From guided tours of the great restaurants, landmark buildings and vivid VIPs in our local communities, to the resting places of the most storied European monarchs, the month of April is a Book Fair of opportunity for anyone interested in a cracking-good nonfiction read — and the days and nights ahead offer readers numerous opportunities to meet and chat with the people who bring you the books, at locations all around the greater Green.
It’s a slate of events that kicks off this Thursday, April 7, in the surprising setting of Sea Bright’s Ama Ristorante — a venue that comes into sharper focus with the revelation that the 6 p.m. event is a cocktail-hour reception for The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond. Author (and founder of Jerseybites.com) Deborah Smith will be on hand to sign preview copies of the soon-to-be-released volume, a collection of recipes from some of the Shore’s most popular restaurants and eateries (Ama included). Also featured is an insider’s guide to navigating the local foodscape, as well as “the effects of Superstorm Sandy on nearly every establishment in the book and what it took to come back after the devastation.” Attendees at the two-hour reception will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage, a demo by Ama Executive Chef Charles Lesbirel, plus a $15 gift card — and tickets ($50 per person; $75 per couple) can be reserved at (732)530-9760.
The discovery of what were believed to be remains of England’s notorious king Richard III — beneath an asphalt parking lot that marked the location of long-gone Leicester Abbey — is a ripping yarn that spans 15th century politics and 21st century methods of detection. On Friday, April 8, Leicester University Professor Richard Buckley journeys to Rumson Country Club for a discussion of Richard III: The King Under the Car Park: The Story of the Search for England’s Last Plantagenet King, the recently published book that he co-authored with Matthew Morris. Scheduled for 6 p.m., it’s a presentation of the English Speaking Union of Monmouth County, with admission available for $60 ($55 for ESU members). Call (732)219-0005 to reserve.
Area history buffs will find a real smorgasbord for the sampling on Saturday, April 9, when the Monmouth County Library’s Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury hosts its first edition of Ye Olde Monmouth County Authors Book Faire. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., more than a dozen locally based historians, including the prolific Randall Gabrielan, will be on hand to meet the public, discuss their works, and sign copies available for purchase. Of particular interest to redbankgreen readers are the additions of Eileen Moon (Legendary Locals of Red Bank) and Roberta Van Anda (Legendary Locals of Rumson), whose projects were spotlighted here and here in our paperless pages. It’s a free-admission event, sponsored by The Monmouth County Genealogy Society and the Shrewsbury Historical Society, and it all happens inside the library’s first-floor Meeting Room.
With more than 30 published books to her credit, another prolific local author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — returns to Red Bank on the afternoon of Sunday, April 10, in a promotional appearance for her most recent volume, New Jersey Artists Through Time. She’ll be signing copies of the book (featured here in a recent item on redbankgreen) between 2 and 4 p.m. at Frame to Please, inside the Galleria building at Bridge Avenue and West Front Street. There’s no reservation required, but contact Frametoplease@comcast.net for additional info.
Don’t look now, but it’s National Poetry Month — and in honor of that designation, Red Bank Public Library continues its new Author Talk series with an April 13 appearance by poet, essayist, jazz musician and Monmouth University faculty member Daniel Weeks. Scheduled for 7 p.m., the Wednesday evening program highlights two of the writer’s many published works: Self-Symphonies, a meditation on life at the Jersey Shore through four long poems inspired by the symphonies of Johannes Brahms; and A Prosaic Light, a collection of essays and reviews that take on social and political issues, as well as the work of NJ writers Robert Pinsky and Amiri Baraka. Registration is recommended, but not required, for this free event — and the RBPL offers further celebration of Poetry Month with the monthly River Read session on Saturday morning, April 9, plus a series of four Wednesday evening Teen Poetry Workshop sessions with Eileen Huang, a student at High Tech High and one of only five American teens to receive the nation’s highest honor for youth poets in 2015. Register for the Wednesday evening sessions (April 6, 13, 20, May 4) at the Reference Desk or via Facebook — or join Eileen Mondays in April at 3:30 p.m., for a sister series of Teen Workshops at Middletown Township Public Library.
Following up her hit best-seller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo continues on-topic with Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. On the evening of Thursday, April 14, River Road Books in Fair haven hosts an event inspired by the book’s lessons,in which home design consultant Lisa Walsh and ReDesign expert Leigh Heagney discuss how to “edit” your belongings and open up “undiscovered” spaces in your home. Call (732)747-9455 or email email@example.com to RSVP for the 7:30 p.m. event.