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Short Takes—September 2015 


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Maria Reidelbach

Stick to Local Books, 2015, $9.95

Author and local food activist Reidelbach designed Kerhonkson's Homegrown Mini-Golf roadside attraction, including the Guinness Book's first world record holder for Largest Garden Gnome. A grown-up companion to her popular Stick to Local Farms sticker map, this visually appealing collection of seasonal recipes will send you to your CSA or farmstand filled with new cooking ideas, from spring's Pea Pesto to Frozen Maple Souffle. Five percent of all profits go to support agricultural nonprofit Rondout Valley Growers.


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Marc B. Fried

Green Press, 2015, $21.95

Acclaimed regional historian and naturalist Fried has culled a delightful selection of his long-running Shawangunk Journal columns into a lively book that's part memoir, part local lore, and all Marc Fried. Appearing 9/1 at 6:30, Thrall Library, Middletown; 9/16 at 7pm, Pine Bush Library; 9/19 at 4:30pm, Gardiner Public Library; 9/25 at 7pm, Inquiring Minds New Paltz; 9/30 at 7pm, Stone Ridge Library; 10/9 at 7pm, Inquiring Minds Saugerties; 10/24 at 5pm, Woodstock Public Library; 10/28 at 6:30pm, Ellenville Public Library.


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Allie Cashel, foreword by Dr. Bernard Raxlen

North Atlantic Books, 2015, $17.95

Chronic Lyme ravages the body in countless ways, but its sufferers bear an additional burden: coping with medical misinformation and blame-the-victim dismissal. Bard graduate Cashel, infected at age seven, describes her ordeal from the inside, then spirals outward to include stories of other chronic Lyme patients and doctors, urging advocacy. Terrifying, essential reading for those living in "Lyme Ground Zero." Appearing 9/28 at 7:30pm, introduced by Mary Caponegro, at Bard College's Weis Cinema, Annandale.


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Jo Salas

Codhill Press, 2015, $15

A boy and girl share a five-minute dance. Seems simple enough, but Alex has cerebral palsy, and the young blonde who gives his wheelchair a courteous spin is the future Princess Diana. Alternating Alex's narration with an intricate account of Diana's last hours, this debut novel by Playback Theatre co-founder Salas has the buoyancy of the handicapped dance company she describes: "I felt the swoop and spin, the speed of air on our skin, our laughing together, the bliss of the dance." Appearing 9/18 at 7pm, Inquiring Minds, New Paltz.


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Janet Surrey, PhD and Samuel Shem, MD

Beyond Words/Atria Books, 2015, $23

When Prince Siddhartha went off to seek enlightenment, he left a wife and newborn son child behind. He became the Buddha. What happened to her? This multilayered book explores the virtually unrecorded journey of Princess Yasodhara, first as a stirring fictional narrative, then as a parable of selflessness, reconciliation, and relational spirituality, offering meditations and practical guidance for seekers. Appearing 9/13 at 2pm, Izlind Integrative Wellness Center & Institute of Rhinebeck in collaboration with Oblong Books & Music.


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Owen King & Mark Jude Poirier, illustrated by Nancy Ahn

Scribner, 2015, $17.99

A bucolic Vermont campus with no cell service, an astrobiology major crushing on her hetero roomie, a skeevy professor in clogs, and an outbreak of shape-shifting space insects: What could go wrong? Aliens crunch and the dialogue pops in this hilarious, hip graphic novel by a troika of pop culture mavens; a hot-girl-turned-alien-host attacks with the cry "Full retail!" Destined to be a cult classic at a campus near you. Appearing 9/16 at 7pm, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck; 10/15 at 6:30pm, Word Cafe, Kingston.

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