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Read in the Blue Line

‘Great Camps’ book made greater

When I first moved back to the Adirondacks, my wife and I attended a three-day workshop on great camps at Sagamore Institute on Raquette Lake. We were immediately hooked on both the history and the architectural aspects. Over time, and with the help of such groups as Adirondack Architectural ...

Poems of spirituality

These are poems of faith in a world where so much happens that can try the faith of the faithful. Using dreams, persona poems based on biblical characters, and meditations of daily devotion, Queensbury author Kathleen McCoy explores, through poems vivid and visceral, her experience of ...

Book explores why Confederate memorials were put up

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted more objections to Confederate memorials. Statues of generals who fought to enslave others are coming down. United States military leaders want forts named after generals who waged war against the United States to be renamed. Mitch ...

Brain tumor gives super sense, and adventure

  Dean Angel, the protagonist of Lake Placid author Samuel Dean’s “An Untamed Sea Story,” is going through some difficult times. The former police officer has been forced into retirement, his marriage has dissolved, and his doctor says, “I’m afraid that it won’t be a good morning ...

Guide goes extra mile for you and your dog

In full disclosure, I do not own a dog. But as a guide and erstwhile trail worker, I hike for a living and spend a lot of time with guidebooks. Canine companion or not, Alan Via’s new guidebook from SUNY Press is a phenomenal addition to any trail dog’s bookshelf. Via is an ...

An important look at small towns

At least four communities in the Adirondack North Country region — Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Glens Falls and Watertown — are currently working to implement strategies based on $10 million grants given by Gov. Cuomo and New York state for redevelopment of downtowns. Though no one opposes ...

Local history of disasters

This is not a book to be read cover to cover, too awful are the circumstances, the losses. But it is undeniably interesting to peek back in history to see what has befallen North Country communities and families, and how people rose together to help. Communities face a variety of ...

Solo Alaska paddling chronicle still inspires

I’m a fan of journey chronicles. Colin Fletcher’s classic first-person account of hiking the Grand Canyon, “The Man Who Walked Through Time,” is one of the pivotal books of my life. Jon Krakauer’s sensitive portrait of Christopher McCandless, and his sad death in Alaska, in “Into ...

A bold, startling book

As her jacket copy states, Shira Erlichman was “born in Israel, raised in Massachusetts, (and) now lives in Brooklyn.” She’s also been known to give readings in the North Country. Erlichman last visited the region in 2017, reading poems which now scaffold her debut collection “Odes to ...

A slavery tale with ties to the North Country

It took adaptation into a movie for the memoir “Twelve Years a Slave,” by Solomon Northup, to gain the audience it deserved. Northup, a free African-American, was kidnapped in Saratoga Springs, drugged and sold south as a slave to plantation owners in Mississippi. When he finally managed ...

Poems of wry gratitude

When I taste honey — as I sometimes do, as I have beekeeping friends who generously pass it on — it’s not necessarily the sweetness I taste first but the traces of the bees’ explorations, the spring flowers of Vermont hills, or the goldenrod of Adirondack roadsides. So do these poems ...

Author revisits feminist commune in Adirondacks

Lorraine M. Duvall’s cleverly titled “Finding a Woman’s Place” captures in miniature a movement that has, in a remarkably short time, changed how men and women in America see themselves and each other. “A woman’s place is in the home” was part of the post-World War II ...

Meet your local weeds and wildflowers

I can’t remember a book making me so eager for spring. Others may have given me the feel of that swift, sweet season, but none has given me so much to do when it arrives. Mind you, I love winter, but now I want things to sprout so I can go out in my yard — and into fields, bogs and ...

A fun read, set in Tupper Lake

For my first review in the Enterprise, I’ve chosen “Castle Games: a Rocky Romance” (CreateSpace 2016). The author is Jan Prestopnik, a retired English professor with long ties to the Adirondacks. Lucilla “Lucky” Wilta works as a waitress at a greasy spoon somewhere near Tupper ...

‘It’s Not Magic’ certainly is

Jon Sands, a regular performer in the Adirondack poetry scene, has been selected as a National Poetry Series winner. His book “It’s Not Magic” (Beacon Press) is an energetic investigation of youth and maturity, and a beautiful bridge between the worlds of spoken and written poetry. ...

Poems of atmosphere

Sackets Harbor native Natalli Amato has written a collection of poems, many of which harken back to childhood and adolescent times spent at play in the outside world in the Adirondack settings she called home. The poems are mostly descriptions of these experiences — rich in the sounds ...

Tale of urban crises, by an Adirondack author

Joe Connelly’s novel “Bringing Out the Dead” grew from his years as an emergency medical services medic in New York City. Connelly, who now lives in North Creek, tells his story through the eyes of Frank Pierce, whose narration includes documentary-style descriptions of the ...

The man who dared to dream

BOOK REVIEW: The Man Who Dared to Dream: The Story of Julian Reiss, Who Had the Faith to Make Things Happen, by Bob Welch Reviewed by Richard Frost During their car trip north in 1947, Julian Reiss (1899-1959) told his daughter Patti (now Patty Brooks) a story about a baby bear who visited ...

Poems exploring grief

This collection of poems explores loss, guilt and grief. In many of the poems the narrator reflects on the loss of an ex-girlfriend to suicide. Glimpses of the relationship, the woman, the struggles are interspersed with the awful fact of her death and its aftermath for the narrator. Pope ...

SUNY Plattsburgh professor tells a rich story 

Expect political pundits to mention Thomas More, who was executed in 1535 in London, as they comment on the impeachment hearings in Washington. As the famous and the obscure swear to tell the truth in our nation’s capital, the man who was beheaded for treason and canonized by the Roman ...