Read in the Blue Line

Donohue creates compelling stories set the Adirondacks and Champlain Valley

Writer Dave Donohue, the force behind Ra Press and Ra Films, has provided support and a platform for local writers for many years. He has also mined his own Port Henry/Moriah memories, turning the experiences into memoirs and fiction.Two of Donohue's recent efforts are especially effective in ...

Terrorists on the St. Lawrence Seaway

In the second installment of the Adirondack Treasure Trilogy, "Isle Royale," co-authors Matthew Glavin and Michael Dolan build a sweeping tale of treasure, terrorism and old-fashioned Adirondack rambling.The book is broader in scope and style than the first installment, though its pacing is ...

Author whets appetite for more about Amish

Occasionally I come upon a book serendipitously, then find it sufficiently interesting that I decide to review it. Such is the case with this week's selection. I was browsing a used book store when I came upon "New York Amish," by Karen Johnson-Weiner (Cornell University Press, 2010).Quick ...

Good tale of hot summer in Cold War

Summary: Sex, violence and anti-communist hysteria in a 1958 Adirondack town makes for a good novel.In the summer of 1958, 17-year-old Kevin Boyle is living in Hawk Cove, a small town in the southern Adirondacks that depends on summer visitors to survive. Kevin's family rents cottages to those ...

Durant reached high, sometimes too high, in developing Great Camps

Recently I reread "Durant: The Fortunes and Woodland Camps of a Family in the Adirondacks," by Craig Gilborn. Published in 1981 by North Country Books, in cooperation with The Adirondack Museum, it's still an essential read for anyone interested in the early development of the Adirondacks, and ...

‘Caretakers’ is a fast-paced follow up for Sheffield

Jamie Sheffield's new installment in the Tyler Cunningham series is another fast-paced thriller with the intimate knowledge of the Adirondacks that will give local readers some satisfying context."Caretakers" follows "Here Be Monsters," in which Sheffield outlined Tyler's quirky crime-fighting ...

Character seeks solitude in the wilderness

It is minus 28 degrees when we meet Lily Martindale. A hermit/caretaker for a great Adirondack camp, Martindale is trudging through the snow, hauling a toboggan loaded with hay that she will feed to the deer who trail behind, waiting for the hay to be broken into flecks for them. Martindale ...

‘Hides, Hemlocks and Adirondack History’

Every now and then I pick a book off my shelf that I've been meaning to read for a while. Sometimes a "while" calculates to a few years. A history may get a little older, but that doesn't make it less worthwhile.Such was my strategy this month. I read "Hides, Hemlocks, and Adirondack ...

‘Among Friends: A Quaker Boy at the Battle of Plattsburgh’

What do you get when you mix a troubled dreamer with a young man itching to join the Battle of Plattsburgh? Toss in an abolitionist preacher for good measure. You get, it turns out, a surprising piece of historical fiction called "Among Friends: A Quaker Boy at the Battle of ...

Review: ‘JFK’s Last 100 Days’

Thurston Clarke, who lives on Lake Champlain in Willsboro, authored "Ask Not," which describes the composing of President John Kennedy's inaugural address. And his "The Last Campaign" chronicles Bobby Kennedy's 1968 presidential bid.Mr. Clarke returns to the Kennedys in his wonderful "JFK's ...

Exciting account of Rogers’ rangers

When we read about the exploits of Navy Seals, Green Berets and other elite military groups, we should understand that all these groups had their progenitor in a man named Robert Rogers. His life story forms the basis of "War on the Run," by American Heritage Editor John Ross (Bantam Books, ...

‘The Ruby Seat’ turns coping into mysticism

(Editor's note: "Read in the Blue Line" normally runs on Wednesdays, but since there's no Enterprise New Year's Day, it's running today.)---One way to build a cabin is to carve the bottom of each new log into the shape of the one below. This joins irregular curves into a plumb and tight-fitting ...

‘Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska’

When he was 59, Rockwell Kent Jr. told his famous artist-father, who would soon pass away at his AuSable Forks farm, "The year we spent together on Fox Island was the happiest of all my life."The younger Kent was referring to the seven months, from August 1918 to March 1919, when the Kents, 9 ...

‘Neighbors of Yesterday’

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. For me it's a family occasion, one that's not diluted by the need to think about what presents everyone might like. Along with eating and celebrating, I use it as a time for reflection. That mood extends to my choices of books to read.I'd read ...

‘Mothers in Academia’

'Mothers in Academia," a book of essays by and about women studying and working in universities, is not my usual fare, which runs toward novels set in small towns and Adirondack nonfiction. But having always been a very active union member, I wanted to know more about the workplace culture of ...

Book adds to Adirondack history

An old adage asserts that the best way to get a million dollars is to begin with two million. Certainly such opportunity has been available in the Adirondacks. In his book, When "Men and Mountains Meet: Stories of Hope and Despair in the Adirondack Wilderness after the American Revolution," ...

Girl flees from bullies into wilderness

LeeAnne Baker's debut young-adult novel, "Lost," is a sensitive portrayal of teenage bullying. In light of several high-profile bullying cases in the last few months, this is a well-imagined and careful story about a girl who was mistreated by her classmates but grows from her unlikely ...

‘Up on a Hill and Thereabouts — An Adirondack Childhood’

Gloria Stubbing Rist's Adirondack childhood begins in the Bronx where she is living with her mother and paternal grandparents. It is there, in the early 1930s, that her mother, Mim, decides her two children will be better off in Chilson, where she has family.First, she takes Rist's 5 -year-old ...

‘The Civil War of 1812’ by Alan Taylor

With the annual commemoration of the Battle of Plattsburgh approaching, my attention turns to the War of 1812. This is the war, remember, that almost no one knows about, even though it spawned our national anthem and the emblematic Uncle Sam.A good way to learn more about the conflict is by ...

‘In All the Wrong Places’

The stories in Patrick Egan's new collection, "In All the Wrong Places," are an unsettling, emotionally fraught mix of memoir and fiction. The seventeen pieces are arranged around a central essay -- reprinted from a 1999 issue of Adirondac -- in which Egan remembers sharing a "particular and ...