Book fans from across the region will flock to Bangor this weekend for the fifth annual Bangor Book Festival. Whether you’re a reader, a writer or an aspiring writer, there will be plenty of great speakers who will address a wide range of topics that are sure to inform and entertain. In all, 35 writers and illustrators will speak at the event.
And if you’re like me, and you like reading — and writing — about the outdoors, you’re certainly in luck.
One of my favorite Maine authors, Paul Doiron, will kick off Saturday’s fiction-writing sessions at 10 a.m. with a reading and discussion called “Investigations in the Wild.”
If the name “Doiron” doesn’t ring a bell with you, here’s your homework assignment for October: Go get one of his books — or both of them — and get reading. Then you’ll understand why the book world is abuzz about his first two novels.
Doiron made his debut with “The Poacher’s Son” and followed that up with “Trespasser,” and both have been popularly and critically acclaimed. Both feature a Maine game warden as the flawed protagonist and are set in Maine communities.
Of course, that’s not enough to make a book worth reading. It has to be well-written. It has to be believable. The author has to be able to take you on a journey, ratchet up the tension along the way and leave you wanting more. Doiron does that as well as anyone.
As the website for the Bangor Book Festival puts it, “You know the promise of good mysteries. They keep you up at night because you have to find out who did it. Paul Doiron twice has delivered on it, and his work has been nominated for awards across the country.”
Doiron’s session will take place in the Bangor Public Library lecture hall and is sure to be a hit.
If you lean more toward nonfiction and essays that deal with the natural world, the Bangor Book Festival’s got you covered there, too.
James R. Babb, editor of the prestigious Gray’s Sporting Journal, will make two appearances during the event. For those interested primarily in the outdoors, the timing of his first talk is perfect: He’ll be in the Bangor Public Library’s story room at 11 a.m. Saturday, just after Doiron’s session wraps up nearby.
During that seminar, Babb will share the dais with Hannah Holmes, author of “The Well-Dressed Ape,” and Eva Murray, author of “Well Out to Sea — Year-Round on Matinicus Island,” for a wide-ranging discussion titled, simply, “Writing Non-Fiction.”
And if you want to hear more from Babb, you can join him for another talk, “Fish & Other Elusive Creatures,” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Bangor Public Library’s board room.
During that presentation Babb will join forces with Brian Robbins (“Bearin’s: The Book, Twenty Years of Bulkhead Wisdom, Quiet Smiles, Belly Laughs, and Good ‘Ol Salty Tears”).
For more information on the event, go to bangorbookfest.org.
Book publishers are an energetic lot, and they deliver a near-daily avalanche of new offerings to our offices, hoping that one of our writers will decide to write a review.
In today’s mail pile was a book I’d been hoping would show up.
On Tuesday, the folks at Islandport Press fired off an email announcing the release of “Tales From Misery Ridge, One Man’s Adventures in the Great Outdoors,” and I quickly approached my editor and called dibs on the book, whenever it showed up. I was that confident that it would be worth reading.
The reason: The author is Paul J. Fournier, a Maine outdoorsman who may be best known because he served as the public information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for 20 years.
Fournier was also a bush pilot, guide and sporting camp owner, according to the bio provided by Islandport.
Luckily, I only had to wait a day for the book to show up. Consider this mention of the book merely a tease: I haven’t turned a single page and can’t recommend you buy it… yet.
I can’t wait to get started, however, and to tell you all about the book when I’m done.
Figuring that many readers of these outdoor pages will likely want to scoop this book up as soon as possible, I thought giving a quick heads-up made sense. According Islandport Press, the book will be available in stores beginning next week and will retail for $16.95.
So there you go: Go forth… and read.