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Holiday Shopping & Events Guide

Printed pages, ebooks available from local scribes

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

GREATER AKRON — Just like busy elves, Northeast Ohio writers have been busy all year toiling on their latest releases, ready just in time for gift giving.

Here’s a rundown on some of the titles now available, with information provided on the availability of ebooks as well.

• Northeast Ohio natives might enjoy “Cleveland Christmas Memories: Looking Back at Holidays Past,” by Gail Bellamy, in which she shares photos and stories from Clevelanders about holidays past. From shopping at Higbee’s to viewing the lights at GE’s Nela Park, Bellamy has collected facts and remembrances on all facets of the holiday season. Mr. Jingeling is in there, too. Gray & Co., $17.95.

• The West Side Leader’s own Craig Marks published “On the Mark: A Compilation of Columns and Cartoons 1992-2012” this year. The ebook and printed book features the best of Marks’ columns and cartoons from the past 20 years. From the misery of Cleveland sports fans to the joys of parenthood, Marks shares his views and experiences along with many of the Akron-centric comic strips created for these pages. To order, go to www.onthemarkbook.com, $7.99 paperback, $3.99 ebook.

• Akron writer James Renner brings readers stories about some of the strangest phenomena to happen in our state in “It Came From Ohio: True Tales of the Weird, Wild and Unexplained.” Investigative reporter Renner looks into 13 tales of mysterious, creepy and unexplained events in the Buckeye State, including the giant, spark-emitting Loveland Frog; the bloodthirsty Melon Heads of Kirtland; the lumber-wielding Werewolf of Defiance; the Mothman of the Ohio River; and the UFO that inspired “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Gray & Co., $7.99 paperback, $3.99 ebook.

• “Leaving Home in Dark Blue,” edited by Curt Brown, enlightens readers with individual tales of the Civil War. Using everything from newspaper reports and personal letters to diary entries and commencement programs, Brown collected stories on the war’s impact on life in that era. The University of Akron Press, $19.95.

• “The Complete Funky Winkerbean,” by Tom Batiuk, is the first volume of a planned series that features Batiuk’s 1972-74 comic strips and sets the stage for years of humor from Funky and his circle of friends. Black Squirrel Books, $45.

• Outspoken NFL cornerback Hanford Dixon offers an inside look at the turbulent, exciting and frustrating Cleveland Browns seasons of the 1980s in “Day of the Dawg: A Football Memoir,” written with Randy Nyerges. Dixon, a three-time pro bowler and co-inventor of the Dawg Pound, shares what it was like to be a first-round draft pick fighting for the starting job in training camp and the thrill of being one game away from the Super Bowl — three times. Gray & Co., $14.95 softcover, $9.99 ebook.

• Sportswriter Terry Pluto returns with more musings on spirituality for everyday life in “Faith and You, Volume Two.” Culled from his columns for the Plain Dealer, the book includes Pluto’s take on families, marriage, holidays and more. Gray & Co., $14.95 softcover, $9.99 ebook.

• Local resident Deborah McVay-McKinney shares tips and guidance in “Whatever Works for You: A Working Woman’s Guide to Surviving a Busy Life While Maintaining Peace.” In it, she encourages readers to find personal time, gain a renewed sense of value and depend on faith to help achieve a balanced life. To order, go to InspiringVoices.com; $8.99 paperback, $3.99 ebook.

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