MaryKayAndrewsAuthor Mary Kay Andrews visits Nauvoo Grill Club in Fair Haven Thursday evening for a reading and signing event sponsored by River Road Books.

Save the Date. No, really, this is one that summer-reading aficionados are not going to want to miss, as this Thursday marks an encore appearance in Fair Haven by one of the most popular romance novelists in the English language — Georgia-based Mary Kay Andrews.

Known for her detail-intensive evocations of the modern South, the author of Savannah Blues, Summer Rental and many others visits Nauvoo Grill Club on Fair Haven Road for an event keyed to her latest work, Save the Date. As with the best-selling scribe’s previous Fair Haven appearance, it’s a presentation of River Road Books, whose nearby indie bookshop proved too intimate a setting for the author’s expected turnout.

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KnollwoodCaption: Diane Keaveny prepares to distribute tee shirts to the Knollwood fifth graders, while Kim Slate displays a copy of the book the students created to elicit donations for Sandy-related charities.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

The fifth-grade students gathered in their former fourth-grade classroom in late April 2014, the same way they had at around the same time last year.

Last year, the students were in Knollwood School Classroom 101 discussing poems they planned to write and publish to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. This year, they reunited in the same place to receive accolades and a gift from one of the organizations that had benefitted from their hard work.

The student’s fourth grade teachers, Kate Mills and Tara Barnett, had encouraged them to express their feelings in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which hit the area on October 29, 2012. Through the efforts of MaryAnne Kanacki Strulowitz, whose son Michael was in the class at the time, the poems were published in the fall of 2013 in a book titled Hurricane Sandy: A View from Room 101.

All proceeds from purchases of the book, available for a donation of $20, are slated for the Sandy-related charities Hope for Highlands and Sea Bright Rising.

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mary-higgins-clarkInternational best-selling novelist and Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark visits the Green on Thursday, as special guest at the AAUW Gala Scholarship Luncheon.

Her nearly four dozen novels, story collections, holiday tales, memoirs and children’s books have sold millions of copies, been translated into a score of languages, adapted to screens of all sizes, and made her one of the world’s wealthiest and most consistently successful wordsmiths in any genre. But it’s as Queen of Suspense that Mary Higgins Clark will forever reign supreme, with a never-out-of-print catalog of crime and mystery page-turners that include A Stranger is Watching, A Cry in the Night, Where Are the Children? and the all-new I’ve Got You Under My Skin. A serial winner of literary prizes, honorary doctorates, lifetime achievement awards and layperson honors from the Pope, the author has even had a major award named for her by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization that she previously served as president.

This Thursday, May 8, the part-time resident of Spring Lake will take lunch overlooking the Navesink at The Molly Pitcher Inn, as the special guest of honor for the annual Gala Scholarship Luncheon of the AAUW NJ Northern Monmouth County Branch — the state’s largest local chapter of the nationwide nonprofit American Association of University Women.

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DrMaryGattaAuthor Dr. Mary Gatta visits River Road Books on Thursday evening, for a discussion of the challenges faced by unemployed women in the current workforce system.   

As a senior scholar at Washington, DC-based Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), and an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Dr. Mary Gatta has been a go-to authority for some time on the challenges that women in the workforce face, in an age of downsizing, outsourcing, furloughing, income disparities and a Great Recession that doesn’t know when to quit. But it wasn’t until the academic went “undercover” as a client of a NJ One Stop Career Center, that she gained the first-hand perspective informing each page of All I Want Is a Job!: Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System, her new book from Stanford University Press.

On Thursday, May 1, the author visits River Road Books for a discussion and signing session centered around the book, a report that chronicles the struggle to navigate the often frustrating complexities of the public workforce system — and the ongoing struggle to survive — through interviews with unemployed women of all ages and backgrounds, along with the “street-level bureaucrats” who service them.

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stPatsThe second annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes to the borough streets on Sunday. Below, the Moody Blues.

Friday, February 28:

MoodysRED BANK: From the harmonies of their early, raw recordings to the dramatic sweep and ambitious scope of their orchestral masterpieces – to their repeated reunions, and a new century of crowdpleasing tours – one might be tempted to call them the British Beach Boys.

But the Moody Blues have done what they’ve done without all the meltdowns, litigation, and endless appearances on the county fair circuit of their American cohorts. And this weekend, the longtime trio of Justin Hayward (guitar), John Lodge (bass) and Graeme Edge (drums) comes to Red Bank for two consecutive nights (Friday and Saturday, 8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre, on a Timeless Flight Tour that promises to mix those lush album-era radio classics (“Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “Ride My Seesaw” and the game-changing “Nights in White Satin”) with more recent vintage oldies (“Your Wildest Dreams,” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”) and highlights from solo projects past. Leaving the symphony orks at home, the core Moodies are joined by an auxiliary corps of young musicians on keyboards, flute and extra drums. Tickets ($50 – $145) can be reserved right here.

