The Mercantile Library recommends: Books to gift yourself (or someone else)

The Mercantile Library recommends books from local authors to give this holiday season. Spread some extra cheer by purchasing your gifts from one of Cincinnati’s many local bookstores.

“It Was Always About The Work: A Photojournalist’s Memoir,” by Melvin Grier

Maybe no one knows the Queen City better than Melvin Grier. The West End native was a staff photographer for The Cincinnati Post for 33 years. In more than 100 photos, Grier shares the stories behind his most famous exhibitions and news articles. 

“100 Things to Do in Cincinnati Before You Die,” by Rick Pender

This wide-ranging to-do list, now in its third edition, hits all the Cincinnati highlights you can think of – Findlay Market! Graeter’s! Chili! – but also directs you to lesser-known delights. 

“From Bulldog to Bengal: The Joe Burrow Story Through The Eyes of His Hometown,” by Scott Burson & Sam Smathers

Through dozens of interviews with people from Joe Burrow’s hometown, Athens, Scott Burson takes readers through the highs and lows of the Bengals quarterback’s trek to NFL stardom. 

“Why We Love Baseball: A History in 50 Moments,” by Joe Posnanski

You might already have read “The Machine,” Posnanski’s account of the Cincinnati Reds’ thrilling 1975 season. In this new book, the Ohio-born, award-winning sports writer takes a long view of America’s pastime. 

“Dayswork,” by Chris Bachelder & Jennifer Habel

Poet Jennifer Habel and her husband, Chris Bachelder (“The Throwback Special”), both with the University of Cincinnati, collaborated on this slim, elliptical novel about a couple navigating family life and their own work, including a project about Herman Melville, during the pandemic. 

“On Earth As It Is On Television,” by Emily Jane

What happens when aliens land? This funny, heartfelt debut novel considers the effect spaceships might have on our modern world.

“The Last Caretaker,” by Jessica Strawser 

Cincinnati author Jessica Strawser’s newest novel is out in December. A woman looking for a new beginning by caring for a nature preserve finds herself trapped in a mystery. 

“Come With Me,” by Erin Flanagan

The third novel from Wright State University professor Erin Flanagan is a tense and twisty mystery in the vein of “Single White Female.” You’ll be dying to discuss this one with a friend. 


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