Category Archives: Books

December Book Giveaway – Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler – I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River, Reflections on family, photography and fly-fishing

Congratulations to Shari. Shari has been contacted and the book has been shipped. Thanks again to the publisher, Insight Editions for providing the book.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: An accomplished sportsman who meticulously records the measurements of every fish he hooks, Winkler has learned that his yearly trips to the river are not just about catching trout. More importantly, they’re about adopting the proper perspective on life. Or, as Winkler puts it, when he’s fly-fishing, the river acts like a “washing machine for my brain,” recharging him and reminding him that anything is possible.

I've Never Met an Idiot on the River - Henry Winkler

On the river, Henry has grown to appreciate the support his wife and children give him, learned to listen, and developed the confidence to publish his outdoor photography in his first non-fiction book. An expression of the inherent optimism that stems from the simplicity of the outdoors, I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River is an invitation to share in the realizations and achievements Winkler has found while fishing. Hopefully it will help you catch a few of your own.

Henry Winkler is an actor, producer, director, and author. He is probably best known for his role as The Fonz in the 1970s U.S. television sitcom Happy Days. His fishing exploits have been featured on John Barrett’s Fly Fishing the World, and he regularly recounts them during his various speaking engagements around the country. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacey, their three children, and two dogs. They fish primarily in Idaho and Montana.

I've Never Met an Idiot on the Water - Henry Winkler Book

MY TAKE: I really liked this book. It made me laugh and it didn’t take itself too seriously. If you like fishing or anything Henry Winkler’s done like being the Fonz on Happy Days or producing MacGyver…you’ll like this book too!

I’d like to get this book out to someone before Christmas so just comment below and I’ll pick a winner and ship it on the 20th. You must be in the United States (NJ, NY, PA, CT). If you’d like to buy the book, it’s published by Insight Editions in California.

Book Review: Four Fish by Paul Greenberg

I just got done reading Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food and wanted to share it with the readers here at Round Valley Fishing. Anyone who is passionate about fishing and fish will find the book insightful.

Four Fish - Paul GreenbergFollow along as Paul Greenberg explores the politics and economics surrounding the fishing and farming of Salmon, European Sea Bass, Atlantic Cod and Bluefin Tuna. Greenberg, a lifelong recreational fisherman and author from Connecticut, walks us through the impact man and the commercial fishing industry has had on these fish. The ultimate question is asked, “will people be able to govern themselves before the last tuna is caught or the last cod is eaten”? What does the future hold for The Last Wild Food?

I blazed through this book in about 3 days. It made me think about my love of fishing and eating fish. It made me think about my young sons too. Will they be able to fish for salmon, cod or tuna when they’re old enough? Should they be able too? We don’t fish for dolphins or whales, why must we fish for tuna? Great Read.

Beneath These Waters, a history of Round Valley Reservoir by Hunterdon County Historian Stephanie Stevens

Beneath These Waters - Round Valley ReservoirBeneath These Waters, a history of Round Valley Reservoir by Hunterdon County Historian Stephanie Stevens, has sold more than 2,000 copies and is in its seventh edition. The book , in its 7th printing is available at the Readington Library, the Hunterdon Co. Planning Board on Rt. 12, the Califon book store, or by mail. Checks made out to Hunterdon County for $10 will have the book mailed to the addressee.

Round Valley wasn’t always a reservoir. In 70 pages of indexed text with 84 photographs, maps and illustrations, Ms. Stevens tells the Valley’s whole story – from its geological formation and Lenape habitat to summer refuge for early Revolutionary Patriots, rich fields farmed by some of Hunterdon’s oldest families, and the reservoir that took the land for drinking water and recreation.

A circa 6300 B.C. Lecroy spear point found in the Valley in 1982 by local residents is proof that the Lenape Indians lived there for thousands of years. Ms. Stevens relates that in 1708 some 100,000 acres, including the Valley, were purchased from the Lenape by British land speculators of the West New Jersey Society. Wealthy aristocrats who purchased land in the Valley for estates included James Alexander (namesake of Alexandria Township) and his son William, Lord Stirling; Robert R. Livingston (an author of the Declaration of Independence); Peter Van Burgh Livingston; John Stevens (the Father of Railroading in the U.S. and founder of Stevens Institute of Technology); and Walter Rutherfurd.

The book is dedicated to the “many families [who] loved this Valley, farmed with plans for a bright future, and then had their world crash down on them when their land was taken away.” Ms. Stevens quotes Goska, Haver, Kolodinski, Muckelmann, Sauerland and Scheer family members’ stories of life in the Valley. The actual “taking” of 4,150 acres of land began in 1956 and was almost complete by the end of 1957. Sixteen houses were moved out of the Valley and the rest, along with barns and supporting buildings were demolished leaving the Valley floor, as Ms. Stevens puts it, “a desolate wasteland”. Photographs of many of those houses, taken at the time by State assessors are included in the book.

Ms. Stevens credits Linda Young Kennedy for suggesting the need for the book because “there are at least two generations of Hunterdon homeowners who never knew that Round Valley was anything but a beautiful lake.”

As for the actual construction of the reservoir, Ms. Stevens relates quite a story of an underworld grab-for-control, yet the water pipeline to serve Newark (and other eastern New Jersey cities – the stated reason for the project) – was never built. That led the author to wonder: “…if not for the reservoir, would the Valley be one huge housing development? Or because of its Indian and Revolutionary history, would it be a preserved area…? We’ll never know,” she says and adds, “The heartbreaking sacrifice of a few has provided recreation, and life-giving water, for many.”

Stephanie Stevens has served as Hunterdon’s Historian since 1987. Beneath These Waters is the most popular of her five books. Her other titles are Forgotten Mills of Readington, Readington’s Reflections, For A Better Lifea History of the Polish Settlement in Readington Township, and Outcast – The Story of Slavery in Readington Township. She also has written numerous pamphlets on historic subjects like stone arch bridges and Hunterdon’s historic districts and takes no remuneration for her work.


I would like to thank the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission for providing me with this information and also for providing me with a copy of the Beneath These Waters.

CONTEST: One lucky Round Valley Fishing reader will win this book!

ELIGIBILITY: Only NJ / PA / NY residents are eligible… sorry Tennessee

RULES: In the comments section below please share with your fellow readers a short story about Round Valley as it relates to its history.  You can write about how your anchor pulled up a fishing reel from the 1970’s or you found a spear point hiking the camping area or that you saw the reservoir being built, whatever! You can comment as many times as you want, though it will only be counted once towards the contest.

DATES: 10/18/2010 TO 11/18/2010 11:59pm

WINNER: One winner will be randomly selected from all the comments. The winner will be contacted via their email address and the book will be mailed to them.  You will be give 3 days to respond to the original email and then I will chose another winner at random.  The winner’s username will be published here.