Book reviews


Fifty Shades of Gender Identity – gaining perspective with books.

on June 26, 2015, at 11:16 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   I’m writing to you under the warm mid-70’s sun, the sweet sound of goldfinches and chickadees singing nearby, and my children passionately arguing about whose rock pile is better.  Ah, yes – summer.     For most of us, summer means fewer obligations, and a little …
"A Handful of Stars" by Cynthia Lord is available where books are sold.

New children’s book explores friendship in Down East

By Sarah Walker Caron on June 25, 2015, at 1:32 p.m.
When blueberry season arrives in Down East, so do migrant workers and their families. For these seasonal workers, summer days are spent working in blueberry fields. When the season ends, they move on to another place and another job. That’s the setting for a new book by Newbery Honor-winner Cynthia …

Review: ‘Conservative Heroes’ profiles 14 politicians who wanted limited role for government

By Rob Christensen, The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) (TNS) on June 24, 2015, at 3:33 p.m.
“Conservative Heroes” by Garland S. Tucker; ISI Books ($27.95, 224 pages) President Grover Cleveland does not get a lot of favorable publicity these days, if he is remembered at all. But Garland S. Tucker III, a Raleigh, North Carolina, business executive, hopes to help remedy that with his new book, …
The cover of Peter Nichols' "The Rocks"

Review: ‘The Rocks’ by Peter Nichols

By Connie Ogle, Miami Herald (TNS) on June 22, 2015, at 3:06 p.m.
“The Rocks” by Peter Nichols; Riverhead (432 pages, $27.95) On the surface, Peter Nichols’ new book is precisely the sort of novel you think of as a summer read. A Mediterranean island, the gorgeous and glamorous Mallorca, graces the cover — after one glance, you’ll start planning your next vacation. …
"Legendary Locals of Bangor," by Richard Shaw and Brian Swartz.

New book explores Bangor’s ‘legendary’ residents

By Sarah Walker Caron on June 18, 2015, at 2:56 p.m.
From the Franciscan brothers who manage Friars’ Bakehouse in Bangor to television funnyman Eddie Driscoll to Stephen King, a new book about Bangor’s most important locals explores Bangorians through history with pithy profiles. “Legendary Locals of Bangor,” by Richard R. Shaw and Brian F. Swartz was published earlier this month …
"Faraway Friends" by Russ Cox was released in early May.

Pittsfield author’s children’s book tackles topic of friends moving

By Sarah Walker Caron on June 11, 2015, at 1:52 p.m.
A new children’s book by Pittsfield author Russ Cox tackles the difficult topic of what happens when friends move away in his new book, “Faraway Friends,” which was published by Sky Pony Press in early May. The story follows a little boy whose friend moves away. When the boy sees …

The Power of Books

on June 07, 2015, at 7 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   A few weeks ago, I wrote an essay for a third party regarding my thoughts on the influence that books [can] have on children. Given recent media events, I thought this would be a good time to post it. The original is more serious than my …
"Muddy Boots," by Liza Gardner Walsh, was released in early May and is all about messy outdoor fun for kids.

Mud pies to lean-tos: Maine writer covers art of getting dirty

By Sarah Walker Caron on May 28, 2015, at 2:24 p.m.
When was the last time your kids made a mud pie? Or painted rocks? Or crafted a lean-to? In a new book from a Camden-based writer, these activities and more are explored through recipe-like projects for outdoor fun and anecdotes about the art of getting dirty. “Muddy Boots: Outdoor Activities …

Diagnosis: Book Slump

on May 22, 2015, at 6 a.m.
**Note, I apologize for the technical state of my blog. It’s experiencing some aesthetic crises, and I’ve only been able to remedy some of them. Please overlook the asymmetry and other eye-twitching misalignment**     Hi Readers! I thought I’d share a small confession with you all…   I haven’t …

Salem Macknee reviews 3 compelling new mysteries

By Salem Macknee, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS) on May 21, 2015, at 4:45 p.m.
“Little Black Lies” by Sharon Bolton; Minotaur, 368 pages. Our narrator opens the story by telling us she is planning a murder. We slowly get the details about a tragedy two years before that hardened her heart against her lifelong best friend. Her erratic behavior as she counts down to …
"Maine Memories" by John Brunkowski and Michael Closen.

New book explores Maine culture through vintage postcards

By Sarah Walker Caron on May 21, 2015, at 4:39 p.m.
With vacation season nearing, a new book that examines Maine culture has just hit stores across the state, highlighting the state through the decades. “Maine Memories: A Vintage Picture Postcard Tour,” by John Brunkowski and Michael Closen, recently was published by Schiffer Publishing. It explores the Pine Tree State through …

A “Close” Book Review, and Tour Dates!

on April 24, 2015, at 6:30 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   I trust you’ve all been basking in the new spring sun, as I have. I can even see some new green growth, if I use my bifocals. I keep my dirt-snowbank out of my field of view, though. Selective bifocals, they are.   What I have …

A “Close” Book Review, and Tour Dates!

on April 24, 2015, at 6:30 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   I trust you’ve all been basking in the new spring sun, as I have. I can even see some new green growth, if I use my bifocals. I keep my dirt-snowbank out of my field of view, though. Selective bifocals, they are.   What I have …

Author Focus: Kimberly McCreight

on April 14, 2015, at 7 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   I’m excited and honored to introduce you to Kimberly McCreight!   Author Kimberly McCreight has got the literary bull by the horns. Impressing readers and critics with her debut thriller Reconstructing Amelia in 2013, McCreight and HarperCollins have wasted no time publishing an equally gripping second …

New Book Tuesday!

on April 07, 2015, at 7 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   April showers bring May flowers! But first (still), snow. At least there’s always books. And lots of them this month. To save you from ESS (Endless Scroll Syndrome), I’ve broken down the new releases by week. All the books from this post will be released Tuesday, …

A book review, and other galactic book suggestions

on March 26, 2015, at 8:54 p.m.
  Hi Readers!   Grab your Dramamine and freeze dried ice cream, ’cause were goin’ to space!       The Martian by Andy Weir. Published by Crown in February 2014. Originally self-published in 2011. This book was the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction in …

A book review, and other woodsy book suggestions

on March 20, 2015, at 6 a.m.
  Hi Readers!   Grab your snowshoes! It’s time to go traipsing through the Maine woods! Or maybe just stay in, and delve into these Maine outdoor books, instead. Much warmer. Spring? Hello, Spring? I think the line is dead.       Life and Death in the North Woods: …

Books I’m reading!

on March 14, 2015, at 8:24 p.m.
  Hi Readers! I apologize for my brief hiatus – my children were struck with yet another round of sickness. I’m a seasoned Mainer, but I’ve just about reached my winter limit. I say this as I watch snowflakes fall from my window, one week before spring. Old Man winter …

A Book Review! And more award winning middle grade books.

on March 07, 2015, at 9:41 p.m.
Hi Readers!   I got my hands on a fantastic book this weekend:   El Deafo by Cece Bell. Published by Amulet books in September 2014. Cece Bell’s part memoir, part fiction is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Set in the 1970’s, we follow Cece (short for Cecelia) depicted in …

Upcoming March releases!

on March 02, 2015, at 7:05 a.m.
Hi Readers! I smell March. The open windows, the morning robins, the peeking tulips – or, maybe just mud. But I’ll take it! My Bean boots will be out in my dooryard ‘til May, anyway. So, let’s drive over the frost heaves to get some of these new releases.   …
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