Books About Martha’s Vineyard That Will Make You Want to Visit

It’s amazing how restorative a visit to Martha’s Vineyard can be. But, it’s not always possible to make the trip when you need it most. Here’s an idea: escape to the island in a pinch by reading books about Martha’s Vineyard. With the list that follows, you’re sure to find something you like.

Edgartown Pier, Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown, Massachusetts is on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard!

These Martha’s Vineyard books will immerse you in the stories, landscape, lifestyle, food, and attractions that make this Cape Cod island off the coast of Massachusetts so charming. With any luck, you’ll feel transported in time and space to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard–at least until you can plan your next visit.

(That is, unless you’re scared away by one of these Jaws Martha’s Vineyard books!)

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn about 15+ great Martha’s Vineyard related books from various genres, including:

Memoirs on Martha’s Vineyard

Sometimes the best story isn’t fiction at all–it’s based in real-life experience. That’s what you’ll discover in these captivating memoirs about life on Martha’s Vineyard.

1. Martha’s Vineyard – Isle of Dreams

By Susan Branch 

Popular watercolor artist, author, and designer Susan Branch tells about her life as it transformed within a tiny one-bedroom cottage in Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.

You’ll come to appreciate the simplicity of life during a New England winter on the island, as well as Branch’s inspiring tale of self-discovery and transformation.

RELATED ARTICLE: For more in-depth coverage of this book, check out my full book review here.


2. The Vineyard We Knew: A Recollection of Summers on Martha’s Vineyard

By Kevin Parham

Whether or not you have experienced a summer on Martha’s Vineyard, you will be captivated by The Vineyard We Knew: A Recollection of Summers on Martha’s Vineyard.

This memoir describes Kevin Parham’s experience in Oak Bluffs in the 1960’s as an African American child. Parham, with his close-knit cousins, tells of humbling childhood experiences and strength of character learned on Martha’s Vineyard.


3. Martha’s Vineyard: An Affectionate Memoir

By Ray G. Ellis and Ralph Graves

Martha’s Vineyard – An Affectionate Memoir is a visual memoir, filled with inspiring oil and watercolor paintings that depict the natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. The scenes are beautifully captured by artist Ray Ellis.

Ellis’ artwork is complimented by Ralph Graves’ concise written history, and five other islanders’ interesting and insightful memoirs about Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a fantastic collaborative work.


Fictional Stories Set in Martha’s Vineyard

Books set on Martha’s Vineyard are sure to become favorites if you long for Cape Cod. The following fiction books are so endearing, you might even miss the characters once the story ends, as I do!

4. The Identicals

By Elin Hildebrand

Elin Hildebrand fans won’t be disappointed by The Identicals. This book features identical twin sisters whose lives are vastly different. One sister lives on Martha’s Vineyard and the other on Nantucket.

After being estranged for ten years, the sisters switch places to save their family, only to discover family secrets and lies that may tear them further apart forever.

It’s no surprise this book is a New York Times Bestseller and USA Today Best Seller.)


5. Goats in the Time of Love: A Martha’s Vineyard love story with goats, a dog, and some recipes

by T. Elizabeth Bell

This humorous tale filled with quirky characters, runaway goats, and woman who has lost it all will keep you laughing.

Not only will Goats in the Time of Love transport you to summer time on Martha’s Vineyard, it may just renew your hope in romance.


6. How to Keep a Secret

By Sarah Morgan

This tale of a family separated by oceans, time, and secrets features three generations of Martha’s Vineyard islanders after a tragic loss. Still, their lives are delicately intertwined.

You’ll find How to Keep A Secret is one of the novels set in Martha’s VIneyard that leaves you thinking about the characters long after the book ends.

RELATED ARTICLE: For more about this book, check out my full review.


Gay Head Light, Aquinnah MV (Books about Martha's Vineyard)
Gay Head Light in Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard Cookbooks

Every destination has it’s culinary masterpieces, and Martha’s Vineyard is no different. These books about Martha’s Vineyard foods capture wholesome recipes passed down through the years and the best farm-to-table recipes you can make at home.

7. The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook

 By Chris Fischer

The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook celebrates twelve generations (yes, 12!) of seasonal cooking on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Chef, farmer, and writer Chris Fischer weaves seasonal fare and recipes with beautiful illustrations to share contemporary New England cuisine inspired by grandfather’s five-acre farm on Martha’s Vineyard.


8. Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard 

By Tina Miller

You’ll find simple, fresh, and local recipes in Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard.

