Short Takes: January 2013 | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Short Takes: January 2013



The Hudson Valley in the Ice Age: A Geological History & Tour

Robert and Johanna Titus

Black Dome Press, 2012, $17.95

Geology professor Robert Titus and biology professor Johanna Titus travel back 22,000 years to a time when the half-mile-thick Laurentide ice sheet stretched from Canada to New York harbor, pushing up mountains, carving gorges, and burying mastodon bones in its wake. This lively, accessible guide teaches readers to track glacial evidence in today's rock formations, lakebeds, and cloves. Appearing 1/5 at 3pm at Inquiring Mind, Saugerties.


Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909

David Schuyler

Cornell University Press, 2012, $29.95

Schuyler's magisterial history opens with the advent of wilderness tourism in the era of steamboats and Catskill Mountain hotels. In subsequent chapters, he focuses on Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole, writer Washington Irving, landscape gardener A. J. Downing, and naturalist John Burroughs, seeing in their romantic visions of the "sanctified landscape" the roots of historic preservation and an American aesthetic. 


Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs & More

A.J. Schenkman

The History Press, 2012, $19.99

Times Herald Record and Shawangunk Journal columnist Schenkman explores the seamier side of the Hudson Valley's colorful past with cheerful relish, tracking down tales of murder, gang robbery, the notorious burning of Kingston, wildfires started by blueberry pickers, the Sicilian Black Hand's influence in the work camps that built the Ashokan Reservoir, and even an alligator lassoed in the D&H Canal.



Emily Amodeo, Joanne Sagarese Pagnotta & James B. Cosgrove 

Arcadia Publishing, 2012, $21.99

Tapping the Marlboro Free Library's extensive archive of historical photos and postcards, this handsome sepia-toned volume paints a dimensional portrait of bygone times, from the Kedem Kosher winery to the home of celebrated type designer Frederic Goudy and John Burroughs's Slabsides. Longtime locals may search the many group portraits of scouts, schoolchildren, and factory workers for ancestral faces. 


Wilderstein and the Suckleys: A Hudson River Legacy

Cynthia Owen Philip

Black Dome Press, 2012, $17.95

While a fictionalized version of Daisy Suckley cavorts onscreen with Bill Murray's FDR in Hyde Park on the Hudson, Philip sets the record straight with an insider's account of the landmark Queen Anne mansion and three generations of its famous residents, including historical photos and a full-color spread of Wilderstein's restored interior. Appearing 1/18 at 7pm at Inquiring Mind in Saugerties and 1/25 at 7pm at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz. 


The Backyard Parables: a Meditation on Gardening

Margaret Roach

Grand Central, 2013, $25.99

The acclaimed gardener, blogger, and former garden editor of Martha Stewart Living follows her memoir And I Shall Have Some Peace There with a highly personal exploration of gardening as metaphor and daily practice ("To my ear, and heart, the garden is a perennial dharma talk," she reflects.) Eat, Pray, Love for the trowel-and-hoe set. Appearing 1/20 at 2pm, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck.

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