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Quincy native calls latest book mental exercise program

No one could ever accuse Roger Huff of always writing the same kind of books.

The Quincy native has written books on nautical terms, cruising guides, cookbooks and even a fictional novel.

However, after his editor read his latest book, "CAUTION! Reading This Book Can Make You Think," he asked Huff what it was.

"Well, is it a history book?" Huff recalled his editor saying. "Is it a book about science? Is it sports? What is it?"

"It's all of the above," Huff said. "It changes topics intentionally."

Huff describes his latest work as a mental exercise program, comparing it to the experience of going through a physical exercise program. The exercises get progressively more challenging with different cool down periods along the way.

"I alternate chapters and subject matter from ones that are controversial to ones that are just plain fun to read," he said.

Huff graduated from Quincy High School in 1962 and studied oceanography at the University of Miami. He served in the U.S. Navy as a marine meteorologist. After spending 14 years in information technology, Huff founded Write Aweigh, a professional writing service, in 2001.

Huff has authored more than 100 feature articles for national magazines and nine books.

Some of the topics of the book -- and there are many -- include a discussion of climate change, the realities of alternative fuel, and lighter topics like little-known laws.

One example Huff found was that it's illegal to impersonate a cord of wood in Rhode Island.

"I've written a lot of different types of books," he said. "I'm not an author that sticks to one subject. I like to do new challenges."

Huff said his experience as a teacher in different levels convinced him to alternate the book's chapters so difficult material would be followed by something lighter. He wants readers to get more than just his opinion on the controversial topics. He purposefully wrote it so the reader could come up with their own conclusions.

"A lot of people out here just believe everything they read nowadays," he said. "The whole thing about this is [to] try and motivate people to start thinking for themselves."

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