Here are Melissa’s Picks for summer reading! You can find these books in two displays at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street in downtown Portland, and in our online store when you search by title. Adults and kids will enjoy these selections of fantastic titles that prompt the imagination and provide delicious historical details. Happy reading!
Summer Reading List for Adults:
1. The Republic of Pirates by Portland author Colin Woodard
Written in 2007, this book became the inspiration for the new NBC series Crossbones. The Portland Press Herald calls it “an entrancing tale of piracy colored with gold, treachery and double-dealing”. Perfect summer reading!
Paperback. 383 pages. $16.95.
2. The Allagash by Lew Dietz (Rockport, Maine 1906-1997)
Written in 1968, this book has been recently re-released through Down East Books. The author evokes the sights, sounds and smells of the river, the great stands of evergreens and the animals. With equal skill, Lew Dietz portrays the men who, for better or worse, make the Allagash what it is.
Paperback. 272 pages. $15.95.
3. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (1924-1964) with an introduction by Ardis Cameron, ANES Professor at University of Southern Maine.
When it was first published in 1956, Grace Metalious’s book unbuttoned the straitlaced New England of the popular imagination, transformed the publishing industry and made her one of the most talked-about people in America. The popularity of the novel spawned a feature film (shot in Camden, Maine) and a long running TV series. A true classic!
Paperback. 372 pages. $17.95.
4 & 5. For a bit of nostalgia, try these two new titles from History Press: The Saco Drive-In Cinema Under The Maine Sky by Camille M. Smalley, and A History of Howard Johnson’s: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon by Anthony M. Sammarco. An enjoyable trip down memory lane for folks “of a certain age”!
Paperback. 128 and 160 pages, respectively. $19.99 each.
6. August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm by Maine author Barbara Walsh
This book takes the reader on two heart-rending odysseys: one into a deadly Newfoundland hurricane and the lives of schooner fishermen who relied on God and the wind to carry them home; and the other into a squall stirred by a man with many secrets-a grandfather who remained a mystery until long after his death.
Paperback. 260 pgs. $16.95.
7. Boon Island: A True Story of Mutiny, Shipwreck and Cannibalism by Stephen Erickson and Andrew Vietze
Shipwrecked on the notorious Boon Island just off the New England coast, Captain Deane offered one version of the events while his crew proposed another. In the hands of skilled storytellers Vietze and Erickson, this becomes an historical adventure that reveals mysteries that endure to this day.
Paperback. 217 pages. $16.95.
Young Readers Summer Guide:
1. Sixteen Sails: A Mostly True Tale from 1908 Maine by Barbara Barry Smith
When 10-year-old George arrived to visit his sea captain grandfather on Mount Desert Island, only his friends in the Jolly Rogers Club had any idea of what amazing stories and adventures he expected to find. An engaging chapter book for young listeners or independent readers – and adults, too!
Paperback. 106 pages. $8.95.
2. Across the Reach by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
For Chicago born Elizabeth, being exiled to her grandparents’ house in South Portland, Maine for the entire summer vacation seemed about the worst thing that could happen. Soon she finds herself involved in solving a mystery with her summer neighbor, Chris, that leads them to the Longfellow House and the Research Library at the Maine Historical Society. Adventure abounds!
Hardcover. 269 pages. $16.95.
3. The Legend of Burial Island by David A. Crossman
“Spooky has gone missing on an uninhabited island off the coast of Maine!” So begins a new adventure for teen sleuths Bean Carver and Abigail “Ab” Peterson–with plenty of Native American legend thrown in!
Hardcover. 201 pages. $15.95.
4. Charley by Donna Marie Seim.
Charley is based on the true story of a 12-year-old boy living in Boston in 1910. Abandoned by his down and out father, he winds up on the steps of an orphanage and soon finds himself singing in their traveling choir. He sings his way into a farming family in rural Maine, but now, Charley must face his ultimate challenge!
Paperback. 195 pages. $14.95.
In 1918 as the Great War rages in Europe, the Spanish influenza tears a brutal path across the United States, leaving devastation in its wake. Suddenly, 11-year-old Lydia and her older brother, Daniel, find themselves orphans of the flu and are taken by their grieving uncle to be raised in the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake. From the Dear America Series.
Hardcover. 219 pages. $12.99.