YOUR PERSONAL BOOKSELLER IS READY

November 8th, 2013

The annual surge of gift-giving is upon us, and what better gift to give than a book which says, “I still know who you are”?

For that friend interested in Manhattan’s water supply,  the best RB choices were E. L. Doctorow’s novel, Waterworks, which is already known to many and only tangentially about NYC’s water, or  Christopher Fowler’s mystery, The Water Room which is about London’s water supply which may be a minus but which features aging, really aging, detectives Bryant and May which is a plus.

But then comes David Soll’s Empire of Water about guess what?  The subtitle tells it all:  An Environmental and Political History of The New York City  Water Supply.  RB won’t have this, as it is not — and may never be — available in paperback.  Cross your fingers that although the author is an academic (rarely in paperback), the book will be sufficiently generally interesting as well as “impressive” and “first rate environmental history.” to appeal to a big enough audience.

IMG_2486.jpg

Water with boats, buildings and no end is water of many uses.

As a “best guess” NYC water alternative, RB suggests Russell Shorto’s Island at the Center of the World because this history of Dutch settlement in very early New York City (then called New Amsterdam) surely includes, for water-sensitive readers, pertinent deliberations and actions  from these people who had lived long under water’s threat. But RB is only guessing.  “Test” the book before giving it away and let me know.  Other significant points: it was well-reviewed and mentions the old Dutch family name — which I’ve forgotten — of a Roseledge Books Regular.    A link is a link for all that.

*****

For the friend, mother, or strange person at work  whose book club reads only Nobel prize winners, how about new Nobelist Alice Munro’s Dear Life, her latest collection of always special short stories which include several that may be almost autobiographical?

*****

For the mediator in Frankfurt, Germany, who believes that a good starting point is to read with mediatees a novel or, gasp! a mystery, that addresses the issues to be mediated, RB recommends Jakob Arjouni’s Brother Kemal, the last in the series with a private eye who is a self-aware German Turk and, though indifferent to politics, is usually in the thick of “hot-button issues” like racism, eco-terrorism, immigration, militant Islam.  Perfect. How better to start a discussion of differences among people who don’t know each other than to argue about a book everyone has read?  RB will have this one and others of the series as they are translated into English.

*****

IMG_9445.jpg

Water moves. Let me count the ways. Think tide, currents, swirling wind, for three.

*****

For that older, much-loved  person who is slowly drawing away from you, Roseledge Books suggests two types of books: paintings which may evoke memories you share or short writings which do not need a reader to remember in order to continue and enjoy.

For a book of paintings (and few words) RB suggests Arnold Skolnick’s and Carl Little’s Paintings of Maine with its pictures that offer generalized memories in vivid color of maybe familiar geography.  For a book of short, discrete pieces by someone generally good-natured and wise, RB suggests E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat (essays about Maine) or Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road (letters about buying books).  For a happy combination of words and pictures, RB suggests  Maira Kalman’s And the Pursuit of Happiness (adventures in learning about democracy in action which are more fun than that sounds).

*****

For the landlocked snowbird who is water-deprived and has learned from summers in Maine to care about how water figures into the workings of the world (yes, it is I), RB notes that Rose George’s Ninety Percent of Everything has arrived just in time.  It is about shipping, and therefore globalization, and opens up the mostly ignored and treacherous world of seafaring, ocean-going, and whatever else one says to discuss waterways as travel routes.  Here in soon-to-be snowy Minnesota, I need a dose of ocean about now, and this book would do it — if  it were in paperback, which it is not.  Aaarghhh.

IMG_0833.jpg

Water is dangerous. No pirates or drug droppers, but hidden rocks.

But it probably will be eventually.  Until then Roseledge Books will have Rose George’s earlier good one, The Big Necessity, which is about poop (she said delicately), is already in paperback, a little about water and authored by someone named Rose — all pluses.  I’ll “test” it, then send it to my brother-in-law who is landlocked in NY and has been cleaning up the water of the Hudson River for years.  Exchanging thusly “used” books is a longstanding family tradition which I love.

More suggestions coming.

MORNING COFFEE 2

October 26th, 2013

Noteworthy newspaper clippings and citings are piling up. I hope your cup of coffee is as ready as mine.

