Someday you, too, may find a rooster in your bathroom. What will you do? You could panic, or you could follow the lead of Cuyahoga Falls resident Trish Ostroski, who went about her business. Of course, as Ostroski explains in her memoir, “There’s a Rooster in My Bathroom: A Quest for Meaning in the Bathroom, the Boardroom and Beyond,” the bathroom was in her Peace Corps housing in Moldova, and she couldn’t begrudge the rooster shelter from the cold.

Startling as it may have been, the crowing visit is far from the most remarkable occurrence in Ostroski’s eventful life. In 1994, she was awakened by the Northridge earthquake, which threw her out of bed and made her condo building the “cover girl” for a news magazine, to illustrate the extent of the damage. Her car was smashed flat.

Every chapter ends with an inspirational quote — some from authors and statesmen, some from the author — that reflect her optimism. Completing the 2005 Los Angeles Marathon was grueling, but Ostroski was encouraged by a wrong-number caller who talked to her on her cellphone. A tumor resulted in a mastectomy but was benign.

The chapters are nonlinear; Ostroski relates the work she did with the Women in Theatre organization, which presented the Red Carpet Awards. She came to meet celebrities like Joan Van Ark, Debbie Reynolds and Michael Learned. A surprising brush with fame occurred when she was assigned to review a play based on “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury: her assigned seat was next to Bradbury’s.

The greater part of the book is devoted to the Peace Corps assignment. It had been a longtime interest that Ostroski finally decided to pursue in 2012. She spent 27 months in Moldova, teaching and providing art and cultural instructions. The book also includes the text of a short play Ostroski wrote about Zanesville (and Canton) Army nurse Sharon Lane, the only American servicewoman killed in the Vietnam War.

“There’s a Rooster in My Bathroom” (178 pages, softcover) costs $14.95 from online retailers. Ostroski will sign her book 8-11 a.m. Friday at Café Arnone, 2840 W. Market St., Fairlawn, and 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at the Polish American Club, 472 E. Glenwood Ave., Akron.

 

Klosterman returns

 

Kicking off with a tale worthy of the great master Saki, former Beacon Journal writer Chuck Klosterman offers a miscellany of cockeyed stories in his collection “Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction.” A man flying first class goes to use the lavatory and finds, sitting on the toilet, a puma. He returns to his seat and discusses with his neighbor, with decreasing degrees of probability, how this could have occurred. Then they order lunch.

A man has heard a pop-culture psychologist’s theory that it’s not possible to simultaneously “begin weeping while tasting something new and delicious,” so he scours the internet for a restaurant that will serve a phenomenal dish to his girlfriend while he breaks up with her. A woman interviews a prospective assassin to kill her husband, but his method disturbs her: his time frame is four years, as he’s “not like the other goons;” he plans to befriend the husband and make him so miserable he takes care of the job himself.

The stories are branded with the present day. In “Reality Apathy,” two friends meet to discuss the legitimacy of the ubiquitous holograms, deepfake videos and news reports they see on their phone screens. “Execute Again,” a rambling story about a bizarre high school football coach, has a stunning ending.

“Raised in Captivity” (320 pages, hardcover) costs $26 from Penguin Random House. Klosterman now lives in Portland, Oregon. He will read from “Raised in Captivity” 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Parma-Snow branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 2121 Snow Road. Register at 216-661-4240.

 

Giffels wins award

 

Former Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels has won the 2019 Ohioana Book Award in the nonfiction category for “Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life.” Giffels also won in the same category for his 2009 “All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House.”

 

Events

 

Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere): Kevin Gilheany signs “Minding the Helm: An Unlikely Career in the U.S. Coast Guard,” 2 p.m. today; Amanda Bibbo joins Storytime with her book “Why Am I Here? An Oak Tree Finds Her Purpose!” 11 a.m. Saturday.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Highland Square branch, 807 W. Market St., Akron): Dameka Woods, author of “The Chronicles of Hair Follicles,” talks about caring for hair of people of different races and ethnicities, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday.

Twinsburg Public Library (10050 Ravenna Road): Terry Pluto signs his sports books, including “The Browns Blues: Two Decades of Utter Frustration: Why Everything Kept Going Wrong for the Cleveland Browns,” 7-8 p.m. Monday.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Snow branch, 2121 Snow Road, Parma): Washington, D.C.-base Kwame Onwuachi reads from his memoir “Notes from a Young Black Chef,” 7-9 p.m. Monday. Register at 216-661-4240.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.): Lisa Damour, author of “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” appears 7-8:30 p.m. Monday. Register at 216-831-6868.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Nordonia Hills branch, 9458 Olde Eight Road, Northfield): Dave Schwensen signs “The Beatles in Cleveland,” 6-8 p.m. Tuesday.

Kent State University (Student Center Kiva, 1075 Risman Drive): Thomas Grace, author of “Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties,” gives the community keynote of the May 4, 1970, Then & Now: Voices for Change event, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Free, but registration is required; visit kent.edu/VoicesForChange.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Middleburg Heights branch, 16699 Bagley Road): Fiona Davis, author of “The Dollhouse,” “The Address,” “The Masterpiece” and “The Chelsea Girls,” host a lunch 12-1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Register at 440-234-3600.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Mogadore branch, 144 S. Cleveland Ave.): Photographer Johnny Joo presents “Ohio’s Forgotten History (Part 1),” 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

Mustard Seed Market & Café (6025 Kruse Drive, Solon): South Carolina author Mary Alice Monroe (“The Beach House”) talks about “The Summer Guests,” about a group of people thrown together by a hurricane, 6:30-8 p.m. Friday. Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.

Appletree Books (12419 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights): Poet Marion Boyer reads from her new collection “The Sea Was Never Far” with Karen Schubert, director of Lit Youngstown, 6:30-8 p.m. Friday.

Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Janice and Mike Olszewski talk about “Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy, and Loud: Tales of Cleveland’s Legendary Rock & Roll Landmarks,” 1-3 p.m. Saturday.

Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Julie Azzarello, chef and author of “Skinny Pasta,” talks about healthful recipes, 1-2 p.m. Saturday.

Akron-Summit County Public Library (Fairlawn-Bath branch, 3101 Smith Road): Les Roberts, author of the Cleveland-set Milan Jacovic detective series, appears 2-3 p.m. Saturday.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma branch, 6996 Powers Blvd.): Mary Alice Monroe joins Michelle Gable, author of “The Summer I Met Jack,” a novel about a Polish woman who has a 1950 romance with young John F. Kennedy, 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Register at 440-885-5362.

Register for the Aug. 6 launch of Lyndhurst author Mary Doria Russell’s new book “The Women of Copper Country” at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library. Call 216-382-4880.

Register for a visit with Edgar Award-winning author C.J. Box, who has written 20 books in the Joe Pickett series about a Wyoming game warden. Box will sign his new mystery “The Bitterroots” at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at Hudson Library & Historical Society. Register at 330-653-6658.