If you remember last winter with any degree of accuracy, there were many snowy weekends that made staying warm and cozy inside with and an Irish coffee and good book a perfect afternoon. Thankfully, there are a whole handful of books for both children and adults that are set locally and/or are written by local authors that make for perfect holiday gifts.
Judy and the crew at Island Books in Middletown’s Wyatt Square are a great resource for finding the work of local scribes. Released this summer, The Newport Girls, by Elaine Colton, is a sentimental memoir the recalls the life and times of fifteen girlfriends living in Newport, starting in 1952, who, “through marriages, career changes, children, financial hardships, divorce, and even death, the bond these women maintained for so long continued to hold strong.” Local artist Bettie Sarantos painted the watercolor of Newport Harbor that graces the cover.
There is no shortage of pint-size Puma fans, that is, little readers of Muriel Barclay de Tolly’s series about the local adventures of her cat Puma. The four-legged feline Goes to The Elms, Goes to the Cliff Walk, even gets Lost in Newport—seems Puma knows just the right places to explore in the City-by-the-Sea. (CLICK HERE to see and order titles.)
Newport’s award-winning author and illustrator, Robert Barry, will put families in the Christmas spirit at Saturday’s Holly Days at the Norman Bird Sanctuary signing copies of his beautiful book, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree (from 1:15-2 p.m., with a reading at 1:30 p.m.). The tale tells the story of a too-tall Christmas tree for Mr. Willowby’s parlor while readers “follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Christmas joy.”
For a great selection of nautical books, check out the Armchair Sailor on Lower Thames, rare book collectors should check out The Newport Bookstore, shoppers will enjoy the Spring Street Bookstore, and perusers of used books should see the selection at D. Kelley’s Fine Used Books at the corner of Malbone Road and Broadway. (And super bargain basement shoppers should stop by the bookstore on the bottom level of the Newport Library!) Have a favorite book about Newport or by a local author? Leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.