Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Up on a Hill: A New Memoir of Ticonderoga

Stubing Rist coverUp on a Hill and Thereabouts: An Adirondack Childhood (SUNY Press, 2013) by Gloria Stubing Rist is a memoir of growing up in Chilson near Ticonderoga during the Great Depression.  In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondacks was rich with nature and filled with human characters.

This memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. Rist served as Newcomb Central School’s school nurse for five years. Her father-in-law was Ernest Rist, a Newcomb politician in the 1920s through the 1950s. Following his death, New York State honored him by naming a previously unnamed peak after him, Rist Mountain in the southeast corner of the Marcy quadrangle. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Novel: The Center of the World

Center of the worldAlternating between nineteenth-century Europe and present-day New England, Thomas Van Essen’s novel The Center of the World (Other Press, 2013) follows the great British painter J. M. W. Turner and his circle of patrons and lovers; and Henry, a middle-aged family man whose otherwise mundane existence is disrupted by the discovery of The Center of the World, Turner’s mesmerizing and troubling painting of Helen of Troy that was thought to have been lost forever.

This painting had such devastating erotic power that it was hidden away and supposedly destroyed … until Henry happens to stumble upon it while vacationing at his summer home in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

William Almon Wheeler: North Country Political Star

Wheeler cover designA new biography is shedding light on an overshadowed North Country political figure, the Nineteenth Vice President of the United States. In William Almon Wheeler: Political Star of the North Country (2013, SUNY Press), author Herbert C. Hallas leaves no doubt that Wheeler was a more significant political figure than the existing literature may lead one to believe.

The book is the first and only complete biography of Wheeler, a man referred to as “the New York Lincoln,” who helped to found the Republican Party and build it into a formidable political force during the Gilded Age. Wheeler’s life is an American success story about how a poor boy from Malone achieved fame and fortune as a lawyer, banker, railroad president, state legislator, five-time congressman, and vice president of the United States. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Ed Kanze: Christmas Books For Nature Lovers 2013

ed_kanze_christmas_booksOK, so you have nature lovers in the family and don’t know what to give them for gifts over the holidays. Books? Yes, they still exist. In fact, some of the finest nature books ever published are rolling off the presses right now.

Listen as I survey some of the best and the newest—candidates for placement under the Christmas tree in this week’s edition of All Things Natural with Ed Kanze. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Book: When Men and Mountains Meet

when men and mtns meet 001Glenn Pearsall’s first book, Echoes in These Mountains: Historic Sites and Stories Disappearing in Johnsburg, an Adirondack Community (Pyramid Publishing, 2008), was well received for including the first documentary evidence that famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady was indeed born in Johnsburg. Now Pearsall has brought forth When Men and Mountains Meet (Pyramid Publishing, 2008), subtitled “Stories of Hope and Despair in the Adirondack Wilderness after the American Revolution.”

“The story of the Adirondacks is more than the history of great camps, guide boats and environmental protectionism. It is, ultimately, the story of a people and their relationship to the land,” Pearsall begins the book. He calls this a book of cultural history, and it is, but it also draws much from environmental history, although more in the vein of “on the ground historians” like William Cronon and Alfred Crosby than the political approaches of Roderick Nash or Frank Graham. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Environmental Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert Event Planned

kolbertAs the fall weather heads toward winter, join Elizabeth Kolbert for a conversation on climate change in our area. Kolbert is a reporter and author of the new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. S he’ll speak at 7PM on November 14th, in the Adirondack Room of the Joan Weill Library at Paul Smith’s College.

Kolbert published Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change in 2005, in which she followed scientists and residents of high latitudes to report a local and global climate portrait. This time, she’s using the same journalistic savvy to investigate our effects on biodiversity. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Lawrence Gooley on Adirondack E-Books

Books Image JWSeveral times here in the past, I’ve expressed skepticism about the future of e-books. Not that they won’t be around: of course they will. But the wild-eyed suggestions that they would dominate the publishing industry and soon lead to the demise of printed books were premature. When claims like those are made, it’s important to note the source. Often it was the manufacturers of e-readers and sellers of e-books, hoping to garner a chunk of both markets. Their claims were echoed by consumers, salivating at the prospect of toting hundreds of books around on a small digital device.

E-books got off to a tremendous start and made huge inroads, now comprising about 22 percent of the overall book market. In such a short time, that alone is amazing, but it’s important to step back and assess the overlooked truths related to e-books. Some of those issues are important to authors whose work focuses on a specific region. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson

Drifting Hudson RiverDrifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson (SUNY Press, 2011) is a candid account of the author Mike Freeman’s two-week canoe trip down the Hudson River which offers an introspective and humorous look at both the river and recession-era America.

