Subscribe to Books and Reading RSS feed

Books and Reading

Literary Las Vegas: Andrew R. Nixon

In “50 Shades of Grades: My Journey Through Wacademia,” Las Vegas author Andrew R. Nixon traces his life path beginning as a mediocre student and navigating through academia to obtain “the ultimate degree in education,” the Ph.D. Nixon was a reluctant student, hardly what he or his teachers considered university material. Yet, his father was determined to push him into college. When a classmate said she was going to Brigham Young University, Nixon devised a scheme to thwart his father’s wishes. For more information on the book, email .

Literary Las Vegas: Benny Perez

It was a few days before Easter, 2010, and Church of South Las Vegas senior pastor Benny Perez’s life was at a high. His wife was pregnant and the church was prospering and poised for expansion. That’s when the storm hit. Perez lays out his troubles from the flatlining of his baby’s heartbeat during a routine ultrasound and the near loss of his wife to the financial crisis’ drag on the church and its members in “More: Discovering the God of More When Life Gives You Less.”

Book Briefs for Feb. 11-17, 2014

Literary highlights this week include a Las Vegas Romance Writers Conference and a visit by author Leni Zumas, who is scheduled to speak as part of the Black Mountain Institute’s Emerging Writers Series.

‘Josephine’ told in be-bopping style as if Baker was singing the tale

Patricia Hruby Powell’s children’s book “Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker” is written almost like scat: quick lines, be-bopping here and shooby-loobing there, rising and falling as though Josephine Baker herself was singing the story. It’s infectious, even in the sad parts. Your little one might not notice that hoppity-bop but once you do, you won’t be able to not see it.

Literary Las Vegas: James Bean

Stand-up comedian and casino host James Bean was “on the precipice” of suicide in the spring of 2004. “There I was, failed marriage, struggling father, floundering career in comedy, and absolutely no one to talk to,” he writes in his new book, “When the Humor is Gone.” Bean was well aware of the irony “of me being a comedian, bringing joy and laughter to so many when my own life was in turmoil and despair.”

Literary Las Vegas: Janet Coursey

It’s been four years since Sara Dobson’s husband, James, died from lung cancer. She feels his absence every day, but her life is full. Work and her connection to her four children and her grandchildren keep the 50-year-old widow going. While preparing for her youngest child’s 21st birthday, Sara rediscovers a side of herself she thought had died with James. Harboring secrets she can’t share for fear of hurting the people she loves, she turns in frustration to her grandfather clock, a 146-year-old heirloom she learns holds generations of her family’s darkest tragic secrets. Sara’s discovery is shared in Janet Coursey’s novel “The Secrets of Time,” which is set to be followed by “The Secrets of Time — Treasures of the Heart.” Coursey, who moved to Las Vegas in 1989 with the intention of opening a feed store, is a social media specialist for a local car dealership and is co-host of the radio show “Aspects of Writing” with James Kelly and Dana Micheli. The show is broadcast at 2 p.m. every other Tuesday and can be found at For more on the author, visit

Teens can take tips on vegetarian eating from new book

Looking for a basic intro to eliminating meat from your diet? You’ll find it in “The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian,” but there’s a lot of repetition to slog through to get it. That’s not to say that I didn’t like this book – because I did. It’s got humor, nutritional information, tips, and encouragement inside it, as well as argument-busters and a good section on eating disorders.

Book Briefs for Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2014

Literary highlights this week include the launch of comedy-magician Mac King’s book drive in anticipate of his Magical Literacy Tour. King plans to swap tickets to his show for donated books throughout February.

Literary Las Vegas: Eric James Miller

When things go wrong near the apartment complex at 399 Broadway, people attribute it to the rough neighborhood or the sour economy. What they don’t know is the neighborhood carries a curse from a “lustrous summer centuries before any European dared name the place Santa Monica Bay,” writes local author Eric James Miller in his novel “For Rent: Dangerous Paradise,“ the first in his planned For Rent mystery series.