Is there better news than to hear that some of you have secured cottage reservations, cajoled friends into finding and saving cottage space nearby, may come if RB gets new t-shirts (Charlie is working on it), think that Paul Doiron’s second mystery, The Trespasser, includes a Harpoon bar and should, therefore, be included in the greater-Tenants Harbor fiction list of several posts ago (which I am checking out by reading the book and being happily transported to Maine in March), and maybe best of all, that I have a new, left-leg brace which is covered with roses in the style of Paul Gaugain and handsomely supports my knee and ankle so that I am (ta da) walking again and will, therefore, be in Maine to see you all? Big WHEW!
So it’s time to start going through your many good suggestions for books to add to RB shelves, even with another week of way below average temperatures and maybe another storm of many precipitants. This is the annual puzzle of plenty I love.
Summer is a-comin' in, on bobbing boats and forsythia blooms.
So which books do or should matter most to RB readers who are trying to make sense of the world from the shore of God’s chosen ocean in a perfect time and place? A special thanks to those of you who cavalierly suggested the following INTRIGUING TITLES THAT ARE NOT YET, AND MAY NEVER BE IN PAPERBACK! AARGHH!
Land of Dreams (Minnesota Trilogy) by Vidar Sundstal (Set on Minnesota shore of Lake Superior which is big water connected to ocean, includes Norwegian lore which acknowledges half of Charlie and sme RB regulars. UM press hopes it is next big time Scandinavian mystery e.g. Stieg Larrson.)
The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.J. Duffy (Partly set in Nova Scotia, which someone described as Maine only more so, includes lobstering or at least fishing, during WWI about which most of us know too little and Charles Todd is good, but not enough)
Transatlantic by Colum McCann (Ocean crossing is always good, George Mitchell is a Maine connection, Newfoundland-to-Ireland crossing offers a seque into always fun argument that Irish were here before Vikings)
Naturalists at Sea: Scientific Travelers from Dampier to Darwin by Glyn Williams (Complements Voyage of the Beagle and (I hope) maybe provokes a reprinting of Tim Severin’s Spice Island Voyage)
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around The World by Matthew Goodman (Can RB ever have enough of strong women and ocean crossings?)
Twelve Owls by Laura Erickson and Betsy Bower (RB birder reports that owls are everywhere there this winter as they are here in MN, and the art in the book is so-o-o fine.)
Latest mystery in series by Julia Spencer-Fleming, Cara Black, Elly Griffiths, Harry Dolan, Bruce DaSilva (Please recall the latest, and maybe best, RB marketing ploy of drawing RB Regulars back each summer to get the latest book in these excellent, harder-to-find series, which depends on the series’ latest being available! Aarrghh, again.)
Water (photographs) by Edward Burtynsky (Beautiful, pertinent, interesting, very expensive)
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, UpdIII by Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman (with changes, it reads like a conversation with readers and anything with Maira Kalman illustrations is better.)
Come to see the bush / be gone, a rock wall come, and / friends with books await.
News from the Group Home: Cat loose on the seventh floor last week. He or she will probably be everywhere welcomed, but as all the floors look alike, may never find home. Treebirds abound, cardinal still visits and remains outstanding on bare branches, and ploppy pigeons try to balance on well-stocked birdfeeder ledge. Word of tasty blueberry pancakes traveled fast through the elevator which apparently caused the biggest later-breakfast crowd ever. “The blueberry pancakes were really good. Our hearts will be strong,” I said to my neighbor Jim. “Finally,” he said.
Other news: My house, and home for 40 years, sits atop a huge blob of TCE spilled by General Mills researchers during 1940′s-1970′s. Can you hear the property values plummeting? Testing, mitigation, more testing, and class action lawsuit are part of my days. Charlie is overseeing mitigation efforts. I am driving lawyers and PCA nuts with questions, and the PCA is driving me nuts with non-answers. I like the lawyers better, probably because we are on the same side and (maybe thus) they answer my questions. As is so often the case, thank heavens for Charlie.
Latest issue of Down East Magazine features FOG, a new Rockland restaurant. Could this just be additional evidence of Rockland’s niftiness? Last Spring Down East featured the very good, new breakfast+ place, HOME KITCHEN CAFE (not the previously, wrongly named Good Home Cooking, than you, Scott, though as you smoothly point out, not a bad name for a breakfast treat) which is an effort-of-the-heart of the nifty people who always “made” RB t-shirts which is the reason I am searching for new t-shirt makers — well, with Charlie’s help. He draws the rose. One saving grace of RB’s former t-shirt makers new venture is their special attention to both cinnamon rolls and oatmeal. You know you’re getting old when the breakfast restaurant survey switches from finding the best cinnamon roll to finding the best oatmeal, and nirvana may be finding both in one place.
Keep those book suggestions coming, folks. RB is so much better for being a public display of a group mind.