Book Reviews

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

Fascinating stories from the other end of Dana Wilde’s driveway.

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Dana Wilde’s stories are cerebral, serene, and oftentimes fascinating. Most fascinating for me, in his book The Other End of the Driveway, are stories about wild creatures including Blue jays, Hummingbirds, Horseshoe crabs, and spiders. Yes, spiders can be fascinating!

Consider this from the spider story. This is not paranoia. I’m being watched… involuntarily I glance back… and for no reason my eyes fix on the eave above the door. Upside down there in her web is a huge garden spider… She’s not after me. But still. She looks huge and witchlike, with her eight eyes seeming to scope my every move and thought.

Eight eyes? Yikes!

Angry Birds and Beehive Hair

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I’ve been spending an afternoon each month teaching writing to 25 fourth graders at Mount Vernon Elementary School and it’s been a lot of fun. The kids are enthusiastic and really enjoying our afternoons together.

So far they’ve written about their favorite old things (I told them this story could not be about their parents!), their favorite animals, their favorite after-school activity, and their favorite places outside of Mount Vernon. In the fall we went into the woods behind the school, took notes, and came back to write about what we saw there. It took quite an effort to get them out of the woods! I have tried to make writing fun for them.

The kids have written news stories and editorials. I especially liked the news story by one of the girls who wrote about the shooting contest she’d won recently at the Augusta range. And their editorial opinions were very interesting!

It’s all about animals for Mount Vernon’s 4th graders

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 Dahlov Ipcar’s book, Animal Hide & Seek, was a perfect choice for the 25 very active 4th graders at Mount Vernon Elementary School. I’ve been spending an afternoon each month teaching writing to these students and it’s been a lot of fun. The kids are enthusiastic and really enjoying our afternoons together.

So far they’ve written about their favorite old things (I told them this story could not be about their parents!), their favorite animals, their favorite after-school activity, and their favorite places outside of Mount Vernon. In the fall we went into the woods behind the school, took notes, and came back to write about what we saw there. It took quite an effort to get them out of the woods! I have tried to make writing fun for them.

Maine game wardens help nail serial killer in New Brunswick

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You’ll be very proud of the Maine Warden Service when you read Kate Flora’s true crime book, Death Dealer, published last year by New Horizon Press. You’ll also be proud of their dogs.

                Lieutenant Pat Dorian led the group of wardens, along with volunteers from the Maine Search and Rescue Dogs group that traveled to New Brunswick in 2012 and 2013, with their dogs, to search for the body of Maria Tanasichuk. In addition to Dorian, game wardens Roger Guay, Kevin Adam, Deb Palman, and Tom Jacobs searched the forests along the Miramichi River for Maria’s body.

Retired Chief Warden Parker Tripp spills his stories

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Game wardens everywhere have great stories to tell and many choose to tell them in book form.  John Ford’s books are a phenomenon – or perhaps I should say John is a phenomenon.

Now along comes Mainer Parker Tripp, retired Chief Warden, and I have to say, he’s got some wonderful stories to tell. Parker turned for help to Megan Price, an award-winning journalist and author of other books including Vermont Wild - Adventures of Fish & Game Wardens.

Maine Wild, Adventures of Fish and Game Wardens, was written by Price, but it reads as if Parker is sitting in your living room telling you his stories.

Kid's book delivers important environmental message

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Gramma Golden is as interesting as her children’s book, It’s a Great Day for Pulling Weeds. A nurse and health care educator, Janet Golden, aka Gramma Golden, in her retirement, is focused on teaching young people to be good environmental stewards.

She writes a monthly newspaper column and, with her husband, maintains gardens and property as both an Audubon Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary and National Wildlife Federation certified habitats.  This is her first book, focused on how gardening practices can help or harm birds and butterflies.

A lobstering tale of murder, mayhem, love and loyalty

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This is lobstering like you’ve never known or experienced it. And this is what I can tell you about Jon Keller’s awesome novel, Of Sea and Cloud, a tale of murder, mayhem, and mystery, along with love and loyalty amongst families of Maine lobstermen and women.

I abandoned a lengthy to-do list after lunch yesterday, started a fire in the wood stove, and spent the afternoon reading the second half of Keller’s novel, published in 2014 by Tyrus Books. I’d read the first half on Monday and Tuesday nights, but I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened in this compelling story. Linda insisted I set it aside long enough to eat dinner. I finished it about 8 pm.

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