Stark Library’s Star-filled Author Series Unites and Inspires

August 23, 2022 (Canton, Ohio) – With the turning of the leaves comes the turning of the pages in Stark Library’s acclaimed Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books author series – and the 2022-23 line-up will not disappoint. Audiences will hear directly from some of their favorite, best-selling authors, covering topics from creating delicious meals to inspiring social change. The best part? All events are free at the beautiful Canton Palace Theatre.

“The Speaking of Books series has filled its purpose of creating lively discussion and community conversation since its start in 2016.” says Library Community Services Director Marianna DiGiacomo. “This series appeals to everyone from foodies to football fans to children. It also helps us understand one another better and build community.”

We kick off our five events in September with legendary NFL quarterbacks James Harris and Doug Williams, talking not only about their gridiron accomplishments but also the challenges of founding the Black College Football Hall of Fame. This event comes as fans gather in Canton for the Black College Football HOF Classic Weekend. They are joined by historian and author Joe Horrigan, who details the vital role historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play in the story of professional football.

In October, people are sure to laugh and grow in understanding, listening to Tyler Merritt, author of I TAKE MY COFFEE BLACK: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith and Being Black in America. Tyler is an actor, comedian, activist, and musician, appearing on the big screen in films like The Winter Soldier. He has also produced the viral YouTube videos, Before You Call the Cops and Walking While Black. Tyler entertains while illuminating and enlightening on the topic of racial injustice.

As the temperature dips in November, and we spend more time inside cooking, internationally renowned food writer and TV cook, Nigella Lawson, brings culinary delight. Nigella entertains with stories from her new book, Cook, Eat, Repeat. The author of 12 best-selling books and accomplished TV host is a household name to cooks of all levels across the world. Her adventures with food, as well as favorite recipes and ingredients, will make you want to get out your pots, pans, and baking sheets. Yum!

In February, when gray skies can dim anyone’s mood, families will brighten to the tales of Danni Washington. Danni is a self-described “educational mermaid” and the first Black woman to host her own science TV series. Her book, Bold Women in Science, captivates 8 to 12-year-olds with the inspiring Page 2 stories of 15 women who changed the course of science. Danni is also an avid scuba diver, passionate curly girl, and social media influencer under her alter ego, the "Mocha Mermaid."

Our series winds down in Spring when April showers bring nationally acclaimed weather forecaster Dylan Dreyer to the stage. Dylan, who also co-hosts the third hour of the TODAY show, combines science and social-emotional learning in her new picture book, Misty the Cloud. Learning about this little cloud with BIG feelings teaches kids in a colorful, fun way. Dylan is known for her engaging style and is sure to bring smiles to youngsters and adults alike.

Books will be available at all events for signing. Make sure to add the Speaking of Books dates and times at the Canton Palace Theatre to your calendar!

Speaking of Books 2022-23

James Harris, Doug Williams and Doug Horrigan Sept. 1, 8:00 pm

Tyler Merritt Oct. 18, 6:30 pm

Nigella Lawson Nov. 29, 6:30 pm

Danni Washington Feb. 16, 6:30 pm

Dylan Dreyer April 27, 6:30 pm

Stark Library is grateful to the namesake of our Speaking of Books Series, Dr. Audrey Lavin. Dr. Lavin is an accomplished Stark County-based author, who is also known internationally for her work in the field of education. She has taught in 17 countries and brings some of her international adventures to her whodunits: Eloquent Blood, Eloquent Corpse, and Eloquent Tattoo. For more information about the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books events, visit: