On the heels of a very enjoyable reading before a very receptive audience Tuesday night at the library in Highland Park, N.J., next stop will be on the shores of the majestic Hudson River at Beacon, N.Y., where the illuminati (and literati) will shine Saturday (tomorrow) at 1 p.m. I’ll be doing a “Rip” talk, reading and book-signing at the Howland Public Library on Main Street, as part of year-long slate of events and activities celebrating the town’s 100th anniversary. Admission is free. Copies of “Rip” will be available for purchase and signing.
“Rip” reading and book-signing aside, Beacon’s truly worth a visit — it’s in a beautiful setting with a quaint and cozy downtown, and it’s home to the great folksinger and social activist Pete Seeger, as well as the amazing Dia Museum.
Be warned: My reading will take place weather and heating system willing! Seems like there’s a chance of a little snow — and the library’s been having problems with its furnace! — so check with the library first to make sure the snow is shoveled and the heat is on (the library phone number is 845-831-1134).
I’m happy to announce that my reading and book-signing at the Holland-Alexandria Free Public Library has been rescheduled. I’ll be appearing there on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m. I’m looking forward to returning to my old turf in Hunterdon County in western New Jersey — I lived in Alexandria Township for many years and edited the local weekly paper, the now-defunct Delaware Valley News.
Here’s an updated schedule of other scheduled “Rip” readings and book-signings:/em>:
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m., Highland Park Public Library, Highland Park, NJ
Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m., Howland Public Library, Beacon, NY
Thursday, April 4, 5 p.m., Port Jervis Free Public Library, Port Jervis NY
Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m., Hunterdon County Library, Raritan Township, NJ
Monday, April 22, 6 p.m., Somers Public Library, Katonah, NY.
At each venue, I’ll read excerpts from my satirical modern-day “retelling” of “Rip Van Winkle,” talk a little about my longtime affection for the works of Washington Irving, answer questions, and sign copies for people who buy the book, which will be available for purchase after the reading. Admission to all events is free.
It won’t be “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but I just might be tempted to play or sing “Moon River,” which was featured in that film’s soundtrack and was one of my young father’s favorite songs back in the early 1960s.
That’s because I’ll be reading from my novella “Rip” and signing copies afterward on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m., in Irvington, N.Y., on the shores of my own life’s river, the beautiful Hudson, which became embedded in my heart and soul when I was a boy growing up a few miles downtstream from Irvington in Yonkers, N.Y.
I’m pleased to be reading in Irvington, for several reasons.
One, it’s the hometown of my friend Phil, whose family owned and operated the village pharmacy.
Second, the village is just south of Tarrytown, setting of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and is — of course — named after Washington Irving.
So I’ll be reading excerpts from a parody of “Rip Van Winkle” right in the heart of Irving country!
Third, and perhaps best of all, while my appearance in being hosted by Irvington’s public library, I’ll actually be reading in Irvington’s town hall in the beautifully refurbished and recently reopened Tiffany Reading Room.
The great room was in disrepair and was being used for storage until a local fund-raising campaign raised the tens of thousands of dollars needed to restore the room to its former glory — looking very much the way it looked a century ago when it was designed and furnished by Louis Comfort Tiffany with funding from none other than the daughter of Jay Gould!
So try to make it to Irvington-on-Hudson on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. The Irvington Village Hall is located at 85 Main Street, just down the hill from Route 9. Admission is free. Inspiration is by Washington Irving. Parody of “Rip Van Winkle” is by Nicholas DiGiovanni. Set design is by Louis Comfort Tiffany!
Here’s a link to a recent New York Times article about the Tiffany Reading Room’s history and restoration:
*Two more readings and book-signings have been scheduled for “Rip,” my modern-day satirical “retelling” of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle.”
Admission to all events is free. Copies of “Rip” will be available for purchase.
I’ll be appearing Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Irvington Public Library located at 12 South Astor St., Irvington, N.Y., which is located along the Hudson River in Westchester County, N.Y., just south of Tarrytown, and is — of course — named after Washington Irving.
A week later, on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m., I’ll be reading and signing books at the Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill, N.Y.
As previously reported, I’ll be appearing:
*Friday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m., at the Orangeburg Library, 20 Greenbush Road, Orangeburg, N.Y.
*Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m., at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library, One Library Road, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
*Thursday, April 4, at 5 p.m., at the Port Jervis Free Library, 138 Pike St., Port Jervis, N.Y.
*Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m., at the Somers Library, 80 Primrose St., Somers, N.Y.
More readings will be announced soon, including an appearance later this year at the Holland-Alexandria Library in Hunterdon County, N.J., and at the public library in Highland Park, N.J. We’re still discussing dates and times. I’ll be hoping to see some old friends at the Hunterdon County event. I lived in Alexandria until a few years ago and was editor of the local weekly paper.
I’ve been scheduling readings and book-signings for my novel “Rip” — a modern-day parody of Washington Irving’s classic “Rip Van Winkle” — at libraries in New York and New Jersey towns in the vicinity of the Hudson River .
Just confirmed that I will be appearing Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m., at the public library in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., in Westchester County, N.Y.
Admission is free. I will talk about my roots in the Hudson River Valley, my affection for Irving’s work, and how I came to write a latter-day “retelling” of the story of lazy old Rip Van Winkle. I’ll read excerpts from the book and answer any audience questions. I’ll then sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase. I’ve agreed to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to the Briarcliff Manor library.
Briarcliff Manor’s well within driving distance from New York City, Westchester County, western Connecticut, northern New Jersey, and Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties. So mark your calendars and try to make it to my reading there if the date and time are convenient. Otherwise, I’ll be posting announcements of other readings/book-signings as they’re scheduled in other towns in New Jersey and New York state. If you would like to buy the book before one of the readings, it’s available at http://www.amazon.com/Rip-Nicholas-DiGiovanni/dp/0918842689
I might try reading the late, great Raymond Carver’s “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” I bet it’s here somewhere on this library’s shelves.
But I can’t hear myself think, never mind trying to read or, perish the thought, concentrate on my writing.
Some libraries, which used to be places where people went to read and study and work in a quiet environment, are now more noisy than a highway rest area. And the librarians at those libraries are, ironically, among the worst offenders. They carry on loud conversations, with each other and with patrons, in person and on the phone. And they ignore loud talking, intervening only when kids start to horse around and make a ruckus.
Sometimes the din gets so loud that I finally have to leave — unable to concentrate on whatever reading or writing I’m trying to get done.
A while back, I asked one of the librarians if anything could be done to quiet things down — maybe, for example, some of those old “Quiet, Please” signs were gathering dust in the storage room?
“Not going to happen” said the youngish librarian, in a slightly condescending and annoyed tone.
Look, I get it. I’m glad the kids and oldsters still come to the library. I know the library’s much more than a place to read and borrow books –it’s now a community gathering place, which is great.
But I don’t care. Tell the community to keep it down. People are trying to read and do work — trying to concentrate…And maybe folks will be a little more quiet if the nice people who run the place are given a refresher course in Library Whispering 101.