Ken Raymond
Features Book Editor

Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2011, his feature story on a traveling sideshow won first place in its category in the national Society for Features Journalism competition. In 2013, he won the Sweepstakes Award for best story in the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives contest.

A longtime crime and news reporter, he joined the Life staff in January 2011 and was named book editor in 2013.

He lives in Edmond with his wife, Amy, who also works at The Oklahoman, and four dogs (three Italian greyhounds and a Chihuahua).

  • Sign up for book discussion group

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Oct 2, 2015

    Oklahoma City University has hosted a book discussion series for years now. It's called "Let's Talk About It," and the next session will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in OCU's Walker Center, room 151. Attendees will discuss Billie Letts' book, "Where the Heart Is." An OCU news release spells out the details: "Oklahoma-born Letts’ novel ... begins when a pregnant teenager is dumped by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in a strange town. The book captures many of the seamier aspects of life in the state, but also highlights the willingness of its residents to help strangers. The homeless teenager experiences pregnancy and childbirth, abandonment, poverty and the devastation brought by a tornado.

  • Upcoming writers' retreat in Stroud

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    Time is running out, so I just want to get this information to you as fast as possible. The following is a news release about a rapidly approaching children's writers event in Stroud. ------------------ Local writers and artists will have the opportunity to further develop their craft at an upcoming two-day retreat designed to teach the essentials of publishing for children. Oklahoma's chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators will host their 2015 fall retreat Oct. 9-10 at Stroud, conveniently located right between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. This year, attendees will experience in-depth study into their own area of interest, with individual tracks for illustrators, picture book authors,

  • Alas, poor Morrissey

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

    People seem to love Morrissey or hate him. I can't say I care much about what he says or does when he's not on stage or in a recording studio, but when it comes to his music, count me in the "love" category. He's been my favorite vocalist since the Smiths, featuring Morrissey and all-time great guitarist Johnny Marr, burst onto the college radio scene in the 1980s. I stuck with Moz, as he's sometimes called, when the band broke up and have followed his solo career for decades. Some of you -- the ones who despise Morrissey and all he stands for now -- may be judging me. That's OK. Morrissey is a catalyzing figure with an acid tongue.

  • 5 questions with Edmond author Rachel Vincent

    Published: Sun, Sep 27, 2015

    Edmond author Rachel Vincent discusses the inspiration behind her latest book, "Menagerie."

  • Book signings in Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Sun, Sep 27, 2015

    Book signings in Oklahoma

  • Book review: 'Menagerie' by Rachel Vincent

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sun, Sep 27, 2015

    Best-selling Edmond author Rachel Vincent has written at least 20 books, many of them in the supernatural romance genre. Her new book, “Menagerie,” is aimed at a more mainstream audience, and she may just have another best-seller on her hands.

  • Book review: 'Lagoon' by Nnedi Okorafor

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Updated: Mon, Sep 21, 2015

    The basic premise of “Lagoon” is simple enough. Extraterrestrials have landed in the ocean near Lagos, Nigeria, and they have sent an ambassador to meet with the president of the West African nation. The execution of the plot, though, is anything but simple.

  • Book review: 'The Blackthorn Key' by Kevin Sands

    Ken Raymond Book Editor | Updated: Mon, Sep 21, 2015

    Kevin Sands’ debut novel, “The Blackthorn Key,” is intended for readers ages 8 to 12, but teens and grown-ups will enjoy it, too. As Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, said of Sands’ book: “Magic, adventure and things that go boom — I love this book!”

  • Oklahoma book signings

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Mon, Sep 21, 2015

    Oklahoma book signings

  • Purely Subjective: Kendiana Jones. This is cool. Ouch.

    Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Mon, Sep 21, 2015

    Ken Raymond: I’d always liked movies, but this was something different. I almost felt as if I was Indiana Jones.

  • Five books I wish I'd read

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Sep 18, 2015

    The best thing about my job is that I'm paid to read books. The worst thing about it is that I can't read them all. Since age 4, when I started reading, I've seldom been without a book in my hand. My parents used to chastise me when I was little because I'd bring books to my older brother's basketball games and read in the bleachers instead of paying attention to the game. I used to awaken them most mornings by trying to tiptoe through their bedroom to get to our home library; I tried to be quiet, but my mother read the newspaper each night one page at a time, then discarded them on the floor until she cleaned up in the morning. Walking silently on those thin sheets of paper would've required the skills of a Shaolin monk.