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authorsAuthors May Becker, Susan E. Davis and Lisa Borders appear at libraries and bookstores around the greater Green on Saturday afternoon. Below, Michael Morch, Jennifer Grasso, Laura Gepford and Ian Brown-Gorrell head up the cast in Phoenix Productions’ staging of ‘White Christmas.’

White_Christmas_4bThe days and weeks leading up to Thanks Thursday and Black Friday buy us a little more time to approach the holiday season at our own pace… a chance to chill in the outdoors with a few more hours of autumn sun, or to head home and curl up with some comfort food and a good book.

Friday, November 15:

RED BANK: Or, you could just cut to the chase and surrender to Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the season-closing musical entertainment from Phoenix Productions on the stage of the Count Basie Theatre. Come for tonight’s opening performance at 8 pm, and you’ll get more than just a jaunty romance-in-rhythm packed with Berlin blockbusters like “Happy Holiday,” “Blue Skies” and the title tune — you’ll get a shot at the traditional Phoenix 50/50 raffle and, as is traditional on Opening Night, you’ll get a first look ahead to the borough-based troupe’s 2014 season. Show continues through November 24; take it here to reserve tickets — and here for our feature on some exciting new developments at the Phoenix fun factory.

RUMSON: He’s fronted the 21st century edition of Blood Sweat & Tears; subbed for Belushi in The Original Blues Brothers Band; shared stages with everyone from Boy George to B.B. King, and toured the region’s roadhouses with his own Hudson River Rats (an upstanding organization that boasts legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie). You might recall blues-rock belter and ace harmonicat Rob Paparozzi from those open-air Red Bank Jazz & Blues Fests of yore — but when Rob and Friends take it indoors to Barnacle Bill’s for some Friday night sets, they’ll be tearing the roof from the joint with a harpin’ helpin’ of houseparty hospitality, and the kind of star quality that keeps paparazzi flashbulbs a-poppin’.

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DaveCicirelliAuthor and Middletown native Dave Cicirelli kicks off the campaign for his just-released ‘Fakebook’ Thursday at River Road Books. 


His adventures include an attack by a rabid coyote, abduction by an obscure doomsday cult and forced labor on an Amish farm, as a result of his having toilet-papered the farmer’s buggy (he also managed to impregnate and run off with the farmer’s daughter).

He’s Fake Dave Cicirelli, and beginning three years ago, the real Dave Cicirelli chronicled his ersatz odyssey in an epic series of Facebook posts, keynoted by the sudden announcement that he was quitting his job as a successful and award-winning art director in New York in order to embark upon a soul-searching, westbound walking sojourn.

By the time that the Facebook version of Dave returned to Intercourse, Pennsylvania, “to adopt the Amish way of life… leaving the world of Facebook with a heart full of sadness,” he had amassed hundreds of new friends and even a stalker or two — while an increasingly isolated Real Dave was lying low from the world in his former family home.

The River Plaza, Middletown native tells his double-life story with double-edged candor and humor in the memoir Fakebook: A True Story. Based on Actual Lies, to be released Tuesday by Sourcebooks. On Thursday, the first-time author comes to River Road Books in Fair Haven for a 7:30 pm reading and signing appearance that promises to reunite the real-world Dave with several of the Facebook friends who played a part, consciously or not, in the social media saga.

The Local Literary Desk at redbankgreen talked with Cicirelli about playful lies and rippling repercussions, before Oprah or Jon could get to him. Read on…

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Dave Bry, below, makes an appearance on the Green to read from his new collection of essays, ‘Public Apology,’ at River Road Books in Fair Haven on Thursday. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)


Have you ever wanted to say “sorry” for all of the dumb, mean, embarrassing, or negligent things you’ve done that keep you up at night, cringing with regret?

Well, a Little Silver native has done just that, and he wants everyone to know about it.

Dave Bry recently released a book titled Public Apology: In Which a Man Grapples With a Lifetime of Regret, One Incident at a Time, in which he says sorry to his friends and family for as many mistakes as he can muster. Nothing is off limits: he apologizes for everything from selling a classmate fake drugs to throwing beer cans onto Bon Jovi’s lawn to renting the wrong DVD for his cancer-ridden father.

