Archive for the ‘New England’ Category

Where You’ll Find Me: Risk, Decisions, and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova, by Ty Gagne

June 18, 2021

[Lesley]

I attended our library program by Ty Gagne talking about his most recent book: The Last Traverse: Tragedy and Resilience in the Winter Whites,” and, wow. Gagne is an excellent speaker who brings you right inside the real stories he writes about. If you live in New Hampshire and/or if you are a hiker, then the phrase “Winter Whites” gives you a shiver of fear or a real sense of danger.

I’ve been meaning to read Gagne’s first book about a hiker’s deadly experience hiking the Northern Presidential Range in the winter so I picked it up right after the program. A tragedy like this is compelling for the archetypal human vs. nature struggle but Gagne adds the element of risk assessment and decision-making under extreme conditions. Fascinating.

I’m looking forward to reading The Last Traverse. From the library program, I know that the Mountain Rescue Service and other brave men and women play an even larger role in this book and I want to know more.

In our catalog:
Where You’ll Find Me
The Last Traverse

Other books you might like:
Not Without Peril
Critical Hours

Afterlife, by Julia Alvarez

September 2, 2020

[Lesley]

Lovely writing – as I would expect from Julia Alvarez. A lyrical story of grief, immigration, small town life, new ideas about family, hope, and love.
Find this book in our catalog

Little Comfort, by Edwin Hill

January 31, 2019

[Lesley] As a first book by this author there was some unevenness in writing, but I really enjoyed it. Hester is a great character – a mix of warmth, chaos, curiosity (not always a good thing), and toughness. Of course I couldn’t help but like the setting – Boston and NH. I’m not usually a mystery reader, but liked the pacing here and some of the unconventional clues and the strangeness of those who-done-it. I will definitely read #2.

Audiobook of Little Comfort available on Hoopla.

A few other books set in NH or NE to try:
Fiction:
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
The Arsonist by Sue Miller
Nonfiction:
The Penny Poet of Portsmouth by Katie Towler
Red House by Sarah Messer
Dogtown by Elyssa East

title

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

September 27, 2018

[Sara]

The audiobook of Soul of an Octopus was wonderful– I am often wary of books narrated by the author, but maybe unnecessarily so. Since Sy Montgomery narrated, she was really able to bring out the thrills and emotions that she really experienced throughout this span of time with the octopuses. (Yes, even though I knew “octopuses” is the plural, I found out from this book that a word like this with a Greek root cannot have a Latin plural– thanks Sy.)

I find both animal consciousness and octopuses so fascinating– this was the perfect book to gain insight and vicarious experience with the animals. Much of it was set in the familiar locale of the New England Aquarium as well, so it felt very real. The reader gets to know individual octopuses intimately through Montgomery’s own experience, and the book left me inspired to read more about animals’ psyches.

I rarely get so into nonfiction– this was definitely a winner. Great narrative style and a New Hampshire author to boot. I’m interested in reading more books by this author, such as Birdology and The Good Good Pig, and as a children’s librarian and mom I’m thrilled that she writes for all ages!

This book is available free to library members on both Hoopla and Overdrive, as well as at Wiggin.

Other Books by Sy Montgomery:
For Children
For Teens

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

August 2, 2018

20971472[Sara]

I have thoroughly enjoyed several Alice Hoffman books for adults so I figured I’d give this one a try. I liked it a lot! Even though it is not as complex a story as her longer, more epic works, it is a beautiful story of family, understanding, and belonging. It contains just a hint of magic, enough to please those fans of her more witchy books, but leans more on the realistic elements. This makes it not only accessible to readers of different ages, but those of us who are not usually inclined to read fantasy or magical realism. Don’t judge this book by its cover 😉

Check for availability in Wiggin catalog

Check for availability in OverDrive

Wolves of the Calla, by Stephen King

October 26, 2017

528084[Sara] The audiobook of Wolves of the Calla was wonderful– I’m a little late in reading the Dark Tower series but am catching up bit by bit. This, the fifth book in the series, brings in more examples of self-awareness in the Stephen King universe and the connections and redundancies between different versions of reality. I highly recommend this series for those of his fans who haven’t yet read it. It looks daunting size-wise, but moves along at a perfect pace. Plus, I get the rare feeling of excitement at the end of each book knowing both that the story continues and that the next audiobook in the series is already published!

The narrator of this book, George Guidall, does a fantastic performance, but it took a few chapters to become accustomed to him after listening to the late Frank Muller narrate the first four books. Looking forward to listening to Guidall narrate book 6!

Find the Dark Tower series at Wiggin:
Audiobook in Catalog
Books in Catalog (Print Version)
Digital Copies on Overdrive

Gwendy’s Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

September 8, 2017

[Sara]

Click here to place a hold on this book at Wiggin
Click here to check out the digital audiobook

gwendyThere are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Quite the opening line.

This outlook at Castle View is the place where Gwendy’s life will change, a presumptive side effect of a meeting between a child and a haunting stranger.

This novella relates well to the reader in this tumultuous world we live in, as the character struggles with the control she has over the delicate balance of good and evil. The master storyteller does it again, with this page turner that will creep you out as well as make you examine your own evil side (you know it’s there. . . )

The Red House, by Sarah Messer

February 18, 2015

[Lesley] The subtitle for this book is: being a mostly accurate account of New England’s oldest continuously lived-in house. It’s another quirky, interesting book/memoir. If I was making a mini-collection of these, this one would go with Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Dogtown. This is the kind of book that I love discovering in the library stacks and why I would never want to be without the eclectic selection at the library (vs. the mainstream/most popular selection at chain bookstores).

Sarah Messer’s family buys the Red House of the title – the first owners not of the original family line. In her quasi-memoir we get the history of the house and some of the people who lived there – in typical fashion, pieced together from stories, rumors, letters, wallpaper, how the house was built/added to, etc. – and the history of two families, one of which Messer is growing up in.

The “characters” are what you would expect of old New Englanders and I loved getting to know each of them. Some of the stories are haunting (like the one about the mother and child and a fire), and some are funny. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.

Dogtown, by Elyssa East

January 19, 2014

[Lesley]  I have seen this book going in and out at the library for years and every time I think – “that looks interesting… I should read that.” Well, I finally checked it out and I was right! This is an intriguing book looking at one small area of Cape Ann from historic, artistic, spiritual, true crime, and anthropologic perspectives. The entire book is framed by the author’s own interest in this area, sparked by her admiration for and connection to the paintings of Hartley Marsden that center on the rock formations in Cape Ann’s dogtown. As she searches for an epiphany in her own life she discovers the fascinating history of Dogtown and other “towns” like it as well as more recent events (murder, conservation efforts, and invasive species – plants and people) that become more “proof” of what people already feel and think about the transcendent and dark qualities of this mostly unclaimed piece of earth. A great read – I’m sorry I waited so long to discover it!

Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town