Saturday, July 2, 2022

Lost time

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Donna Gordon’s beautifully crafted “What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me” abounds with unusual characters and an engrossing story. We immediately are thrust into the mind of the protagonist Lee, a precocious adolescent suffering...

A new you

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How do you go through life-altering trauma and come out the other side? Michele Neff Hernandez’s book “Different After You: Rediscovering Yourself and Healing after Grief and Trauma” is a beautiful, supportive, and clear...

Life on Chappy

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The tagline to Rob Kagan’s stunningly written memoir “Noah’s Rejects” is “a cautionary tale about life on an island paradise.” And while sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, it is simultaneously deeply provocative about the serious class...

Corruption defined

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Charles Benjamin Schudson’s book, “Independence Corrupted: How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions,” is a far cry from a dry, clinical text, but rather a book that brings us into the heart of the judicial...

Natural-born teacher

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A good teacher gets you thinking as soon as possible, whether in a lecture, seminar, or in person. Good teachers also challenge students, rather than spoon-feed them a smorgasbord of information, then wait for...

A surprise love

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Rose, the protagonist in summer Island resident Elisa M. Speranza’s novel, faces a challenge — well, actually a number of them, which are at the heart of “The Italian Prisoner.” She lives with her Sicilian...

Inspiring young actors

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Writer and Montessori teacher Carrie Peckar says her newly released book, “Weird and Wonderful,” is not really a book per se, but rather a compilation of 15 years’ worth of scripts she’s written for...

Feeling ‘Full’

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Julia Spiro’s thought-provoking new book, “Full: A Novel,” is an incisive exploration of what it can cost to maintain appearances on the outside, no matter the circumstances. Spiro takes us on a deep dive into...

Hidden heroines

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“Her Hidden Genius” by Marie Benedict is aptly named. You will be astonished and captivated by the heroine, British-born Rosalind Franklin, who, as it turns out, in real life discovered the remarkable double-helix structure...

Pieces of the pandemic

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The newly published book “Covid Monologues MV: Readings to Nourish, Inspire, & Connect” brings home the idea that it takes a village to survive a pandemic. The book is just part of editors Jennifer L....

Where’s the beef?

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When you order a $25 glass of red wine at a restaurant, you want to know all about where it came from. Why not ask the same questions about the beef you’re ordering?  For author...

Through his lens

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A first read of “Asia Calling: A Photographer's Notebook 1980-1997” will grab you, though not likely in ways you were expecting. Documentary photographer Ed Grazda has published a black-and-white photo book of 17 years of...

Book biz booms

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"Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me": That title has been rattling around my head for the past year. Richard Fariña’s 1966 cult-status novel about a 1960s lifestyle also has it...

Beloved beach

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As a young girl, Nicole Edmonds spent idyllic summers on the Vineyard, living near Nashawena Park, where she could walk to the Inkwell Beach every day to swim and play with her friends. Now...

Local lit

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Susan Branch’s memoir “Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams” is like reading a close friend’s diary — one who has an inventive, artistic bent and insightful mind. The book is offered in the Oak Bluffs...

Finding optimism with Michael J. Fox

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In his new book “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, talks about how his signature optimism in the face of Parkinson’s disease was challenged after...

A chilly welcome

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Island author Chris Knowles has given us his 17th novel of political intrigue and his second involving Arctic territory. He is a child of the intelligence establishment, and a fiendish researcher of weapons, military data,...

New look at Island history

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A problem with seeing yourself as a know-it-all is that comeuppance is embarrassing. That thought came to my mind while reading Andrew C. Theokas’ “Martha’s Vineyard Through Time.” I’ve read a dozen histories of Martha’s...

‘Show Me a Sign’ recounts the deaf experience for young readers

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More happens to 11-year-old Mary Elizabeth Lambert in a single year than many of us experience in a lifetime. Ann Clare LeZotte’s novel “Show Me a Sign” is an unusual coming of age tale...

Judith Neeld’s ‘Collected Poems’

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In the pantheon of Vineyard poets, the late Judith Neeld reigns. Her “Collected Poems” illustrates how broad her reach and how deep her vision were, expressed particularly in her celebrations of the Vineyard. She perhaps...