In this cookbook, illustrated with Millers vibrant photography, you’ll learn the art of harvesting and cooking fresh foods like the islanders of Martha’s Vineyard and discover delicious, seasonal recipes. Notable recipes in this book include the freshest fish, like bluefish, bay scallops, and lobster, creatively dressed with delicious, local produce.


9. The Martha’s Vineyard Cookbook: A Diverse Sampler from a Bountiful Island

By Louise Tate King

In The Martha’s Vineyard Cookbook: A Diverse Sampler from a Bountiful Island, Louise Tate King shares essential recipes for a wide variety of delicious things to sample from The Vineyard.

That includes chowders; meat, fish, game, and poultry dishes; cranberry desserts, Portuguese fare, and more from Martha’s Vineyard.


Gardens & Gardening on Martha’s Vineyard

Garden-lovers and gardeners are often enamoured by the beautiful gardens that grow on Martha’s Vineyard despite the island climate. You must take a peek into these charming gardens of Martha’s Vineyard when you visit. In the mean time, check out these incredible books!

10. Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard

By C. L. Fornari

You’ll discover gorgeous private and public gardens within the pages of Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard, C.L. Fornari’s sequal to the best-seller, “A Garden Lover’s Cape Cod.”

It’s no secret that Fornari is an expert gardener and photographer, as she clearly demonstrated within this book.


11. Sand & Soil: Creating Beautiful Gardens on Cape Cod and the Islands

By C.L Fornari

Growing a garden in the climate on Martha’s Vineyard can be a daunting task, but it leads to beautiful results. That’s what you’ll find out in Sand & Soil: Creating Beautiful Gardens on Cape Cod and the Islands, another, more pragmatic book by C.L. Fornari.

You can expect to learn about the many native plants that add to the breathtaking views on Martha’s Vineyard and the Cape, and avoid some potential pitfalls of gardening as you read.


Books About Martha's Vineyard - Marsh scene.
View of a Marsh in Martha’s Vineyard.

MV History & Martha’s Vineyard Guide Book

12. Walking the Cape and Islands: A Comprehensive Guide to the Walking and Hiking Trails of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket

By David Weintraub

David Weintraub leads you through pine forests, windswept dunes, salt marshes, and more in his comprehensive guide, Walking the Cape and Islands.

With more than 72 walks and hikes, the book describes trails suitable to all levels of hikers, including the natural history and trail routes in detail.

This latest edition of the book also includes professional maps in full-color.

This one’s a must-have for anyone looking to explore books about Martha’s Vineyard’s natural wonder.


13. A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard

By David R. Foster (author) and Brian R. Hall (illustrator)

A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard is a remarkable, rich, compelling, ‘masterwork’ by David R. Foster and Brian R. Hall.

The book is filled with history, maps, photographs, and guides that tell the story of how Martha’s Vineyard came to be.


14. 101 Things To Do in Martha’s Vineyard

By Gary J. Sikorsky

With 101 Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll journey through the scenic beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. Within the book’s pages is a collection of over 200 images featuring the island’s well known landmarks that draw in visitors from all over.

Even if you’re a frequent visitor, this book about Martha’s Vineyard is sure to point you someplace new you haven’t yet discovered!


Children’s Books About Martha’s Vineyard

The Story of the Little Black Dog (Little Black Dog Series)

Written by J.B. Spooner | Illustrated by Terre Lamb Seeley 

Children of all ages will love the story of this orphaned, seafaring puppy who wins over the crusty sea captain of the schooner, Shenandoah.

Plus, The Story of the Little Black Dog is beautifully illustrated and based on a true story.


Bonus Martha’s Vineyard Book

Jaws Memories from Martha’s Vineyard Book

by Matt Taylor

Jaw’s is an iconic movie when it comes to Martha’s Vineyard!

In this behind-the-scenes book, you’ll learn about all the inner workings of this Steven Spielberg Thriller, produced within the quaint New England setting of Martha’s Vineyard.

No doubt, movie buffs and Spielberg fans alike will love the Jaws Memories from Martha’s Vineyard book!


RELATED ARTICLE: If you like scary things, you’ll love learning of these haunted places in Massachusetts. Or, consider a thrilling trip to Salem, Massachusetts!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve discovered a book or two about Martha’s Vineyard that will take you across the ocean to this delightful Cape Cod island in some form. Maybe you’ve even found a book (or two) that’s perfect as a gift for a beach-loving someone. I hope it tides you over until you can visit Martha’s Vineyard next!

Have you read any of these books? Will you add one or more to your reading bucket list? Is there a book about Martha’s Vineyard that belongs on this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Photo credits: Marsh – Image by D_Theodora from Pixabay 

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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