Three New Books for Your New Hampshire Shelf

Read the latest from local authors



Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and its War
by James Wright

“War is Hell” is scribed onto the helmet strap of the GI on the cover of James Wright’s “Enduring Vietnam.” While that’s true of war in general, it was the unique hell of our fight in Southeast Asia that was so grotesque in events and implications that it gave the blood-smeared years of World War II the sobriquet “The Good War.”

Since we now seem to be living in the age of unending wars in foreign lands, there’s much to be learned from looking back on Vietnam, the
“bad” war that left an indelible mark on the psyches and consciences of an entire generation. Wright, president emeritus of Dartmouth College and a former Marine, guides readers through that conflict, the strategies that propelled it and the politics that inflamed it. He’s a historian of all of America’s wars who has helped establish counseling programs for wounded veterans, paid countless visits to military hospitals and become a trusted expert on the topic. His focus is solidly on the soldiers who did the fighting and dying. More than 160 interviews and personal accounts of veterans and families were woven into this dramatic and important work.

Wright will give readings on April 26 at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont, at Gibson’s in Concord on May 4 and at Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London on May 18. “Enduring Vietnam” sells for $27.99 from Thomas Dunne Books.

An Insider’s Guide to Manchester: From Hanover Hill to Waumbec Mill
by Will Stewart and Peter Noonan

New Hampshire has come a long way since the days it was dubbed “Cow Hampshire” (mostly by ivory-tower elites from Massachusetts and Rhode Island who’d drive up here to get away from it all). But proof positive of the new sophistication of our tiny state is the fact that our biggest city, Manchester, has become such a thriving, diverse and fun place to gad about.

An excellent case for this assertion is made in a new book by Will Stewart with delightful illustrations by Peter Noonan: “An Insider’s Guide to Manchester.” According to the back cover, it’s the “first-ever” printed guide to the Queen City. We might take exception to that claim (NH Magazine published “The Manchester Century” back in 1999), but it’s certainly a good time to reassess the urban landscape.

The resulting “curation” of more than 500 city attractions, bars, restaurants, shops and sometimes-quirky landmarks reveals a city in full gear.

Author Will Stewart is a former journalist and a community organizer who obviously has deep feelings for the Queen City. Ditto artist Peter Noonan, who immortalizes local politicians and their foibles as an editorial cartoonist and illustrator for many local publications, including New Hampshire Magazine.

“An Insider’s Guide to Manchester” is available online at manchguide.com for $29.99.

Chasing Summits: In Pursuit of High Places and an Unconventional Life 
by Garry Harrington

Garry Harrington was turning 40 when he realized he no longer recognized himself in family photos. Not only was he out of shape, he was out of place in the life he had been living. It took that revelation and a hike up Mount Monadnock to set him on a new trajectory to reclaim the passions of his former self.

The new direction took him places his old self had only dreamed about, including climbs of all 66 of the 14,000-foot summits in the lower 48 states (making him the fifth person to do so). As a result, peakbagging, ultramarathons and other extremes of human endurance became the tools of spiritual renewal for Harrington. Evangelizing that sense of possibility and challenge that only comes from pushing one’s own limits is now his life mission.

It’s hard to read his vivid descriptions of climbs across the US, ultimately leading to his dream climb of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, without feeling both inspired and daunted.

But the message of this book is that a point of conflict is a good place to start any journey of rediscovery. And it helps to remember that Harrington found the start of his big adventure while enjoying one of the most accessible and popular day-climbs in the world — humble Mt. Monadnock.

“Chasing Summits” is $18.95 from Appalachian Mountain Club Books.

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