*****

Tweets now have their own “official” footnote citation format, thanks to the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA), two behemoths of citation protocols.  Well, good, except this doesn’t stop them from being altered or disappeared at will which is called  link rot and which Adam Liptak (NYT) notes is a big problem for, among others, the Supreme Court. This shouldn’t be funny, but it is — until the potential damage becomes real.  But good news: used webcite fixes are in the works.

IMG_0833.jpg

If ever tweeterdom were this place, the tweets here born would be the best.

(I read about the tweet footnote format  in the Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/9/2013 and could retrieve for your further checking neither Katie Humhrey’s article nor the webcite she notes, www.tweet2cite.com.  This may be big time irony, but we will never know for sure because I was unwilling to give any more time to the search.  Yes, I am a three-clicker.)

*****

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (Star Tribune 9/17/13), located on a Mississippi River channel in the heart of landlocked flyover-country, is open to the public and collects only art works that have something to do with water (“big enough to float a boat”)  which means  MMAM is practically kin to Roseledge Books.  Okay, older RB may be less a purist and more a “living tree”  in this matter of water link, but we both love Jamie and Andrew Wyeth and have their works — or works about their works — in our respective collections.  And if pressed, RB can usually find a water link — however remote.

(Equally remote is the “living tree” reference above  which thereby allows a link to Linda Greenhouse’s wonderful op-ed piece about Canada’s highest court’s use of a “living tree” approach to the law that made women “persons” and  Canada’s Persons Day holiday an ongoing celebration of that law. I am a Person, hear me roar. )

*****

IMG_4467.jpg

If the roar dims, how about a frolic with susan's golden glory?

*****

Who knew that John Malone and I had so much in common?  We both live in St. George for some of each year and now we both have an Irish castle in the family!  Well, his is actually in Ireland and VERY LARGE;  mine sits on the only knoll in sight in way north North Dakota and is exquisite and clever. But my Irish immigrant (and North Dakota settler) great-grandfather, Maurice Coghlan actually built the Coghlan Castle, which clearly makes it an Irish castle also.  And there was a bankruptcy attached to each castle, which may or may not contribute to their Irishness.  Humewood Castle, newly owned by John Malone, has been preserved and updated.  Coghlan Castle, oldly owned by a nifty farmer who is a great-nephew-in- law of my father’s sister (and my aunt) which, I think, makes him a great-great-great-nephew-in-law of  Maurice Coghlan and surely my cousin of some kind, is newly on the National Register of Historic Places and the star of an exciting   local  preservation effort.  which, were I less awkwardly mobile, I would love to be in the thick of.

Now RB will be ready with Tim Severin’s The Brendan Voyage, just in case neighbor Malone is also interested in the 8th C. derring-do of Saint Brendan sailing to Iceland in a leather boat, as replicated more recently by Tim Severin.  One can  only hope the interest grows to include the speculation and eternal search for documentation that affirms the Irish were on North American soil before that old Viking marauder, Eric the Red.

*****

From the 12th floor window: Fall colors lack luster or maybe the trees are just dry and tired.  No matter, as even the changing ratio of withering greens to bark taupe is fun to watch.  But would it make an interesting sweater?

AH, SWEET MYSTERY

October 15th, 2013

The new seasons of “NCIS” and “Castle” have started and my “redo” knitting is at hand.  The treetops are dabbed with yellow-turning -gold, except for one truly orange and stunning exception.  The reds, probably either newer or shorter maples, are part of the street-level action. It must be fall and  I am back in Minnesota with television and a glorious, sky-filled 12th floor view.

Sneer if you will at my television choices, but “Castle‘s” combination of a writer’s mind coupled with the police’s  legally-acceptable-evidence gathering is the way I wished the world knew things.  If  more people added outside the box options to inside the box rules,  we might have fewer stalemates, misdiagnoses, and boring people — among other things.The world needs people with options which can come from books and the more the better, this bookseller says.

IMG_0860.jpg

Weathered granite or skin of a rhino or sailors who smoke? Options.

In a quote from one of the many recent articles about her, Alice Munro (Dear Life; Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You), Canada’s and the world’s latest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, linked curiosity with happiness.  She’s right, of course, but I think the happiness comes when the curious person sees the unusual, asks why, how or if, and comes up with options.  So it all boils down to options.  The more options, the more hope; the more hope the more happiness and probably a keener sense of humor, too.  Now that’s good living.  But I digress.

