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Inside Chat with Kevin Gibson

If you are familiar with the New York Times Book Review, you may have seen the section where authors and social figures are interviewed about current events or newly released books.  Back in April 2021, I had the opportunity to interview Kevin Gibson, a Louisville author and resident.  You may remember his contributions to the LEO Magazine years ago talking about food and beer culture in the community or may have checked out one of his published works at the library.  Here is my inside chat with Mr. Gibson. I hope you enjoy the conversation.


Could you tell everyone a little about yourself?

I am a nerd who loves things like Batman and Star Wars but who also loves sports (especially the Green Bay Packers) and history. I’m very social and tend to make friends easily, yet I am also introverted and enjoy “decompressing” by spending time alone and/or with my dog, Atticus. I also love tacos and sushi.

Growing up, did you know you were going to be an author?  Who encouraged you to pursue this profession?

I first wanted to be a comic book artist. I also had a brief time when I thought I wanted to be a Hollywood stunt man. But when I was in the fifth grade, a local TV journalist came to my class to talk to us about journalism. We did a mock news broadcast and I was given the job of being the sports copywriter. I was hooked for good on the idea of being a writer.

How did you first get into writing and what inspired you to write about specific topics?

I took my first journalism class as a sophomore in high school and never looked back, becoming an active member of the school newspaper staff, then going to college for journalism and English. I have kind of gone through phases, and I think this goes back to my wide variety of interests and passions; my focus was to become a sports writer, which is where I started. After a few years of covering sports, I realized it was starting to burn me out on sports, which was something I didn’t want to ruin as a pastime, you know? I ended up writing film reviews, music reviews, restaurant reviews and more feature/people-oriented stuff from there. I also spent a few years trying my hand at horror fiction, which was a passion for me back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. But I had very little success getting my creative writing into magazines, so that eventually fell by the wayside.

What kind of reader were you as a child?  Did you have a favorite author or books that stuck with you the most?

I read a lot of comic books – sorry, graphic novels – but also read the usual stuff. My favorite book from childhood was “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. It really fed my imagination and showed me a story can really go anywhere you want it to. Later, I went through my sci-fi/fantasy phase (Piers Anthony, anyone?), and I remember reading several books about dogs during my tween years – I have always loved dogs, and love stories when they are cast as the hero. I’m sentimental that way.

What is one thing you enjoy the most about Louisville or the Kentuckiana area?

I love the feeling of intimacy juxtaposed with the many features of larger cities, like pro sports, the dining scene, the museums, the parks. Louisville certainly has its problems, but there’s always a lot to do. I also love the neighborhoods and their interesting and unique histories. And I love patronizing the local breweries. I guess that’s more than one thing, though, isn’t it?

What is your wheelhouse as a reader?  Meaning what genres, tropes, themes and such grab your attention to read?

It again depends on mood or phase. I have been reading non-fiction almost exclusively in recent years, from biographies to history to books about actors or TV shows. But as noted, I went through a long stretch in which I was obsessed with horror fiction, especially short fiction. I would go to Hawley-Cooke Booksellers almost weekly to buy horror magazines like Cemetery Dance.

What are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading Jerry Seinfeld’s latest book, “Is This Anything?” It’s basically material he never took to stage or to the TV show, so you can just read it in his voice and it’s like you’re at a Seinfeld live show.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, has your writing been impacted in any way?

Yes, although I would never call it writer’s block – I don’t believe in writer’s block. For me, the loneliness and depression I went through when I basically had nothing left to write about – being a restaurant/night life writer in a pandemic is a non-starter, you know? – Just sapped me. Also, my mother was very ill as the pandemic began and she died last year on Mother’s Day. So much about 2020 just killed my energy, and I know I’m not alone. Thank goodness I had my current book project in front of me to look forward to. That one should come out this fall.

Do you have a favorite setting when it comes to writing and/or reading?

I can’t say that I do. I wrote most of my beer history book (“Lousville Beer: Derby City History on Draft”, 2014) at the bar at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Highlands. But my last couple of books I’ve written mostly at home on my couch. I can write anywhere, really, because once I get in “the zone,” I can block out pretty much anything. Well, except for my dog, who sometimes forces his way into my lap to get my attention. Hard to dissuade a 70-pound hound dog.

