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Our picks from a dozen one-of-a-kind shops

      Instead of rushing from store to store to find that item on a loved one’s list or frantically searching online for something to please, slow down and enjoy the holiday season.       Take a leisurely stroll through some of Bay Weekly’s favorite shops and find a Chesapeake Country-inspired gift for family and friends — or yourself! We’ve arranged our picks from least to most expensive.  

20 timeless books from Bay Weekly’s library — for yours

     Bay Weekly has accumulated quite a library in 27 years. As we prepare to leave our familiar quarters, we find ourselves stopping by a bookshelf to revisit one or another old friend. We’ve compiled a list of 20 that have added strength and substance to our love for the Bay. Their authors are (or have been) all citizens of Chesapeake Country, many of them friends who you’ve met in the pages of Bay Weekly as writers or subjects. 

Good for gifting or keeping

The New Chesapeake Kitchen by John Shields with photographs by David W. Harp; John Hopkins University Press: $26.95

Meet seven Chesapeake Country authors of favorite books

     Need a quality holiday gift for the youngsters in your life? Try a children’s book about the Bay written by a local author. Here are seven of our Bay Country friends and their marvelous collection of books for kids of all ages.
In the spirit of the season, we recommend two books about the darker aspects of Chesapeake Country. Both are published by the History Press, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing specializing in local and regional history.
Moll Dyer and Other Witch Tales of ­Southern Maryland       The Moll Dyer chronicled for us by historian Lynn J. Buonviri is not the powerful spell-caster of spooky Halloween stories. Instead, she is a real woman controlled and eventually crushed by the forces of history. 
His friend made it a book
      Judging by their book release party, the collaborators are proud of their first-time novel, the memorably named The Dung Beetles of Liberia.
Colin Rees explores changing seasons
     Birds led Colin Rees — a former environmental advisor for the World Bank — to Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. There he discovered a wider love, of the natural world, so strong it led to his latest book, Nature’s Calendar: A Year in the Life of a Wildlife Sanctuary. 
Almost everything you wanted to know about terrapins
      Terrapins appear at football and basketball games as the University of Maryland’s mascot. These remarkable creatures are even more fascinating in real life as described in Ecology and Conservation of the Diamond-Backed Terrapin edited by Willem M Roosenburg and Victor S. Kennedy.

19th-century ne’er-do-well fathered Australian cricket legend

      With its roots as a British penal colony, Australia might be less scandalized than conservative Annapolis by the carryings on of Gilbert Murdock, whose shenanigans played in both locales as he hopped continents and countries. Murdock was born in Annapolis in 1826, but he’s left less trace here than in Australia. There a book revealing his shady past has just been published, and his son, William Lloyd ‘Billy’ Murdoch, has just been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

Retired professor follows Maryland hero from Port Tobacco to Canada

        Uncle Tom lived many lives.            To the thousands of mid-19th-century readers of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, he was a heroic slave, his cabin home was heralded as a symbol of self-sacrifice. Yet to 20th century black Americans, his name lived as a symbol of subservience.