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Bibliophiles can check out lots of cool events coming up

October 10, 2018

Facebook photo Cicada Books & Coffee has opened up on 14th Street West in Old Central City. It is a locally owned bookstore in with free wifi and a quirky, inviting atmosphere.

From a horror book swap to a faith-based author to a local doctor and her husband sharing humorous and history-filled tales from the practice of medicine, this week is filled with new book releases and author events at area book stores.

Here’s a look at just a few of the must-read events this week and next.

The McElroys tap that funny bone

Back in June 2013, husband and wife podcast team, Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee Smirl McElroy, birthed the history-filled comedy podcast baby, “Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine.” The weekly humor podcast features Justin and Syd, a Huntington-based family doctor, dissecting medical history uncovering all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways doctors have tried to fix people.

The couple will celebrate the release of “The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine” book Tuesday, Oct. 9. The book boils up the best of the five years of their hit podcast complete with illustrations by Syd’s sister, Teylor Smirl, a graduate of New York’s School of the Visual Arts whose work has been featured in comics such as “Amazing Forest” as well as her own series, “Flightless Birds.”

The book, which pokes fun at everything from bizarre hangover cures to bloodletting, is available now at https://www.weldonowen.com/sawbonesbook.

Pick up a signed copy at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, as the couple is doing a book signing at Books-A-Million at the Huntington Mall. Their only other local book signing is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Charleston Books-A-Million.

Justin said in an interview earlier this year they were super stoked to hook up with Weldon-Owens, the popular gift book publisher who has published such fun, scientific books as “Edumacation,” also based off of a podcast.

“The book is very much like the show: It is about the bad, dumb ways that we have tried to fix people with medicine over the years and how wrong we got it and how we eventually got it right,” Justin said. “The only problem with ‘Sawbones,’ with the book and the podcast, is that it’s the one thing where neither one of us can say, ‘You watch the kids, I’ve got to do this.’ The book was written entirely after the kids were asleep - when we managed to get both of the kids asleep at the same time. That’s why it took a year and a half to write the thing, but I am really proud of the final product.”

Go online at http://mcelroyshows.com/#/sawbones/ to find out more about the podcast.

Horror book swap

Friends don’t let friends read horror alone, so gather up with some fellow fans of horror books as the new Cicada Books & Coffee, 604 14th St. W., is hosting a Horror Book Swap from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.

All day long, you can bring a book and swap it with one from their horror swap table. Don’t forget the little ones - there will be kids’ and young adult Halloween-themed books as well. Start gathering your horror books now and drop them by on Wednesday.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/CicadaBooks/ for more information.

‘A Night With Jennie Allen’

Redemption Church, 1021 4th Ave., Huntington, will be hosting “A Night with Jennie Allen” from 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14.

Rather than the full Freedom Project Tour, this will be an intimate ministry time with Austin, Texas-based inspirational author Jennie Allen and worship led by Megan Creasy and The Collective.

Allen is an award-winning and best-selling author of “Anything” and “Restless,” as well as the Bible Studies “Stuck,” “Chase” and “Restless.” The founder and visionary for the IF:Gathering, she is a passionate leader following God’s call on her life to catalyze a generation of women to live what they believe.

Tickets are $17 to $33 at https://tinyurl.com/NightWithJennie.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP. There’s a 30 minute VIP session at 6 p.m. General admission doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m. There will be a book signing at 8:30 a.m. Allen and her team are donating all proceeds from this event to ReBuild Huntington, a local nonprofit.

Go online at http://www.rebuildhuntington.org/ for more info about ReBuild and https://www.jennieallen.com/ for more info bout Jennie Allen.

Writers Can Read

Head over to Empire Books and News at Pullman Square at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, when they are hosting the monthly Writers Can Read event.

Up this month is Rene Nicholson, who studied English at Butler University, and holds a MFA in creative writing from West Virginia University, where she won the Rebecca Mason Perry Award for Outstanding First-Year MFA Student and the Russ MacDonald Prize for Graduate Writing, Fiction. She served as assistant to the director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop from 2007-17 and also serves on the book reviews staff at Los Angeles Review, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is currently involved with Narrative Medicine Projects at WVU’s Health Science Center.

Also reading will be Jeff Mann, who teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in many publications. He has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks. In 2013, he was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be refreshments.

How West Virginia was shaped by geology

The Montana-based publishing company, Mountain Press, continues its Roadside Geology book series, with the Oct. 15 release of “Roadside Geology of West Virginia.”

In the new book, authors Joseph Lebold and Christopher Wilkinson lead readers along roads through the Mountain State, past road cuts exposing contorted rock layers, coral reefs and ancient red soils. Sidebars provide more details about iconic places such as the New River Gorge, Seneca Rocks and Dolly Sods, as well as unusual geologic features such as the riverless Teays Valley and the karst topography and caverns of the Big Levels. Lebold has taught geology at WVU since 2009, while Wilkinson spent 37 years teaching writing and music history at WVU before retiring in 2013.

The 312-page book also includes 180 color photographs by Maria af Rolen, a Swedish native who lives in Morgantown and earned her B.S. in geology from WVU in 2016. Go online at https://mountain-press.com/item_detail.php?item_key=771 for more info.

‘Qualia,’ a novel/art experience

Local artist Sassa Wilkes recently shared her innovative new book in progress “Qualia,” at last Friday’s WV Makes Festival at Marshall University.

Qualia is a 243-day art project by Wilkes that combines immersive digital storytelling with painting, drawing, sculpture, music, digital media art and performance.

Wilkes, owner and operator of the nonprofit art gallery and studio Make in Barboursville, is publishing a new chapter online every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. until March 31, 2019.

The project and novel will then culminate in an exhibition of works called “Chapter Thirty-Eight,” which will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. April 6, 2019, at Steptoe & Johnson in Huntington.

Go online at https://iamsassa.com/ to find out more information about this unique project which is up to Chapter 11.

New book highlights life of Ashland native

ABC’s Ministries of Madison, Tennessee, has just published the late D.V. “Tiny” Gillum’s book, “Legacy to Remember: “Recollections of a Common Man,” which was finished by his cousin, Pamela K. Orgeron, who edited the book.

The book tells the story of how Gillum, who was one of 11 kids, lived through the Great Depression, the Flood of 1937 and a stint in WWII in the Navy where he survived a typhoon and enemy fire. He not only survived but he thrived through his faith in God to become a “family man” with a successful career in the aeronautics industry, even working on the Apollo Moon Landing Project and the Space Shuttle Project. Gillum volunteered in his community as a baseball coach for 18 years which also included coaching his son.

After retiring from both work and baseball, he and his wife Ruth enjoyed traveling around the country together before Ruth developed Alzheimer’s disease. At Ruth’s diagnosis, Tiny cared for her until her passing.

The book is now available on Amazon at https://tinyurl.com/DVGillum.

‘Hiking West Virginia’

Just in time to check out the Mountain State’s amazing foliage, Globe Pequot Press/Falcon Guides has released the third edition of “Hiking West Virginia: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures” with author and veteran hiker Mary Reed.

Reed, who last updated this series in June 2013, guides folks to 50 of the very best hiking trails in the state. Inside you’ll find detailed maps, mile-by-mile trail descriptions, backpacking tips and informative details about landmarks and natural history. Reed, who lives in Athens, Ohio, and Boulder, Colorado, is also the author of “Hiking Ohio,” and “Best Easy Day Hikes in Fort Collins.”

Go online at Amazon.com or https://tinyurl.com/HikingWV to get the book.

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