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Gardens, Plans And Nature

Books: ‘Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley’

Gardens may look mysterious and magical, but according to Jane Garmey they are all about plans and process. She should know. She’s a longtime gardening writer and author of several books about gardening including her latest, “Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley,” a sequel of sorts to “Private Gardens of Connecticut.”
Garmey lives in Connecticut, Cornwall in fact, but she is wide ranging in her love of and interest in gardens.

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Uniting Words And Images, At Last

Books

Robert Kipniss’s new book, “Paintings and Poetry 1950-1964,” is a surprise. Long respected as a painter and master printmaker, Kipniss, a Sharon weekender, is also — or was, since he has written no poems for 50 years — a fine poet.
Before turning 20, Kipniss had resolved to be both artist and poet, and for more than a decade he created colorful, lyrical paintings and dark, pessimistic, often angry poems. The painting flowed easily; the poetry came slowly. Every word was agonizingly considered and reconsidered before a finished piece was filed away.

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Winchester’s Memoir on Madness

Books: Fred Baumgarten

Simon Winchester, the Berkshires-based polymath and best-selling author (“The Professor and the Madman”; “The Map That Changed the World”), has written a slim volume in electronic form only titled “The Man With the Electrified Brain: Adventures in Madness.”
It is a personal, confessional memoir about Winchester’s experience with sudden, incapacitating mental illness in his 20s and treatment with ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), also called shock treatment.

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Loving, Naming, Saving All Things Natural

Nature and Books

Kenn Kaufman is known as one of the world’s foremost birders, who blazed cross-country as a teenager in pursuit of bird species, eating cat food along the way, a journey that he later chronicled in his first book, “Kingbird Highway.”
Then he parlayed his preternatural identification skills into creating the Kaufman Field Guides to Birds, which employ a unique method — photographs cut out from their backgrounds, making them look a lot like other guides’ hand-drawn illustrations — and concise text.

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Bringing Books and Children Together . . . Has Turned Into a Big Job

leong@lakevillejournal.com

When she received her masters degree in library science from Indiana University, Erin Simmons did not realize how hard it would be to find a job as a children’s librarian in Connecticut. Simmons, who grew up in Morris and attended high school in Litchfield, found herself competing with 90 applicants for one part-time job before landing a full-time position at Salisbury’s Scoville Library five years ago.

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Kipniss Press Release

Artist Robert Kipniss will discuss the problems and challenges of writing his memoir, "A Working Artist's Life," on Sunday, March 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, 10 Upper Main Street, Sharon, CT.
A wine and cheese reception will immediately follow the talk. Kipniss will take questions and sign copies of his book. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon is at 10 Upper Main Street, on the Green. For more information call librarian Louise Manteuffel at 860-364-5041, or go online to www.hotchkisslibrary.org.

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A Tale of War And Courage

First there was Peter Burchard’s “One Gallant Rush” (1965), retitled “Glory” to tie in with the motion picture. Then there was the motion picture, “Glory” (1989), starring Denzel Washington. Now there’s the new book, “On the Other Side of Glory,” important not because the earlier book or film didn’t tell the compelling story of the famed black Civil War regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, but because neither looked at the actual men who showed their bravery at the ill-fated assault on Fort Wagner, S.C., in July 1863.

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Breaking It All Up

Books: ‘American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Eric Hoffer was an unsettling figure, a provocateur — heroic and inventive to some, reckless and violent to others. And now, three decades after his death, he still pains critics and enlivens admirers.
As Tom Shachtman says about the subject of his latest book, “American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer,” “My politics are not his politics, but that does not prevent me from assessing his views. And he was certainly an original.”

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It’s OK To Drop a Book in the Tub. But a Kindle? Not So Good.

patricks@lakevillejournal.com

I like books, and I don’t own a Kindle. I’ve seen ’em, and they’re not for me.
For starters, good luck with your e-book thingy in the bathtub. I do some of my best reading a-soak, and I can’t imagine a steady regimen of warm, wet air is good for the gizmo.
Plus what if I drop it? A mass-market paperback can survive a dunking. In fact, it adds character to the volume.
My main objection to the e-book is more fundamental: I want to read a book, not a screen. If I want a screen, I’ll go to the computer or turn on the tube.
Harrumph.

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Looking Back

Books: ‘The Journal of Judge Donald Warner’

As we move about Salisbury we often note symbols of the past — the Academy Building, the library, the churches — and think about life in a bygone era. A newly published book, “The Journal of Judge Donald Warner,” supplies many fascinating stories of that time, an insider’s view of the town’s special heritage.
Warner began his journal in 1926. Now, with its publication by the Salisbury Association Historical Society, all who love the town can share this splendid description of places and people.

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