Book Reviews

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

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?”

The Perfect Number will trigger your own memories

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At book and other talks, I always encourage people to write, every day. Record your memories, share them with children and grandchildren. Those written stories will be so incredibly valuable to future generations. And writing is fun!

Jim Baumer knows this. He reports that, “In 2004, I had an idea for my first book.” That was When Towns Had Teams, published in 2005, and one of my favorites that year. It captured the stories of town baseball teams after World War II.

Bitten by the book bug, Jim tackled Moxie next. Down East books published his Moxie: Maine In A Bottle in 2012, and it quickly became a favorite around the state.

During that same time period, even though he had other jobs, he started an independent publishing business, learning a lot about the publishing and writing businesses along the way.

Everything you want (and need) know about Ed Muskie

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 Ed Muskie – Made in Maine 1914 – 1960 by James Witherell

It’s everything you wanted to know about Ed Muskie, and then some – informative, thorough, sometimes fascinating, often entertaining. James Witherell’s new biography of Muskie, titled Ed Muskie, Maine in Maine, 1914 – 1960, published by Tilbury House, is a good read and a book I savored, perhaps because Ed Muskie touched my life in quite a few ways.

He probably touched your life in many ways too, and it’s all here, in detail, perhaps because Witherell grew up in Muskie’s home town of Rumford, giving him a real sense of where the man came from, or maybe just because Jim loves history and writing and was willing to do the tremendous amount of research to capture Maine’s most famous politician in a way no one else has done – even Muskie in his own autobiography.

It's time to celebrate Tom Hennessey's new book - and you are invited!

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 Tom Hennessey has combined a talent for art and the skills of an outdoor writer to create his own special place in Maine. In Leave Some For Seed, his new book published this month by Islandport Press, he’s done it again, with wonderful stories and amazing drawings and paintings.

On Thursday, August 28, from 6 pm to 8 pm, you are invited to a celebration for Tom’s new book at the Penobscot Country Conservation Association in Brewer. Tom will decorate the club house with his art, there will be a plentiful supply of beverages and food, and best of all, you can get an autographed copy of the book and hear Tom talk about it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and I encourage you to join us that night.

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