A sensational, brilliantly told story, Madhouse at the End of the World recounts the fateful Belgica expedition whose ill-considered quest for the South Pole ended in madness, desperate heroism, and everything in between. Two of the young crew members would later become icons of polar exploration, Frederick Cook and Roald Amundsen, which offers an added element of fascination. Lovers of polar exploration will scarcely find a more thrilling or engrossing narrative than this one.
Reminiscent of My Octopus Teacher, Fox & I is a tale of a friendship formed by the author, a biologist and teacher with a fox who was the lone visitor to her isolated cottage in Montana. The book deftly juxtaposes two learning experiences: the author's connection to Fox and the learning she provides to her remote students in the field classes she leads in Yellowstone. The intertwining of learning both about and within nature provides a quietly dynamic window onto what it is to be human in a living landscape.
A remarkable historical epic set in China, She Who Became the Sun, explores elements of fate, destiny, and gender with an emphasis on the role of will and alignment which give it a narrative power that builds steadily thought out the book. Exciting and profound in equal measures, this engrossing book will linger in the hearts and minds of its readers long after the last page is read.
There is so much to love about this new translation of the 16th-century Chinese classic tale of Tripitaka, a chaste and easily terrified Buddhist monk, and his three irregular bodyguards: the mischievous and powerful Monkey King; Pigsy, the gluttonous pig demon; and Sandy, an unsavory river deity. The book follows their 14-year, fraught-with-danger journey from China to India to receive Buddhist scrolls. Julia Lovell’s translation and abridgement of Wu Cheng’en’s classic tale capitalizes on the inherently modern and timeless character of the tale itself. Great satire ages far more slowly than other genres—just look at the Satyricon‘s continued ability to shock, offend, and entertain. Journey to the West has all the elements of a great series of Monty Python skits: funny, insightful, and informative all at once.
Depicting a kind of Hogwarts for psychopaths, Never Saw Me Coming follows the untoward events of a secret program for studying psychopathy embedded within a university. Though its participants are not supposed to know each other's identities, that all changes when study members start dying. Filled with fascinating and convincing unreliable narrators and a spectacularly satisfying ending, this is a thriller that engages the reader on many levels.
Mephistopheles is ordinarily a deceiver, but in Reprieve, James Han Matson's allegorical tour de force, he is depicted as an illusionist and a liar. The owner of Quigley House—a renowned full contact haunted escape room—John Forrester offers what people need: the allure of love, family, belonging, and whiteness wrapped in a bath of fake blood, costumes, prosthetics, fear, racism, misogyny and adrenaline. Most of all, it offers what people truly desire: the illusion of reprieve. This is an immersive rip tide of a reading experience which mirrors a trip through Quigley House with pulse pounding complicity, entangling readers in the moral intensity of a book with no easy escape for either its heartrendingly vulnerable characters or its readers. This is a rare, powerful, and deeply important book.
Accomplished adult fantasy author Allison Croggan brings her talents to middle grade fiction in Threads of Magic with remarkable success. This story manages to be wonderfully atmospheric and creepy, with complex and flawed characters, and high stake issues without ever being inappropriate for strong readers. This one is truly a magical and satisfying tale for all ages.
A great fantasy for young readers will bring joy, but also both relevance and escape at the same time. As a narrative, Amari and the Night Brothers mirrors its content. Drawing in readers via deeply satisfying and familiar elements and then shifting their character in a beguiling and revealing manner is just the sort of spell one of the book’s characters might have cast. The spell, intertwining the timeless and the timely, mixing familiar ingredients in a novel way, reveals the power of addressing the moment through story rather than allegory. Though the security of allegory is alluring, Amari chooses the harder path of working her way to understanding through immersion. This is the start of what will prove a very popular new series.
