Clinton County Reads 2023 kicks off March 20

Clinton County Reads 2023 officially kicks off at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 20, at Watson Memorial Library, on the Wilmington College campus, with an address by local writer and publisher John Baskin, on “The Death of Reading.”

The public is invited to meet the speaker and enjoy refreshments, starting at 6.

Baskin, co-founder of Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington, is the author of a dozen books, most notably “New Burlington: The Life and Death of an American Village,” which was performed as a play at the Chautauqua Theatre Company in upstate New York.

His latest book is “Lords of Smashmouth: The Unlikely Rise of an American Phenomenon,” which Kirkus Reviews called “a masterful portrait of Buckeye Nation.”

Baskin has written for publications ranging from the New York Times and the Yale Review to Mother Jones magazine and TV Guide, and is a three-time winner of the Ohioana Award.

Other discussions and programs exploring the story and themes in this year’s Clinton County Reads book, “The Sentence,” by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich, are as follows:

March 15, 6 p.m.—Book discussion, Books and Brews Book Club, TinCap.

April 4, 6:30 p.m.—“The Power of Books,” Isa Fernandez and Kenzie Hahn, Blanchester Public Library.

April 13, 1 p.m.—Book Discussion, Daytime Book Cub, Wilmington Public Library.

April 13, 7 p.m.—Book Discussion, Blanchester Public Library.

April 17, 6 p.m.—“Ghosts of Wilmington College,” Stephen Potthoff and Lee Bowman, Wilmington College Watson Library.

April 20, 6:30 p.m.—Closing dinner, Moyer Room of the Wilmington Municipal Building, featuring keynote speaker Larkin Vonalt, director of the Dayton Book Fair, who will speak on “What Do We Do with 70 Tons of Books?”

Shoelaces Catering will take pre-paid dinner reservations, which are $20 per person, including beverage, dessert, and gratuity. Call 937-303-6166 by Friday, April 14.

Ole Town Tavern, 26 N. South Street, will host a pre-dinner social hour, from 5 until 6:15 p.m., featuring a specialty cocktail inspired by Erdrich’s novel, in addition to their regular cocktails, wines, and beers.

This year’s community-wide reading program also features a sentence-writing contest. Guidelines and the online entry form are at . Winners will be announced at the closing dinner.

National Public Radio book critic Maureen Corrigan called “The Sentence absorbing and unquiet, “like the era we’re living through, (and) keeps us readers on the alert for the next improbable turn of events looming ahead of us.”

Copies of “The Sentence” are available at all of the public libraries in the county, at Wilmington College’s Watson Library, and from Books ’n’ More, online at, or by calling 937-383-7323.