Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Here in Ohio, we enjoy all things spooky. Did you know that Ohio is the state with the most annual haunted house attractions, with 111 in total? It seems that we love being scared, and that goes for our literature as well. If you’re looking for a good book to scare you on Halloween night, look no further. Below is a list of Ohio authors that specialize in stories about the dark and creepy to satisfy your need for thrills and scares.

Photo courtesy of Scholastic
  1. R. L. Stine

Few scary series are more iconic (or more chilling) than R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps. With over 230 books geared at grades 3-7, the Goosebumps series has something to scare everyone. Stine explores tales about everything from ghosts and werewolves to swamp monsters and mummies, and the books have even been adapted into a movie series.

 

Watch below to see R. L. Stine himself discussing the legacy of Goosebumps.

2. Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison was a master of sci-fi and speculative fiction, sometimes crossing into horror as well. He is the author of more than 1,700 stories, film and TV scripts, and our library specialist recommends that you start with the short story “I Have No Mouth but I Must Scream”.

3. James A. Willis 

If you’re looking for strange and spooky stories based on Ohio fact, James Willis probably has a book for you! He is the author of The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories and Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State, among others. History and the paranormal mingle in Willis’s work, and are sure to prove fascinating to anyone familiar with some of Ohio’s notorious haunts.

4. Chris Woodyard

Since 1991, Chris Woodyard has been scaring residents of the Buckeye State with frightening stories that hit close to home. Make sure to explore her website, hauntedohiobooks.com, for tips on where to find ghosts in Ohio, how to write ghost stories of your own, and more.

5. Gary Braunbeck

Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books and his fiction has received several awards, including the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction in 2003 for “Duty” and in 2005 for “We Now Pause for Station Identification”; his collection Destinations Unknown won a Stoker in 2006. His novella “Kiss of the Mudman” received the International Horror Guild Award for Long Fiction in 2005.

6. Lucy Snyder

Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, which should clue you in that she knows her stuff when it comes to scary stories! She wrote the novels SpellbentShotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, and the collections While the Black Stars BurnSoft ApocalypsesOrchid CarousalsSparks and Shadows and Chimeric Machines. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Apex MagazineNightmare MagazinePseudopodStrange HorizonsWeird TalesScary Out ThereSeize the Night, and Best Horror of the Year.

7. Tim Waggoner

Shirley Jackson Award finalist Tim Waggoner has published over thirty novels and three short story collections of dark fiction. Most recently published is The Mouth of the Dark, the story of Jayce and his 20-year-old daughter, Emory, who is missing, lost in a dark, dangerous realm called Shadow that exists alongside our own reality. An enigmatic woman named Nicola guides Jayce through this bizarre world, and together they search for Emory, facing deadly dog-eaters, crazed killers, and — worst of all — a monstrous being known as the Harvest Man. But no matter what Shadow throws at him, Jayce won’t stop. He’ll do whatever it takes to find his daughter, even if it means becoming a worse monster than the things that are trying to stop him.

8. Laura Bickle 

Laura Bickle specializes in dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She writes for adults and young adults, and her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

9. Josef Matulich

These aren’t your typical horror stories! Josef Matulich is a master of both laughs and scares, combing humor with horror. Some of his titles include The Ren Faire at the End of the World and 44 Lies by 22 Liars.

10. Dayna Ingram

Dayna Ingram writes science fiction horror for young adults. Of her latest book, Kirkus reviews writes, “”Ingram gives a nightmarish twist to the familiar YA formula of teenagers facing martyrdom by an oppressive society…. An absorbing and poignant YA dystopian fantasy with a convincing heroine.”

Reviewers Wanted!

posted in: reading, Reviews, Writing | 0
Hansen writing ball, 1965. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Have you ever wanted to tell everyone about a book that you really, really like? Maybe the book hasn’t gotten enough attention. Maybe the book’s Ohio connection isn’t very well known and you’d like to fix that.

Now’s your chance to spread the word: become a reviewer for the Ohioana Quarterly and let the world know about great books!

The OQ has been around since 1958, and was created to promote Ohio authors and books. Today, the publication is found in homes and libraries across the state. Each issue has unique features and interviews, a list of books received, literary goings-on around the state, and reviews of new books received by the library.

We are always on the lookout for thoughtful reviews to support our authors, and we pay in love as well as in a book and a contributor’s copy.

Would you like to help? You can learn more about writing reviews here.

You’re also always welcome to write to the editor, who can be reached at editor@Ohioana.org.

Thank you, as ever, for your support!

Fall Into Literature

Although autumn doesn’t officially start until September 22nd, it certainly already feels as if the seasons have changed. The chilly, rainy weather of this past week might bring to mind thoughts of changing leaves, pumpkin pie and shorter days. Here at Ohioana, it also reminds us of the myriad of literary events that happen around the state during the autumn. Whether you’re looking to hear your favorite author speak about their work, get a book signed, or buy something new to read, there should be something to satisfy you in the coming months. Check out our list below for some literary events around Ohio this fall that you shouldn’t miss.

