Standards are important when writing something for public consumption. If the material is based on an actual event (rather than an opinion piece or commentary), the writer carries the burden of getting it right, a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. We all make mistakes, and though it’s not my role in life to criticize others, books are important to me, and when I see slipshod work passed off as factual, it’s very irritating. It diminishes the efforts of regional writers when poorly researched and error-filled regional books are offered to the public. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Books’
With so many successful self-published books in the Adirondack region, it was disturbing to hear the recent news so close to home that police in Hinesburg, Vermont (south of Burlington), discovered what they have termed a Ponzi-style publishing scheme. The case first came to light in June 2011 when it was reported that Peter Campbell-Copp, former president of the Manchester Historical Society, had allegedly defrauded individuals and businesses to the tune of $170,000.
According to media reports, Campbell-Copp contracted to handle the editing, printing, and marketing of clients’ books as a publisher. Apparently, some of the printing was done by at least two firms, and Campbell-Copp was known to have served at least fifteen authors. Except that the allegations are he served them nothing but bitterness.
According to police, taking the biggest hit of all was Print Tech, a Burlington company for more than three decades. Around January 2010, they began producing print jobs for Campbell-Copp, receiving several scheduled payments. The work continued, but the payments stopped, and the work eventually stopped as well, by which time the company was owed about $100,000. » Continue Reading.
Whether measured as 9,375 square miles or as 6.1 million acres, we can vouch for the fact that the Adirondack Park is huge. We covered most of the main roads in the park, visited nearly 120 bars and clocked over 5,600 miles since we began our project in January, 2011, to find the best 46 “High Peak” bars in the Adirondack Park. The farthest distance traveled one way was 110 miles to Cranberry Lake. Many others were very close to that distance in any direction. Pam, a self-proclaimed excellent driver, logged most of those miles while Kim served as navigator, photographer and chief note taker. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Adirondack Park and the Lake George, Lake Champlain & Mohawk Valley Regions (Blackdome Press, 2009) is by Albany writers Barbara Delaney and Russell Dunn, licensed guides and authors of books on the great outdoors of eastern New York and western New England. Trails with Tales is an effort to connect hikers with the history around them. The guide includes detailed directions, maps, photographs, and vintage postcards.
The book guides readers through sites made famous by Adirondack guides, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, colonial settlers, and combatants in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. Abandoned iron mines and the ruins of tanneries, famous Adirondack great camps and old resorts, lost villages, Native American battlegrounds, and the homestead of John Brown, catalyst for the Civil War are covered, as are the scene of America’s first naval battle and marvel at geological wonders like Indian Pass, Canajoharie Gorge, Chimney Mountain, and the tufa caves of Van Hornesville. » Continue Reading.
A recent “discovery” brought me great pleasure: a beautifully written book about a very popular Adirondack subject. The book was written more than a century ago (thus the quotation marks), and many are familiar with it. It was a discovery for me because I had never read it and had never seen it among the genres of history or medicine on area bookshelves. In fact, I only came across it as part of a new venture here at Bloated Toe Publishing.
We recently began producing our “Preserving History” collection―physical reprints of outstanding books that are part of the public domain (not copyright protected). As part of the process, I’m required to read through each one. That’s what led me to An Autobiography: Edward Livingston Trudeau.
An excellent perk of producing this collection is being “forced” to read great books that I otherwise might not find time to enjoy. It adds to all the busyness, but what a payoff! Trudeau’s own story is a gem. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack region has long been a favorite of skiers, as its mountains and snow cover provided a perfect landscape for downhill ski areas to develop during the Great Depression, when New Yorkers looked for an affordable escape to beat the winter blues. Over the decades, ski areas expanded with new lifts, lodges and trails. Despite the popularity of the sport, many ski areas have disappeared, yet countless people still hold fond memories of them.
Ski historian Jeremy Davis, the founder of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project (NELSAP), has released a new book on the subject. Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks (History Press, 2012). A lost ski area is “a ski area that once offered lift-served, organized skiing, but is now abandoned and closed for good. For NELSAP’s purposes it had to have a lift – it could be a simple rope tow or multiple chairlifts, but it had to have a lift. The size of the area or number of lifts isn’t important,” Davis told Adirondack Almanack contributor Jeff Farbaniec in an interview last year. » Continue Reading.
A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain: Exploring the New York, Vermont, and Quebec Shores (Blackdome Press, 2009) is an authoritative effort by Catherine Frank and Margaret Holden. The guide includes detailed directions, information on launch sites, 54 maps, GPS coordinates, 93 photographs, safety and comfort tips, a wealth of historical and geological information, and directories of paddling outfitters, organizations and clubs.
50 different watery paths of adventure divided into eight sections covering the Champlain Islands, the Inland Sea, Missisquoi Bay, Broad Lake North, Malletts Bay, Broad Lake East, Broad Lake West, and South Bay, provide an intimate, cove by cove, island by island exploration of America’s other great lake, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s epochal journey of discovery in 1609. » Continue Reading.
A new edition of the trail and camp food classic The Hungry Hiker’s Book of Good Cooking by Gretchen McHugh has been published by McHugh’s husband John Sullivan of Chestertown. Hungry Hiker was first published in 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, who assigned Judith Jones its editor (Jones was also editor for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and before that The Diary of Anne Frank). The book was in Knopf’s catalog for 25 years. It sold 50,000 copies in 13 printings, inspired multitudes of back-country meals, and many imitators.
