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John Grandits’ account of his neighbor’s escape from the World Trade Center is for sale at River Road Books for $1, with proceeds going to volunteer fire and first aid. Below, Drew Irving. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Red Bank resident and children’s author John Grandits could see his neighbor Louise Irving in an agitated state on her back porch, her sister’s arms wrapped around her.
Then he learned what was happening in New York City, and immediately remembered: Louise’s husband, Drew, worked at the World Trade Center.
Dear redbankgreen reader:
You are no doubt aware that the local-news industry is collapsing, and understand what that might mean for the future of an informed public and for democracy itself.
And yet, redbankgreen has somehow managed to provide original and intensely local coverage of the Red Bank area for 14 years, at no charge.
Yeah, so how’s that work?
By JOHN T. WARD
Luminously elegant in her strapless white gown, she swans through a flock of origami doves behind full-length windows in the heart of Fair Haven’s quaint business district.
For more than a decade, that mannequin and another on display at Haute Couture Creations have been something of an enigma for passersby: their outfits never seem to change. But thanks to a Facebook thread, only recently have locals collectively realized something even odder: the boutique itself is never open for business.
Press release from Rumson Country Day School
There was a high demand for tissues in the auditorium at the Rumson Country Day School when internationally recognized educator, speaker and best-selling author Dr. Michele Borba shared emotional anecdotes and studies to support the central theme of her book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in this All-About-Me World.
The swimsuits and summer gear may have already been supplanted on store shelves by back-to-school items and other mellow-harshing signifiers of autumn’s advance, but at River Road Books in Fair Haven, the season of the “summer read” remains very much in effect, with more than enough sun-dappled and seabreeze-kissed titles to fuel a thousand oceanfront excursions.
The last bastion of independently owned bookstores on the Greater Red Bank Green continues its decade-plus history of guest-author appearances when best-selling novelist Patti Callahan Henry drops by Wednesday evening with something of an affirmation that summer, and its literary contents, remain alive and well.
A must-see presentation on some of the most fondly remembered attractions of our local Shore — and not one but two encore appearances by a best-selling beach-read favorite — are booked in this Thursday, May 11 for galloping gourmets and nostalgia buffs alike.
It begins tomorrow afternoon at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn, during the Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon for the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) — an affair at which members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews.
Before her sudden passing in 2014 at the age of 81, Joan Rivers seemed to have lived several lives in the public eye. From her training in the hepster coffee houses of Greenwich Village and the challenges of being a “comedienne” in the Sullivan-era standup scene to a spate of late-career activity that included a hit cable TV show — and a tour stop at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre — Rivers acquired new generations of fans as readily as she made enemies in and out of the business.
So writes author Leslie Bennetts in Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, her newly published comprehensive study of the star’s “tumultuous, victorious, tragic, hilarious, and fascinating life.” A regular contributor to Vanity Fair magazine and an interviewer of stars, Bennetts visits River Road Books in Fair Haven for an intimate “can we talk?” session Wednesday evening.
Pulitzer winner Amy Ellis Nutt (above left), National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka (right), and historical novelist James L. Haley (below) are among the celebrated wordsmiths appearing in the coming days at events in Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Lincroft.
There’s a Pulitzer Prize winner who trained in the trenches of Jersey journalism. A novelist whose credits include a PEN/Faulkner Award and a National Book Award nomination. And a celebrated historian turned master purveyor of “ripping yarn” page-turners.
Apparently the Greater Red Bank Green hasn’t gotten the memo that books are dead, because the joy of reading, and the highly anticipated appearances of some high-profile authors, are alive and well in the coming days and nights.
Children’s author Artie Bennett (above) brings his tales of butts and burps to Oceanic Library next week…while Hester Young (below; photo by Francine Daveta) brings her thriller THE GATES OF EVANGELINE to River Road Books on Thursday, September 22.
One has carved out a niche career by explaining various bodily functions to beginning readers. The other aims to scare it all out of you, via her debut novel in the Southern Gothic Thriller vein. In the run-up to the release of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run” (and his golden-ticket appearance at the Freehold Barnes & Noble), a couple of very different authors are speaking, selling and signing copies of their works at two favorite haunts for bibliophiles.
Her debut novel, “The Gates of Evangeline” is being called a “spooky tale perfect for longer fall nights” — and even as she prepares to release a sequel in autumn 2016, Hester Young makes time to visit Fair Haven’s River Road Books on Thursday evening, September 22. It’s there that the Boston-born, Jersey-based teacher/ mother/ author will read from “Gates,” the first in a planned trilogy of tales starring one Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, a reporter (and bereaved parent) whose investigation into a cold-case mystery in Louisiana is spurred by her recurring dreams of children in danger. There’s no charge to attend Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. event, but seating and signing copies of “The Gates of Evangeline” can be reserved by calling River Road Books at (732) 747-9455.
