If you love Maine, you’ll love this book

If you love Maine, and who doesn’t, then you will love Maine Life in a Day, published by Down East Books. Susan Conley did a superb job of pulling together many wonderful photographs that will entertain and inspire you.

Susan grew up in Woolwich, Maine in the 1970s and offers a great story about that in the introduction. “Up and down our small stretch of the Kennebec River, our neighbors canned tomatoes and fed chickens and made it up as they went. Maine was big and forgiving enough for people to reinvent themselves like this back then. It still is.”

“Each of the photographers here tells a story, start to finish, of what it really means to live here in Maine,” she writes. I think she described this book perfectly as “pure bounty for the reader, a gorgeous homecoming for anyone touched by Maine – the lucky people who call this state home and the legions who carry Maine in their imaginations but live far away.”

I was hooked by the very first photograph of a young boy motoring across Thompson Lake. It brought back some fond memories of my own. By the time I got to page 9 showing the silhouette of a fisherman standing in the water enjoying a stunning sunset, well I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

From the stunning photos of migrant workers picking blueberries in Washington County to the very funny photo of a lady in a wedding gown standing next to all the guns for sale at Hussey’s General Store in Windsor (If they don’t have it, you don’t need it), I couldn’t get enough of this book. And at that point I was only on page 18!

There’s a neat picture of game warden Deb Palman and with her dog, the Amish community at a barn racing, a blizzard in downtown Rockland, and Project Puffin researcher Kelsey Navarre holding a newborn puffin chick – well I’m still only halfway through the book!

As I neared the end of the book I came across a wonderful photo of an old-fashioned bean hole bean supper at the Patton lumberman’s Museum. The beans were just coming out of the ground. Boy do II have some great memories of bean hole beans.

Sixteen fabulous photographers are featured in the book, and I’m not going to tell you about the very last picture but the caption gets it right, “the way life should be.”

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.