You are hosting a dinner party and can invite any 3 people regardless if they have passed away or are still living, who would you invite?

Wow. Well, Bart Starr would have to be one. He was an idol for me starting at age 9, and just seemed like such an honorable and decent man. After that, maybe John Lennon. I think it would be fascinating to hear his views on what the world has become today. And the third would be my grandfather, just because of how much I miss him every day and would love to just be with him again. I never knew I could miss someone so much until he died.

What are your top 3 restaurant in the Louisville area both past and present? If someone is going to buy you a meal what 3 restaurants would you pick and why?

These questions are really mean. Ha. I have to say one would have to be the late, great Maido on Frankfort Avenue. I love Dragon King’s Daughter, but Maido was special to me. I used to joke with Toki, the owner that I may as well just sign my paycheck over to her every week. There was also a little short-lived gem I loved called Taste of Jamaica. The owner, Ibuka (who I believe is still making food around town), was just great, and the jerk wings were the best I’ve ever had. Every meal I had there was wonderful. But currently? It goes back to mood. Some days I have to have El Mundo. The Irish Rover gets a lot of my money. Anyplace with a seafood boil, like Storming Crab (yes, I realize it’s a chain). Seviche is magnificent. I really like Jake & Elwood’s, too, and I recently tried I Love Tacos and was pretty blown away. Sorry I can’t pick three, it’s just impossible for me.

You released a book in 2014 called Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft and contributed to LEO Weekly a section about beer, how has the beer culture evolved to the present day?  Do you see any new opportunities/businesses in a couple years?

I’m not a brewer or a business man, but breweries remained open during the pandemic, and that tells me there’s still room for growth in Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As long as the beer is good, I think a brewery has a shot to make it. And I love that each of Louisville’s breweries seem to have found its own identity – that tells me there is still opportunity. I still am a firm believer that the breweries that will have the most staying power are the ones that serve their neighborhoods and are able to adapt. And I think the bourbon boom actually does offer opportunities for breweries here in Kentucky that might not exist elsewhere.

What can you tell folks about your book being released in the fall titled, This Used to be Louisville?

It’s a look around the city at places that we generally know as one thing but once were something else. In some cases, it’s a historical place that deserves recognition; in other cases, it’s just some random place in a random neighborhood. For instance, there’s a little Italian restaurant on Frankfort Avenue that originally was a toll house that marked the outskirts of the city at the time. It’s one of the last such toll houses from the early 19th century that still exist in Kentucky. Big picture, I wanted to look at a wide variety of buildings and places to drive home the point that so much has happened in the spaces we regularly frequent or merely drive past on our way to living our day-to-day lives.

Kevin Gibson’s published works that are available at LFPL:

Interview by MicahSt Matthews Branch

Harvey Award Nominees for 2020

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Ian Bertram/Image Comics

The nominees for this year’s Harvey Awards showcase a comic industry filled with possibility, with a breadth of material being celebrated from Boom! Studios’ horror series Something Is Killing the Children to Eleanor Davis’ deeply personal, political graphic novel The Hard Tomorrow.

The Harveys, named for creator Harvey Kurtzman — known to most as the creator of MAD magazine, will be a digital event this year, with the award ceremony livestreamed as part of ReedPop’s New York Comic Con Metaverse, the virtual replacement for the annual New York Comic Con show.

Nominees for this year’s awards have been chosen, as always, from a curated committee of industry voices, including creators, retailers, educators and librarians.

The full list of nominees for the 2020 Harvey Awards:

Book of the Year
Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second)
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (Drawn and Quarterly)
The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis (Drawn and Quarterly)
Invisible Kingdom Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (Dark Horse Books/Berger Books)
Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope by Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram (Image Comics)
Making Comics by Lynda Barry (Drawn and Quarterly)
Reincarnation Stories by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)
Rusty Brown by Chris Ware (Pantheon Graphic Library)
Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (BOOM! Studios)

Digital Book of the Year
Afterlift by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo (comiXology Originals)
The Eyes by Javi De Castro https://www.javidecastro.com/theeyes
Fried Rice Comic by Erica Eng https://friedricecomic.com/
Harley Quinn: Black White & Red edited by Chris Conroy, Maggie Howell, Andy Khouri, and Amedeo Turturro (DC Comics / DC Digital First)
The Nib edited by Matt Bors https://www.thenib.com

