New book releases by Conn. authors ready to give
Updated 4:20 pm, Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Some are weighty, others a bit lighter — literally and figuratively. Together, nearly a half-dozen books released this year feature the talents of writers, comedians, photographers and illustrators who make Connecticut their home.
Books have long made welcome gifts, and this batch of homegrown creations are there for the picking. In an era of digital uploads, these books are best treasured while cupped in one’s hands, or perhaps resting in a lap - one weighs about 5 pounds and measures nearly 12 inches by 14 inches.
These works can be found the old-fashioned way at local, independent bookstores or, following the fashion of the day, online.
“A Connecticut Christmas,” by Caryn B. Davis (Globe Pequot Press)
Guided by her lens and a desire to capture quintessential holiday traditions and displays, Caryn B. Davis, a Chester-based photographer, journeyed through 40 cities and towns during the past two holiday seasons. She returned with enough images to fill 224 pages.
“I knew of a few of them, but it ended up being a really good compilation of a variety of Christmas traditions and celebrations around the state,” she says during a telephone interview. “It’s really nice to see the images all together in tangible form. The idea was it was a book you could open often and view the images multiple times.”
Her quest brought her to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, holiday festivities on the New Haven Green and the “Santa Made Me Do It” 5-kilometer race in Bethlehem. Essays from Connecticut author Eric D. Lehman, who teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Bridgeport, accompany the images. The book ends with a listing of places and events Davis visited, so readers can follow her path.
“Midnight Confessions,” by Stephen Colbert, with illustrations by Sean Kelly (Simon & Schuster)
Sean Kelly’s work has appeared in top newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times Metropolitan Diary, Fortune, Businessweek, The Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal, but this year was the first time he designed an entire book — Stephen Colbert’s latest, “Midnight Confessions.”
It is based on a popular segment from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS, during which Colbert reveals various and sundry secrets to his audience. The book is 208 pages of such misdeeds. As with the show, the pithy, odd and hilarious admissions are created by Colbert and his writers.
“The challenge (was) to translate something that was very personal and strictly about him to more of a universal guilt, so readers could relate,” says Kelly, of Fairfield, who endeavored to create visual gags that would not steal the thunder of the written gag. “I was very grateful to be part of the project.”
“Chardonnay Moms: Jane & Bobbi’s Greatest Hits,” by Jane Condon (author) and Bobbi Eggers (illustrator), (BookBaby)
For nearly 20 years, these Greenwich residents have shown the lighter side of suburbia with a calendar and cartoon series known as “Our Life.” Their latest creative collaboration is a book of more than 80 of their cartoons.
During a recent interview, Condon, a stand-up comedian, and Eggers, who was a creative director for advertising firms, explained how they collaborate on the work, often tapping real-life observations and dialogue for the series. The fans of their popular calendar series (the first was in 2000) are likely rejoicing. The last calendar project was released in 2012.
“Wild Horses of Cumberland Island,” by Anouk Masson Krantz (Images Publishing Group)
Beyond its eye-catching floral features, Cumberland Island, located off the coast of Georgia, is known for its fauna. A part of the history of the island since the mid-1700s, the equine population began as domestic animals, but by the mid-1900s were largely roaming the island, having reverted to a feral state.
For the past 10 years, Darien photographer Anouk Masson Krantz repeatedly visited the island, which is under the auspices of the National Park Service, to capture images of its foliage and the horses. The manifestation of that pursuit is a 240-page book of 150 black-and-white photographs. Lush photographs reveal the island’s salt marshes, old-growth forests and white-sand beaches. It’s like taking a trip from the comfort of the couch.
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