Short Book Reviews for May 2017 | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Short Book Reviews for May 2017 

click to enlarge JOHN GRUEN
  • John Gruen

Entertaining in the Country: Love Where You Eat

Joan Osofsky and Abby Adams Photos by John Gruen

Rizzoli, 2017, $45

Following the success of Love Where You Live, design specialist and owner of the Hudson Valley Hammertown stores Joan Osofsky and author Abby Adams have joined forces once again to create Entertaining in the Country: Love Where You Eat. Packed with festive party ideas and menus with easy-to-prepare dishes to accompany them, the book showcases a variety of entertaining options, like how to plan a potluck for 40 people and former editor in chief of Food & Wine Dana Cowin's "Cocktails on the Terrace," with recipes including falafel, tea-infused punch with whiskey, and more.

Hook's Tale

John Leonard Pielmeier

Scribner, 2017, $25

Three-time Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated playwright John Leonard Pielmeier's debut novel offers a new perspective on the classic children's tale Peter Pan. Told from the point of view of Captain James Cook, Pielmeier (a Garrison resident) offers the ruthless pirate the chance to tell his own story. After losing his mom at just 13, Cook is kidnapped by pirates and eventually abandoned at "Never Isles." From there he falls in love, confronts inner and outer demons, and eventually meets an idealistic boy named Peter.

Upstate Uncovered

Chuck D'Imperio

SUNY Press, 2017, $24.95

Upstate New York by definition is far and wide. Weekenders and casual travelers often miss some of the quintessential Hudson Valley towns and sights. Oneonta radio personality Chuck D'Imperio's translates his love for upstate New York into this witty guidebook, designed to take you off the beaten trail. Separated by regions, this travel-journal features must-sees in Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Catskills, Hudson Valley, Capital District, and the North Country (Adirondacks).

Three Queens in Erin

Douglas Nicholas

Emily Bestler Books, 2017, $19.99

On their journey back to Ireland, protagonist Maeve and her family discover the hidden truth behind their exile. Norse Gaels, a clan of Viking/Scots, used black magic to annihilate the chief leaders of Maeve's clan. Upon returning to Ireland, Maeve must use her powers to confront three leaders of the Norse Gaels, based on Celtic goddesses (but with a dark twist, of course). The last work of the late Rosendale-based author Douglas Nicholas's fantasy series, this novel combines Irish and Celtic history with fantasy.

Set in Stone: Creating and Commemorating a Hudson Valley Culture

Kenneth Shefsiek

SUNY Press, 2017, $90

Most Hudson Valley residents are familiar with the rich history surrounding New Paltz. In his book, former curator of education at the Huguenot Historical Society and current Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Kenneth Shefsiek explores the challenges the Walloon families (immigrants from the Spanish part of the Netherlands) faced. Shefsiek begins by explaining how "difficult material circumstances, brought out by war, as well as the attraction of economic opportunities abroad," as opposed to religious reasons, inspired the Walloons to settle and create a community in the New World. Eventually, the Walloon culture began to shift and became absorbed with the community favoring Dutch and English culture.

Lost in a Book

Jennifer Donnelly

Disney Press, 2017, $16.99

Jennifer Donnelly explores the inner workings of the intellectual Disney princess Belle's mind in her latest New York Times bestseller Lost in a Book. When Belle discovers a book entitled Nevermore in her new residence, she is thrust into a world of Parisian adventure. But then her intuition is truly put to the test when she is forced to wonder whether she can trust this new reality the book has brought her to. Donnelly will be at the Hudson Children's Book Festival on May 6, signing copies.

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