Best Children or Young Adult Book
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir by Robin Ha (HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray)
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
Stargazing by Jen Wang (First Second)
Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC Comics)

Best Adaptation from Comic Book/Graphic Novel
Blacksad: Under the Skin video game by Microïds, based on Blacksad (Dark Horse Comics)
I Am Not Okay With This by Netlfix, based on I Am Not Okay With This (Fantagraphics)
Joker by Warner Bros. Pictures, based on Batman (DC Comics)
Legion: Season 3 by FX Productions and Marvel Television, based on X-Men (Marvel Comics)
Locke & Key: Season 1 by Netflix, based on Locke & Key (IDW Publishing)
The Old Guard by Netflix, based on The Old Guard (Image Comics)
The Sandman audio drama by Audible, based on The Sandman (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Stumptown: Season 1 by ABC, based on Stumptown (Oni Press)
The Umbrella Academy: Season 2, by Netflix, based on The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse Comics)
Watchmen by HBO, based on Watchmen (DC Comics)

Best Manga
H.P. Lovecraft’s At Mountains of Madness by Gou Tanabe (Dark Horse Manga)
The Man Without Talent by Yoshiharu Tsuge (New York Review Comics)
The Poe Clan by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Way of the Househusband by Kousuke Oono (VIZ Media)
Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama (Kodansha Comics)

Best International Book
Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (Drawn and Quarterly)
The House by  Paco Roca (Fantagraphics)
Portrait of a Drunk by Olivier Schrauwen, Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot (Fantagraphics)
Stay by Lewis Trondheim and Hubert Chevillard (Magnetic Press)
Year of the Rabbit by Tian Veasna (Drawn and Quarterly)
Note: This category has been reconfigured for 2020 from 2019’s “Best European Book” to be more inclusive of other works.

Stay Connected with the Library at this Time!

Our mission is to provide the people of Louisville and Jefferson County with the broadest possible access to knowledge, ideas and information, and to support them in their pursuit of learning.

 

  • Curbside pickup of library materials is available at all 17 locations. For more information, visit org/curbside
  • New Library cards will be granted virtually – follow directions at org/getcard
  • Restrictions due to overdue fines and replacement fees have been lifted for digital access.
  • Recently expired and soon-to-be expired library cards are extended until December 31st.
  • Late fees are suspended at this time. Return materials during operational hours.
  • In-person computer use is available by appointment only. For more information, visit org/appointment

For up-to-date information on the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

For info on community assistance and other resources, go to https://www.lfpl.org/coronavirus.html

South Central Regional Library is Now Open

The Okolona Branch has moved and is now the South Central Regional Library

 | 7300 Jefferson Boulevard, Louisville, Kentucky 40219 | (502) 964-3515 |

The new 40,000-square-foot South Central Regional Library is now open.The state-of-the-art facility replaces the considerably smaller Okolona branch library and enhances service for more than 160,000 people in south central Jefferson County. Filled with new books and cutting edge technology, the library is a place that encourages learning at all stages of life.

The South Central Regional Library is an awe-inspiring space, with an abundance of natural light and incredible views of more than an acre of preserved woodland. The building also offers two large community meeting rooms, several smaller rooms for studying, reading, or collaborating, a dynamic space for teens, and an expanded children’s area. This new regional library is also outfitted to serve the area’s technology needs, with more than 100 computers, a maker space, and LFPL’s first laptop checkout kiosk. And, of course, it offers more than 120,000 books, DVDs, and other materials!


Hours

  • Monday – Thursday: 9 – 9
  • Friday and Saturday: 9 – 5
  • Sunday: 1 – 5

Directions

The South Central Regional Library is located at 7300 Jefferson Boulevard at McCawley Road near the Jefferson Mall.

From I-65 – Take exit #127 for the Outer Loop. Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles.  At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left.  Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about a half mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.

From 265 — Snyder Freeway – Take exit #10 for I-65 north. Go about one and a half miles to exit #127 for the Outer Loop.  Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles.  At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left.  Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.

From 264 — Watterson Expressway – Take 264 to the I-65 South exit (#12).  Go about 4 miles until you get to exit #127 for the Outer Loop.   Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles.  At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left.  Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.

