Literary Lions Came to East Hampton August 12

The event is over, but anyone can still read the books. Our recommendations even include a book that was left out. We refer to the one that several publications refer to as the “buzziest book” of the summer. “The Guest” by Emma Cline.

Turns out the East Hampton Library was way ahead of things.  “Emma Cline actually did a great event for us back when her book ‘The Guest’ came out. She did a book talk and signing at the East Hampton Library on May 25,” wrote Keri Lamparter. Lamparter is the communications director of Authors’s Night.

Misty Copeland in an ad for Under Armor

This is the 19th year that the East Hampton Library has set up its tent in Herrick Park. This year, for $150, ticket holders could meet and have books signed by 100 authors, in a range of genres, including books by Misty Copeland, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the model Paulina Porizkova, two big books about Donald Trump, hefty novels and self-help books.

But not “The Guest.”

“She was invited to Authors Night but unable to attend,” Lamparter said.

Before we leave “The Guest,” since it has been the topic of so much interest, and concerns Alex, a 22-year-old female who sleeps, steals and scams her way through a week of in the Hamptons, we will linger here a while longer. Alex is on the run from a bad debt in New York City, and ex-roommates who never want to see her again.

She is astounded to encounter, on a beach in the Hamptons, a world in which people don’t lock their cars, toss their keys and wallets on a towel and dash into the ocean. She surmises, “everyone believed they were among people like themselves,” a trust she will betray many times. No purse, piggy bank or medicine cabinet is safe when she is around.

Invited to a party given by her much-older boyfriend’s business associate’s friend and his wife, she assesses the wives.

Most of them “wore boxy shift dresses that showed off their slim legs … Their wrists were weighted with gold bracelets, the same over-large scale as their earrings. The women had a funny, girlish air, their tiny steps and uncertain smiles, satin bows in their ponytails – though most of them were probably over sixty, raised in a time when childishness was a lifetime female affect.”

If that sounds like someone whose world view you would enjoy, go buy “The Guest.”

Lamparter had two other suggestions, both novels about the Hamptons by authors who were able to attend Author’s Night. “The Mean$” and “Same Time Next Summer.”

Realtors, town planners, and ordinary citizens with a mordant streak would love “The Mean$,” which was published last year. The reviews laud it’s wit and suggest it belongs in what is said to be a golden age of the comic novel. Do not read if you are devoted to restrictive covenants that would ban a young couple from building a house out of shipping containers in a tick-infested swamp.

This one sounds like a Hallmark movie, or something Reese Witherspoon has already made. You know, a woman is madly in love, but she goes back home, and there is this guy she once knew, and wouldn’t you know it? There is still a spark there. But sometimes these plots are satisfying in all the little ways such an inevitable story line plays out. And if it’s well written, and has all those Hamptons touch stones? We leave it to you. A word to the wise parent. Don’t hand the book to a tween. Lots of sex, despite that “first love” label.

Now on to other things: the warring Trump books. Once again it is Jim Acosta and Maggie Haberman. Acosta’s book is (really? still?) “Enemy of the People”) which was published in 2019. That’s like a book about Donald Trump that was carved in stone. However… maybe the dinner party ($400 a head) had some amazing anecdotes — like will the judge’s orders be obeyed? If not, what will happen? We wait to hear!!

Maggie Haberman’s book — and how much of her book revenue does she have to hand over to the ever-grasping New York Times? (I ask this because, when I worked there, they had an onerous clause giving them rights to everything published in their pages. You can’t even quote yourself.) Anyhow, her new book is “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.”

The book came out in 2022. Trump is still going. America is not broken… yet.

Other books and dinners included one “poetic narrative” called “Restrict” that is about dieting and the pressure put on young people to conform to certain body types. The book was published on July 27, also in 2021, according to Good Reads, where there are three rave reviews.  In the interest of drawing more excitement, we offer an excerpt:

The author is Sol Rivera, now 17. Because Sol’s father is Geraldo Rivera we’re sure someone, somewhere will burp out an opinion. Sol Rivera is on tour with her book, which is categorized as a children’s book.


Who wouldn’t want to read this dishy book, by a Czech supermodel who was married to Ric Ocasek, then disinherited (along with their two sons) before he died. And going to the dinner with her? That was worth $400. As she says in the title: No filter. She will say anything: just ask her a question.

And talk about high-level gossips? Who got the men and women around this dinner table going?

Interior designers know all the secrets. David Netto has seen the design world from both coasts. And anyone who went to this dinner heard about people long gone, and projects still under way.

Finally, and obviously: Michael Wolff. His book is a compilation of his old stories. But what good stories they were. And if anyone knows what is going on right now, you can bet Michael Wolff will be the one. His book is a great bedside read. Lots of magazine-length pieces. You can fall asleep without missing a thing. Anyone hear anything they want to share?