If ever there were a time to gift someone with the chance to escape, this is the year. And lucky for us, the Hudson Valley is loaded with talented authors have been hard at work bringing a variety of genres and titles to readers. We reached out to local bookstores — Oblong Books & Music, Merritt Bookstore, Spotty Dog Books & Ale, and The Barking Goose — for their recommendations:
A Kabbalah of Food
by Rabbi Hanoch Hecht
Thirty-nine classic Chassidic takes are outlined in this collection by Rhinebeck resident Hecht that revolves around food and eating. Kosher cooking and traditional food prepared for major Jewish holidays are highlighted in 63 recipes including knishes, kugel, challah bread, and brisket. Perfect for young children and adults alike.
An Ocean Without A Shore
by Scott Spencer
Scott Spencer, the critically acclaimed author of Man in the Woods, dives into the most timeless human dilemma: when your love is left unreturned. In this story, readers follow Kip Woods’ devotion to Thaddeus Kaufman as his life continues to move forward without regard to Woods’ infatuation, and the decisions he makes based on his love for him.
by Elizabeth Lesser
Written by spiritual writer, feminist thinker, and Omega Institute co-founder Elizabeth Lesser, this book explores what would have happened if women had been the storytellers throughout history. She examines what culture would have been like if origin tales, guiding myths, religious parables, films, and fairy tales had been told through a women’s perspective. This three-part book is a mix of storytelling, memoir, and cultural observation.
by David Michaelis
This in-depth look at the longest serving first lady, activist, and diplomat took author and Westchester County resident David Michaelis 11 years to complete. An extensive look into Eleanor Roosevelt’s life from cradle to grave, it offers new analysis of the iconic woman’s life. The New York Times calls it “a great resource for people who don’t know a whole lot about her.” After 700 pages, you’re bound to learn a thing or two.
Maybe the People Would Be The Times
by Luc Sante
Luc Sante, who made his name with Low Life, a gritty look at late-19th century NYC, again takes another journey through Gotham, this time using his personal experience growing up on the Lower East Side during the 1970s and ’80s. In his latest work, he pays homage to the music scene that included Patti Smith, Rene Richard, and Georges Simenon. It dives into his relationship with music and his progression as an artist. The Ulster County resident is currently a visiting professor of Writing and Photography at Bard College.
by Jennifer Donnelly
A feminist twist on the Snow White tale comes to life in the latest work by the award-winning Young Adult writer and Millbrook resident Jennifer Donnelly. Poisoned is the tale of a princess, who everyone says is too kind to become queen. With the help of seven strangers, she is able to survive having her heart ripped out by huntsmen. As she recovers, she begins to realize that her kindness, which everyone told her was weakness, is actually the ultimate form of strength.
Statues of Central Park
by June Eding
The works of art that inhabit the most visited urban park in the United States live in this photographic collection put together by June Eding, a resident of Hobart. The collection briefly outlines the history behind each of these masterpieces.
The Blade Between
by Sam J. Miller
Set in Hudson, the award-winning science fiction and horror author’s hometown, this uncanny ghost story centers around the changes taking place in the city by newcomers (gentrification! corporate interests!) and the mysterious threats that Ronan Szepessy uncovers.
The Rural Diaries
by Hilarie Burton Morgan
After leading a busy life as an actress and television star, Hilarie Burton Morgan and her husband, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, decided to move out of the city and into the countryside town of Rhinebeck. This story chronicles their new life and adjustment on the farm building chicken coops, raising their new son, and learning to honor the values of small-town America.