From Outer Loop, east of Preston, Jefferson Mall area – Head west on Outer Loop toward I-65. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left.  Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.

From Fern Valley Road – Head south on Preston Highway. Go approximately 1 1/2 mile to the intersection of Preston Highway and the Outer Loop.  Turn left onto Preston Highway and head east on for about two miles.  At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left.  Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.


COLLIDER Artist-In-Residence Program

South Central also includes another first for LFPL, an artist-in-residence space called COLLIDER, made possible through generous funding from Councilwoman Madonna Flood. This new programming space will feature rotating artists throughout the year with whom patrons can interact, both informally and at regularly occurring programs. Click here to learn more.


 History

Though memories have been handed down through the years of bookshelves in stores where one could “borrow” to read, the first official library in Okolona was established in 1958 in the Okolona Community Center (which later became the Okolona Woman’s Club on Blue Lick Road). Mrs. Stanley Williams was the first librarian, with the able assistance and direction of Ms. Mary Morgan, librarian at Southern High School. Okolona Woman’s Club members manned the facility that started with 800 donated books.

Growth demanded a move to Southern High School, and from there the library moved to quarters in a mobile unit in the shopping center across from Southern. In 1985 a new library was constructed at 8003-R Preston on property donated by Cumberland Bank. Growth then demanded another move . . . this time when places were exchanged with the Jefferson County Police and Employees Credit Union at 7709 Preston.

Still located in Okolona, this latest move also comes with a name change: the South Central Regional Library. This new, modern regional library is more than four times larger than the previous location. A spectacular quilt made by the Okolona Women’s Club is on permanent display in the new South Central and showcases the history and community pride of Okolona.

 

Spotlight: A Great Way to Find the Books You Are Looking For!

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NoveList is a great tool for those who are either searching for a particular title (especially if one is unsure exactly what the title may be) or are just looking for recommendations.

This database is designed for use by readers of all tastes.  It opens with a clean, uncluttered splash page and has easy to use navigation buttons or tabs.  There is also a search engine if one would prefer to use text as the method of search.

Here’s what Novelist will look like when you click on the link (which can be found on the right side menu here on the Reader’s Corner or under LFPL‘s Research Tools page):

NoveList Display

How does it work?

The easiest way is to use the Basic Search box at the top of each page.  There you will be able to search for a title, author, series, or topic. When you use the default Keyword options from the drop-down menu, NoveList will search for your terms in the full text of all NoveList content, including annotations, reviews, and NoveList articles and lists

You can conduct a more focused search by selecting the Title, Author, or Series options from the drop-down menu.

Searching for books by an author:

Because the Basic Search box searches the full text of reviews and articles, NoveList will search for all instances of the author’s name when you enter it in the Basic Search with the default Keyword option selected. From the Author tab of your Result List, you can click on an Author link to access the Author Detail page.  From the Author tab, you will also be able to access the Detail pages for any pseudonyms that the author uses.

If you enter an author name in the search box and select Author from the search options drop-down menu, NoveList will ONLY search the Author Detail pages. An exact match will take you directly to that Detail page.

At the Author Detail page, you will find all books by the author, all series by the author (when applicable), all NoveList content about that author, and author to author recommendations when available.

Searching for books with certain plot characteristics:

In NoveList, you can search for books with certain plot characteristics using the Keyword option from the drop-down menu at the Basic Search box.

Search for a series:

You can search for a series from the Basic Search box by entering a series name and selecting the Series option from the search options drop-down menu. An exact match will take you to the Series Detail page, which includes a list of all of the titles in reading order. If multiple series match your search, they will be listed under the Series tab of your Result List, where you can click on the link to the Series Detail page.

Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to help narrow your search:

  • AND tells the database that ALL keywords used must be found in an article in order for it to appear in your results list.
  • OR broadens a search by telling the database that ANY keywords it connects are acceptable.
  • NOT narrows your search by telling the database to eliminate all terms that follow it from your search results.

Once you find a suitable title, it will have a wealth of information about the book (Description, Keywords, Appeal Terms, Tone, Writing Style, and Book Reviews).  It will also link you to the database’s info on the Author and give detailed information about the book itself (e.g. Publisher, ISBN, or Dewey Number).  The Book Reviews are especially helpful as they are not overlong or academic but are descriptive of the general storyline and its quality.  Reviews are supplied by reputable sources such as Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly

What’s New at the Library?

