The Berkshires Blog

Books with Berkshires Ties – On the Road With Michelle

Literature and the Berkshires exist symbiotically. Our scenic landscape inspired a whale of a tale in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and for generations since, artists and authors have found respite and inspiration in our peaceful scenery.

I’ve noticed many books with Berkshire ties recently, offering a variety of content. I’ll highlight a few here: B is for Berkshires by Joan Duris, Old Bill The Famous Berkshire Moose by Arlo Guthrie, The Tanglewood Picnic by Gina Hyams, I am Amazing, You Are Amazing by Ty Allan Jackson, and Trail Running Western Massachusetts by Ben Kimball.

These books with Berkshire ties tell a story of our region within their pages. They tell stories of our feasts, our children, our legends, our trails, and our nature-filled glory. Duris’ alphabetical coffee table wonder is soothing and comprised of imagery from the Berkshires region. Guthrie’s old moose wanders the scenic Berkshires before becoming a permanent fixture at the Berkshire Museum. Hyams’ release hit the ground running, now in its second printing, The Tanglewood Picnic is praise for the religion that is picnicking on Tanglewood’s lawns pre and post-performance.

Jackson, a driver behind the children’s literacy movement, composed a book both children and adults can read to each other with a simple flip (can you say double-sided/two books in one!). The children’s photos in the book are also local grade school students. And finally, Kimball’s Trail Running book provides 51 trail runs from the space between the Quabbin Reservoir and upstate New York. You’ll find beginner to expert runs, trail descriptions, maps, and much more! While all of these books differ greatly on content, they are all woven with similar threads, their voices accompanying the song that is the Berkshires.

If you are a retailer, I recommend stocking this assortment. If you are an Inn, you must keep a stack on your reading room coffee table! If you are a resident, you need to get these books and keep your ear to the ground for more on the way from these authors. Give these books as gifts. Talk about them. Make and share the recipes, go trail running with your friends. Share in the excitement of exclamatory reading with the kids in your life. And of course, get inspired, be reminded, and enjoy the simple beauty that is the Berkshires.


Most days you can find Michelle Murphy, BVB Communications Associate, on the road visiting Members. Her visits help to keep the BVB staff updated on what’s new and offer’s Members a chance to share images and information through our various social media channels. Site visits usually last about 30-45 minutes and it is a great opportunity to educate the BVB staff so that they can inspire visitors to come and see you as well! To schedule a visit from Michelle, please email at [email protected] or call 413.743.4500, ext. 133.