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In these end times, there is precious little left to do other than the following:

You can take walks, talk on the telephone, go on Facebook, read the newspaper, watch TV, stream Netflix films.

Am I leaving anything out? It seems as though I am. Let me see. What could it be? Ah, yes. You could also read a book.

Now, some of you may be wondering, “Hmmm, what book should I read?”

As it happens, I do have a suggestion: Why not read THE NEW PLANTATION: LESSONS FROM RIKERS ISLAND, by Jason Trask.

You’ve heard everyone talking about it. You’ve definitely considered reading it. Yet, with good reason, you’ve wondered, “Given who the author is, is it possible that the book could be any good?”

Until now, you’ve answered that question in the negative. But there is a small part of you–and sure, it’s less than 5%–that struggles to get your attention. Can you hear it? It’s saying, “But what if it IS good? What if I’m missing out on something? What if everyone else reads it and I’m left looking like a fool?”

While you should definitely ignore the part about looking like a fool, I encourage you to listen to the rest of what that still, small, inner voice is telling you.

Think of it this way: stranger things have happened. For instance, did you ever believe that a time would come during which you would not be able to eat at your favorite restaurant? That you would not be able to watch a film in a movie theater? That you would not be able to attend a basketball game, or even watch one on TV? That March Madness would be canceled? That your children would not be in school for several weeks (or more) in March? That you would be wearing rubber gloves to get cash from an ATM?

And since all of those things have now come to pass, doesn’t it mean that other unlikely things may be possible as well?

And doesn’t it also mean that even a statement as unlikely as “Jason Trask has written a good book” might be true? You see, we are living in strange times, and in strange times, ANYthing is possible.

Case in point: Monica Wood had to say about the book:

“The New Plantation takes us into the chaos of Rikers Island, giving us the vivid voices of young men—kids, really—caught in the unrelenting grip of institutional racism. I found it riveting.” —Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys, Ernie’s Ark, and One-in-a-Million Boy.

Carolyn Chute had this to say:

“It’s easy to forget people of whatever age who have been disappeared by incarceration. Jason Trask doesn’t let this happen. He isn’t just an observer passing along statistics but is with these kids, a fellow traveler on the tangled up-and-down-and-around road that is the predicament of American life.”
—Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine, Merry Men, and The Recipe for Revolution.

“Well, damn,” you say. “What have I got to lose! I might as well go out and buy a copy.”

That’s the spirit.

If you are fortunate enough to live in Maine’s Oxford Hills, you could always go to The Tribune and purchase a copy. Or if you live near Bridgton, Maine, you could always get one at Bridgton Books. If you live in Portland, you could go to Print, on Congress Street. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, you could get one at River Run Books. If you live near one of the four Sherman’s Book Stores, you could purchase a copy there. Or if you live in Brunswick, that would be an excellent place to buy the book.

Frankly, the best place to order it from (and you’ll get free shipping) is straight from the publisher, Deerbrook Editions

Actually, you could order a copy from any indie bookstore in the US. (Be sure to tell them to order it from If they order it from Ingram, it will take longer, and you want it now, damn it.)

Or, if you are one of those who wants to support the largest destroyer of bookstores the world has ever known, you can order it at:

The main thing is, read it, even if you have to borrow a copy–which, of course, could subject you to the dreaded CoronaVirus. Buying is definitely the safest option. No greed. Just fact.

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