Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Bill Geist  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Champaign, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Bill Geist on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection


Biographical and Professional Information

Bill Geist has won two Emmys, and many awards for his work as a humorist, commentator and reporter in television, newspapers and magazines. His shining moment came, however, while taking third in the Illinois State Fair Bake Off in 1979.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Toward a Safe & Sane Halloween & Other Tales of Suburbia
ISBN: 0812911504

Crown. 1985

The popular "New York Times" columnist provides a Baedecker to America's suburbs in a witty guide to the customs, holidays, crops, food, clothing and shelter, economy, and sports of the one-third of American's who live in suburbs

City Slickers
ISBN: 0517029006

Random House Value Publishing. 1990

Discusses the influential and powerless, the unusual and the common, native New Yorkers and tourists, and the others who give the city its character

The Zucchini Plague and Other Tales of Suburbia
ISBN: 0671634348

Fireside. 1987

The columnist for the New York Times provides a guide to the customs, holidays, crops, food, clothing and shelter, economy, and sports of the one-third of Americans who live in suburbs

Little League Confidential: One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival
ISBN: 0440508770

Dell. 1999

One coach’s completely unauthorized tale of survival, set in the manicured sandlots of suburban New Jersey

Bill Geist, semi-permanent coach of Curl Up ‘N Dye’s Fighting Hairdressers, brings us a riotously funny record of an institution and its inmates—the innocent kids, the ruthless coaches, the shameless moms, and the litigious dads. Just when it seems that Little League may be no place for a kid, this all-star line-up of conniving commissioners and mitt-impaired fielders sends the sport off and over the wall.

Praise for Little League Confidential

“Bill Geist is the funniest writer since Marcel Proust—I mean Mark Twain—no, make that Yogi Berra.”—Russell Baker

“A lighthearted romp . . . essential reading for seasons to come.”The New York Times Book Review

“Very, very, very funny.”—Larry King, USA Today

Monster Trucks Hair in a Can
ISBN: 0517167638

Random House Value Publishing. 1996

The Big Five-Oh! Fearing, Facing, and Fighting Fifty
ISBN: 0786212675

Thorndike Pr. 1998

Describing his personal struggle with the aging process, the author shares the trauma of receiving an AARP application, being unable to read the menu, and falling asleep at the party

Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf
ISBN: 0446678473

Grand Central Publishing. 2002

Bill Geist, who had never picked up a club before, sets off determined to learn the game and to uncover what accounts for America's infatuation with this "royal and ancient" sport. Geist's unique approach provides uproarious insight into the nuances of the game that will ring true for any golf lover.

Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small Town America
ISBN: 0767922735

Broadway Books. 2008

Celebrated roving correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning and bestselling author Bill Geist serves up a rollicking look at some small-town Americans and their offbeat ways of life.

“In rural Kansas, I asked our motel desk clerk for the name of the best restaurant in the area. After mulling it over, he answered: ‘I'd have to say the Texaco, 'cuz the Shell don't have no microwave.’”

Throughout his career, Bill Geist’s most popular stories have been about slightly odd but loveable individuals. Coming on the heels of his 5,600-mile RV trip across our fair land is Way Off the Road, a hilarious and compelling mix of stories about the folks featured in Geist’s segments, along with observations on his twenty years of life on the road. Written in the deadpan style that has endeared him to millions, Geist shares tales of eccentric individuals, such as the ninety-three-year-old pilot-paperboy who delivers to his far-flung subscribers by plane the Arizona mailman who delivers mail via horseback down the walls of the Grand Canyon the Muleshoe, Texas, anchorwoman who delivers the news from her bedroom (occasionally wearing her bathrobe) and the struggling Colorado entrepreneur who finds success employing a sewer vacuum to rid Western ranchers of problematic prairie dogs. Geist also takes us to events such as the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival (celebrating an inspiring bird that survived decapitation, hired an agent, and went on the road for eighteen months) and Sundown Days in Hanlontown, Iowa, where the town marks the one day a year when the sun sets directly between the railroad tracks

Along the wacky and wonderful way, Geist shows us firsthand how life in fly-over America can be odd, strangely fascinating, hysterical, and anything but boring.

“To say it very simply, freezer burn may very well have set in.” —neighbor on the frozen dead guy kept on ice in a backyard shed in Nederland, Colorado.

“Everybody loves a parade we were just geographically challenged.” —David Harrenstein, organizer of a parade in tiny Whalan, Minnesota, where viewers are in motion and the “marchers” stand still.

“We haven’t lost anyone off these switchbacks in at least ten days” —Mailman Charlie Chamberlain, leading us on horseback 2,500 feet down the sheer walls of the Grand Canyon.

“Ours are the finest cow chips in the world today,” —Kirk Fisher, enthusiast, in Beaver, Oklahoma, world cow-chip capital and cow- chip exporter.

“We live out in the middle of the corn and bean fields, and there’s not a whole lot to get excited about, you know?” —Dan Moretz, on celebrating the day the sun sets in the middle of the railroad tracks in Hanlontown, Iowa.

“It’s like drilling for oil sometimes you come up dry.” —Gay Balfour, who sucks problematic prairie dogs out of the ground with a sewer vacuum in Cortez, Colorado.

“All you have to do is beat the flies to it,” —Michael “Roadkill” Coffman on the secrets of cooking with roadkill outside Lawrence, Kansas.

“I ain’t gonna brake ´til I see God!” —driver named “Red Dog,” taking the track at a figure-eight school bus race in Bithlo, Florida.

“It’s a gift you either got it or you don’t.” —Lee Wheelis, world watermelon-seed-spitting champion, Luling, Texas.
“I am the mayor, the board, the secretary-treasurer, the librarian, the bartender —that’s my most important title —the cook, the floor sweeper, the police chief, and I have the books for the cemetery, if someone wants to buy a plot.” —Elsie Eiler, the sole citizen of Monowi, Nebraska.



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)