What I’m Reading on the Ferry Martha’s Vineyard

What I’m Reading on the

Ferry Martha’s Vineyard

Noted Pianist Is Subject of Biography

PIANIST, A Biography of Eugene Istomin. By James Gollin. Ex Libris. Illustrated. 474 pages. $23.99 paperback, $35 hardcover from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

In 1946, noted pianist Eugene Istomin summered in Menemsha. He shared a house with Rae Gabis (who later made Chilmark her year-round home and was a founder of the Thrift Shop) and her daughter, Shirley. A year later, Istomin made another summer visit, in which he and Shirley played Mendelssohn’s Allegro Brilliante together in the auditorium on the second floor of the Chilmark town hall.

Awareness About Present Issues Key to Preserving Island’s Future

All around the Island this summer, at banks, at libraries, at the museum, at the Polly Hill Arboretum, at the offices of nonprofits and realtors, and at Morning Glory Farm, the pensive self-portrait of New Yorker cartoonist Jules Feiffer has been inviting us to understand the Vineyard. What the mysterious booklet asks us to understand is that the unique character, ecosystem and population of the Vineyard is under constant threat from overdevelopment, underemployment and cutbacks.

Mighty Morsels for Thought and Taste

Scallops:> A New England Coastal Cookbook, by Elaine Tammi and Karin A. Tammi, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, Louisiana, 350 pages, color photographs and illustrations, $39.95.

With fresh bay scallops being landed at Vineyard docks it is time to think about favorite recipes. Earlier this year Pelican Publishing came out with a cookbook and compendium of stories about both the coastal bay scallop and the deep sea scallop. The Vineyard is in the book, though not named often enough.

Reading This Book Could Literally Save Your Life

Vineyard seasonal resident Dr. Mache Seibel, the author of a recent book aimed at providing simple, lifesaving information, believes that one of the most common reasons people die in a medical emergency is they don’t know when to call 911 or what to do, or not to do, after they call.

Barking Up the Right Beach, Seal And Dog Tale Is Lesson for All

Anyone, young or old, who has a summer friend, enjoys the company of the family dog, cherishes their time along the shore and appreciates the differences in life that the world provides will find Sarah French’s new book, Summer Friends (Vineyard Stories, $16.95), very appealing. Ms. French, of Rowayton, Conn., and Chilmark, is not only the author but illustrator as well. Her literary and artistic abilities truly appeal to both children and adults, making this a book that any adult would be happy to read to any child, a very important factor when considering the topic.

Vineyard Bookshelf

Saying Goodbye is an aptly named new book by Drs. Barbara Okun, an Aquinah summer resident for the past 39 years, and Joseph Nowinski of San Francisco, which Dr. Okun describes as “a co-authorship made in heaven.” The authors provide a fascinating and most helpful guide for people facing terminal illness, and for their families whose lives are disrupted by grief and new responsibilities. The book is peppered with stories of people whose experiences illustrate the points being made.

Vineyard Bookshelf

Caleb’s Crossing, By Geraldine Brooks, Viking, 2011, Hardcover, 320 Pages, $26.95, in bookstores May 3.

Children’s Book Subject a Dear One for Baseball Fan Carly Simon

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME. By Carly Simon (performer, author), Jack Norworth (author) and Amiko Hirao (illustrator). Imagine, a Charlesbridge Imprint. April 2011. 26 pages, hardcover. $17.95.

Imagine a 1908 Tin Pan Alley ditty that continues to be heard by tens of millions of Americans on a daily basis — at least during baseball season. Yes, the incredibly catchy Take Me Out to the Ballgame (by Jack Norworth), is the unofficial baseball anthem, and it gets the crowds roaring to the immortal lyrics:

Seeds of American Revolution Literally Planted in the Ground

FOUNDING GARDENERS: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation. By Andrea Wulf. Knopf, March 29, 2011. 352 pages. $30, hardcover.

At first glance this book, with its lovely old-style sketches of such flowers as Rhododendron maximum and Kalmia angustifolia, gives you the notion it would make the ideal gift for someone who knows her forsythia from Scotch broom. But the moment you start reading Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf (Knopf, $30), you realize something groundbreaking is going on — pun intended.