Happy Holidays from City Books
Before the store closes for the Christmas Eve/Christmas Day break, join City Books for an hour of holiday literature, including local playwright and storyteller T. Scott Frank reading Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. The event will be suitable for families & children of all ages.
Saturday, December 23rd, 4:00-5:00 pm. Refreshments available.
Saturday, October 21
Please join City Books as we welcome Rachel Mabe, Rachel Brickner, Jennifer Bannan, and Shannon Reed, four Pittsburgh-based writers with some serious writing credits in McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Review, The Paris Review, among others. The evening’s selections will range from mildly droll to wildly hilarious. Please see the City Books website for more elaborate bios of the writers. Don’t miss this unique night of humor.
Rachel Mabe is a writer, reporter, and teacher. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, Medium, Creative Nonfiction, and others. Rachel is at work on a book about the existential agonies of growing up female in America. She currently holds a research assistantship at Pitt, but has spent most of her time here teaching writing–creative nonfiction, composition, and business writing. Learn more about Rachel at RachelMabe.com.
Rachel Ann Brickner is a writer and multimedia storyteller from Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Joyland, PANK, Anastamos, among others. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Pittsburgh where she is at work on her first novel, a collection of short stories about love, women, and capitalism, and a memoir about debt. You can see more of her work at rachelannbrickner.com.
Jennifer Bannan is the author of short story collection Inventing Victor. Her short stories have appeared in ACM, Passages North, Café Eighties, womenwriters.net, Radio Transcript Newspaper, and others. She holds a senior position with Zer0 to 5ive, a technology marketing firm. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s creative writing program, she finished her MFA at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. Her novel-in-progress was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarter-finalist. Some of Jen’s work can be found here.
Shannon Reed is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” and “Daily Shouts” columns, as well as to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. For Buzzfeed, she wrote the (in)famous piece, “If Jane Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy in a Writing Workshop,” among other work. Her essays have been published in Guernica, Vela, Longreads, Ozy, The Guardian, LitHub, Vulture, and The Washington Post. Check out her work at ShannonReed.org, @SReed151 (Twitter), @knittingchick (Instagram).
You are invited to join us on Saturday night (September 23rd) when City Books holds the local launch of The Love of Baseball, a new collection of essays edited by Post-Gazette writer (and Northsider!) Diana Nelson Jones. Written by and for baseball fans (or those trying to live with one), this collection of essays joins a perennial conversation all fans have— “Why do we love baseball?” Thirty contributors share personal narratives of how they found an abiding passion for the sport and how their relationship to it changed over the years. Tracing the thematic arc of a typical season, the essays begin with stories of spring training optimism, followed by the guts and grind of the regular season, and ending with the glory (or heartbreak) of the playoffs. Discussion and book signing to follow.
Saturday, September 9th
In 2014, J.D. indie-published his first novel, Forsaken, and through perseverance, ingenuity and creative marketing, took the title to the top of the bestseller lists around the world. His second novel, The Fourth Monkey, sold to traditional publishers for advances in excess of $1 million. His third novel, a prequel to Dracula, co-authored with Dacre Stoker and based on Bram Stoker’s original notes, sold in late June 2017 at auction to a Big 5 publisher. Two feature films and a network television program are in the works based on his novels. A native of Illinois, J.D. splits his time between Pittsburgh and Englewood, Florida. For more information about J.D. Barker, click here.
In addition to reading from his books…
J.D. will be talking about his experience with self-publication including:
- Agent or no agent?
- Freelance editors
- Query letters
- What is co-op?
A book signing will follow the event.
Join City Books in celebration of National Poetry Month on Saturday, April 22 at 7:00 pm when we host two of Pittsburgh best local poets.
Jennifer Jackson Berry’s first full length collection of poetry The Feeder was released from YesYes Books in December 2016. The manuscript was offered publication from the 2015 Pamet River Prize finalist list. She is also the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications 2014) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press 2003). She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Assistant Editor of WomenArts Quarterly Journal. She is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic and lives in Pittsburgh.