 

Cleveland Public Poetry: Featuring Maxwell Shell

When: September 15th, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Where: Literature Department, Main Library, 325 Superior Ave., 2nd FL

What: “Ohio Center for the Book and Cleveland Public Library invite you to celebrate the changing of the season amidst the readings of written and spoken-word poetry, with our special guest reader poet MaxWell Shell. After a brief Q&A, the mic will open for others to read an original or favorite work. Free refreshments and snacks provided. Door prizes, too!”

Admission: Free

https://ohiocenterforthebook.org/2018/08/06/cleveland-public-poetry-2018-fall-schedule/

 

Photo credit: Jeff Sabo

Tigerland by Wil Haygood book events

An Evening With Wil Haygood at East High School

When: September 20th, 7:00pm

Where: Columbus East High School,

East High School

1500 East Broad Street

Columbus , OH 43229

What: “In partnership with Columbus City Schools, Gramercy Books welcomes award-winning author and journalist, Wil Haygood, to Columbus East High School for his national book tour launch of Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of HealingHaygood will share the story of Columbus’ own East High School Tigers, who won baseball and basketball state championships in the midst of the racial turbulence and segregation of the late 1960s, and how they inspired a community.”

Admission: Free, but tickets must be reserved through Eventbrite

https://www.gramercybooksbexley.com/event/gramercy-salon2424-evening-wil-haygood-east-high-school

 

An Afternoon With Wil Haygood

When: September 23rd, 3:00pm

Where: Schottenstein Theatre at Bexley High School

326 South Cassingham Road

Bexley , OH 43229

What: “Join us in welcoming Columbus’ own, Wil Haygood, for a special afternoon featuring his new book, Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, an emotional, inspiring story of two teams from a poor, black, segregated high school in Columbus, who, in the midst of the racial turbulence of 1968/1969, win the Ohio state baseball and basketball championships in the same year. This program, to include an author talk, reading and book signing, is presented in partnership with Bexley Public Library.”

Admission: Free

https://www.gramercybooksbexley.com/event/gramercy-salon2424-afternoon-wil-haygood

 

Wil Haygood at University of Dayton

When: September 25th, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Where: Kennedy Union Ballroom, Kennedy Union 241

300 College Park

Dayton, Ohio 45469 – 0620

What: “Wil Haygood, Pulitzer-nominated journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Butler and Showdown will be discussing his new book, Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of HealingTigerland tells the story of Columbus’ East High School Tigers, baseball and basketball teams from a poor, black, segregated high school that each won two Ohio state championships in the same year, uniting a racially-charged community in the aftermath of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Haygood is praised for connecting the civil rights movement and its iconic heroes with current events and enduring struggles. Above all, he brings the powerful perspective that this is the history of all Americans, shaping our national identity and common values. Haygood will be interviewed by his friend, Michael Carter, chief diversity officer at Sinclair Community College. Copies of Tigerland, in addition to other titles by Haygood, will be available for purchase. A book signing will follow the presentation.”

Admission: Free

https://udayton.edu/calendar/2018/09/ud-speaker-series-talk-by-wil-haygood.php

 

Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival

When: September 21st-22nd, 9:30am-9:00pm

Where: Kilcawley Center,

Youngstown State University,

1 University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44505

What: “This year’s festival will feature accomplished visiting writers, a book fair, a caucus for literary arts nonprofits, panels on many aspects of the literary arts, craft talks, workshops and readings in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.”

Admission: Check website for more information

https://lityoungstown.org/fall-literary-festival/

 

 

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus

When: September 27th-30th, check website for times

Where: Varying locations, check website for more information

What: “CXC is a free, citywide arts festival hosted every year by people and places with a passion for cartoon arts. CXC connects the global family of cartoon storytellers, comic makers, and animators with the people who love and are inspired by their art. Together, they celebrate the stories that can only be told in visual media that are as diverse as the people who imagined them.”

Admission: Free

http://cartooncrossroadscolumbus.com/

 

Ohioana Awards

When: October 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Where: Ohio Statehouse,

1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

What: “The Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every notable Ohio writer of the past 76 years has been honored. Tickets for the Awards go on sale on September 15th.”

Admission: $50 per ticket

http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-awards/

 

Books by the Banks

When: October 20th, 10am-4pm

Where: Duke Energy Convention Center,

525 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

What: “The premiere event is the Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival held annually in downtown Cincinnati. The day-long festival, which is free and open to the public, features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy.”

Admission: Free

http://booksbythebanks.org/

 

 

 

Pickerington Teen Book Fest

When: October 27th, 10am-5pm

Where: Pickerington Public Library,

201 Opportunity Way

Pickerington, OH 43147 United States

What: The Pickerington Teen Book Fest is free and open to the public! Add this event now to your calendars, and get ready to spend one incredible day with twelve incredible authors of teen and young adult fiction!

Admission: Free

https://pickeringtonlibrary.org/pickerington-teen-book-fest-2018/

 

Buckeye Book Fair

When: November 3rd, 9:30am-4pm

Where: Fisher Auditorium

1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH 44691

What: “Meet 100 Ohio authors & illustrators at the 31st annual Buckeye Book Fair.”

