Local books for summer savoring

As we continue in relative isolation this summer, here are three local efforts from 2020 that illustrate the importance of lessons from the past…

“The Secret Women” by Sheila Williams (HarperCollins)

This new novel explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters. Though vastly different, three women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. As they meet regularly to sort through their mothers belongings, they learn that each of their mothers hid secrets—secrets that will transform their own lives. Through these meetings the three friends gain a better understanding of their mothers, and of themselves. They also come to realize they have what their mothers needed most but did not have during difficult times – other women they could trust.

Sheila Williams is the author of “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof,” “On the Right Side of a Dream,” “The Shade of My Own Tree” and “Girls Most Likely.” She also is librettist for “Fierce,” an original opera intended for Cincinnati Opera’s 100th season in 2020, but now pushed back to the summer of 2021.


“Cincinnati – An Illustrated Timeline” by Jeff Suess (Reedy Press)

Combining anecdotes and rich historical images, Jeff Suess chronicles Cincinnati’s development from frontier outpost through the almost chaotic growth of the mid-to-late 1800s and to the revitalized urban center we now enjoy. Each year is represented by vignettes and rich historical images of one or more key events.

Jeff Suess is the author of “Lost Cincinnati,” “Hidden History of Cincinnati,” “Cincinnati Then and Now” and “AAC 150” for the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s 150th anniversary. He is the librarian of the Cincinnati Enquirer, where he keeps the newspaper archive and writes about Cincinnati history.


“Cincinnati Sports Chronicle, Volume 1: 1869-1899” by James L. Farmer, Sr.
(Free Soil Publishing)

The first in a five-volume series, this extensive timeline explores the formative years of professional sports in Cincinnati from 1869 to 1899, highlighting events and games day by day, with interesting historical footnotes along the way. This era was dominated by baseball, the first sport to gain a professional foothold in the Queen City.

James L. Farmer Sr. is a lifelong lover of baseball, its tradition and history, especially as it relates to Cincinnati. He serves as archivist for the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

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