Prison guard seeks criminal to end his life in new novel
Greenville native Andrew Armacost’s The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide is the story of a man who finds his life isn’t worth living, so he decides to end it.
Wesley Weimer is so far in arrears with his child support payments that he decides that simply killing himself would be unremunerative, because suicide would void his life insurance policy, so it will be more gainful to find someone to kill him. That might be easier for Wesley than it would for the rest of us: “True, most people don’t know many professional killers, but lucky me, I’m a prison guard.”
What could follow might be a dark comedy, with Wesley finding a willing assassin and then changing his mind. Unfortunately, Armacost almost immediately drops the plotline for another 175 or so pages, instead using the space for Wesley’s complaints about his poverty, his ramshackle home, his relationships with his ex-wives (both of whom are black, but whose culture and appearance he disparages) and his lack of education. Wesley’s problems aren’t enough to make him a sympathetic character.
The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide (277 pages, softcover) costs $12.95 from Moonshine Cove Publishing.
Book offers advice for writers
Former Akron resident William A. Gordon has compiled 1001 Tips for Writers: Words of Wisdom about Writing, Getting Published, and Living the Literary Life. The tips aren’t numbered, so we’ll take his word about there being 1001 of them. Most of them are attributed to a famous author, editor, critic or other literary source.
Though writing comes before publishing, Gordon starts his book with quotes about publishing and marketing, maybe so the writer can see what he’s getting himself into. Many of the quotes are insightful and astute, some are glib, and some aim to console the struggling, such as Joseph Heller’s “Every writer I know has trouble writing.”
1001 Tips for Writers (190 pages, softcover) costs $15.95 from the author’s North Ridge Books, www.nrbooks.com. William A. Gordon is an alumnus of Kent State University, and also is the author of The Ultimate Hollywood Tour Book, a guide to homes, movie and TV locations, and the sites of various notorious events; and Four Dead in Ohio: Was There a Conspiracy at Kent State?
Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Cleveland native Daniel Stashower has won the 2014 Edgar Award in the category of Best Fact Crime and Agatha Award as Best Nonfiction. It is Stashower’s third Edgar and third Agatha.
Shaker Historical Society (16740 S. Park Blvd., Shaker Heights) — Nina Freedlander Gibans and James D. Gibans launch their book Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home, 1930-1970, based on the 2007 Cleveland Artists Foundation exhibition of the same name, 3:30 p.m. today.
Barberton Public Library (602 W. Park Ave.) — Children’s author Conrad Storad brings his newest book Fang and Stinger: An Arachnid Story, 6 to 7 p.m. Monday.
Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.) — Former Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels discusses The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt, 7 p.m. Monday. Free, but registration required; call 330-653-6658.
Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Road, Stow) — David Giffels reads from and signs The Hard Way on Purpose, 7 p.m. Tuesday. Registration requested; call 330-688-3295.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Highland Square branch, 807 W. Market St., Akron) — The Friends of the Library brunch at 10:30 a.m. Saturday is followed at 11 a.m. by David Giffels, who will give a presentation based on The Hard Way on Purpose. Free, but registration requested; call 330-376-2927.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Tricia Springstubb, author of the wonderful children’s books What Happened on Fox Street and Phoebe and Digger, reads from Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig as part of Indies First Storytime Day, 11 a.m. to noon Saturday; Irv Korman, author of I Was Jerry Lewis’ Bodyguard for 10 Minutes!, talks about his follow-up book, I Was Jackie Mason’s Chauffeur for 5 Minutes, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. The second installment of the shop’s Spring Writing Workshop, “Character Arcs and Development,” featuring author Sam Thomas (The Midwife’s Tale), will be held May 18; call 330-653-2252 to register.
Kenmore Community Center (880 Kenmore Blvd., Akron) — Beacon Journal columnist Mark J. Price signs The Rest is History: True Tales from Akron’s Vibrant Past, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, during the Kenmore Historical Society’s open house.
Barnes & Noble (4015 Medina Road, Bath Township) — The Spring Local Author Exhibition features Jane Turzillo (Wicked Women of Northeast Ohio); Fred Tribuzzo (American Sky); David Giffels (The Hard Way on Purpose); Gene Honeycutt (Alexander’s Long Trip Home); Joel Mader (Cleveland School Gardens); Douglas Graf (Bible Principles for Christian Dating); Ron Kuntz (Doodlin Ducks); Karen Harden (Been There, Survived That); George Simon (Losing You); Matthew Chojnacki (Alternative Movie Posters); Vince McKee (Jacobs Field); Ty Schwamberger (Last Night Out); Brianne Dishong (That Girl with Cancer); Ali Maier (Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer); Dawn Clark (Squiggly Gets Glasses), 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere) — Charles Ramsey recalls his part in the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and signs his book (with Randy Nyerges) Dead Giveaway, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Southeast branch, 70 Columbus Road, Bedford) — Shelley Costa, author of the Italian Restaurant Mystery Series (You Cannoli Die Once was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and Basil Instinct will be released June 24), hosts a tea from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Registration required; call 440-439-4997.
Books, Nooks and Nibbles (8047 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights) — Columbia Station author Christine Benedict signs her mystery thriller Anonymous, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.