Between the Covers

Editor’s Note: Here’s a quick look at some of the latest books to arrive in the mail at The Ellsworth American. They either have ties to the state or are of special interest to our readers.


Pet ponderings

Cats can be mysterious creatures. Who know what’s behind their fixed, enigmatic gazes. That thought was what inspired Dr. John H. Hunt to write “Why Does My Cat Look at Me Like That? Ponderings of a Small Town Veterinarian” (2019, Dorrance Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. $26). Hunt, who owned and operated the Bucksport Veterinary Hospital for more than 25 years, hosts WERU Radio’s “Pet Sounds” spot from 7:30 to 7:35 a.m. on Sundays. He got the idea to write the book when his sister blurted “Why is my cat looking at me like that?” in the middle of a phone conversation.

The result is a colorful, informative and highly entertaining collection of essays about pets of all kinds. Topics range widely from to carbohydrate consumption in the diabetic cat to “My bird screams all the time. What can I do?”


Something is out there

Under a full moon, Logan Jennings lies on the grass, listens to the crickets in the family farm’s pecan grove and tries to conjure lines in a poem at the outset of his summer vacation.

This placid, pastoral scene in the wilds of Oklahoma’s Cherokee County is suddenly shattered by a calf’s screams and its vicious mauling by a huge, shadowy creature whose guttural growl fills the air and teeth flash in the moonlight.

That’s the compelling start to Bar Harbor author Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel’s second co-written young adult novel “In the Woods” (2019, MacMillian Publishing $17.99). Their first collaboration, “After Obsession,” won praise from Kirkus Reviews.

A New York Times bestselling author, Jones has written many award-winning novels for teens included in her “Need,” “Flying” and “Time Stoppers” series.

Also set in Oklahoma, where Wedel teaches high school English and lives with his dogs Bubba and Bear, “In the Woods” promises to be a worthy choice for readers who enjoy fantasy and paranormal fiction. The authors’ writing is vivid and characters thoughtfully crafted.


A world apart

In Portland, author Joseph Souza’s mystery “Pray for the Girl” (2019, Kensington Books, $26), a haunted former combat medic/Manhattan sous chef starts to recover from her post-traumatic stress disorder only to immerse and insert herself investigating the murder of an Afghan girl in her bleak Maine hometown where she has holed up.

Suffering from insomnia and anxiety, Lucy Abbott rallies and feels compelled to act and find out what happened having been haunted by her failure to save another Afghan girl during her tour in Afghanistan.

That’s the complex plot that the former Drug Enforcement Agency intelligence analyst’s second mystery revolves around. His novel about Lucy, her family, the town of Fawn Grove, its Afghan community, polarized inhabitants and their identities is full of surprises. It’s a maelstrom worth diving into.

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