Pin It

Short Takes: April 2014 

click to enlarge st2.jpg

The Wicked
Douglas Nicholas
Atria, 2014, $16

In the follow-up to his lyrical historical enchantment Something Red, High Falls poet Nicholas sets his close-knit, courageous family of 13th-century vagabonds a new challenge. At a castle by the North Sea, souls are being stolen; wise woman Molly and her motley crew are the only hope in this horribly delightful page-turner. Appearing 4/4 at 7pm, Inquiring Minds, New Paltz; 4/19 at 2pm, Golden Notebook, Woodstock.

click to enlarge st1.jpg

Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero
James Romm
Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, $27.95

Rome burns, Nero fiddles, Seneca writes. Was the mad Emperor's tutor a martyred sage, a manipulative power broker, or both? Bard classics professor Romm's compulsively readable account of imperial intrigues (incest, murder, suicide) brings contradictory visions of Seneca into three-dimensional focus. Appearing 4/2 at 5:30pm, SUNY New Paltz; 4/10 at 7:30pm, Tivoli Town Library; 4/12 at 11am, Pawling Book Cove.

click to enlarge st3.jpg

My Lady of the Bog
Peter Hayes
The Permanent Press, 2014, $28

If you find a naked woman's corpse in an English bog, pinned down with rune-covered stakes, read before removing. The inscription might say, "Do not remove—she's a witch." Luckily for readers, Xander Donne misses the memo in this mind-bending "archeo-forensic mystery" by Ulster County writer-musician Hayes, unearthing long-buried secrets that spin back to medieval Rajasthan.

click to enlarge st4.jpg

Dying On the Job: Murder and Mayhem In The American Workplace
Ronald D. Brown
Rowman & Littlefield, 2013, $38

Though body counts soar every year and terms like "disgruntled employee" and "going postal" have entered the public discourse, the phenomenon of workplace murder is little explored. This wide-ranging book by a Beacon resident, former federal prosecutor, and criminal defense attorney should change that, offering juicy true-crime narratives, warning signs of "human time bombs," and response strategies for employers.

click to enlarge st5.jpg

Riptides & Solaces Unforeseen
Debby Mayer
Epigraph, 2014, $14.95

An avid runner slows down; his speech starts to slur. Within weeks, he's deep into a medical crisis no one can diagnose. Four months later, he's dead of brain cancer. Hudson author Mayer chronicles the season in hell that prompted her blog 2becomes1: Widowhood for the Rest of Us in unsentimental, clear prose that lands like a body blow. Step by step, she finds her way through.

click to enlarge st6.jpg

Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America
Quincy T. Mills
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, $34.95

Vassar history professor Mills uses the iconic black barbershop as a lens on social history and race. Though post-abolition black barbers could achieve economic mobility, like railroad porters and other service professionals, their clients were white. Mills maps the path to desegregation and barbershop as neighborhood hub in this well-researched and fascinating study.

Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Wild At Heart: Ashley Mayne's Magic Circle

    Talk to Ashley Mayne for awhile, and you might feel a little bewitched. Her eyes are pale green and her gaze asymmetrical, so she seems to be simultaneously looking you right in the eye and focused on something beyond.
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Book Review: Mr. Splitfoot

    Jana Martin reviews Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt.
    • Jan 1, 2016

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Religious Dimensions of the Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis @ Taylor Hall Room 203 at Vassar College

Religious Dimensions of the Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis

Wed., March 29, 5-7 p.m. — Religious studies expert Robert Orsi will deliver the annual Frederic C. Wood...

Mark Hummel's Golden State Lone Star Revue

Wed., March 29, 7 p.m. — Blues harmonica....

View all of today's events

Latest in Books & Authors

  • Coming Up Roses
  • Coming Up Roses

    Susan Krawitz Takes A Victory Ride
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • Short Takes
  • Short Takes

    For those who would rather skipout on March Madness, dive into this month’s eclectic selection of books for some intellectual stimulation.
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • Book Review: The Night Ocean
  • Book Review: The Night Ocean

    Penguin Press, 2017, $27
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • More »

More by Chronogram Staff

  • Chronogram Conversations: Live at the Lace Mill

    On February 8, Luminary Media launched the first in a monthly series of community events, titled Chronogram Conversations. Nearly 100 invited guests—community leaders, influencers, and creatives—filled the Lace Mill in Midtown Kingston.
    • Mar 1, 2017
  • Writers Resist at the Bearsville Theater

    Jon Bowermaster and writers from across the region reads at the Writers Resist benefit on January 15 in Bearsville.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Cabin Fever Cabaret

    Bindlestiff Family Cirkus returns with its Cabin Fever Cabaret series at Helsinki Hudson on January 13.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets