In the prologue to his novel “Slapstick,” which he called “the closest I will ever come to writing autobiography,” Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “My longest experience with common decency surely has been with my older brother, my only brother, Bernard. . . . We were given very different sorts of minds at birth. Bernard could never be a writer. I could...

"What a Time It Was!" Jeffrey Lyons Abbeville Press,$35

Gritty stories to hard sci-fi: the year’s 10 best books.

Reading the novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Simon Van Booy’s own biography, one learns of the surprisingly disparate number of places where he has lived: rural Wales, Kentucky, Paris, Athens, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And he hung out in the Hamptons for a while. Perhaps there were more addresses. But why mention all of these locales?...
It’s not easy criticizing a writer who gives independent bookstores a million bucks just because he likes them, and who a year later, out of the largesse of his one-man bailout program, doubles down and offers to pay their employees’ Christmas bonuses.

From “Neuron Mirror” by Virginia Walker and Michael Walsh.
Hold the hoarding, bring the purposeful mess. So says Durell Godfrey, thematically, artistically, literally, in her just-out “Color Me Cluttered: A Coloring Book to Transform Everyday Chaos Into Art” (Perigee, $15). Ms. Godfrey, an East Hampton illustrator and photographer once with Glamour magazine and now with The Star, will talk about her work...

In 1979, Lorraine Dusky, a journalist, published “Birthmark,” a memoir about relinquishing a child — her daughter — to adoption. The book detailed Ms. Dusky’s sense of loss, gave voice to a perspective not yet widely heard, and established Ms. Dusky’s role as a writer of adoption literature and figure in the adoption reform movement.
In “Refuge,” her most recent book, Nanci LaGarenne, an East Hampton author, has delved deeply into difficult issues faced by many women, including more than one might think here on the East End.

One useful framework for classifying the protagonists of mystery novels, as Agatha Christie’s devoted readers well know, is that there are Poirots and there are Marples.
If you don’t happen to get enough reading in during your extensive Friday morning purgation following the Turkey Day indulgence, you could always visit a bookstore.
Anthony Minardi has such an extensive résumé he needs a spreadsheet to keep track of it all, which he does across more than three pages at the back of his latest endeavor, “The Wetlands Field Guide,” just published through Xlibris.
The winter/spring issue of The Southampton Review celebrates two heavyweight novelists recently departed, James Salter of Bridgehampton and E.L. Doctorow of Sag Harbor.