Book Markers 07.28.16

Local Book Notes: Crossword Talk and a Bustling BookHampton

The Other Puzzle Master

If you read The Star's book reviews, chances are you’ve taken a crack at the “Starwords” crossword puzzle, compiled with care every week by Sheridan Sansegundo, the paper’s ex-arts editor, now an expat who cashed in her East Hampton chips to kick it in an artists’ colony south of the border. The puzzle is fun, it’s challenging, it might impart a tidbit of culture or history, and untangling it each week just might ward off a few weeks of dementia at the end of your life.

Now another puzzle master, Stan Newman of Newsday, is offering a 90-minute program at the East Hampton Library on Monday starting at 1 p.m. While part of his talk will cover the expected, communicating strategies of attack in the face of those blank black-and-white-checkered grids, there is also the unexpected: “surprising ways to apply your puzzle experience to real-life challenges,” in the words of a faceless release. If life’s a confounding mess, maybe this brain-teasing activity will help you make sense of it.

And whether you’re a hapless beginner or a wily veteran, be sure to have some questions ready. Sign-up is no puzzle; it’s by phone with the library or at the reference desk.


BookHampton’s Bustling Summer

Reader, on the off chance you haven’t been paying attention to much beyond the clambakes and cheap chardonnay, it’s not only willful ignorance of driving etiquette that’s increased around East Hampton this summer. No, Main Street’s BookHampton shop has upped its game severalfold when it comes to author appearances — to the tune of five or so a week. Considerably more than other “venues,” that is.

There's variety, too. No use for the lighter fare of chick lit and beach reads? Tomorrow brings Andrew Solomon, a psychology professor at Columbia and a contributor to The New Yorker, reading from “Far & Away — Reporting From the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years.” His accounts range from Moscow circa 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union to a culturally resurgent Afghanistan post-Taliban. The reading starts at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, in contrast, in a stylish twofer of a 6 p.m. talk, Isaac Mizrahi, the fashion designer, will shed light on a biography about him as well as a book of fashion photos of him at work in New York City from 1989 to 1993; he will be joined by Maira Kalman, the illustrator of books including “My Favorite Things” and the canine volumes “Beloved Dog” and “What Pete Ate: From A-Z.”

More nonfiction follows on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Moira Weigel and her history of sex and romance in latter-day America, “Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating,” before, on the fiction front, Jessie Burton alights on Friday, Aug. 5, also at 7 p.m., with her new one, “The Muse,” which follows two women, a Caribbean immigrant in London in the 1960s and a child of Viennese and English high society who arrives in Spain in time for its civil war.