There has been a recent spate of books written by authors with local ties, which The Gazette has gladly covered in the past several weeks.
The books have include a cookbook, A Taste for All Seasons, written by Eleanor Rodio Furlong; Italian Love Cake by Gail Reitano; a children’s book, Mighty Meana Mullin You Are Loved, written by Amber Curzie; Recruited, a new novel by Lauren Esposito Anderson; Stories from the Strange Place, a collection of short stories by Michael Rizzotte; Ascension, a novel by Anneliese Zahra Khalil; and, as seen on this week’s front page, the new non-fiction history book Darrow’s Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America’s Most Famous Trial Lawyer written by retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson.
Since the newspaper in your hands is the product of the work of a staff that includes many writers, we’re proud to see the successful writing careers of so many people with local connections. The Gazette staff, past and present, has contributed several books to the list of Hammonton-related tomes.
Gazette Staff Writer Joseph F. Berenato has several books to his credit, either independently or jointly. Gazette Sports Editor Dan Russoman wrote Hometown Pride: The Tradition of Sports in Hammonton. The late Gazette columnist Grayce Pitera co-wrote a postcard history of Hammonton with local resident Kristin Colasurdo Keating. Gazette columnist and former middle school library Donna Brown helped put together a collection of her father’s essays in the book Hammonton Through the Eyes of J.G. Wilson. Gazette Publisher Gabriel Donio wrote a book featuring local historic photographs called Images of America: Hammonton.
There have been several other authors with local connections, including Kathleen Van Cleve, Kellyanne Conway, the late Dr. Leonard Streitfeld, Patricia Chappine, John Weissner, Leigh Paynter, Alexandra Guillot and more.
It may be time for The Gazette to begin planning an event that would bring all the writers with local ties together for a “Gazette Local Book Expo.” The event would feature talks by the authors, book signings, meet and greets and panels on the various subjects the authors have written about, as well as the influence Hammonton has had on their writing.
In the meantime, if you haven’t read some or any of the books listed above, go to your nearest bookstore or online and begin reading authors who have walked the same streets as you. It’s sure to be an edifying experience.