What We’re Reading-November + December

BOOKS-November + December 2011
By Sophie Nelson
Illustration by Eric Hou

Newly published from Maine: Recent favorites by local authors



Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures
Jane McCloskey

McCloskey’s younger daughter, Jane, pieces together her father’s artwork, family stories, and her own childhood memories with the utmost care. This portrait of Bob McCloskey might be described with words used to describe the man himself: contemplative, artful, and inspired.


The Other End of the Driveway
Dana Wilde
With a naturalist’s curiosity, a journalist’s penchant for accuracy, and an expert writer’s command of language and distrust of sentimentality, Wilde turns his attention to the natural world around him. His collection of short essays, drawn largely from his Bangor Daily News “Amateur Naturalist” column, reminds us to live in awe of spiderwebs, stars, and the backyard.

Governor’s Travels

Angus King
Former governor of Maine Angus King recently took to the 50 states in an RV for a five-and-a-half-month road trip. In Governor’s Travels, King and his family invite readers along for the ride through the incredibly varied and inspiring landscapes that make up America. Riddled with charming anecdotes, maps, and family snapshots, this is a friendly, funny read.

Art Healing

Jeremy Spiegel, MD

Laying aside the academic language that sometimes clutters our experience of art, Spiegel, a practicing psychiatrist in Portland, explores its healing power. In this eye-catching book, he encourages us to indulge our instinctual reactions and ruminate on our emotional responses to art to bring about catharsis and enhanced self-awareness.

Searching for Cecy: Reflections on Alzheimer’s

Judy Prescott

Prescott’s book collects a daughter’s love poems to her mother, Cecy, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 1999. Each poem is accompanied by moving artwork created by Cecy’s artistic relatives. A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Maine Icons
Jennifer Smith-Mayo + 
Matthew P. Mayo
The married writer-and-photographer team of Jennifer Smith-Mayo and Matthew P. Mayo offer a peek into the Maine they know and love. This portable book is filled with sharp photographs and quirky information on everything from the Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor to Red’s Eats in Wiscasset.

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