News

In September 2017, Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-1966) was released by Chicago Review Press, receiving strong reviews in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.

In June 2017, Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-1966) was lauded by Kirkus Reviews as “an authoritative account of pop-music history and the man who helped shape it.”

In April 2017, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome won the Sports/Fitness/Recreation category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. See Indie Book Awards for further details.

In March 2017, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome was selected as a Finalist in the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year competition for Architecture and Sports (Adult Nonfiction). See ForeWord Reviews for further details. 

In February 2017, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome was awarded the Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal by the Society for Baseball Research. See SABR for more details.

In December 2016, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome won the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book. See Penn State News for more details.

In November 2016, the condensed second edition of The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was published by Greenwood Press. See The Outlook for further details.

In October 2016, Ken’s work was featured in the program for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s “Beatles in Symphony” performance. See BeatlesNews for more details.

In September 2016, The Houston Chronicle‘s Ken Hoffman interviewed Ken about recent efforts in support of the historical preservation of the Astrodome, the subject of Ken’s recent book with his colleague Bob Trumpbour. See The Houston Chronicle for further details.

In April 2016, Ken was a featured speaker at the annual Fest for Beatles Fans in Rye, New York. See BeatlesNews for more details.

In July 2015, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four earned the Silver Award in the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year competition for Reference (Adult Nonfiction). See Monmouth in the News for more details.

In May 2015, Ken was appointed as Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University. See Monmouth in the News for more details.

In May 2015, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was selected as the winner in the Arts & Entertainment and Reference categories by the National Indie Excellence Awards. See the National Indie Excellence Book Awards for more details.

In May 2015, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was selected as the winner in the General Nonfiction category by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards

In April 2015, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was selected as the Silver Medal winner by the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Best Reference Work category. See Penn State News for more details.

In March 2015, Made to Order: The Sheetz Story was awarded a Silver Medal by the Axiom Business Book Awards in the Corporate History/Milestone category. See the Independent Publisher Book Awards for more details.

In March 2015, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was selected as a Finalist in the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year competition for Reference (Adult Nonfiction). See ForeWord Reviews for further details. The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four was also selected as a Finalist in the Independent Book Publishing Associations’s Benjamin Franklin Awards. See the IBPA for more information.

Special thanks to Something Else! Reviews and the Glass Onion Beatles Journal for including The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four on their year-end holiday gift lists! 

In October 2014, Made to Order: The Sheetz Story was honored with an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award by the Blair County Historical Society. See Penn State News for more details.

As reported in an August 2014 issue of Publishers MarketplaceKen has been commissioned to author a full-length study of Sir George Martin’s role as the Beatles’ legendary producer.

In July 2014, Ken’s latest book, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four, was published by Greenwood Press. See Penn State News for further details.

In June 2014, Playing the Angel earned the Bronze Award in the Literary Fiction category in ForeWord Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year competition. See Penn State News for more details.

In May 2014, Ken was interviewed by WAMC’s Joe Donahue about the Beatles’ enduring legacy. The interview was part of the network’s “Roundtable” series with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

In May 2014, Playing the Angel was selected as the Winner in the International Book Awards competition for General Fiction. See the International Book Awards for further details.

In May 2014, Playing the Angel was selected as a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards competition for Literary Fiction. See the National Indie Excellence Awards for more details.

In May 2014, Playing the Angel was selected for Best Cover Design in the 2014 Indie Book Awards Competition. See Penn State News for more details.

In April 2014, Ken was interviewed by Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate about the historic day in which the Beatles charted the top five slots on Billboard‘s Hot 100.

In April 2014, Playing the Angel was selected as the First Place winner for Best Contemporary Fiction by the Texas Association of Authors. See Penn State News for further details.

In March 2014, Playing the Angel was selected as a Finalist in the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year competition for Literary Fiction. See ForeWord Reviews for further details.

Ken was a featured guest on Voice of America’s February 2014 tribute to the Beatles! See VOA’s spotlight on the Beatles’ legendary arrival in the US for more details.

In February 2014, a revised third edition of Key Concepts in Literary Theory was published by Edinburgh University Press. For more details, see Penn State News. 

In January 2014, Ken was interviewed by National Public Radio’s Sharon Jackson in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ triumphant arrival in the United States.

In January 2014, Ken’s special issue of EAP: The Magazine, co-edited with Tod Davies, was published online. The  issue, devoted to “Liberty and Lyrics,” includes contributions from Chumbawamba’s Boff Whalley, poet Kelsey Liu, and author Brian Griffith, among others.

In December 2013, Ken delivered the Fall 2013 Commencement Address for Penn State Altoona at the Jaffa Shrine.

