Vineyard Bookshelf
Liz Durkee
It must be tough to pick a name for your second solo cookbook when the first one refers to raising the bar, as in Catherine Walthers's 2007 book, Raising the Salad Bar.
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Biography of the Sea Highlights Human Story, for Better or Worse
Mark Alan Lovewell

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester, HarperCollins Publishers, 496 pages, illustrated. $27.99.

It would be hard to live on the Vineyard and not have an interest in the Atlantic Ocean. So much of the Island has been colored and shaped by the sea. You can smell the ocean here and feel it all around you.

A new book, Atlantic, is a biography of the ocean. What is most striking about this long book is its scope.

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Hot Books on Hold (and Ones You Don’t Hold)
Holly Nadler

If you look up libraries on Wikipedia, you’ll learn that a golden age arose from 1600 to 1700 when cities all over the world had to erect a big, baroque building for books. If there’s ever been a new claim for a golden age, it’s right here, right now, involving our Island libraries, all of them, where circulation is up as never before (25 per cent at the Edgartown library alone), and community participation is off the charts.

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Lovable and Winning Dog Tale Is New Work by Susan Wilson
Holly Nadler

If there’s such a thing as a literary Rocky, in other words, a writer with a solid professional record, yet missing that big knockout punch that lands him or her the championship, then our Island’s own Susan Wilson is that phenomenon.

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Vineyard Bookshelf
Holly Nadler

HUNDRED-DAY HAUL: 27,000 Miles in 100 Days. By Chris Huff. Vitallight Press. 285 pages. Soft cover, $19.90.

M aybe you know Chris Huff because back in the 90s he mowed your lawn. Or because in that same party-hardy epoch, you and he knocked back some serious drinks at the Lamppost, the Rare Duck and the Ritz. Or you joined the throngs who donated, over the brand new World Wide Web, cash to fund the guy’s road trip throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states, this madcap laying of rubber to take place in the last hundred days of 1999.

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Camp Ground Where Holy Meets Happy-Go-Lucky
Liz Durkee

Circle of Faith,> The Story of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting, By Sally Dagnall, Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, Ma. 2010 $24.95.

T here is no other place quite like Oak Bluffs — the color and charm, the hustle and bustle, the beaches and parks and fireworks and festivals, open and free and inviting. And to think it all started as a religious retreat.

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Personal and Political in Playful Pages
Holly Nadler

But I Wanted a Baby Brother, by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Diane Goode, Paula Weisman Books, $16.99

Two books from Little Pickle Press by Rana DiOrio, one illustrated by Chris Hill, the other by Chris Blair, both $16.95.

A child’s book works best when it operates on two levels, appealing to both child and parent. All the classics — Wind in the Willows, the Eloise and Madeline sagas, and Winnie the Pooh, accomplish this. But at bottom, the best books in this category impart something for children and grownups to ponder.

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Margo Datz Illustrates A Child’s Magical Night
Liz Durkee

By LIZ DURKEE

NIGHTTIDE ON A VINEYARD FARM. Lyric by Patty Schaal, Illustrations by Margot Datz. Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, 2010. $21.95, hardcover.

Sadly, I am no longer a child. Far from it. I may act like one at inappropriate times, but that’s a skill that probably hinders rather than helps write a children’s book review.

But I’ll have at it. Reviewing other people’s artistic creations is far easier than creating one’s own.

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Novel Delves Into Seedy Side of Birding
Holly Nadler

COOLER HEADS. By William Harlan Richter. Small Fry Books, Santa Monica, Calif. 2010. 333 pages. $14.95, softcover.

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Four-Line Lessons in Life, Art from a Linoleum Knife
Liz Durkee

By LIZ DURKEE

LIFE LESSON, The Verses of D.A.W., Volume 3. By Daniel Waters. The Indian Hill Press, Martha’s Vineyard, 2010. 35 pages. $15, in paperback.

Honestly, what’s not to love about the verses of Daniel Waters? He takes a passing thought, an offhand observation, a grand world view, and cooks up four or more lines of hilariously insightful poetry.

Cases in point:

Valentine’s Day

“The more you ignore it,

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