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No Direction Home for Chaon

Dan Chaon discusses his latest novel, 'Await Your Reply'

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Dan Chaon's new novel, 'Await Your Reply,' is both an entertaining thrill ride and an incisive look at the way we live today, a world in which technology has fractured our existence and called into question the ever-mutating nature of identity. Chaon recently spoke with CityBeat about everything from his Alfred Hitchcock fixation to the questionable existence of Sarah Palin.  

The Last Of His Mind (Review)

John Thorndike - Swallow Press

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Last of His Mind is not a laugh a minute. But if it’s not a fun read, perhaps it’s an important one. The subtitle, “A Year in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s,” acknowledges the subject matter as that terror hiding in our closets. We, or someone close to us, will outlive our mind. The value of this book is in its engagement with the demon, bringing it to recognizable size and letting us know how one man met his father’s diminishing abilities.  

God Says No (Review)

James Hannaham - McSweeney's

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
James Hannaham’s God Says No might be slightly more interesting if it were a work of nonfiction. The fact that it’s not — the fact that Hannaham enjoyed full creative authority in detailing his main character’s struggle with homosexuality — renders the book not merely irrelevant as social commentary but plain boring to boot.  

Fit for a King

John Hartley Fox's new book looks at the history of King Records

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As Jon Hartley Fox made his scheduled appearance at a Books by the Banks event at the Duke Energy Center Oct. 17, the many years the Dayton native had spent writing the just-published 'King of the Queen City: The Story of King Records' had finally paid off. This book was a daunting task.  

The Persistence of R.J. Ellory

British author's love of reading and writing pays off

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
R.J. Ellory is a persistent guy. It took the 44-year-old British-born author 16 years and 22 rejected manuscripts before he could get one of his novels, 2003's 'Candlemoth,' published. Six years and several successful books later, he's made his mark as one the most distinctive writers of the crime thriller genre. Ellory took time out of his busy book-tour schedule to answer a few questions for CityBeat in advance of his appearance at the Books by the Banks festival on Saturday.  

What You See Is What You Get

Larry Gross writes about everyday people doing everyday things

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The subtitle of Larry Gross’ latest independently published book says everything you need to know about its content, which largely consists of his Living Out Loud columns for CityBeat: “Adventures, Discoveries and Conclusions Made While Exploring a Life — Namely My Own.”   

Prince of Sin City

Gary Walton (Finishing Line Press)

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
'Prince of Sin City' is the long-awaited historically based novel by local literature professor, writer, musician and poet Gary Walton. Set largely in the gambling heyday of Newport, the book provides an engaging view into the area's mysterious, sometimes seedy past.   

Pygmy (Review)

Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday)

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Bidding farewell to this terror-stricken decade with the heady mix of jolting rage and deadpan human commentary that made 'Fight Club' an instant classic, Chuck Palahniuk's latest work of fiction tells the story of a bloodthirsty exchange student hell bent on bringing our flagwaving American infrastructure to its bloated knees.  

Michael Pollan Makes Food Political

Learn to vote with your fork

2 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Why are questions about where we get our food, how we eat it and the consequences for ourselves and our society so salient? For author Michael Pollan, it’s because we are recognizing new and old options for how we behave and the fact that our choices make a difference.  

Retooling the Machine

Posnanski's book recalls the Big Red Machine's larger-than-life personalities and the times

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For many, Cincinnati remains best known as the city that spawned one of the greatest baseball teams the world has ever seen. And now, more than three decades after its heyday, Joe Posnanski's new book 'The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season and a Heart-Stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds' revisits just what made the Big Red Machine so unique. CityBeat recently spoke with Posnanski, who currently writes for 'Sports Illustrated,' to discuss his fascinating, often funny book.   

Death Penalty Isn't a Winner

Andrew Welsh-Huggins investigates why Ohio is one of the busiest death penalty states

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Offhand, what would you say Ohio has in common with the state of Texas? A propensity to execute its prisoners, that's what. In his recently released book 'No Winners Here Tonight,' Columbus-based Associated Press reporter Andrew Welsh-Huggins says that in 1958 four states accounted for half the 48 U.S. executions (Ohio, Texas, California, Georgia), and by 2000 Ohio was second only to Texas in the number of people put to death each year.   

Fall Arts Preview: Literary

Local lit scene stays lit up into the fall

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The state of Cincinnati's literary scene is as strong and diverse as ever. Things will only heat up as the weather turns chillier, with big-name authors at Joseph-Beth, the Mercantile Library's annual Neihoff Lecture and Books by the Banks.  

About a Boy

Cincinnati native Rakesh Satyal discusses his debut novel, 'Blue Boy'

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Rakesh Satyal's 'Blue Boy' tells the story of Kiran, a Indian-American boy who lives in a quaint Cincinnati suburb. The 12-year-old does everything he can to meet his parents' expectations. Yet Kiran isn't like other boys: He prefers ballet and his mother's Estée Lauder make-up, proclivities that alienate him from not only the other kids but also his fellow Indians at temple.   

Peter Seidel Forecasts the Future

Cincinnati author fast-forwards growth and global warming in 2045

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cincinnati author and architect Peter Seidel places his first novel, '2045: A Story of Our Future,' clearly in the tradition of dystopian fiction classics '1984' and 'Brave New World' and James Kunstler's recent 'World Made by Hand.' Seidel talks with CityBeat about his new book.  

How Chuck Klosterman Became a Downtown Owl

The Quentin Tarantino of letters discusses his first novel

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The guy can talk. Words fly from his mouth at an anxious, wildly accelerated rate, which is ironic given that his writing is distinct for its clear, razor-sharp voice. Chuck Klosterman's hilarious and oddly touching Heavy Metal memoir 'Fargo Rock City' catapulted him from unknown newspaper journalist to Spin magazine staff writer seemingly overnight.