Read in the Blue Line

Nonfiction contest offers good reading opportunities

Each spring, Bibi Wein and I judge general nonfiction and memoir entries in the Adirondack Center for Writing’s literary contest. This year’s general nonfiction entries, many of which have already been reviewed in the Enterprise, were especially strong, evidencing research, ...

French-Canadian influence detailed in new book

“Franco-Americans in the Champlain Valley” by Kimberly Lamay Licursi And Celine Racine Paquette --- There’s been a burgeoning interest recently in French-Canadian influence in our region. A new book from Arcadia Publishing, “Franco-Americans in the Champlain Valley,” furthers that ...

A rich architectural reference, and field guide

Architecture, the subject of George Washington University professor (and sometime Essex County resident) Richard Longstreth’s wonderful book, is not the most prominent feature of the Adirondacks for most of us. “The Adirondack region is best known for its incredible natural resources — ...

‘An American Tragedy’ is ‘detailed, epic’

“An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser --- For several years, “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser has been on my bucket list of books to read. But at almost 900 pages and with a beginning that depicts a family of intolerant religious mission workers, I started and stopped ...

Fresh, well-researched, readable — and important

When I first learned about publication of Sally Svenson’s book “Blacks in the Adirondacks” (Syracuse University Press), I found myself a bit surprised no one had tackled this important subject before. Now that I’ve read this extensively researched volume, I realize others will follow ...

Two new books of verse from Adirondack authors Fast and Tissot

Two new books of verse by area writers came to our attention recently: Yvona Fast’s “Different” and Caperton Tissot’s “The Beat Within.” Yvona Fast’s slim volume “Different” was published by FootHills Publishing, which has been since 1986 a resource for upstate New York ...

Frederick Busch’s writing resonates upstate

“What to know about pain is how little we do to deserve it, how simple it is to give, how hard to lose. I’m a plumber. I dig for what’s wrong. And what I think of now as I remember pain is the fat young man and his child, their staggering house, the basement filled with death and dark ...

A plea for co-existing in the wild

John Davis’ “Split Rock Wildway” is described by the author as being a “scout’s report” on wildlife he has encountered in a specific area of the Adirondacks. However, in describing the book as such, the author is not completely honest. Instead of being only a scout’s report, ...

Come along for the journey in hiking tales

“An Adirondack Portfolio-1902-1935: The Hiking Stories and Photographs of Francis Bayle” --- Many of us may be fortunate enough to own photos taken by earlier generations; a few might also have some old letters. Bob Bayle, a former teacher from Glens Falls, had his own collection of ...

Terrie’s passion for the outdoors is infectious

“Seeing the Forest: Reviews, Musings, and Opinions from an Adirondack Historian,” by Philip Terrie” ---Philip Terrie has been wandering the Adirondacks for 50 years and writing about it for more than 30. His books “Contested Terrain” and “Forever Wild” were instant classics when ...

Book details love story between American journalist and Russian skater

“Maia — A Cold War Novel,” by Richard Manichello --- Richard Manichello’s consistently entertaining “Maia” is a bit like a seven-part Netflix series. “Maia” is a Cold War thriller; a new take on the star-crossed lovers’ story; a story of redemption; a coming of age story ...

‘Buried Secrets’ delivers suspenseful plot twist

“Buried Secrets” by T.J. Brearton is a book that you shouldn’t read late at night. One of the latest books by the Lake Placid author is an intense thriller that keeps the reader on edge until the last chapter. The protagonist, Brett Larson, is a failed journalist turned construction ...

Fire tower book is a good gift for the holidays

“Views From On High,” by John Freeman and Jim Schneider --- Almost as if on schedule, I received a copy of the newly published book, Views From On High: Fire Tower Trials in the Adirondacks and Catskills, by John Freeman and Jim Schneider, in time for consideration as a holiday gift. ...

So much more than just a food writer

“Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray,” by Adam Federman --- As sprightly October settled at last into true autumn with its iron gray skies and rain, I enjoyed returning day after day to the extraordinary life of Patience Gray and her many years living ...

Garage sale find tells woman’s long lost tale

“An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman,” by Susan M. Ouellette --- In an era of Facebook and Twitter, it can be a treat to find someone describing their thoughts and activities during an earlier era in longhand. Is it a love of history that makes discovery of a journal that valuable to us? ...

Readers relive author’s childhood with ill brother

“Shadow Child” by Randall Stark Beach, 2017 --- In this engrossing memoir, Altona native Randall Stark Beach details an otherwise unremarkable childhood that suddenly becomes utterly changed when his younger brother is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In this sensitively presented ...

Baltimore Orioles provide purpose for dying man

“Final Season,” by Richard Frost (who reviews books for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise), is a first-person novel about baseball and dying. When 55-year-old physician Dan Jameson’s cancer progresses, he rejects further therapies and follows his passion: the Baltimore Orioles. The novel ...