Truth and Justice for Fun and Profit:
By Michael Heaton
(Gray & Co., $24.95)
Name it. If Michael Heaton hasn’t seen or done it, he probably knows someone who has. And that’s what this book is all about. Heaton, who has a gift for telling stories, fills his pages with robustly multifaceted and real characters. Stories about FBI undercover operations, heroin in the suburbs, emergency departments and the coroner’s office provide a personal perspective. Heaton artfully lets his subjects tell their own stories, while juxtaposing them against his own keenly observed details. A roster of notable Clevelanders become relatable through his in-depth reporting. Casey Coleman, Packy Malley, Harvey Pekar, Ray Johnson, Brendan Sheehan and Gary Collins all open up to the city’s Minister of Culture. Mixed in with these stories from a rich cast of characters are the ones Heaton knows best: his own. First-person tales of demolition derbies, trouser shopping and an amateur boxing ring reveal he is equally adept at sharing his own tales.
— Tori Woods
Browns Scrapbook: A Fond Look Back at Five Decades of Football
By Chuck Heaton
(Gray & Company, $14.95)
Sure, you know about Paul Brown. But did you actually know the legendary Browns football coach? Chuck Heaton did. How about Art Modell? Chuck Heaton once lent him $50. Heaton, who covered the Browns for The Plain Dealer for 47 years, has an intimate connection with the inner workings of the team and both its well-known and long forgotten names. He tells an insider’s tale of training camps, terrifying plane rides, hopeful Hall of Fame nominations, emergency stitches, an emotional locker room when JFK was shot, kind words about former Steelers owner Arthur Rooney and more, capping it off by ignoring the constraints of time and creating his all-time greatest Browns team. Heaton turns his newspaper articles and unique experiences into a perfectly packaged read for Browns fans who think they know all the ins and outs of the franchise. Even new fans will enjoy learning where current coach Romeo Crennel’s team came from, providing a chance to get a front-row seat to a team history that stretches back more than half a century.
— Meredith Valko