Icons? Did someone say Icons?

Though it is a wee bit after their official release date, I am nonetheless busting to announce the publication of not one but TWO new books that my husband, writer Matthew P. Mayo, and I worked on together.

New Hampshire Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Granite State and Vermont Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Green Mountain State are companion volumes to our hot-selling book of last summer, Maine Icons: Fifty Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State.

The two newest books round out our “Northern New England Trio” and we couldn’t be happier with the results. And judging from early response, readers feel the same way.

The books are hardcovers with full-color dust sleeves, and inside are packed with 112 full-color, glossy pages filled with hundreds of photos and loaded with Matt’s excellent essays that explore little-known facts (Did you know that New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington is home to the world’s worst weather? Or that Vermont was the first state in the nation to ban billboard advertising?), historical legends, and longtime secrets about the 50 icons from each state.

If you have a hankering to visit–if only just via the pages–three of the most beautiful states in the nation (perhaps we’re a wee bit biased), a great place to begin would be with your very own copies of Maine Icons, New Hampshire Icons, and Vermont Icons!

Rave Review!

The newest issue of Down East: The Magazine of Maine contains a review of Maine Icons, and we’re pleased to report they love it. Reviewer Julia Spencer-Fleming doles out ample words of praise, in part:

“Part travel guide, part food journal, part history: Like many Mainers, Maine Icons wears more than one hat. It’s the kind of book to keep in the summer camp for day-trip ideas, or to have on the lunch counter, where the old salts can argue whether Moody’s Diner really does have the best pies. It will be a welcome gift to the couple making their very first visit to the Pine Tree State, and, perhaps most importantly, the perfect bedside read for all those not lucky enough to live here year round.”

For the rest, click here. And the print version of the magazine offers a variety of color photos from the book. And while you’re at it, might as well buy the book, too!

The Boston Globe Digs Our Action!

Maine Icons was reviewed/covered in Sunday’s Boston Globe Books section. Here’s what they had to say:

Maine By The Numbers
By Jan Gardner
Globe Correspondent June 26, 2011

Did you know that Maine’s moose population is second only to Alaska’s? Or that Chester Greenwood, at 15, invented the earmuff? This is the kind of education you’ll get from “Maine Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State’’ (Globe Pequot) by Jennifer Smith-Mayo and Matthew P. Mayo. It paints a picture of Maine by the numbers: 65 lighthouses, 4,613 islands, 80 million pounds of lobsters pulled from the state’s waters every year. And it is a love letter to what makes Maine Maine, from black flies and Stephen King to whoopie pies and the Big Chicken Barn, a favorite destination for book lovers.

First interview …

for Maine Icons appeared this weekend in the Portland Press Herald online and Sunday’s print edition, the Maine Sunday Telegram. Here’s a short excerpt:

Author Q & A: You ought to be in pictures
What makes Maine Maine? A Northport couple tries to capture its essence in words and stunning images in the new book ‘Maine Icons.’

By Meredith Goad

If you had to pick 50 iconic images to represent what Maine is all about, what would you choose?

Would you stick to the more obvious candidates, like lobsters and lighthouses? Or would you go with something a little more understated – say, the Wyeth family?

That was the task photographer Jennifer Smith-Mayo and her husband, writer Matthew P. Mayo, faced when they started working on their new book, “Maine Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Pine Tree State” (Globe Pequot, $16.95).

Black flies and Moody’s Diner made the cut. So did the Fryeburg Fair and Baxter State Park. Fiddleheads, the white pine and “Uncle Henry’s Swap-and-Sell-It Guide” were all in the running, but had to be (painfully, according to the authors) slashed from the book.

The Mayos have lived in midcoast Maine for 20 years and are now settled in Northport. Jennifer Smith-Mayo’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Down East and The New York Times. Matthew Mayo is the author of novels and nonfiction books, including “Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks: Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of Hardscrabble New England.”

The couple has had plenty of time over the years to explore Maine and get to know it well enough to be able to write this book, the first they have worked on together….

Click here to read the full piece.