OcTBRfest 2023

Build your fall To-Be-Read List or get a head start on your holiday giving with signed books by local authors!

The image is a graphic representation of our OcTBRfest details. Specifically, that City Books is holding special author events every Saturday in October during regular business hours, 11-5. These include author signings, refreshments, and giveaways.

Last year, City Books held a one-day OcTBRfest at the end of the month with author signings, refreshments, and giveaways. This year, we are kicking off the month with a big celebration on Saturday, October 7–then continuing weekly throughout the month. See our schedule below for times, authors, and bios.

Saturday, October 7

12:00-4:00 PM Free comically correct portraits by Angela Love of Almost Polite Caricatures. With over 23 years teaching experience in Media Arts, Love’s character/caricature work has led to artist-in-residencies at both Touchstone Center for the Arts in Farmington, PA & the Disney Institute in Orlando.

12:00-1:30 PM Virginia Montanez, author of Nothing. Everything., a story of humor, a story of heart, a story of hope, and a story of what happens when a woman finally decides to fight for herself. Montanez is an essayist and history columnist at Pittsburgh Magazine.

The include image is a 3/4 length portrait of author Virginia Montanez wearing a white sweater and camel coat standing on a yellow bridge in Pittsburgh.

1:30-3:00 PM Joyce Tremel, author of the Brewing Trouble Mysteries and the Homefront News Mysteries (as Joyce St. Anthony). Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail.

3:00-4:30 Bonita Lee Penn, author of Every Day a Foot is Looking for My Neck. A Pittsburgh poet, Penn facilitates a monthly poetry workshop, is a member of Pittsburgh Black Feminist Reading Group, and is Managing Editor of the Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine.

Saturday, October 14

12-1:30 PM Edward Banchs, author of Heavy Metal Africa and Scream for Me Africa. Banchs is a freelance writer, independent researcher, and author whose work has primarily focused on the relationship between heavy metal and the sub-Saharan African continent.

1:30-3:00 PM Erika D. Johnson, author of The Encouragement Guide and founder of Beata Beatus, a B corp whose products and services promote positive socio-emotional and educational development in Pittsburgh. She currently works at Art Excursions Unlimited and serves on the board of Center of Life. (See additional information here.)

The image depicts Erika D. Johnson smiling and holding a an open copy of her book The Encouragement Guide.

Saturday, October 21

1:00-3:00 PM Andy McPhee, author of Donora Death Fog, and four books for young adults, as well as the author/editor of more than 750 health & life sciences articles. A former registered nurse, McPhee is Consultant and Fellow of the National Writing Project. His appearance at City Books commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Mon Valley tragedy on Oct. 18, 1948.

3:00-4:30 PM Alaina E. Roberts, author of I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land. Roberts is an award-winning historian who studies the intersection of Black and Native American life from the Civil War to the modern day. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh.

The image depicts Alaina Roberts, author of I've Been Here all the While: Black Freedom on Native Land.

Saturday, October 28 — Sports Saturday

12:00-1:30 PM Mark Fatla, author of Pittsburgh’s Historic Ballparks. Local writer and lifelong baseball fan, Fatla’s collection includes a wide variety of photographs, archival documents, and private collection memorabilia that provides a unique perspective on the rich history of Pittsburgh’s ballparks.

1:30-3:00 Tom O’Lenic, co-author of Immaculate: How the Steelers Saved Pittsburgh. Born in Donora and raised in Pittsburgh, O’Lenic is an accomplished biotechnology executive, sports enthusiast, and boutique winemaker now living in California. His father played minor league baseball, and his uncle was Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

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