Sunday, October 12, 2014

Books by the Banks - 2014

 Yesterday (10/11/14) I attended Books by the Banks in Cincinnati with Tom.

 Their brochure uses a Charlie Harper-inspired poster. It was created exclusively for the event and designed by Matthew Dayler. Charley Harper's son, artist Brett Harper, was there signing posters. Previous year's posters were on display, too.

It's a great way to hear authors speak about their books and meet them in person. It was held at the Duke Energy Convention Center at 525 Elm Street.

 We accessed the convention center from Plum Street, walking from the YMCA. This is a view from the "sky bridge" attached to the center.

 The entrance of the convention center.

 And at the entrance is one of Cincinnati's "Flying Pigs". Look at the pretzel tail. This character represents the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, held each year in May.

 I was impressed by the architecture of the convention center.

 This balloon-laden hallway lead to the Books by the Banks exhibition.

 .... where we found crowds of people ...

(That's Tom in the green t-shirt) 

... and more people ....

... and still more people.

 I'm guessing that this character is one of the mascots of the Cincinnati Library. The kids loved him.

 "Congressional Bill" from School House Rock was there. He's known for his song I'm Just a Bill.

 Jeff Alt had a table in the author and book sale pavilion. He's written a number of books on the Appalachian Trail. I read A Walk for Sunshine some years ago and enjoyed it greatly. Recommended reading! Alt walked the entire 2160 mile AT while raising money for Sunshine Home, a facility for developmentally disabled residents in Maumee, Ohio. His brother, Aaron, has cerebral palsy and is a resident there.

 But I came mostly to see Hampton Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice which I read last summer.

 Sides is editor-at-large for Outside Magazine and has written for National Geographic, The New Yorker, Esquire, Preservation and Men's Journal. Sides was part of an hour-long question-and-answer session beginning at 11 am. Tom and I attended.

 Jay Stowe (l), editor of Cincinnati Magazine, and Hampton Sides

 This was the only presentation Tom and I attended. Tom said he has a sneezing fit when the presentation began but I didn't even hear it. I must have been too immersed in what was being said. In the Kingdom of Ice, by the way, Sides describes the "Grand and Terrible Polar voyage of the USS Jeanette" begun in 1879.
 I told Sides how much I enjoyed books about the Arctic and the Antarctic and that I usually found myself reading them in the winter. "Maybe I helped cool you down this summer," he said.

Bill Schmidt (l) meets Hampton Sides
Photo Credit: Tom Buhler

 I had Sides sign two books - In the Kingdom of Ice and Ghost Soldiers - both gifts from Tom. Thanks, Tom, you know just what makes me very happy!

 Adam Watkins is an illustrator who we watched give a talk to a group of children. First he read from his book - R is for Robot - and then he showed the children how he drew a robot (the book teaches the alphabet).

 With just a circle, then dark lines, the robot of the book began to appear on the white paper.

 Here's Watkins' table with books ready to sell.

 Watkins' young audience was attentive to his drawing-in-progress.

Loren Long (l) shakes hands with Tom Buhler

Tom brought a bag-full of books to the show and hoped to get them signed by illustrator Loren Long. When we first lined up, Long was leaving for lunch but we returned in half an hour and found Long willing to take the time to sign each.

 Long is author and illustrator of the Otis books. They're New York Times best-sellers.

 Long illustrated President Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing and Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples. He also re-illustrated the classic The Little Engine That Could. Both Tom and I found Long extremely friendly and outgoing. He shook hands with both of us.

The event ran from 10 am to 4 pm. It was free (how could you go wrong?).

 On the way back to the YMCA parking lot, Tom pointed out two Plum Street landmarks:

 Cincinnati City Hall

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

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