Books

Surfing journalism and literature are pretty thin. But there are notable exceptions: A Patagonia-financed film, “The Fisherman’s Son,” is a powerful story of how surfing empowered a Chilean environmental crusader.

With notable exceptions, most surf writing and storytelling has appealed exclusively to surfers. The sometimes kitschy insider stuff, the you-wish-you-here-but-you’re-not magazine articles, even the iconic “Endless Summer,” most of it is of limited interest beyond the growing tribe.

It is a quintessentially New York novel (and shameless urban chauvinist that I am, I really mean a Manhattan novel in much the same way that Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” was a Manhattan movie). It is Jewish, intellectual, Upper West Side, arty, upper middle class, Hamptons-y, and deeply concerned with psychoanalysis.
Local book news
Hunt & Light, a poetry publisher out of East Hampton and Brooklyn, is dedicated to advancing the work of young poets. On Saturday at 5 p.m., this will be manifested in the appearance of one Esther Mathieu at Harbor Books, the still-new shop on Main Street in Sag Harbor.

The assignment to review Arlene Alda’s “Just Kids From the Bronx: Telling It The Way It Was” left me a bit cranky. “Isn’t she a children’s book author?” I thought. After a quick look at her Wikipedia page, I was reminded that Ms. Alda is the author of 15 children’s books, many of them prize winners and one a best seller.
Our daughter had just turned 3 when we applied for admission to the nursery school of the Lycee Francais de New York. At the time, the Lycee occupied one of the Upper East Side’s most impressive buildings, a Beaux Arts mansion on East 72nd Street just off Fifth.

Philip Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who lives in East Hampton, will read from new work at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor on Saturday at 5 p.m. with Grace Schulman of Springs, poet and professor of English at Baruch College. “Aardvarks” previously appeared in Slate.

When my 25-year-old grandson Jascha — an Elon Musk admirer and entrepreneur himself (The Dream Lab) — visited us in East Hampton recently, he was completely engaged in reading Ashlee Vance’s smart biography (Ecco, $28.99). He hoped to see at least one Tesla, and then on his last day here, getting on the Ambassador bus to leave, he spotted two!