Read in the Blue Line

book

Ralph Edwards cut a farm out of the British Columbia wilderness

“Crusoe of Lonesome Lake,” by Leland Stowe --- In his award-winning “Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East,”  Ed Kanze described the struggle to make a home for his family — wife Debbie and two children — in the unforgiving Adirondacks near Saranac Lake. It ...

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How the town of Chester earned a spot in history

“The Underground Railroad in the Adirondack Town of Chester” by Donna Lagoy and Laura Seldman --- What a fine bit of historical research these authors engaged in and presented in this book. In an effort to expand the understanding of the history of Chester, ...

Useful lessons in ‘The Woodsman’s Son’

“The Woodsman’s Son” by April Blanchard --- My friend Mary recommended I consider ‘The Woodsman’s Son” by April Blanchard for a review. I don’t read a lot of young readers’ fiction, but she suggested it as a heartwarming book to feature during the holiday season. Mary has ...

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Debut novel explores the world of mood-enhancing drugs

“A Package of Moods,” by Adam Bassett --- The Olympics and Major League Baseball have familiarized all of us with the world of performance-enhancing drugs. Athletes have lost their medals and been banned from competition when tests show they used prohibited substances ...

Cohen’s ‘Bird Light’ is imaginative

"Bird Light" by Elizabeth Cohen, St. Julian Press, 2016---We plunge headlong through our lives and their spinning hours, but poetry can remind us that beauty is everywhere, and beauty is outside of time. The poet's job is to pay attention and to share with readers what we have perhaps forgotten ...

‘Murder in the Adirondacks’ is fascinating

In 1986, Craig Brandon published his book "Murder in the Adirondacks: An American Tragedy Revisited," telling the true story of the crime that served as the nucleus of Theodore Dreiser's classic novel "An American Tragedy."I found the book fascinating. In fact, my wife and I signed up ...

Delving into the stories of Millhauser

Bedtime in suburbia is subtly strange in novelist and short story writer Steven Millhauser's universe.Words exchanged at the end of the day before the lights are turned out between a husband and his wife; a different conversation with each of 13 wives in 13 beds.An insomnia cycle: 4 a.m. on a ...

Chinlund tells the story of her marriage, husband’s passing in artful way

The subtitle of Phyllis Chinlund's memoir, "Looking back from the Gate," accurately describes what she has composed. This is, indeed, "A Story of Love, Art, and Dementia."Ms. Chinlund worked as a documentary filmmaker, and that experience is evident in the montages, cuts and different points of ...

Detailing the nature around you

"The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling," by John Muir Laws, Berkeley, CA: Heyday, 2016.---Surrounded by beauty as I am in this region, I worry some days that I take it for granted - wash of thin clouds over the hills, burble of bird and quick glimpse of copper feathers, shimmer of ...

E.L. Trudeau’s life and legacy in Saranac Lake

An important new biography of Edward Livingston Trudeau provides an opportunity to reflect on one of the North Country's most illustrious and important citizens.In "A Rare Romance in Medicine: The Life and Legacy of Edward Livingston Trudeau," author Mary Hotaling combines extensive research ...

Artists poured out their hearts in letters

In 1915, Georgia O'Keefe, an art school teacher, sent a series of abstract lines in watercolor to famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz at his 291 Gallery in New York, confiding in a friend that she wanted Stieglitz "more than anyone else I know" to "like something - anything I had done."O'Keefe, ...

Photographer’s book opens eyes to Adirondacks

"North County, Forever Wild: The Adirondacks" by Eliot Porter---This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of publication of Eliot Porter's book of photographs taken in the "North Country, Forever Wild: The Adirondacks." One of the earliest published collections of color photos taken in our ...

New edition improves Keene artist’s book

Painter Harold Weston's "Freedom in the Wilds" was first published in 1971, a year before he passed away. In 2007, Rebecca Foster edited and improved that 1971 book.Written at the request of his Keene Valley neighbors, "Freedom" is Weston's relaxed, eclectic history of the Adirondack Mountain ...

A look at famous women from Clinton County

"Remarkable Women of Clinton County," Anastasia L. Pratt, Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2015.----What is remarkable about the women of Clinton County, and indeed women throughout the history of recorded history, is that they remain largely unremarked upon.Oh, we know a few ...

Paddler’s guide is funny and thoughtful

"A Paddler's Guide to the Champlain Valley: Exploring the Rivers, Creeks, Wetlands and Ponds," by Margaret Holden and Catherine Frank, (Black Dome Press) 2015---I confess, I write this today as an armchair paddler. I have not yet tried any of these tantalizing trips, but I wanted to alert ...

Writing contest lists Adirondack non-fiction

The Adirondack Center for Writing will announce the winners of its annual literary contest on June 5 at the Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake. For entries to be eligible, the ACW guidelines require authors to "Live in region part or full-time OR include the Adirondacks in your ...

A look into the life of Grenville Clark

Early in the introduction to Nancy Peterson Hill's "A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark" (University of Missouri Press, 2014), the author writes: "It is not too big a statement to say that Grenville Clark remains one of the most important Americans that most Americans ...

Book details Cole’s time in upstate New York

As a young Englishman, Thomas Cole immigrated with his family to America, eager to behold the rugged beauty he had only traversed in the turning of pages.In early 19th-century New York, his artist's dreams of the New World were at times tempered by what Cole described as the sad, repulsive ...

Poems from a neighbor to the north

I reached a bit outside the Adirondacks for this one, but not too far. Montrealer Carolyn Marie Souaid has crafted a delightful book of poems that consider small details in the context of larger concerns, from a parent's fears about real and imagined futures, to the post-9/11 anxious world, to ...

‘North of Here’ needs direction

In Laurel Saville's "North of Here," Miranda Steward's Connecticut family had vacationed in the Adirondacks for many years. The summer home was beautiful, but the family living in it was damaged, partly by alcohol. And when her brother is killed in an automobile accident, her father dies, and ...