Above the Glebe by Pamela Gilpin Stowe

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                 I didn’t get much done on Labor Day, and it’s Pamela Gilpin Stowe’s fault. I started reading her historical novel, Above the Glebe, on Saturday, but was too busy on Sunday to continue, even though I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

                So Labor Day afternoon, with a Maine microbrew, I sat outside in the shade, enjoying the beautiful day, and read for about 3 hours, finishing the book. And what a finish it was.

The Pier at the end of the World by Paul Erickson

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 It’s no surprise that The Pier at the end of the World by Paul Erickson was cited as an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the Children’s Book Council of the National Science Teachers Association. If we’d had this book when I was in school, I might have liked science more!

With stunning photos by Andrew Martinez, this book gives us a fascinating look at the ocean creatures who live under an old rotting pier. One of several outstanding books in Tilbury House’s Nature Book series, I can’t wait to share it with my grandsons, who live near the coast.

As Tilbury notes, each of these wonderful books “aims for the highest standards of scientific accuracy and storytelling magic.” You get both in The Pier.

Swan's Island is a very friendly place

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Swans Island
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                Swan’s Island is one of the friendliest places we’ve ever visited. We were welcomed heartily when we visited two years ago, even getting invited to a birthday party. This visit we attended a church supper and struck up a conservation with several people.

                Before we left, the Wachtels invited us over to see their house and visit with them on the other side of the island, and Eric Chetwynd offered to show us all the work they’ve done to restore the island’s lighthouse.

Summer to Fall by Dana Wilde

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                 If you love summer and fall as much as I do – and what Mainers don’t? – then you will enjoy Dana Wilde’s new book, Summer to Fall: Notes and Numina from the Maine Woods, published by North Country Press.

                As Dana explains, “It's a book about the quirks, denizens and stars as seen from Troy, Maine, and collected from the Backyard Naturalist and Amateur Naturalist newspaper columns, plus other writings.”

Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible by Douglas Rooks

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 We all know that George Mitchell had an amazing career with major accomplishments for Maine and our country, but I still learned a lot in Doug Rooks’ wonderful biography, Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible, published by Down East Books. Years of research went into this book, and I especially enjoyed the level of detail Doug was able to include, from Mitchell’s key staff members to projects and programs I had no idea he’d led and/or influenced.

For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Mitchell led the successful effort to return passenger rail service to Maine or that he secured, through tough negotiations, the funding for many improvements in our interstate highway system. I certainly didn’t know Mitchell saved the higher standards for maple syrup maintained by Maine and Vermont, after lower standards were adopted at the federal level for all other states.

Will Mainers have to shoot bears in their homes?

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                 Let’s hope every Maine bear hunter this fall gets his or her bear. We’ve got way too many bears. It’s a very good thing that Maine voters defeated proposals to prohibit the use of traps, bait, and dogs for bear hunting. If that had happened, we’d probably be shooting bears in our homes, as recently happened in California. I’ll tell you more about that story at the end of this column

Historic Camden inn includes great restaurant

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                The Whitehall is one of the oldest inns in Camden located on High Street within walking distance of the downtown area. Two years ago it was refurbished by Lark Hotels. They kept all the beautiful architectural features of the building and added bright bold colors and modern furniture to update the style of this inn.

                I loved the main lobby, a sprawling open space with many sitting areas. The bright artwork and design of this room is very well done. I enjoyed the variety of seating as each piece was extremely different in its design. While enjoying my early morning coffee I sat in several of the chairs and was pleased to find an ultra-modern one that was extremely comfortable.

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