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Spencer's Gift

Former local club owner/city council candidate finds his groove in the comics industry

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 13, 2010
"Nick Spencer Cincinnati" — the results of this Web search yield a litany of news and critical opinions surrounding the now 31-year-old former co-owner of alchemize bar, two-time candidate for City Council and founder of the one-off Desdemona Music Festival in 2006. Buried in that search, though, is news about Spencer's latest venture: writing comics.  

More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson

Harper Perennial

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For the past 20 years, author Barb Johnson has been a carpenter in New Orleans. Luckily for us, the reader, she’s put down her carpenter tools and has picked up pen and paper. In More of This World or Maybe Another, the Bubble Laundromat in mid-city New Orleans serves as a backdrop for nine astonishing stories.  

The Anthologist by Nicolson Baker

Simon & Schuster

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Nicholson Baker is a word nut, in a good way. In The Anthologist his narrator and perhaps alter ego, poet Paul Chowder, muses on “divulge” in the very first paragraph — “What a juicy word. Truth opening its petals. Truth smells like Chinese food and sweat” — and you’re off on a tear through Paul’s passionate beliefs about rhyme in poetry.  

Another Galaxy

Red Panda Comics pays tribute to Ed Emberley

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Chances are you know who Ed Emberley is, even if you think you don’t. He’s an old guy from Massachusetts, but he’s also an illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner who’s worked on more than 50 children’s books since the 1960s.   

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.