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Bob Dixon

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Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

JAMIE'S BOOKSHELF: More Exciting Books Coming Your Way

Compiled by Jamie H. Vaught

--A Grand Slam for God: A Journey from Baseball Star to Catholic Priest by Burke Masters (Word on Fire, $29.95) is a page-turning memoir that takes readers on an intimate personal journey—from his childhood outside of Chicago, to his success as a baseball star at Mississippi State, to his conversion to Catholicism, and finally, to his acceptance of his vocation. Father Masters is also team chaplain for the Chicago Cubs.

--Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Retention by Joey Coleman (Portfolio, $30) reveals a proven framework for keeping employees and still keep profits. Finding and keeping quality employees is one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today. With more people quitting their jobs each month than ever before and employees demanding flexibility, freedom, and advancement, companies are struggling to build a foundation with new hires that leads to long-term commitment. The author, who is one of the world’s leading experts on employee experience, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to recruit top talent, bring them on board successfully, and keep them engaged while they produce remarkable results for years to come. With more than 50 proven case studies from organizations around the world, the book offers a step-by-step playbook for creating a retention plan with long-term success.

--Tolkien's Faith: A Spiritual Biography by Holly Ordway (Word on Fire, $34.95) is the first-ever biography of well-known author J.R.R. Tolkien dedicated to exploring his deeply-held Catholic faith. An English writer and philologist, Tolkien was the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. How were his faith and his fiction related? The author answers this question biographically, focusing on Tolkien’s spiritual development, a dramatic story that previous accounts of his life have left largely unexplored. Tolkien died in 1973.

--Happy at Any Cost: The Revolutionary Vision and Fatal Quest of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh by Kirsten Grind and Katherine Sayre (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, $18.99) is a portrait about a beloved entrepreneur who was famous for spreading happiness. He lived and breathed this philosophy, instilling an ethos of joy at his company, outlining his vision for a better workplace in his New York Times bestseller Delivering Happiness. His outlook shaped how we work today. The book discovers Hsieh’s obsession with happiness masked his darker struggles with addiction, mental health, and loneliness. He died in 2020 at the age of 46.

--Rising Star: The Meaning of Nikki Haley, Trump's Unlikely Ambassador by Jason A. Kirk (University of Arkansas Press, $24.95) analyzes her ascendance in the Republican Party, from her governorship of South Carolina—during which she faced extraordinary challenges in a state reckoning with tragedy, race, and its own history—to her elevated profile as Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, where, as the daughter of immigrants and a woman of color, she became the face of his America First policy to the world.

--Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley by Angel Au-Yeung and David Jeans (Henry Holt and Company, $32) is a story about a business visionary who revolutionized both the tech world and corportate culture. He was also a man in search of happiness. So why did it all go so wrong? Drawing on hundreds of interviews with a wide range of people whose lives Hsieh touched, the book is a portrait of a man who was plagued by his eternal search for happiness and ultimately succumbed to his own demons.

--The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived: Tom Watson Jr. and the Epic Story of How IBM Created the Digital Age by Ralph Watson McElvenny and Marc Wortman (PublicAffairs, $32.50) is a fascinating story of Thomas Watson Jr.— a figure perhaps more important to the creation of the modern world than Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Morgan. Watson Jr. undertook the biggest gamble in business history when he “bet the farm” on the creation of the IBM System/360, the world’s first fully integrated and compatible mainframe computer. As IBM's CEO, Watson drove a revolution no other company—then or now—would dare, laying the foundation for the digital age that has transformed every society, corporation, and government. While he put IBM and its employees at risk, Watson also carried out a family-shattering battle over the future of the company with his brother Dick. This titanic struggle between brothers led to Dick’s death and almost killed Watson Jr. himself. He was touted by Fortune magazine as "the greatest capitalist who ever lived."

--Life After Power: Seven Presidents and their Search for Purpose Beyond the White House by Jared Cohen (Simon & Schuster, $32.50) tells the stories of seven former presidents. Each changed history. Each offered lessons about how to decide what to do in the next chapter of life.

Thomas Jefferson was the first former president to accomplish great things after the White House, shaping public debates and founding the University of Virginia, an accomplishment he included on his tombstone, unlike his presidency. The 486-page hardcover explores the untold stories in the final chapters of these presidents’ lives, offering a gripping account of how they went from President of the United States one day, to ordinary citizens the next. He tells how they handled very human problems of ego, finances, and questions about their legacy and mortality. He shows how these men made history after they left the White House. The bestselling author also wrote Accidental President: Eight Man Who Changed America.

--The Woman in Me by Britney Spears (Gallery Books, $32.99) discusses the pop singer's rise to fame and her struggles in the public eye, including a conservatorship that governed her life for many years. In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. The 277-page book illuminates the enduring power of music and love -- and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last. Spears is one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in music history, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

--Swamp Monsters: Trump vs. DeSantis -- The Greatest Show on Earth (or at Least in Florida) by Matt Dixon (Little, Brown and Company, $30) is an inside story of how Donald Trump made a star of Ron DeSantis and then set out to destroy him. A veteran Florida journalist and NBC News senior national politics reporter, the author pulls back the curtain on the titanic clash between a one-time kingmaker and a would-be king, showing how the battle between them has escalated, how it might end—and what it will mean for the country.

--The Yellow Pad: Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World by Robert E. Rubin (Penguin Press, $32) offers readers an essential guide for anyone looking to make better decisions in life, work, and public policy. The author, who was a former Secretary of the Treasury and a co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, shares his thoughts on decision-making developed over more than six decades in markets, business, government, and politics while helping the readers navigate during uncertain times.

--The Rebels: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Struggle for a New American Politics by Joshua Green (Penguin Press, $30) gives an epic account of the long struggle that has played out in parallel on the left, told through an intimate reckoning with the careers of the three political figures who have led the charge most prominently. Based on remarkable inside sourcing and razor-sharp analysis, the new hardcover uses the grand narrative of a political party undergoing tumult and transformation to tell an even larger story about the fate of America. Green is the same author who wrote Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising in 2017.

--Find Me The Votes: A Hard-Charging Georgia Prosecutor, a Rogue President, and the Plot to Steal an American Election by Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman (Twelve, $30) is the inside story of the prosecution of President Trump. The authors take us deep inside both the nerve center of Trump’s effort to steal the election and the DA’s team of prosecutors as they build their case against the president. Along with original reporting and exclusive access to thousands of secret documents, emails, text messages, and audio recordings, the 331-page hardcover includes exclusive interviews with key sources in the Trump conspiracy, as well as with the president’s top targets, including Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger and the Fulton County DA’s team -- featuring hours of interviews with District Attorney Fani Willis herself. 

Jamie Vaught, a longtime sports columnist in Kentucky, is the author of six books about UK basketball, including recently-published “Forever Crazy About the Cats: An Improbable Journey of a Kentucky Sportswriter Overcoming Adversity." He is the editor and founder of Magazine, and a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro. You can follow him on Twitter @KySportsStyle or reach him via email at


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