Admission: $2

http://www.buckeyebookfair.com/

 

Which of these literary events are you most looking forward to? Are there any we missed that you think we should know about? Leave us a comment, or send an email to ohioana@ohioana.org.

The “Dog Days” of Summer

posted in: authors, Holidays, reading, Reviews | 0

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! Though the calendar says there are still a few weeks left, many Ohio schools are already back in session. With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, we thought we would take a look at some great books to enjoy during these final “dog days” of summer.
Most people tend to think of the “dog days” of summer as those days that are the most hot and humid. However, this ubiquitous phrase has its origins in astronomy. The ancient Greeks were the first to notice that the “dog star,” Sirius, rose and set with the sun during July and August. They thought this was the reason for extra heat during that time of year.

Over time, this phrase has come into more common use to describe the type of steamy weather Ohio has seen for much of this summer, when many our canine buddies want to lie around and enjoy some fun in the sun (or shade!). Of course, dogs are not the only ones who like lounging on a hot summer day. Here are some great hot weather reads to help soak up the last few days of sun:

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Dog, Sun Dog by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Meet Tinka – a dandy, sandy golden retriever, and the little boy who loves her, as they spend a busy, dizzy day at the beach. With rhyming text and adorable watercolors by Ohioan Tim Bowers, this is a story that the whole family will enjoy. Ohioana’s furry friend, Kirby thinks it’s a delightful “tail!”

Photo courtesy of KATHRYN POWERS

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

This debut novel by the 2017 Ohioana Readers’ Choice Winner is the perfect choice for a scorching summer day. It’s the tale of the summer of 1984, when a blistering heatwave baked the small town of Breathed, Ohio. Fielding Bliss never forgot that summer – the year he became friends with the devil.

ST. MARTINS PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Summer with Maizon by Jacqueline Woodson
This first novel by Ohio native and 2018-19 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature tells the story of the beautiful friendship of Margaret and Maizon. The summer Margaret turns eleven, her father unexpectedly dies. Then Maizon is accepted at an expensive boarding school, far away from the place they have grown up together. This exploration of self-discovery and issues like racism and death is a realistic, touching look at the lives and friendships of young African-American girls, and their journey toward adulthood.

PUFFIN BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Common Summer: New & Selected Poems  by Robert Wallace
A collection of poems on the season, by the late, celebrated Cleveland poet Robert Wallace. Mary Oliver describes his poems: “Often they have a shimmering quality, as though light was held inside the lines.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Evil Summer (Fear Street #25) by R. L. Stine
In this fun entry from the Bexley native who has given kids nightmares for decades, it’s summer at the beach and Amanda Conklin is stuck in summer school. At least she doesn’t have to take care of her bratty little brother and sister – that’s Chrissy’s job. Chrissy is the perfect babysitter. But Chrissy has a secret – she’s a cold-blooded killer!

R.L. STINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
This debut novel by OSU Assistant Professor Nick White centers around a gay conversion camp in Mississippi, and a man’s reckoning with the trauma he faced there as a teenager. It is the story of reconciling the past and learning from the present, of found family, and of working through trauma and grief to reclaim your own story from those who have stolen it.

BLUE RIDER PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan
In this novel by 2018 Ohioana Book Award Finalist Erin McCahan, it’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He’s leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It’s the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral. So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.

DIAL BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Chiaverini & Read a New Book Month

posted in: authors, reading | 0
Jennifer Chiaverini at December book-signing.

December is National Read a New Book Month, and there’s still plenty of month left if you haven’t started yet.

We’d like to suggest the latest from Jennifer Chiaverini. The Enchantress of Numbers is the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, the inventor of computer programming.

At a recent sold-out book signing event sponsored by Gramercy Books in Bexley, Jennifer answered questions and read from The Enchantress of Numbers, written as a first-person memoir of an unsung heroine of the modern era. While many in the computer world know about Ada, explained Jennifer, most people have never heard of her.

Born into wealth, privilege, and celebrity as the only legitimate child of nineteenth century super-star poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, Ada seemed to have it all. But despite the advantages, she was no more in control of her life than any other woman. And Ada, a mathematical prodigy, dearly wanted to make a contribution to the world.

Jennifer’s novel is written from the point of view of Ada, from her earliest memories of childhood to the always-looming shadow of the father with whom she never had any relationship. Ada’s mother, a wealthy woman with connections that extended to the royal family’s inner circle, believed in equality for women and directed her daughter’s rigorous education. However,  Ada was never allowed the opportunity to exercise her imagination. It was believed that the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Byron had bequeathed to his daughter an equally dangerous tendency towards  mental instability and against this specter, the young woman’s mother was always on guard.

At least Ada married someone who believed in her intellectual abilities, and she was able to work with the inventor of the Analytical Engine and the Difference Engine, Charles Babbage. The forerunners of the modern computer would change the world, of course, but it took Ada to create the means by which that would happen.

We hope you will consider this compelling and highly-readable book — and that you will participate in this reader-friendly way to celebrate the season!