Book Reviews

25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout by Bob Mallard

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 From the stunning photographs to the many details that can make your fishing trip easy and fun, Bob Mallard’s landed a trophy with his new book: 25 Best Towns – Fly Fishing For Trou, published by Stonefly Press. After a long career as a fly fisherman and fly shop owner, Bob has become a prolific writer, published in many national and regional newspapers and magazines, and author of several terrific books.

Behind the Blue Lights by Mark Nickerson

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 Retired Maine State Trooper Mark Nickerson has become a good story teller, perhaps because he hangs out with one of my favorite writers, John Ford, author of several books of very entertaining stories about his days as a Maine game warden. The two travel the state together and draw large crowds at their book talks.

Novel set in Baxter Park is powerful and insightful

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 Bryan Wiggins began visiting Baxter Park 34 years ago about ten years before Linda and I purchased our camp at Camp Phoenix just outside the northwest corner of the park, and clearly, he loves the park as much as we do. That’s why, when I learned that he’d written a novel set in Baxter Park, I was eager to read it.

I didn’t realize this would be a learning experience, but thanks to Bryan’s generosity in arranging for a free download of his book from Amazon, it was. I’ve not been eager to read books online because there is something special about holding a book in my hands as I read it. But hey, I guess it’s time to step up to the new technology! So I downloaded a Kindle reader onto my laptop computer, followed by Bryan’s book, Autumn Imago. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

"Ghost Buck" is a fascinating look at one family's hunting legacy

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 I’ve been eagerly anticipating Dean Bennett’s book of hunting stories, ever since he told me last year he was writing it. But Ghost Buck, published by Islandport Press, turned out to be even better than I expected, the series of great hunting stories interwoven with a history of the western Maine towns of Greenbush and Locke Mills and Dean’s family who lived there for generations. The hunting stories all came from the family’s camp in Greenbush, just a few miles from the house where Dean was born.

Herring Nights - Remembering a Lost Fishery by Joe Upton

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 My grandmother Edith Johnson Searles packed sardines in Lubec at a time when that prosperous town hosted 23 sardine (herring) packing plants. My grandfather, Henry Searles, was a native of Canada’s nearby Campobello Island, who moved across the sound to marry my grandmother and live with her in South Lubec. For a while, Henry was a fish inspector in those sardine packing plants.

Neither would have ever imagined a time when Maine would pack no sardines, in Lubec or anywhere else in the state. The plant where my grandmother worked is now a museum.

So when I learned of Joe Upton’s memoir of the herring fishery, published initially in 1986 and republished in 2015 by Tilbury House in Thomaston, I grabbed a copy, eager to learn more about what happened to these fish and this industry.

Blown Apart by M.E. Brinton

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Linda and I had a great visit with Margaret Brinton-Collinson and her husband at the Mount Vernon Christmas Craft Fair, where they were selling products from their very popular “Beehive Bakery” in Farmington. You can check that out at The Collinson Family has two locations - the Bakery & Orchard in Farmington, Maine, run by Jonathan and Margaret Collinson, and the Farm with Veggies & Meat in Litchfield, Maine, run by Davyd, his wife Jenny, and daughter Guinevere Collinson.

I was drawn to two books Margaret has written. She worked for years as a feature/news writer for the Lewiston Sun Journal, Franklin Journal, and Daily Bulldog, and has taught creative writing to adult education and English composition classes at Central Maine Community College. She’s even studied abroad in Canada, Ireland, and Switzerland. So yes, she can write!

PR Works! By Nancy Marshall

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Nancy Marshall presents herself as “The PR Maven” for good reason. She’s won many awards for her work in marketing, communications, and public relations. And now, she’s sharing many of her secrets with us.

Every job I had involved some level of public relations, but I still learned a lot from Nancy’s new book, PR Works! Nancy writes, “I wrote this book as a guide to help small businesses increase their profitability by implementing their own public relations programs,” but every organization will profit from the advice, including the nonprofit community.

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