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JAMIE'S BOOKSHELF: Nonfiction Books To Keep You Entertained This Spring


Compiled by Jamie Vaught

Here are some nonfiction books that you may want to consider to keep you warm this winter.

--"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.

--“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 Magazine and other outlets.

--“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.

--“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.

--“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.

--“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. There is a controversy about the 535-page volume due to the issue of plagiarism but the author has acknowledged that some parts of the book weren't credited properly. Abramson, 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.

--"Here's the Pitch: The Amazing, True, New, and Improved Story of Baseball and Advertising" by Roberta J. Newman (University of Nebraska Press, $34.95) examines a remarkable connection between baseball and advertising as both constructors and reflectors of culture. The author writes about the development in both industries from the birth of the partnership with advertising spreading the gospel of baseball at the same time as pro baseball helping to develop a body of consumers ready to absorb advertising messages. The 319-page hardcover looks at baseball stars from Ty Cobb to Babe Ruth in the 1920s and '30s to the present, and shows what qualities made them the perfect pitchmen for new products at key moments.

--"In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy" by Frederic Martel (Bloomsbury Continum, $30) is a startling and revealing story of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican. The new 555-page hardcover is published in 20 countries and in eight languages, exposing a disturbing account of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today. The author, who has a PhD, is a French writer and researcher.

--"The Case for Trump" by Victor Davis Hanson (Basic Books, $30) discusses how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience defeated 16 well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become president of the United States. The author, an award-winning historian, explains our country needs the outsider Donald Trump to do what normal politicians would not and could not do.

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