The Outer Banks Books You Need to Read Before Your Trip

Are you planning a visit to the Outer Banks, North Carolina? This is an amazing area with a lot to offer. While many people have heard of the Outer Banks from the popular Netflix series show, Outer Banks, there are plenty of books you should read about the area as well.

Regardless of whether you are planning a visit to Hatteras, Nags Head, Corolla, or the Ocracoke area, there are lots of Outer Banks books for people of all ages, including kids and young adults, that you need to read.

Best of all, you can probably find a hardcover of these Outer Banks books on Amazon to order for your Outer Banks vacation to read while you have your toes in the sand! Before you head out to the North Carolina Coast, learn more about the Outer Banks of North Carolina from these amazing titles.

1. Wright Brothers, by David McCullough

Wright Brothers, by David McCullough, is an interesting book that talks about the famous brothers as they moved from Ohio to the Outer Banks before they changed the world forever. David McCullough is one of the best historians in the world, and he certainly shows off his chops here.

He will give you a look behind the curtain as the Wright Brothers do everything they can to make their dream come to life. You will learn about their moods and attitudes, what life was like for them, and how they got into the air for the first time.

A lot of the book is based on primary sources, including private family letters, notebooks, and diaries, so you know you are getting an accurate look at what their life must have been like during that time. If you plan on visiting the area, this is definitely a book you need to read.

2. Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks, by Walt Wolfram

Do you want to learn more about the unique area of Ocracoke Island? If you do, this is the book to read. This part of the area has its own distinct dialect, and if you didn’t know that, then you certainly will when you dive into the pages.

The island is about 34 miles off the coast, and Hoi Toide, by Walt Wolfram, will explain to you how the area got its own language. The brogue has some interesting roots, and there are more than a few pirates involved in the story as well, including Blackbeard. Learn more about the linguistic elements of this language, and then pay a visit to the island to see if you can understand the locals.

3. Circa 1903: North Carolina’s Outer Banks at the Dawn of Flight, by Larry Tise

When people think about the Outer Banks, they usually think about Kitty Hawk because this is where the Wright brothers took their first flight and introduced man to the sky. If you have ever wondered what the area was like around this time, then you should check out Circa 1903: North Carolina’s Outer Banks at the Dawn of Flight, by Larry Tise.

This book will give you a slice of the history of the Outer Banks. You can learn about the different travel routes that people took, what they did for fun, and what it was like to live in the area around that time. Then, when you visit this area for yourself, you can think about everything you’ve read in the book and compare it to what you see today. The book even has a bunch of maps and pictures from that time!

4. The Legends of the Sandbar: A Life of Surf on the Outer Banks, by Christopher Bickford

If you are more of a books-with-pictures kind of person, then consider taking a look at The Legends of the Sandbar, A Life of Surf on the Outer Banks, by Christopher Bickford. This book focuses on the surf culture of the region, and it is an amazing work of art.

The beaches of the Outer Banks are like nothing else, and he does a great job picking up on the details of the region and bringing them to life. While it will certainly look good on the coffee table, it would look even better if you decided to open it up and take a look at the pictures.

It is something that you will want to go through again and again. You might even want to try to take the pictures and figure out where they are from during your vacation!

5. The Outer Banks House, by Diann Ducharme

This is more of a work of historical fiction, but it is still a great one to read. The Outer Banks House, by Diann Ducharme, takes place in the local area during the end of the Civil War. The area was torn apart by one of the bloodiest conflicts in the history of this country, and the Outer Banks definitely felt the sting as well.

The story goes into how the war impacted the local area, but also how the people living in the local area were able to rebuild. The attention to detail is exquisite, and you will feel every line jump off the page as you dive into the pages. Consider reading it for yourself to see what people have fallen in love with.

6. Good Night Outer Banks, by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper

If you are looking for a fun children’s book to read in the area before your trip, then pick up this one! Good Night Outer Banks, by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper, is perfect for even the youngest children who are looking forward to visiting the OBX area. This is part of the popular bedtime series, and it is full of numerous landmarks you will probably see during your vacation.

A few examples include the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Town of Duck Boardwalk, and Jennette’s Pier. There are plenty of other landmarks that make their appearance, so consider taking a look at this book before your trip.

7. The Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast, by David Stick

David Stick is one of the most prolific historians of his time, and he published more than a dozen books during the course of his career. He also wrote a tremendous number of articles before he died. One of his best books is called The Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast.

He zooms in on just how rough the seas of the Outer Banks were during that time, and he tells the story of a number of shipwrecks that went on to make the news during the 19th and 20th centuries. He even talks about a few pirates along the way! This is a great way to learn about some of the biggest challenges that existed off the coast of the local area.

8. Hurricane Izzy: An OBX Story, by Greg Smrdel

If you live along the North Carolina coast, you understand that you need to contend with hurricanes from time to time. The area has been hit by more than a few hurricanes during the past few decades, and one of them was originally called The Hurricane of the Century, which was the nickname given to Hurricane Isabel.

The hurricane serves as a backdrop for Hurricane Izzy: An OBX Story, which is a story about an OBX local who has to find a way to ride out the storm. Pay attention to how the landmarks in the local area are impacted during the story, as you may want to try to find them for yourself during your visit to the region.

9. Memories of Manteo and Roanoke Island, as Told by Cora Mae Basnight, by Suzanne Tate

Cora Mae Basnight is one of the best storytellers of her era, and she loves to share the stories of others, particularly those that come from her hometown. She is from Manteo, and she has told her stories to a number of writers over the years. Perhaps the one that did the best job of sharing her work is Suzanne Tate, who published a collection of Basnight’s stories.

Called Memories of Manteo and Roanoke Island, this gives everyone an inside look at what life was like while she was growing up. If you are looking for a book full of primary sources on the local area, it doesn’t get much better than that. These stories will give you an even greater appreciation for what you will see during your trip.

10. The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han

If you are looking for something that is more of a work of fiction, then you will definitely want to take a look at The Summer I Turned Pretty. This is a fun book that could be described as a coming-of-age story that has plenty of drama as well. It takes place in the Outer Banks, shares a lot of local knowledge, and gives you a few ideas for things you might want to check out during your vacation as well!

11. I Killed Zoe Sopranos, by Kit Frick

It is not exactly a secret that there are a lot of thrilling TV series that take place in the OBX area, and here is a great book you can add to the list as well. I Killed Zoe Spranos, by Kit Frick, is a thriller that focuses on two teenagers whose lives will be forever changed when one of them confesses to a murder. You can learn more about why it happened, why someone confessed to it, and what happened next.

12. A Journey Through the Outer Banks, by Wes Snyder

Are you interested in taking a visual journey through the Outer Banks? If so, A Journey Through the Outer Banks, by Wes Synder, could be the perfect book for you. During the story, you will have an opportunity to learn about wildlife, several landmarks, and a lot of different dances the sky can do over your head.

The Outer Banks is actually a very large area, as Roanoke Island is not like the Northern Outer Banks. This is a colorful book that you will definitely want to take a look at before your trip. You can learn about what makes each of the regions a bit different, and you will be able to appreciate the area during your vacation even more.

Get Ready for Your Visit to the Outer Banks

There are plenty of adventures you can enjoy during your visit to the Outer Banks, and you might be looking for a way to get ready for it. You can start by taking a look at several of these books to learn more about the history of the area and what life is like.

There are new books coming out from time to time as well! There are even a few thrillers and children’s books on the list to mix it up a bit! Get ready to take advantage of everything the area has to offer. Some of these are even bestsellers you can bring to your book club!

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