Great Books of 2016

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I snapped this quick shot of Alec Baldwin and Ed Burns during last year’s Authors Night fundraiser.  Dawn Watson photo

I’m in the thick of it in helping to plan for this year’s Authors Night at the East Hampton Library–what  a terrifically fun thing I get to do!–so I thought that sharing a few literary tidbits would be appropriate.

First off, have you SEEN who is coming to Authors Night this year? It’s an impressive list, and one that is getting even more exciting by the day. BTW–the annual fundraiser will be on Saturday, August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Here are a few of the notables who are coming so far: Jonathan Adler, Arlene Alda, Dan Barber, Kate Betts, Ed Burns, Allison Pataki, Michael Weiss, Dr. Ruth, Bob Caro, Dick Cavett, Phil Keith, Tom Clavin, Charlotte Moss, Simon Doonan, Bob Drury, Nelson DeMille, Eileen Duffy, Stewart Lane, Katie Lee, Emily Liebert, Robyn Lea … It’s a great mix of talent. And just wait until you see who signs up next!!!

While I’m on the subject of our treasure trove of renowned writers with local connections, congrats to the always gracious and wonderfully talented Allison Pataki, whose “SISI: Empress On Her Own” recently hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Woohoo!

” I wanted the story of this incredible woman and her fascinating life to reach as many readers as possible, and I wanted this book to travel as far and wide as possible,” she says of the book. “Well, I needn’t have worried, because all of you, the absolutely amazing readers, helped me to launch this book in ways that humble and inspire me! I cannot even begin to tell you how deeply grateful I am to all of you for reading the book, talking about the book, posting about the book, and cheering SISI on! In this moment I don’t really have the right words to fully express it, but please just know that I am sending out some powerful gratitude to all of you right now.”

I can’t wait to see her again come August at Authors Night, if not before.

 

Authors Night Photos

The East Hampton Library’s annual Authors Night event just keeps getting better and better every single year.

This one might just have been my favorite. There were so many, many friends in attendance and a plethora of amazing books. Lots of stuff on the highlight reel for me last night but it was hard to beat being the wristband-putter-onner (this is an official term–ha) for most of the authors in attendance. I got to shake/hold hands with the likes of Nelson DeMille, Bob Caro, Dick Cavett, Dr. Ruth, Paul Williams, Katie Lee, Simon Doonan, Jonathan Adler, Wednesday Martin, Stewart Lane, and on and on. It was also a treat to see Allison Pataki, who was absolutely glowing (Expecting, and looking radiant, she told she has to get her next book finished by October. Now that’s a deadline.); Ed Burns, who I interviewed years ago; Arlene Alda, who I just talked to last week; Dick Cavett, who is always hamming it up; and a few dozen more whom I’ve interviewed and become acquainted with over the years. It was truly a spectacular array.

I’m so pleased and proud to be a part of this great fundraising effort and am happy to serve on the Authors Night committee for as long as they’ll have me. Learn more at http://www.authorsnight.org and http://www.easthamptonlibrary.org.

Hot Picks: Most Active Weekend Summer of 2015

Looking at the spate of events to attend this weekend, tonight and tomorrow might just prove to be the biggest bangs of the entire summer. Here’s my list of the hottest events. More to come on Sunday. In the meantime, stay cool and stay safe.

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The Voxare String Quartet will perform at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton tonight. Greg Kessler photo.

* LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton will host the Voxare Quartet for “Strings al Fresco: an Evening of Remembrance of Ingeborg ten Haeff” tonight, Friday, August 7, beginning at 6 p.m. www.longhouse.org

Guild Hall's annual summer benefit is tonight. Roy LIchtenstein's "Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge."

Guild Hall’s annual summer benefit is tonight. Roy LIchtenstein’s “Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge.”

