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Jamie’s Bookshelf: A collection of recent nonfiction titles to help keep you warm this winter


By Jamie H. Vaught
KyForward Columnist

• “Adolph Rupp and the Rise of Kentucky Basketball” by James Duane Bolin (University Press of Kentucky, $40) is the first full-length, critical biography of “The Baron of the Bluegrass.” The 408-page hardcover is based on over 100 interviews as well as newspaper accounts, court transcripts and other archival materials. If you’re a Kentucky Wildcat fan, it’s a remarkable volume that you don’t want to miss if you’d like to know more about the legendary Rupp and UK hoops history. The book is expected to be released in late February. The author, who has written several books, is professor emeritus of history at Murray State University.

• “Camelot’s End: Kennedy vs. Carter and the Fight that Broke the Democratic Party” by Jon Ward (Twelve, $28) is a well-written hardcover of Sen.Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign against incumbent President Jimmy Carter. It is a comprehensive study of a dark chapter in U.S. political history with the tales of two extraordinary men. The author is a senior political correspondent for Yahoo News.

• “The Chicken Runs at Midnight” by Tom Friend (Zondervan, $24.99) is a heartwarming story about a major league baseball coach whose teenage daughter was dying and her words remarkably changed his heart for good. Through the eyes of coach Rich Donnelly, the hardcover weaves baseball history with personal memoir.

• “A Fine Team Man: Jackie Robinson and the Lives He Touched” by Joe Cox (Globe Pequot Press/Lyons Press, $27.95) is a remarkable baseball story which features not only Robinson, but nine other figures whose lives were altered by the “great experiment,” as the integration of baseball was called then. As you may know, Robinson was the first African-American to play major league baseball. The profiles include Robinson’s wife Rachel, baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ team captain Pee Wee Reese, and announcer Red Barber, among others. Cox, a Kentucky native who has written several sports books, has covered UK football for KySportsStyle.com Magazine and other outlets.

• “Birds of Pray: The Story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Faith, Brotherhood, and Super Bowl Victory” by Rob Maaddi (Zondervan, $24.99) explores the Christian faith shared by many of the 2017 team’s players with inside stories behind the Eagles’ surprising capture of the Super Bowl championship.

• “Team of Vipers: My 500 extraordinary Days in the Trump White House” by Cliff Sims (Thomas Dunne Books, $29.99) reveals the incredible story about the West Wing through the eyes of former Special Assistant to the President. Sims had unprecedented access to the President and attended private meetings with leading congressional officials, world leaders and top White House advisors.

• “Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change” by Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz (Currency, $30) is a personal and inspiring volume about how to deal with changes we face every day.  One of the most successful women in business, Comstock discusses her personal experience in leading change with lessons on overcoming the frustrating roadblocks. The author was the former Vice Chair and head of marketing and innovation at GE.  The book was chosen a 2018 Best Business Book Pick by Fast Company and Wired UK.

• “Merchants of Truth” by Jill Abramson (Simon & Schuster, $30) is a gripping story about the rapidly-changing news media, following four companies — The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and VICE Media — over a decade of uproar and radical adjustment. The author, a senior lecturer at Harvard University, was the first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor for the New York Times.

• “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics” by Chris Christie (Hachette, $28) is a revealing 420-page memoir about the outspoken former governor of New Jersey and his political rise. A friend of President Trump for 15 years, Christie is a former presidential candidate who became the first major official to endorse Trump. He discusses Trump and the controversial issues like Bridgegate and the Kushner saga.

Jamie H. Vaught, a longtime columnist in Kentucky, is the author of four books about UK basketball. He is the editor of KySportsStyle.com magazine and a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro. You can follow him on Twitter @KySportsStyle or reach him via e-mail at KySportsStyle@gmail.com.


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