Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Sunday, October 4, 2015

12 Short Hikes Near Keene Valley

Keene Valley coverKeene Valley was, the first time I saw it, jaw-droppingly astounding. All those peaks and ridges, jagged, monumental, stretching high into the sky, more and more dramatic as we drove up from the south.

It was a beautiful day, many years ago, and a friend and I had a vague idea about scaling a mountain or two. Maybe we’d go over The Brothers to Big Slide and down.

Well, we hiked and climbed a long way, but we were greenhorns, rather unprepared, and we never made it all the way around. One of us injured a leg; the other had an unfortunate encounter with a toxic plant. We had to turn around and go back the way we came. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Banned Books Week: An American Tragedy

An_American_Tragedy_Theodore_Dreiser_dust_jacketEvery year I am saddened by how many books still remain challenged or banned from schools and libraries. According to the American Library Association more than 11,300 books have been challenged since the inception of Banned Book Week in 1982.

Even a book that takes place in the Adirondacks came under scrutiny. Theodore Dreiser wrote his 1925 classic An American Tragedy based on the 1906 murder case of Chester Gillette. Gillette brought his pregnant girlfriend Grace Brown to Big Moose Lake where she drowned. Gillette was later tried and convicted for her murder. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Philosophers’ Camp Talk In Saratoga Springs

The Story of the Philosophers CampIn 1858 some of the leading lights of American art, literature, and science camped together on Follensby Pond near Tupper Lake at what is now known as the Philosophers’ Camp.

The gathering was organized by Willam James Stillman, artist and editor of acclaimed art magazine of the time, The Crayon. It included transcendental philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet James Russel Lowell, Harvard scientist Jean Louis Agassiz, and others.

The meeting at Follensby was widely covered in the popular press of the time and fueled an interest in the Adirondacks and retreating into the wilderness to write, make art and discuss the issues of the day. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Old Forge Guidebook Published

Front cover onlyThe Adirondack Explorer has just published its second pocket-size guidebook, 12 Short Hikes Near Old Forge.

The book is similar in format and price ($9.75) to the Explorer’s first guidebook, 12 Short Hikes Near Lake Placid, which was published last year.

For the second book, we chose a dozen hikes to summits, ponds, and rivers in the vicinity of Old Forge and Inlet. Each chapter includes detailed trail descriptions, GPS coordinates and driving directions for the trailhead, hand-drawn maps by local artist Nancy Bernstein, and photos by a variety of veteran photographers. We also rank the difficulty and scenic beauty of the hikes. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

‘Adirondack Explorer’ Launches Climate-Change Series

July 2015 coverHere’s a word you may not have heard of: phenology. Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines it as “the study of natural phenomena that recur periodically, as migration or blossoming, and of their relation to climate and changes in season.”

Mike Lynch writes about Adirondack phenology in the July/August issue of the Adirondack Explorer, the first article in a series about regional climate change. » Continue Reading.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Notes From The ACW Publishing Conference

HeavenHill01On Saturday we made our first-ever visit to Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid, where the Adirondack Center for Writing Publishing Conference was held. My wife and business partner Jill Jones served with me on the panel of self-publishers that included Gary VanRiper and Jamie Sheffield. We shared different experiences and answered a variety of questions. Hopefully it was helpful to some of the attendees. After the panel’s portion ended, we visited with some of the authors and answered more questions. » Continue Reading.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Current Events on the Local Book Scene

BooksImageJW01There’s a lot going on in the world of books at this time that will affect writers everywhere, including the Adirondack region. BookExpo America and BookCon, held at the Javits Center in New York City, ended on May 31, the same day that regional book awards were presented at Blue Mountain Lake by the Adirondack Center for Writing. On June 6–7, the ACW’s annual Publishing Conference is being held in Lake Placid. From 2:45 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, my partner, Jill Jones, and I will be serving on the self-publishing panel, along with Jamie Sheffield and Gary VanRiper. The hope is to offer useful advice on things that have worked for each of us, thus helping others to avoid pitfalls and use resources wisely. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

I'll drink to thatIn 1845, there were 221 distilleries in New York State, local historian and folklorist Marjorie Lansing Porter noted in an issue of North Country Life in 1953.

Moreover, she wrote, “great-grandma made dandelion wine, blackberry cordial, wild grape wine and used persimmons, elderberries, juniper berries, pumpkins, corn-stalks, hickory nuts, sassafras bark, birch bark and many other leaves, roots and barks to make ‘light’ drinks. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Updated Guide To Good Development Design

Rural by DesignThis past week I received my copy of the updated guide for building and designing greener, everywhere from rural farms, to small villages, to the suburban fringe, to metro areas.  The second edition of Rural by Design (2015, published by American Planning Association) is out. Its author, Randall Arendt, is a landscape planner, site designer, author, lecturer, and advocate of conservation planning.