I’ve read two of the paperback books about Nikki Heat as “authored” by Richard Castle (Frozen Heat; Naked Heat).  I’m sure I saw the most recent Nikki Heat book (Deadly Heat) on the NYTBR‘s Bestseller List for at least ten minutes, but when I checked again, it was gone. The books are okay, but not nearly as much fun as the show.  Television offers the nuance of many pictures worth 1000 words each, especially with a seasoned acting group used to each other by now.  Fun to speculate about who actually writes the books, though.

Back to “NCIS“. I will miss Ziva David.  She and Daniel Silva’s mysteries (e.g. The Confessor, The Prince of Fire and, because his latest always seems best, The English Girl) are my only continuing connections to Israeli-U.S. continuing entanglements.  As strong women characters go, I like Ziva much better than Lizbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson’s  Millenium Trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Girl Who Played with Fire, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest).

IMG_2547.jpg

Best porch food ever? With opinions, friends and good white wine, surely yes.

But I digress still or again.  I started this post intending to argue for the worth of a murderless mystery book club and I continue to intend to do that, just not here or now.  Instead my redo knitting project calls, as my friend who knits and who puts and re-puts together my best efforts is coming to lunch and I have my redone sweater, shorter by four inches and with re-patterned sleeves to give to her.  This is tricky because she didn’t like all the hanging strands of the sweater’s several colors much to begin with and they are only a few fewer now.  I blame it all on working without a pattern,  using for the first time, all-cotton yarn which I wrongly thought would not “give,” on slippery needles that kept slipping.  And as usual, I included just enough green color to evoke a comment from a green-hater.  Isn’t friendship grand?

MORNING COFFEE

September 26th, 2013

A million days ago, or so it seems, I and my coffee were in Maine on the porch, overlooking  kayakers and dinghy rowers cut the often still water of the morning harbor,  and wondering why lobster boats and sailing boats couldn’t share the moorings I could see.  That was then.

IMG_0541.jpg

The days of before when the mix of boats in the harbor was fairer.

Today from my Minnesota aerie (12th floor window),  I read the paper, enjoy my coffee and the big sky hovering over trees of very slowly turning colors, listen to the city sounds of sirens and traffic, and imagine the humphs and comments of fellow readers (that is you) when an interesting item appears.

**********

I loved Aaron Hirsch’s op ed piece about learning, especially in an online environment, probably because I agree with him AND it gives Roseledge Books the standing it deserves as a field resource for the forever curious who sail in and visit RB each summer to look for books and wi-fi options.

Subject matter in online courses, he notes, is chosen, presented, and evaluated by the teacher.  Students have little say.  Field work, on the other hand, allows students to challenge the teacher’s claims against evidence outside the teacher’s domains of classroom or computer.  So Professor Hirsch argues for “hybrid online-field courses”   in which the teacher chooses the online portion which then prepares the students to challenge the teacher’s claims in a museum, a nature reserve, a city neighborhood or, I would add, a bookstore. And isn’t that a good idea!

You don’t have to be a librarian (or Irish?) to love the idea of challenging ideas based on strong — if hugely varied — evidence, but maybe it helps.  And won’t we all be better off when it happens more often!  Know that Roseledge Books will have Aaron Hirsch’s new book, Telling Our Way to the Sea:  Voyage of Discovery in the Sea`of Cortez, as soon as it is out in paperback.  Until then, if Professor Hirsch and his students are ever sailing nearby, the Roseledge Books welcome mat is ready with lots of lawn chairs and arguable books.

***********

Anytime I see “obsessive quest” I am on it, especially if a book results or if the searcher is branching out into less familiar terrain.  Professor Gregg Hecimovich, whose specialty is Victorian literature, intends to publish “The life and Times of Hannah Crafts,” (a slave’s novel) so both qualifications will be met, and Roseledge Books will have the forthcoming book, as soon as it s available in paperback.

IMG_2457.jpg

Is Sea Street worthy because it leads somewhere or just because it is?

The only other “obsessive quest” book that comes to mind is Roger Mitchell’s Clear Pond:A Reconstruction of a Life. A snotty NYT Book Review thought his effort unworthy, as I recall, because the subject was a man whose name was in or on so few records.  Well humph,  I say.  I immediately bought the book in hard copy and loved poet Mitchell’s five-year search for whatever he could find about Israel Johnson.  If ever the book is issued in paperback, RB will have it in a heartbeat.

