The best local reads of 2021 in fiction and non-fiction
Rock ‘n’ roll memories were a welcome theme this year. In “My Ticket to Roll: How I Got To England To Meet The Beatles And Get Banned Rock And Roll In Cleveland (A True Story From 1964). “ Janice Mitchell remembers the teenage getaway that sparked an international search. Memoirs of singer-songwriter Adele Bertei “Peter and the Wolves” recounts his friendship with Cleveland punk musician Peter Laughner, who died in 1977 at the age of 24. Former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Chairman Alec Wightman talks about his work in promoting concerts in “The Music in My Life: Notes from a Long-Time Fan. “
Although technically not a thesis, “Bruce Springsteen: Living in the Heart of the Country”, Janet Macoska’s concert photography, with a text by journalist Peter Chakerian, records the intimacy that accompanies forty years of coverage.
In fiction, “Akron’s Daily Miracle: Bringing the News to the City of Rubber” is a collection of essays by 28 journalists, columnists, editors and others of the Beacon Journal. “Historic Barns of Ohio” is the product of Youngstown native Robert Kroeger’s project to paint a picture of at least one barn in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Laura DeMarco “Lost Civil War” is a fascinating photographic testimony of monuments that have not survived.
“Black nerd problems” is an exceptional collection of essays by Columbus writer William Evans and Omar Holmon that touch on pop culture and the portrayal of black people.
“Chronic” by Christine M. Rich tells the story of the life of an Akron resident with Crohn’s disease.
“Football, fast friends and small towns” by former Beacon Journal columnist Steve Love is his insightful memories of his childhood in Oklahoma.
The stories of the extraordinary from Akron writer Marc Bona “Cleveland’s Hidden Sports History” are too important to be called sports trivia; his “The reason we play: American sports personalities and what inspires them” is intended for young readers, but is engaging and inspiring for all. Former Beacon Journal sports reporter Terry Pluto said that “Vintage Browns: A Warm Take on the Cleveland Browns of the ’70s,”80s, 90s and more » was inspired by a series of stories he wrote for the Plain Dealer, about players’ memories of the day they were drafted.
In fiction, a double narrative adds dark humor to “Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club” by Doug Henderson, originally from Cleveland.
“The sacrifice of Lester Yates” is a gripping political thriller from Columbus writer Robin Yocum.
The juicy historical novel by Akron native Renée Rosen “Social graces” look at the robber barons of the golden age; more precisely, their wives.
“Churchill’s Secret Messenger” from Akron author Alan Hlad is a gripping historical novel about the daring resistance fighters during World War II.
“The meeting” by Gary Wells is a highly regarded novel about a man who hasn’t forgotten anything since high school.
“These Americans” a short story and eight stories by Jyotsna Sreenivasan, from Barberton, explores a cultural balance.
“Fallen,” Ranked 13th in Linda Castillo’s series on a police chief in a small town in Holmes County, Kate Burkholder is investigating the murder of a young woman she used to babysit.
Andy Welsh-Huggins’ series on Columbus private investigator Andy Hayes adds “An empty tomb” with Andy investigating the death of a police officer.
Based on facts, Brad Ricca “True Raiders: The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Alliance” is as exciting as any great movie.
Located during the civil war, “Green noise” by Jay Brackenrich, a resident of Ravenna, is rich in his description of his setting in Virginia.
Cozy mysteries always flourish, with “A deadly inner scoop” first in the Ice Cream Parlor series by South Euclid author Abby Collette. “Shipped” is an outstanding comedic romance by green author Angie Hockman. Cleveland writer Shelley Costa, writing as Stephanie Cole, displays her wry humor in “The crime of the ancient marinara”, second in its Tuscan Cooking School series.
Medina County author Mary Ellis kicked off a Bourbon Tour mystery series with “One for the road” and followed it with “100 proofs of murder”. Brecksville author Kylie Logan added to her Jazz Ramsey series with “Trail of Lies” about a Cleveland woman who trains dogs to find human remains; as Lucy Ness, she launched the Haunted Mansion series begins with “Haunted Homicide” located in a town that clearly resembles Akron.
Tallmadge author Amanda Flower launched her Farm to Table series and added it to her Holmes County Amish Candy Shop series among others. “The rules of the cider house” second in series from Kent author Julie Anne Lindsey on a West Virginia cider house, finds a murder among the stalks of corn.
Conrad J. Storad, originally from Barberton, traces the history of storytelling in his children’s book “History monsters among us”. North Canton author Lindsay Bonilla finds love is everywhere in her dream picture book “I love you with all my heart.” “The most perfect thing in the universe” is a gratifying middle-aged novel by Cleveland Heights author Tricia Springstubb about a friendless 11-year-old girl who finds unexpected reserves of strength.