Tangled Fish Tales Echo in History

THE UNNATURAL HISTORY OF THE SEA. By Callum Roberts. Island Press/Shearwater Books, Washington, D.C. 2007. 436 pages. Hardcover, $28.

Last spring when the herring started showing up in Island coastal ponds, I got a call from a fisherman asking, “Where are the mackerel?”

Book review: Remarkable Americans

Remarkable Americans: > The Washburn Family. By Kerck Kelsey. Illustrated. Tilbury House Publishers. 402 pages. $25.95.

Since the 1950s, the Washburn name has been a familiar one in Edgartown, with the late Stanley Washburn living on South Water street in summer and C. Langhorne Washburn summering on Pease’s Point Way. This fact-filled volume tells the story of their 19th-century forebears from northern Maine.

Recalling Chilmark Regular, Paul Moore

THE BISHOP’S DAUGHTER: A Memoir. By Honor Moore. Illustrated. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 354 pages. $25.95 hardcover.

In the 1970s, the late Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore Jr. was a Chilmark seasonal visitor. He came to the Island after the death of his first wife, Jenny McKean, and his marriage to Brenda Hughes Eagle who had a Chilmark home. Now his eldest daughter by his first marriage has written a memoir about her own life and the life of her illustrious father.

Perceptive Author Matches Odd Couple

David Lebedoff is a Minneapolis attorney, political figure and writer known for provocative thinking. In the interest of full disclosure, he is also an old friend.

About a Boy, a Boat, and a Love of All Things Old and Wooden

SLOOP: Restoring My Family’s Wooden Sailboat, An Adventure in Old-Fashioned Values. By Daniel Robb. Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y. 2007. 318 pages with photographs. $25.

Naturalist Calls Island Life Book Eye-Opening Resource

ISLAND LIFE: A CATALOG OF THE BIODIVERSITY ON AND AROUND MARTHA’S VINEYARD. By Allan R. Keith and Stephen A. Spongberg. Published in cooperation with the Marine Biological Laboratories, Woods Hole, Mass. 2008.

Nicole Galland’s History Novel Crosses Neatly into Modernity

CROSSED, a Tale of the Fourth Crusade. By Nicole Galland. Harper Paperbacks, New York, N.Y. 2008. 641 pages. $15.95 softcover.

Blending history with humor is a great way to communicate and Vineyard native Nicole Galland achieves this tender mix in her latest novel, Crossed, A Tale of the Fourth Crusade, in which she brings to life a disastrous medieval holy war.

Author Delves Into Passion and Scandal of Unsolved East Chop Murder Mystery

In Mystery on the Vineyard, author Tom Dresser delves into a grisly unsolved murder. Here is an extract from the new book. It was pre-World War II and a dapper off-Islander arrived, impressing the locals. Drawn to the prettiest girl, he was upset when an elderly woman tried to break up the romance.

This story happened on East Chop in Oak Bluffs nearly 70 years ago. The Red Sox led the American League in early June and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath had recently been released as a movie, starring Henry Fonda.

Democracy: A Cacophony of Voices

FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT THAT WE HATE. By Anthony Lewis. Basic Books, New York, N.Y. 2008. 221 pages. $25 hard cover.

The Vineyard’s political season is in full swing, with town meetings and local elections happening this month. It is in a season such as this that Anthony Lewis’s most recent book, Freedom For The Thought That We Hate, is particularly compelling.

Vineyard Birds II Tracks Island’s Avian Changes

VINEYARD BIRDS II: Where and What to See on Martha’s Vineyard. By Susan B. Whiting and Barbara B. Pesch. Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, Mass. 2007. 152 pages, photographs and illustration. $19.95, softcover.