Friday, December 4, 2020
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A chilly welcome

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

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

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’

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...

Bedtime stories

Last summer, there were many books that crossed the editors’ desks at The TImes, and a few of them were a good fit for young readers. Scott Magoon has a great sense of humor —...

An Island story

Jennifer Blecher’s young adult novel “Out of Place” might feel like a foreign world to outsiders but residents and fans of Martha’s Vineyard will fit right in. Blecher, an Island native, has penned a...

Oak Bluffs by the book

“In June 1955, the automobile trip from Long Island, New York, to Oak Bluffs Martha’s Vineyard, was a journey … Today’s four hour, 250-mile drive was then an arduous nine to ten hours in...

Bringing Mary Jo into the light

Updated July 19 Fifty years later, what we know, what we can take to the bank, is that Mary Jo Kopechne of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., died on the evening of July 18, 1969, on the island...

Books help navigate ‘terrific toddler’ years

It all starts with a box of crayons, a dress-up hat, a tumble, a scrape, or the sight of Mama in her work clothes headed for the door. Then comes the dreaded shriek. Every...

‘Casting Into the Light’

Janet Messineo has written a uniquely excellent fishing book. Sure, it’s about fishing, but that’s just one element in a memoir about her life inside and outside fishing.  “Casting Into the Light: Tales of a...

Women in wartime

Martha Hall Kelly has a knack for knock-your-socks-off great first lines. Her debut novel, “Lilac Girls,” began, “If I’d known I was about to meet the man who’d shatter me like bone china on...

You’ll never look at hair the same

Some books, films, and documentaries offer a narrative that changes the way audiences perceive a topic. Take “Jaws,” for example — the 1975 film literally scared people out of the water. Or “Food Inc.”...

From here to there

Unless you fly, the steamship figures prominently in any travel plans to our Island. Tom Dresser weaves the history of the steamship in and out of his chapters on other Island forms of transportation. But...

Island summer in the pages

If you want to jump ahead into the full swing of the season ahead of time, then get an early start with Jean Stone’s new novel “A Vineyard Summer.” The backed-up traffic, busy eateries,...

How the Midwest was won

The second title line on this book’s cover is a concise summation: “The heroic story of the settlers who brought the American ideal West.” The summation is not an exaggeration, and it is a...

‘Spying on the South’

Tony Horwitz has gone to great lengths to give us a clear, serious, and sometimes rollicking exposition of life and culture in the American South, from West Virginia to West Texas, in his latest...

A complex creature

By anyone’s definition, Fifi Perricone was a rock of strength for her immediate and extended family. Andrea Rogers relates her grandmother’s tale in small snippets, each with a telling title and corresponding date that...

‘Two-Buck Chuck and the Marlboro Man’

We live in a time of turmoil, times that incite retrospection about the world we thought we lived in. Now comes Frank Bergon with his story about growing up in the Old West and seeing...

On the case in ‘Blood Oath’

Despite the title of Linda Fairstein’s newest book, “Blood Oath,” it is not full of gruesome blood and gore, although the title does have significance to the detective thriller. To say more would be...

Mothers and daughters

Local author Kate Hancock captures the minute details of the unfolding family drama in “The Baggage Car: A Journey of Remembrance.” The "baggage" is metaphorical in nature; the resentments between mothers and daughters over...
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