshire. After his wife leaves him and he loses his job, Howard is forced to confront the harsh realities of his life. As he grapples with poverty, isolation, and his own personal demons, Howard must also contend with the changing landscape of his town as it is overtaken by urban development. The novel paints a vivid picture of rural life and the struggles of the working class, touching on themes of resilience, survival, and the human condition.

  10. 10. The Weight Of Water by Anita Shreve

    The novel intertwines two compelling narratives: one of a contemporary woman who, while on a work assignment to photograph a historic crime scene, grapples with her disintegrating marriage and an overpowering attraction to another man; and the other, a century-old tragedy of a Norwegian immigrant, whose jealousy and secrets lead to a shocking act of violence on the isolated island of Smuttynose. As the photographer delves deeper into the past, the stories converge, revealing the enduring consequences of love and jealousy.

  11. 11. The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams

    The novel is a layered narrative that alternates between the protagonist, a writer, working on his novel in 1960s New Hampshire and the story within his novel set in 1930s New England. The protagonist's story explores his relationships with his family, friends, and fellow writers, while the story within the novel follows a young man's journey of self-discovery during the Great Depression. The book won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1975.

  12. 12. Robert Frost: The Years of Triumph, 1915–1938 by Lawrence Thompson

    This biography chronicles the life of renowned American poet Robert Frost during the years of 1915 to 1938, a period marked by his rise to international fame. The book explores Frost's personal life, his relationships with family and friends, and his struggles with mental illness, all while tracing his poetic development. It also delves into his experiences living in England and New England, his teaching career, and his four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry.

Reading Statistics

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If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

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