* Guild Hall’s annual Summer Benefit is tonight. The event, honoring artist Roy Lichtenstein and with a special preview exhibition of “”Between Sea and Sky,” will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. at a private East Hampton estate. www.guildhall.org

* The New York Center for Children’s annual Sunflower Party in Southampton, hosted by Henry Buhl, is tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. www.newyorkcenterforchildren.org

* The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum will host an opening reception for “East End Artists: Then & Now” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 7. The show, which features works by Linda Alpern, Peter Beard, Miriam Dougenis, Robert Gwathmey, Tracy Harris, Jimmy Ernst, Anna Jurinich, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Peabody, and more, will hang through August 23. www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org

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* BookHampton in East Hampton will host a book signing and reception for Sandra Nunnerley on Friday, August 7, from 8 to 9 p.m. www.bookhampton.com

Be Our Guest - Meadowcroft - credit Carol Garone2

The WHB PAC summer benefit will be held at Meadowcroft on Quiogue. Photo by Carol Garone.

* The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s sixth annual Be Our Guest Gala will be held at a private estate on Quiogue on Friday, August 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. www.whbpac.org

Copyright Lenny Stucker

A scene from “Grey Gardens,” now staging at Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Image copyright Lenny Stucker.

* Reminder: “Grey Gardens,” starring Betty Buckley and Rachel York, is now staging at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Buy your tickets now as the show is selling out FAST, with good reason. Here’s my preview from the Sag Harbor Express. http://sagharboronline.com/heights-of-glamor-depths-of-depravity-in-grey-gardens/ Look for my review in the next issue. www.baystreet.org

SATURDAY

Authors Night will be held on Saturday to benefit the East Hampton Library.

Authors Night will be held on Saturday to benefit the East Hampton Library.

* The East Hampton Library’s annual Authors Night benefit, featuring approximately 100 of the most notable and interesting writers today, will be held on Saturday, August 8, starting at 5 p.m. Dinners at a number of private homes will be held after the book signing event. www.authorsnight.org.

* The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons will celebrate another year of rehabilitating and successfully releasing animals back into the wild across Long Island with its annual GET WILD Summer Gala. The event will be hosted by the Marder family at the Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton on Saturday, August 8,and will honor artists April Gornik, Eric Fischl, Amy Sullivan and Real Estate Broker Susan Penzner. www.wildliferescuecenter.org

Boz Scaggs plays the PAC in Westhampton Beach on Saturday. Danny Clinch photo.

Boz Scaggs plays the PAC in Westhampton Beach on Saturday. Danny Clinch photo.

* Grammy Award-winner and gritty southern soul rocker Boz Scaggs performs at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday, August 8, at 8p.m.  www.whbpac.org.

"Right On: The Lennon Years" will open at Mulford Farm in East Hampton on Saturday night.

“Right On! The Lennon Years” by photographer Susan Wood will open at Mulford Farm in East Hampton on Saturday night.

An opening reception for “Right On! The Lennon Years Photographs by Susan Wood 1968 – 1978” will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Mulford Farm Museum in East Hampton. The show will hang through October 18. www.easthamptonhistory.org

* Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton will hold an opening reception for “All Killer No Filler” from 6 to 9 p.m. The group show features work by: Shoplifter, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Derrick Adams, Rosson Crow, Sylvie Fleury, Rico Gatson, Michelle Grabner, Carlos Rolón, Dzin, Miriam Schapiro, Tony Tasset, Nari Ward and Wendy White. www.ericfirestonegallery.com

‘Dinner With Jackson Pollock’ Luncheon at the 1770 House

1770 House chef Michael Rozzi and

1770 House chef Michael Rozzi and “Dinners With Jackson Pollock” author Robyn Lea. Dawn Watson photo.

I count myself so very fortunate to have been invited to the “Dinner with Jackson Pollock” book launch luncheon yesterday at the 1770 House in East Hampton. It was an afternoon I won’t soon forget.

The book by Robyn Lea, and with a forward by Helen Harrison and preface by Francesca Pollock, is spectacular. The food by chef Michael Rozzi was out of this world. Seriously. If you haven’t eaten at 1770, get yourself there post-haste for one of the best meals you’ll have in your life. And the dining companions at my table on the patio—Kathryn Menu of the Sag Harbor Express, Michelle Trauring of the Southampton Press, Eileen Duffy of Edible East End, Michael Braverman of Hamptons Magazine and Helen Harrison of the Pollock-Krasner House (and of course Suzee Foster, who didn’t sit with us but did invite me to this special shindig)—were the absolute best.

