The Man from Misery

One of the benefits of my position at Down East is that I get review copies of just about every new Maine book. Very few of them end up on my personal bookshelf. The latest to earn a permanent spot in my Maine library is Paul J. Fournier's memoir of his life in the North Woods. Fournier started his career as a Registered Maine Guide and a bush pilot, then went to work for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and later produced a television show Maine Fish and Wildlife. Now, he brings readers Tales From Misery Ridge in which he shares some of his most memorable tales gathered mostly from his decade-long experience living in Somerset County’s Misery Township. Fournier thrills readers with anecdotes about  learning to fly a Piper Cub, recounts the state's quixotic quest to bring caribou back to the area around Baxter State Park in the 1980s, and offers advice on what to do when a mother bear threatens to attack (Don’t panic). It’s a collection of the type of love stories Mainers can identify with — those between one man and the great outdoors.