Pittsburgh is home to many incredibly talented authors. Whether they were born here, lived here or created an entire industry here, these authors have books that are worth a read. Here are the top five authors whose books are worth reading or rereading this summer.
Sarah (Sally Hobart) Alexander
Sarah Alexander is an award-winning author of eight children’s and young adult books that focus on the same theme of issues relating to living as a blind person in a seeing world. An unapologetic fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Alexander is a Pittsburgh resident who has taught classes at Chatham University since 2000. Some of her most loved titles include “Mom’s Best Friend” and “Taking Hold: My Journey Into Blindness.” Alexander is currently working on an adult book about her guide dogs.
Take one look at John Manders’ website and it is obvious that he has a natural gift for creating eye-catching illustrations. Educated at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Manders is the illustrator behind over 30 children’s books including “The Year Without A Santa Claus” and “Prancing, Dancing Lily” – a phenomenal book about a cow who leaves the farm and becomes a famous dancer. Manders is proud of his Pittsburgh roots and frequently participates in and contributes artwork to various fundraising efforts for nonprofit organizations throughout the city.
Ellen F. Harlow
Ellen Harlow is a Pittsburgh resident and author of many self-published books including her latest, “Who Will Pick Me Up Today?” Harlow is an author whose works are published through Dorrance Publishing located in downtown Pittsburgh, a refreshingly friendly publishing house that will gladly read any transcripts sent to their office and encourages everyone to visit the office on Smithfield Street. Pick up Harlow’s book from Dorrance Publishing’s amazing online bookstore. Many titles are available as an immediate PDF download and are priced well below ink and paper book prices.
Gertrude Stein was born in Pittsburgh in 1874. Though she did not stay in Pittsburgh, she is still an author and artist that Pittsburghers claim as one of their own. Setting up residence in Paris at the turn of the century, Stein made a name for herself as a sort of “homeroom mother” for American ex-patriots who left the US for France. Though she did a fair amount of painting, Stein also authored the best-selling book about her life and love in Paris, “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” which gained her wide recognition as an author. Through the brilliant work of Project Gutenberg, this Pittsburghers most famous work is available to read for free here.
Known by Pittsburghers as the father of the steel industry and the namesake of the Carnegie Public Library system, Andrew Carnegie also authored an incredibly compelling autobiography that is a very worthwhile read. The book offers a deep look into the life of Carnegie; the man, the business owner and the philanthropist he became when he retired. The “Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie” chronicles his beginning as a poor kid in Scotland to his life as the richest man in the world at the turn of the 20th century and is available at many CLP branches.
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.