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From Our Blog

Literary Boston

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the country and as such, has a long literary tradition. Today, that tradition continues to thrive at our public and historic libraries, higher education institutions, numerous independent bookstores, and book and reading festivals.

To get a real taste of Boston, select from one of the many celebrated titles that capture the spirit of our city. 

Books set in Boston

Boston has served as the setting for many famous novels. From love stories to children’s classics and everything in between, the backdrop of Boston is a writer’s dream. 

The Art Forger, BA Shapiro (2012): Inspired by the real-life theft of over $500 million dollars’ worth of paintings from the renowned Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, this fast-paced novel follows Claire, a struggling young artist who finds herself in over her head when asked to reproduce a famous painting.

The Water Carrier, Nakia Hill (2018): An insightful and touching collection of poetry that is an ode to women of color who inherit the role of water carrier. A Bostonian by birth, Nakia Hill is an Editor for the International Women’s Writing Guild and a Board Member of the Boston Art Review. 

The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant (2014): This classic tale is the story of a young Jewish girl born to immigrant parents who are unprepared for the effects that their new country will have on their daughter. A novel about coming-of-age, friendship, and family ties at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Love Story, Erich Segal (1970): This book centers on the love between two college students from opposite sides of the tracks, one at Harvard and one at Radcliffe, and the barriers they face. It inspired the famous film of the same name, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. 

Small Mercies, Dennis Lehane (2023): The author of Mystic River returns with his latest novel. Set in the summer of 1974 against the backdrop of a Boston heatwave, the novel explores life in “Southie”, an Irish-American enclave that stubbornly adheres to the traditions of the past in an attempt to hold onto its identity. 

The Bostonians, Henry James (1886): A bittersweet tragicomedy, the novel focuses on politics, feminism, and the spiritualist movement in post-civil war America. It captures a time in our city’s history when our nation was looking to heal.

The Poems of Phillis Wheatley, Phillis Wheatley (1995): Born in Africa in 1753, Phillis Wheatley is considered to be the first African American author of a published book of poetry. Her first work was praised by many, including George Washington.  

Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey (1941): This beloved picture-book tells the ‘tail’ of Mallard Ducks raising a family on an island in the lagoon of the Boston Public Garden. It’s such a favorite that in 1987, a Make Way for Ducklings Statue by Nancy Schön was installed in the Public Garden, near Charles and Beacon Street.  

Boston Book Stores

As one of the centers of both American history and education, Boston is a town of bookstores. Independent and University shops offer readers a wide-ranging selection of both popular and rare fiction and non-fiction.

Trident Booksellers and Café

Located on bustling Newbury Street, Trident Booksellers & Café has been a Boston icon for nearly 40 years. This charming bookstore offers an array of titles to browse and the added benefit of an in-store café with an all-day breakfast menu that gives patrons a chance to relax and stay awhile. When the sun is shining, enjoy their outdoor patio. 

Beacon Hill Books & Café 

As the name implies, this bookstore is nestled in the city’s charming neighborhood of Beacon Hill. This lovely shop on Charles Street offers a thoughtful selection of titles curated by a knowledgeable and passionate staff. Quaint and cozy with regular events featuring author readings and book signing, Beacon Hill Books captures the best of our city.

Harvard Book Store

A fixture since 1932, the Harvard Book Store offers a vast selection of titles plus regular in-store readings by luminaries and literary heavyweights. Popular among students, scholars, and readers alike, the bookstore is must-visit destination for all book lovers.

Boston Public Library

Located just a few short blocks from our property, the Boston Public Central Library on Boylston Street in Copley Square has been providing reading enjoyment for all ages since 1848. The historic building is a destination in its own right, and art and architecture tours are available. The library boasts a collection of nearly 23 million items, estimated to be one of the largest library collections in the country, and a must-visit for those who love literature. 

The Boston Athenæum

Boston Park Plaza, located just one block from Boston Common, is the quintessential historic Boston hotel. Across the Common at 10 ½ Beacon Street is a one of our city’s most cherished institutions, The Boston Athenæum. Located in a stunning, landmark building built in 1849, the Athenaeum is a blend of library, museum and center of culture. Founded in 1807, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s father one was on the original trustees. The Boston Athenæum has five floors of reading rooms and a circulation of more than a half million books. Special collections include active research holdings of rare books, maps and manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs. There is also a year-round schedule of author talks, book clubs, exhibitions and more.  

Boston is a city of stories, so it’s no surprise that writers have been inspired by our people and surroundings for centuries. Next time you’re visiting our city, bring along a book about Boston. The combination of literature and location will prove unforgettable.  

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Boston Park Plaza is a Boston icon regularly recognized as the best hotel in Boston. Our one-of-a-kind experience is as richly textured and profoundly memorable as Boston itself. 

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