Sunday, May 19, 2013

10 Summer Reads from Books Just Write Books

Summer is the time to catch up on your reading. Whether you’re at the beach on a warm, sunny day or curled up during stormy weather, a book makes a great companion. Check out these ten offerings from Just Write Books that will provide entertaining on sunny or rainy days.

Chute's Summer Reading Selections
 Coming Home: A Maine Mystery by Robert M. Chute. Jim Johnson returns from World War II to his hometown and to the family business, a country inn on a lake in northwestern Maine. Johnson's return is filled with surprises—a body hidden in a garment bag in an empty cabin, his deceased father's association with bootleggers and his childhood friend, Joan Chaplin, now married but with an absent husband. His relations with Joan, and with other women, are complicated by traumatic experiences during the war which he fears may have left him impotent. Johnson's quest to find answers leads him on a cross-country journey pushing him to explore himself in a rare gem in mysteries.

Return to Sender by Robert M. Chute. Robert M. Chute brings us the sequel to Coming Home: A Maine Mystery. In Return to Sender, Melonie Janus thinks she knows who killed her stepbrother and dumped his body into the lake to fake an accident. Jefferson County's Sheriff Dumont and DA Black are stymied by a lack of evidence for arrest and trial. Melonie embarks on a dangerous private voyage, traveling to Wyman Falls at the southern end of a wilderness lake extending north across the Canadian border. Readers of Coming Home will recognize many of the residents of Wyman Falls as they continue their usual (or unusual) activities. Willis Wyman and his steam-powered lake boat, Leland Fogg, a disabled veteran with mathematical and romantic aptitudes, and the obsessive-compulsive Runner Higgens and his dog Whitey play roles in this excellent mystery set in post World War II rural Maine.

Roadside Rest by Robert M. Chute
With Roadside Rest, Robert Chute returns to Wyman Falls. Readers of Coming Home and/or Return to Sender will recognize many of the characters and much of the landmarks in this mystery set in post Korean War rural Maine. The mystery unfolds as a fellow from West Virginia comes to town with a deed to property owned by Willis Wyman and James Johnson. The West Virginian goes missing. There are more questions than answers in an investigation that includes quirky town characters. Meanwhile Jim Johnson is missing in action from Korea. Enjoy this story as it takes you around the world and back to Maine with nonstop action revealed through Chute's prose—that like, his poetry, is, "careful language, precise, with a sparse beauty."

Islands of Time by Barbara Kent Lawrence. At fourteen, Rebecca Granger falls in love with Ben Bunker. A summer girl is not allowed to love a year-round boy, son of a fisherman in Downeast Maine in 1958. Yet, she does. When her father dies—overpowered by loss and anger—she commits a sin, terrible at the time. That sin nearly destroys Rebecca. She hides in fantasies until as an adult, returning to Maine she struggles to come to terms with that past. Islands of Time is a moving story of loss, pain and growth, but also of unexpected forgiveness and love that celebrates the people and places of Downeast Maine.

The story of a moose with a problem.
 Maney the Sneezing Moose by Roland Wallace
Maney is a Maine moose with a sneezing problem. Maney finds friends who are tolerant of his problem and find a way to help him. The black and white drawings are sure to fascinate both children and adult readers.

A rescue tale.
Lewis and the Lighthouse by Bill McKibben. Bill McKibben has written his first book about Lewis, a boy who lives on the coast of Maine near a lighthouse. Enjoy the tale of Lewis' exciting adventure as he races to save a ship on stormy night. With just enough suspense for young readers, this fun read-a-loud book is illustrated with lively art by Robert Logan.

Betit's Summer Reading Selections

Phu Bai by Paul Betit. It is June 1967, and United States military involvement in South Vietnam is nearing its zenith. As the war ratchets up, John Murphy and Charles Van Dyck of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division investigate the murder of an American soldier at Phu Bai. War intrudes as the two investigators build their case against the most likely suspect. But a bizarre twist turns it into an unusual manhunt in the middle of a war zone.

Kagnew Station by Paul Betit. In this sequel to Phu Bai, CID investigator John Murphy travels to a remote U.S. military base in East Africa during the summer of 1968 to investigate the mysterious death of an American soldier. Evidence points to a marauding band of Eritrean rebels. The investigation becomes personal when someone tries to kill Murphy, still coming to grips with his Vietnam War experience. Murphy uncovers the identity of the murderer but faces an unusual dilemma while wrapping up the case.

Seymour's Summer Reading Selections
Hidden World Revealed by Tom Seymour. Hidden World Revealed is a collection of short works by Tom Seymour previously published in his blog "Wild Plants and Wooly Bears." In Hidden World Revealed, Seymour discusses his interaction with animal neighbors and explores plants and seasonal changes. Each piece reflects Maine rural life. The narratives of his walks in the woods are instructive about the natural environment and revealing of a human who walks lightly on the earth. A humble man with a fine mind invites us to know our Maine woodlands and rural neighbors. A great book to read every day of the year. 

Wild Plants of Maine: AUseful Guide by Tom Seymour.  From insect repellent, to table fare, to a relaxing wintergreen tea, Tom Seymour identifies the source and describes the method of preparing wild plant concoctions or foods. Any person living or visiting in Maine should have this book to enhance the enjoyment of our great Maine outdoors. From the shore to the forest and from the first green of spring to the snowiest winter day, join Tom Seymour as he enjoys Maine "wilds."

What other Just Write Books are you reading this summer?

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