“When Knopf dropped the book in 2007, we started making plans to revise and republish it,” John Sullivan told me recently (he’s a neighbor, across the valley on Kipp Mountain). “We were barely under way when Gretchen was diagnosed with Frontal-Temporal Dementia.” She moved to a nursing home last spring and John decided to go ahead with the new edition in time for its 30th anniversary. A new generation of readers, now schooled in the kind of 1970s self-sufficiency that served as background to this classic when it was published, will be glad he did. » Continue Reading.
In the Adirondacks we have guides for everything: where to hike with your dog, or your kids, guides for climbing, kayaking, and geology. From slide skiing and scat, to bouldering and birding, you can find a guide perfect for your individual Adirondack experience. Russell Dunn’s Adirondack Waterfall Guide (Black Done Press, 2003) is a great gift for everyone with an interest in the Adirondacks, no matter what their inclinations, from sporting to sightseeing.
From roadside views to wilderness treks and canoe paddles, author Dunn has selected waterfall adventures for every ability based on twenty years of exploration. Covering many of the significant waterfalls in the eastern half of the Park, the guide is organized along major travel routes and includes easy-to-follow directions and 50 maps. Vintage postcards and line art accompany the text which includes notes on accessibility, difficultly, and history. » Continue Reading.
The anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh passed recently (it was fought September 11, 1814), and this week, the anniversary of another famous American battle is noted: the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Within the military, both battles are held in the highest regard as critical moments in American history, and oddly enough, the two have an unusual link of sorts.
I discovered this several years ago while working on one of my earlier publications, The Battle of Plattsburgh Question & Answer Book. It’s not earth-shattering stuff, but instead more of an “I’ll be darned!” moment that happened during research.
The book’s unusual format led me to several similar discoveries. I wanted to cover the entire story of Plattsburgh’s famous battle, but in a way that might be enjoyed by children as well as adults. When my children were young, I often made a game of things to keep their minds active and teach them when they didn’t realize they were being taught. » Continue Reading.
The latest addition to the genre is one I never would have foreseen: a guidebook to the culverts under the Northway.
The author, Tom DuBois, is a veteran bushwhacker who likes to scout out remote cliffs for rock climbing. Life Under the Fast Lane grew out of his efforts to find crags in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, Hoffman Notch Wilderness, and other state lands on the west side of the Northway (I-87).
The book gives detailed directions to eleven “walking culverts” between Exit 28 and Exit 31 that can be used to reach public lands that otherwise would be inaccessible. As the name suggests, all of these culverts are large enough to walk through (and sometimes drive through). You may need to ford a river or bushwhack to get to a culvert, and once on the other side, you’ll need to bushwhack if you plan to hike any distance. » Continue Reading.
The Chronicle Book Fair was held last Sunday at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls. Kudos to the Chronicle for once again hosting one of the region’s premier book events. It was educational, entertaining, and even lucrative for some.
Most important, it offered support to new authors who are seeking exposure and opinions on their work. This marked the event’s seventeenth year, but as indicated in an informational email from the folks at the Chronicle, it almost didn’t happen. Thankfully, this was because they are overwhelmed with work, and not because e-books have taken over the world.
Printed books, in fact, are faring quite well despite dire predictions across the Internet. After reading the latest statistics, a number of online writers have been quick to pronounce the death of printed books (what some are now referring to as “p-books”). Yes, e-book sales are said to have eclipsed hard-cover sales for the first time, but it’s also important that printed books still encompass about 65 percent of the book market. That’s critical information for local writers. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Lost Pond Press have released Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, a full-color guidebook that offers recommendations for canoeing and kayaking trips throughout the Adirondack Park.
Written by Phil Brown, Adirondack Almanack contributor and editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, the guidebook gives detailed descriptions of more than 60 trips on the region’s lakes, ponds and rivers. It also includes GPS coordinates for put-ins and takeouts, driving directions, color maps and more than 150 color photos of landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers. » Continue Reading.
Blending meteorological history with the history of scientific cartography, Lake Effect: Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows by Mark Monmonier (Syracuse University Press, 2012) charts the phenomenon of lake-effect snow and explores the societal impacts of extreme weather. Along the way, he introduces readers to natural philosophers who gradually identified this distinctive weather pattern, to tales of communities adapting to notoriously disruptive storms, and to some of the snowiest regions of the country.
Characterized by intense snowfalls lasting from a couple of minutes to several days, lake-effect snow is deposited by narrow bands of clouds formed when cold, dry arctic air passes over a large, relatively warm inland lake. With perhaps only half the water content of regular snow, lake snow is typically light, fluffy, and relatively easy to shovel. Intriguing stories of lake effect’s quirky behavior and diverse impacts include widespread ignorance of the phenomenon in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since then a network of systematic observers have collected several decades of data worth mapping, and reliable short term predictions based on satellites, Doppler radar, and computer models are now available. » Continue Reading.
Figure skating has always had an important home in Lake Placid. Early on, the Sno Birds popularized this summer retreat, and Melville and Godfrey Dewey help win the campaign for the 1932 Winter Olympics. The Skating Club of Lake Placid was formed, and after 1932, famous skaters trained there with legendary coach Gus Lussi.
When Lake Placid again hosted the Olympics in 1980, skating dominated, with state-of-the-art facilities that have continued to be used by stars like Dorothy Hamill and Sarah Hughes, and helped give rise to Scott Hamilton’s Stars on Ice. For more than one hundred years, the Lake Placid community has worked together to support figure skating and skaters in this quiet Adirondack village. Local winter sports writer Christie Sausa tells this history in Lake Placid Figure Skating: A History (History Press, 2012). » Continue Reading.