***********

Oh no!  It’s the messy desk vs. the tidy desk question AGAIN.  I once used Harold Geneen’s point that a big glass-topped desk with one piece of paper on it indicated a person capable of only one thought at a time. (I think he was CEO of ITT then.)  I used his perspective many times when program accrediters, especially nursing accrediters, came to my University office and frowned at my idea-filled desktop of assorted piles.  This new research, which apparently surprised the researchers,  refers more politely to the tidy desk keeper as “conscientious”, “organized”, “disciplined”, but I remain messy, unrepentent. and in their words, creative.  I can only hope.

Time to get on with the day (83 degrees, very windy).  Now if I could just find on my desk where I put Martin Walker’s Bruno: Chief of Police, a new mystery which might be my Roseledge Books series find for next summer.

THE EXCELLENCE OF TODAY

August 23rd, 2013

The heron waded at the edge of sand and water for more than twenty minutes, than delicately stepped in between the pilings of Dave’s wharf and disappeared from sight.  (The webcam might have captured the scene about 8 a.m. EDT.)  The bald eagle soared, chased by the squawking gull whose lobster-boat droppings were in the eagle’s talons, surely a quintessential Americanism.  The plumped robin perched atop the blueberry bush (immediately outside the webcam window) and snacked on all the blueberries within reach.  Thus it is that the robin is heart-healthy and an occasional webcam star.  Sunny, dry, a bit of a breeze and a hint of fall all conspired to make the cup of coffee taste even better.

IMG_0541.jpg

Lobster boats, sail boats, and Roseledge Books as harbor backdrop. Perfect.

Scott brought the latest box of new books from the post office (RB is too close for home delivery).  It held two recommended, lesser-known mystery series for Roseledge Books to start carrying.  You may recall my marketing ploy of getting you hooked on a mystery series not often carried by other bookstores, thus luring you to return each summer for the series’ latest installment.  Mixed results so far.  Two Roseledge Books Regulars couldn’t wait and read the whole series in the winter.  One other admitted to reading the latest installment in hard cover, instead of waiting for the paperback which is all RB carries.  My find for this summer was Elly Griffiths’ series set on the marshy coast (the fen country?) of England and featuring forensic archaeologist and academic, Ruth Galloway. These latest possibilities look equally promising for next year.

The first possibility is Julia Keller’s A Killing in the Hills, a murder mystery set in West Virginia (from which she comes) and recommended by Anna Quindlan as one among several good books she’s reading which were written by women journalists.  I also like that she writes about a place she knows well because I often read books for their sense of place.  The second possibility is Australian Peter Temple’s Bad Debts, which introduces Jack Irish, “a some-time lawyer, a part-time debt collector, and occasional private eye” ( also interested in turf, football, and cabinet making, says a readerly friend who recommended him).  I haven’t found an Australian detective as memorable as Arthur Upfield’s Bony (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series) whom I last read a very long time ago, so I am hopeful.  Then last night what did I hear on NPR’s Fresh Air but critic John Powers describing and liking Jack Irish (” he’s smart, funny”), so I am encouraged.  I’ll keep you posted.

A bookseller’s task is never done.  And isn’t that a good thing.

IMG_9547.jpg

The last minutes of sunlight and the boats seem to gleam. The day is done.

The summer is winding down.  Fewer boats sailing in, fewer Sea Street walkers, runners, struggling bicyclists or parents carrying wiped-out kids on shoulders, more leaves falling, but that may be due to poplar and/or maple blight caused by our soggy, foggy summer.  The sun-glo (sweet, orange) grape tomatoes are ripening at a perfect pace for one appreciator.  Scott just called.  He is on his way down (from Wiley’s Corner) because he needs one-dollar-bills for his garage sale tomorrow.  This may be my only sale of the day.

Time to settle in with a 20th anniversary edition of Peter Lovesey’s The Last Detective. the First Inspector Peter Diamond Book.  I had forgotten how much I liked him.  The Jane Austen in Bath tirade alone is worth the price of  the book.  The last of my blueberries and wonderful homemade ice cream (a gift; thank you, thank you) are a perfect treat and if hunger for goodies persists, I have at hand a bag of frozen gummi bears.  Charlie likens these to frozen lumps of rubber, but what does he know?  If they tasted better, I would be tempted to eat more.

