French Seasoning for the Kitchen Shelf

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search For Jewish Cooking In France by Joan Nathan of Washington, D.C., and Chilmark, is a delectable-looking cookbook with hundreds of delicious recipes. And, best of all, since many of them come from the hot climates of southern France and North Africa, you’re sure to be able to find in it just what you want to serve at a mid-summer Island dinner party.

Scaffolding of Island History on Which Native Story Rests

Earlier this year, the Gazette interviewed Geraldine Brooks as her latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing, was about to be released:

International Intrigue? Here's Your Woman

The breeze danced across the sails of many boats tied in the Menemsha Sound but it seemed barely to sway the majestic 70-foot frame of the Relemar. Entering the yacht’s living room to shake hands with a tall, poised and enthusiastic brunette, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you have taken a step into Kitty Pilgrim’s debut novel, The Explorer’s Code.

Amor Towles: Literary Ascent Begins in West Chop

Edward Dillon doesn’t exist. Longtime readers of the Vineyard Gazette may recall reading about Mr. Dillon’s antics in the West Chop column during the summer of 1977. The column, written by then 12-year-old Amor Towles, reported the comings and goings within the close-knit community. Yet unbeknownst to most readers, the man by the name of Edward Dillon, mentioned in columns throughout the summer, was fictional.

Inky Nights: Mysterious Squid Are Subject of Study by Scientist

Before probing the outer reaches of our galaxy, alien hunters would be well-advised to turn their telescopes around, training them on Earth’s own cephalopods instead. The group of animals includes squid, octopus, cuttlefish and nautiluses and were seemingly jury-rigged by evolution, armed with suction cups, beaks, ink, jet propulsion, camouflage and an intelligence entirely unlike our own.

Sharks Meet Their Enemy and It Is Us

Every jittery Vineyard beachgoer is familiar with the iconic image of the restless great white patrolling the shallows, mouth agape, in search of a fleshy excuse to close it. Stacks of shark books celebrating the more lurid aspects of their behavior, particularly their extremely rare propensity to attack humans, already fill library shelves, but in Demon Fish, Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin makes the case that the more fearsome animal is in the mirror.

As Mr. Collins Said, With a Modest Chuckle

The poem begins with the routine event of chopping parsley, a serious and yet absurd musing on a nursery rhyme known to all — three blind mice — and quickly spins into a quiet meditation on the sneaking cynicism that prevents us from feeling, and then, in shame, makes us feel all the more.

Like Father, Like Daughter: Alexandra Styron Flexes Her Muscle in Memoir

“I really did spend my entire childhood watching television,” says Alexandra Styron, a claim that stands in stark contrast to her endlessly expansive vocabulary and carefully crafted storytelling.

Shakespeare Seen in San Francisco

Chris Adrian is a fellow in pediatric hematology-oncology. He is also a recent graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. So he’s well-versed in tragic loss and grief, as well as the more abstract issues of immortality and the meaning of life. In his newest novel, The Great Night, he mixes all of these ingredients together and bakes them in an oven fueled by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The result is an exquisitely heart-breaking novel, sprinkled with dark comedy, whimsy and sex.