Recently, I asked via Facebook what books Miami Valley area readers are either hoping to receive for the upcoming holiday season or would deem most gift-worthy.
Here, I share some of the responses I received, with the notion that this might spur some post-Thanksgiving shopping (and reading) ideas. I’m also checking with area booksellers for their recommendations; I’ll share their thoughts in a later column.
Holly Dennler (reader extraordinaire): “I recommend ‘Billionaire Blend’ by Cleo Coyle because I love cozy mysteries and this series is a must-read for me. I enjoy the humor and that the main character manages to handle her ex and his mom, her job, her daughter and a hot cop boyfriend while helping find the real killer.”
Tim Waggoner (fantasy and horror author): “For artists of any stripe, I recommend ‘Creativity for Life’ by Eric Maisel. In this book, Maisel, a psychologist who specializes in working with artists, addresses a part of the creative life that’s too often neglected: the mental and emotional challenges artists face, and he offers excellent advice on how to overcome them. This book belongs on the shelf of every writer, painter, musician, designer, dancer, essayist, etc. (www.ericmaisel.com).”
Kathy Austin (poet): “I’m going to buy at least one extra copy of (local author) Suzanne Kelly’s book, ‘Stolen Child.’ She has a wonderful sense of the child’s perspective, and the reader is immersed in the Irish-American Catholic world. I also am finding ‘I Am Malala’ (by Malala Yousafzai) surprisingly well written, and am inspired by it. It presents a good view of Malala’s community and its history as well.
Fred Kirchner (poet and librarian): “I have a Christmas subscription to the Best American Poetry annual series. My mom or some other relative will usually get it for me. And Jospeh Conrad’s ‘The Heart of Darkness,’ the illustrated version by Dayton artist Matt Kish just published by Tin House.”
Cathryn Essinger (poet and retired English professor): “For adults and children, ‘My Book of Africa,’ by Tippi Degre. The book includes amazing photos of her childhood in Africa with parents who are videographers for National Geographic.”
Molly Duncan Campbell (author) and Ron Rollins (Dayton Daily News Associate Editor) both recommended “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt as “brilliant.” Molly also recommended “The Man in the Window” by Jon Cohen.
Nicole Amsler (short story author): “Joshilyn Jackson has a new book coming out this month, ‘Somebody Else’s Love Story.’ She is going to be in Dayton on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Books & Co. in Beavercreek for a reading. Her books are full of characters who are just strange enough that you will swear you know someone just like them (usually a family member.) Her prose is original and the themes are always wonderfully tangled.”
Duffy Brown (cozy mystery novelist): “I have a new adopted grandson named Nate, so I’m giving him the ‘Nate the Great’ series. I’d like ‘Tea for Three’ by Laura Childs, a set of the first three books in her Tea Shop mystery series.”
Now, I’d love to hear your recommendations. Email me with a title or two you’re hoping to get/give this holiday season — and a few thoughts about why it makes your list — by Dec. 2, at email@example.com.
Upcoming Literary events
Friday, 4-6 p.m., Blue Jacket Books (30 S. Detroit St., Xenia): Local novelist M. Ruth Myers will discuss her Maggie Sullivan mystery series, featuring a female private eye in Dayton in 1938-1948. Her most recent title, Don’t Dare a Dame, released by Tuesday House, is the 13th novel by Myers. Her appearance is part of Blue Jacket Books’ annual “Blue Friday” featuring day-long bargains throughout the store; call (937) 376-3522 for details. Visit www.mruthmyers.com for more information about the author’s work.
Greyden Press (www.greydenpress.com) recently announced the winners of its 2013 Book Competition. Writers sent their unpublished works to this local company, which specialized in technical publishing as well as self-publishing solutions for writers, from across the United States. Grand Prize winners are Sarah Byrn Rickman for Flight to Destiny (fiction); Christy Heitger-Ewing for Cabin Glory (nonfiction) and Noni Smith for Mouse Island (children’s literature). Grand Prize winners received prizes worth over $3,000, including 50 copies of their printed book, a free author website and hosting fees, marketing consultation, and cover design and interior layout.