As good as these treats are, all would be better if you were here.

NEVER TOO MANY BOOKS

August 22nd, 2013

You have a lot of books, some of which you haven’t read and may never read, but you want to buy more.  Oh boy!  Roseledge Books wants YOU.

Your books are starting to take over your living space, a neighbor whispered, “Hoarder,”  and you just spotted Edmund deWaal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes, the perfect book to read before your business trip to Vienna next month.  Good news!  Roseledge Books has The Hare with Amber Eyes just waiting for you.

So many books; so little time (and space); what to do?

IMG_0956.jpg

Like books, lobster buoys need organizing, too. See a pattern here?

For starters, stop fretting and start arranging.  A few tips from those who know:

Lee Child (think Jack Reacher) needs no order to his 3500 books, as he has a photographic memory and can always find what he needs.  And his book cupboards have hideaway doors.

But some of the rest of us do not have photographic memories and live lives with uncloseted books in the open for all the world to see.  In The Writer’s Desk, Jill Krementz photographed writers work spaces and noted in words and pictures that one thing they all had in common was overloaded open book shelves.  This in-your-face arrangement just begs for a magnifying glass to see what titles looked most handy and used.  (Nicholson Baker (writing in The New Yorker maybe 20 years ago) used this technique to identify titles of books used in a variety of advertising layouts, e.g. on a bedside table or on a hassock or the living room floor.  I can’t remember why he did it, but I liked the idea. )

My thesis advisor (at the top of her game) was sent copies of books in her field (it was a few years ago), many of which she had already read in pre-publication format, so she just added them to the end of the last shelf she was filling and thereby indirectly had a scanable array of current thinking in the field.

IMG_9524.jpg

The pile is smaller but more diverse. Multi-media alert?

A bookstore I recall (but not by name) arranged all books, and later videos, by place, so people who were  preparing to travel or just geographically curious could choose novels, biographies, memoirs, mysteries, or histories by setting.  I loved browsing through their catalog.

In Ex Libris, Anne Fadiman includes a charming essay on the merger, and then arrangement, of collections when she and her husband first decided to live together.

When social and political activist Meridel LeSueur died, her friends worked to save her library and tried to arrange the books as she had arranged them.  What a great way to profile an active mind, especially if the order changed over time!

So if you are convinced arrangement matters and might be fun to try, Roseledge Books suggests the following:

Put your books in piles and start choosing which to box and which to shelve.  Don’t discard any yet. Set aside those you linger over longest.  Put these on a nearby shelf so you can amend the “collection” as time goes by and new books enter..

You are well on your way to building an ideal bookshelf,  in the style of the 150 noteworthy people who did so in My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly LaForce and Jane Mount. Your shelf of books becomes a kind of statement of who you are or are becoming and, to a limited extent, how you got that way.  I think a listing of these books (pictures, recordings, etc.) with comments if you choose, would make a great obituary.

At least think about it.

IMG_1787.jpg

Shades of one color plus handsome contrast suggests a subtle shelf life.

ROSELEDGE BOOKS IN ACTION

August 19th, 2013

Wow!  How good can good be?  Take a look below and know that with people reading, then knowing about all of this, the world stands a chance.  These are some of the books readers chose the past several days:

Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
City of Dreams by William Martin
Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Day of the Barbarians by Alessandro Barbaro
Farm Work: Jamie Wyeth Exhibition Catalog
Genesis Code by John Case

Why does someone choose this book, but not that one?  Ah, the mystery and the fun.  And if Roseledge Books rarely has a specific book someone is looking for, few who stop leave without finding at least one treasure.


Guns, Germs and Steel
by Jared Diamond
Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund deWaal
Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

IMG_1797.jpg

Hard to tell from the titles how many books are about coastal lore.

Lincoln Letter by William Martin
Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
Maine’s Favorite Birds by Jeffrey Wells, Alison Childs
Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

Six titles have a direct tie to Maine, maybe a seventh (M. is reading it now to find out), and I think an eighth ties to Tenants Harbor through a summer person.  Please recall that any book is right for RB shelves if it has a tie to TH (or Maine).  The old rule of thumb argued for up to six degrees of separation to find the tie, but, as I recall,  a more recent figure argues for 4.17 steps to shelfdom because everyone and everything is more connected now.