  • Hey, Harry Potter fans!

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Thu, Sep 17, 2015

    News from the front lines of the Potter-verse. Sadly, J.K. Rowling doesn't have a new book coming out that continues the story of Harry and his friends. But she does have a book coming out, one that I'm sure will be a necessity in many Muggles' homes. Oct. 6 marks the release date of a special edition of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," featuring more than 100 full-color illustrations by Jim Kay. Rowling herself selected Kay to be the illustrator. I haven't gotten a sneak peek of the book, but press materials promise the illustrations are "stunning." If nothing else, they'll add a new visual layer to the story. I wouldn't be surprised if the other books in the series get the same treatment as time

  • Ten words derived from books

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Wed, Sep 16, 2015

    We all know that books are made of words, but did you know that some words derive from books? We have all kinds of words to describe really big things -- gigantic, huge, towering, humongous, enormous, massive, etc. -- but one of the coolest ones is "gargantuan." In our "gi-normous" world, we don't use gargantuan enough, at least in my opinion. The word comes to us from "Gargantua," the title of a satirical 1535 work by Rabelais. "Gargantua is a giant with a ravening appetite (eating, for instance, six pilgrims in a salad)," the Merriam-Webster website explains.

  • Smile, it's Oklahoma State Fair time again

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Wed, Sep 16, 2015

    After nearly a year of planning, scheduling, booking, building and setting up, the 2015 Oklahoma State Fair opens its gates to the public Thursday morning.

  • Oklahoma ties: Book signing on Tuesday, Sept. 15

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Sep 14, 2015

    You won't want to miss this book signing. Joe Urschel will sign his new book, "The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation," beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place. I very much wanted to review this book in advance of Urschel's visit, but I ran out of time. I regret that a lot, because among other things, I want to know if Urschel is related to Charles Urschel, the wealthy Oklahoma City oilman who was kidnapped by the notorious gangster. I've looked around online and haven't been able to find an answer to that question. Here's how describes the book: "It's 1933 and Prohibition has given rise to the American gangster -- now infamous names like Bonnie and

  • Sept. 14 is big day in writing history

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Sep 14, 2015

    Good and bad things happened on this day in history, including things involving authors and songwriters. Here are some of those things, courtesy of 1321 -- Dante Alighieri, better known simply as Dante, dies hours after completing "Paradiso," the final entry in his "Divine Comedy." (The others are "Inferno" and "Purgatorio.") Dante is widely regarded as the greatest Italian poet in history and one of the greatest poets of all time. Some refer to him as the founder of the Italian language, because he wrote not in Latin, as was typical of the time, but in vernacular Tuscan, making his poetry accessible to a broader swath of the Italian people and establishing it as a vibrant written language.

  • Book review: 'Quirky to Modern Art Quilts: Hippie at Heart' by Judy Howard

    By Ken Raymond Book  Editor | Published: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    For years, Judy Howard has been selling quilts at special events in order to raise money for a variety of charities. She also sells and signs copies of her “1905 Cookbook,” which feature recipes from the dawn of the 20th century. Now Howard has written a new book, “Quirky to Modern Art Quilts: Hippie at Heart.”

  • News and notes about books in Oklahoma

    COMPILED BY KEN RAYMOND, BOOK EDITOR | Published: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    News and notes about books in Oklahoma

  • Book review: 'Alice' by Christina Henry

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sun, Sep 13, 2015

    ‘Alice’ goes farther down the rabbit hole.

  • Five books about 9/11

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Sep 11, 2015

    Even after 14 years, we continue to feel the sting of 9/11, a day that sliced us to the bone and has hobbled us ever since. We experience its aftermath each day: enhanced security at airports, rampant distrust of Muslims from those who cannot distinguish fanaticism from religion, regular arrests of terror suspects here and abroad, wounded soldiers, loss of privacy and a constant low-level buzz of watchfulness and fear. Few people need to explain where they were that day or what they felt, for those of us who survived, whether in New York City or thousands of miles away, were wracked by the same fright and outrage. It was worse for those who lost loved ones and those who didn't know for hours or days if the people they