The podcast that celebrates New Hampshire authors, independent bookstores, libraries and of course - their loyal readers.

ReadLocalNH is produced by the incredible crew at Concord TV, including Director Josh Hardy, pictured with me here.

Listening is zero-cost, zero-obligaton.


Broaden your literary horizons by reading from your own backyard.

with Laura Cummings, White Birch Books

2023 “Favorite Books of the Year!” image
Overall Books that sold consistently all year long in 2023:
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
Trust by Herman Diaz
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller
Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Popular Non-fiction at White Birch Books in 2023
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann
Chasing Shadows by Greg Skomal and Ret Talbot
Art Thief by Michael Finkel
Survive and Thrive: How to Prepare for Any Disaster Without Any Ammo, Camo or Eating Your Neighbor by Bill Fulton
The Cookie that Changed my Life by Nancy Silverton
Of Time and Turtles by Sy Montgomery

Three Biographies about famous American women in music:
My Name is Barbra by Barbara Streisand
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones by Dolly Parton

Popular Fiction at White Birch Books in 2023
Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
North Woods by Daniel Mason
Whalefall by Daniel Kraus
Starter Villain by John Scalzi
A Grandmother Begins the Story by Michelle Porter
Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
Small Things Like These, Foster, So Late in the Day – novellas by Claire Keegan

Debut authors whom White Birch Books Staff liked in 2023:
The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters
On Earth as it is on Television by Emily Jane
Chain Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Outdoor Recreation books, a popular category at White Birch Books, in the heart of NH’s White Mountains:
The 4,000 Footers of the White Mountains, Third Edition by Mike Dickerman and Steve Smith
Beer Hiking New England and the AMC Maine Mountain Guide, both by Carey Kish
Hidden Mountains by Michael Wejchert
More by Majka Burhardt

N.H. authors popular this year at White Birch Books:
Truffle by David McPhail (Children’s book, the audio book version read by Laura Knoy)
Home at Night by Paula Munier (another in her Mercy Carr mystery series)
Primary Storm by Brendan DuBois (another in his Lewis Cole series). Also co-writing with James Patterson, his most recent is Cross Down.
The Book of Maps by Ernest Thompson (of On Golden Pond fame)
The Bear by Andrew Krivak (chosen for the “One Book One Valley” read this year as well as New Hampshire Humanities’ “Big Read”)

Other N.H. Authors mentioned during the episode:
War Fronts, Home Fires by Joseph W. McQuaid
Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook! by Mary Ann Esposito
I Will Tell No War Stories by Howard Mansfield (coming in Spring)
A Change of Location by Margaret Porter (coming in Spring)

Maine Authors featured in 2023 (White Birch Books features several writers from nearby Maine)
Fryeburg: An Illustrated History by Brad Fuller
The Buoyant Letters of Mimsy Bell by Laurel Dodge
Big Heart, Little Stove by Erin French

Books White Birch Staff is looking forward to in 2024:
Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner
Rainbow Black by Maggie Black
The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez

From Michael Hermann and the Gibson's Team

Gibson's Bookstore 2023 Book Recommendations image
Small Mercies: by Dennis Lehane
The Guest: by Emma Cline
The Lincoln Highway: by Amor Towles
Demon Copperhead: by Barbara Kingsolver
Murder Your Employer: by Rupert Holmes
The East Indian: by Brinda Charry**
Tom Lake: by Ann Patchett
The Lonely Hearts Club: by Lucy Gilmore
Happy Place: by Emily Henry

Fiction recommended by ReadLocalNH listeners
Looking for Jane: by Heather Marshall
Our Missing Hearts: by Celeste Ng
I Have Some Questions for You: by Rebecca Makkai
Hello Beautiful: by Ann Napolitano

Other fiction that came up in conversation:
A Gentleman in Moscow: by Amor Towles
In Her Boots: by K.J. Dell’Antonia**
Middlemarch: by George Eliot
War and Peace and Anna Karenina: both by Leo Tolstoy

Non-fiction recommended by Gibson’s
Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma: by Claire Dederer
Deliver Me from Nowhere: by Warren Zanes**
The Wager: by David Grann
Poverty, by America: by Matthew Desmond
Hiking with Kids New England: 50 Great Hikes for Families: by Sarah
Growing up in Concord, New Hampshire: by Kathleen Bailey**
Raw Dog: The Naked Truth about Hot Dogs: by Jamie Loftus
Solito: A Memoir: by Javier Zamor
Where You’ll Find Me and The Last Traverse: both by Ty Gagne**

