Elin Hilderbrand


The author of The Island recommends fiction from far and near.



Elin Hilderbrand In novels such as The Castaways, The Blue Bistro, and Summer People, Elin Hilderbrand draws on the unique atmosphere of the secluded island community of Nantucket to tell engrossing stories of the lives of those who come to visit, and those who make the edge of the ocean a year-round home. In her latest, The Island, Hildebrand conjures a bittersweet family story, in which four women’s sojourn in the family’s summer cottage yields both confrontation and renewal. The author spoke with us about three of her favorite books.


Books by Elin Hilderbrand




Franny and Zooey

By J.D. Salinger


"Every word is perfect. This was my introduction to the Glass family, who remain my favorite clan in all of literature. When I graduated from high school and was asked to give a speech at the ceremony, I quoted liberally from this book. It is, in many ways, my Bible. It's very spiritual without being preachy. My favorite scene is where Mrs. Glass interrupts Zooey in the bath. Classic."



A Thousand Acres

By Jane Smiley


"It's King Lear rewritten, but it is also a meditation on love and loss, family and land. It's about the scars we hide and the way we heal. Brilliant and beautiful."








By Tim Winton


"Tim Winton is the premier novelist in Western Australia, certainly, and perhaps all of Australia. My husband Chip and our three kids and I vacation in Fremantle and Perth, which is where this breathtaking novel is set. It follows the trials and tribulations of the Lamb family and the Pickle family, who are forced to board together in the same house. For anyone who has never read Tim Winton, you are in for a treat. Move on to The Riders and Dirt Music once you finish this one!"


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.