Earmark These 7 Books for March Reading | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Pin It

Earmark These 7 Books for March Reading 


Gurdjieff Reconsidered: The Life, the Teachings, the Legacy

By Roger Lipsey

Shambhala, 2019, $24.95

George I. Gurdjieff was a man and a master. The materials that he uncovered from sojourns to Central Asia and the Middle East sought to remedy the spiritual poverty of the West. To the ever-increasing brutality of the 20th century, his discoveries enabled a way to a new life—more in consonance with nature and human nature. It granted creative powers their release. His investigations called for recognition of long-buried intuitions of humanity's role in the life of the planet and the universe beyond.

Gurdjieff Reconsidered, by Cold Spring resident Roger Lipsey, clarifies the development of the man's teaching. Gurdjieff died in 1949 but the school that gathered around him continues to flourish. Intelligent and well-conceived, the account outlines how an awareness, carefully sensitized, can lead to an intense, compassionate being, one that neutralizes the distractions and neuroses of everyday life. As Lipsey draws on students' first-person accounts, he shows the means by which a magister could bring a person's capabilities to fruition so as to be able to meet the needs of a situation, any situation. Lipsey functions as the witness to the witnesses.

Gurdjieff's "methods of instruction" were improvisational, making use of what the circumstances provided. Lipsey shows him to be confrontational, loving, overbearing, fatherly; his approach could turn on a dime. He attracted great men and women (Frank Lloyd Wright, Katherine Mansfield, and Peter Brook, to name a few); he also made enemies—those who would react to abrupt exposure of their own lack of substance. Lipsey devotes one of the five chapters to refutations of some of Gurdjieff's most biased critics.

The sweep of Gurdjieff's life is the stuff of myths. Lipsey gives a brief history of its scope, from birth in the Caucasus to his school near Paris. Special emphasis is given to the music and sacred dance that he created for students of his "Work." Lipsey is at his best in describing their humanizing effects, how they could balance a psyche obsessed with production and possession of commodities. Inasmuch as a chief source of information comes from notes of group meetings with him, the reader gains a sense of what it was like to participate in an oral school of thought.

The book veers between an apologia and an appreciation. Its "reconsideration" seeks to offer the insights of a participant as remedy to partial and second-hand renderings of the man's contributions. It is an important book, one that will join the ranks of other texts of second- and third-generation pupils that reveal the master's achievements. It should be read, particularly in its implicit message to read the master's own writings more deeply and with an unjaundiced and searching eye.

—David Appelbaum

click to enlarge the-amazing-tragic_jeffrey-bovee_2.jpg

The Amazing Tragic

Jeffrey Bovee

Amazon, $14, 2018

In 2017, Jeffrey Bovee spent 22 days behind bars in the Orange County Jail in Goshen after using hard drugs for 34 years. Bovee claims that the police probably saved his life by locking him up. During his time served as an inmate, Bovee was forced to reflect on his life of addiction and the possibility of losing his girlfriend and two sons. As a form of rehabilitation and reconciliation, Bovee wrote this memoir during his incarceration, attempting to puzzle out the riddle of addiction. After finding faith in God and strength in his family amidst the wreckage brought on by his addiction, Bovee was able to rebuild his life. He now lives as a writer and musician in Woodstock with his family.

click to enlarge corpse-_-crown_alisa-kwitney_3.jpg

Corpse & Crown

Alisa Kwitney

Inkyard Press, $18.99, 2019

Reimagining the Dickens classic Oliver Twist, Kwitney packs a punch in her newest historical thriller, which serves as a sequel to her first YA novel, Cadaver & Queen. The book follows Agatha DeLacey, who is a nursing student at Ingold's East End hospital in London, when she meets the notorious, yet charming, Artful Dodger. As their relationship grows, Dodger's work as a thief endangers Agatha, and she is blinded after a brutal attack. Having no choice but to take part in an experimental surgery at the hospital, Agatha's sight is restored, but with drastic consequences. Agatha and Dodger must find a way to work together and expose a medical conspiracy before war breaks out between England and Germany.

