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During this one summer, they meet, get to know each other, share their troubles, but also keep some secrets buried. Both together and separately, as the summer culminates, they must come to terms with where and who they are, and determine how to keep what they have, or move on to something else. Ayesha At Last , by Uzma Jalaluddin.

Published in , this novel has gotten great reviews. Ayesha is a poet and teacher who is part of a lively, traditional Muslim family in Canada. Their goal is to see that she marries, and the most likely prospect is Khalid, a very traditional and conservative man.

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She hears that he might become engaged to her own cousin, and has to admit that she is attracted to him, but how could their world views ever match? Each of them must come to terms with who they are, and why. Reviewers are calling this a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice — it is about love and about knowing ourselves.

Memoirs can be a lot like fiction when it comes to portraying love, loss, forgiveness, and the journey to our inmost selves. Locke, an American black woman, married Saro, a man from a traditional Sicilian family who disapproved of the marriage. They traveled to Los Angeles, made a home, adopted a beloved daughter, and had successful careers. But, Saro dies, and Tembi takes her little daughter and returns to Sicily to find some bit of solace.

Tembi must find her own life, but this story of her relationships both in the US and in Sicily is warm and reminds us of the place of acceptance and courage in all our lives. She includes some fabulous recipes from her husband and his family, at the end of the book If you love this book, you might want to follow up by reading the novel The House At the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner, simply because of the rich setting on an island off the coast of Sicily. We lost Oliver Sacks a few years back, and this is a compendium of some of his final and never-before published essays.

Some of his focus is still very much on his clinical interests and amazing case histories having to do with brain function, aging, and other topics. But he also includes personal consideration from his own life, and the brief essays are beautiful and insightful. There is one, early in the book, on his love for libraries. There is so much goodness here. Sacks has always been able to focus on science and phenomena, and at the same time he makes it apparent how all of it affects our lives and deepens our understanding.

J Both his text and his detailed illustrations provide such interesting and engaging information on great parts of history and technology that are sometimes overlooked. We have quite a few of his books, all of them are fascinating for budding engineers, builders, and history buffs! A wonderful adventure with a touch of magic is undertaken by young Oona, the 7 th daughter of a sea captain who very much doubts that a girl should be on a ship. From the sea to the stars, Oona and Barnacles a cat and others share a fantastical trip. There are beautiful, light illustrations along the edges of each page.

Susan Hood, Lifeboat. A very affecting novel in verse. A few days out, they are torpedoed, and Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12, along with five other boys. What can they do to survive, together? This is based on a little-known true WW2 story. Well done.

Mimi is part of a big family and as the youngest child, she feels rather invisible. In order to find her place, she enters a baking contest. While she ponders what to create, she and a new friend, Vik, spend time gathering ingredients in a rather magical forest in their town. She has to use both her culinary and detective skills to set things to rights again. There are a few recipes for some scrumptious treats at the end of the book!

Arthur hurls a brick at the local Junk Man on the very first page of the book. He winds up being sentenced to juvie, but instead, the Junk Man asks the judge to assign Arthur to community service — working with him? The Junk Man gives him a broken cart to use for their work, as well as a list of 7 important things for him to work through. That odd list of 7 important things, that had seemed so inconsequential, leads to healing and belonging. A magnificent novel in verse, about Xiomara, who writes all of her frustrations, fierceness, and difficulties in a leatherbound journal that she mostly keeps to herself.

She is a strong young woman who learns to use her voice and refuse silence. The author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper we have it in our collection has constructed another quiet, affecting novel. Patrick is great at creating quirky characters that are lively and resonant, imperfect and likeable. Martha feels familiar, she is a character who must create her own life, no matter her age and circumstances. This is a collection of work from her various books. It ends with this stanza: everything is a prayer for this journey As you shut the door behind you in the dark Wings of dusk Wings of night sky Wings of dawn Wings of morning light.

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The author, born in England and now residing in Italy, did a lot of research into the literature and legends of the Mediterranean in order to create such a beautiful story. This is a slowly unfolding tale of a small island community off the coast of Italy, told very much in the traditional layered story-building of the area.