The first edition of Rural by Design came out in 1994 and changed many mindsets. Development after World War II had been left to “professionals” working in an orbit very distant from the rest of us. They mysteriously zoned our cities and towns, built our highways and streets and subdivided farms, fields and woods according to the dictates of the automobile.  Arendt and others helped others to understand what people intrinsically knew, that after 40 years “traditional” development was leaving community, neighborhood and nature, including our own, out in the cold. He and others have helped make planning ideas and tools accessible and understandable to anybody wishing to alter their hometown’s development practices. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Celebrating Adirondack Women

Anne LaBastille - SagamoreWomen’s History Month provides an opportunity to honor the women from the Adirondacks who have lived here, and those who have written about women who helped to preserve this special place and loved its many facets. A number of books have been published the last decade or so that chronicle the lives and stories of women who contributed to the history and culture of the Adirondacks.

“Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for the 2015 National Women’s History Month. Two women ingrained into the fabric of my Adirondack life are Anne LaBastille and Barbara McMartin. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

TR’s Diary Of An Adirondack Birding Trip

63061_covThe State University of New York Press is coming out with an edition of Teddy Roosevelt’s diaries from 1877 to 1886, when the future president was in his late teens and twenties. Given TR’s ties to the Adirondacks, I expected to find some entries from our neck of the woods and was not disappointed.

In 1877, Roosevelt and a friend, H.D. Minot, wrote a short article with a list of birds they had observed near Paul Smiths, The article – “The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, N. Y.” – was TR’s first published work. Click here to read the article.

The article is based on three birding trips in the Adirondacks, in 1874, 1875, and 1877. Minot, a Harvard classmate, accompanied Roosevelt only on the last trip. TR’s diaries contain several short entries from that excursion.

The SUNY book, edited by Edward P. Kohn, a historian, is titled A Most Glorious Ride: The Diaries of Theodore Roosevelt 1877-1886. It is due out April 1.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Adirondack Outlaws: Bad Boys, Lawless Ladies

AdirondackOutlaws_Cover_FINALLocal writer and senior editor at Adirondack Life magazine Niki Kourofsky exposes the North Country’s shadowy past of crime and dark deeds in a new book, Adirondack Outlaws: Bad Boys And Lawless Ladies (Farcountry Press, 2015).

Kourofsky’s storytelling puts readers in the thick of shootouts, jewel heists, bank robberies, manhunts, and unsolved murders. Spanning eight decades of Adirondack history and ranging from Glens Falls to the Canadian border, Adirondack Outlaws is rich in the details of safe-crackers, sneak thieves, and stick-up men and gangs, along with several murders, manhunts, and unsolved mysteries. » Continue Reading.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Adirondack Museum Cabin Fever Sunday Series

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 2.38.32 PMOn our visits to the Adirondack Museum, my family has always found that there really isn’t enough time to see it all in one day. That is why the Adirondack Museum Cabin Fever Sundays present a different way of learning about the vast information tucked within the museum’s buildings in Blue Mountain Lake.

According to Adirondack Museum Marketing Assistant Paige Doerner the second Cabin Fever event will feature Adirondack Life Senior Editor Niki Kourofsky’s tales of “Adirondack Outlaws.” Kourofsky is bringing the Adirondack’s criminal element to light and is highlighting just a few of the historical scallywags, bandits and fiends from her recently published book, Adirondack Outlaws: Bad Boys and Lawless Ladies. » Continue Reading.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Publishing Advice for New Authors

BooksImageJW01If the past few years are any indication, we’ll see a variety of new Adirondack books by regional authors in 2015. For those considering writing a book, a family history, or perhaps reviving an old project like a cookbook fundraiser, a few pointers might well save you some headaches and dollars, especially if you’re planning to self-publish. (Self-publishing involves funding the production costs and then marketing and selling your own work—a tough job, but with far greater potential profit for the author than traditional publishing.)

As publishers, my partner and I receive queries on what we call “rescue projects,” those reaching us only after lots of mistakes have been made and lots of money has already been spent, but with poor results. We in fact started our business back in 2004 specifically to help others avoid the pitfalls we encountered while self-publishing. The way to prevent yours from becoming a rescue project is, first and foremost, do your homework. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Forest Products: Wood, Whiskey and Wine

Wood Whiskey WineBarrels – we rarely acknowledge their importance, but without them we would be missing out on some of the world’s finest beverages – most notably whiskies and wines – and of course for over two thousand years they’ve been used to store, transport, and age an incredibly diverse array of provisions around the globe.

In the new wide-ranging book Wood, Whiskey and Wine (Reaktion, 2014), Henry Work tells the intriguing story of the significant and ever-evolving role wooden barrels have played during the last two millennia, revealing how the history of the barrel parallels that of technology at large. » Continue Reading.

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