Book Reviews

Disappear our Dead is Profound

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 Gin Mackey’s new novel, Disappear our Dead, is profound. I know that’s an unusual adjective to apply to a novel, but this is much more than a great story.

The death of the husband of Abby who lives on the coast of Maine plunges her into grief, her life deteriorating into isolation, when she rarely got out of bed. But then her daughter gets her up and out, and she finds new life in performing home funerals and “awakes.”

I loved the idea of “awakes” which gather folks around a dying person to let that person know how much he or she meant to the folks. These were major events with music and lots of story telling, and clearly made a big difference as the end of a life neared. I also learned a lot about home funerals, something that was common in the old days but is rare today.

Great reads about hunting, fishing, and more

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 I probably overwhelmed Kristina Wheelock when she asked for book recommendations. I’ve got bookshelves full of books about hunting, fishing, birding, wildlife, and the great outdoors. Some are very old, some just published, and lots in between.

Kirstina is assistant librarian at Gardiner High School, and emailed me, “I am always on the lookout for hunting/outdoor books about Maine and beyond. Our students love this hunting/outdoor genre.

You can almost hear the roar of the tide in this wonderful book

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                 Jonathon White’s book, Tides, roars in and out like the tides at Lubec. Which is very appropriate, given that the book, subtitled The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, is all about our amazing tides all over the world.

                White fills his book with fascinating stories about his worldwide adventures, lots of history, and plenty of science. Yes, something for everyone.

                He hooked me in the first chapter, all about the tides in the Bay of Fundy, my favorite place on earth. Linda and I visit Lubec often, where the Bay of Fundy begins, and enjoy watching those magnificent, high, fast-moving tides rush through the narrows between Lubec and Campobello island.

Ardeana Hamlin’s novels are enjoyable reads

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                 I wasn’t sure I’d like these novels, given that they are set in 19th century Bangor and focused on lots of family problems and challenges, but from the very first page of Pink Chimneys, I was hooked. And after finishing that book, I moved quickly to Hamlin’s follow-up novel, Abbott’s Reach.

                My thanks to Islandport Press in Yarmouth for republishing these novels in paperback, making them easily accessible for all of us.

Ardeana Hamlin’s novels are enjoyable reads

Blog Showcase Image: 

                 I wasn’t sure I’d like these novels, given that they are set in 19th century Bangor and focused on lots of family problems and challenges, but from the very first page of Pink Chimneys, I was hooked. And after finishing that book, I moved quickly to Hamlin’s follow-up novel, Abbott’s Reach.

                My thanks to Islandport Press in Yarmouth for republishing these novels in paperback, making them easily accessible for all of us.

Let Me Tell A Story by Paul Betit

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 Paul Betit wants to tell you a story. Well, actually, a bunch of stories. And he does just that in his new book, Let Me Tell A Story, published by BeeMan Books in Brunswick.

If you haven’t read Paul’s three novels, you should. They are very good. But it turns out he can write nonfiction too. Well, sort of.

Paul says his new book is “a mix of short fiction and memoir.” He told me, “This book is a big departure from the books I have published in the past. It’s more personal and, I think, much more literary. Basically, the book is about growing up and growing old.”

It is all of that, a relatively short (116 pages) trip through Paul’s interesting life. I would love to know what is fact and what is fiction, but part of the fun is trying to figure that out.

This how-to-ice-fish book is both informative and entertaining

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 Frank Richards moved to Maine in the mid-1980s and quickly fell in love with ice fishing, something he’d never done before. Maybe that was because his first ice fishing experience was on Moosehead Lake, where his friends had rented an ice shack with a woodstove, at a local sporting camp.

Yes, that’s the best introduction to ice fishing I can imagine!

And Frank really understands why ice fishing is so much fun. “An uninitiated observer may not see the entertainment in running around in the middle of a frozen lake, heavily dressed. In reality, those who participate in this sport are usually feeling quite comfortable, having a good time, and catching fish.”

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