By the Book - Winter 2014Nov 19, 2014 09:49AM ● By Erica Shames
The Fringe and Live at Elk Creek - Van Wagner, $8.99 each
The Fringe is Wagner’s 18th CD release and features unique songs about Pennsylvania wildlife—rattlesnakes and coyotes, for example—as well as a banjo song about the American Revolution. “Listeners can expect a musical connection linking us to our past,” Wagner reveals. The Live at Elk Creek CD puts listeners right in the audience at the café in Millheim, as captured by Mel DeYoung, of WPSU public radio. A side note: the three fun baseball-themed songs on these albums relate back to a family legend. Wagner’s great grandfather was a pitcher for the Limestoneville team. An exposition game was held, featuring a team from northern PA featuring an unknown rookie pitcher. The Limestoneville team won the game and the local newspaper wrote, “Of the two young pitchers, Wagner is the better.” The name of the other pitcher was Christy Mathewson, whose name is honored in the baseball hall of fame.
Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania
Ghosts, Monsters and Miracles
Edited by Thomas White
$19.99, The History Press
Strange creatures and tales of the supernatural thrive in Pennsylvania, from phantom trains that chug down the now removed rails of the P&LE Railroad line on the Great Allegheny Passage to a wild ape-boy who is said to roam the Chester swamps. Passed down over generations, Keystone State legends and lore provide both thrilling stories and dire warnings.
Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves
By Ann-Janine Morey
$34.95, Penn State Press
Dogs are as ubiquitous in American culture as white picket fences and apple pie, embracing all the meanings of wholesome domestic life. Ann-Janine Morey presents a collection of antique photographs of dogs and their owners, offering poignant testimony to the American romance with dogs.
The Hollow Ground
By Natalie S. Harnett
$24.99, St. Martin’s Press
Inspired by the real-life coal mine fires in Centralia, PA, and the equally devastated town of Carbondale, The Hollow Ground is Harnett’s debut novel with a strong sense of place. Ultimately, though, this is the story of a family and the love between a parent and child.
Remember the Sun
By Melanie Simms
$19.95, Sunbury Press
This collection of poems covers themes that include Pennsylvania-place poetry, inspirational poetry and reflections on nature and love.