Books to Entertain
Bald Eagles, Bear Cubs and Hermit Bill: Memories of a Maine Wildlife Biologist
by Ron Joseph
Islandport Press, 2023
215 pp. $18.95
If you are a regular MBH&H reader, you will have read Joseph’s essays about his career and life on the family farm. This lovely book includes several of those stories, as well as more of Joseph’s witty reflections on working and living in rural Maine. He’s a gifted and compassionate storyteller. Run, don’t walk, to buy this book!
The Maine Lobster Boat, History of an Iconic Fishing Vessel
by Daniel Sheldon Lee
Down East Books, 2022
459 pp. $35
This book should be required reading for anyone interested in Maine-built boats. Lee has done an incredible amount of research, including interviews with living legends such as Doug Dodge, various members of the Beal, Rich, and Lowell families, and Glenn Holland, among many others. The result is entertaining, including anecdotes such as the time Dodge drove his motorcycle over the Jonesport Bridge at over 100 MPH with a young relative hanging on for dear life, and incredibly informative, showcasing some of Maine’s truest characters and innovators, and going into great detail about different builders and their designs and building techniques.
Moondoggle: Franklin Roosevelt and the Fight for Tidal Electric Power at Passamaquoddy Bay
by Mark C. Borton
Down East Books, 2023
644 pp. $45
Harnessing ocean tides and wind has been the focus of a lot of attention recently. It’s not a new idea. Back in the 1930s, the U.S. government invested millions of dollars in tidal power downeast before the program was cut. Borton examines what happened and why.
Ocean Bestiary, Meeting Marine Life from Abalone to Orca to Zooplankton
by Richard J. King
University of Chicago Press, 2023
308 pp. $22.50
Inspired by the marine bestiary on a piece of scrimshaw at Mystic Seaport, King weaves stories about people and life at sea with biology and history, organized by species in alphabetical order. He’s a smooth and entertaining writer (the chapter on sea urchins begins with an imaginary conversation with one of the spiny beings) and his whimsical illustrations are lovely.