Appalachian Mountain Club Books (www.outdoors.org/publications/ ), or ACM, publishes dozens of guides considered gospel by outdoors enthusiasts in the region. They are jam-packed with no-nonsense directions for hiking and canoeing every inch of the New England wilderness. Among them are the White Mountain Guide and Maine Mountain Guide, as well as several guides for canoeing and kayaking.
Corbett, William. Literary New England: A History and Guide. New York: Faber and Faber, 1993. An excellent guide to sights associated with poets and writers who called New England home, it includes detailed directions to hard-to-find graves, historic sites, and houses.
Crouch, Andy. The Good Beer Guide to New England. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2006. Don’t know your Whale’s Tail from your Smuttynose? This detailed guide to breweries in the region is the ultimate New England pub crawl.
Dojny, Brooke. The New England Clam Shack Cookbook. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2003. In addition to providing recipes for stuffed quahogs and other favorites, this book offers a guide to some of the best clam shacks, lobster pounds, and chowder houses in all six states.
Hartnett, Robert. Maine Lighthouses Map & Guide. Howes Cave, NY: Hartnett House Map Publishing, 2000. A fold out map that provides detailed directions to every lighthouse along the rocky fingers of the Maine  coast. Hartnett also publishes a map to lighthouses in Massachusetts  and New Hampshire  (yes, there are two).
Jasper, Mark. Haunted Inns of New England. Yarmouth Port, MA: On Cape Publications, 2000. The author gives up the ghost on some of the spookiest—and most luxurious—accommodations in the region.
Kershner, Bruce, and Robert Leverett. The Sierra Club Guide to the Ancient Forests of the Northeast. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2004. Despite centuries of human habitation and exploitation, a surprising number of old-growth stands still exist in New England. This guide takes you inside their mossy interiors, and explains what makes old-growth forests so unique.
Marcus, Jon. Lighthouses of New England. Osceola, WI: Voyageur Press, 2001. Written by a former editor of Boston magazine, this guide provides interesting facts and stunning photos of dozens of lighthouses along the New England coast.
Tourville, Jacqueline. Moon New England Hiking . Berkeley, CA: Avalon Travel, 2010. By the same publisher as Moon Handbooks, this guide features plenty of hiking trails to get your boots muddy.
Tree, Christina. How New England Happened. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1976. Less a history book than a comprehensive guide to historic sites, written by a Boston Globe travel writer and arranged in chapters by chronological eras. While slightly out-of-date, there is no better back-road companion for the history buff.