RUMSON: ADULT BOOKS PROMPT R-FH DEBATE

siobhan fallon hogan 101315With emergency lights on because of a power outage, parent Siobhan Fallon Hogan urged parental choice in the books read by teens. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See a statement from playwright Ariel Dorfman about this controversy appended to the bottom of this article.]

HOT-TOPIC_03It was a dimly lit and slightly damp night as about 150 members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School community politely debated a stormy issue Tuesday: the place of two works of fiction in the curriculum.

Taking turns at a non-working microphone in an auditorium lit by emergency lights because of a power outage, a number of parents challenged the inclusion of two books on reading lists for juniors and seniors because of their adult themes and coarse language.

Led by former Saturday Night Live cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, the objectors insisted they were not out to ban or censor the books, but instead to call for a policy that would allow parents to choose substitute reading material they consider “age appropriate” for their children.

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RFH: NOT A BAD OUTCOME FOR AN APOCALYPSE

Katie Coyle, whose novel, ‘Vivian Versus the Apocalypse,’   (Click to enlarge)

By MARY ANN KAMPFE
RFHRHS Public Relations

vivian versus the apocalypse“Someday I’ll read a book by Katie Coyle” reads the inscription in a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School yearbook.

“It was written by my Advanced Placement (AP) English Teacher Jack Shea when I was about to graduate in 2004,” said Ms. Coyle. “I held Mr. Shea in high regard, and that comment really meant a lot to me.”

As it turns out, Mr. Shea was right. And “someday” came about very quickly.

Ms. Coyle’s first book, “Vivian Versus the Apocalypse,” will be published on September 5 by Hot Key Books. The book and its 25-year-old author have already earned high praise from the literary world.

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AUTHOR OPENS SERIES WITH HARD TRUTHS

By DAN NATALE

What does it take to become a published author of fiction? Will power, says Aryn Kyle, author of the national best-selling young-adult novel The God of Animals.

Kyle served up sometimes harsh truths on what it takes when she appeared at Brookdale Community College last Wednesday as the first author in this year’s visiting writer series.

“The amount of time where writing is fun is a small percentage,” she told an audience of more than 100 students, faculty members, fans, and aspiring writers. “It’s fun to start something. It’s awesome to finish something. The middle is hard.”

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A RUSH AND A HUSH FOR SEXY ‘FIFTY SHADES’

River Road Books in Fair Haven has more pre-orders for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ than it has seen for any book since Pottermania. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The naughtiest read to hit book circles in recent years debuts in stores Tuesday, and at least one Rumson grandmother is dying to know what her friends think of it.

Not to find out if it’s safe to read herself, mind you. The woman, a self-described “relatively conservative person in dress, manner and otherwise,” who insisted her name not appear here, has already devoured the racy ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ and is eager to read the next two entries in the trilogy, both of which are also scheduled for mass-market publication in coming weeks.

“I’m going to have to renew my blood pressure medication,” she tells redbankgreen.

In the meantime, she’s anxious to know how opinion divides among her friends as some of them dig into the novel, a sexually explicit tale of domination and submission.

“I have a group of friends who were horrified that I was reading it,” she said.

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IN oRBit: ONLY SUPER RALPH CAN SAVE US

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nadersmall

Activist. Advocate. Gadfly. Thorn in the side, savior of life and limb, spoiler of presidential elections. Ralph Nader has been called many things in his 75 years, although “novelist” hasn’t been one of them. Until now, that is, with the publication of his first non-nonfiction book.

Promoted as a work of Practical Utopian Fiction, Nader’s new book Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is a weighty (700-plus pages) and wild story in which an all-star roster of real-life billionaires (including Warren Buffett, Ted Turner and, um, Yoko Ono?) team up to solve the world’s problems, in Naderesque fashion.

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit is pleased to bring you an interview with this perennial public figure (currently considering a run for US Senate), as he visits Brookdale Community College this weekend in an appearance hosted by BookMark It! Events.

Fasten your seatbelts — and don’t forget to thank Mr. Nader for that — then get ready to Ralph, right here in Red Bank oRBit!