Two collections of poetry came my way during the holidays. This was unusual because I am not a very poetical person, but I browsed through both collections to remind myself what poetry is all about. One book came from my friend David Axelrod – no relation to the presidential advisor – who was poet laureate of Suffolk County, Long Island, a few years ago, and the other collected the work of members a university literary society. In other words one professional poet and a group of amateurs.

It’s blustery cold, gets dark early, and has been a challenging political season – a perfect storm that suggests it just might be the time to settle in with good escapist fiction. Falling Into the Mob more than qualifies. It’ll make you laugh and hold your attention as you try to figure out how its skillful author will resolve the absurdities and threats surrounding his unlikely hero.

Book Review: Avid Reader

Dec 30, 2016

In Avid Reader, an autobiographical account of his long life in editing and publishing, 85-year-old Robert Gottlieb says in a prefatory note that he “wanted to set bits of the record straight.” That usually means making sure you get there before others do who may be writing you up in their memoirs, or in a biography. It also usually means that at a certain age, confronting mortality, you want to take an overview of what you spent most of your life doing, examining how you got there and how you’d like to be remembered.

Book Review: Glow Kids

Dec 27, 2016

Glow Kids by Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a neuropsychologist and a leading addiction expert, is a scary book. But it’s an important one, especially if there are young people in your life. The first half of the subtitle encapsulates the book’s theme – “How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids.” But though the second half of the subtitle – “How to Break the Trance” – implies that all may not be lost, the overwhelming evidence Dr. Kardaras presents about how age-inappropriate video games – he calls them “digital cocaine” – and too much social media may suggest otherwise.

An East Hampton art and landscape treasure is about to celebrate a silver anniversary, and in anticipation, its founding father, the internationally known textile designer and weaver Jack Lenor Larson, has just come out with a handsome picture book called “Learning from LongHouse.”