In December 2013, Steve Sheetz joined Ken for a book-signing at the Altoona Barnes & Noble in celebration of the publication of Made to Order: The Sheetz Story.

In November 2013, Playing the Angel was selected as an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards competition for Literary Fiction. See Penn State News for further details.

Ken was interviewed by Therese Boyd in the November 2013 issue of Research and Teaching about his work as a novelist and his experiences as the Penn State Laureate.

See Wendy Strain’s rave review of Playing the Angel in the US Review of Books.

Enjoy Ken’s new series, “50 Years of Beatles,” which will be published throughout the academic year by Penn State News. Ken’s latest column explores the origins of Beatlemania!

In October 2013, Ken was interviewed by Jill Gomez for Penn State’s Alumni InsiderThe magazine also offered a preview of Ken’s upcoming Texas Tour.

Ken and Todd Davis will be reading from their work at Northern Illinois University on October 10, 2013. For more information about Ken’s upcoming reading with Todd, see NIU Today.

In honor of 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, Penn State News published Ken’s essay entitled “Remembering the Restaurant at the End of the World.”

Playing the Angel, Ken’s third novel, was published in August 2013! See Penn State News for more details.

In July 2013, The Houston Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavarty reported on Ken’s visit to Houston with Penn State Altoona colleague Bob Trumpbour. Bob and Ken were in Space City to carry out research associated with their book-length study of Houston’s iconic Astrodome. See The Houston Chronicle for further details.

In June 2013, Ken was interviewed by author Chad Gayle about the creation of the Beatles’ controversial Let It Be album. The interview is entitled “Why Let It Be Went Wrong.”

In June 2013, Ken interviewed Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry on WPSU-FM. See WPSU’s StoryCorps for a recording of the broadcast.

In May 2013, The Restaurant at the End of the World was selected as the Gold Medal winner by the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Best Regional Fiction (Mid-Atlantic) category. See Penn State News for more details. In May 2013, The Restaurant at the End of the World was also selected as a finalist in the 2013 Indie Book Awards Competition.

On April 4, 2013, Ken was named as the sixth Penn State University Laureate. As Penn State News reports, the Laureate position was established to “bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic, and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences” across the Commonwealth and beyond.

In March 2013, The Restaurant at the End of the World was selected as a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, sponsored annually by the Eric Hoffer Awards for Short Prose and Independent Books.

In February 2013, The Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare was chosen by Library Journal as a “Best Reference 2012” selection, as announced by Penn State Altoona’s News on the Web.

On December 19, 2012, Ken was interviewed by Beatles author Jude Southerland Kessler for “The John Lennon Hour,” a regular feature on Beatles Internet Radio’s Beatles-a-Rama program. The interview is available as a series of podcasts on iTunes.

On November 24, 2012, Ken presented “Authorship, Nostalgia, and the Beatles” for Penn State’s 20th-Annual “Huddle with the Faculty” series at the Nittany Lion Inn. As Penn State News reports, Ken’s talk “traces the Beatles’ development as an artistic fusion” and “explores the band’s creative arc from their first, primitive recordings through Abbey Road and the twilight of their career.”

On October 28, 2012, Ken presented “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles” for the Penn State Alumni Association’s Los Angeles Chapter at Santa Monica’s Britannia Pub. Ken’s visit was sponsored by Penn State University’s “Research on the Road” series, as Melissa Beattie-Moss reports in Research Matters.

On October 25, 2012, Ken and his colleague Jerry Zolten presented “Bruce Springsteen, Cultural Studies, and the Runaway American Dream” for the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Lecture Series at Penn State’s Great Valley campus.

Ken was interviewed by Beth Browne for the Summer 2012 issue of Main Street Rag. Ken and Beth discussed the recent publication of The Restaurant at the End of the World, especially the novella’s real-world characters and historical background.

In October 2011, Ken was interviewed by Dawn Pellas on WTAJ-TV’s Central PA Live about Penn State University’s “Introducing the Beatles!” course.

In June 2011, John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel earned the Bronze Award in the Literary Fiction category in ForeWord Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year competition. As Penn State News notes, “The Book of the Year Awards program was created to spotlight distinctive books from independent publishers. Final selections are made by working librarians and booksellers based on their experiences with patrons and customers.”

In November 2010, The Northern Star’s Phil Case interviewed Ken about John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel, as well as about his upcoming reading at Northern Illinois University.

In October 2009, Ken and Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry published Penn State Altoona in honor of the college’s 70th anniversary. As The Altoona Mirror notes, “The book uses 180 photographs, explained with extended captions, to chronicle the history of the school, from its early days as a small branch campus built on the remains of a defunct amusement park to its recent decade as a four-year college.”