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Read in the Blue Line

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 ...

Young man’s 1826 travel journal is a good read

uebec native Alexander Stewart Scott had some time on his hands, and sufficient funds, so he wanted to travel before resuming school. Today he might hitchhike around Europe, bicycle across the country or join something akin to Americorps or the Peace Corps. But the year was 1826. He ...

Poems of wild imaginings

In an early poem in this volume, “Queer Fish,” Sarah Giragosian writes: “nothing can be drab so long / as objects hold allure as intimates.” These poems take all manner of creatures great and small as intimates. Giragosian dreams herself inside an anglerfish, gives voice to a spider, ...

Boats at the bottom of Lake George

The early military history of New York follows its waterways. The Hudson, Mohawk and St. Lawrence rivers, Lakes George and Champlain were the highways and the battlefields. Noted maritime explorer Joseph W. Zarzynski’s “Ghost Fleet Awakened: Lake George’s Sunken Bateaux of 1758” ...

Poems to have coffee with

Roger Mitchell’s poems are good company. Well-reasoned yet imaginative, approachable yet deep, the poems in his 2018 book “Reasons Dream” are a pleasure to spend time with. Just as conversation with an old friend over coffee can go from quotidian to cosmic and back, so these poems ...

Set in the future, this novel begins in 1858

Saratoga Springs author Jeff Bigelow’s “Emerson’s Adirondack Secret” is an expansive science-fiction novel set mostly in the Adirondacks, from Chazy Lake to Moriah. The novel begins in 2028 in a divided America. The ideological rancor we now see in Washington, D.C., and cable ...

‘Overdose’ is a recognizable thriller

It’s a daunting task to weave reality into fiction, but in Dr. Rada Jones’ debut thriller, “Overdose,” the author does just that. She sets the scene for her protagonist, Dr. Emma Steele, in a location that sounds awfully familiar: a rural lakeside town with an emergency department ...

Guideboat book has many uses

“The Adirondack Guideboat: Its Origins, Its Builders and Their Boats,” a recently published book (Bauhan Publishing, 2018) by Stephen Sulavik on the topic, may prove to be close to the last word on the subject. The book has multiple uses. Everyone interested in Adirondack history ...

Memoir paints a vivid picture

By any measure, Nell Painter was successful. She had a Princeton professorship in her chosen field, history; several acclaimed books; and she was voted into the leadership role in a highly respected organization of historians. As she stepped into retirement, still very active in her ...

An artist’s observations over 60 years

Harold Buckley’s “Ten Thousand Places” is a very unusual book. While none of the “ten thousand places” is specifically in the Adirondacks, the writing is artistic and skillful, and will reward area readers. A poetic diary, it includes more than 150 entries, dating from 1948 to ...

A crime story too good to miss

“In the Bleak Mid-Winter” is a crime novel that has been out since 2002, but if you haven’t read it, or even if you have, it’s a good one to crack open. I read this story not long after it was first published, and it was tons of fun to read again. Julia Spencer-Fleming has ...

Local author continues rural New York mysteries

By JERRY McGOVERN Special to the Enterprise Elizabethtown author T.J. Brearton continues to write good mysteries set in upstate New York. His latest, “The Husbands,” is about a serial killer murdering women in central New York, including Liverpool and Auburn. The “separate ...

Poems that say more with less

You may remember in grade school or thereabouts learning that the “haiku” form of poetry was three lines of strict syllable counts of 5, 7, then 5 again. And that’s probably about all you remember (if that!). Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry, dating from about the ...

Autobiography of a lesser known local

For this installment, I’ve chosen to review what I deem an unappreciated classic, the autobiography of photographer William Henry Jackson. Entitled “Time Exposure” and published in 1940, it tells the story of a most remarkable yet little known individual from New York’s North ...