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It has been yet another fantastic year for the written word, with many tremendous literary offerings hitting shelves in 2018.

Reviewing books is easily one of the best parts of my job. I’ve been lucky enough to read dozens of books over the course of the past year. While I’ll admit that I tend to seek out works that I know will resonate for me – and hence usually enjoy the books I review – there’s no denying that there are always some that particularly stand out.

This is not your traditional “best of” list – that’s not my style. Instead, consider this a collection of recommendations. These are suggestions; I enjoyed them, so I thought that you might as well. Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. I’m just one man – there are scores more books out there, exceptional literary works that I simply never got a chance to read. That said, I feel confident that these are quality selections.

So are these the best books of 2018? I don’t know – it’s all subjective. What I can say is that every one of these works captured my imagination and my attention … and perhaps one or more of them will do the same for you.

In no particular order, here are my recommended reads from 2018.

MILLINOCKET - It is nearly December and the Millinocket Marathon and Half is right around the corner.

Runners across Maine and across the country are preparing for the cold weather race. The marathon, in its fourth year, is held on the scenic Golden Road - the 96-mile private road that stretches from Millinocket all the way to the Canada-U.S. border. This year’s race takes place on December 8.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 10:44

A critic’s Thanksgiving redux

Written by Allen Adams

As a rule, we don’t do a lot of reruns here at The Maine Edge. We’re devoted to producing brand-new content for our readers every week, broadening your horizons, provoking your thoughts and (hopefully) tickling your funny bones along the way.

However, this holiday season, we thought we’d change it up a little. We’ve done holiday-related cover stories dozens of time over the years, but few have ever been as popular as the “Critic’s Thanksgiving” piece we ran a couple of years ago. And really – isn’t Thanksgiving the perfect time to serve up some deliciously familiar leftovers?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane together, shall we? Happy Thanksgiving.


As we come to the end of another cinematic year, certain elements of the Hollywood machine are ramping up into high gear.

Obviously, we’re entering into prestige season, where studios have traditionally trotted out their awards contenders in order to ensure that they are fresh in the minds of voters when balloting takes place.

Granted, that has changed somewhat in recent years – the combination of an expanded Best Picture field and a willingness to recognize more mainstream and commercial fare has led to less specificity with regards to where a film lands on the calendar. Still, the lion’s share of Oscar bait rolls out close to the cutoff date.

On the flip side, this late part of the year has also become a sort of second summer in terms of blockbuster fare. Films expected to do massive box office are no longer just the purview of June and July – December has now become a perfectly acceptable spot to place your nine-figure franchise powerhouse.

What follows is a look at some of the upcoming films that are closing out 2018, divided into two categories – “Awards Bait” and “Blockbusters.” This should give you an idea of not only what films are coming our way, but what KINDS of films they might be. Take a look.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:15

Iconic songwriter Jimmy Webb talks Maine, music and more

Written by Mike Dow

BREWER - “For that dream to come true for me – something so unlikely and so wonderful – like winning the lottery or being the first man on the moon – it truly was a magical thing to hear these household names singing my music on the radio.” – Jimmy Webb

You know the songs: “MacArthur Park,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Up, Up And Away,” “By The Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Worst That Could Happen,” “Didn’t We,” “All I Know” and dozens more by some of the biggest names in music. The man who wrote them – Jimmy Webb – has scheduled two evenings of songs and stories in Maine, and he says he is looking forward to meeting the fans who made it all possible.

“Maine is my go-to place,” Webb told me during an interview from his home in Long Island, New York. He says he has had a love affair with the state for more than 20 years and spends several weeks here each year.

Jimmy Webb’s first-ever concert in the Bangor area is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 14, at 7:30 pm, at Brewer Performing Arts Center, located at 92 Pendleton St. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Brewer High School’s music and theatre programs. Two days later, Webb will perform at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit.

Here’s the thing: interviewing Jimmy Webb is very similar to what it might be like to sit with him by the water near his summer home in Lovell. At least, that’s what it feels like.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 23:01

I lost on ‘Jeopardy!’

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – I lost on “Jeopardy!”

On Oct. 30, a Tuesday, the episode – my episode - finally hit the airwaves. After over two months of vague answers to the questions asked by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike, I can finally say it: I lost. Despite playing what I considered to be a pretty strong game, in the end, it didn’t work out for me.

And it’s OK. Obviously, I would have loved to be a champion, but the truth is that the experience itself is what really wound up mattering.

ORONO – A comedy legend is coming to the Collins Center for the Arts.

Comedian Howie Mandel will be performing at the CCA on the University of Maine campus in Orono on Nov. 1.

BANGOR - Brian Wilson is about to bring his 11-piece band to Cross Insurance Center in Bangor for one of the final performances of The Beach Boys’ classic album “Pet Sounds” – among the most beloved recorded works in pop music history.

In an interview with The Maine Edge, Wilson says that concertgoers will hear classic hits and fan favorites from his Beach Boys years and songs from his solo career. “Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds: The Final Performances” is set for Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to getting back out there,” Wilson said about launching the next leg of his tour in Bangor following a two-month break. He last appeared in Bangor with The Beach Boys during their 50th anniversary tour at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion on June 22, 2012.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:58

Celebrate Octo-beer!

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – Here in 2018, the Bangor-area beer scene continues to blossom.

The craft beer scene in the greater Bangor region is as robust as ever these days. Over a dozen breweries are plying their trades in the vicinity, bringing delicious beer to the masses. Plenty of thirsts are being quenched as these businesses – some just a few years old, others with decades-long histories behind them – offer up a wide variety of tasty brews.

Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:13

Another autumn, another ARTober

Written by Allen Adams

BANGOR – It’s that time again. ARTober is here. Bangor’s annual month-long celebration of the arts is making its triumphant return.

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