Civil War Drama Glories in Details Of Battles Too Close to Island Home

SEEN THE GLORY: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg. By John Hough, Jr. Simon & Schuster, June, 2009. 420 pages. $25.

A Corny Story: New Book Harvests History From Morning Glory Farm

Sometime in the summer of 1970, a young Jim Athearn stood on Main street in Edgartown and faced one of the most important decisions of his life. The 22-year-old aspiring farmer had just received a few stern words from a market owner who had told him that his corn — the first crop he had ever grown and sold to market — was no good. His ears were full of worms, the owner told him. The words stung like a swarm of angry hornets.

Clue: Was it the Heiress in the Library?

LETHAL LEGACY. By Linda Fairstein. Doubleday. February, 2009. 367 pages. $26.

T he magnificent New York Public Library (NYPL) is the number one character in Linda Fairstein’s new Alexandra Cooper novel, Lethal Legacy.

Books: The Dark Minds of Money Men

For anyone who has ever wondered how Wall Street hedge fund managers sleep at night and look themselves in the mirror in the morning, having spent the preceding day bilking clients, Men of Gain by Hunter McClelland (Strategic Book Publishing, $12.95) will give you a good idea of how this feels from the inside out.

Mystery Tale Wags the Dog Detective, But Pooch Is a Hoot, Ahead of the Mob

DOG GONE IT. By Spencer Quinn. Atria, February 2009. 305 pages. $25.

If dogs could translate their thoughts into English, they would undoubtedly sound pretty much like Chet, canine co-owner (or so he fancies himself) of the Little Detective Agency in some unspecified western state: “Bernie rose. Me too. Enough of this chit chat. It was time to crack this case the way we usually do, with me sniffing out the perp.”

Is Racism Undercover in Boston Cops?

THE FENCE: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide. By Dick Lehr. Harper, June, 2009. 400 pages. $25.99.

Vineyard Bookshelf

COURAGE: A Novel of the Sea. By Alan Littell, Illustrated. St. Martin’s Press. 148 pages. $16.95.

It surely was not Vineyard Haven harbor waters lapping the beach near the Mary Guerin Inn in Eastville that inspiredthis thrilling sea tale. But its author, Alan Littell, spent childhood summers there. More likely, his later years as a merchant mariner provided the background for this story of the dangers of the enthralling sea.

Book Review: Two Weddings and a Funereal Professor

THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. By Richard Russo. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 261 pages. $25.95.

O ne afternoon two friends happened to drop by my house. The first arrived in a little sports convertible. When the second showed up in his VW bus he walked inside and said, “It looks like a middle-aged meltdown out there.”

Mr. Waters’ Skunk Night Sonnets Captures Island in Vivid Verse

SKUNK NIGHT SONNETS. By Daniel Waters. Bright Hill Press, Treadwell, N.Y. 2009. 38 pages. Softcover, $10.

One of my favorite booths at the West Tisbury Artisans’ Fair is that of poet Daniel Waters. It is a wellspring of words! And not just any words, but the crisp, intuitive, fun-filled wordplay of Mr. Waters’ short poems, many of which are displayed on his distinctive hand-carved blockprint greeting cards.

Some of the poems are pure Vineyard:

“Sung to sleep by Nobska Light,

A New England Village, and Life Was Good

Bittersweet Beginnings:> A Sketchbook of a Great Depression Boyhood by James V. Wyman. Plaidsweed Publishing, Concord, N.H. Illustrated by Linda L. Tillson , 137 pages $19.95

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