Got Moby?

If you’ve groaned whenever someone mentioned Melville’s  Moby-Dick, if you’ve tried to read it but couldn’t, or if you’ve run screaming away from it,  we want you! One of the reasons we continue the marathon reading tradition, begin around 1983 at the bookshop, is to introduce this leviathan beauty to new readers. Sure we love the book. Sure we cheer when it mentions Sag Harbor (twice). But we really love the way it calls to new readers even in 2019. We want to give folks an easy way in to the language, the poetry, the vast sprawl of the book. Come listen for a bit. Hearing the great work read aloud makes quick converts. You can’t help get swept out to sea with Ishmael, Quequeg, Starbuck and Capt. Ahab. This year’s event will be our best-ever. It’s Melville’s Bicentennial! We’re honored actors Harris Yulin and Alec Baldwin will read. We want to be sure you’ve Got Moby, too. June 7 through 9.  See our 2019 MOBY-DICK MARATHON EVENTS SCHEDULE

Just One Book

If we could recommend just one book for all on your gift giving list this holiday season, it’d be, with a doubt The Lost Words written by British nature writer Robert Macfarlane and illuminated with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Jackie Morris. This oversized art book collects nature words, simple ones like “fern”, “ivy”, “magpie” and “starling” and spins poetry around them, splashes pages with greens and gold and rich earth tones in stunning displays. Collects these words and paints them on outsized pages, reweaving them into the language. Why? Because they were left out of the recent junior edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. In their place, words from the world of technology crept in. But careful readers noticed and objected and turned their concern into action, creating a charity dedicated to inspiring young people to become advocates for the natural world. A portion of book sales is donated to Action for Conservation. Just one book. But with so many important words to say. Copies available at Canio’s. How many should we reserve for you?

If It Weren’t For Joe Pintauro…

Tracing a line from cause to effect can be an inexact pursuit. Serendipity is hard to map. But we know for sure there’s a meandering path from creative inspiration to published book, to reader, to bookshop owner beginning with one novelist Joe Pintauro whose books Snow Orchid and Cold Hands led one reader, Canio Pavone  to visit Sag Harbor one ambling  afternoon. Canio wanted to see the town Joe had written about. What Canio saw that day as he drove through village streets and down to the harbor, was a “For Rent” sign in an empty storefront window at 290 Main. The rest of the story spins out from there, and is still being written.

So it was with particular sadness that we, along with nearly the entire East End arts and literary community, marked the passing of Joe Pintauro, novelist, playwright, poet, priest, photographer and more. Our condolences to Joe’s husband and partner of 40 years Greg Therriault, to his family and to his many friends far and wide.

Remembering Barbara Wersba

Remembering Writer, Teacher, Publisher Barbara Wersba

We remember fondly and with great admiration Barbara Wersba a longtime customer and friend of Canio’s Books.  Barbara’s keen intelligence, sharp wit and literary insight were a few of her qualities that distinguished her in a community of literary types.   Barbara Wersba wrote  Walter, The Story of a Rat, a charming story set in Safe Harbor about a friendship between a lonely writer, Miss Amanda Pomeroy and a rat with literary aspirations.  Other titles include Penny Parade: A Christmas Story; Let Me Fall Before I Fly among other titles. Her Bookman Press produced a series of chapbooks, designed by Jerry Kelly, noted for their physical beauty as well as their literary quality. Bookman Press published stories, essays and poems by such authors as George Sand, Kennedy Fraser,  Simon Van Booy, and Joe Pintauro among many others.

Barbara lived for many years in North Haven where she opened her home to writing students with whom she shared her exacting literary standards as well as her encouragement.

A graveside service will be held Friday, February 23 at 11 a.m. at Oakland Cemetery, Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor.

Keeping Sag Harbor Salty

Sag Harbor without its cinema, is one thing. A very big thing. We hope the cinema will be rebuilt soon. But now the pizza place? Word is out that Conca D’Oro, recently sold to a well-known restaurateur who promises to keep the name and the general feel of this 1950s-style trattoria. We hope so.