It’s an erotically charged, sharply humorous, playfully provocative tale that’s already been optioned for a TV adaptation, despite the fact that it represents the author’s first foray into full-length fiction. And it’s been likened to no less a phenomenon than the “Fifty Shades” franchise — minus the BDS&M, plus humor.
When V.C. Chickering visits Fair Haven’s River Road Books Thursday evening, she’ll be reading from and signing copies of her acclaimed new novel “Nookietown” — and perhaps reinforcing the point that the fanciful place known as Nookietown could be as nearby as the bedroom communities we call home.
If it seems just a few months ago that the Shore singer-songwriter turned author Mimi Cross was in town promoting a newly published novel — well, you’re correct. As reported here on redbankgreen in January, the two-time Asbury Music Award winner was looking forward to a personal appearance at Fair Haven’s River Road Books — a launch party for her debut as a published novelist, in celebration of the young adult title Before Goodbye.
Even as she geared up for that milestone occasion, however, the veteran of several self-released albums revealed to us that she had a second completed novel in the publication pipeline — and on Thursday, Cross returns to River Road for another book launch party; this one keyed to her latest full-lengther, Shining Sea.
Children’s book author Audrey Vernick (above) helps River Road Books celebrate Independent Bookstore Day Saturday afternoon, two days after Aaron Zwas (below) shows us how to ‘Transition to Independence.’
In case you haven’t marked your calendar accordingly, this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day — a day when we toast the success and spirit of your friendly neighborhood (non-chain, mom and/or pop) purveyor of dreams for lovers of the printed page.
Here on the Greater Red Bank Green, it’s a role that’s been filled for the past decade by River Road Books, the Fair Haven corner shop that’s taken the lead among area booksellers when it comes to meet-and-greet opportunities with authors of all persuasions. And the store has a spring bounty lined up in coming weeks.
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.
By TOM CHESEK
“It was great to see everybody,” says Mimi Cross in reference to her performance last weekend at Asbury Park’s Langosta Lounge, part of the annual Light of Day slate of musically minded benefit events. “I haven’t been playing much the past couple of years, and it was like coming home to family.”
Once a frequently sighted fixture on Shore area club stages — and a two-time Asbury Music Award winner for her self-released albums like Monkey Trap — the singer-songwriter soprano has indeed kept a low public profile since she became a mom. It’s an uncharacteristic stance for an artist who can boast of having shared stages with Bruce, Bon Jovi, Bonnie (Raitt), (Jackson) Browne, Lauryn Hill and Sting.
It’s called Shop the Neighborhood — and here on the Greater Red Bank Green, the midweek offering from the folks at the Fair Haven Business Association represents something shiny and new in December’s merry mix.
Taking place this Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., the promotion finds a majority of the borough’s retail businesses — all of them located along a strollable stretch of River Road — keeping special extended hours as an “added festive event for older kids and adults.” A range of giveaways, raffles and special discounts will be featured by the community’s shops, eateries and service providers — and as added incentive, the FHBA will be running complimentary “HollyTrolley” shuttle service to participating locations.
Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
On the evening of Thursday, November 12, the feature-length documentary film Beyond Measure will be given a free, public-invited screening inside the auditorium of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. The follow-up to the groundbreaking Race to Nowhere: the Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture will be presented at 7 pm, in an event hosted by the RFH School District, and by the Rumson Borough and Fair Haven Borough School Districts.
Admission is free, but seats must be reserved in advance by visiting the RFH web site, and clicking the link on the Home Page.
Glamour magazine book editor Elisabeth Egan (above) visits River Road Books on Thursday to read from and sign copies of her recently published A WINDOW OPENS…while fellow first-time novelist Barrie Levitt Knee arrives later this month to promote her debut book PLAIN JANE (below).
Two new novels; two stirring stories of contemporary women at a crossroads of life-choices. Both written by authors who are new to book-length fiction, and both the subject of special events at Fair Haven’s River Road Books here in October, a month when we shake the sand from those “beach reads” and find something a little more fireside-appropriate.
But don’t break out that Snuggie just yet, as one of the visiting authors might just inspire you to take it outdoors for one more cool-weather marathon.
The 1962 film version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ screens for free at the Count Basie Theatre Tuesday as River Road Books celebrates the July 14 publication of Harper Lee’s long-awaited followup, ‘Go Set a Watchman.’
