One of the things we like to do when we have a spare minute in the busy summer season is to take a break and catch up on personal reading. One of the best perks of working at or visiting the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is being able to grab a spot on our lawn while enjoying the best views in town and a good read during the summer. The experience adds years to one’s life. 

What’s on your summer reading list? Here are some books for readers of all ages that are on our lists and currently available at our gift shop. Why not pay us a visit and add these to your reading list? Here are our recommendations:

My Ride. My Rules. The Sky We Look At Is The Same by Courtney K. Hurst.

My Ride. My Rules.: The Sky We Look At Is The Same, by Courtney K. Hurst

In this first book of the “My Ride. My Rules.” series, Elizabeth begins a journey of self-discovery as she brings secrets from darkness into light and starts to ask herself, “Who am I really?”, “Can I ever transcend my past traumas?” and “How will I learn forgiveness?”

Hope and healing may be just over the horizon for Elizabeth, but even so, her ultimate quest has only just begun.

The Watch at Peaked Hill: Outer Cape Dune Shack Life, 1953-2003 by Josephine Breen Del Deo

For a small group of intrepid adventurers, summer means living in a minimalist shack on the dunes at the tip of Cape Cod. For years these diminutive abodes have attracted artists, writers, and naturalists longing to escape the hectic hubbub of their day-to-day lives. Josephine Breen Del Deo has been part of the dune shack community at Provincetown for over fifty years. In this memoir, she describes not only the idyllic life but also the struggle to maintain that life in the face of the constant impact of waves and shifting sands, as well as efforts of the government to remove the shacks and create a more “pristine” natural setting. In the process, she brings the history to life, setting it in the context of larger events and populating it with the interesting, often eccentric characters who have lived on the dunes.

Ahab’s Wife or, The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

The daughter of a tyrannical father, Una leaves the violent Kentucky frontier for the peace of a New England lighthouse island, where she simultaneously falls in love with two young men. Disguised as a boy, she earns a berth on a whaling ship where she encounters the power of nature, death, and madness, and gets her first glimpse of Captain Ahab. As Naslund portrays Una’s love for the tragically driven Ahab, she magnificently renders a real, living marriage and offers a new perspective on the American experience.

Ahab’s Wife was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club, chosen by Time magazine as one of the top five novels of 1999, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five books of the year, chosen by the New York Times as a Notable Book of 1999, and chosen as a Best Book by Publishers Weekly.

Sail Away Ladies: Stories of Cape Cod Women in the Age of Sail by Jim Coogan

Winner of the 2004 United States Maritime Literature Award – During the great age of sail, hundreds of women accompanied their seafaring husbands on voyages that took them around the globe. In their journeys, they faced storms, pirates, shipwrecks, seasickness and loneliness so far from home, family and friends. Yet they also met with great adventure. Based on the journals and letters of these remarkable ladies, Sail Away Ladies presents the experiences of twelve Cape Cod women who braved the oceans and shared their adventures with the people they left behind at home. Theirs is a proud and often overlooked chapter in Cape Cod’s seafaring history.

For young adults

Isabel of the Whales by Hester Velmans

Isabel of the Whales by Hester Velmans

Eleven-year-old Isabel is a “plain old” girl living in Provincetown, Massachusetts, who believes that she is destined to accomplish something special. When her fifth-grade class goes on a whale-watch field trip, something amazing happens: Dozens of different species of whales surround the boat, bumping the deck and sending Isabel flying into the ocean. Isabel is shocked to hear the whales speaking to her—she is a mermaid, they tell her, a “Chosen One” who has the ability to turn from a human into a whale and back again. She is destined to live among the whales long enough to learn their ways, and teach them about the human world.

Returning to Shore by Corinne Demas

Her mother’s third marriage is only hours old when all hope for Clare’s 15th summer fades. Before she knows it, Clare is whisked away to some ancient cottage on a tiny marsh island on Cape Cod to spend the summer with her father―a man she hasn’t seen since she was three.

But there’s something undeniably magical about the marsh and the island―a connection to Clare’s past that runs deeper than memory. Even her father’s beloved turtles hold unexpected surprises. As Clare’s father begins to reveal more about himself and his own struggle, Clare’s summer becomes less of an exile and more of a return.

For cooking and history enthusiasts

Cuisine is a Dialect, A Leisurely Stroll Through the Edible History of Provincetown by Odale Cress

This delightful book takes you on an entertaining tour of Provincetown, exploring its culture and history as told through its foodways, traditions and cuisines. Its pages are sprinkled with illustrations by the author and other local artists, as well as prose, poetry, lyrics and recipes from some of the town’s favorite writers, songsmiths and chefs.

Cape Cod Wampanoag Cookbook: Wampanoag Indian Recipes, Images & Lore by Earl Mills

Features recipes ranging from Quahog Chowder to Indian Pudding. This book contains recipes that have been taste-tested, presented along with stories and blessings. It includes such recipes as soups and chowders, breads, salads and dressings, pastries, meats, game, seafood, vegetables, pasta, sauces and desserts, and more.

Wampanoag Art for the Ages by Lee Roscoe

In this well-illustrated book, Lee Roscoe profiles several Wampanoag artists and discusses their work. She begins with Wetu, or bark dwellings, and continues with Matting, Twining, Pottery, Wampum, Regalia, Adornment, Painting and Mixed Media. Each section features a Wampanoag artist and includes historical information about the craft itself and the required materials. This unique book provides a look into contemporary Wampanoag art, as well as the cultural history that inspires it.

All of these great reads are available in the PMPM gift shop.