Tangled Fish Tales Echo in History
Mark Alan Lovewell

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?”

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Vineyard Birds II Tracks Island’s Avian Changes
By ALLAN KEITH

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.

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Unfolding a Map of Island Life, Page by Page Through History
Liz Durkee

THE 1858 MAP OF CAPE COD, MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET. By Henry F. Walling, with contributions from Robert Finch, Theresa Mitchell Barbo, Elliott Carr, Jim Coogan, Charles Fields, Gail Fields, Adam Gamble, Joseph Garver, Kathleen Schatzberg. On Cape Publications Inc., 2009. 122 pages. $50, hardcover.

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Hidden Art Insights in One Book, Open Visual Wordplay in Another
Holly Nadler

ICH SEHE DEN KOPF DES PANTHERS IM DUNKEL DER NACHT. By Dietmar Goessweiner.

AMERGIN AGAIN. By Joe Eldredge. hUMILITY pRESS, West Tisbury, 2009. $15, softcover.

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Beatles Book Follows Fab Four From Liverpool to Abbey Road
Holly Nadler

It’s irresistible to start this review of Vineyard author Tom Dresser’s new book about the Beatles, It Was 40 Years Ago Today, by saying it’s a Magical Mystery Tour of the Fab Four who Please Pleased [Us] through a Hard Day’s Night lasting six years, spanning the spectrum of I Feel Fine, to wanting to give each other A Ticket to Ride, all of them — and us —– trailing apart in a mood of benediction, Let It Be.

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Martha’s Vineyard Railroad Had a Very Short Ride
Tom Dunlop
For 21 years — from the late summers of 1874 through 1895 — a passenger train chuffed along a route that looks inconceivably imposing to us today: from what’s now the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf, over the very sands of State Beach, through the fairways and greens of the Edgartown Golf Club, perpendicularly across Upper Main street, along the border of not one but two cemeteries and into what are now the subdivisions and farmlands of Katama before terminating at two dead ends: the dunes of South Beach and a hotel at Mattakessett whose ugliness was rivaled only by its windswept isolation and self-evident vulnerability to fire.
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Mr. Waters’ Skunk Night Sonnets Captures Island in Vivid Verse

SKUNK NIGHT SONNETS. By Daniel Waters. Bright Hill Press, Treadwell, N.Y. 2009. 38 pages. Softcover, $10.

One of my favorite booths at the West Tisbury Artisans’ Fair is that of poet Daniel Waters. It is a wellspring of words! And not just any words, but the crisp, intuitive, fun-filled wordplay of Mr. Waters’ short poems, many of which are displayed on his distinctive hand-carved blockprint greeting cards.

Some of the poems are pure Vineyard:

“Sung to sleep by Nobska Light,

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Book Review: Two Weddings and a Funereal Professor
Liz Durkee

THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. By Richard Russo. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 261 pages. $25.95.

O ne afternoon two friends happened to drop by my house. The first arrived in a little sports convertible. When the second showed up in his VW bus he walked inside and said, “It looks like a middle-aged meltdown out there.”

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The Lives Beyond the Legends
Holly Nadler

For the first few pages of Paul Schneider’s Bonnie and Clyde, The Lives Behind The Legend, we see tall, willowy, sultry Faye Dunaway as the infamous gangster moll, Bonnie Parker, and we picture tall, broad-shouldered Warren Beatty as her outlaw boyfriend, Clyde Barrow. It doesn’t take long for the author to get the real people back in focus: Bonnie is petite (under five feet tall), more adorable than sultry, and Clyde also is short but a head taller than his energetic pip-squeak girlfriend.

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Poetry Collection Evokes Potent Memories of Vineyard Summers
Elizabeth Harrington
The poems in Portrait of a Reading Woman convey the tapestry of a life richly lived and richly told. Originally a Bostonian, Helen Gorenstein has spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard for over 40 years. Drawing on memories from her childhood in the 1930s, her marriage, and her “long summers” on the Island, she retraces her steps from childhood into her seventh decade.
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