All this change makes us only more committed to keeping Sag Harbor a little bit salty. To provide this village with quirky and interesting books worth reading. To bring engaging voices to the community. To be a place for people, passion, poetry, prose & yes, T-shirts. Literary ones. Our handsome midnight-blue Moby-Dick marathon 2017 issue, for example.

If you haven’t been by for a while, you’ll find not much has changed about the basic plan of the shop. The floor boards still creak and the shelves are still jammed. If you’re a frequent visitor, you know there’s always something new to discover in those stacks.

Sometimes things can get just a little too slick around here. But rest assured, we at Canio’s will do our part to keep Sag Harbor’s literary legacy going strong. Now, please pass the salt.

 

 

Moby-Dick Marathon, 2017

Poster Graphic text whale FLAT

2017 SPONSORS & DONORS

Check out our SILENT AUCTION ART!

FRIDAY, June 9:
11:00-12:15 p.m. begins at  Canio’s Books, Main Street
12:30- 3:45 p.m. Old Whaler’s Church, Union Street
4:00 – 10:00 p.m. Canio’s Books

SATURDAY, June 10:
10:00 – 1:50 p.m. Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, Main Street
2:00 – 5:50 p.m. John Jermain Memorial Library
6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Canio’s Books

SUNDAY, June 11:
11:00 – 1:15 p.m. Eastville Community & Historical Society, Hampton Street
1:30 – 4:00 p.m. reading concludes at Canio’s Books, and After-party follows.

Sponsor a Chapter!

Sponsor a Chapter and help support Canio’s Cultural Cafe.  Sponsors will be publicized at the event, in our program, and on our website.  Choose your level of support:

Ahab:  $100 receives a commemorative button
Ishmael:  $200 receives a commemorative button & t-shirt
Queequeg:  $300 receives a commemorative button, t-shirt, & Modern Library edition of Moby-Dick with Rockwell Kent illustrations
Starbuck:  $500 receives all of the above, plus commemorative poster
Melville:  $1000 receives all of the above, plus two seats in a two-hour cruise with Captain Anton Hagen aboard the Marlinspike.

To donate, pick a chapter, your level of support, and send an email to caniosculturalcafe at gmail.com with MDM Donor as subject.  Please include two alternate chapters in case your first choice has been selected.  Popular chapters go fast. Send your check to: Canio’s Cultural Cafe, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

We thank you for you support!

Not the Last Picture Show

Just two weeks ago we went to see Moonlight at the Sag Harbor Cinema. We bought our tickets from the lovely lady in the little booth, got a bag of popcorn and grabbed a few of those small thin napkins neatly arrayed on the counter. We found our favorite seats, row five, center and settled into the chattering darkness. What a heartbreakingly beautiful film Moonlight is, and how further heartbreaking that Moonlight is the last film we saw at that historic movie house.

The facade’s been torn down after Friday’s fire, piles of black rubble carted away. A gaping dark hole in the street where dreams and fantasies once flickered on the screen. The Sag Harbor Cinema, lone independent movie house on the East End brave enough to show “art” films and “foreign” films, and films that challenged as even as they inspired us. The musty smell of the old seats, the banging pipes as  heat slowly seeped into that cavernous room are now nostalgic memories.

cinema-interior-post-fire

We hope they will rebuild. We’re sure other buildings damaged or destroyed will rise again Phoenix-like from the ashes. We’re thankful no one was injured. We are all so grateful to our heroic firefighters. How quickly our compassionate community pulled together to lend a hand. A friend described a fire as something that refines, or clarifies, I put in. Just what will be refined or clarified from this December 16 fire remains to be seen. But fundraising efforts are underway and Sag Harbor will rise again! The village has endured several  devastating fires from the time when villagers lit their lamps with whale oil to as recently as just a few years back. Please show your support for Main Street Sag Harbor, this holiday season and beyond.

*Photo taken the day after the fire. (c) Kathryn Szoka


Canio's Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can drop an email to info@caniosbooks.com, or even check out some of our stock online. Thanks for visiting our blog!

Vanishing Landscapes