LFPL News

RSS at LFPL Check out what’s going on at the library with our Louisville Free Public Library news. Click here to see the current issue.

Audio

RSS at LFPL Listen up for recommendations on the best in new audiobooks. Each month, you’ll hear about new spoken-word audios to keep you entertained, enlightened and in-the-know.

Click here to see the current issue.

Book Sizzle

RSS at LFPL A weekly roundup of reading recommendations including bestsellers, new arrivals, collection highlights and books discussed on television and radio this week. Look for this newsletter in your inbox every Friday afternoon, just in time for the weekend. Then stop by the library to pick up your selections.

Click here to see the current issue.

Bookletters Daily

RSS at LFPL Stay in the know — sign up for this newsletter and receive a review of the “Book of the Day” each morning.

Click here to see the current issue.

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Author Events and Book Talks Around Louisville

The List is a service of the Louisville Free Public Library, spotlighting author events for our partner organizations. For more information please email us.

Events are free unless otherwise noted.


MARCH 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 8:30 a.m.: Tom Rath, bestselling author of Strengths Based Leadership and How Full is Your Bucket?  will give a keynote address at the Best of Leadership Summit at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts at 501 W. Main Street. Learn more online or by calling (502) 561-0458.

Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m.: Louisville’s own Tania James will read and sign her newest novel, The Tusk That Did the Damage, at Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave.  Learn more online or by calling 502-896-6950.

Tuesday, March 24, 6:00 p.m.: The Kentucky Author Forum presents David Boies, author of Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality.  Boies will be interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin. Toobin is a prominent legal journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker, senior analyst for CNN, and author.  Purchase tickets at the Kentucky Center’s box office or drive-through on Main Street, by calling 502-584-7777 or 800-775-7777, or online.

Thursday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.: Novelist Michelle Latiolais will read from her work in the Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library as part of the William Axton Reading Series at U of L.  Learn more online or by calling 502-852-6801.

Tuesday, March 31, 7:00 p.m.: Sam Halpern will read and sign his debut novel, A Far Piece to Canaan, at Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave.  Learn more online or by calling 502-896-6950.

APRIL 2015

Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.: U of L professor and novelist Paul Griner will read from his work in the Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library as part of the William Axton Reading Series at U of L. Learn more online or by calling 502-852-6801.

For information about author appearances throughout Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Literary Newsletter.

Book Sizzle

Looking for new reading suggestions? 

Each of the lists below feature titles with descriptions and links to LFPL’s catalog

Click on your favorite genre or expand your horizons and try something new!


What’s hot in fiction, from young sensations, established literary masters, and tomorrow’s bestsellers. Selections in women’s fiction, historical novels, suspense and more.

 

Enter the world of romance fiction, where love is always exciting and new. You can read reviews of the best new romance novels, from historical and contemporary love stories to romantic suspense and inspirational titles.

 

Truth is often stranger than fiction. If you lean towards true stories, you’ll want to check out this list to see the newest non fiction titles added to the library.  Whether your goal is improving your personal finances, or leading your company to record sales, get a heads-up on books that will help you get ahead in the business world.
Get the lowdown on the hottest whodunits. Check out your favorite sleuths, forecasts of promising new mystery series and profiles of top writers in the world of crime fiction. From self-help and fitness to home decor, books designed to fit your active lifestyle and renew your spirit are featured here. This list will steer you toward the best new cookbooks, gardening guides, pet care manuals and more.
Are you a fan of thrillers, espionage, westerns…? Don’t miss this list of fiction adventure titles new to the library. Find out about cutting-edge discoveries and travel to exciting destinations. Including the best new books in medicine, biology and the great outdoors.
Stay informed on the people, places and events that influence world affairs. Check out new books on current events, along with recommended memoirs, biographies and history titles. Step into the future with reviews of new science fiction titles that will take you to brave new worlds. This list also recommends rising stars in fantasy and alternate history.
Independent readers will appreciate these monthly recommendations on exciting new chapter books in fiction and nonfiction. A monthly preview of the best new books for budding readers. You will learn about sure-to-please choices for storytime.
Take a sneak peek at the hottest new titles for young adults. From science fiction to romance, history to mystery, these monthly picks for teens offer something for every reader.