Please note




The Cape Ann Museum's monthly book club is for year-round residents of Cape Ann. Beginning in October and running through May, the Museum will host book club meetings in its auditorium. A Museum docent and staff member will be present to facilitate each book group discussion to allow for a flow of ideas, provide connections to the collections and history of Cape Ann, and to suggest talking points if needed. The selection of books can be seen below along with the meeting date at which it will be discussed.  2018–2019 CAM Book Club selections were chosen for their captivating subject matter, excellent scholarship and/or insight into the history of Cape Ann. All CAM members are encouraged to read along and keep an eye out for related programming and exhibits this year.

Space is limited; reservations are required and are for the entirety of the October to May program. Group meets on the third Thursday of each month as noted below from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Free for CAM members only — nonmembers interested in participating may join at Reservations can be made online at Eventbrite or by phone or email:

(978) 283-0455 x12


Above: Charles Allan Winter (1869–1942), Woman Reading, c. 1898. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase, 2015. Funds provided by Arthur Ryan.


2018–19 Dates & Reading List

October 18, 2018
Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse by Eric Jay Dolin
In addition to the Thacher Island First Order Fresnel Lens serving as a centerpiece in our Maritime Fisheries Galleries, author Eric Jay Dolin will be speaking at CAM on November 10 about his latest publication on New England pirates.

November 15, 2018
Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England by Jean M. O’Brien
Inspired by the special exhibition Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900, we take a closer look at Native Americans’ story during National American Indian Heritage Month

December 19 (optional), 2018
The Battle for Christmas: A Social and Cultural History of Our Most Cherished Holiday by Stephen Nissenbaum
A social history exploring the origins of a celebration banned in Puritan New England that turned into an embraced festival of domesticity and consumerism in the 19th century.

January 17, 2019
Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. Lucey
For the last few years portraits of John Singer Sargent’s parents, owned by the Sargent House Museum, have been on display during the winter months at CAM when the SHM is closed to the public.

February 21, 2019
At the Cut by Peter Anastas
Local author, poet and CAM community archivist Peter Anastas takes us back to Gloucester of the 1940s with his memoir.

March 21, 2019
The Boston Girl: A Novel by Anita Diamant
National Women’s History month is the perfect time to learn more about the Saturday Evening Girls, immigrant women who lived in Boston’s North End but spent their summers in Rockport.

April 18, 2019
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
In preparation of the Museum’s Cape Ann Blossoms celebration in May, we take a closer look at America’s strange flower-selling subculture in this true story.

May 16, 2019
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling & The Gloucester Guide by Joseph Garland
Get ready for summer and embrace Gloucester in all of its glory, both today and yesterday with Joe Garland’s stroll through place and time and Kipling’s classic tale.


Past reading lists


A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience by Emerson Baker

The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America's Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town by Mark Kurlansky
(also suggested: The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger)

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick & Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town by Elyssa East

Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America’s First Poet by Charlotte Gordon

The North Shore: A Social History of Summers Among the Noteworthy, Fashionable, Rich, Eccentric and Ordinary on Boston’s Gold Coast, 1823 – 1929 by Joseph Garland


New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren

Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon

The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail by Jeff Bolster

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Orchard: A Memoir by Adele Crockett Robertson

The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent by Her Granddaughter by Honor Moore

Lone Voyager: The Extraordinary Adventures of Howard Blackburn Hero Fisherman of Gloucester by Joseph Garland



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