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Book Notes: Jan. 1, 2012

By Staff reports

'Fascinating' e-book

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Fascinating West Virginia" -- The Charleston Gazette's colorful account of Mountain State scandals, upheavals and oddities -- has been expanded into the newspaper's first digitized e-book, now available through Amazon.com.

The original printed book has sold about 1,600 copies. For the electronic version, seven new illustrated chapters were inserted by Editor James A. Haught, whose columns constitute the volume. Haught has been at the Gazette for 60 years, and has covered thousands of state events.

Additions include accounts of the bloody 1920s mine wars, the 1960 primary election that propelled John F. Kennedy to the White House, the Hawks Nest tunnel tragedy, the civil rights struggle that wiped out racial segregation in the Kanawha Valley, and the like.

West Virginia has enormous outmigration, with ex-residents in dozens of states. Many of those departed people feel nostalgia for their former home in the hills. The new Gazette e-book is designed to provide them a treasury of lore about their birthplace, while also serving as a West Virginia reference.

The electronic book can be ordered online for $9.99 by visiting Amazon.com and entering the title or author name.

KCPL adult reading club

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A news release from the Kanawha County Public Library reminds its patrons to make time for reading this winter. To encourage cold-weather reading, the library is offering an Adult Winter Reading Club beginning Tuesday at its branch libraries.

Club members register and are given a sheet of prize drawing slips. To win prizes, submit one book title each month by dropping the slips in the box at your local library between the dates on the slips. The program ends March 31.

Books must be checked out from a KCPL library or downloaded from WVDeli, and they can't be children's books.

Mafia heroines

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marita Fowler has written a women's novel, titled "Fat Assassins," which follows the misadventures of two West Virginia heroines. The book is set in Nitro and includes visits to Hurricane, Pinch and Charleston.

According to the author, the book is about Southern-style sweet potatoes Shasta and Ulyssa, who have stuck together since their escape from third-grade fat camp. "But on one dark day, they both find themselves unemployed. A hazardous job hunt sees them turn down egg harvesting, drug dealing and phone sex before they settle for an exterminator job. Confusing mafia lingo leaves the girls thinking they're being interviewed to cope with a rodent infestation."

Book urges kids to play

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Debra Benedetti of Bridgeport brings back outdoor games from the 1950s and '60s to entice children to go outside and play in her new children's picture book, "Season of Play," published by Headline Kids.

The book is a collection of games and rhyming text complemented by soft pastel drawings by artist Ashley Teets.

"Fireflies. Bike rides. Warm rains. Board games. Now whatever the season, whole families can snuggle up and enjoy a slice of summer," children's author Cheryl Ware writes on the book's back cover. "Benedetti's lyrical verses and Teets' humorous drawings bring to life the joy of so many childhood universals. And the games and jump rope rhymes in the back will have generations to come up on their feet learning and participating!"

Benedetti is associate professor of English and the writing coordinator at Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, where she teaches a variety of writing courses.

The book is available through Headline Books (800-570-5951), Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


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