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  •     Let’s start with the upbeat. Marsha King’s Kickstarter campaign in support of her forthcoming self-published book, “A Fine Day for Fishing,” surpassed its goal. The increasingly popular fund-raising tool in this brave new world of do-it-yourself brought in 79 contributors and more than $3,500 in pledges before wrapping up on Nov. 1.

  •     This is not a Holocaust story. So says Marilyn Gottlieb of her new book, “Life With an Accent,” which she’ll talk about at the East Hampton Library on Saturday.

  • “Loopers”
    John Dunn
    Crown, $25

        Sometimes it takes an outsider to really appreciate a place. Remember Maycroft? That immense hulk of a mansion that for years loomed over North Haven in glorious Miss Havisham decrepitude? Though it was bought, entirely renovated, and hidden away behind gates, it may linger in the popular consciousness here as the former home of a private school for girls and then the Rainbow Preschool. But who knew one wing once housed a bunch of itinerant caddies?

  •    Geoff Gehman has a question for you. When was the last time you rode a bike through Wainscott without a giant S.U.V. over your shoulder?

  •    It may be an exemplar of modern architecture, but the house that the architect Blaze Makoid built for his family sneaks up on you. Tall and angular like its designer, the 2,900-square-foot building, on a Sag Harbor hillock, blends in with a profusion of greenery, in part because its exterior cedar is stained black. Its size comes as a surprise because it has a ziggurat layout, starting at the street as a two-story house and expanding to three as it progresses down a 14-foot slope toward Upper Sag Harbor Cove.

  •     Norman (Fish) Finelli is an old-fashioned kid. He’s been feeding coins into his piggy bank, actually a ceramic lobster bank, to save up — not for a Jet Ski, but for a Seagull, “one of the finest motorboat engines ever made,” which is going to go on this leaky bucket of a boat he’s fixing up.

  •     You think you know Caroline Doctorow? “Something Pulls Me to You,” the opening track of the singer-songwriter’s new album, leaves behind flowery folk for Hank Williams lonesome. Backed by the loping twang of Pete Kennedy’s guitar, it calls to mind hunched patrons at a late-night New Mexico roadside diner, nursing their sorrows as much as their coffee cups.

  •     Ever feel that modernity has gotten so strange you must be living on another planet? In “The Twinning Project” (Clarion Books, $16.99), Robert Lipsyte of Shelter Island posits a second Earth created by alien scientists to study evolution. But humans, as humans will, have made a mess of things (our stock-in-trade: war, starvation, genocide, environmental degradation), and the project is being abandoned — no more Earths.

  •    It’s a safe bet Steve Jobs had no say in the design of the phone on my desk. It’s boxy, dull black and headstone gray, and dotted with plastic bubbles above obscure instructions like “Park Ret.” It embodies those dreary features of workaday life that can rip your soul from you like a shirt from a hanger.
        One Monday it was dead. Its single sliver of red indicator light, a little reptilian eye that looks on me unblinkingly, no longer announced its readiness to receive.

  •    The history that runs so deep on the South Fork is matched by a passion for it and, too often, by a willingness to destroy it. For notorious example, Wick’s Tavern in Bridgehampton, once catering to drinkers and gossips at the same Main Street intersection as two historic houses that made it to the 21st century, the Nathaniel Rogers House and the Bull’s Head Inn. Wick’s Tavern dated from the end of the 17th century yet was leveled in 1941 so a gas station could rise in its place. (It’s gone now, too, and won’t be missed.)