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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

JAMIE'S BOOKSHELF: Plenty of New Books for Summer Reading

This is the first of a three-part series about recently-published nonfiction books.

Compiled by Jamie H. Vaught

–“All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Tour of Appalachia” by Matthew Algeo (Chicago Review Press, $28.99) is a remarkable story about RFK’s two-day tour of eastern Kentucky in early 1968. At the time, U.S. Senator Kennedy was a former Attorney General who was considering a presidential run. The 264-page hardcover provides a new portrait of RFK, a politician of uncommon courage who wasn’t afraid to shine a light on our shortcomings.

–“Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline” by Loretta Lynn (Grand Central Publishing, $28) is a never-before-told heartwarming story about the special relationship between country music icons Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. The 88-year-old Lynn, who grew up in eastern Kentucky, writes a remarkable memoir about her close friendship that defined a generation and changed country music. In 1963, Cline was tragically killed in a small airplane crash at the age of 30.

–“Adventures in Fatherhood: A Devotional” by Carlton Hughes and Holland Webb (Ellie Claire Gifts, $15) an enjoyable volume that provides a spiritual insight for men at every stage of the parenting journey. The authors blend personal experiences with humor and devotions to encourage fathers to do their best for God and for their families. It’s definitely an adventurous book that is filled with wisdom and warning. Hughes is a professor of communication and journalism at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, while Webb is a freelance writer living in South Carolina.

–“Mitch, Please!: How Mitch McConnell Sold Out Kentucky (and America, Too)" by Matt Jones with Chris Tomlin (Simon & Schuster, $27) is an entertaining attempt to showcase how the Senate Majority Leader has failed to help his state very much through an enlightening look at Kentucky’s 120 counties. The founder of Kentucky Sports Radio with a law degree, Jones somehow is able to use Kentucky’s love of sports as an entry point to talk about a nationally-known politician from Louisville who has served the state for 30 years. The remarkable 501-page hardcover is currently a bestseller.

–“Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains” by Cassie Chambers (Ballantine Books, $27) is an inspiring memoir that is filled with an experience of empathy, admiration and joy. Chambers grew up in one of the poorest counties in both Kentucky and nation before graduating from Yale and then Harvard Law School. The 283-page volume also discusses social issues such as rural poverty, the decline of tobacco farming and coal mining, domestic violence, the opioid crisis, among others. The author lives in Louisville.

–“James Monroe: A Life” by Tim McGrath (Dutton, $40) is a new 739-page biography about our last Founding Father to hold the presidency. President Monroe, who helped transform the 13 colonies into a vibrant and mighty republic, had a remarkable life as a soldier, attorney, senator and diplomat. Monroe was elected as our nation’s fifth President in 1816 and served two terms. He was probably best known for establishing a foreign policy which opposed European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. That policy was known as the Monroe Doctrine. Wrote historian and author Jon Meacham, “(This volume is a) long-overdue portrait of an essential American. …”

–“Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Nameby Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) explores the journey of Jesus and what his life, and death, still mean to our world today. A bestselling inspirational author of several books with more than 140 million copies in print, Lucado currently serves as Teaching Minister at a church in San Antonio.

–" Inside Camp David: The Private World of the Presidential Retreat” by Rear Admiral Michael Giorgione (Little, Brown and Company, $28) is the first-ever insider account of the president’s secluded private retreat which is located deep in the woods in Maryland. For over 75 years, Camp David has served as president’s home away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. Now in paperback, the volume is written by a naval officer who has served for 29 years, including an assignment as the commanding officer of Camp David, serving Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The author also has worked under the White House Military Office.

–“ The Lucado Encouraging Word Bible" by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, $54.99) is a revised and updated edition of Lucado’s popular devotional Bible and it is designed to encourage readers, illuminate Bible truths, and promote scripture application. It’s an impressive work by the author whose warm, conversational style in marginal notes and short articles strengthens your peaceful understanding of the faith.

–“Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump” by Tevi Troy (Regnery History, $29.99) is an enjoyable look at presidential history. The 316-page hardcover covers the presidencies of Harry Truman, when the modern White House staff took shape, to Donald Trump, and points out the bitter rivalries inside the White House are nothing unusual.

–“The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism” by Susan Berfield (Bloomsbury Publishing, $30) is a riveting and powerful story about a banker and a president thrown together in the crucible of national emergency even though they fought in court. During his Wall Street career, Morgan was the one helped build several business powerhouses such as U.S. Steel, General Electric and AT&T. And Roosevelt was the New York City police czar who became a politician. The author is a feature writer and investigate reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News.

–“Arguing With Socialists” by Glenn Beck (Threshold Editions, $29.99) attempts to show the readers that the modern socialist movement is not the way to go. The bestselling author with his trademark humor fills the 407-page volume with details, stories, arguments and easy-to-understand graphics to debunk socialism which is making a forceful comeback with today’s youth.

–“Clinton’s Elections: 1992, 1996, and the Birth of a New Era of Governance” by Michael Nelson (University Press of Kansas, $34.95) is a story of how President Clinton has revived the Democrats’ presidential fortunes over the years. The 342-page volume traces Clinton’s place in U.S. politics from his emergence as a potential nominee in 1988 to his role in political campaigns right up to 2016. The author, who is a professor of political science at Rhodes College, paints Clinton as a savvy politician operating in the midst of divided government and making strategic moves to consolidate power and secure future victories.

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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