Books

“I only write what only I can write.” That is Isaac Bashevis Singer’s dictum regarding fiction, but surely it applies to the memoir as well.

“The Winter Girl” is Matt Marinovich’s second novel. I suppose you could call it a mystery, though it has an odd quality that sets it apart from standard murder mysteries. Set in Shinnecock Hills in the off-season, “The Winter Girl” is cold, dark, bleak, and wintry. The book, like an impending winter storm, is filled with menace and the threat of...
Stony Brook Southampton’s Writers Speak series will resume on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a conversation between April Gornik and Andrea Grover, curator of special projects at the Parrish Art Museum. The event will take place in the Radio Lounge of Chancellors Hall.

I must admit to some trepidation about reading and reviewing Roger Rosenblatt’s new novel. His wonderful memoir “Making Toast” — about the sudden death of his 38-year-old daughter and how he moved in with her family, along with his wife, to provide care and comfort — never crossed the line from tender sentiment to sentimentality.

In the prologue to his novel “Slapstick,” which he called “the closest I will ever come to writing autobiography,” Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “My longest experience with common decency surely has been with my older brother, my only brother, Bernard. . . . We were given very different sorts of minds at birth. Bernard could never be a writer. I could...

"What a Time It Was!" Jeffrey Lyons Abbeville Press,$35

Gritty stories to hard sci-fi: the year’s 10 best books.

Reading the novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Simon Van Booy’s own biography, one learns of the surprisingly disparate number of places where he has lived: rural Wales, Kentucky, Paris, Athens, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And he hung out in the Hamptons for a while. Perhaps there were more addresses. But why mention all of these locales?...
It’s not easy criticizing a writer who gives independent bookstores a million bucks just because he likes them, and who a year later, out of the largesse of his one-man bailout program, doubles down and offers to pay their employees’ Christmas bonuses.