This young adult tour de force combines futuristic version of an ancient China that was overrun by an alien race of Hundun colossi. Humans have developed a way to fight back, and potentially claim back, territory. The human culture war effort are profoundly dependent on the subjugation of women. Iron Widow's protagonist, Xetian, is unequivocally ready to fight and destroy both the Hundun and the patriarchy. Xetian is an amazing voice, whose immediacy and rage will speak to teens where they live. Exciting, entertaining, and rewarding, this boundary breaking book is a true stand out.
This young adult tour de force of a novel, written harmoniously by two accomplished authors pits the chosen young champions of a village's ancient evil families in a riveting tournament with shifting rules, absorbing characters, and the best sort of action and romance. As the stakes and even the meaning of the tournament evolve, the story keeps on strengthening right through to its terrific ending.
An absolutely spectacular visual journey though our scenic and historic Maine neighbor, The Rangeleys is filled with sublime and edifying pages. Pearson's combination of stunning photographs and fascinating historical anecdotes makes The Rangeleys the perfect coffee table gift book for most any central Maine home.
A candid and personable memoir told through lyrics and the stories surrounding their creation, Paul McCartney has delivered the gift book of the year in this collection of reflections, lyrics, and photographs. If ever a life told in song was rendered onto page, it is to be found in The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.
Here are some true things about Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community:
- It is a sumptuous and informative history by Maine State Museum curator, and one-time DDG bookstore staffer, the renowned and fabulous Laurie LaBar! 2. Laurie is a modest person, but the exalted character of this coffee table history book will prove to be a potent strain on her self-effacement. 3. The book's levels of engagement, beauty, and edification are precisely equal as determined by scientific principles.
Nationally renowned local children’s book author Betty Culley has followed up her magnificent young adult debut novel in verse, Three Things I Know Are True, with an equally terrific traditional prose novel, Down to Earth. Down to Earth is written for a middle grade audience and set in a rural town in central Maine. It follows a geology-loving boy in a family of water dowsers who finds himself enmeshed in controversy when the object of his scientific interest, a large meteorite, lands on his family’s property and odd circumstances begin to arise. The book delightfully captures life in rural Maine for a homeschooled boy for whom science is found everywhere around him.
Sumptuous illustrator Inga Moore has followed up her all-time wonderful House in the Woods with a charming and heartwarming new story of Moose and his friends. When Moose's love of sharing stories both exhausts his store of stories and draws too big a crowd for his cozy home, our clever friend with the help of Librarian Goose, finds and builds a solution which affirms the power of books as a dynamic source of community. The joys of storytelling have never found a more joyful story than Moose's Book Bus.
Lynne Ray Perkins’ sublime new picture book, The Museum of Everything, addresses something profound about the pandemic experience we have all lived through: the power of bringing the outside world into our own private spaces . Reading The Museum of Everything is a satisfying, moving, and quietly engrossing experience. To walk through its pages is to take a tour of your own best self.
Never have fate, doom, and destiny been so hilariously handled as in beloved author Jon Klassen's wonderful new tale of narrowly avoiding disaster by listening to the sound advice of your friends. The visual humor of the story will delight children over and over again, as will its imaginative elements and many surprises.
Bear Is a Bear is the tale of a stuffed bear who brings companionship and friendship to a mother and her daughter, draws warm tears from almost every reader. There is an exquisite integration between text and illustration. Santat commands the reader's emotions forth as with a powerful spell. This is a book which, like Bear himself, will be a friend to many readers in many ways.
P.J. Lynch, creator of The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, is the perfect illustrator for this classic holiday poem. The elegance, warmth, and depth of his drawings give Moore's familiar words a fresh resonance. Anyone who opens the pages of this book will see at once Clement C. Moore's classic has found a new home.
Nothing says holiday season quite like a new book from Jan Brett. The beloved author/illustrator publishes one book a year each November, often with winter themes. And each year her new book is a centerpiece of the holidays for many families. That is extra true this year as she has lavished her artistry on a new version of a holiday classic, The Nutcracker.