Book reviews

David B. Williams, author of "Cairns: Messengers in Stone," published October 2012, sits beside a cairn on Mauna Loa on Hawaii. In Hawaii, these rock piles are known as "ahu."

Acadia’s rock pile experiment noted in new book

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Dec. 12, 2012, at 4:55 p.m.
“Cairns: Messengers in Stone,” by David B. Williams, October 2012, The Mountaineers Books, 192 pages, paperback, $15.95. Acadia National Park has a rock problem. For decades, rangers and ridge runners have spent time and sweat building and breaking apart cairns, the man-made rock piles that mark many trails throughout the …
Author and freelance writer Siobhan McDonough models a blaze orange hunting cap she purchased at Renys in Maine. This image, as well as many other color photographs, are featured in her debut book "My Mother's Dressing Room," published in 2012.

Maine inspired author’s nostalgic fashion-filled memoir

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Dec. 08, 2012, at 1:07 p.m.
New Maine-related books include fashion-filled memoir, twisted love story, the scariest sled ride ever “MY MOTHER’S DRESSING ROOM,” By Siobhan McDonough, November 2012, Goose River Press, 200 Pages, Full Color photographs, $24.95 A blaze orange hat from Renys discount store is an item of practicality in Maine. It’s an accessory …

Barry’s book on Maine deserves a place on the shelf

By Wayne E. Reilly on Nov. 17, 2012, at 4:55 p.m.
“MAINE: The Wilder Half of New England” by William David Barry, Tilbury House, Publishers, 290 pages, $30. Why would anyone take the time to write a history of a state? Finding historical similarities between Madawaska and Kittery, which must have a lot more in common with Portsmouth, N.H., is a …

Maine writer rehashes true tale of shipwreck, cannibalism off Maine coast

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Nov. 04, 2012, at 9:47 a.m.
BOON ISLAND: A TRUE STORY OF MUTINY, SHIPWRECK, AND CANNIBALISM by Andrew Vietze and Stephen Erickson, Globe Pequot Press, November 2012, 244 pages, paperback, $16.95. In a raging storm on Dec. 11, 1710, the Nottingham Galley slammed into Boon Island, just six miles off the coast of Maine, and broke …

Find your ‘inner moose’ and relax with a new Maine book

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 30, 2012, at 8:04 p.m.
FINDING YOUR INNER MOOSE: IDA LECLAIR’S GUIDE TO LIVIN’ THE GOOD LIFE by Susan Poulin, September 2012, Islandport Press, 256 pages, paperback, $16.95. Ida LeClair isn’t a real person, but she is a true character. And as a recently minted “Certified Maine Life Guide,” she offers practical ways to live …

J.K. Rowling receives mixed reviews on adult novel ‘The Casual Vacancy’

By JILL LAWLESS, The Associated Press on Sept. 27, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.
LONDON — After months of hype and anticipation, J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults has appeared, swept into the arms of hopeful booksellers and an army of grown-up Harry Potter fans eager to find out what his creator has done next. A gritty and darkly humorous tale of ugly realities …

Women pour out tales of their boozing ways in anthology

By Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on Sept. 16, 2012, at 5:17 p.m.
“Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up,” edited by Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg; Seal Press (268 pages, $16) Everyone, it seems, has a drinking story, even teetotalers, and in this anthology of essays, 28 women tell theirs. “Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up,” edited …

‘Rizzoli and Isles’ author releases saga’s 10th book

By Aislinn Sarnacki and Emily Burnham on Sept. 02, 2012, at 4:31 p.m.
LAST TO DIE by Tess Gerritsen, August 2012, Ballantine Books, 338 pages, hardcover, $27. The 10th book in Camden author Tess Gerritsen’s “Rizzoli and Isles” saga — detailing the exploits of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles — is as suspenseful and nail-biting as any of her …
Bill White, author of "Sara3112: Journey Through Virtual Madness"

Former Bangor resident publishes tale of love, abuse

By Kevin Bennett on Aug. 26, 2012, at 1:50 p.m.
SARAH3112: JOURNEY THROUGH VIRTUAL MADNESS by William White, July 2012, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 518 pages, paperback, $17.65. Former Bangor resident Bill White was a man dying to get out of an abusive marriage. He was a man dying to end his depression and loneliness. Little did he know that …
Puckerbrush Review

