Books To Curl Up With This Winter

The Global War on Morris

Since I knew I couldn’t play centerfield for the Mets, or get my book published, I went into politics,” Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) has said. Little did he know! Although Israel has not yet been tapped by the Mets, he has published books—including 2007’s History’s Greatest Military Speeches and The Global War on Morris, which reached shelves at the start of the new year. His first novel, The Global War on Morris is a political satire that pokes fun at both Washington and Long Island via the story of Morris Feldstein, a pharmaceutical rep from Great Neck. Feldstein’s world revolves around a 55-mile stretch of the LIE, the Mets, old movies and deferring to his wife Rona. In a moment of uncharacteristic abandon, Morris becomes briefly involved with one of his client’s secretaries and his life subsequently implodes. Around this time the Feldsteins buy a condo in Boca Raton (“Mecca” to a certain segment of Long Islanders), where Rona befriends one of the towel boys, who also happens to be a terrorist. Big Brother is watching in the form of a secret government surveillance program, and Feldstein is eventually suspected of being a sleeper agent. Israel combines his insider’s knowledge of Long Island and politics (taking great pleasure in skewering certain political figures), to create a novel that people of all political leanings will enjoy.

Mount Misery

This sci-fi novel is set on the Long Island Sound where something sinister is lurking in the water. Long Islanders are being eaten alive by mysterious sea creatures, and no one can seem to figure out what they are or how to stop them. Marine biologist Katie DiNardo and ichthyologist Nick Tanner are on the hunt for the elusive predators, but time is running out. Facing pressure from the town to keep the beaches open for tourists (shades of another famous marine horror novel) DiNardo and Tanner must act fast. Will they be able to figure out what these creatures are before more lives are lost? Is there a link between these beings and a radiation leak years ago? Readers will be on the edge of their beach chairs throughout this terrifying book, it may even convince a new generation it’s not safe to go back into the water.

Dorothy Parker Drank Here

Dorothy Parker, she of the cheeky, biting wit, is (once again) the subject of Ellen Meister’s latest novel: Dorothy Parker Drank Here. A prequel of sorts to last year’s Farewell, Dorothy Parker, Parker’s ghost is haunting the halls of the Algonquin Hotel (site of the famous round table meetings). Dorothy has no desire for eternal peace and love while she’s still getting free gin and tonics from the hotel bar, but she is lonely and therefore fixates on a new guest, writer Ted Shriver. Shriver, who is dying of cancer but refuses to seek treatment, was a celebrated author in the 1970s but lost all credibility due to a plagiarism scandal. (Turns out it wasn’t his fault). Norah Wolfe, a TV producer determined to have the writer clear his name on her show, tracks down Shriver at the hotel and as the characters bump up against each other, trading secrets from their painful pasts, they learn about life, death and everything in between.