click to enlarge not-for-nothing_kathy-curto_4.jpg

Not for Nothing: Glimpses Into a Jersey Girlhood

Kathy Curto

Bordighera Press, $16, 2018

Cold Spring resident Curto, who teaches creative writing at Montclair State University, brings together stories of growing up Italian-American in the 1970s and `80s in the Garden State. This debut memoir chronicles how the youngest of four siblings navigates an often-fractious family life—volatile father, drug addict brother—and finds her way as a young woman, creating an enduring portrait of the state of wonder kids find themselves in on the precipice of adulthood. Family life in all its agony and ecstasy on every page.


Wait, It Gets Worse

Lydia Slaby

Disruption Books, 2019, $17

If you think you've had it bad recently, meet Lydia Slaby. At 33, she had everything she believed would make her happy: three fancy private school degrees, a successful husband who was in the inner circles of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and a high-paying job as an attorney. But under the surface Lydia's life was in free fall. When she made a doctor's appointment to talk about the toll of extreme stress, she was instead admitted with a diagnosis of lymphoma. Slaby, who now lives in Rhinebeck, learns through her cancer journey that control is an illusion, and perfection an impossible standard we set for ourselves.

click to enlarge the-woodstock-flaneur_michael-perkins_6.jpg

The Woodstock Flaneur

Michael Perkins

Bushwhack Books, $18.95, 2018

Perkins, author of the "Walking Woodstock" column for the Woodstock Times, has been chronicling the world' most famous small town for 50 years. These essays, collected from his columns, describe not only the characters that populate this odd former arts colony at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, but also a writer's journey, quite literally: "In adolescence I began taking long walks as my own quiet protest against the hegemony of the internal combustion engine." Perkins approaches his walking practice as he does writing one—deliberately, and with heart and soul. These sketches of small-town life abound with the vigor and absurdity of Woodstock itself.

click to enlarge farming-while-black_leah-penniman_7.jpg

Farming While Black

Leah Penniman

Chelsea Green Publishing, $34.95, 2018

Leah Penniman, executive director of Soul Fire Farm, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. A social justice activist and farmer, Penniman's book, "Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land," is a manifesto and tool kit for African-heritage people, from writing a business plan to restoring degraded land to crop planning and seed keeping. Penniman invokes Malcolm X as a jumping off point in her introduction: "Revolution is based on land. Land is the basis for all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality."

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
What Makes the World Go Round: New Drawings by Sean Nixon @ The Lace Mill Galleries

What Makes the World Go Round: New Drawings by Sean Nixon

Aug. 6-28, 5-8 p.m. — Sean Nixon will debut new drawings that have not previously been exhibited....
The Museum At Bethel Woods: Story of 60s & Woodstock @ The Museum at Bethel Woods

