Book reviews


70 years after the great fires in Maine, new novel explores the aftermath

By Sarah Walker Caron on April 20, 2017, at 1 a.m.
“The Stars are Fire,” by Anita Shreve, is a fictional tale based on the Maine Fires of 1947. Set in Biddeford Pool, it tells the story of 24-year-old Grace Holland, whose husband disappears while helping to fight the fires.
"Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign Against Joseph McCarthy" by David A. Nichols; Simon & Schuster (385 pages, $27.95).

Dissecting Eisenhower’s ‘secret’ war against Joe McCarthy

By Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (TNS) on March 22, 2017, at 4:27 p.m.
“Ike and McCarthy” dives deep into the archives to make its case that Eisenhower planned and mobilized a behind-the-scenes campaign to thwart McCarthy.
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Bangor native uses Maine’s most iconic painting as inspiration for novel

By Sarah Walker Caron on March 15, 2017, at 4:09 p.m.
The painting “Christina’s World,” by acclaimed artist Andrew Wyeth is the inspiration of a new novel by Bangor native Christina Baker Kline.
"Do Fairies Bring the Spring?" is a new book by Liza Gardner Walsh and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell. It's published by Down East.

Forget winter with this charming book about fairies and spring

By Sarah Walker Caron on Feb. 08, 2017, at 4 p.m.
“Spring has sort of a musicality to it with all the birds and the bees. I guess that subconsciously guided [my writing],” Liza Gardner Walsh said.

Cozy up with these winter books — and your kids

By Mia Geiger, Washington Post on Jan. 04, 2017, at 1:03 p.m.

10 books on leadership to read in 2017

By Jena McGregor, Washington Post on Dec. 24, 2016, at 8:13 a.m.
After an utterly dark and divisive year of political leadership, people will surely be looking for fresh professional inspiration in 2017.
Actress Carrie Fisher waits to present George Lucas (not seen) with the outstanding special class animated program for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" as he makes his way to the stage during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California, in this June 2013 file photo.

In her unflinching ‘The Princess Diarist,’ Carrie Fisher reveals all the juicy details

By Meredith Woerner, Los Angeles Times (TNS) on Dec. 14, 2016, at 2:33 p.m.
It’s a tumbling look inside the mind of a young woman who is struggling to play it cool while dating a married man she prophetically knew would end up being the next big thing.
"Scrappy Little Nobody" by Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick’s memoir: a simple song, pitch perfect

By Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune on Nov. 15, 2016, at 11:42 a.m.
"Some Writer!" by E.B. White

‘Some Writer’ draws kids into the Maine life of ‘Charlotte’s Web’ author

By Sarah Walker Caron on Nov. 02, 2016, at 1:44 p.m.

Colby professor’s book aims to empower girls by educating adults

By Sarah Walker Caron on Oct. 26, 2016, at 3:58 p.m.
“I interviewed a lot of girls I’ve worked with over the years — I think what surprised me is that I thought I knew them.”
"Ghost Hunter's Handbook," by Liza Gardner Walsh

New book by Maine author explores ghost hunting for kids

By Sarah Walker Caron on Oct. 12, 2016, at 4 p.m.
What would you say to a ghost if you happened to meet one? Perhaps, “how long have you lived here?” suggests a ghost hunter in a new children’s book aimed at helping kids explore the unknown.

Book review: Bruce Springsteen runs it all down for you in his rewarding new autobiography

By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times on Sept. 28, 2016, at 12:12 p.m.
Anyone who has ever experienced the uniquely soul-stirring amalgam of musical celebration, spiritual rejuvenation, intellectual provocation and physical release-to-the-point-of-exhaustion that is a concert by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will feel right at home in the 508 pages of “Born to Run” (Simon & Schuster, $32.50), his 67-years- (as of Friday) in-the-making autobiography.

Seeing E.B. White through more than his words

By Abby McGanney Nolan, Washington Post on Sept. 21, 2016, at 2:05 p.m.
With a new illustrated biography, Melissa Sweet shows and tells us all about Elwyn Brooks White, born in 1899. And just as Charlotte the spider described Wilbur the pig as “some pig,” Melissa Sweet titled her book “Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White.”
Former BDN staffer Eric Zelz (left) and his wife Abigail talk about their collaboration on a children's book celebrating food and history called "Pass The Pandowdy, Please: Chewing on History with Famous Folks and Their Fabulous Foods" at their home in Bangor.

New children’s book explores tasty bites of historic figures

By Sarah Walker Caron on Sept. 14, 2016, at 2:10 p.m.
The book looks at what famous folks throughout history ate.
President Bill Clinton speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention, July 26, 2016, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

New book reveals Bill Clinton’s rogue diplomacy against the Iraq War

By Abby Phillip, The Washington Post on Sept. 07, 2016, at 7:32 a.m.
Bill Clinton took an unprecedented and unorthodox role in the foreign policy of his successor, George W. Bush, according to a new book, “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” written by liberal journalist Joe Conason.

Award-winning Maine author pens new novel about big family moves … and cows

By Sarah Walker Caron on Aug. 31, 2016, at 2:57 p.m.
Told in both poetry and prose, the book is a little different from most novels.
Author Lynn Plourde gets a kiss from her dog Maggie, who died three years ago. Maggie was the inspiration for the character of Maxi in her new middle-grade novel, "Maxi's Secrets."

A boy, a big dog, a lot of life lessons in Maine writer’s new novel for kids

By Sarah Walker Caron on Aug. 24, 2016, at 3:29 p.m.
Starting middle school isn’t easy. Neither is moving to a new town. But getting a sweet puppy? That’s fun, and it’s part of a new book aimed at readers in fifth grade and up that’s a touching tale perfect for reading together.

8 books to make you laugh in these dire times

By Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (TNS) on Aug. 10, 2016, at 1:18 p.m.
This has been a dire summer. The news is crushingly bad. We need to laugh.
"Outfoxed," by David Rosenfelt

Coastal Maine writer shines in ‘Outfoxed’

By John Holyoke on Aug. 10, 2016, at 1:06 p.m.
David Rosenfelt and his wife moved to midcoast Maine a few years back. Many Mainers, I suspect, will join me in embracing another polished in-state writer — even if he’s officially “from away.”

Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, by Sally Allen

on Aug. 08, 2016, at 9:47 a.m.