Archive for the 'Community' Category

Literature Amid the Cypress and Eucalyptus

Some twenty of us carpooled down to Point Reyes National Seashore early one chilly fog-thick afternoon. We walked down (and then slowly up) some 300 steps to the lighthouse following our intrepid guide, marine biologist Sarah Allen, author of Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast.She trained her scope on a flock of shore birds invisible to the naked eye. Soon , someone spotted a whale blow, the foamy exhalation of this giant majestic creature. We gasped and rushed to the best vantage point. Why does a group of otherwise fairly serious adults seem to melt at the sight of whales? Is some basic creaturely connection at work?

Are the boundaries between humans, “animals,” “nature” really boundaries at all? What are our  responsibilities to our fellow creatures, to our island home? These and other questions were discussed during a lively, colorful, musical, literary and delicious conference we attended: Geography of Hope 2015. Some of our all-time favorite writers on women and the environment gave presentations: Susan Griffin, author of the groundbreaking work: Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her which birthed the eco-feminist movement; Rebecca Solnit whose recent bestseller The Faraway Nearby gained much critical acclaim; Kathleen Dean Moore, co-chair of the conference, whose Moral Ground: Ethical Action for the Planet is a must read; and Gretel Ehrlich whose stunning Solace of Open Spaces is just one of some 14 powerful works. Award-winning poet/activists Brenda Hillman and Robert Hass read from their moving, engaged and lyrical works.

We were introduced to writers we want to read: Ann Pancake, whose novel Strange As This Weather Has Been describes a West Virginia family devastated by mountain-top removal. Her new collection of stories, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley is on our spring must-read list. Also Camille Dungy, poet of Smith Blue; and Robin Wall Kimmerer, environmental biologist, author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. (Order any of these from Canio’s and get 10% off).

Session questions asked: “What is the work of a writer in a wounded world? What are women’s gifts and responsibilities in the work against carbon catastrophe? What are the metaphors we need for a new world?” We met enormously talented, committed, friendly, hospitable, concerned people. We ate well, sang (slightly off key), laughed, shed a tear or two, worried about the drought, recycled. We thought about what could be, and committed to do our part toward a more sustainable future.

Kudos to Kate Levinson and Steve Costa owners of Point Reyes Books, an exceptional independent bookshop in the heart of town. These two courageous souls are the energy and inspiration behind this extraordinary conference. Since 2008, Kate and Steve have presented outstanding literary festivals that celebrate what’s best about the creative human spirit. Live well & love Earth!

See more about the conference at this Orion magazine blog post:

Canio’s is Here to Stay!

Winter’s eve at Canio’s … cozy!

While there’s lots of buzz in town since it was announced the building we’re in is for sale ($2.9 million), we continue on in the spirit of the great white whale, Moby Dick, still swimming in the vast ocean. Landlords come and go, but Canio’s is here to stay.

What’s more: we’re celebrating our 35th year in business and we’re bringing back the Moby Dick Marathon reading. Set for the weekend of June 12 through 14, the reading will begin and end at Canio’s and will include readings at other great local cultural institutions like the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, John Jermain Library, the Old Whaler’s Church and Bay Street Theater among other stops. We’ll be hosting other celebrations through out the year to come including a poster contest open to all artists. Contact us soon to register to read. Don’t miss the party!

Canio’s in the New York Times

If you haven’t seen this yet, please read:

Canio's in the New York Times

Canio’s in the New York Times

Be sure to stop in at Canio’s over the winter and help us “keep Sag Harbor’s literary light glowing!”

He’s Back! Big white whale sighting at Canio’s

In celebration of our 35th year, we’re planning a special marathon reading of Melville’s Moby Dick.
Canio began the tradition many years ago and due to popular demand, we’re bringing it back. Voices famous and unknown have participated over the years, sometimes reading, or listening in their p.j.s during the wee hours. Plans are now underway for a whale of a celebration, a special anniversary reading with surprises in store, special give-aways and more; contact the shop to be part of this historic event!

Mike’s Last Day

We bid a fond farewell to our dear UPS delivery man, Mr. Mike. Always the professional, Mike had been hefting heavy boxes of books through Canio’s doors for well over 15 years, and we considered him part of the Canio’s team. Dressed in company brown, Mike’s  businesslike demeanor was always pleasant, always courteous. And once in a while, we could get him to crack a smile and chuckle over some silly quip or other.

