Joan Baum

Book Review: Back Lash

Apr 26, 2016

“Back Lash,” Chris Knopf’s new thriller, is nicely named because the protagonist-hero, Sam Acquillo, gets hit with a strong backward force that propels him into the past. Sam’s a cabinet maker in the Hamptons, but he used to be the head of an international research and development tech firm, and a professional boxer, whose winnings put him through MIT. Before that he was a kid living in the Bronx. Sam knows a lot about cars so another meaning of the title “Back Lash” applies — the jarring play between adjacent movable parts as in a series of gears.

Author Marian Thurm's latest novel, "The Good Life," crafts a suspenseful story of how the lives of a wealthy couple from the Upper East Side of Manhattan descends into chaos.

Book critic Joan Baum has this review.

Before I Forget is a memoir co-written by Dan Gasby and his wife, Sag Harbor restaurateur and former supermodel B. Smith. Smith has early-onset Alzheimer’s. The book is a testament to their devotion to each other and their struggle to manage a devastating disease.

Book Review: Tales Of Accidental Genius

Jan 15, 2016

It’s likely the award-winning literary fiction writer Simon Van Booy knows that the words “genius” and “genial” are related. They derive from the same Latin root that means beget or generate, and by the 18th century were used to denote sympathy and friendliness as well as intellectual or creative superiority. All these qualities figure — “ingeniously,” you might say — in Van Booy’s latest short story collection called Tales of Accidental Genius.

Book Review: Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Dec 2, 2015

A friend was looking at the title of a book I was reading - Weapons of Mass Destruction: “Is that about what I think it is?” Well, “yes,” I said, and “no.” The book is about American troops in Iraq in 2004. But no, because the book is not an analysis or partisan tract, but a novel. And a novel with two unusual features: It’s a story about a young marine named Billy Sinclair- a well-respected sharpshooter in his unit who’s haunted by the recent suicide back home in Montana of his lifelong friend and hunting buddy, Pete, a Native American Sioux.