Book Reviews

George and Linda review books and other publications, many of which are referenced in the blogs.

A fascinating, informative, and historic look at Maine's fisheries management

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                Do you think you know a lot about Maine’s inland fisheries? So did I until I read Suzanne Auclair’s amazing new book. The Origin, Formation & History of Maine’s Inland Fisheries Division is a thorough, often-in-their-own-words, fascinating examination of the important and historical work of our state’s fisheries biologists.

                This book is a treasure and will be the place future fisheries managers and anglers go to understand the state’s complicated evolution of fish and fisheries management. Suzanne spent two long years creating this book, and here’s how she describes it:

The Theriaults have published the best snowshoe book ever!

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 Want to make your own snowshoes? Need to take better care of your snowshoes? Want to know more about snowshoes?

                Leaving Tracks – A Maine Tradition, by Brian Theriault and his Dad Edmond, will answer all your questions and lots of others you haven’t thought to ask.

                Part biography (Brian grew up in Fort Kent), part pep talk about the value of traditional snowshoes, and part instructional with detailed drawings explaining how to make your own snowshoes, this book will entertain and inform you, and maybe even inspire you to make a pair.

Fights over fish and game are not new!

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Common Lands, Common People, by Richard W. Judd, is a fascinating account of the origins of conservation in Northern New England. Published by Harvard University Press in 1997, Judd’s book has been an important reference for me for the last 15 years.

There are all kinds of lessons for us in this book, on contemporary issues from commercial fishing to tourism, and of course many impacting hunting and fishing. I will share these, along with passages from the book, with you from time to time over the next few months.

Let’s start with this, from a section titled “Farmers, Fish, and Tourism,” about “a sharp debate over game and fish management in the 1890s.”

Enjoy an African safari – without leaving home!

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 I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa to see all the amazing animals there, and I will probably never get there, but Vonne Martin’s new book, Southern Africa Safari, published by AuthorHouse, gives me an astonishing, spectacular, close-up look at the animals I’d hoped to see in person.

Martin has been an underwater photographer for 35 years, and this book represents her first photography adventure on land. It’ll be tough to top this, an over-sized limited edition account of her month in the grasslands of South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.

“It is my hope that the images of the magnificent creatures inspire readers to fall in love with the different species and become involved in conservation efforts,” Martin said. “This was a labor of love and it added so much meaning to my life.”

The best fly fishing spots in the Northeast are revealed here

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 From the stunningly beautiful photographs to the detailed access information, 50 Best Places – Fly Fishing The Northeast by Bob Mallard will be the standard guide for fly fishermen for decades to come.

Mallard is an outspoken fisheries advocate, fly shop owner, and obsessive angler. I’ve fished with him. You have to be prepared for a long day. I really don’t know anyone who brings as much passion to the sport. So he was a good choice for publisher Stonefly Press to pull this exceptional book together.

75 Years of Fly Fishing, Family, and Friends

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The only thing better than reading Burt Anderson’s new book, My Life on the Fly, full of wonderful stories, is to hear those stories first hand, sitting in his living room overlooking Parker Pond in Mount Vernon. That’s what I was doing for three hours yesterday, and it was a real privilege.

I was astonished to hear that Burt wrote the book two years ago while in the hospital, using a pencil and yellow legal pad. That’s how I started my writing career, 30 years ago!

Dr. Burton C. “Burt” Anderson had a long and illustrious career at Dupont, publishing many scientific papers and registering lots of patents. He’s a very smart guy! And his wife Joan is charming, a church organist – who made my day by inviting me back for a hymn sing.

Maine high school student captures amazing stories of our neighborhood heroes

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 My expectations for a book about Maine veterans by a high school kid were low. Very low.

Sure, Morgan Reilly has “a passion for history and stories.” And certainly, Maine’s living World War II veterans have many compelling stories to tell. I didn’t doubt that.

But I did doubt Rielly’s interviewing and writing skills. And boy, was I wrong. Very wrong.

This is one terrific book. This high school senior is an extraordinary young man, with a real sense for a good story. His interest in history was sparked when he was just five years old and spotted his neighbor, John Malick, a World War II Veteran, walking down his street. Malick was missing an arm, and Rielly’s father explained that the arm had been lost in a World War II fight on the island of Guam. The precocious five-year-old then asked his Dad, “What was World War II?”

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