The Fall of the House of Forbes is Pinkerton’s recently released firsthand account of the decline of the publishing industry empire, built on B. C. Forbes’s idea that capitalists need sound advice on how to make money and inspiration on how to spend it when they make it big. It wasn’t a flashy magazine at first, but it did capture the avaricious imaginations of the up-and-coming wealthy – so much so that when B. C. died and his son Malcolm took over the company and developed it with his own sense of ostentatious flash, its success afforded the family a lifestyle beyond most people’s paltry dreams. “This is a story about celebrity, power, money, greed, sex and death,” says the author, former managing editor of the magazine. “There’s something for everybody.”
Pinkerton will read from and sign The Fall of the House of Forbes: The Inside Story of the Collapse of a Media Empire at the Stone Ridge Library on Friday, October 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and juicy tales highlighting the demise of the iconic media family will be shared all around. The Library is located on Route 209 in the village of Stone Ridge.
With wit and humor, Pinkerton describes the escapades and extravagances of Malcolm Forbes in salacious detail: his barely veiled and unapologetic proclivity for young men, his tendency to throw lots of money around, creating lavish scenes to entertain the rich and famous (and representatives of companies that advertised in his magazine) with abandoned flair. He does it not so much to expose the man or embarrass the family; rather, he sets a stage to contrast the father with the sons – Steve, Tim, Kip and Bob – and to magnify those differences of personal style, business sense and what happens upon Malcolm’s unexpected death. That event, coupled with the following years of major changes in the industry – the advent of online publishing, the ever-fluctuating and often-crashing economy – proved to be the undoing of those familial reigns.
Pinkerton goes to great lengths to reconstruct a history of Forbes, basing his account on extensive research (and a bit of reliable hearsay) and candidly detailing his own relationships with the various players over the nearly two decades of his employment there. He talks of the challenges of generational succession, and makes the distinction between that and replacement – the former meaning that a son takes up the company’s banner and continues to fulfill the father’s vision (as Malcolm had done), and the latter indicating the need for a drastic shift in focus and reset, often for the purpose of selling the company.
He considers that “everything Malcolm built up was decimated” and that “there was some bungled execution” by the sons – specifically Steve Forbes, who, curiously, ran for president twice. He says that it seemed the brothers didn’t read their own magazine. In Pinkerton’s estimation, none of them ever wanted to be in the position that they were forced to assume. “Steve is not a capitalist; he’s an ideologue. He should be running a think tank. Tim wanted to make films. He doesn’t want to do this. Bob just likes the good life, and Kip likes his art. They had no choice; from the very beginning they were dressed up in kilts and marched out…there was no question that they were going to do this, at least in Malcolm’s mind.”
Then he adds, “Nobody could have foreseen the drop in advertising after the tech crash happened in 2000. Before, the magazine had over 6,000 pages of ads: more than any other in the country. Fifteen hundred of those came from companies that didn’t exist a year later. And after 9/11, everything stopped.”
Not one to press sour grapes, this former employee who was “retired” two years ago still has fond feelings for the brothers and keeps tabs on the company. “The best thing that’s happened recently is that they’ve hired a new editor, Randall Lane. Lane grew up under the reign of Jim Michaels and knows what the standards are, he knows what Forbes should be doing.”
At Bard College in Annandale
Joyce Carol Oates, distinguished author of more than 50 novels and professor in the humanities at Princeton University, will read from her newest book Sourland on Monday, October 3 at 4 p.m. at Bard College’s Olin Auditorium. Oates is one of the country’s most influential authors of fiction and essays, and has garnered a number of accolades in her career, including the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the O. Henry Prize for continued achievement in the short story and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has also been commended the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature in 2003, the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and the National Humanities Medal in 2010. Oates will be introduced by novelist and Bard Literature professor Bradford Morrow. The reading, presented as part of Morrow’s Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, is free and open to the public.
Monday, October 31 at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center – Writer-in-residence and winner of the 2006 Bard Fiction Prize, Edie Meidav will read from her most recent novel Lola, California.
At Barnes & Noble in Kingston
Saturday, October 1 at 2 p.m. – Teen readers will be thrilled to meet author Cara Lynn Shultz when she reads from her romantic tale Spellbound this afternoon.
Saturday, October 8 at 2 p.m. – Local author Heather Lynn Rigaud will read from her new novel Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star.
Saturday, October 15 at 12 noon – Children’s author Denese Marshall will read from her picture book Please Don’t Tease: Prevent Bullying, an important and entertaining book for kids ages 4 to 8.
Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m. – Linda Zimmermann has investigated and written about haunted sites for 15 years. Her latest title is America’s Historic Haunts, a perfect read on an October afternoon.
At Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie
Saturday, October 15 at 11 a.m. – Meet children’s author Karen Orloff, whose latest picture book is Talk, Oscar, Please! Kids will be delighted with this and other stories.
