Book reviews


Everything you want to know about vernal pools and estuaries – in wonderful childrens’ books

on July 06, 2016, at 7 a.m.
The Secret Pool and The Secret Bay by Kimberly Ridley are cleverly written and beautifully illustrated books, with poetic stories that appeal to younger kids, factual sidebars for older kids, and additional information that is both interesting and informative. The Secret Pool, which won many awards, was published by Tilbury …

A whirlwind bookish adventure in Bath, city of readers

on July 03, 2016, at 10:52 p.m.
Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, my love asked me the four words I’d been longing to hear most. “Bookish adventure this weekend?”

Widow-Maker will keep you up at night!

on July 03, 2016, at 2:57 p.m.
Paul Doiron is an awesome story teller, and no more so than in his new novel, Widow-Maker. And all of his novels have a bit more interest for those of us who love the outdoors, because his main character, Mike Bowditch, is a Maine game warden. Somehow Paul, former editor …

Weathering Shame by Kevin Mannix and Linda Rota

on June 29, 2016, at 3:17 p.m.
Kevin Mannix was a very popular, out-going and personable weather man for more than 25 years on Channel 6 in Portland. So it was a very big surprise when he stepped up to tell his story of shame and depression. He first told the story in a TV 6 series …
"The Miracle on Monhegan Island" by Elizabeth Kelly

Review: ‘The Miracle on Monhegan Island’ by Elizabeth Kelly

By Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on June 29, 2016, at 12:23 p.m.
Elizabeth Kelly’s third novel, “The Miracle on Monhegan Island,” is neither light nor chick lit. It’s serious and thought-provoking, shot through with dark humor and dark observations on religion and faith.

3 essential Maine bookshops for summer road-trippin’

on June 28, 2016, at 8:37 p.m.
Spontaneity is good, especially when there’s a bookshop waiting at the end of the journey.
"Vinegar Girl" by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler’s ‘Vinegar Girl’ a clever riff on Shakespeare’s ‘Shrew’

By Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (TNS) on June 22, 2016, at 1:28 p.m.
In “Vinegar Girl,” Anne Tyler brings these talents to the altar of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which eight writers are creating novelistic adaptations of various Bard plays.
"I Almost Forgot About You" by Terry McMillan

Author Terry McMillan’s 50-something protagonist faces her fears

By Jean Marie Brown, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TNS) on June 22, 2016, at 1:12 p.m.
Friendship, love and infidelity are major chords in Terry McMillan’s narratives, and her latest offering, “I Almost Forgot About You,” uses them to make an ordinary story extraordinary.

Bringing history to life in a children’s novel

on June 21, 2016, at 8:48 a.m.
Barbara Winslow’s new book, Kittery Ghost, published by North Country Press, blends history with a fascinating tale involving a young boy, his blended family, the ghost of a Civil War officer, hidden treasures – well, you get the idea. This is a wonderful tale, and I particularly appreciated the way …

You – and your kids – will love this hummer of a book

on June 19, 2016, at 7 a.m.
Yes, I love hummingbirds. Linda and I are now up to about a couple dozen species, most of them seen in Texas and Arizona. We have only a single species in Maine, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. So it won’t be a surprise when I tell you I also loved Linda P. …
"Bogs and Fens: A Guide to Peatland Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada," by Ronald B. Davis, was released June 7 by the University Press of New England. Davis, a retired professor who lives in Orono, has devoted more than two decades to the study of peatlands and is the founder of the Orono Bog Boardwalk.

Orono Bog Boardwalk founder releases peatland plant guide

By Aislinn Sarnacki on June 16, 2016, at 1:15 p.m.
“I love natural beauty. That’s why I do a lot of photography. It helps me focus on nature, actually and figuratively,” Ronald B. Davis said with a smile. “I’ve been collecting photographs of plants that grow in bogs and fens for 10 years, but I didn’t know I was going to use them in a book.”

Great advice on love and marriage

on June 16, 2016, at 7 a.m.
  Ida LeClair’s new book (Oops, I mean Susan Poulin’s new book), The Sweet Life, published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth, is a humerous, insightful, and entertaining guide to love, marriage, and more. It’s easy to get Susan and Ida mixed up. Susan is the real person. Ida is on …

How could you not love a book titled, Buzzed: Beer, Booze, & Coffee Brews?

on June 13, 2016, at 9:23 a.m.
How could you not love a book titled, Buzzed: Beer, Booze, & Coffee Brews? When Genevieve Morgan at Islandport Press in Yarmouth suggested to Erik Ofgang that he write a book about Maine beers, this first-time author knew he was blessed. He’s also blessed with a wonderful wife, who allowed …

Beaches, boardwalks, and bargain books

on June 12, 2016, at 11:50 a.m.
This shop first struck my eye with its huge yellow banner proclaiming BETTER BARGAIN BOOKS. In my experience, there has never been a more effective marketing ploy to get me in the door of a merchandising establishment.

Ghost is a riveting and entertaining musical

on June 10, 2016, at 8:15 a.m.
If you can, you should get to the Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick to see Ghost The Musical. Linda and I thoroughly enjoyed it last night, which was opening night, so if you are lucky, you can still get tickets for the show which runs through June 25. This …

This book celebrates Acadia’s Centennial with stunning photos

on June 06, 2016, at 3:06 p.m.
Stunning. Inspiring. Astonishing. Well, I really don’t have adjectives sufficient to describe the photos by Tom Blagden, Jr. in a new book, Acadia National Park – A Centennial Celebration. Tom has been a professional nature photographer for 35 years, concentrating on Maine, South Carolina, and Costa Rica. I have honestly …

Third “Wildlife on the Move” kids’ book is exceptional

on June 03, 2016, at 6:05 p.m.
The third book in a “Wildlife on the Move” partnership between Islandport Press and Maine Audubon is wonderful. A Blanding’s Turtle Story, written by Melissa Kim and illustrated by Jada Fitch, will capture the imagination of your kids,  grandkids, and you too! Jada’s illustrations are captivating, for sure, and the …
A woman reads a book as she lies on a cliff on a sunny day in Sydney, Australia, May 29, 2016.

What should you read this summer? Stephen King and more

By Connie Ogle, Miami Herald (TNS) on June 01, 2016, at 11:38 a.m.
Here are some suggestions to keep you entertained all season long.

Fascinating stories from the Allagash

on May 30, 2016, at 8:22 a.m.
I’ve enjoyed Tom Caverly’s books over the years, both his books for adults and his books for kids. But I think his newest book, The Ranger and the Reporter, is my favorite. I particularly appreciate the “New England Reads” literacy project that Tim and his wife Sue have been doing …
The book "Acadia National Park: A Centennial Celebration," published in 2016 by Rizzoli New York, features photography and essays by Tom Blagden Jr., as well as essays by Christopher Camuto, Christopher Crosman, Dayton Duncan, David Rockefeller Jr., David MacDonald, Sheridan Steele and W. Kent Olsen.

Conservation photographer celebrates Acadia’s centennial with new book

By Aislinn Sarnacki on May 26, 2016, at 12:13 p.m.
“What I hope people will get from looking at the photographs is the inspiration, if not to experience Acadia directly, to at least experience nature in some way by simply getting out,” Tom Blagden said.