Top 5 Local Books To Spend An Afternoon With

Ranging from a Jazz Age non-fiction to a roundup of must-see Cincinnati sights, these are the top 5 local book releases you should keep on your radar.
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Photograph Courtesy of Galyna Motizova / Shutterstock.com

Trying to disappear into a mesmerizing story can be pretty difficult these days. Whether it’s work, school, or Twitter, distractions are anywhere and everywhere. But we’ve got you covered with a roundup of our top five reads from local authors that will help you effortlessly ease into a story and out of the stresses of day-to-day life.

1. Three Ways to Disappear by Katy Yocom (July 16, 2019)

Based in India, Three Ways to Disappear is the story of a journalist, Sarah, who returns to her childhood country to preserve endangered Bengal tigers. Meanwhile, her sister, Quinn, is at home in Kentucky and tries to support Sarah, even though Quinn fears the trip might be Sarah’s downfall. Katy Yocom, a Kansas native who now lives in Louisville, KY, traveled to India to research the novel, which was released to high praise and named a Barnes & Noble Top Indie Favorite. Holding 4.53/5 stars on Goodreads, you can’t go wrong with this extensively researched and highly lauded debut novel.

2. When the Coin is in the Air by John Young (July 18, 2019)

The story of a son struggling to find his way, When the Coin is in the Air is a powerful debut from novelist and Cincinnati local John Young. Focused on Jason Blake and his relationship with his father and competitive older brother, the plot follows Jason as he attempts to gain independence, eventually leaving his hometown to find excitement in Cape Cod and later in Europe. When he finally returns home, nothing is the same, and he must risk everything to protect his mother from his abusive father. Released to high praise, When the Coin is in the Air is a beautiful, haunting story that you will not want to miss.

3. The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott (Aug 6, 2019)

Based on the true crime story of George Remus, a bootlegger who owned distilleries in Cincinnati during Prohibition, The Ghosts of Eden Park details his time as the “King of the Bootleggers.” Between Gatby-esque parties in Remus’s Cincinnati mansion and his eventual ownership of 35 percent of all liquor in the U.S., author Karen Abbott, who also wrote the bestselling books Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, spins a tale between historical non-fiction and thrilling Jazz-Age novel, mastering both with incredible skill. This novel is for anyone who loves liquor, the 1920s, and of course, the Queen City.

4. 100 Things to Do in Cincinnati Before You Die by Rick Pender (Sept 1, 2019)

This one should go without explanation. Any Cincinnati native should recognize at least some of the hotspots mentioned in this novel, but if you have just moved to the Queen City or are just looking to get to know the area on a deeper level, this is the perfect read for you. The second edition from Cincinnati author, journalist, radio interviewer, step-on tour guide, urban resident, and obvious Queen City enthusiast, Rick Pender writes about such favorites as goetta, New Riff Distilling, and Mexican restaurant Mazunte.

5. Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis (Mar 3, 2020)

From Loveland local and bestselling author Mindy McGinnis comes a new novel about a girl who goes on a hiking trip with her friends in the Smokies, only to wake up alone, lost, and with a creeping, red infection on her leg. The Edgar Award-winning author is no stranger to dark stories, with previous works including The Female of the Species and A Madness So Discreet. Both exploring haunting plot lines and morally ambiguous central characters. As with any McGinnis novel, it is best to go into Be Not Far From Me without knowing much about the plot, so we will leave you here, itching and ready for March 3, 2020 to come as soon as possible.

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