Jay Carson holds a Doctor of Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University and taught at Robert Morris University for many years, where he was a faculty advisor to the student literary journal, Rune. Now a full-time writer, Jay is the author of a chapbook, Irish Coffee, and a longer book of poetry, The Cinnamon of Desire. He has published more than 80 poems in local and national journals, magazines, and collections, including Connecticut Review, Folio, The Fourth River, Edison Literary Review, Louisville Review, and Southern Indiana Review.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with Literature!
Join City Books on Tuesday, February 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm for an energetic evening of language and poetry with Marc Nieson and Adriana E. Ramirez.
Marc Nieson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and NYU Film School. His background includes children’s theatre, cattle chores, and a season with a one-ring circus. His memoir, Schoolhouse: Lessons on Love & Landscape, was released from Ice Cube Press in 2016. He’s won a Raymond Carver Short Story Award, Pushcart Prize nominations, and been noted in Best American Essays. He teaches at Chatham University, edits fiction for The Fourth River, and is at work on a new novel, Houdini’s Heirs.
Adriana E. Ramírez is a Mexican-Colombian writer based in Pittsburgh. She won the inaugural PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize in 2015 for her novella-length work of nonfiction, Dead Boys, and in 2016 was named Critic at Large for the Los Angeles Times Book Section. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica/PEN America, Literary Hub, Convolution, and on Nerve.com. She was featured in the2014 Legends of Poetry Slam Showcase and in TEDxHouston, as well as in the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival. Her debut full-length work of nonfiction, The Violence, is forthcoming from Scribner.
See you at City Books for both readings…
Join City Book this Saturday, February 11, from 7:00-9:00 pm for an evening of staged dramatic readings from five Pittsburgh-area playwrights. The event is free.
A staged reading is a performance of a play without costumes or sets, voiced by actors while seated or moving only minimally. The stage directions are read aloud by a narrator. The purpose of a staged reading is to provide the writer or director insight into the effectiveness of the drama while it’s being developed. Audience feedback after the show is an integral part of the process. Celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early and experience the collaborative energy of drama as it’s made. Please see the City Books website for bios of the playwrights.
Join City Books on Saturday, January 14 from 7:00-8:30 pm
The Kyle Simpson Jazz Collective
Hear Kyle on trumpet, along with Paul Thompson on bass and Alex Ayers on keyboard. Kyle calls these guys his “dream team,” so you can be sure it is going to be a terrific night of jazz music. For a sneak preview, listen to “Allegheny Commons Stroll.”
Kyle Simpson, composer, trumpet player, and bandleader, is a graduate from Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI and The University of Montana in Missoula, MT. His composition teachers were Fred Sturm at Lawrence and Charles Nichols at The University of Montana. Simpson has written many works for large jazz groups, chamber jazz groups, solo trumpet, synthesized electronic music, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. His compositions have been featured at the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival in Missoula, where he also performed with Lew Soloff and Paquito D’Rivera. Other compositions have been featured at the Fête de la Musique Ile d’Yeu, France(2011), Uzmah Upbeat Croatia (2014), Charlotte New Music Festival (2013), Ostrava Days Czech Republic (2011), and The Henry Mancini Institute(2006), Los Angeles. Simpson’s music has been described as, “lively with rhythmic vitality” and also, “lyrical with a brooding elegance.”
A former Northside resident, Simpson currently lives outside of Pittsburgh, PA where he is an Assistant Professor teaching instrumental music at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA. He is also presently in the DMA program in composition at West Virginia University studying with Dr. Joseph Dangerfield and Dr. Sarana Chou.
Check out Kyle’s website for more information.
Location: City Books, 908 Galveston Avenue
Date: Monday, July 25th
Event Link: HERE
A dark fantasy tale, The Taming follows the brash Thystle Moran, sword for hire. Only one job has ever bothered her, one that promised to be easy money, but ended in the death of her friend. Now, an imp with questionable motives says her friend’s death was no accident. Thystle seeks retribution as her world spirals out of control. She faces off against her dark past, a betrayal, feelings for a young woman, and the interests of a shadowy group known only as the Immortals. Can she ever just catch a break?
City Books will continue its summer book club on July 20 at 7:00 pm. The book for July will be Life by Keith Richards. RSVP by June 20 to Arlan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-321-7323 with book orders.