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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

JAMIE'S BOOKSHELF: Need More Books For Summer Reading?

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

This is the second of a three-part series about recently-published books, mostly nonfiction.

Compiled by Jamie H. Vaught

–“Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World” by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, $17.99) delivers a practical road map for battling with and healing from anxiety, depression and stress-related illnesses. The book is now in paperback. The inspirational author currently serves as teaching minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

–“Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln” by Edward Achorn (Atlantic Monthly Press, $28) is not like the other Lincoln books that you may have seen or read. The 376-page hardcover, capturing the frenzy in Washington, D.C., during a critical moment in U.S. history, is a dynamic and readable story about the people, and the tension-filled hope and despair surrounding Lincoln’s second inauguration. The author, who is the editorial page editor of the Providence Journal, is a Pulitzer Price finalist for Commentary and winner of the Yankee Quill Award.

–“Shakedown: A Novel” by Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley (Broadside Books, $27.99) is a new political fiction penned by a former U.S. Congressman and a former Washington Post reporter with both authors having written several bestsellers together. In this 353-page novel, two Americans – a former FBI counterintelligence agent and an ex-Navy SEAL – are caught in the middle of a deadly crisis with a pending nuclear bomb attack and little help from the government that suspended them both. The volume is patterned after the book, titled “Collusion,” which came out in 2019.

–“Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (That Go A Long Way)” by Barbara Bush (Twelve, $22) is a new advice-oriented hardcover compiled by longtime Bush family friend Jean Becker, who served as deputy press secretary for Mrs. Bush in the White House. The former First Lady, who passed away in 2018, was well-known for handing out advice to her family, friends, staff, Supreme Court justices and heads of state about what to wear, what to say or not, and how to live your life.

–“A Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on Rodrigo Duterte's Early Presidency” by editor Nicole Curato (Cornell University Press, $23.95) is a collection of essays that offers an overview of Philippines’ current president’s rise to power and actions of his early days as the leader of that Asian nation. The 337-page paperback would be of interest as Duterte is often in the spotlight for his controversial moves, including his government’s shutdown of one of the country’s leading TV networks in early May. The 75-year-old Duterte is one of the most media-savvy authoritarian rulers of our time.

–“The Election of the Evangelical: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and the Presidential Contest of 1976” by Daniel K. Williams (University Press of Kansas, $39.95) is a comprehensive historical study of this presidential election. The author analyzed untapped archival materials to uncover the strategies of the Ford, Carter and Reagan campaigns as well as Republican and Democratic leaders, and explained why the election reshaped the political parties along ideologically polarized lines despite Ford’s and Carter’s efforts to the contrary. The author is a professor of history at the University of West Georgia.

–“The Will of God: Understanding and Pursuing His Ultimate Plan for Your Life” by Charles Stanley (Howard Books, $26) is a 193-page volume that can help you discover God’s purpose in this practical and insightful guide to hearing His voice. The well-known pastor from Atlanta teaches in a way that can help you draw closer to God and discover His awesome plan for your life whether you’re facing a major life decision, planning for the future or trying to walk with the Lord day by day.

–“After Reagan: Bush, Dukakis, and the 1988 Election” by John J. Pitney, Jr. (University Press of Kansas, $37.50) is an eye-opening look at a presidential campaign that featured pivotal moments such as Willie Horton, “Read My Lips: No New Taxes,” and Michael Dukakis wearing a helmet in a tank. The author, who has written several books, is a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College.

–“They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing the Dream on Obama’s Improbable Campaign” by Chris Liddell-Westefeld (Public Affairs, $28) is a thrilling, unlikely story of freshman U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign through the eyes of the youthful volunteers and staff, including the author himself. Drawn from more than 200 interviews, including President Obama, the book takes the readers deep inside the historic 2008 presidential campaign. The author spent five years on the Obama White House staff.

–“The House of Kennedy” by James Patterson and Cynthia Fagen (Little, Brown and Company, $29) is a fascinating account of America’s most storied family as told by the world’s bestselling and most trusted storyteller. The 421-page hardcover is filled with entertaining stories about a political family, which includes President John F. Kennedy, presidential candidates -- U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy -- and many other noteworthy figures.

–“The Fixers: The Bottom-Feeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President” by Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld (Random House, $28) is a remarkable political adventure in which greed, corruption, lust, and ambition collide, and that leads Donald Trump to the White House. The well-researched volume is written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Palazzolo and Rothfeld from the Wall Street Journal. They won the coveted prize for news coverage that revealed hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal along with Trump’s participation in both.

–“Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life” by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein (Little, Brown Spark, $24) is a 244-page hardcover that looks at ways to help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success and happiness that come with an organized desk and mind. The volume is filled with stories, studies and strategies to help you get rid of clutter and find space for work.

Jamie H. Vaught, a longtime sports columnist in Kentucky, is the author of five books about UK basketball, including newly-released “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey.” 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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