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Short Takes: May 2010 

Alice Lichtenstein
Simon & Schuster, 2010, $24

An Alzheimer’s patient wanders off into a frigid landscape, braiding the lives of his guilt-stricken wife, a burdened search and rescue worker, and the mute, troubled boy in his foster care. Lichtenstein’s graceful novel shifts perspectives over the course of a tension-filled weekend, evolving as inexorably as winter weather. Reading at Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, 5/6 at 7:30pm.

Tony’s World

Barry Wallenstein
Birch Brook Press, 2009, $16

Wallenstein’s sixth collection is a sequence of urban-hipster persona poems, animated from within and without. His jazz-inflected rhythms skitter and riff: “he’s got plenty cashmere / suede and silk / money in bank / plenty things a jumble / no names any longer / he has no cow.” Reading with Alison Koffler at Woodstock Poetry Society, Town Hall, 5/8 at 2pm.

The Sound of Hope: Recognizing, Coping with, and Treating Your Child’s Auditory Processing Disorder
Lois Kam Heymann, MA CCC-SLP, foreword by Rosie O’Donnell
Ballantine Books, 2010, $25

If a child can hear but not listen and understand, how can he learn? Speech and language pathologist and SUNY New Paltz professor Heymann unlocks the mysterious, often misdiagnosed condition of Auditory Processing Disorder, offering guidance and exercises that help strengthen listening skills. Reading at Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, 5/14 at 7:30pm.

Bang Ditto
Amber Tamblyn
Manic D Press, 2009, $16.00

Actress/writer Tamblyn’s second collection bristles with spiky, intelligent life, whether she’s exploring INT. – AMBER’S BRAIN in screenplay format (“Ice Cube Language and Dracula Boy”), eulogizing Nancy Spungen (“Harlequin”), or poison-penning a book dedication to Ethan Coen. Reading with Jeffrey McDaniel, Sunset Reading Series, Chapel of Our Lady Restoration, Cold Spring, 5/16 at 4pm.

The Seven-Year Bitch
Jennifer Belle
Riverhead Books, 2010, $25.95

Belle’s bestselling urban chick-lit heads upstate with this outrageous tale of a pregnant, fortyish former hedge funder who bitches all the way to her detested second home in Krumville, even as she’s pursued by an amorous billionaire. Shadows of a more serious novel flit below this story’s surface like sharks. Reading at Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, 6/10 at 7:30pm.

Brazilian Sexy: Secrets to Living a Gorgeous and Confident Life
Janea Padilha with Martha Frankel
Perigee, 2010, $19.95

Inimitable celebrity interviewer and Woodstock Film Festival maven Frankel mind-melds with waxer-to-the-stars Padilha to create this breezy, affirmative guide to embracing life, love, and the perfect bikini line. Benefit auction of autographed book and beauty gift basket ends 6/5; bid at

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