Non-fiction recommended by ReadLocalNH listeners:
The Genius of Sitting Bull: 13 Heroic Strategies for Today’s Business
Leaders: by Emmett Murphy and Michael Snell
The Great Displacement: by Jake Bittle

Children’s/Young Adult books recommended by Gibson’s*:
Little Kids:
The Book of Turtles: by Sy Montgomery**
When You Can Swim: by Jack Wong
Middle Grade:
Skandar and the Phantom Rider: by A.F. Steadman
Young Adult:
Live Your Best Lie: by Jessie Weaver

*For more on children’s books, listen to April’s ReadLocalNH with Concord
Public Library’s Youth Services Manager Becky Kasten

**NH Author

by Concord Public Library's Youth Services Manager, Becky Kasten

Babies/little kids:
All of Sandra Boynton’s Board Books
Any Think-Touch-Learn Book

Kindergarten/1st/2nd grade:
Adam Rubin: Dragons Love Tacos, Those Darn Squirrels
Lisa Bailey: Stanley the Dog 
Ethan Long: Big Cat
David Ezra Stein: Interrupting Chicken, The Elephant of Surprise
Tim Miller: Moo Moo and Mr. Quackers series
Nick Sharatt: Ketchup on Your Corn Flakes
Andy Griffiths: The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow, The 13-Story Treehouse

Older Elementary kids:
Cynthia Rylant: The Henry and Mudge series
Louise Fitzhugh: Harriet the Spy
Mary Pope Osborne: The Magic Treehouse series
Jason Reynolds: Ghost, Long Way Down
Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn-Dixie, Mercy Watson, many others

Middle School/Teens: 
Graphic novels of all kinds
Rick Riordan: All of his series on demi-god teenagers, starting with the Percy Jackson series
Carl Hiaasen: Hoot, Flush, Scat, Chom, Squirm (5 separate books)
Louisa May Alcott: Little Women
Shannon Hale: Princess Academy, The Goose Girl, Rapunzel’s Revenge, and many others

From Staff & Customers

White Birch Books 2022 Favorites image
*Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 
*World of Curiosity by Louise Penny
*The Last Chairlift by John Irving
*Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
*Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett 
*Babel by R.F. Kuang 
*The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller 

*The Chorus of Dragons series by Jenn Lyons (5 books)

*Song of the Cell by Siddharta Mukherjee
*The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff
*The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan
*The Light We Carry: Overcoming Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama
*An Immense World by Ed Yong

*Go-To Dinners by Ina Garten
*Half-Baked Harvest Every Day: Recipes for Balanced, Flexible, Feel-Good Meals by Tieghan Gerard

Debut authors: 
*Shutter by Ramona Emerson
*Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
*Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

Outdoor recreation:
*The AMC White Mountain Guide (new edition)
*Not Without Peril by Nicholas Howe
*Where You’ll Find Me and The Last Traverse by Ty Gagne

NH Authors:
*NH’s Kancamagus Highway: A History and Guide by Glen Knoblock
*The Covered Bridges of New Hampshire by Kim Varney Chandler
*White Mountains State by Keith Gentili

Maine Authors:
*Bruce Robert Coffin’s entire Detective Byron series 

One Book, One Valley Book of the Year for 2022:
*Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty (Maine author)

What Laura Cummings will read once the holidays are over:  
*Any book by Louise Penny

What White Birch staff are looking forward to next year: 
*Hidden Mountains: Survival and Reckoning after a Climb Gone Wrong by Michael Wejchert

Here are some of my favorite titles from local authors:

The Concord Theatre by Paul Brogan The Limits of Limelight by Margaret Porter The Children's Secret by Virginia MacGregor Point of Graves by J. Dennis Robinson Pauper Auction by Mary Kronerwetter In Her Boots by KJ Dell'Antonia


Speaker, Moderator, Author

For 25 years, I hosted NHPR’s live, daily news and public affairs show, The Exchange. Ready for a new adventure, in 2021 I shifted my focus to my first novel, The Shopkeeper of Alsace, and am now working on finding an agent. In line with my book, I’ve launched a podcast, ReadLocalNH. It celebrates New Hampshire's authors, independent bookstores, and their loyal readers.


Join my Facebook Community to share stories, ideas, and events happening around the Granite State and beyond. Stay up-to-date on my podcast: ReadLocalNH, novel, events, and community initiatives. See you there! Photo Credit: Tom Sedoric

Follow Me


For information on my writing, speaking, moderating and of course, my podcast: ReadLocalNH, connect on LinkedIn.



Follow me on Instagram and join the community conversation on local authors, indie booksellers, readers and beyond!

Follow Me