It’s panning out to be the most eagerly anticipated event in the digitally driven, radically reconfigured 21st century publishing industry, one centering around a story that was pecked out on a manual typewriter nearly 60 years ago. The first book published by the reclusive novelist Harper Lee in more than half a century, Go Set a Watchman stands as a sequel to the author’s To Kill a Mockingbird, even though it was written – and subsequently filed away– prior to that 1960 classic of modern American lit.
On Tuesday, July 14, Fair Haven’s River Road Books marks the official publication date of Watchman with a special event at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre: a free screening of the 1962 film version of Mockingbird.
We’re gonna need a bigger screen: forty years after JAWS redefined the summer movie, it’s safe to go back in the Count Basie (formerly Carlton) Theatre to catch an anniversary screening, first in a series of seasonal blockbuster film events.
Under its earlier incarnation as the Carlton, the Count Basie Theatre entertained generations of Red Bank area locals with first-run (later second-run) product from the Hollywood glitterdome, projected on a screen that laid claim to being the biggest in Monmouth County.
While these days the films are just one component of the Count’s cultural menu, the big screen remains — and beginning this Wednesday, June 24, the Basie hosts the first in a free series of “Summer Blockbusters” classics.
It’s a fairly eclectic collection that ranges from family-friendly vintage musicals to blood-drenched Tarantinos — to the thriller that started the whole modern summer-blockbuster industry as we know it. What else but Jaws, the 1975 phenomenon that put director Steven Spielberg on the map; spawned a whole fishy franchise (Middletown’s own Billy Van Zandt would have a featured role in the 1977 sequel), and drew inspiration from a real-life 1916 shark attack near Matawan. The game-changer that celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer screens free of charge at 7 pm, in the first of a slate sponsored by the Count Basie Theatre Cinema Society.
His previous nonfiction page-turner, Shadow Divers, became a best-selling sensation here on the Jersey Shore — in part because it detailed the real-life story of salvage divers who discovered the wreck of a Nazi U-boat in the too-close-for-comfort waters off Brielle. Most of all, though, the award-winning 2005 tale was told with a genuine storyteller’s gift – an ear for the sort of “ripping yarn” that’s as old as our fascination with the sea, and the secrets it harbors beneath its shimmering, beckoning surface.
When Robert Kurson visits Fair Haven’s Nauvoo Grill Club this Wednesday evening for his only scheduled New Jersey appearance, he’ll bring with him an all-new tale of high adventure in the dark depths of the ocean, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. And this time, Kurson’s got company.
A busy summer of author appearances at River Road Books in Fair Haven continues with a Thursday program entitled Heroes and Villains of Asbury Park.
The 7 p.m. event at Monmouth County’s only remaining independent bookstore brings together two Jersey-bred authors for a discussion of some truly unforgettable characters who made their mark – whether good, bad or bloody – upon that famous place Where the City Meets the Sea.
Adam Sobel, the Vendy Award-winning proprietor of food truck favorite the Cinnamon Snail, visits River Road Books on Saturday to sign copies of his new cookbook “Street Vegan.” And yes, There Will Be Donuts.
With his wildly popular food truck, the Cinnamon Snail, temporarily limited to weekly appearances at the Red Bank Farmers Market after losing its curbside spots in New York City, vegan chef Adam Sobel is scheduled to park himself for a spell in Fair Haven on Saturday.
As recently reported here in a mouth-watering feature on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page, the Red Bank resident has just become proud papa to a cookbook, which he’ll be touting at a signing event at River Road Books. And, as if you needed anything to sweeten the deal, there will be doughnuts — Sobel’s justifiably famous ‘donuts’ — free with purchase the book while supplies last.
It’s got all the hallmarks of the work that’s made her one of the most popular “beach-read” novelists in the English language — the Southern coastal small-town setting; the strong protagonist whose focus has been on matters of career rather than affairs of the heart; the suspense. Not just the kind of suspense found in her earlier mystery novels, but the sexy tension that occurs when a pair of supercharged opposites set off undeniable sparks.
If it’s the start of summer, it must be time for a new novel by Mary Kay Andrews, the Georgia-based author (of Savannah Blues, Summer Rental and Save the Date) whose book tours in recent seasons have always made sure to include a whistle-stop in one of her favorite pockets of fandom: Fair Haven. This Friday, May 29, borough-based River Road Books once again welcomes back the best-selling scribe for a special appearance keyed to the latest Andrews opus, Beach Town.
By JOHN T. WARD
She’s leaving as a newly published book author. Her “Legendary Locals of Rumson,” one in a nationwide series focused on particular locales, debuted this month. And it fulfills Van Anda’s long-held desire to tell her contemporaries, and perhaps future borough residents, about the contributions made to the community by predecessors whose names may have vanished over the years.
“I’m just so excited to bring some of these people out of the shadows of history,” she told redbankgreen recently.