Beautiful imagery and metaphor, rich prose. Amedeo was raised in an orphanage and wound up on the island of Castellamore as a doctor, in the early 20 th century, right before WWI. He interacts with the island folk, winds up moving into an old building with a lot of history The House at the Edge of Night , marries Pina, and together they reinvent the building and raise a family. Amedeo and Pina and those around them make tough choices at the start of WW2 regarding the Fascism that even effected their remote place, and then contend with cultural and economic changes of the late 20 th century into the first decade of the 21 st.

You can discern the rich traditions of work and relationship, food, and place in that small society. Each section of the book starts with a re-telling of the old legends from ancient times on the island. The author started reducing her use of plastics after a bout with cancer at the age of 20, and has expanded her work to include all sorts of packaging and waste. You may have seen videos of her experiment with zero waste online at some point, and she manages a website at goingzerowaste.

She has great ideas on gift-giving, having pets without creating lots of waste, and — in tips , she addresses the need for community and local interaction — always a plus! Richard Powers and Colum McCann write some of the richest stories in our collection. They both delve deep into parts of American history and bring it to life through the many-layered lives of their characters. The book is about the connection between trees and humans, and his magnificent prose reveals both the damage we do to each other and the natural world around us, and the commitment of some folks to saving whatever pieces of the world they can.

Powers has often written his stories around music, as well. We have Orfeo , a mix of science and music and intrigue as the government watches the microbiology experimentation going on in the home of a composer. A different, well-written piece. In his Let the Great World Spin , he introduces us to the many people who witness the amazing feat of a tightrope walker and dancer as he traverses a rope he has placed between the Twin Towers in NYC. The characters portray resilience, sadness, and redemption. McCann, like Powers, serves up an intimacy with times and places in our history that brings all of it to life.

Both are quiet stories that follow families impacted by the war. His remarkable close relationship with trees something he shares with his dad also carries him through. Both of these stories wind up being about love and healing within imperfect lives impacted by the long-term effects of war.

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It brings us back and forth between the war and the time afterwards when young veterans try to find their way into civilian life in an America that no longer feels familiar, and for which the war has rendered them unprepared. It reveals the depth of pain and uncertainty that is carried by those who begin the circuitous, sometimes risky, journey towards recovery.

Three more fiction titles — Elizabeth J. A beautifully written story. Two Maine writers also portray the influence of the war on individual characters and their place in the world. This brief story is clever, rich, and compassionate. It offers hope through forgiveness and empathy. This is an engaging series with great characters who feel familiar to us. We have nonfiction that also addresses this time period in our history, if you are interested. This book has been discussed by participants in one of our aging forums, and is recommended by AARP and other groups who advocate for accessible healthcare.

It got strong, positive reviews from major national newspapers. Rosenthal delineates the myriad issues attached to each part of the medical system, like pharmaceuticals, contractors, billing, insurance, research, and the growth of conglomerates. Thankfully, in the second part of the book and the five helpful appendices, she also gives us tools and ideas for protecting ourselves regarding both costs and care.

She even includes sample letters you can use to fight unfair billing charges such as out-of-network charges that were not explained ahead of time. This is a well-researched guide aimed at the general public. A helpful read. Now we have added Secret Language — her debut novel from — to our collection!

Unsolved Mysteries Maine

A number of difficult events force them to come together again, and redefine their understanding of love and family. In this early novel, we find the same warm prose and approachable characters that we have come to expect via her other novels. Wood tells a many-layered story with deep, provoking interactions between characters.

We have two new Sarah Graves mysteries in our collection. Graves is a well-established Maine mystery writer, with a long series of stories about the main character Jacobia Jake , who always renovated houses in Eastport. There are some very nice looking recipes at the end of each book the cheesecake one looks yummy! There are lots of examples and stories here, as well as some practical advice for parents.

Karen J. Addressing a difficult and sometimes confounding topic, this book introduces the idea of using hospice services much earlier in the stages of end of life, and gives information on how to take the various steps of setting up care. Clayton describes the first visits from hospice nurses and social workers, to issues faced by caregivers, the risk of social isolation, and how to make good end of life decisions. At the end of the book, appendices that point out possible resources provide helpful information.

This book is a useful tool for learning about a tough topic. We have been seeing, in the news, that young people have become much more active in the various issues facing both the country and the world. Kallen has done research on the stories of the efforts many students have undertaken regarding justice, environment, violence, and other issues.

