Barking Up the Right Beach, Seal And Dog Tale Is Lesson for All
ROB HAMMETT

Anyone, young or old, who has a summer friend, enjoys the company of the family dog, cherishes their time along the shore and appreciates the differences in life that the world provides will find Sarah French’s new book, Summer Friends (Vineyard Stories, $16.95), very appealing. Ms. French, of Rowayton, Conn., and Chilmark, is not only the author but illustrator as well. Her literary and artistic abilities truly appeal to both children and adults, making this a book that any adult would be happy to read to any child, a very important factor when considering the topic.

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Vineyard Bookshelf
Trina Mascott

Saying Goodbye is an aptly named new book by Drs. Barbara Okun, an Aquinah summer resident for the past 39 years, and Joseph Nowinski of San Francisco, which Dr. Okun describes as “a co-authorship made in heaven.” The authors provide a fascinating and most helpful guide for people facing terminal illness, and for their families whose lives are disrupted by grief and new responsibilities. The book is peppered with stories of people whose experiences illustrate the points being made.

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Vineyard Bookshelf
Liz Durkee

Caleb’s Crossing, By Geraldine Brooks, Viking, 2011, Hardcover, 320 Pages, $26.95, in bookstores May 3.

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Children’s Book Subject a Dear One for Baseball Fan Carly Simon
Holly Nadler

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME. By Carly Simon (performer, author), Jack Norworth (author) and Amiko Hirao (illustrator). Imagine, a Charlesbridge Imprint. April 2011. 26 pages, hardcover. $17.95.

Imagine a 1908 Tin Pan Alley ditty that continues to be heard by tens of millions of Americans on a daily basis — at least during baseball season. Yes, the incredibly catchy Take Me Out to the Ballgame (by Jack Norworth), is the unofficial baseball anthem, and it gets the crowds roaring to the immortal lyrics:

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Seeds of American Revolution Literally Planted in the Ground
Holly Nadler

FOUNDING GARDENERS: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation. By Andrea Wulf. Knopf, March 29, 2011. 352 pages. $30, hardcover.

At first glance this book, with its lovely old-style sketches of such flowers as Rhododendron maximum and Kalmia angustifolia, gives you the notion it would make the ideal gift for someone who knows her forsythia from Scotch broom. But the moment you start reading Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf (Knopf, $30), you realize something groundbreaking is going on — pun intended.

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Down the Stretch, With No Relievers
Holly Nadler

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched:> Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn and the Pitching Dual of the Century, by Jim Kaplan, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2011, 203 pages $24.95.

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, July 2,1963. Two future Hall of Fame pitchers, one at the end of a stunning career, the other at the beginning. Giants versus Braves. Sixteen innings. No relievers.

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The Lovely Practice of Being Present
Holly Nadler

“Never put anyone out of your heart,” the late Hindu holy man Neem Karoli Baba told his disciples, among them writer, lecturer, and holy man in his own right, Ram Dass, and his friend, regular travel buddy, writer and photographer, Rameshwar Das. These two men share many affinities, among them a decades-long passion for Eastern philosophy coupled with an ability to purvey these ideas to a similarly fascinated American public.

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My Side of the Car, Room Enough for All
ROB HAMMETT

MY SIDE OF THE CAR. By Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Candlewick Press. Somerville. April 2011. 32 pages, illustrations. $16.99 hardcover.

In their new book My Side of the Car, author and Oak Bluffs resident Kate Feiffer and her father, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning illustrator Jules Feiffer, hand the reader the quintessential and timeless story of the father-daughter relationship. Written with the purity of childhood memories and illustrated with graceful humor, the Feiffers have hit the nail right on the head.

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Take a Hike, With Pleasure
Liz Durkee

By LIZ DURKEE

WALKINGS TRAIL OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD: The Comprehensive Pocket Guide to Island Trails, William Flender, Fourth Edition, Vineyard Conservation Society, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2010, $14.95, 117 PAGES.

A weatherproof, pocket-sized, fully-loaded guide to the Island’s walking trails. What a concept! It is such a good idea that the Vineyard Conservation Society has just published its fourth edition of Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard by William Flender.

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At Sea with Captain Joshua Slocum
Tom Dunlop

The Hard Way Around> , by Geoffrey Wolff. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 218 pages. Hardback, $25.95

A confession: I love sea stories, but until a few weeks ago, I had never read one of the great, true-life adventure books ever written — Sailing Alone Around the World, by Capt. Joshua Slocum, originally of Nova Scotia and at the end of his life from a farm he called Fag End in West Tisbury.

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