Iconoclast Stuck to Rules for Living

Shel Silverstein was an iconoclast but he was disciplined, particularly about his work, which always came first. He developed some interesting rules for living his life:

“Comfortable shoes and the freedom to leave are the two most important things in life.”

“To me, freedom entitles you to do something, not to not do something.”

“I’m not content when I’m traveling but I’m not content when I’m not traveling. So I guess I’ll keep traveling.”

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Searching for Silverstein’s Missing Piece
Jack Shea

Shel Silverstein was not an easy man, but he was a passionate and spectacular man and artist.

Now, eight years after his death, Mr. Silverstein’s intense, very private life and creative genius is chronicled in the biography A Boy Named Shel by Lisa Rogak, recently released by St. Martin’s Press. The book is drawing intense and pasionate reactions, Ms. Rogak says.

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Wanted: True Ghost Stories From Most Haunted Island

Writer Holly Nadler of Oak Bluffs is busily scribbling away at a sequel to her book Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories of Martha’s Vineyard, released by Down East Books in 1994, and now going into its ninth printing. The new book will be titled Vineyard Supernatural: True Ghost Stories from America’s Most Haunted Island, expected to go on sale in the fall of 2008.

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Winemaker Brings Tuscany to Bunch of Grapes

Hungarian-Canadian author and sailor Ferenc Mate, author of The Hills of Tuscany, the critically acclaimed A Reasonable Life, and two books of photography including the highly acclaimed World’s Best Sailboats and A New England Autumn, will discuss his new book, A Vineyard in Tuscany: Shooting for the Moon, and offer a taste of his wines, on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. upstairs at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Main street in Vineyard Haven.

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Timeless Hanukkah Story Told by Author on Dec. 7

In the midst of Hanukkah, children’s author Sarah Marwil Lamstein polishes up timeless motifs about the mysterious ways of God in Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale, her dexterous retelling of a folktale from the Middle East.

She will share the book on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. upstairs at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Main street in Vineyard Haven.

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Reggae Scrapbook Takes Trenchtown to New York City

Gazette contributing photographer and Chilmark resident Peter Simon has published a new book, The Reggae Scrapbook. It’s an 11 X 12 coffee table book with more than 300 photos, an authoritative text by co-author Roger Steffans, and much splashy reggaemobilia such as stickers, ticket stubs, posters and album covers, some of which are detachable.

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Biographer Discusses Life of Jewish Radical Heschel

Celebrate Jewish Book Month with the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center at 130 Centre street in Vineyard Haven, with a special reading on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. by author and seasonal resident Professor Edward Kaplan. He will speak about his new book, Spiritual Radical: Abraham Joshua Heschel in America 1940-1972.

Refreshments will follow, as well as the center’s book fair, with books for all ages.

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Children’s Book Writing

Children’s Book Writing

People interested in writing books for children will meet Monday, Nov. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the home of Carol Carrick in West Tisbury. This monthly meeting is for serious writers only. Members will read manuscripts and discuss them. They will also share news and advice from the children’s book world. For details and directions call Carol Carrick at 508- 696-6277, or Marilyn Hollinshead at 508-693-5803.

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Author Revives Vineyard Whaling Captains’ Stories

Many people are familiar with the whaling history of Nantucket and New Bedford. Fewer, however, know the rich and fascinating history of the Martha’s Vineyard fleet and its mariners. Never as big as its more famous whaling rivals, it nevertheless played a role in America’s nautical history as a port. But more importantly, the Vineyard produced great whaling captains and mates. Some of them, such as George Fred Tilton, were among the most famous sea ícaptains ever.

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Doggone Truth Behind Book Is, Henry’s Happy to Have No Tail
Mike Seccombe

Both Henry and Kate Feiffer make one thing absolutely clear: in real life Henry was never sad, like his character in the new book Henry the Dog with No Tail.

In the book, Henry starts out wanting a tail more than anything. In real life, Henry never missed it. So what if he had nothing to chase? He had nothing that could be stepped on either. And there were rugs and couches and sweaters to chew.

At least so he says, in a voice which sounds remarkably like that of his owner, Kate.

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