Book List: Escape with a Book

May 5, 2020

During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic we are all staying home and close to home.  So why not travel across the globe and through time and take an adventure through reading?  We recommend these 10 books, written by or about individuals buried at Mount Auburn, to help you escape from Cape Cod to Paris and over mountains and oceans!  These books can be found at your local library or Independent Bookstore such as Porter Square BooksHarvard Book Store, and Belmont Books.


Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In this epic poem, Evangaline: A Tale of Acadie by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1847), follow a woman in her search of her lost love whom she was separated from during the Expulsion of the Acadians.  Travel through the “forest primeval…”  Longfellow (1807 – 1882) is buried on Indian Ridge Path.


The Natural by Bernard Malamud (1952)

If you’re missing baseball, read The Natural by Bernard Malamud.  Malamud’s first novel, The Natural remains in the eyes of many to be the finest novel ever written about baseball.   Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bernard Malamud (1914 – 1986) is buried at Mount Auburn on Azalea Path.


Looking Backward 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (1888)

Travel backwards and forwards in time in this classic novel, Looking Backward 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy.  In it a 19th century Bostonian wakes up in the year 2000.  Boston has changed immensely into a socialist utopia.  A brief mention of Mount Auburn on Decoration Day (the precursor to Memorial Day) is our connection to this influential book.


Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor’s Life at Sea by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1840)

Richard Henry Dana, Jr. wrote this account about his experiences on a two-year sea voyage at the age of 19. Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor’s Life at Sea is a riveting account of traveling around Cape Horn to the California coast. Although Dana Jr. (1815 – 1882) is buried in Rome, there is a memorial to him at Mount Auburn in his family’s lot on Jonquil Path.


Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition 1838 – 1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick (2003)

Take a voyage with Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, the U. S. Exploring Expedition 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick. The U. S. Exploring Expedition is credited with the discovery Antarctica, the mapping of hundreds of Pacific islands, the Oregon and Washington coasts, and 100 miles of the Columbia River. The Expedition met with tragedy in Fiji, where members were killed during a bloody war with natives. A monument was erected at Mount Auburn on Hyacinth Path to honor those men.


The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life by Francis Parkman (1849)

Travel with Francis Parkman in his book The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life.  Valued as both literature and history, Parkman’s account of touring the West provides us with rich descriptions of the landscape and hunting buffalo with Native Americans. Parkman (1823 – 1893) is buried on Indian Ridge Path.


Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival by David Roberts (2012)

Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival by David Roberts is a gripping tale of two talented mountaineers and Harvard classmates, Bob Bates and Brad Washburn and their expedition in the Yukon Territory through unbelievable conditions and obstacles.  Escape from Lucania recounts Washburn and Bates’s determined drive toward Lucania’s 17,150-foot summit under constant threat of avalanches, blinding snowstorms, and hidden crevasses. Against awesome odds they became the first to set foot on Lucania’s peak, not realizing that their greatest challenge still lay beyond.  Bates (1911 – 2007) is interred on Amethyst Path and Washburn (1910 – 2007) on Oak Ave.


The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough (2011)

Take a trip to Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900 with The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Sumner, Winslow Homer, and Margaret Fuller are just some of the Mount Auburn notable residents who appear in this book about Americans who spent time in France to achieve their creative goals. As David McCullough writes, “Not all pioneers went west.”


House on Nauset Marsh: A Cape Cod Memoir by Wyman Richardson (1947)

Take an arm-chair journey to Cape Cod through Wyman Richardson’s House on Nauset Marsh: A Cape Cod Memoir.  A classic of Cape Cod literature and a great piece of nature writing, The House on Nauset Marsh is a lyrical, poignant and often humorous work of a much-loved land and the people who called it home in a simpler time.  Wyman Richardson (1896 – 1953) was a physician, medical school professor, naturalist and is buried at Mount Auburn on Wisteria Path.


Poolside with Slim Aarons (2007)

Poolside with Slim Aarons offers images of jet-setters and the wealthy, of beautiful, glittering people living the glamorous life. Escape with this collection of stunning photographs of the rich and well-connected “doing attractive things.”  From the Caribbean to Italy and Mexico to Monaco, Poolside with Slim Aarons whisks the reader away to an exclusive club where taste, style, luxury, and grandeur prevail.  George A. “Slim” Aarons (1916-2006) is regarded as one of the most influential magazine photographers of his generation and is buried on Magnolia Ave.

About the Author: Jessica Bussmann

Director of Education & Visitor Services View all posts by Jessica Bussmann →

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