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Amy Welch
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"Wood's biggest coup is this: while Richard Russo's Empire Falls and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (and I admire each book), both take place in Maine, but neither of them get Maine right; they are a flatlander's view of a misunderstood state and perpetuate the oft-unrealistic portrayal of Maine in fiction and beyond. Granted, they were works of fiction, but there's not a "gut-shot deer" to be seen. Living in rural Maine, far away from candle shops and clambakes, near a pulp and paper mill is no seaside fete. Unlike Russo's characters, Wood understands most mill families didn't visit the seaside in the summer, and unlike Elizabeth Strout's Kitteridge, Mainers all are not quirky, stoic, and thus adorable. Wood's story is as real as the filthy river we both grew up on." -- Kerri Arsenault, "A Town Big Enough for Both of Em."

When We Were the Kennedys is a heartbreakingly beautiful book by a writer from my hometown. I read it last month when I was home on vacation, and oh dear god, I cried. A lot. But I loved this book because, somehow, Monica Wood managed to write about the "filthy river" town where we grew up in a way that wasn't kitschy, negative (too easy), or wrong.

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This image came up on FB today, and it was too good to not share.
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Oh, for crying out loud -- who brews an entire pot of coffee with only about 4 scoops of coffee in the filter?!

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Look at his face! Awesome!!!
I love the look on his face

President Barack Obama demos Joey Hudy's Extreme Marshmallow Cannon at the second White House Science Fair in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Learn more about the 2012 White House Science Fair at http://wh.gov/0qf
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<jaw drops open>

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Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy! [flails arms]
How the world really breaks down:
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Ah, Christmas: The season where simply being in the parking lot of a retail establishment means there's a gigantic target on your vehicle.

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Aaaannndddd the results of this will probably form my reading list for the next few months.

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Proud of my new hometown for supporting the library! (And baffled by the guy who thinks the library should fund itself through "naming rights.")
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