Old Books Rare Friends
by Madeline Stern and Leona Rostenberg
Otherwise by Farley Mowat
Places in Between by Rory Stewart
Q’s Legacy by Helene Hanff
Rag and Bone by Peter Manseau
Thread Across the Ocean by John Steele Gordon `
Trinity Six by Charles Cumming
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Water: A Natural History by Alice Outwater

IMG_4316.jpg

Obscure patterns lurk within rock and among Roseledge Books and readers.

If people typically look at ten books for each one they choose (a very old University of Chicago study), just think of all the fun you are missing by not being here to browse through Roseledge Books’ unusual gatherings of books and people.

There is still time.

GLORY(?) DAYS OF SUMMER

August 9th, 2013

It is August 3 or 4 or 5 and the heater kicked on. AARGH!  But, as always in Maine, wait fifteen minutes or, in this case two hours, and folks walking by have shed their hoodies.

If you are a webcammer, you may have noticed the Tonka Toy-like equipment with the big claw hovering by the side of the road and trucks unloading handsome granite from (local) Long Cove quarry. Roseledge Books is getting a terrific new stone wall.  The wall builders are putting together a jigsaw puzzle of stone amid Sea Street passers-by, all of whom have an opinion.  “It perks your place right up,”  a Barter’s Point neighbor stopped by to say.  This sounds like my late neighbor Harry’s comment, “It’s about time” when I finally painted Roseledge.

IMG_2484.jpg

The undone stone wall turns the corner and continues this long time gem.

The high bush blueberries right outside the front window are bluing, but the Produce Lady has had the native blueberries (low bush, small and perfect) for several weeks.  Yum.  The rose hips are turning red-orange faster than seems normal.  T he little orange tomatoes are still just flowers on the tall, but skinny, tomato plants.  And the herbs are losing the too-wet fight.

I wish the harbor were busier with moorings, but my judgement is clouded by the lobster boats that routinely tie up at Cod End moorings (in front of the webcam) where sailboats used to dwell.  The sailboats may be tied up at the Tenants Harbor Boat Yard moorings (behind the trees to the left of the webcam view); if so I expect these sailors to walk by soon.

Two new books of note:

Maine’s Beautiful Birds with knowing notes by Jeffrey Welles and Alison Childs and art-worthy painting by Evan Barbour. This is a slim volume, long awaited by local or visiting birders who are tired of hauling heavy, all-inclusive bird guides, e.g. Sibley, Peterson, and at $15.00, it is also a great thank-you gift for a great Maine experience.

Coaster Days by Roy Meservey. As you row, paddle, sail, motor or otherwise enter the harbor, look around at the lobster wharves, the East Wind Inn, and a whole lot of cottages/homes and see instead  the boat-building era of Tenants Harbor, e.g. sail lofts, railway, launch site, and graveyard, as recalled by Roy Meservey (who also built and lived in Roseledge) and which still exists in the Tenants Harbor Boat Yard.   Great photos, too.  Full disclosure: (Mostly) Charlie, Pam, Scott and (somewhat) I had a good time digitally transcribing the 1976 original.  We left the typos and added one of our own.  Can you find it?

IMG_9497.jpg

Roy doesn't mention tides, but the resulting mudflats are noteworthy.

It is raining,… again.  This would make it a great day to curl up with a RB book, if readers knew two days ago that two inside days were coming.  (I am reading my third Ruth Galloway mystery.) Wimpy sales suggest that experienced summer people knew to be outdoors from dawn to dusk enjoying the two, rare, sunny, dry days.  I am counting on severe cabin-fever to set in about 4 p.m. this afternoon and am ready for the dripping wet-weather gear that will be part of any visit.

The weather gods assure me, I am sure, that Saturday travelers — especially from points south — can expect the real glory days of summer from Sunday on.  See you all soon.

… AND THE LIVING IS EASY

July 29th, 2013

This was the week when special people bought Roseledge Books’ special finds, so RB has the first bestsellers (3 copies sold) of the summer:

Farm Work, a catalog of Jamie Wyeth’s art includes an interview rewritten as if Jamie Wyeth were talking directly to the reader.  It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to an anecdotal biography, much like Richard Meryman’s Andrew Wyeth.