We wonder just how many pounds of packages he must have delivered during his many long years with the company. The burden didn’t seem to weigh him down, or at least, he didn’t let it show.

Mr. Efficiency would be a fitting nickname for Mike. We could practically set our watches to the sound of his truck brakes as the hulking van pulled up at our curb. That sound would be music to our ears as customers eagerly awaited special orders, especially during  busy summer months and the hectic  holiday season. And on cold, quiet winter afternoons, that sound and Mike’s brief visit were always a welcome part of the day.

In a week or so, another delivery man will be assigned to what we’ve learned is a coveted route. “Everyone here is so nice,” said one temporary delivery guy. Well, we hope so. And we wish “our” Mike (all the shops on Main Street want to claim him their “own”) very well in his new position. He’ll be inside UPS headquarters rather than behind the wheel of the big brown behemoth, warm inside when it’s cold out; dry when it’s lashing; far from  the crazy summer traffic jams, and we hope, comfortable in the good company of his colleagues. Congratulations and all best wishes to #1 Mike!

Big Community Hug

Canio's Cash Mob by SzokaThanks to all cash-mobbers who jammed into Canio’s last Saturday in a huge show of support for our efforts to be your community bookshop. It was a record-breaking day at the shop thanks to friends Bobbi, Eric, April, Eric and many others who contacted friends and spread the word and showed up to give us what felt like a great big hug.
We put a lot of energy into creating an interesting, thought-provoking shop filled with books worth reading, and artists and writers worth meeting. We felt affirmed in our efforts this past Saturday, when the community responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Sag Harbor’s long literary legacy continues!
And we say, “Thank you!” to all who participated. And please do come again. Canio’s is Canio’s because of this wonderful community we all live in and love, and because of people like you.

Girl in the Obama print skirt

Our drive to the nation’s capital was book-ended by listening to the excellent audio recording of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration written by Isabel Wilkerson. The audio version  performed by Robin Miles brings to life the complex characters whose lives are portrayed in vivid detail, testimony to the tenacity of African Americans to endure and resist racism.We stepped out of that narrative into one of the greatest multi-colored street parties any city has known: the second inauguration of President Barack H. Obama.
The mood was already festive Sunday night, Inauguration eve at a jam-packed party hosted by  founders of , the online charitable marketplace. Here are just a few of the many projects they seek donations for: solar lighting; clean cook stoves, rainforest restoration and preservation.
We chatted with a young woman wearing an “Obama” skirt, a marine- blue cotton pencil-skirt with ruffle. President Obama’s face shown in red and black among maps of African countries in the background. She was hesitant to wear it, she said, but we assured her it was the perfect outfit for the occasion. The skirt wearer had worked for a non-profit in Kenya where the fabric was designed. She told us how an elderly ancestor of President Obama greeted visitors who made the arduous pilgrimage to her remote rural village.
We were on our own sort of pilgrimage, as were hundreds of thousands of others.The feeling on the streets of D.C. that night was giddy, if also poignant. Restaurants were packed.  “There won’t be another black president in a long while,” cried one slightly inebriated reveler. He was right; it gave us pause. Better enjoy this moment now!
Early Monday morning people of all colors streamed into the streets and swirled into one great river of humanity on the Mall. We tucked in with a group of friends near the Washington Monument.  So many jubilant faces, young, old, in between, smiling and making space for one another even though the jumbo-tron near us didn’t work well. We could hear cheers from the crowd closer to the Capitol flowing across the Mall. “We were made for this moment,” said our president.
Later, at the parade, a booming voice announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States!” We rushed the gates in time to see the back of Pres. Obama’s beloved round head. Later,  both Joe and Dr. Jill Biden walked by on their way to the White House. We had a clear view of them.  “He looked directly at me,” shouted one young student to his friend. We felt that way, too.
Next day, despite the bitter cold, we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Crowds continued to swirl; the city was full of the nation’s citizens. Everyone wanted their picture taken in front of these two great figures, an act of affirmation, as if to say, “We are here; we are part of these United States.”
We caught a glimpse of what this nation could really  be when everyone’s included. And it was beautiful!

