To some the word “author” is a job description appended to a hyphen; a sideline to a set of day (or night) jobs that range from acting and sax playing, to running a fabulously successful chain of tea rooms.
Look up Bethenny Frankel (right), and you’ll find the irrepressible paragon of Skinnygirl style proudly pegging herself as a “NY Times Best Seller and Celebrity Natural Food Chef.” America may have made her acquaintance as the RealiTV star of The Real Housewives of NYC and Bethenny Getting Married, but when Frankel takes the stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight, she’ll be hosting a “Skinnygirl Night Out” as the authority on “body image, food obsession, weight and exercise” whose branded volumes on those topics (including Naturally Thin, The Skinnygirl Dish and the forthcoming A Place of Yes) have become regular fixtures on the charts and in the carts.
There’s much more in the way of reading, signing and chatting action going on locally in the days to come and we’ve got a rundown for you, at the turn of the pixelated page.
Dan Wilensky author, musician, and author of MUSICIAN conducts reading, signing and workshop events in upcoming weeks, at libraries in Shrewsbury and Red Bank.
SATURDAY, January 22: Camille Rankin at River Road Books. Although the entire square footage of their shop probably adds up to less than what’s devoted to Lindt chocolates over at the local B&N superstore, the owners of River Road Books in Fair Haven have often beaten the big chains at their own game in the area of author appearances setting up readings and signing events with such nationally known figures as former NY Giant (turned novelist) Mark Bavaro, network newsman Jack Ford and New Yorker cartoonist/ graphic novelist Marisa Acocella Marchetto. At the same time, the River Road renegades have made a concerted effort to spotlight the best of the prodigious talents who happen to hail from our own back yard people like Red Bank children’s author and illustrator Elise Primavera, Rumson-based nautical-history novelist William H. White, and Little Silver’s own supermodel, “Soupermom” and safety advocate Farley Boyle. This Saturday from 2 to 4p, the shop welcomes Monmouth County native (and editor of Outdoor Life magazine) Camille Rankin in a signing appearance for her travel book To Love Paris: A Book of French Verbs, a “beautiful pictorial of Paris perfect for giving or savoring yourself.” Call (732)747-9455 to reserve signing copies.
SUNDAY, January 23: Haley and Lauren Fox at NovelTeas. Ten years ago, Lauren Fox was working as an actress (most notably in Darren Aronofsky‘s Pi) while her sister worked for MGM in development but when the sibs returned to their native Upper West Side to take Manhattan, they conquered not through showbiz channels but as co-owners of Alice’s Tea Cup, the Wonderland-inspired cafe and bakery that has set a new standard for the modern tea room (while expanding to three separate “chapters”). Riding the momentum generated by their new Alice’s Tea Cup Cookbook, the sisters Fox find a party going on in their honor at NovelTeas Authors Aromas & Gifts, Kim Widener‘s book salon/ tea room/ gift boutique on the Left Bank of Red Bank. This Sunday from 3 to 5p, the Foxes will be special guest hosts for an afternoon tea, during which they’ll be autographing books, and chatting about their “wonderfully whimsical NYC treasure” revered for its custom cakes and connoisseurship. Reservations for the event are $40 for adults (with discounts for kids and couples), and signing copies of the cookbook are available for advance pickup.
MONDAY, January 24: David Stroebel at Monmouth County Library. While the name of Engelbertha Krupp may not resonate with the public at large, armchair historians of the Second World War may recognize the industrial dynasty heiress disinherited by her arms-magnate father and practically erased from family records due to an unapproved marriage for her indirect impact upon the rise of Hitler’s armies, even though she died in 1911. Freehold-based David Stroebel (great-grandson of Bertha and her shoemaker husband John Stroebele) has written a biography entitled The Cannon King’s Daughter, in which he establishes his ancestor’s stake as rightful inheritor of the Krupp Empire while making the case that the global reach of the Nazi war machine would not have been abetted by the Krupps had Bertha’s sons been in charge. The author visits the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury on January 24, for a free presentation that starts at 630p.
TUESDAY, January 24: Peter Lerangis at Knollwood School. The aforementioned River Road Books lines up a special treat for young readers in Fair Haven next Tuesday, when the Knollwood School plays host venue for an in-person visit and signing session featuring NYC-based writer Peter Lerangis. The prolific author of more than 160 titles (ranging from activity books to such major movie novelizations as The Sixth Sense) is known to fans of the book/ collectors card/ online gaming phenomenon The 39 Clues for having penned two of the entries in the increasingly popular series and he’ll be answering questions about these and his other works for middle grade and young adult readers when he brings his acclaimed school presentation to town. Event time and other details (as well as reservations for signing copies) can be obtained by calling the bookstore at (732)747-9455.
SATURDAY, January 29: Dan Wilensky at Monmouth County Library. His trademark eyepatch is a made-you-look visual hook (suggesting the Man in the Hathaway Shirt working club gigs between modeling calls, or Nick Fury blowing off steam after a hard day at the Helicarrier) but saxophonist, keyboardist, composer and music educator Dan Wilensky has made the entire music industry sit up and take notice via his cool mastery of technique and the kind of range that’s allowed him to play alongside everybody from Joan Baez, Cab Calloway and James Brown to David Bowie, Steve Winwood and Debbie Harry. The author of the highly regarded method book Advanced Sax also penned Musician! A Practical Guide for Students, Music Lovers, Amateurs, Professionals, Superstars, Wannabees and Has Beens a one-stop shop talk guide to all levels of the business, and an effort that’s allowed him to tour schools and libraries around the region with a presentation that’s a combination free concert, music workshop and book reading event. Wilensky visits the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury on the afternoon of January 29 for a 2:30p session and the following Saturday, February 5, finds him stopping by the Red Bank Public Library for an event that runs from 2 to 4p.