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'Daybreak, Winter Marsh,' by Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, a longtime chronicler of the 20,000-plus-acre Great Marsh. "Daybreak, Winter Marsh," by Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, a longtime chronicler of the 20,000-plus-acre Great Marsh. ("THE GREAT MARSH")

Eternal landscape

Harvard scientist Edward O. Wilson has called Dorothy Kerper Monnelly the "Ansel Adams of the wetlands." While Adams's signature subject was Yosemite Valley, Monnelly for more than 30 years has focused on the Great Marsh, near her home in Ipswich. Stretching 70 miles from Cape Ann to New Hampshire, it is one of the most pristine salt marshes in North America.

Monnelly shoots in black-and-white with a wide-format camera, a modern version of the one Adams used. Now her photographs have been collected in the book "The Great Marsh: Between Land and Sea" (Braziller).

She hopes the images - of the tides, trees, grasses, and sky in every season - will encourage the protection of a marsh that is productive as well as beautiful. A single acre of a typical salt marsh can produce 10 tons of organic matter in a year, while a wheat field, cultivated and fertilized, yields only a ton and a half.

Monnelly will show her work at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge. For details on an upcoming exhibit, visit dorothykerpermonnelly.com.

Defending readers' rights

Barbara Bailey, a librarian in suburban Hartford, remembers the chill she felt in the summer of 2005. That's when the FBI ordered her and three other officers of the Library Connection, a consortium of 27 libraries, to hand over patron records as part of a terrorism investigation. In addition, Bailey and other officers were barred from making the government order public. "My initial reaction was we're living in George Orwell's '1984,' " Bailey said.

The consortium refused to comply with the order and sued the federal government. Last summer the FBI withdrew its order. Since then, the consortium officers have been invited to speak all over the country. On Tuesday Bailey will join a panel discussion titled "Standing Up to the Patriot Act" at 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library.

Bewitched ballplayers

For "Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events," authors Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon, Yankee and Red Sox fans respectively, called on the memories and imaginations of major league players, managers, fans, and groundskeepers. Johnny Damon says he was once pinned down at his home in Florida by a ghost. A cleaning-crew supervisor at Fenway Park describes the otherworldly cries he's heard coming from the Green Monster seats. Derek Jeter wonders whether the ghosts of Yankee Stadium will move to the new ball field, scheduled to open in 2009, and shares his own aspirations to be a ghost: "I'd love for them to say that I was out there! That means you've had some kind of an impact."

Coming out

"War and Peace," by Leo Tolstoy; translated by Andrew Bromfield (Ecco)

"Red Sea," by Emily Benedek (St. Martin's)

"The Art Thief," by Noah Charney (Atria)

Pick of the week

Elli Meeropol of Odyssey Bookshop, in South Hadley, recommends "The Family Diamond," by Edward Schwarzschild (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill): "Linked by the author's generous attention to his characters and by the mixture of generations and cultures that enrich them, these nine stories sparkle with humor, insight, and heart."

Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com.

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