Books

"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.