Puckerbrush Review literary magazine marks another milestone

By Dana Wilde on Aug. 26, 2012, at 1:45 p.m.
PUCKERBRUSH REVIEW, Spring/Summer 2012; edited by Sanford Phippen; University of Maine English Department/Puckerbrush Press Inc., Orono; 144 pages, large format perfect bound, $10. The big literary news revealed in the summer 2012 issue of Puckerbrush Review, the longstanding central organ for UMaine-associated belles lettres and beyond, is that its editor …

Julia Child book honors chef on 100th birthday

By JESSICA GRESKO, The Associated Press on Aug. 10, 2012, at 7:32 p.m.
“Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” (Knopf), by Bob Spitz Before Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse, before Gordon Ramsay and Rachael Ray, before Lidia Bastianich and Anthony Bourdain, there was Julia Child. Child made her TV cooking debut in 1962, in black and white, and by the time she’d …

New Maine tales, from underwater worlds to chicken farms

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Aug. 06, 2012, at 4:51 p.m.
JOURNEY OF THE SEA GLASS by Nicole Fazio, July 2012, Down East Books, 32 pages, hardcover, $16.95. Real sea glass, a piece smoothed by the waves and clouded with salt, has traveled the sea for decades. Then, washed up on a rocky beach, it winks at a passerby. A product …

Camden author proves for third time that real estate can be murder

By Dale McGarrigle on Aug. 05, 2012, at 11:34 a.m.
“DEADLY OFFER,” by Vicki Doudera, Midnight Ink, Woodbury, Minn., 2012, paperback, 301 pages, $14.95. Once again, Camden Realtor Vicki Doudera has proven that real estate can be murder, in the third volume of her mystery series featuring chic Darby Farr, a Maine native who is now selling homes in beautiful …
Are you a helicopter parent?

The seven myths of helicopter parenting

By Katie Roiphe, Slate on Aug. 02, 2012, at 6:32 a.m.
1. You are not a helicopter parent if your kid is not in a zillion extracurriculars. In the recent clamor on the subject of whether this generation of parents is hovering too much and oversteering, overmanaging and otherwise spoiling their children, I’ve heard parents say, “But we don’t know any …

Tana French delivers another winner

By MICHELLE WIENER, The Associated Press on July 27, 2012, at 10:42 p.m.
“Broken Harbor” by Tana French. Viking. “Broken Harbor,” the fourth novel in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, takes its name from the former seaside resort where Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy (the by-the-book detective who antagonizes Frank Mackey in 2010′s “Faithful Place”) vacationed as a teen with his family. It’s where …

Lincoln survives, is impeached in Yale prof’s imagined history

By Andrew Dunn, Bloomberg News on July 15, 2012, at 5:08 p.m.
“The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln” by Stephen L. Varter. Knopf, 516 pages, $26.95. In Stephen L. Carter’s latest novel, a spy thriller/murder mystery/courtroom drama/political potboiler set in 1860s Washington, the 16th U.S. president survives the shooting in Ford’s Theatre only to face removal from office by a cabal of Radical …

Spice up summer with Maine island mysteries, memoirs and more

By Aislinn Sarnacki on July 02, 2012, at 7:58 p.m.
On the few Maine islands still inhabited year-round, news travels fast and visitors often are met with a hairy eyeball. The sunsets are breathtaking; the tempests, terrifying. Secrets and grudges are harbored; history and tradition, guarded. An island can represent freedom or imprisonment. It can be a place of peace …

Some new entries on Maine’s literary scene

By Dana Wilde on June 17, 2012, at 8:28 p.m.
The New Guard Literary Review, Vol. 2; Shanna McNair, editor and publisher; Portland, Maine, 2011; 336 pages, trade paperback, $22. It never ceases to amaze me how many writers there are, in contrast to how badly book sales are said to be doing nowadays. The second volume of the New …

Midcoast native tells modern day fairy tales in new book

By Aislinn Sarnacki on June 17, 2012, at 8:11 p.m.
“THE SECRET MAGICKS OF MAINE,” by Matt Watier, 2010, Xlibris, 48 pages, hardcover, $31.99, paperback, $21.99. Maine is a pine-covered land where mud gremlins bury vehicles up to their axles and paint pot dwarves usher in crisp autumn days. It is an enchanted place, home of giant snow cows, birch …

Homespun personal experience shared in a little book

By Dana Wilde on June 10, 2012, at 7:58 p.m.
NOT IN A BOOK, poems by Ellen W. Richards, prints by Cynthia A. White; Pothole Press, Bangor, Maine, 2012; 28 pages, saddle stitched, $8. Ellen Richards and Cynthia White’s booklet with the obliquely oxymoronic title “Not in a Book” is a collection of well-expressed, homespun little poems on life’s simplest …
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