It’s that time of year again! The time of year when Ohio authors flock to the alley at Loganberry Books! That’s right, Author Alley is back!
This year Author Alley will be spread out over the course of 3 Saturdays in August and will feature local authors, writers who are native to Ohio, and authors who write about Ohio! Each Saturday will run from 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM.
Saturday, August 6 is the BIPOC Author Showcase
This day will feature authors who are Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color across a number of literary genres, nonfiction, and poetry! This day will also feature readings from authors and poets.
Saturday, August 13 is the Fiction Showcase
This day will feature both general and genre fiction. There will be a mixture of adult, young adult, and middle grade writers! The CSU Poetry Center will be featured as well!
Author Dan Choan will be here on this Saturday!
Saturday, August 20 is the Nonfiction Showcase
This day will feature nonfiction works as well as a range of illustrated works, including children’s picture books!
Stay tuned for the full list of authors that will be at Author Alley! We look forward to seeing you in August!
Summer will be here soon enough (even if it was below freezing last night), so I have been reading some books that are coming out this summer. What’s Coming to Me is my favorite so far. This is a YA book that will most appeal to older teens. Seventeen year old Minerva feels stuck on her own in a dead-end town, which she’s dying to escape. Her mom is in the hospital, and she’s been kicked out of school for fighting. What she does have is a job at the local ice cream stand, with a loathsome boss and not much nicer co-workers – aside from the boy that she’s crushing on. After the ice cream stand is robbed, Minerva learns of a long standing rumor of loads of cash hidden at the ice cream stand, and, along with her similarly poverty stricken neighbor, she goes to great and often illegal lengths to find it. This novel is full of scary twists and turns, as well as the requisite falling-in-love plotlines beloved by YA readers. Great reading whether you’re looking for a romance or a thriller. (Out August 2022)
The Ghosts of Rose Hill is so beautifully written I had a physical reaction to the words as I absorbed them. As I read this book, I carried it with me everywhere just to be near it. Romero writes so beautifully and immersively that I felt like I was walking on the streets of Prague along with Ilana- the fact that I also love roses deepened the connection to Rose Cottage and Rose Hill.
Ilana beautifully embodies so many teenagers trying to balance their parents’ wishes but also following their dreams. She’s battling real world struggles then along comes a monster from her parents’ bedtime stories to tempt her. Though our ancestors are not from the same places, the way Ilana draws on the strength and example of her ancestors is something I really related to.
I loved this book and cannot wait for teens to get to experience this story on April 13, 2022!
Great fiction is one of the ways I learn history, so Booth by Karen Joy Fowler is a wonderful treat. John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, but that’s not the center of this book. The center is his family, and Fowler imagines who they were and brings them to life,so that we get to see what happens to a family when a son, or a brother, commits a horrible act of violence. Fowler, one of my favorite writers, has written a must read historical fiction.
In this engaging memoir, Rebecca traces her juggling of many troublesome symptoms with the intricacies of setting up a small homestead, while bringing in an expansive knowledge of the history of the land she lives on. After issues with misdiagnoses and misguided treatment, she finally discovers that what has plagued her all along is severe ADHD. This book is a prime example of how a neurodivergent mind thinks, and this book will be of great interest to anyone interested in psychological memoirs as well as life out in the English countryside. Pick up your copy starting April 26, 2002!
This week on our podcast Lines from Loganberry, we talk to author Thrity Umrigar (@ThrityUmrigar) about her new novel Honor, in conversation with fellow authors Paula McLain, and Loganberry’s own Sarah Willis. They discuss the book’s heavy emotional and political swings as it explores the personal risks of interfaith marriage in modern-day India.
I hope that everybody is having a nice, healthy new year so far. I would like to sing the praises of a book that just came out – Soberful, by Veronica Valli. When I read this book, I was not struggling with sobriety, but I was struggling with depression and anxiety and Valli’s book really helped me look at myself and my emotions in a whole new way.