The Museum At Bethel Woods: Story of 60s & Woodstock

Tue., May 17, 10 a.m., Wed., May 18, 10 a.m., Thu., May 19, 10 a.m., Fri., May 20, 10 a.m., Sat., May 21, 10 a.m., Sun., May 22, 10 a.m., Mon., May 23, 10 a.m., Tue., May 24, 10 a.m., Wed., May 25, 10 a.m., Thu., May 26, 10 a.m., Fri., May 27, 10 a.m., Sat., May 28, 10 a.m., Sun., May 29, 10 a.m., Mon., May 30, 10 a.m., Tue., May 31, 10 a.m., Wed., June 1, 10 a.m., Thu., June 2, 10 a.m., Fri., June 3, 10 a.m., Sat., June 4, 10 a.m., Sun., June 5, 10 a.m., Mon., June 6, 10 a.m., Tue., June 7, 10 a.m., Wed., June 8, 10 a.m., Thu., June 9, 10 a.m., Fri., June 10, 10 a.m., Sat., June 11, 10 a.m., Sun., June 12, 10 a.m., Mon., June 13, 10 a.m., Tue., June 14, 10 a.m., Wed., June 15, 10 a.m., Thu., June 16, 10 a.m., Fri., June 17, 10 a.m., Sat., June 18, 10 a.m., Sun., June 19, 10 a.m., Mon., June 20, 10 a.m., Tue., June 21, 10 a.m., Wed., June 22, 10 a.m., Thu., June 23, 10 a.m., Fri., June 24, 10 a.m., Sat., June 25, 10 a.m., Sun., June 26, 10 a.m., Mon., June 27, 10 a.m., Tue., June 28, 10 a.m., Wed., June 29, 10 a.m., Thu., June 30, 10 a.m., Fri., July 1, 10 a.m., Sat., July 2, 10 a.m., Sun., July 3, 10 a.m., Mon., July 4, 10 a.m., Tue., July 5, 10 a.m., Wed., July 6, 10 a.m., Thu., July 7, 10 a.m., Fri., July 8, 10 a.m., Sat., July 9, 10 a.m., Sun., July 10, 10 a.m., Mon., July 11, 10 a.m., Tue., July 12, 10 a.m., Wed., July 13, 10 a.m., Thu., July 14, 10 a.m., Fri., July 15, 10 a.m., Sat., July 16, 10 a.m., Sun., July 17, 10 a.m., Mon., July 18, 10 a.m., Tue., July 19, 10 a.m., Wed., July 20, 10 a.m., Thu., July 21, 10 a.m., Fri., July 22, 10 a.m., Sat., July 23, 10 a.m., Sun., July 24, 10 a.m., Mon., July 25, 10 a.m., Tue., July 26, 10 a.m., Wed., July 27, 10 a.m., Thu., July 28, 10 a.m., Fri., July 29, 10 a.m., Sat., July 30, 10 a.m., Sun., July 31, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 1, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 2, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 3, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 4, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 5, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 6, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 7, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 8, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 9, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 10, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 11, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 12, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 13, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 14, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 15, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 16, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 17, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 18, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 19, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 20, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 21, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 22, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 23, 10 a.m., Thu., Aug. 25, 10 a.m., Fri., Aug. 26, 10 a.m., Sat., Aug. 27, 10 a.m., Sun., Aug. 28, 10 a.m., Mon., Aug. 29, 10 a.m., Tue., Aug. 30, 10 a.m., Wed., Aug. 31, 10 a.m., Thu., Sept. 1, 10 a.m., Fri., Sept. 2, 10 a.m., Sat., Sept. 3, 10 a.m., Sun., Sept. 4, 10 a.m., Mon., Sept. 5, 10 a.m., Tue., Sept. 6, 10 a.m., Wed., Sept. 7, 10 