Every month, the Bangor Metro Obsessions: Arts & Culture column features what we can’t get enough of. From books to fitness, movies to podcasts, we cover a little of everything.
So many books cross my desk at Bangor Metro, and I purchase even more. Every month, I select a few that catch my attention.
“The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter,” by Diane Magras
It’s a Scottish medieval adventure. In the follow up to The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, young Drest’s adventure continues as she attempts to save Lord Faintree from his traitorous uncle who is trying to have him killed. Meanwhile, she’s also working to prove she deserves to be part of the war band, not left behind. My kids and I loved reading the first book in this series by Maine author Diane Magras. But the second was even better than the first (we all agreed). So much action, smart thinking and interesting situations. (middle grade)
“All the Wild Hungers,” by Karen Babine
Cancer is vicious. It worms its way into the flow of life and the tenor of relationships. And it’s scary. When Karen Babine’s mother is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, she begins treatment and Babine begins to cook. Through vivid descriptions of searing meat and simmering bone broth, Babine aims to use food to heal and to soothe, even when her mother’s treatments render her unable to taste anything. This is an intimate portrait of food, family and illness. Worth a read for any daughter who has felt helpless as her mom fought cancer. (memoir)
“Robin Emery: Maine’s First Lady of Road Racing,” by Ed Rice
Bangor native Ed Rice met Robin Emery through the running circuit and befriended her. Now retired and living in New Brunswick, Canada, he shares a vivid and inspiring portrait of the woman who started running when it wasn’t something women did, and continues to 50 years later. A fun read, even for a non-runner like me. (biography)
— Sarah Walker Caron
“The Big One: Your Survival Guide” podcast from KPCC
I like to get a good podcast playlist going before I start cleaning. It turns cleaning into an educational adventure, but it is not as distracting as, say, having the TV on in the background. My latest deep-clean podcast series was “The Big One: Your Survival Guide” from KPCC. It made me thankful to have moved from the tectonic West Coast back East (also, the storytelling is very compelling).
— Sam Schipani
FitBit Charge 3
Accountability is something that’s always been important to me when it comes to living a healthy life. The more accountable I am, the healthier I am. So when I first bought a FitBit One a little over five years ago, I found myself striving to walk more and aiming to hit that recommended 10,000 steps a day. It worked wonders. My health (and weight) improved substantially. Recently, I decided it was time for an upgrade. FitBit has a number of new devices with more features including the ability to wear it while you swim and to track different types of exercise beyond walking. I purchased a FitBit Charge 3 at BJ’s, where it comes with an extra band — and it’s wonderful. I love that it tracks my heart rate and can be used in more ways. But what I really love the most is that it keeps me accountable to myself. Hourly alerts remind me to get up and walk about, instead of staying chained to my desk all day. Weekly progress reports let me see how I am doing overall. Also, since this is a wrist version, I can check my progress throughout the day without falling into the labyrinth of phone apps I have. Plus, it’s comfortable.
— Sarah Walker Caron
This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s April 2019 issue. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.