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Summer 2013 - Book Reviews

Ah, the luxury of plenty. It’s not often in life that we can say our choices are many and all good. It seems the folks who spend their time writing were having a very productive winter and the result is this wonderful bunch of great reads. The Outer Banks is rich in history and every year more details are discovered and  published. No matter your age or interest there is something on this list that will suit you. Everything from conversations with residents from the 1970’s telling of a  lifestyle here that time may seem like fiction, but isn’t, to facts from earlier in the era woven into a tale about  the heros of the Life Saving Service. It wouldn’t be a full exploration of the Outer Banks unless the delicious local food was explored so we top off the list with a guided tour of who offers what where and when from seasonal offerings like soft shell crabs to the local variations on clam chowder. It’s all quite satisfying so chose one or two to tuck in your beach bag and another to carry home to visit later in the year when you are missing the beach.


New Non-fiction

North Carolina's Amazing Coast

North Carolina’s Amazing Coast, Natural Wonders from Alligators to Zoeas by David Bryant, George Davidson, Terri Kirby Hathaway, Kathleen Angione. Illus, Charlotte Ingram.

A lavishly illustrated nature guide for all ages. Organized around the alphabet we are given a glimpse of local inhabitants from plants to jellyfish. Meet a living fossil the horsehoe crab and enjoy the graceful fronds of a palmetto all in the comfort of your air conditioned cottage! 

We have signed copies!


Hidden History of the Outer Banks

Hidden History of the Outer Banks by Sarah Downing

We are all familiar with the BIG stories like  the Wright Brothers and the lighthouses but what about the tidbits nearly lost to time. Downing picks up the bits and pieces of history that are just as integral to the coast and equally as intriguing. Here you will learn early history of the windmills that once dotted the shoreline and perhaps be reminded of your own summers shopping at the Galleon Esplanade.


Civil War on Hatteras

The Civil War on Hatteras: The Chicamacomico Affair and the Capture of the US Gunboat Fanny by Lee Thomas Oxford

Adding to a thankfully growing collection of Outer Banks Civil War titles, this nicely annotated and well indexed volume is a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up Hatteras Civil War history. Long unrecorded tidbits of battles and war changing events are fleshed out here. Rich in detail and pictures of the era. 

We have signed copies!


Happier Than This Day and Time An Oral History of the Outer Banks

Happier Than This Day and Time: An Oral History of the Outer Banks by David Poyer

In the 1970’s author Poyer visited Hatteras on a mission to write the first insider’s Guide to the Outer Banks for his friends Mike McOwen and Beth Storie, the publishers in Manteo. Along the way he took the time to stop and chat with the elders he encountered in each village. From these folks we hear first had about U-boats, hurricanes and daily life on a remote island. Dave also has a new novel just released Whiteness of the Whale, a contemporary story of adventure on the high seas.


Ocracoke, The Pearl of the Outer Banks

Ocracoke, The Pearl of the Outer Banks by Ray McAllister

Another great read from the author of Hatteras Island, Keeper of the Outer Banks. With his trademark conversational style Ray winds the colorful history of the island into the fabric of the modern vacation haven you will find today. A charming village situated at the other end of a ferry ride.

We have signed copies! 


A Blessed Life Growing Up on Ocracoke Island

A Blessed Life. Growing Up on Ocracoke Island by Della Gaskill

You can almost hear Della's Ocracoke brogue as you turn the pages of this slim volume. With vintage pictures scattered throughout the Ocracoke that Della roamed as a child comes to life. 

We have signed copies!


The Sandy Banks Live On

The Sandy Banks Live On by Nancy Rascoe

A tome so physically fat one needs to be seated to read it. Chock full of family photos memories, this is an awe inspiring work of love. Miss Nancy so obviously loves not only her family but the memoires of their time shared on the Outer Banks beaches. In this beautiful book she shares with all of us her collection of perhaps never before seen snapshots of the old cottages of Nags Head and the many generations of folks who have lived their summers on the high tide line. A treasure. Thanks Nancy. 

We have signed copies!


Food Lovers Guide to North Carolina Outer Banks

Food Lovers’ Guide to North Carolina’s Outer Banks by Elizabeth Wiegand

Ms Wiegand is the now well know author of The Outer Banks Cookbook. Who better to sample and parse the food offerings of retail establishments that feed us? From which market sells the freshest shrimp to where to find the kind of crab cake you prefer (some filing, lots of spice of just hunks of backfin) this new volume is a culinary tour guide.

We have signed copies!


New Fiction

Ocracoke Between the Storms

Ocracoke Between the Storms by Edward P. Norvell

Mr Norvell spends his summers on Ocracoke so he knows the territory well. Within this tale of choosing life after loss you will realize that sense of place and a sense of belonging to that place play a large and pivotal role in making life worthwhile.


Whisper Island

Whisper Island by Anola Pickett

A charming historical novel written for the younger set but equally as interesting for adults.  Primmy is a young woman living on the Outer Banks in 1913. An adventurous soul she longs to join the U S Life Saving Service, but during that era women were not welcome. Set at Chicamacomico, the station location and the language evoke history of the Carolina coast.

We have signed copies! 


Not Our Kind of Killing

Not Our Kind of Killing by Joseph L S Terrell

A murder mystery set both on the Outer Banks and the mountains of North Carolina. Terrell adds to the series starring crime writer Harrison Weaver. For folks who enjoyed Tide of Darkness and Overwash of Evil this new edition will also satisfy with local scenery and colorful characters.


Hatteras Moon

Hatteras Moon by Stephen March

Murder and mayhem on the Outer Banks in the 1980’s. Drug smuggling, commercial fishing and weather. It doesn’t get any saltier than this.