Recent Stories: Books

Star staff
December 2, 2014

Return of the Lit Lunch

There’s no shortage of writers in Sag Harbor, but there’s only one restaurant that can creditably claim to be the linchpin establishment that turned around what circa 1970 was a half-decrepit village — the American Hotel, which is where the Friends of the John Jermain Memorial Library will host this year’s fund-raising authors lunch at noon on Sunday.

Baylis Greene
December 2, 2014

“The Social Climber’s Bible”
Dirk Wittenborn and Jazz Johnson
Penguin, $20


John Updike insisted on writing his own jacket copy. A curious fact that can pop up when you least expect it. If you happen to be reading jacket copy.

December 2, 2014

The first buck she has ever seen on her property
crosses her window view of the accumulated leaves.
She knows he is chasing a female just vanished.
He is carelessly intent, rolling his head and rack.
A few feet from her safe position at the sink, he
looks through the glass, staring at her stares.
Then he snuffles into the leaves and snorts,
lolling his great tongue to catch the doe’s scent.
He breathes in rapid gasps and turns away from
the prying glass, leaping, then running after

Laura Donnelly
November 26, 2014

There are three new cookbooks out right now with local connections. Ina Garten, a k a the Barefoot Contessa, has come out with her ninth book, called “Make It Ahead.” The folks of Edible School Gardens have published the “Delicious Nutritious FoodBook,” compiled and written by Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz. And the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living have come out with “One Pot.”

Taylor K. Vecsey
November 25, 2014

Julianne Moore, an Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author who owns a house in Montauk, will read from her new children's book, "My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me," and sign copies for kids and their parents at BookHampton in East Hampton on Saturday.

Charline Spektor, the owner of the independent bookshop on Main Street, said Ms. Moore's appearance was scheduled at the last minute. Ms. Moore has done readings at the store before, for books in her "Freckleface Strawberry" series. 

Star staff
November 24, 2014

Helen Harrison will sign copies of her new book, “Jackson Pollock,” on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

The book is a primer on the artist with a concise background and a description of his art during various periods of his life. It is part of the Phaidon publishing house’s Focus series of monographs and is amply illustrated.

Thomas Bohlert
November 18, 2014

“Cathedral”
Bill Henderson
Pushcart, $22


On a hill overlooking the sea, in Sedgwick, Me., Bill Henderson decided to build a cathedral. Though inspired by his visit to the Chartres Cathedral in France as a young man, this one would come out of his own imagination and spiritual journey; it would be borne of “my idea of holy.”

November 11, 2014

“Land Rush”
Gary Reiswig
Archway, $11.99


Gary Reiswig’s slim volume of four stories and two essays — one a memoir and the other family history — evokes the feel of growing up on a farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle during the middle part of the last century. The essays bracket the stories in “Land Rush,” and there is little tonal or thematic difference between them. All the pieces draw from the same familial well and the experience of farm and small-town life on the Great Plains.

Star staff
November 11, 2014

It’s not really fair, is it, to single out one writer as the highlight of a reading among putative equals, based solely on the whim of one faceless person at a keyboard. So anyway, Andre Dubus III will headline a reading from “Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses,” which is out this week. The reading happens on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. — a bit of advance notice, this, for your scheduling convenience. The place? The Strand bookstore on Broadway at East 12th Street in Manhattan.

Star staff
November 4, 2014

Thinking Differently

David Flink, a founder of Eye to Eye, a national mentoring program, is not only an expert in learning disabilities, he has had his own struggles with them, specifically dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Now, he’s bringing all of that background to the East Hampton Library in a program for parents. Called “Thinking Differently: Reframing Learning for a New Generation,” it starts at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

November 4, 2014

“A Momentary Glory: Last Poems”
Harvey Shapiro
Wesleyan University Press, $24.95


Many years ago, Allen Planz said at one of his poetry readings at Canio’s Books that short poems were the most difficult to write. Too many poets, he said, seemed incapable of the compression and concision necessary to achieve success with short poems. Harvey Shapiro, apparently, has experienced no such trouble.

Baylis Greene
October 28, 2014

Here’s a cat story that won’t make you groan. First of all, Rupert, in Jules Feiffer’s latest book for children, “Rupert Can Dance” (Michael di Capua, $17.95), isn’t what you’d call cute, more like an orange Yoda on all fours. And he doesn’t just lie around, he’s got a passion for strutting and prancing while his owner, little Mandy, sleeps. He even uses her dancing shoes.

October 21, 2014

“Echoes of Heartsounds”
Martha Weinman Lear
Open Road, $9.99

October 20, 2014

“Only You”
Eileen Obser
Oak Tree Press, $14.95


Eileen Obser, freelance writer, editor, and teacher, has written a book about sex.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, “Only You” is a memoir about her experience as a 1950s teen bride in Queens, unable to give her young husband, Billy, what he clearly wants and expects on their wedding night. And every night thereafter — daytimes too — though it’s not for her lack of trying.

Baylis Greene
October 14, 2014

All in the family, sort of, the Springs and Pushcart Press families: Linda Coleman, whose memoir, “Radical Descent,” is newly published by Pushcart, and Bill Henderson, the press’s founder, both of whom live in the hamlet, will join up for a two-for-one reading and book chat on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the East Hampton Library.

October 14, 2014

“Only You”
Eileen Obser
Oak Tree Press, $14.95


Eileen Obser, freelance writer, editor, and teacher, has written a book about sex.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, “Only You” is a memoir about her experience as a 1950s teen bride in Queens, unable to give her young husband, Billy, what he clearly wants and expects on their wedding night. And every night thereafter — daytimes too — though it’s not for her lack of trying.

Star staff
October 7, 2014

New Prize for Comic Fiction

Writers, you have until the end of the month to get your submissions in for the new Robert Reeves $1,000 Prize in Comic Fiction, courtesy of Stony Brook Southampton and judged by the college’s Daniel Menaker, a former fiction editor at The New Yorker. Stories of up to 5,000 words can be sent to The Southampton Review. The fee is $15.

October 7, 2014

“Radical Descent”
Linda Coleman
Pushcart, $18

September 30, 2014

“A Certain Summer”
Patricia Beard
Gallery Books, $16


When a few days of Indian summer appear on the East End this autumn, pick up Patricia Beard’s debut novel, “A Certain Summer,” pack a picnic, and enjoy an afternoon of quiet beach reading.

Star staff
September 30, 2014

Secrets of Disney Animation

John Canemaker, who won a 2005 Oscar for his animated short “The Moon and the Son,” an imagined conversation with his father, will venture into “the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic,” according to his new book’s subtitle, through one Herman Schultheis next Thursday at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton.

September 23, 2014

“Daring: My Passages”
Gail Sheehy
William Morrow, $29.99

Star staff
September 16, 2014

The Writers Speak series of readings returns to the Stony Brook Southampton campus Wednesday with Vijay Seshadri, who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his collection “3 Sections.” Mr. Seshadri’s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry magazine, and The New Yorker, as well as in four editions of The Best American Poetry anthology. He teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

September 16, 2014

Reckless. What a name for a Mongol racehorse turned honorary U.S. Marine with two Purples Hearts, a Bronze Star, and an insatiable appetite for poker chips and beer. No way to treat a filly, you say . . . but then again, Reckless became a legend with a happy ending, no spoilers need apply.

September 9, 2014

“The Mother Court”
James D. Zirin
American Bar Association, $29.95


What do bishops, celebrities, politicians, generals, professional athletes, Holocaust victims, drug addicts, and just plain folks have in common? All of them have chosen the memoir as the literary vehicle to lay bare their inner lives.