Joan Baum

Book Review: What the Eye Hears

Jun 30, 2016

It’s rare that a book comes out that’s immediately hailed as definitive, but that’s what happened to Brian Seibert’s monumental and engaging cultural history, “What The Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing.” It’s an intriguing title, which is Seibert’s theme, that tap is both dance and music, movement and sound. When Seibert recently spoke about the book at Southampton Library, he concluded his talk with a brief improvisational performance. The audience went wild.

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.

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