Ray Bradbury’s Green Shadows, White Whale: A Novel of Ray Bradbury’s Adventures Making Moby Dick with John Huston in Ireland has it all for with-it sailors who love movies, Ireland, books and beer and who could never manage to get through the original Moby Dick between fogs.

IMG_1761.jpg

What makes Maine a best seller? Boats and the sea and a memory. Sigh.

One shrewd browser found Lost Bar Harbor by G.W. Helfrich and Gladys O’Neill and knew its pictures would be useful for a biography he was writing about someone not usually linked to Bar Harbor

Two shrewd browsers bought James McCracken’s Innocents at Sea and Charles and Carol McLane’s Muscongus Bay and Monhegan Island as gifts for people who knew the authors or who live in a place included in the book.

IMG_2458.jpg

Do you like rock walls? Roseledge Books may have another when you get here.

I’m still looking for new mystery series to ensnare the unwary into coming back year after year to get the latest paperback.  Three earlier finds — Julia Spencer-Fleming, Harry Dolan, and Bruce DaSilva — do not have new paperback editions out this summer, so I’m looking still or again.  Elly Griffiths is a possible, and I’m reading Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, which I like but know is not for everyone.  A clue: Claire DeWitt is likened to Lisbeth Salander. Suggestions and readers needed.

Business is mostly slow.  More boats in the harbor these days, but still not many compared to summers past.  And the weather!  Take your pick: foggy and soggy or way too hot.  The knees like neither.

Can you see the ripening blueberries on the webcam?  And did you see the eight male goldfinches frolicking in the easily-moved leaves of the rogue poplar?  We checked this morning and Charlie’s forercast beneath the webcam is substantially more cheerful than weather.com, and so far he’s right, although the clouds are thickening.

It’s nearly August.  Hurry up.

SUMMER JOYS

July 19th, 2013

A blue heron stood between the wharf and the wrecks at mid-tide in front of Roseledge.  It was visible through the webcam if you looked at the right time.

The little kids sailed this way and that in the St. George Sailing School daysailers.

Two light blue sailboats were moored in the harbor at the same time, though one of them might have been gray and, like the water, changed color when the clouds hovered.

IMG_2509.jpg

Things beautiful and wonderful grace Tenants Harbor in summertime.

Elly Griffiths, a new-to-me writer, sets her mysteries in a to-die-for place on the salt-marshed coast of Norfolk  and peoples them with appealing characters and plots. I’ve read and liked a lot two so far: Crossing Places and The Janus Stone. A RB Regular pointed out that Dorothy Sayers’ set her wonderful The Nine Tailors in the same memorable fen country.

Two neckless hawks with serrated wing edges flew over the porch this morning as we enjoyed a cup of coffee before nine a.m., after which the sun was too high and hot to be outdoors

Native blueberries are in. Yes, the perfect little wild blueberries that are so good and so good for you.  But don’t hurry to the Harborside Market;  we got the last two quarts on this first day the Produce Lady had them.  Summer joy alert.

IMG_0546.jpg

Join the sailors' excitement at sighting Roseledge Books. Good reads await.

I’m still trying to learn more about the Middle East from those who have spent time there and traveled.  I loved Rory Stewart’s Places in Between which tells of his walk across Afghanistan in winter.  I’ve listened to the news differently ever since.  And I loved William Dalrymple’s mid-’90′s book, From the Holy Mountain, in which he walked the eastern Mediterranean coast to update a 598 A.D. survey of  monasteries  from Mt. Athos in Greece to Coptic Egypt.  It was timely and hugely informative, especially his conclusion that he was unexpectedly witnessing the twilight of Eastern Christianity.   So I thought I would love William Dalrymple’s mid-’80′s book, In Xanadu in which he shadows  Marco Polo on his 13th C. travels from Jerusalem to Xanadu in China. I am reading it and learning a lot which I like,  but it’s hard to read about his Syria of then and not think about the past two years of bloodshed and destruction in the Syria of now.

Maybe it’s time to shift to Farley Mowat’s Otherwise, a memoir of his early years that “shaped his life as a writer and activist” and, I hope, as a sailor and person with a sense of humor.  RB copies should be at the post office tomorrow.

Cooling off tomorrow night and, apparently, forever thereafter.  See you soon.