Perhaps the greatest place to read anywhere in the world bad weather, quiet weekdays and pre and post season environments make Gurnet and Saquish ideal for reading.  There are a few residents, former residents and visitors who have written books and we'll try to build a library for you along with our favorites written about the sea.

Duxbury Beach Book - Duxbury Beach Preservation Society                   

This all-color, hard-cover book contains incredible historical and present-day photographs of beachscapes and wildlife. Nine chapters of text describe the geology of the beach, its history, the storms, and the people and events that have had an impact on Duxbury Beach.  Includes the GurnetSaquish chapter "Beyond the Beach" by Elaine M. Nudd.  To view images and text from the book visit the HISTORY page.  All proceeds go directly to the Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., the non-profit charitable corporation that owns Duxbury Beach and is committed to preserving the beach for future generations. 

Ripples - Peter Endicott

The first novel from Saquish native Peter Endicott is featured in this article from Wicked Local Plymouth. 

Jake’s mom watched from the deck of the cottage through binoculars and saw the two boys in the boat, with Bailey up front like an oversized hood ornament from a Mack truck. She watched as they putted down the back side of the peninsula toward the end of the island. Kelly said a little prayer, and then went back into the cottage. She still wasn’t sure that the boat was a good idea, but she had to admit that Jake was very capable for a twelve year old. He was probably a better sailor than most of the yahoos she saw blazing around in the speedboats or jet skis that showed up on the weekends, she thought. Still, she’d worry until they got back. Kelly took comfort in the fact that the back bay was almost empty, and the channels were narrow enough that the boys could swim to dry land in no time if something happened.

In the boat, Jake and Stevie felt like they were on top of the world. They didn’t see the narrow ribbon of water surrounded by mud flats. They saw a deep channel that led to all the oceans of the world. They sensed the adventures of the whole summer waiting for them."

A Year in Thoreau's Journal by Henry David Thoreau - Volume 8 - Copywright 1906 Houghton Mifflin Co. The Riverside Press Cambridge, Penguin Classics.

Thoreau was born in Concord but spent time traveling to Cape Cod and in 1851 sailed from Marshfield to Gurnet, visiting Saquish, Clark's Island, Brown's Island and Plymouth Harbor.  He speaks of lobster huts and skates eggs and overall wonderment of nature.  he even mentions how the natives wouldn't eat sea clams because they felt they were inedible.  The book has been digitized by Google and can be viewed HERE.  Check for PENGUIN CLASSICS online and at your local library and book store.

Westwind, UCLA's Literary Journal

Westwind is the online  literary journal written by students faculty and alumni of UCLA.  Diane Cordova is an alumnus, a contributor to the journal and, when she was a little girl, a visitor to Saquish Beach in the summer.  One summer was particularly traumatic.  This story will ring true for many visitors.  Read it HERE.


for Lizzie


In June they slid from scratchy socks

and the stiff leather soles of  school,

pink and tender twitching, like baby mice,

blinking, out into the sharp stare of the sun and the

caress of a fresh southwestern breeze,

to begin again the ritual; to tan and toughen

on the summer side of the month.

Two weeks and they had memorized it all:

the rough little crevasses from jagged pebbles

littering midnight’s walk to the outhouse,

morning’s warmth held in the flat stones

on the path down to the sea,

the endless rolling bumps in the hard wet sand

left behind by the outgoing tide,

the ‘so cold they hurt’ iced waters off the front beach,

the ‘too hot to stand still’ singe

of the powdered dunes at mid-day.


And, like paint off the porch,

the first burned layers peeled from their tops

as unseen needles, hidden in scalps of eelgrass,

pricked at their bottoms,

and down in the rotten egg of the creek bed,

along with that greenhead,

the cool ooze of sucking mud squeezed in between,

while hanging low in foggy evening’s air

the dust on the hard packed road

kicking home from the ball field after dark.


If ever caught and blindfolded by pirates,

you’d always know where you were.

In summer, your toes could see.


Marshall C. Moore

Exeter, NH

June, 2009


 photos courtesy Sabin, Brown, SDM

DUXBURY FREE LIBRARY offers free wi-fi, loads of historic information and a number of movies for children and adults alike.  It also functions as a meeting place for a number of community events.  Select the links below to find directions, check hours and view the schedule of events.



Have a suggestion for classic summer reading?  Email us HERE.

Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Islands in the Stream - Ernest Hemingway
The Pearl - John Steinbeck
Moby Dick, (The Whale)
- Herman Melville


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