An independent bookstore showcased Mahoning and Shenango Valley talent.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
WARREN -- One of Ohio's largest locally owned bookstores devoted an evening to recognition of some two dozen local authors and musicians Thursday.
Jean Bolinger of Cortland, owner of Book Nook, which has been in Warren Plaza for more than 32 years, said the event was designed "to show people that there's talent in the Valley -- that there are a lot of authors in the Valley who have published their own books or have had them published by small presses."
The store conducted a similar event with about a dozen local authors about 10 years ago. "Independent bookstores are supporters of local authors. Many times it's difficult for them to get their foot in the door in a big chain store," Bolinger observed, adding that the authors enjoy meeting and talking to one another at such events.
The authors: "It's an opportunity to meet people who might be interested in reading the book and to try to sell the book," said Jeanne Mahon of Mercer, author of "The Wolf in the Woods," a collection of her poetry, which was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. However, Mahon said she wished Thursday's format would have permitted her to read aloud some of the poetry in her book.
Mahon, who was born and raised in Youngstown, said much of the work is based on her memories of living in Youngstown, and much of it treats women's issues "in a gentle, feminist way." She said she is working on another poetry book and a collection of short stories and would like to write a play some day.
"I wrote this book as a gift to my daughter," said Tina Pestalozzi of Cortland, author of "Life Skills 101," a guidebook on financial, social, job-hunting and time-management skills and consumer savvy for young people preparing to live independently. Pestalozzi said the book was inspired by her daughter at the time she left for college.
"I'm just so impressed with all the creativity that's here tonight. I think it's fabulous," said Pestalozzi, director of Global Protocol and Etiquette Services, who presents seminars on social and business etiquette.
The authors, who signed their books at the event, included residents of Trumbull, Mahoning and Mercer counties whose books are sold at Book Nook.
The subject matter was wide-ranging, including household and yard pest control; the dynamics of family, love, divorce and separation; philosophy, religion and metaphysics; genealogy; children's literature; contemporary adult humor; a picture book featuring the local steel mills; a relaxational audio tape; a cookbook; a wine selection and appreciation guide; a math activity book for grade-school children; and a biography of heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano.
The authors also included four local women who have survived breast cancer and written two books about their journey through the illness.
Musicians: Music was provided by Tia Ciferno of Warren, who sings religious songs in numerous local churches and special gatherings, and by Bill Lewis and Bill Davis, both of Girard, whose singing ranges from seafaring songs to bluegrass, and who accompany themselves on various instruments.