Recent Stories: Books

Star staff
April 15, 2014

    Here’s a date to thumb into your e-calendar. Friday, April 25, will mark the first of what is planned as an annual benefit and reading, the Poetry Affair, at LTV Studios in Wainscott to mark, in turn, National Poetry Month.

April 15, 2014

“Fire Island: Past, Present,
and Future”

Robert F. Sayre
Oystercatcher Books, $24.95


     Robert F. Sayre, a retired English professor from Iowa, had the pleasure of spending his summers from childhood onward at the family house in Point O’ Woods on Fire Island. From this long-term, personal experience, he gained a valuable perspective about this roadless island that is accessed by pedestrian ferry boats from the mainland of Long Island.

Star staff
April 8, 2014

    Now that spring is here, Maryann Calendrille, your friendly neighborhood bookseller, is calling all scribes to consider planting seeds of writerly creativity in a six-week workshop. It starts next Thursday at 10 a.m. at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor.

    Dubbed Spring Ink, “the small-group workshop will focus on narrative prose. Readings, writing assignments, and constructive critique are part of the course work,” says a related mass email.

April 8, 2014

“Andrew’s Brain”
E.L. Doctorow
Random House, $26

April 1, 2014

“Leaving China”
James McMullan
Algonquin, $19.95


    Before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and so entered World War II, war had been raging between China and Japan for four years. In 1937, long-simmering tensions burst into warfare, as the Japanese rapidly occupied large swaths of China. One family’s life in that time and place is revealed to beautiful effect in James McMullan’s graphic memoir, “Leaving China.”

Star staff
March 25, 2014

    Russia’s gone blooey? Call in an expert.

    Masha Gessen, a Russian-American who blogs about that country’s culture and politics for The New York Times’s website, will try to make some sense of the turmoil when she speaks at the Stony Brook Southampton campus for the Writers Speak series Wednesday night.

March 25, 2014

“The Cool School”
Edited by Glenn O’Brien
Library of America, $27.95


     It’s early in 2014, but I’m already throwing in my bid for most rankling title of the year with “The Cool School: Writing From America’s Hip Underground.” It takes a special kind of hubris to declare oneself an arbiter of cool and hip, never mind the naiveté to ignore the effects of years of irony on these words, mangled as they are now to the point of near incomprehension.

Star staff
March 18, 2014

New BookHampton Book Group
    The newest of BookHampton’s locations, at 16 Hampton Road in Southampton, is now offering a lunchtime book group. Led by Mary Braverman, late of Rowdy Readers in East Hampton, it meets every other Wednesday at noon at La Parmigiana restaurant, down the street from the bookstore.  For this Wednesday, the 26th, the title is “Three Strong Women” by Marie NDiaye.

Baylis Greene
March 18, 2014

“Smugglers, Bootleggers, and Scofflaws”
Ellen NicKenzie Lawson
Excelsior Editions, $19.95

Baylis Greene
March 11, 2014

    The Old Schoolhouse in Greenport last held a kindergarten class in 1932. And now for something completely different: On March 15 Robin Becker will read there from “Tiger Heron,” her new collection of poems from the University of Pittsburgh Press with subject matter ranging from her lesbianism to her Russian-Jewish heritage to her upbringing in conformist 1950s America to art history.

March 11, 2014

“Seedtime”
Scott Chaskey
Rodale, $23.99

March 4, 2014

“A Shed for Wood”
Daniel Thomas Moran
Salmon Poetry, $21.95


    “A Shed for Wood” begins with a quote from Henry David Thoreau: “The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them.”

February 25, 2014

“The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII”
Edited by Bill Henderson
Norton, $19.95

Russell Drumm
February 18, 2014

“The Heart Of
Everything That Is”

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
Simon and Schuster, $30

Star staff
February 18, 2014

    Styron fans, prepare for an insider’s view: Alexandra Styron will be the first to the lectern for the spring’s Writers Speak series at Stony Brook Southampton on Wednesday with “Reading My Father,” her recent book about her relationship with William Styron, who died in 2006. The free event starts at 7 p.m., upstairs in Chancellors Hall’s Radio Lounge. Ms. Styron is the author of a novel, “All the Finest Girls,” and her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere.

Star staff
February 11, 2014

Chaskey on “Seedtime”

Mark Segal
February 11, 2014

    There is a poem in Philip Schultz’s book “Failure,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2008, called “The Reasonable Houses of Osborne Lane.” Shifting from “cottages slowly blooming into mansions” to “neighbors carried in and out of ambulances” to “long azure afternoons dragging shadows toward twilight,” its acute observations of the everyday are infused with grace and a hint of the elegiac.

Evan Harris
February 11, 2014
It is a good thing to keep compilations of Truman Capote’s work up to date, in print, on the bookstore shelves, and in library catalogs.

A republication of the compilation of Truman Capote’s short stories that originally appeared in 2004 has just come out from the Modern Library. The current book, “The Complete Stories,” is only very slightly different from the first publication. But it is a good thing to keep compilations of Capote’s work up to date, in print, on the bookstore shelves, and in library catalogs. It’s important that we are looking after Capote, acknowledging his contribution to American letters as a writer who inhabited many forms.

February 4, 2014

“The Nicolls of
Sachem’s Neck”

Patricia and Edward Shillingburg
Cedar Grove Press, $25


    Have you ever wondered what the rest of the letter said, when you come across a mystifying tidbit reprinted in a book of letters where the editor has made selections all too sparingly, and without enough commentary to fill in the gaps?

January 28, 2014

“Almost Rain”
Simon Perchik
River Otter Press, $12.99

January 21, 2014

For Ye of Some Faith
    “Recipes for a Sacred Life” may sound like one of those self-help books that will boost your wellness best if bypassed, but in fact it’s a collection of true stories drawn from the author’s life and aimed at a subtle, everyday kind of enlightenment.

January 21, 2014

“Nature Wars”
Jim Sterba
Broadway Books, $14.95


    Last September, deer became a deeply personal issue for me, and I crossed over to the other side, where I’d never been before.

Baylis Greene
January 14, 2014

“Cries of the Lost”
Chris Knopf
Permanent Press, $28


     A smartphone is a useful tool, although, say, reading a novel on one might leave something to be desired. How about reading a novel about one?

January 7, 2014

“From Scratch”
Allen Salkin
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27.95


    In the age of slow food, cooking reality shows, gourmet magazines, epicurean special