Keep It Simple

Stacks of books and boxes, piles of paper, catalogs, bills surround us. Call it clutter, or call it cozy lived-in. We’ve got lots of “stuff” here at the bookshop, most of it important, but some of it could go.  So we’re eager to start another community discussion course  this month called Voluntary Simplicity. We’ll address not just physical clutter, but personal as well as environmental clutter.

Call it ironic that here in the fabulous Hamptons a sandbar of conspicuous consumption, a small group of folks will gather to discuss how to get more out of life with less.

In 1981 Duane Elgin’s book, Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich  announced the movement.  Reissued in 2010, Voluntary Simplicity has become even more relevant, mainstream rather than marginal,  more urgent. According to Elgin, voluntary simplicity helps create community through a common purpose; protects plants and animals from extinction;  promotes self-discovery and well-being among humans, all the while promoting a balanced use of Earth’s precious resources. In fact, voluntary simplicity is crucial to a sustainable future.

Voluntary Simplicity, a five-week course designed by the Northwest Earth Institute, begins at Canio’s Tuesday, January 29. We’ll read intriguing articles, discuss our experiences, as we become more aware of how we’re spending our precious time, our limited resources. We’ll discover how these choices affect our health, our relationships, and Earth.

Pre-registration is required along with a $30. materials fee. Space is limited; contact us soon! The program is sponsored by Canio’s Cultural Cafe.

We Made the List!

A chance meeting with our friend, the artist David Slater led to the discovery. “Hey,” David said across Espresso Market where I stopped for some minestrone. “Did you see your name in the paper?” he asked excitedly. Well, no, I hadn’t. “What did I do?” I asked. He pulled out the December issue of the big glossy Hamptons Magazine, and there on page 38 was indeed my name, Maryann Calendrille, 16th under Steven Spielberg who heads the list. Hmm, good company so far. David Slater’s name appears at the tail of that first column. Three names later we find photographer Kathryn Szoka, right after Martha Stewart and Nelson DeMille. How our names were chosen for this list, and what it all means, remain a mystery.

“It’s the list of cool people,” David explained. “Great,” I replied. “I’ve finally made it.” Just then my soup was ready. “Let’s have a party,” I suggested. “A list party,” David rejoined. We’ll be inviting some of the others on that list: Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lopez, and Katie Couric to name a few. We’ll want to include other East Enders: Sag Harbor art gallery owners  Laura Grenning and Richard Demato, poet Marvin Bell, sculptor Diane Mayo, playwright Jon Robin Baitz, poet/painter Sarah Plimpton, and artist Elisca Jeansonne. Documentary filmmaker Jacqui Lofaro, painter Frank Wimberley and artist Michael Rauch will also be getting an invite. Since Ina Garten is also listed, not that we’re name-dropping or anything, we’ll just have to try of few of her new recipes from Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That? Sounds like a cool party!

Winter Jazz Warms the Bookshop

Some Monk tunes, “Olio”, “Here’s That Rainy Day” and a beautiful traditional hymn often performed by John Fahey… just some of the numbers performed by jazz bassist Steve Shaughnessy and guitarist Bryan Campbell at Canio’s recently.  A beautiful way to close out 2012 despite the stormy weather that night. Snug inside the bookshop and before an intimate appreciative audience, these two fine musicians seemed to pull notes out of the air each complementing the other in a respectful collaboration. Shaughnessy and Campbell often play at the Bay Burger Jazz Jam, and we’re happy to note, will be performing weekly in a quintet at World Pie in Bridgehampton beginning Thursday, January 10 from 8 to 11 p.m.

Campbell is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Queen’s College. He is a gifted artist with a long career ahead of him.  Shaughnessy, a master musician in both classical and jazz performance,  a long time member of the South Fork Chamber Orchestra, is also a music educator. He and jazz guitarist Tom DePetris have collaborated for decades particularly when DePetris headed up the jazz fusion band Solar popular on the East End. DePetris was scheduled to appear at Canio’s as he has many times before, but bad weather changed that. We hope to welcome Tom back another time.

On this late December night, the lovely notes of  “I Fall In Love Too Easily” swirled  among the poetry and art books, and seemed to say it all!

Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, 631.725.4926. Call or email us, While we love you to SEE you, you can also order new titles at our online storefront or some of our second hand inventory HERE. Thanks for visiting!