Late October is the time for a mug of cider and a good read.
And for writers in and from Western New York, this whole year has been a time for producing a new crop of books – fiction and nonfiction alike – on topics ranging from old houses to growing up in the 1940s and 1950s in Cheektowaga to life in France.
Here are some titles that are now available, from local authors – as well as on subjects that may be of interest to readers here.
1.) A new volume available this month titled “Legendary Locals of East Aurora” examines the lives of people from that community, from the Vidler family to Martha Richardson Adams, a pioneering female settler from the early 1800s (a photo of her vintage sidesaddle is included).
The picture-filled paperback book, by Robert Lowell Goller, is 127 pages and costs $22.
2.) A memoir, titled “Could You Be Startin’ From Somewhere Else?: Sketches From Buffalo and Beyond,” is the work of Michael W. Shurgot, a Shakespeare expert and author who grew up in the Buffalo area.
As a kid, Shurgot lived on Highgate Avenue in Cheektowaga, and he attended St. Aloysius Gonzaga grammar school and Canisius High School.
Shurgot, who now lives in Seattle, writes in this book of growing up in a home with parents who were of Polish and Irish descent. He begins his memoir with an address that he delivered at the funeral of his mother in 2007.
Shurgot’s memoir, a 123-page paperback, is available for $12.
3.) “Crown Hill,” by Southtowns writer Christina M. Abt, is a novel about a house that is more than a century old, and the ways in which the place affects people that live there.
Abt, an Eden resident, is a writer whose previous work includes the nonfiction book “Chicken Wing Wisdom: Stories of Family, Life and Food Shared Around the Table.” “Crown Hill” is her debut novel. The 291-page paperback book is available for $16 from aBc Publishing in Eden.
4.) A work from his longtime home in France, “French Kisses,” has been released by David R. Poe, a writer who was born in Western New York. The volume is a collection of stories.
Some of his short stories have been previously published in literary journals. His 238-page fiction collection is available from Serving House Books.
5.) “Native American & Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York: Westward Trails From Albany to Buffalo” was released earlier this year by The History Press. The paperback, by Lorna MacDonald Czarnota, who has previously written about Western New York subjects, is $20. It contains material on some local areas, including Clarence, Lancaster and Cheektowaga.