Gift Books: Made on the East End

Four new and excellent illustrated books, self-published by locals — in the nick of time for St. Nick.

“Surf 2017”
By Alex Feleppa

Pure and simple, this a collection of terrific images of East End surf — “no filters, no Photoshop, no nonsense,” as a blurb at the end of the book puts it. Mr. Feleppa, who grew up in Amagansett and now is the horticulturalist at the LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, is a regular surfer, going out at all hours and in all weathers, and he often takes a camera. He captures the pristine greens and blues of our perfect Atlantic, and the soft hues of the sky and sand at the break of dawn and dusk. And the best part: There’s not a soul, and nary another surfer, in sight. A lovely souvenir of the year in waves, for the surfer or swimmer on your list. Hardcover, $75; available at Coastal Home, 2442 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, or via email

“Kenneth B. Walsh, Artist”
Compiled and annotated by Christopher Walsh

Kenneth Bonar Walsh was an artist and World War II pilot whose career had a very unusual and even cinematic trajectory. He had worked as a designer of things like album covers and candy packaging in Manhattan before moving to Montauk, where he sold art and painted watercolors in a realist style — fishing boats, lighthouses and such. After a breakdown and a diagnosis of what used to be called “manic depression,” his business slowly fell apart but his artistic style underwent an incredible transformation: It was now Modernist, in hypervivid colors, with intersecting geometric forms creating figures and faces. Walsh’s work had largely been forgotten until his son, Christopher Walsh (a reporter here at The Star), started collecting canvases from around town and farther afield and having them restored. It isn’t just the personal history of Kenneth Walsh that is fascinating, though, it is the work itself. The book included sketches for future products — for example, what looks like a Segway, designed in the 1960s — that offer a glimpse of a brilliant mind. Paperback, $45; limited quantity available at The Star’s office, 153 Main Street, East Hampton, and online at 

“The Wild Adventures of Scurry the Squirrel, 
Book One: Scurry’s First Adventure”

Story and photographs by Dell Cullum
Illustrations by Michele S. Mott

Children between the ages of about 4 and about 11 with be captivated by the star of this true-story picture book: Scurry, a baby gray squirrel who falls out of a tree, is discovered by a thoughtful girl named Betsy, and nursed back to health by Mr. Cullum and his wife, Dee. Released after rehabilitation, Scurry falls in with a gang of little rascals including Grumpy, a bully of a squirrel; Riff and Raff, who are rabbits, and a girlfriend named Miss Piggy. Ms. Mott’s illustrations are top-notch, capturing the charming personality of the principals without sacrificing realism. Paperback, $15; details at, and available Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Golden Eagle, 144 North Main Street, East Hampton.


“The Great Barrier Beach Field Guide”
By Anthony S. Minardi
Illustrations by 
Francesco Bologna and Michele S. Mott 

Most of us enjoy a walk on the beach away from the crowds, but there is a special subset who like to be able to call by name the shells and seaweeds and grasses and lichens they come across while taking the salt air. What is that peculiar, leathery little star-shape thing with a puffball filled with dust in the middle? Aha! Mr. Minardi’s field guide tells us it’s an earthstar (Geaster hygrmetricus). What is that light, neony-green seaweed that kids think makes such nice mermaid hair? Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca). Mr. Minardi, who some readers might remember from the days when he taught marine biology at East Hampton High School, has surveyed the barrier beaches between the Carolinas and New England for decades. With illustrations by Francesco Bologna and Michele S. Mott, and edited by Michael Buquicchio and Debra Rose. Paperback, $19.99; available online at