Jim Baumer is the author of four books. His first book,When Towns Had Teams, won the 2006 award for Best Regional Non-fiction from Independent Publisher. His second book, Moxietown, is a similar in-depth look at small town Maine and its relationship to a quirky soda and its cult following. His third book, Moxie: Maine in a Bottle was released by Down East Books in 2012.
As a small press publisher and founder of RiverVision Press, Baumer has carved out a unique niche as a Maine-based writer, continuing to capture the stories of people and the places that define them. In his newest book, The Perfect Number: Essays & Stories Vol. 1, he uses the essay effectively to write about the experiences of being raised in the Catholic Church (“The Altar Boy”), he offers a paean to the late John Gould, one of Maine’s most notable writers (“Writing About John Gould”), as well as tracing the decline of small towns in Maine, like his hometown of Lisbon Falls (“Goin’ Back”). He also shares his own Dilbert-like take on life in a cubicle for one of the state’s largest insurance companies (“Moscow Mutual”), along with the road trip he and his wife made to Texas and back across the South to see his son, who was walking across America in 2010 (“A Northerner’s Journey Crossing the South”). His other two essays, making up just the right number and amount of narrative deal with losing a dog (“A Dog’s Life”), along with his essay detailing the importance of reading and how it led to his emergence a bit later than many (“Reading Is a Journey”) as a successful writer.
His final essay on his hometown is some of the best writing that anyone’s done about the demise of communities like Lisbon Falls, and the economic changes that have made life difficult in similar small towns across the state and the country.
The Perfect Number: Essays and Stories Vol. I is sure to garner attention from readers who care about Maine, and value writers who have an ear for the pitch of the place.
Jim Baumer’s fourth book overall, and his third with RiverVision uses the essay to touch on a variety of topics. Baumer’s written about baseball, Moxie, and now, draws on his roots in small town America. The seven essays (the perfect number?) revisits his journey to the middle of the country, and an interesting road trip to the deep South in 2010 to meet up with his son, as he was walking across America. He also includes an essay about one of Maine’s beloved native writers, John Gould. Baumer told us at RiverVision that he thinks this is his best writing to date. We would agree.
Baumer’s popular 2nd book about Moxie, the iconic New England soft drink, is still available. Again, Baumer shows us why this soft drink has garnered such a loyal and vocal following. Through history, photos, festivals, and more, “Moxie: Maine in a Bottle” will make you feel like you have Moxie, too! Representing old-fashioned values and a sense of community, Moxie is one big gulp of Americana delivered Maine style.
The quintessential book about a kind of baseball that has long since disappeared from Maine’s small towns. Back in the day, local baseball captured the hearts and minds of the locals, occupying a centrality that’s hard believe in these days of virtual reality.
A snapshot of small town life in Maine, seen through the lens of baseball.
Like he did with his award-winning book on baseball, When Towns Had Teams, Maine author Jim Baumer once again takes the history of the Pine Tree State and weaves it into a readable account about Moxie, the soft drink that was once bigger than Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
If you never “got” Moxie, this book ushers you into the club and gives the soft drink its due and special place, rooted firmly in New England.