Some of Cleveland’s greatest restaurants are not unusual. For example, the Marble Room, known for its fine food and impeccable service, is a traditional steakhouse. It just happens to be located in a former bank, complete with safe-deposit boxes. Fran Golden and David G. Molyneaux’s “Unique Eats and Eateries of Cleveland” looks the other way, at those eateries with a little something different.

Something different might be poutine, the Canadian dish on the menu at Banter on Detroit Avenue, the Colombian street food at Barroco Arepa Bar or the Hungarian tortes served at Farkas Pastry Shoppe on Lorain Avenue. Something different also might mean a Polish Boy kielbasa food truck or a century-old Italian market. The authors give the scoop on about 100 places, enough for two years’ worth of tasty research. Of course, by then there will be more.

“Unique Eats and Eateries of Cleveland” (211 pages, softcover) costs $20.95 from Reedy Press.

'Glimpses of Heaven'

Thomas Hardesty says he has seen heaven, and he knows what happens after death. In his book “Glimpses of Heaven: Dream Visitations from the Afterlife — and a Visit to Eternity,” the Mogadore native recalls connections with loved ones including his father, grandfathers, grandmother, uncles and beloved pet cat.

Hardesty seems to have been endowed with the better sort of relatives; although he describes a “somewhat estranged” relationship with his parents, he and his wife had been planning a visit just days before he received a call that the elder Hardesty had died unexpectedly.

The author provides warm depictions of his family members, reminiscing about spending time with his cousins at his paternal grandparents’ home in Kenmore and his maternal grandparents’ farmhouse in Brimfield, where he fished and rode on all-terrain vehicles. His grandfather Clarence, or “Clar Clar,” who died in 1977, was Hardesty’s first visitation; in a 1985 dream, he saw Clar Clar at his home, with a message that grandmother Dee Dee would be following him soon in death.

Hardesty tells of his ailing cat, Sylvia, who communicated with him in a dream to tell him that it was time for him and his wife to euthanize her.

The third and final visitation from Hardesty’s father is the most consequential and dramatic: It is the one in which he sees heaven and learns the destiny of souls bound there, and the nature of God. Hardesty does not address why he has these experiences when few others do, or why his relatives choose to visit him.

“Glimpses of Heaven” (199 pages, softcover) costs $13.99 from online retailers. Thomas Hardesty is an alumnus of the University of Akron and has worked as a sports journalist.

Plan ahead

• The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series has announced its schedule for the 2019-2020 season, beginning Sept. 25 with New Yorker correspondent Jane Mayer, author of “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right,” and Frank Rich, executive producer of HBO’s "Veep," continuing with Michael Ondaatje (“The English Patient”) and wrapping up in May with Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry. Subscriptions start at $150; individual tickets go on sale Aug. 12. All will be held at Maltz Performing Arts Center in Cleveland. See the schedule at https://case.edu/maltzcenter/ or call 216-368-6062.

• The deadline is Wednesday to register for the May 22 Writers Live luncheon at the Weymouth Country Club in Medina, featuring Paula McLain, author of “The Paris Wife” and “Love and Ruin,” about Ernest Hemingway’s third wife Martha Gellhorn. Tickets are $25; visit any Medina County District Library location or mcdl.info/authors.

Events

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Olmsted Falls branch, 8100 Mapleway Drive): Berea native Dan Largent talks about his debut novel “Before We Ever Spoke,” about a retired baseball player, a Cleveland detective and his sister, 7 to 8 p.m. Monday. Register at 440-235-1150.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Firestone Park branch, 1486 Aster Ave.): Timothy Carroll signs “World War II Akron,” 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (North Royalton branch, 5071 Wallings Road): Scott Longert discusses “Bad Boys, Bad Times: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Prewar Years,” 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Register at 440-237-3800.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch, 1876 S. Green Road, South Euclid): New York University sociology professor Eric Klinenberg joins the Beyond the Book Jacket series to talk about “Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life,” 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Kim Langley hosts a tea to launch “Send My Roots Rain: A Companion on the Grief Journey,” 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Register at 216-382-4880.

Geauga County Public Library (Bainbridge branch, 17222 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls): Ruth Morhard talks about “Mrs. Morhard and the Boys: One Mother’s Vision, the First Boys’ Baseball League, A Nation Inspired," 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Michelle Houts of Westerville talks about her children’s book “Sea Glass Summer,” about a boy who has dreams about the sea glass he finds on the beach near his grandmother’s cottage, 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library (Coventry Village branch, 1925 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Cleveland romance novelist M. Michelle Dwyer reads from “Love and Do What You Will,” about an elderly woman recalling her life, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Barnes & Noble (4015 Medina Road, Bath Township): Elaine Bender joins Storytime and reads from her children’s book “I Am Exceptional,” 11 a.m. Saturday; religious and inspirational writers Jeffrey Nelson, Chris Bolinger (“Daily Strength for Men: A 365-Day Devotional”), Anne Boudreau and Petar Nenadov sign their works, 2 p.m. Saturday.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (60 S. High St.): Athens author Sharon Hatfield discusses “Enchanted Ground: The Spirit Room of Jonathan Koons,” about the 19th-century farmer who became a spiritualist and built a “spirit room” to conduct seances, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere): Neriah Edwards-Boone signs “Unchained! Sermonic Meditations on the Psalms: A Personal Story,” 2 p.m. Saturday.

Stark County Public Library (715 Market Ave. N., Canton): Former Canton City Council member Corey Minor Smith discusses her motivational autobiography “#Driven: From Juvenile Delinquent to Juris Doctorate,” 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma branch, 6996 Powers Blvd.): Bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey (“The Secret of Southern Charm”) talks about “The Southern Side of Paradise,” third in her Peachtree Bluff series about three sisters and their mother in a North Carolina town, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Register at 440-885-5362.

Visible Voice Books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): Lyndhurst travel writer and photographer Alex Shaland launches “Suburbanites on Safari: Chasing Lions and Giraffes in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

 

Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or lsherwin@thebeaconjournal.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.