5 Books to Read in September | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

The Bones of the Story

Carol Goodman
HarperCollins Publishers, 2023, $18.99

25 years after the disappearance of a student and a creative writing professor at the Briarwood College, faculty, donors, and alumni assemble to honor the victims at a vacant, storm-ridden campus. A group of former classmates duke out their rivalries and pick apart old writing projects, only stopping when an alumna dies in a similar manner to a previously written story, with another alumnus to follow. Carol Goodman, two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award winner, Vassar College alumni, and current SUNY New Paltz creative writing professor pens a nail-biting, locked-room, whodunnit mystery full of secrets, lies, and cat-and-mouse vibes.

Far from New York State

Matthew Johnson
New York Quarterly Press, 2023, $18.95

New Rochelle native Matthew Johnson’s second book of poetry paints a playful jigsaw of life in rural communities upstate, suburban living in the lower Hudson Valley, and the metropolitan landscapes of New York City. He carves out an image of New York through the stories and lives of historical figures, professional athletes, musicians, and family members, acquainting readers with influential New York figures like Washington Irving, Paul Robeson, and the ‘86 Mets, all while giving readers a glimpse into his own life.

Through the Ruins: Talks on Human Rights and the Arts

Edited by Fawz Kabra
CHRA and Natus Books, 2023, $20.95

This inaugural publication from the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College is a collection of public talks, supporting OSUN’s goal to be an artist-led center that researches and supports art and activist practices locally and globally. Featured speakers, including Faustin Linyekula, Ashmina Ranjit, and Mark Sealy embody a range of modern practices that meld human rights and the arts. The text consists of introductions by an assortment of scholars, followed by Q&As with live international audiences, and collective works by multidisciplinary designer and typographer Will Brady to help guide readers through the rich history, theory, and personal stories surrounding the speeches.

Finding the Place Where Everything Lives

Andy Kalan
Boyle & Dalton, 2023, $16.99

“We got married too young. And now we’re stuck in what was failed from the start, with the severity of our mess revealed.” Hudson Valley native Andy Kalan pens a gritty, unfeigned portrayal of marriage in his debut novel, Finding the Place Where Everything Lives. Newlywed couple Daniel and Claire Morrow struggle through married life, financial woes, and living in New York City, forced to leave behind the romanticized ideas they once had, finally revealing the rocky foundation of their marriage and questions about who they really are, both together and apart.

The Cook and the Rabbi

Susan Simon and Zoe B. Zak
Countryman Press, 2023, $30

A cookbook that is more than a cookbook—Susan Simon (the cook) and Zoe B. Zak (the rabbi) wrote this as a testament to the resilience of the Jewish people and their traditions, in the hope that the Jewish holidays can mean more than candles and matzah. The seasonal kosher recipes that they pass along can be an accompaniment to the meaning resulting from celebrating with a shared purpose; from Selichot to Rosh Hashanah, there is a food for every holiday, to be paired with its own history and interpretation. Temple Israel of Catskill will host the book’s launch party on September 10 at 2pm.

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