a.m., Thu., Sept. 8, 10 a.m., Fri., Sept. 9, 10 a.m., Sat., Sept. 10, 10 a.m., Sun., Sept. 11, 10 a.m., Mon., Sept. 12, 10 a.m., Tue., Sept. 13, 10 a.m., Wed., Sept. 14, 10 a.m., Thu., Sept. 15, 10 a.m., Fri., Sept. 16, 10 a.m., Sat., Sept. 17, 10 a.m., Sun., Sept. 18, 10 a.m., Mon., Sept. 19, 10 a.m., Tue., Sept. 20, 10 a.m., Wed., Sept. 21, 10 a.m., Thu., Sept. 22, 10 a.m., Fri., Sept. 23, 10 a.m., Sat., Sept. 24, 10 a.m., Sun., Sept. 25, 10 a.m., Mon., Sept. 26, 10 a.m., Tue., Sept. 27, 10 a.m., Wed., Sept. 28, 10 a.m., Thu., Sept. 29, 10 a.m., Fri., Sept. 30, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 1, 10 a.m., Sun., Oct. 2, 10 a.m., Mon., Oct. 3, 10 a.m., Tue., Oct. 4, 10 a.m., Wed., Oct. 5, 10 a.m., Thu., Oct. 6, 10 a.m., Fri., Oct. 7, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 8, 10 a.m., Sun., Oct. 9, 10 a.m., Mon., Oct. 10, 10 a.m., Tue., Oct. 11, 10 a.m., Wed., Oct. 12, 10 a.m., Thu., Oct. 13, 10 a.m., Fri., Oct. 14, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 15, 10 a.m., Sun., Oct. 16, 10 a.m., Mon., Oct. 17, 10 a.m., Tue., Oct. 18, 10 a.m., Wed., Oct. 19, 10 a.m., Thu., Oct. 20, 10 a.m., Fri., Oct. 21, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 22, 10 a.m., Sun., Oct. 23, 10 a.m., Mon., Oct. 24, 10 a.m., Tue., Oct. 25, 10 a.m., Wed., Oct. 26, 10 a.m., Thu., Oct. 27, 10 a.m., Fri., Oct. 28, 10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 29, 10 a.m., Sun., Oct. 30, 10 a.m., Mon., Oct. 31, 10 a.m., Tue., Nov. 1, 10 a.m., Wed., Nov. 2, 10 a.m., Thu., Nov. 3, 10 a.m., Fri., Nov. 4, 10 a.m., Sat., Nov. 5, 10 a.m., Sun., Nov. 6, 10 a.m., Mon., Nov. 7, 10 a.m., Tue., Nov. 8, 10 a.m., Wed., Nov. 9, 10 a.m., Thu., Nov. 10, 10 a.m., Fri., Nov. 11, 10 a.m., Sat., Nov. 12, 10 a.m., Sun., Nov. 13, 10 a.m., Mon., Nov. 14, 10 a.m., Tue., Nov. 15, 10 a.m., Wed., Nov. 16, 10 a.m., Thu., Nov. 17, 10 a.m., Fri., Nov. 18, 10 a.m., Sat., Nov. 19, 10 a.m., Sun., Nov. 20, 10 a.m., Mon., Nov. 21, 10 a.m., Tue., Nov. 22, 10 a.m., Wed., Nov. 23, 10 a.m., Thu., Nov. 24, 10 a.m., Fri., Nov. 25, 10 a.m., Sat., Nov. 26, 10 a.m., Sun., Nov. 27, 10 a.m., Mon., Nov. 28, 10 a.m., Tue., Nov. 29, 10 a.m., Wed., Nov. 30, 10 a.m., Thu., Dec. 1, 10 a.m., Fri., Dec. 2, 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 3, 10 a.m., Sun., Dec. 4, 10 a.m., Mon., Dec. 5, 10 a.m., Tue., Dec. 6, 10 a.m., Wed., Dec. 7, 10 a.m., Thu., Dec. 8, 10 a.m., Fri., Dec. 9, 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 10, 10 a.m., Sun., Dec. 11, 10 a.m., Mon., Dec. 12, 10 a.m., Tue., Dec. 13, 10 a.m., Wed., Dec. 14, 10 a.m., Thu., Dec. 15, 10 a.m., Fri., Dec. 16, 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 17, 10 a.m., Sun., Dec. 18, 10 a.m., Mon., Dec. 19, 10 a.m., Tue., Dec. 20, 10 a.m., Wed., Dec. 21, 10 a.m., Thu., Dec. 22, 10 a.m., Fri., Dec. 23, 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 24, 10 a.m., Sun., Dec. 25, 10 a.m., Mon., Dec. 26, 10 a.m., Tue., Dec. 27, 10 a.m., Wed., Dec. 28, 10 a.m., Thu., Dec. 29, 10 a.m., Fri., Dec. 30, 10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 31, 10 a.m. and Sun., Jan. 1, 10 a.m.

View all of today's events

Chronogram on Instagram

Latest in Arts & Culture

It’s high time Chronogram made a newsletter about marijuana. Stay in the know with the latest on dispensary openings, industry news, cultivation tips, and more as we cover the emerging cannabis scene in New York and the Northeast. Welcome to High Society.


* indicates required