Recent Stories: Books

Star Staff
January 12, 2017

OR Books, which this week came out with the hardcover of Barney Rosset’s autobiography, will celebrate the late and legendary publisher and East Hamptoner with a gathering at the Strand bookstore on Monday. That may be on Broadway in Manhattan, but at least one East Hampton author will be there, A.M.

January 3, 2017
Mary Ellen Hannibal takes readers on an epic journey that traverses the terrain where the sciences and humanities meet and where hope issues from dialogue between the public and specialists.

“Citizen Scientist”
Mary Ellen Hannibal
The Experiment, $25.95

December 29, 2016
Kurt Wenzel, our man in letters, picks the top 10 titles of the year past.

“The North Water”
by Ian McGuire

December 22, 2016
Reading Blanche Wiesen Cook’s concluding volume of her three-part biography of Eleanor Roosevelt in the weeks following the 2016 election, one is struck by the parallels between her life and that of another former first lady much in the news this year, Hillary Clinton.

“Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years and After”
Blanche Wiesen Cook
Viking, $40

December 15, 2016
David Nichtern, a meditation teacher, has written a remarkably useful and succinct handbook of Buddhist practice and psychological concepts.

“Awakening From
the Daydream”

David Nichtern
Wisdom Publications, $15.95

December 8, 2016
Does Tom Wolfe know when he attacks mainline Christians as moo-cows that he will arouse a bit of miff?

“The Kingdom of Speech”
Tom Wolfe
Little, Brown, $26

December 1, 2016
Why and how does someone come to embrace a compulsive myth and commit totally to a humanitarian cause for achieving worldwide perpetual perfection?

“True Believer”
Kati Marton
Simon & Schuster, $27

Why and how does someone come to embrace a compulsive myth and commit totally to a humanitarian cause for achieving worldwide perpetual perfection? Answering this problem requires an understanding of the subject’s historical context. 

Sheridan Sansegundo
November 23, 2016
The story of a daughter who's unlucky in love, her search for her deadbeat dad, and the solace he finds in a dollhouse.

“Feminine Products”
Rita Plush
Penumbra Publishing, $11.99

You are in the bookstore and your eye falls idly on the cover of a new book. It is called “Feminine Products,” and the cover shows a wispy female form covered in little flowers, like a Tampax ad. Does it inspire you to grab it? Hell, no! 

November 17, 2016
If you think Jews as boxers sounds like a contradiction in terms, or a comical misprint, or perhaps a racist joke, you need to meet Max Baer and Barney Ross.

“Max Baer and 
Barney Ross”

Jeffrey Sussman
Rowman & Littlefield, $36

November 17, 2016
By Bruce Buschel

I first heard it when a friend
sat me down and said, “You don’t
even need a joint.”

After listening to Side One
I asked if Side Two was just
as good.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Side One
goes so high, I never got to the
other side of the mountain.”

November 10, 2016
Keats observes the last World Series game of the year.

(Keats Observes the Last World Series Game of the Year)

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

November 10, 2016
I'm grateful for novels that not only incorporate the World War I era, but bring it to life on an intimate scale: history writ small. That's what Helen Simonson has done masterfully in "The Summer Before the War."

“The Summer  
Before the War”

November 3, 2016
James D. Zirin blames personal ideologies among the justices, identity politics, and rank partisanship for a compromised Supreme Court.

“Supremely Partisan”
James D. Zirin
Rowman & Littlefield, $28

Baylis Greene
October 27, 2016
Readings with a Halloween theme, and an editor talks about the publishing business.

So How Beleaguered Is It?

October 27, 2016
By Carol Sherman

With bright eyes
we look out from photos;
beautiful and strong
beloved mother, sister,
wife, friend.

Why do you cry? 
Were we really here?
You remember our warm breast
our soft lips.

October 27, 2016
Erica Abeel’s “Wild Girls” follows three friends who meet at Foxleigh — an amalgam of Barnard and Smith — as they negotiate the changing landscape of a woman’s place in America from the 1950s through the early 2000s.

“Wild Girls”
Erica Abeel
Texas Review Press, $24.95

October 20, 2016
Lawrence Goldstone has come down to earth. Following his 2014 book, “Birdmen,” a history of early aviation, he has now presented us with “Drive! Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age.”

“Drive!”
Lawrence Goldstone
Ballantine, $28

Joanne Pilgrim
October 20, 2016
Joe Dolce is not a stoner. The author of “Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabis,” he makes a point of that, but also has no hesitance in “piercing the veil” and talking from a user’s as well as a researcher’s point of view about pot.

Joe Dolce is not a stoner. The author of “Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabis,” he makes a point of that, but also has no hesitance in “piercing the veil” and talking from a user’s as well as a researcher’s point of view about pot.

Baylis Greene
October 13, 2016
New children’s books explore a West African girl's dreams of a time she won't have to tote water from a far-off well, lessons in gratitude at school, the adventures of a destructive dog, and a Christmas tree that avoids the ax to live another day.

Look what wonders a change of scenery can bring. For her latest children’s book, Susan Verde of East Hampton has left behind art museums, yoga, leisurely bicycle rides, budding friendship among felines, and every other conceivable bourgeois nicety for the desert sands and dirt-floor huts of West Africa.

Star Staff
October 6, 2016
Janet Lee Berg's first novel involves a father in Nazi-occupied Holland who trades a painting by Rembrandt for his daughter’s safety and that of 25 other Jews.

“Rembrandt’s Shadow” by Janet Lee Berg tells the story of Sylvie Rosenberg, a teenage daughter of a successful but emotionally distant art dealer in Holland in the 1930s. When the Nazis occupy the country, her father trades a painting by Rembrandt for his daughter’s safety and that of 25 other Jews.

October 6, 2016
A mother-son writing duo? Possible treacle alert. A teenager who started his own school? Back-patting danger. But this book? No need for alarm, it's thought-provoking, even moving.

“A School of Our Own”
Samuel Levin and Susan Engel
The New Press, $25.95

September 29, 2016
A thriller is supposed to thrill and this one does, but not with the usual car chases or shootouts or otherworldly phenomena, instead with masterful plotting, tight prose, and assured psychological insight.

“Under the Harrow”
Flynn Berry
Penguin Books, $16

Star Staff
September 29, 2016
From Robert Caro's achievement award to "Ghost Hampton" readings

Achievement Award for Caro

Star Staff
September 29, 2016
It’s that time again. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, the kids are back in school. And readings have returned in earnest to the college.

It’s that time again. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, the kids are back in school. And readings have returned in earnest to the college.