Saturday, October 15 at 12:30 p.m. – Author Jesse Saperstein will read from his charming and insightful memoir Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters, and will speak with families about bullying.
Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m. – Join us as Tommy Zurhellen discusses his debut novel Nazareth, North Dakota.
Friday, October 21 at 1 p.m. – In support of the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, authors Barbara and Wes Gottlock will discuss their newest book Lost Amusement Parks of the Hudson Valley.
Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m. – Meet local authors representing many different genres as they discuss and sign their newest books, including: Franc Palaia (The Nightlife), Thomm Quackenbush (We Shadows: Book One of the Night’s Dream Series), Theresa Senato Edwards (Voices through the Skin), V. T. Dacquino (Kiss the Candy Days Hello), S. T. Davis (Muscet and Mobcap) and Joseph D’Ambrosio (The Book of Poems of that Traveler), Mike McCall and others.
Thursday, October 27 at 7 p.m. – Teens, come to a special opportunity to Skype with author Chris Crutcher as he discusses his book Deadline. Everyone is welcome.
Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. – Young readers will enjoy meeting Susannah Appelbaum, author of the popular Poisons of Caux series when she reads from Book Three: The Shepherd of Weeds!
At the Golden Notebook in Woodstock
Sunday, October 2 at 3 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center – Legendary rock ‘n’ roll photographer Bob Gruen presents Rock Seen. Advanced seating is available with purchase of the book.
Sunday, October 9 at 7 p.m. at Oriole 9 – Meet author Helen Benedict as she reads from her new novel Sand Queen.
Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m. – The Difference in Butterflies: A Chinese Dancer’s Memoir of Her Flight from Inner and Outer Tyranny is Yung Yung Tsuai’s fascinating memoir of living in two worlds, co-written with Marilyn Meeske Sorel. Come meet the author as she reads and signs copies of her book.
Saturday, October 15 at 4 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Art Center – Bill Zimmer presents Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties, his account of political activism in an era of upheaval.
Sunday, October 16 at 4 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center – James Romm will read from Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire, an examination of the political intrigues surrounding the death of the emperor. Romm is the James H. Ottaway, Jr. professor of Classics at Bard College.
Friday, October 21 at 7 p.m. at Oriole 9 – Local author Greg Olear will read and sign copies of his new release Fathermucker.
Saturday, October 22 at 5 p.m. at the Colony Café – Poetry reading and discussion with Jean Valentine (Break the Glass and multiple other titles) and Tim Siebles (Fast Animal and multiple other titles) in conjunction with the Woodstock Poetry Society and Festival.
Sunday, October 23 at 3 p.m. at the Kleinert/James Arts Center – Melissa Holbrook Pierson will read from and sign her account of “Iron Butt” long-distance motorcycling in The Man who would Stop at Nothing.
Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Woodstock Day School – Meet Caryl Sherpa, author of I Taste Fire, Earth, Rain: Elements of a Life with a Sherpa, her account of trekking the Himalayas, meeting a husband and combining cultures.
Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanuel in Kingston – Preeminent Israeli novelist Amos Oz presents his book Scenes from Village Life, a fictional construction of life in Israel. Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Oz is the author of numerous works of fiction and essays. His international awards include the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize and the Frankfurt Peace Prize, and his books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
At Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz
Friday, October 7 at 7 p.m. – Local author Greg Olear will read and sign copies of his new release Fathermucker. A professor of Creative Writing at Manhattanville College, Olear is the senior editor of the lit blog The Nervous Breakdown and contributor to multiple online publications and magazines.
Saturday, October 15 at 2 p.m. – Susannah Appelbaum makes the rounds with The Poisons of Caux Book Three: The Shepherd of Weeds.
Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. – One Book, One New Paltz discussion group will actually examine two of Sherman Alexie’s books, War Dances and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, led by Rennie Scott-Childress, Teacher of the Year in the History Department at SUNY-New Paltz. This is in conjunction with the townwide, monthlong series of events surrounding the author’s work, beginning on Sunday, October 2 at the SUNY-New Paltz Atrium with a reading by the Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, through the Interactive Book and Program Discussion to be held in Elting Memorial Library on Sunday, October 30. The full lineup, available at http://sites.google.com/site/onebookonenewpaltz/war-dances-by-sherman-alexie-is-the-2011-read/war-dances-events-oct-2---30-2011, includes various classes, discussions, readings, symposia, panels and performances, such as Native American music and storytelling.
Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. – Meet author James V. O’Connor, when he reads from and signs copies of Another Man’s Treasure.
At Inquiring Minds in Saugerties
Sunday October 9 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. – Well-known local author Sebastian Stuart will read from his book Dead by Any Other Name.
At Merritt Books
Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. at the Millbrook Free Library – A performance book talk will be offered by Jonathan Kruk, featuring the lore and history of regional ghosts as written in his book Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley. Come one, come all and hear the tale of the Headless Horseman and his friends to set the mood properly for the coming season!
Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16 at the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds in Building B – A harvest of textile arts and other wooly sorts of authors will be on hand to sign books and talk with readers, including Anna Hrachovec (Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear and Give), Catherine Friend (Sheepish: Two Women, 50 Sheep and Enough Wool to Save the Planet), Clara Parkes (The Knitter’s Book of Socks: The Yarn-Lover’s Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks that Fit Well, Feel Great and Last a Lifetime), Matthew Van Fleet (Moo and many other fuzzy, cuddly creature tales), Gwen W. Steege (editor of kids’ guides to raising animals and doing projects), Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker (Craft Activism: People, Ideas and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In), Will Moses (illustrator of Mary and Her Little Lamb: The True Story behind the Nursery Rhyme and many other traditional stories), Margaret Hubert (The Granny Square Book: Timeless Techniques and Fresh Ideas for Crocheting Square-by-Square), Lily M. Chin (The Urban Knitter: A New Generation of Contemporary Design and Creative Inspiration), Lela Nargi (Knitting around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition), Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin), Susanna Hill (April Fools, Phyllis! ), Vicki Stiefel (Ten Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn and Life), Bruce Weinstein (Lobsters Scream when You Boil Them: And 100 Other Myths about Food and Cooking…Plus 25 Recipes to Get It Right Every Time), Hélène Magnússon (Icelandic Knitting: Using Rose Patterns) and more!
At Mirabai Books in Woodstock
Sunday, October 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. – Eliot Cowan, renowned healer, teacher and author of Plant Spirit Medicine: The Healing Power of Plants, will conduct a workshop to reawaken the innate ability to listen and speak to the spirit of plants by exploring ancient shamanic techniques combined with the medical philosophies of China, Tibet, India and West Africa. Cowan is a fully initiated Tsaurirrikame (shaman) in the Huichol Indian tradition, founder of the Blue Deer Center and member of the Council of Elders for the Temple of Sacred Fire Healing, who apprenticed with Don Guadalupe Gonzalez Rios, an eminent Huichol Indian shaman. Registration is $25 before September 30 and $30 after the 30th.
At Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck
Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. – The Bellwether Prizewinning author Hillary Jordan will read from her new novel When She Woke.
Sunday, October 16 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market – Children’s author Jacky Davis, famous amongst 3-to-6-year-olds for Ladybug Girl and The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy, will sign her books and schmooze with her young fans.
Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. at the Parish Hall at Church of the Messiah on Montgomery Street (half a block north of the bookstore) – Special guest Grammy Award-winning singer Judy Collins will present her newest children’s picture book (illustrated by Eric Puybaret, lyrics originally written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington) and CD When You Wish upon a Star. Judy will read from and sign copies of her books. RSVPs are required for this free event to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 876-0500.
Friday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. – A discussion with authors Michael Ratner and Frances Fox Piven will center on the right to dissent, based on their respective books Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America and Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hate.
Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. – Author Paul La Farge turns his imagination to America at the dawn of the 21st century in Luminous Airplanes. He will read and sign books this evening.
Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Millerton store on Main Street – Thriller writer Michael Walsh reads from his new novel Shock Warning.
Sunday, October 23 at 4 p.m. – Cheerleaders of Doom is author Michael Buckley’s newest book in his NERDS series. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up. RSVP is required for this free event.
Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. – Bard professor James Romm discusses his new book Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire.
Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m. – Authors Jennifer Castle (The Beginning of After), Marianna Baer (Frost) and Matt Blackstone (A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie) present their debut novels at the Hudson Valley YA Society’s “literary salon,” with refreshments, conversation and giveaways for attendees. All Young Adult readers are welcome!
At the Village Square Bookstore & Literary Arts Center in Hunter
Saturday, October 1 at 2 p.m. – Catskill region geologist and Ulster Publishing columnist Robert Titus will give a talk in the Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery next to the bookstore, on the fascinating subject matter of his books The Catskills: A Geological Guide and Catskill in the Ice Age.
Saturday, October 8 at 1 p.m. – Meet Raymond M. Smullyan, author of King Arthur in Search of His Dog & Other Curious Puzzles. Puzzle-lovers of all ages will gobble up this smörgasbord of riddles, mysteries and logic problems, all involving King Arthur and his Dogs of the Round Table. The author of more than 20 books, mathematician Smullyan is also a magician and musician. Expect the unexpected!
Saturday, October 15 at 1 p.m. – Hear author Stephen O’Connor read from and discuss his latest collection of short stories, Here Comes Another Lesson. O’Connor is the recipient of the Cornell Woolrich Fellowship in Creative Writing from Columbia University, the Visiting Fellowship for Historical Research by Artists and Writers from the American Antiquarian Society and the DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony. He teaches in the writing MFA programs of Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence.
Saturday, October 29 at 1 p.m. – Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock,” edited by Weston Blelock and Julia Blelock, documents a symposium that took place in Woodstock and chronicles events leading up to the world-famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969. Meet the Blelocks and take a journey back to the groovy times.