New to fatherhood and fresh from ten years in an Alaskan village, Freeman sets out to relearn his country, and realizes it’s in a far greater midlife crisis than he could ever be. With an eye on the Hudson’s past, he addresses America’s present anxieties—from race, gender, and marriage to energy, labor, and warfare—with empathy and honesty, acknowledging the difficulties surrounding each issue without succumbing to pessimism or ideology. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Lawrence Gooley: Books, Libraries, and Mass Digitization

Adirondack BooksIt’s that time of year again, when advertisers tout the latest e-readers while reviving the mantra that printed books are so close to obsolete, it’s only a matter of time before everything is digital.

Which means, of course, all brick-and-mortar bookstores will fold, as will a huge number of libraries. But after thousands of e-readers and millions of e-books have been sold, Christmas will finally arrive. Within a few weeks, the ads will stop and all will return to normal until next holiday season. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gardening: Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard

Food Grown RightAs the founders behind the Seattle Urban Farm Company, Colin McCrate and Brad Halm have heard it all: My backyard is too small; how can I make space for a garden? Do I really need to buy fertilizer? What on earth is that creature crawling on the tomatoes? My crops took off and the zucchini is out of control — who has time to harvest it all!

Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard (Slipstone, 2012) is a primer for these questions and more. In response to the rising interest in homegrown foods, the Seattle Urban Farm Co. builds vegetable gardens for everyone from busy families to restaurants. Along the way, Colin and Brad teach beginner growers from all walks of life the techniques of organic food production. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Commentary: Google, Local Authors And Copyright

CopyrightDinosaur2The Category: Things that Share a Common Bond.

The Answer: “Floppy disks, the appendix, cassette tapes, the Latin language, and wisdom teeth.”

The Correct Question: “What are things that are useless or obsolete?” If you see that question on Jeopardy some day in the not-too-distant future, Alex Trebek might be adding one more element to the answers: the copyright claim. In fact, considering the beating that individual copy rights have taken recently, there’s an argument to be made that private copy rights have already gone the way of the dinosaurs. And there’s no role for cloning in this narrative.

Most of us (“us” as in frequent computer users) love Google for one reason or another. In many cases, it’s a love-hate relationship: we love the speedy access to so much information, but we hate the lack of privacy. We love the research capabilities, but we hate the way they use our personal information for advertising. On and on it goes. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Nature Wars:
Wildlife Comebacks and Backyard Battlegrounds

9780307341969This may be hard to believe but it is very likely that more people live in closer proximity to more wild animals, birds and trees in the eastern United States today than anywhere on the planet at any time in history.

For nature lovers, this should be wonderful news – unless, perhaps, you are one of more than 4,000 drivers who will hit a deer today, your child’s soccer field is carpeted with goose droppings, coyotes are killing your pets, the neighbor’s cat has turned your bird feeder into a fast-food outlet, wild turkeys have eaten your newly-planted seed corn, beavers have flooded your driveway, or bears are looting your garbage cans. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Twelve Years A Slave: Solomon Northup of Minerva

northup45aMinerva, primitive and remote in the early 1800s, hardly would have seemed a likely birthplace for a man who would write a book which would attract national attention, make the author a household name, and, to some degree, help start a civil war. But indeed, it was there that Solomon Northup, author of Twelve Years A Slave, was born.

Technically the town of Minerva did not exist at the time of Solomon’s birth on July 10, 1807 (though his book gives 1808 as his year of birth, more official documents have it as 1807); the town of Minerva was not formed until 1817. In 1807 the area, not yet known as Minerva, would have been part of the Town of Schroon. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Books: Traditional Print, E-Books, or Print On Demand?

Adirondack Book ShelfA few local authors recently spoke with me about e-books, which coincidentally are grabbing headlines in a big way lately. The two main stories are Apple’s defense against charges that it conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices, and the surprising decision by Stephen King to not offer an e-book version of his latest title. King, one of the early proponents of digital publishing, hopes to reward the brick-and-mortar stores that helped make him such a huge success in traditional print.

The Apple case is currently in court, but in the nine months preceding the trial, e-book prices plunged, in some cases as much as 75 percent. A good thing? Maybe. But you get what you pay for, and with such low returns for selling e-books, there’s far less incentive for good authors to go digital. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Best Adirondack Books of 2012 Honored

Adirodnack Center for WritingWriters, editors, publishers, and book lovers gathered at the Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake on Sunday to hear the announcements of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW’s) annual Adirondack Literary Award winners. The Adirondack Literary Awards celebrate and acknowledge the books that were written by Adirondack authors or published in the region in the previous year.

Judges for the Adirondack Literary Award were Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern (nonfiction and memoir); Ellen Rocco and Joseph Bruchac (fiction); Stephanie Coyne-DeGhett and Stuart Bartow (poetry); Ellen Wilcox and Nancy Beattie (children’s literature). All of the books submitted for consideration this year were on display on Sunday, giving a visual sense of the scope of our Adirondack literary achievements, and many of the authors had signed copies of their books for sale.

And the winners are… » Continue Reading.



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