For those who are newly sober, or wanting to get sober, this book is a wonderful tool! The material is simple – perfect for those in mental chaos – but enlightening. Valli’s program is not recovery group based. She mentions that these groups can be helpful in early sobriety, but she has her own program of five pillars of sobriety. There are also journal prompts for each concept that help a reader tie it in with what is going on inside. Please, if you are struggling with your drinking, consider reading this book and learning from Valli’s hard earned wisdom. You are worth it.
Those Kids From Fawn Creek by Erin Entrada Kelly (Out 3/8/22)
This book, for the middle grade age range, is about a class of twelve in a tiny Louisiana town, and their reactions when a thirteenth class member arrives in town. Orchid comes across as mysterious and urbane as she talks about her past in Paris and New York City, and her presence has a positive effect on nearly every group of kids in the class – until she has a run in with one of the popular girls. Will Orchid win over her enemies? And is she really what she seems? Find out this March!
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (Out 3/1/22)
All My Rage is a book for teens (though very much enjoyed by this adult) about a Pakistani family living in a small desert town. Salahudin has a lot of problems in his life. His mother has just died, and his father is an alcoholic who leaves his son to run the family motel. Salahudin’s best friend, Noor, also has her problems – she wants to attend college and become a doctor, but her uncle wants her to stay behind and run his liquor store while he goes to university. Facing certain financial ruin, Salahudin starts to sell drugs – starting with his mother’s painkillers and progressing to heroin. Meanwhile, he has to keep his dealing from Noor as he realizes that he was mistaken in turning away her romantic advances the previous year…After a school bully sets off a series of events that leads to Salahudin being busted, both kids have hard choices to make. This book is wonderfully paced and the characters are so vivid, I nearly cried at the end.
Anybody Here Seen Frenchie is a wonderful, wholesome, emotion laden story for middle grade readers about a boisterous girl named Aurora and her best friend, a non-verbal child named Frenchie. The two friends have been inseparable all through elementary school until this year, 6th grade, when they are put into separate classes. Aurora gets caught up talking to her new classmates one day and doesn’t walk Frenchie to his classroom as she typically does – and then Frenchie goes missing!
Told from the viewpoints of Aurora, various adults in Aurora’s life, and Frenchie himself, the mystery deepens as to his whereabouts and why he left his classroom. Aurora feels terrible, but with the support of her small rural Maine town, she learns the power of community. I loved this book because of the pace of the story combined with the love that everybody has for Frenchie, depicting a world where neuroatypical children are honored as they are. (Out February 15, 2022)
It has been a long time since the last Reading Goals update. Rest assured, I have been reading and working on those goals! I hope to have a more detailed update for you soon but today I want to tell you about an upcoming book I read recently- Wild Ride by Keith Calabrese!
Back in middle school my friends and I watched the movie Sleepover. This movie chronicled a parentless night of mischief. This adventure seemed fun but not the kind of shenanigans I would want to get up to. Wild Ride by Keith Calabrese, however, is EXACTLY the kind of shenanigans I would love to get up to.
Charley and Greg Decker’s grown-ups are out of town and Charley has an amazing night planned for her and her brother: milkshakes and movies. When the car Greg isn’t supposed to be driving gets impounded, a series of interconnected events and people begins to unfold.
There are so many things I loved about this book! While Charley and Greg have a fairly large age gap (Charley is in middle school and Greg is headed off to college soon) they are very close. There is genuine care in this relationship from both of them. At times, Charley could be a bit of a brat (for lack of a better term), however this is not only developmentally appropriate but as she gained more insight to what was going on with her brother she was able to gain empathy for him and act in a more understanding manner. Brat of course is not the proper term as she was only acting on the knowledge she had at the time; with more knowledge came more understanding.
Not only was there an incredible sibling relationship but the friendships were wonderful! The characters were distinct and had their own personalities that worked well together. Characters that were different were accepting of one another as friends for who they were and not judged for their personality differences. This actually made them a highly effective team as they navigated the night.
Each of the characters experienced significant growth throughout the story. There were important life lessons embedded in the story. Calabrese skillfully incorporated these in without talking down to readers or taking the reader out of the story.
As heartfelt as this book is, it is also just a plain fun adventure! I highly recommend this story to really anyone- not just children.
This book is set to be released as a hardcover on February 1, 2022. Hope you pick it up and as always, Happy Reading!
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