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Books

Poopendous! author Artie ­Bennett turns  bodily functions into kid-appropriate art

“Matt said the F-word!” tattled five-year old Maya as my sweet little kindergartners did their morning color, cut and paste. I was shocked, but not so much when I learned that the F-word in question ended in -art. Children are intrigued by smells, noises and products of the bathroom.     This month the Key School welcomes a writer who turns references to bodily functions into kid-friendly and kid-appropriate art.
Calvert County author Peter Abresch has a new mystery out just in time to add a touch more intrigue to the election of a new pope.     Recycling Jesus, the author’s 10th novel, is a mystery wrapped in the Church’s most venerated relic, the Shroud of Turin. The crime might have gone undetected had not the Shroud’s guard been killed.

Librarians are our literary guides, anticipating our tastes and putting books to meet them in our hands, audio players and eReaders on demand. When you need a book, you ask a librarian. Here, in a special to Bay Weekly, Anne Arundel County Public Librarians review novels by local authors.

Deadrise by Robert Blake Whitehill     Deadrise, the first book in the Ben Blackshaw series, will capture your attention and have you on the edge of your seat from page one when the title character finds a wealth of gold, a dirty bomb and the corpse of his father while diving for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

In the literary economy, poetry is an art more in supply than demand. Nearly everybody writes poetry, or so it seems. But who reads it?     Little kids love its melody and meaning, but by high school it’s force-fed. Most of the rest of us take it, often in the form of Hallmark verse, to help us express emotions for which we seem to have no words of our own.     It takes a clever poet to sneak in under our defenses.

Lived by Capt. Lawrence William Simns; written by Robert L. Rich Jr.

If anyone should write a book about being a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, it should be Capt. Larry Simns, who has worked the water for seven decades and has served as president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association for 40 years. His efforts on behalf of commercial watermen, Chesapeake Bay and the seafood industry are all but ­legendary.

Two books with local connections are treats to put under the tree for younger children.

Denise Blum’s Chesapeake Bay Crab Challenge is about Jay, a young boy who wakes up one morning to find his pet crab Clay missing from his aquarium. Where could Clay be? Will Jay find him?     Blum takes readers on a hunt through Chesapeake Country’s Lusby, Oxford and Cambridge — to stores, restaurants and parks.     Children will recognize some of the local landmarks; the story begs a field trip to the unfamiliar places. (I wanted to climb into my car and take off for Rock Hall and Chestertown.)

International intrigue with a local angle and author

Midnight in Moscow opens with a scene with immediate familiarity for local readers: a news story featuring a car set ablaze at a BWI parking lot. Then a young Russian American woman is found murdered along the C&O Canal. From there it’s a short hop to Annapolis and the main character, Emily Cowan, a sassy sleuth of a certain age who globetrots from western Maryland to Germany, Russia and the Near East.

SeaKayaker discovers the Patuxent Water Trail

Autumn is forecast spectacular for the Thanksgiving weekend, opening one of the year’s last doors to get out into Chesapeake Country. One way to accept the invitation is to follow the December issue of SeaKayaker onto the treasure in our own backyard, the Patuxent Water Trail.

Take inspiration from this beautifully photographed Virginia Shore dinner

The best appetizer is a good story. With that philosophy of life, I’m drooling over Bernard L. Herman’s first-person story of his ­Chesapeake Thanksgiving feast in this month’s Saveur.     A titled professor of American studies and folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Herman tells his story with the loving detail we tend to reserve for faraway times.

Washington Writers’ Publishing House wants to give you $1,000

Writers and poets of the greater Bay Weekly area, here is your chance to see your best work as a book.     Storm Sandy pushed the venerable Washington Writers’ Publishing House annual deadline to December 1. Fiction writers and poets living within a 75-mile radius of the U.S. Capitol — in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia — thus gain an extra month to prepare manuscripts for entry in two annual book competitions.