Such a gorgeous volume of letters from writers, philosophers, musicians Yo Yo Ma! All of the letters — some are brief, some are a page long — are accompanied by wonderful, varied illustrations. The writers tell the reader of the importance of reading in their own lives, or offer stories about reading. It is a perfect compendium to sit and page through, and then pause to read a particular letter and just gaze at the intriguing illustrations.

Put together by Popova, who runs the Brainpickings website www. At the end, there are brief biographies of each of the letter-writers. A lovely, contemplative book. The grounded calm also seems hereditary. She and her now ex-husband owned and ran the first restaurant French ever worked in, the Ridge Top Diner.

It still sits on the bare, windswept highlands on a ridge above Freedom. The Lost Kitchen is nestled in the river valley down below. She was teaching then, but helped out whenever she could. Their daughter ran the grill. The rest of the staff were all high school girls; the Ridge Top had a reputation for being staffed by pretty girls, most of them teenagers. My husband was gruff. He yelled. He was impatient with the young girls—and there was plenty of sexual harassment.

A guy came and sat at the counter and said crude things to the year-old girls. I found it offensive and told my husband so. The workers listen to each other without judgment. They offer each other advice. The spatulas stay in the hand. The servers, Victoria Marshall and Ashley Savage, arrive for their shift just as Mason and Tirone prepare to leave for the day, and the line cooks, Carey Dube and Krista Yungman, take over the prep room.

Robert M. Chute

Dube shucks the Johns River oysters onto chilled platters lined with moss. Upstairs, Marshall and Savage mop the floors and shine the wine glasses with clean cloths. The atmosphere in the mill has shifted from the dreamy, peaceful calm of the morning into a higher gear, a nervous excitement running through everything, like backstage at a theater when the actors arrive in their dressing rooms.

Supporting French, the star of the show, are these two teams, the servers upstairs, the line cooks downstairs, all dressed in black leggings or dresses with beige linen aprons. The mood is focused, but also fun and light, everyone bantering, connected, talking about their lives, joking. In the midst of it all, French works quietly at the stove, serene as a Buddhist monk, stirring a big pot with a whisk while two skillets go full tilt, the soup pot covered. As Teravainen leaves for the day, the music cranks up and the mood shifts again.

Inside, MacNeil greets them and suggests pairings. People carry their bottles upstairs, wrapped beautifully albeit briefly in brown paper and twine. They take their seats at the long table in the middle of the dining room or one of the smaller tables by the windows on two sides. Then the show begins. The starter boards go around, loaded with bread and an array of palate-wakeners.

Every detail feels right, cohesive, from the mismatched vintage dishes to the bright, unfussy flowers to the warmly intimate lighting. The evening flows, unhurried, generous, an intricate, unerring dance. French brings plates to diners as unobtrusively as if she were one of the servers; people seem to have no idea the chef herself is waiting on them. When French gives her nightly welcoming speech to everyone, after the starters and oysters, her face is alight, her voice ebullient, as she thanks the diners who have come so far to be here.

Her lack of ego and sincere gratitude seem unusual in the restaurant world, which is so often dominated by needy megalomaniac chefs, power plays and psychodrama. The Lost Kitchen is a peaceable queendom. In addition to seven novels, she has also has written two food-centric memoirs, including How to Cook a Moose. Sign in. Forgot your password? Get help. Password recovery. Maine Women Magazine. Home Featured. The Good Fight. Natural Resource Managers.

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Sunny Side Up. The Cheese Touch. Yoga Pants Until Death. The Poet Librarian of Franklin County. The Medium is the Message. In Autumn. Fashion Forward. You Say Potato. Seaworthy Style. Home Work. Fiction writing is sharing my imagination with the world. On a dairy farm in Maine, Margaret Kennedy awaits her husband, who returns from war overseas with injuries that leave him permanently changed. Soon after, the President signs a bill in support of wounded veterans, and Margaret is invited to Washington, to be escorted by Charlie King, a handsome Foreign Service officer.

Margaret struggles as her feelings for the officer start to threaten her marriage. Monninger, of Warren, N. Visit his website at joemonninger. Rendered in fascinating watercolor illustrations, this imaginative tale introduces children to the wonders of the ocean and Maine lobstering. The book also includes a small educational piece on lobsters. For information, visit maineauthorspublishing. He lives in Poland, Maine. What truly makes the book enjoyable is the voice of the storyteller, Spike, whose spunky language and humor is meant for adult readers only.

Gillespie lives in Austin, Texas.