Chef Rozzi’s menu was inspired by the book. The three courses were so thoughtful and delicious that I was beside myself with pleasure. They were: beet borscht with Stella’s salmon loaf on Jackson’s white bread served with North Fork Browder’s egg; salmon caviar and lemon for the first; Bonac clam pie in the shell with spinach muffins, spring greens and tomato chutney for the main; and raspberry poached pears with Bavarian crème and Cody cookies for the dessert. Yumtastic!

Rozzi, the only chef in the Hamptons who consulted on the book, tested more than 30 handwritten recipes by Pollock, his wife, Lee Krasner, and Pollock’s mother, Stella, as found tucked in cookbooks at Pollock-Krasner House in Springs, East Hampton. Not many people outside of the Hamptons would know that the world’s most famous abstract painter was also a gardener, baker and dinner-party host. ‘Tis true. Planting, gathering, fishing and clamming for ingredients connected him to nature, and in turn inspired many of his greatest works.

You too can learn more about this fantastic book by heading out to Guild Hall in East Hampton on Tuesday, July 7, for a panel discussion with Lea and Guild Hall Executive Director Ruth Appelhof (who lived, cooked and ate with Lee Krasner back in the day) from 5 to 7 p.m. Or you can attend the book signing at the Pollock-Krasner House in Springs on July 5 (http://sb.cc.stonybrook.edu/pkhouse/calendar/index.shtml). Or you can catch Lea at this year’s East Hampton Library Author’s Night on August 8 (www.authorsnight.org).

Check out the book here: http://www.assouline.com/dinner-with-jackson-pollock.html.
Make reservations at 1770 House here:  www.1770house.com

R.L. Stine’s Scary Sandwich Tweets

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Leave it to my old next-door neighbor R.L. Stine, the writer of the fabulously successful “Goosebumps” kids horror book series, to make even eating an egg salad sandwich a scarifying experience. That’s just what he did two nights ago, cleverly using his Twitter account to compose a creepy short short story via Tweets.

Before we get to the story, I must mention that Bob (yeah, we’re tight like that–ha), a master of social media, will be commandeering the Scholastic Twitter page today () at 2 p.m.

Now I’m going to give you a taste of his egg salad story here but be sure to check him out online for the full tasty and terrifying Tweets.

From his Twitter account:

For Halloween, I’ll be writing a story live on Twitter this evening. Hope you’ll join me.

I am going to try to write a story live on Twitter now. The story is called “What’s In My Sandwich?”…

..I was about to bite down on it when I noticed something moving in the egg salad. Was I imagining it? No…

Read more at  if you dare. 

2014 Authors Night Photos

DMW_6000-2For writers and voracious readers like me, authors are rock stars. And judging by the tremendous turnout every year at the East Hampton Library’s annual Authors Night benefit, I’m definitely not alone in my thinking.

Always a highlight of my summer calendar, this is most definitely an event I look forward to all year long. In addition to the bold-faced literary names, celebrity bibliophiles and giant crowd in attendance, this one proved even more special, as I was fortunate enough to be further involved than ever. An even bigger plus–some of my very favorite people on the planet were there. What a tremendous treat! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I loved every second of involvement with this terrific fundraiser.

Authors Night: Nirvana for Book Lovers

Cover of Michael Shnayerson's "The Big Book of the Hamptons."

Cover of Michael Shnayerson’s “The Big Book of the Hamptons.”

For a word nerd like me, nothing beats East Hampton Library’s annual Authors Night fundraiser, which will be held this year on Saturday, August 9, from 5 to 7:30 at Gardiner Farm in East Hampton and will be followed by a multitude of dinner parties with the authors at select private homes of my fellow bibliophiles.

Approximately 100 notable authors are celebrated at this fantastic event every year and it always tops my list of absolute favorites. It’s no surprise that this reader’s paradise, for me, is nearly better than Christmas and my birthday rolled into one. This Saturday’s gathering got even better on a personal level as I’ve been able to participate in some of the preparation. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out the library’s website at http://www.easthamptonlibrary.org and the list of confirmed authors here: http://www.authorsnight.org/authors.html