Turing the page on summer

August 10, 2018

From left, Clint, Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy are releasing their first graphic novel, "The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins." They will have their first book signing on Saturday, at Books-A-Million the Huntington Mall.

From appearances by a couple of bestselling authors to book sales, readings and bookstore fun, there’s a bunch of upcoming events happening here in the Tri-State.

Here’s a looking at all the ways your weekend can be booked.

Head into the Adventure Zone

The Brothers McElroy (Justin, Travis and Griffin) and their pops, Clint, have made literary history becoming the first Huntington residents and natives to have a book reach No. 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

And they became the first authors in history to take a graphic novel to the No. 1 spot for fiction.

In its debut last week, their graphic novel, “The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins” which is based off their hit podcast “The Adventure Zone,” topped the New York Times’ paperback trade fiction bestsellers list.

It came third overall in the combined print and e-book fiction list — an impressive performance, and the highest placement for a graphic novel on the Times’ fiction list to date.

You can get a signed copy of the book, which is currently still sitting in the Top 10 at No. 9 in paperback trade fiction bestsellers, from Clint and eldest McElroy, Justin, as they sign copies at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Huntington Mall’s Books-A-Million store.

One copy of the book can be personalized. Two additional copies can be purchased to be signed at the event. Candid photos are allowed, but no posed photos.

Here’s the link to secure advance tickets for the event — https://tinyurl.com/y9l97bwz/.

For more event information, please contact the Books-A-Million store 304-733-9252.

Board game night

The new Cicada Books and Coffee Shop, 604 14th St. W. in Huntington’s Central City business district, will host a game night at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. Bring the family and friends over a night of fun. They have a modest selection of games, but folks are encouraged to bring along their favorites for a fun all ages friendly night. Feel free to send them a message if you have any questions.

Go online at www.facebook.com/CicadaBooks/ to keep up with the new Cicada Books.

Poetry slam — Eastern Kentucky style

The Grayson Gallery and Art Center, 301 E. 3rd St., Grayson, will be hosting its first poetry slam. The first “Holler down the Holler” poetry slam, highlighting Appalachian voices from across the Tri-State will start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11.

Come out and be heard for a chance at your share of $100 in prize money. Or come out to listen and judge.

Go online at www.facebook.com/GraysonGalleryArtCenter/ for more info.

Falling down for scenic beauty

Everybody loves waterfalls, and a West Virginia outdoor photographer from Williamson really loves them.

Author, photographer and outdoors lover, Randall Sanger, will be signing copies of his latest book, the second edition of “Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia” covers more than 100 waterfalls. It is organized geographically and ranked by beauty.

“Waterfalls create a feeling of serenity, a sense of restrained power,” Sanger said in a release. “Their grandeur takes our breath away. Their gentle sounds complement periods of meditation. Well over 500 waterfalls decorate the scenery across Virginia and West Virginia, from Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park to the Falls of Hills Creek in the Monongahela National Forest.”

Sanger will be signing books from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at Play and Paint, on 2nd Avenue in Williamson. The book is also available at Amazon.com.

Geeking out over books

We published this a couple weeks ago, but don’t forget that on Wednesday, Aug. 1, Geek Inc., out of Ashland, took over Empire Books & News. Now, a deal has been reached to ensure a bright future for this Huntington independent bookstore.

Owned by Tri-State locals Jarrod and Jaime Greer, Geek Inc., out of Ashland, currently operates two comic book and vintage toy stores, known as “The Inner Geek,” and operates the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

There will be very few operational changes put in place immediately. The entire staff is staying on to offer a great transition and the Greers want to ensure everyone the bookstore they know and love isn’t going anywhere.

Some cosmetic upgrades, expansion back into the former 12,000-square-foot, additional product lines, and a name change will come in time, but in the short term, it’s business as usual at the store.

The store is open as usual (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m.) during the transition and some big sales may come soon enough as the older inventory is moved around to make room for incoming new items.

Hilltop: Books Only Sale set for Aug. 18-19 at HMA

Huntington Museum of Art volunteers and staff are prepping for one of the area’s largest book sales — The Macy’s Presents Hilltop: Books Only Sale. The book sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Huntington Museum of Art. Admission is $5 on Aug. 18 with admission free on Aug. 19 courtesy of Macy’s.

You’ll find children’s books, mysteries, romances, art books, and more. This year, the event will feature books priced at $1, $2 or $3. From 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, you can fill a bag with books for $5 or fill a box with books for $10. HMA will provide the bags and boxes for this special deal.

HMA will accept used books right up until the day before the sale. Books can be dropped off at HMA’s loading dock. If you have a large number of books to donate, you can arrange for someone to collect them by calling 304-529-2701. Macy’s Presents Hilltop: Books Only Sale is also sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Art, Culture, and History through its West Virginia Fairs and Festivals.

For more information on events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.

West Virginia selected for National Writers Award contest

Poets & Writers, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, invites writers from the state of West Virginia to apply for the 2019 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

Each year, Poets & Writers welcomes poets and fiction writers from a selected state to apply for the award. This year, that state is West Virginia.

The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (“The Invention of Wings,” “The Secret Life of Bees”), Lidia Yuknavitch (“The Book of Joan,” “The Chronology of Water”), Bryn Chancellor (“Sycamore: A Novel”), David Mura (“Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei”) and others. Since Poets & Writers launched the Writers Exchange in 1984, 101 writers from 39 states and the District of Columbia have participated.

One winner in each category will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers and prominent writers. While in New York, winners will also give a reading hosted by Poets & Writers. In addition, each winner is invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming. To be eligible, writers must be residents of West Virginia (currently and for at least the past two years), and must have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 7, 2019.

Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers’ work is rooted in the belief that literature is vital to sustaining a vibrant culture. Learn more at pw.org.

Chronicling historic Mountain State places

West Virginia has more than 1,000 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. To showcase those sites, districts and areas, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) is introducing an updated copy of “Historic West Virginia.” This nearly 300 page soft-cover book includes brief individual descriptions of West Virginia’s historic resources listed in the National Register.

The new publication updates the first book, printed in 2000, and features 17 areas of interest. These include Civil War in West Virginia, Farms and Barns, African American Resources, Coal Heritage, Railroads, Women’s History, New Deal Resources and National Historic Landmarks. Each is complete with a map showing where the resources can be found in West Virginia.

“In the pages of this book, you will find that West Virginia’s historic resources stories are as diverse as its people,” said Randall Reid-Smith, WVDCH commissioner. “Every site, building and district helps tell a story and celebrate our history.”

The book will be provided to public libraries, schools, historic societies and historic landmark commissions. Copies of the soft cover book are available at no cost from the State Historic Preservation Office, West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Requests with full mailing address can be submitted to John Adamik, education and planning coordinator, at John.D.Adamik@wv.gov. Please limit your request to one copy.

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