Bry, 42, often posts at The AWL, a pop culture website. Some of the essays from his book are posted on the website, along with his thoughts on Tyler the Creator, Lana Del Rey, Leonard Cohen, and a plethora of other entertainers. Tonight, Bry will be read excerpts from his book at River Road Books in Fair Haven.

redbankgreen spoke to Bry by phone earlier this week.

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The author with her first, self-published children’s book, which she’ll sign at an event in Fair Haven on Thursday.  (Click to enlarge)


It all started with mom and dad.

Dorothy Whitehouse, daughter of Elaine Sourlis and the late Ted Sourlis, owners of the Galleria at Red Bank, remembers her mom taking her to fashion shows as a kid and her dad encouraging her to publish one of the stories she would often write. Now, on the tenth anniversary of his passing, she has done just that.

Whitehouse, of Rumson, recently self-published her first book, Monique’s Boutique, a whimsical touch-and-feel children’s book that takes readers on a journey through a chic Madison Avenue style boutique, complete with samples of silk, taffeta, satin and other fabrics. River Road Books in Fair Haven will be hosting a book signing launch on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Just over two years ago, Eric LeGrand’s life changed in a flash.

During the fourth quarter of a football game against Army, LeGrand, a Rutgers University defensive lineman, suffered a catastrophic spinal-cord injury as a result of a head-first tackle. Paralyzed from the neck down, LeGrand began on an emotional journey of rehabilitation – determined to walk again.

In honor of LeGrand’s recently released memoir entitled “Believe,” River Road Books in Fair Haven and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High will host a book talk on Monday, October 29.

Slated for 7 p.m. at the school, the event will feature LeGrand himself answering questions about his life, football career, and of course, his new book.

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More than 75 Fair Haven kids came out to play with Waldo in a month-long scavenger hunt that culminated in the beloved character’s birthday party Thursday. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)


As summer winds down, August starts to feel like the longest month. For kids, it’s one giant countdown to back-to-school time.

In an effort to keep local kids’ minds and bodies active during the season’s final leg, the women of Fair Haven’s River Road Books came up with a fun idea – a month-long scavenger hunt of sorts. They brought Where’s Waldo? to life.

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Lisa Toohey at the writing desk in which she created her coloring book about the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, below.  (Click to enlarge)


For Lisa Toohey and her nine-year-old son, Jake, the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair is a captivating marvel of sights, sounds and aromas that never gets old.

“It’s like, a big deal for us,” says Toohey, who used to take off from her Wall Street job the week of the fair so she and Jake could go nightly. “It’s really one of our favorite things about living in Fair Haven.”

But less apparent to a child than the swirling lights and colors is all the work that volunteers put into making the event happen, and that was something Toohey said she wanted her son and other children to appreciate.

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Cases of new books await distribution at River Road Books, above. Soul Kitchen, below, will serve as a giver site. (Click to enlarge)


Book fans know that when they fall in love with a story, their immediate reaction is to tell someone so they, too, can fall in love with it. Remember how you first heard about The Hunger Games or Fifty Shades of Grey? Word of mouth is the spark that starts the fire and, sometimes has the ability to ignite a full force blaze that’s pretty hard to ignore.

That’s this concept that inspired World Book Night, a campaign designed to introduce the joy of reading to those who can’t afford or are perhaps even a little intimidated to pick up a new novel.

Launched in the United Kingdom a year ago, World Book Night is now coming to the United States, with some 5,000 towns and cities expected to give away almost half a million free books. Among those bibliophilic volunteers are River Road Books in Fair Haven and Red Bank’s own pay-what-you-can JBJ Soul Kitchen. Read More »


yarn-bomb1The yarn bombers at work. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


In the craggy moments just after dawn Saturday, when not much was moving except bleary-eyed bakers and the  innards of a nearby traffic light, three women sat on a bench outside Fair Haven’s River Road Books, each with a somewhat mischievous smirk on her face, knitting.

The women — two from Fair Haven and the third from Middletown — were in the beginning stages of what was a well-planned sort of guerrilla art project, a stealth mission that toed a fine line between public art and vandalism. In ever-growing circles across the nation and beyond, it’s called yarn bombing, a paradoxical designation that instantly lends itself to head-scratching. Often, it involves wrapping trees and streetlamps in bright knits, without permission.

In this case, though, the matronly vandals had gotten an advance OK from the owner of the bench they were about to attack.

So imagine, as the sun itself needled through iron-gray skies, what passersby thought when they slowly shuffled into the corner bakery for coffee or turned to look from their cars at the stop light.

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