Chesapeake wonders: If you know someone who loves the Chesapeake Bay, there is an array of exceptional books that might be suitable for a holiday gift:
"Chesapeake: Bay of Light" by Ian J. Plant and Tom Horton
This beautiful collection of photos and esSays, co-written by a former Sun environmental writer, was published early this year. Following in the footsteps of Capt. John Smith's voyages 400 years ago, Plant and Horton describe the bay's beauty and the dangers that threaten this extraordinary natural resource.
"The Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake" by William B. Cronin
Published in 2005 by a retired oceanographer who first conducted research on the bay in the 1950s, the book chronicles the slow disappearance of 40-odd islands, from Garrett in the north to Gwynn and James to the south. Cronin's historical and scientific tour outlines the erosion, loss of marshland, and the rich if changing human experience the islands have supported for generations.
"Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay" by William W. Warner
First published in 1976, this Pulitzer Prize-winning chronicle of the lives of Chesapeake crabbers and the Atlantic blue crabs they pursue is extraordinarily revealing of the bay's magic - a pure pleasure from beginning to end.
New on the shelf
"The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America" / By Ronald Brownstein
This sophisticated though lengthy book lays out a complex history with lucid precision, painting a damning portrait of contemporary politics.
Sunday, Nov. 25
CHARLES LONDON -- The author of One Day The Soldiers Came, stories of refugee children around the world / 1 p.m. / Ivy Bookstore / 6080 Falls Road / Baltimore Tuesday, Nov. 27
DEBORAH MATHIS -- The author of Sole Sisters: The Joys and Pains of Single Black Women, discusses the plight of black women living in an era when single black women outnumber married ones in numbers that have reached historic heights. /6:30 p.m./ Pratt Central Library / Poe Room/ 400 Cathedral St./ Baltimore Thursday, Nov. 29
CORA DANIELS -- The author of Ghettoization: A Journey into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless, discusses "The Impact of Ghetto Mores, Attitudes and Lifestyles on American Culture" / 7 p.m. / Enoch Pratt Free Library Wheeler Auditorium / 400 Cathedral St./ Baltimore