Oil Trade: Book Renews Hanukkah Story
By NATHANIEL HORWITZ

LETTER ON THE WIND: A Chanukah Tale. By Sarah Marwil Lamstein. Illustrated by Neil Waldman. Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, Pa. 2007. 32 pages. $16.95 hardcover.

Read More

What Ratty Said to Mole Still Counts: Author Loves Messing Around in Boats
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Journals of Constant Waterman, Paddling, Poling, and Sailing for the Love of It. By Matthew Goldman, Breakaway Books, Halcottsville, N.Y. 2007, page 336. $14.

Matthew Goldman has sailed into Vineyard waters with his book The Journals of Constant Waterman. Boat enthusiasts and especially wanna-be boat enthusiasts will enjoy the short stories assembled between the cover. His trade is boat repair and maintenance and a lot of other crafts. He lives in Stonington.

Read More

Wake Up and Read: Reggae Scrapbook
Jim Hickey

REGGAE SCRAPBOOK. By Roger Steffens and Peter Simon. Insight Editions. San Rafael, Calif.. 2007. 154 pages. $45 hardcover with DVD.

Read More

Burning Earth Makes Searing Tale
Liz Durkee

THE DAY THE EARTH CAVED IN: An American Mining Tragedy. By Joan Quigley. Random House. 2007. Hardcover. 223 pages.

Before he began sinking into the ground, 12-year-old Todd Domboski noticed a wisp of smoke floating from the ground “like a smoldering match buried under damp leaves.”

In Centralia, Pennsylvania, where an abandoned coal mine had been burning beneath the town for 19 years, the book explains, tiny fissures often punched through the topsoil, trailing bands of sulfurous steam.

Read More

Tale Told With Wit and Daggers, Just Like the Lives of the Wives
Liz Durkee

GOOD LITTLE WIVES. By Abby Drake. HarperCollins. August 2007. 304 pages. $13.95 softcover.

Good Little Wives is a good little chick-lit read. I read it in a day. Granted, there were no distractions because it was one of those rare I-don’t-feel-very-good-I-think-I’ll-stay-in-bed-all-day days. And Good Little Wives, by Abby Drake, was just what I needed.

Read More

Enjoy a Roll in the Mud of the Place
Holly Nadler

Like Ireland in the past two hundred years, and Concord in the mid-19th century, the Vineyard is known for incubating writers. Some of them set their stories right here on the Island. The most illuminating to come down the pike in a long time — perhaps the most illuminating ever — is The Mud of the Place, by Susanna J. Sturgis, published by Speed-of-C Productions, $19.99.

Read More

Playing With Dreams: New Book On Acting from the Inside Out
Gerry Yukevich

DREAMING TOGETHER: Explore Your Dreams by Acting them Out. By John Lipsky. Larson Publications, 208 pages. Softcover, $16.95.

Prize-winning playwright, director, and professor of drama at Boston University, Jon Lipsky has been pioneering for decades in the field of dream theater. Now he has written an important and delicious new book, Dreaming Together, which sheds abundant light on what happens inside us at night when our eyes are shut.

Read More

Real-Life Hero Behind Kids’ Story Was Woman Ahead of Her Time

The Honey Boat,> by Polly Burroughs. Illustrated by Garrett Price. Published 1968 and 2008. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 44 pages. $14.99.

For those who remember traveling the streets of Edgartown years ago, the term honey wagon was a euphemism for the septic system pump-out trucks that traveled the streets during the height of summer. It was pretty easy to understand why they got such a witty name. The vehicles attracted so many flies that from a distance they could look like beehives.

Read More

Emily Post Blossoms in Biography
Holly Nadler

EMILY POST: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners. By Laura Claridge. Random House, New York, N.Y. October 2008. 544 pages. $30 hardcover.

Read More

Dennis Lehane Captivates With Boston Cops Novel
Jack Shea

Dennis Lehane took a piece of Boston history, the stuff of legend in the city’s neighborhoods for nearly 90 years, and has written it as an epic novel.

Called The Given Day, the novel will be released today by William Morrow.

Read More

Pages