Bluegrass bookshelf: books by and about Kentuckians

Books listed here are by regional authors or are of interest to Central Kentucky readers and have been published since November or will be published in coming months.

Many of these books are self-published; this column is intended to note new works, not review them. All titles are available at bookstores and online booksellers unless otherwise noted.

The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason (Random House, $26, available June 28): The writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky tells the story of an American pilot who, many years after he was shot down in occupied Belgium during World War II, revisits his crash site and reconnects with former Resistance members, including a brave woman who saved his life.

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon, illustrations by Katherine Tillotson (Atheneum, $15.99): In a simple, non-preachy picture-book narrative, with beautiful watercolor illustrations, the Lexington author explains to children where water comes from and how we must conserve it.

Greyhound to Vegas: The Odyssey of Hilda Reynolds Krause by Robert Dickey (self-published, $19.95): The former Bowling Green writer and lawyer tells the true story of a Bowling Green and Cave City businesswoman who became a founder of the Caesar's Palace casino, helped her husband run a casino in Cuba and gave birth to a son who would become a Kentucky Supreme Court justice, but met her death in a homicide in 1974. For information on ordering the book, email

Binding Their Wounds: America's Assault on its Veterans by Robert J. Topmiller and T. Kerby Neill (Paradigm, $22.95): Topmiller, of Lexington, was a Vietnam War veteran and a history professor at Eastern Kentucky University when he began work on this book, which addresses the nation's treatment of its veterans from the Revolutionary War through today, but he died before it was finished. His friend Neill, a clinical psychologist from Lexington, finished the book for him.

This Boy's Faith: Notes From a Southern Baptist Upbringing by Hamilton Cain (Crown, $25): Prompted by his son's severe illness, a Brooklyn, N.Y., writer revisits his childhood in Chattanooga.

Wearing a New Eden: Poems by Sherry Chandler (Wind Publications, $15): The Bourbon County poet and editor at the University of Kentucky channels the voices of six generations of her family in Central Kentucky and that of Rebecca Boone as they looked for a "new Eden" on the Kentucky frontier.

The Civil War: An Illustrated History by the editors of Time magazine (Time Books, $29.95): Timed for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, this coffee-table-size book provides an illustrated overview of the War Between the States. Kentucky finds its way into the narrative, particularly in a section about border states.

Forced Heritage by Victoria and Matthew Hewitt (Dalata Press, $14.95): In the first of a planned series of science-fiction romance, the Bourbon County writers create a world where a woman from Earth infiltrates an alien empire only to find herself romantically drawn to its fiery leader.

Death by Drowning by Abigail Keam (Worker Bee Press, $15): The Lexington writer and beekeeper follows up her Death by Honeybee with another Josiah Reynolds mystery, in which the sleuth investigates the "accidental" death of a friend's nephew.

Greystone's Secret: Suspenseful Tale of Efforts to Address Soundness of Thoroughbred Race Horses by Robert Sharp (CreateSpace, $14.99): The Richmond author builds his suspense novel around the exploration of the soundness of Thoroughbreds and the use of artificial insemination.

Fifty State Capitols: The Architecture of Representative Government by Jim Stembridge (Coho Publishing, $27.95, available June 6): In a large-format paperback, each state's capitol building gets a two-age spread, with photos and a brief history. Of course, Kentucky's is included.

Midlife Monkeylala: Escape to and From a Tropical Paradise by Edwina Ann Doyle (Llumina Press, $15.95): The Lexington writer tells the true story of her three-year adventure on Roatan Island, Honduras, in the early 1990s before the days of reliable electricity, cable, Internet, cruise-ship docks or condo communities.

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom by Ron Paul (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99): He's not a Kentuckian, but the Texas congressman is the father of our state's junior U.S. senator, Rand Paul. Here, the elder Paul lays out his position on 50 contemporary issues, "from abortion to Zionism," according to press materials.

Take Me to Your Feeder by L. Eugene Startzman, illustrated by Michael Startzman (AuthorHouse, $21.68): The Berea author collects 45 of the kid-friendliest poems previously published in his Phone Poem collections, and his son illustrates them.

Hope That Lives: A Bible Study for Cancer Patients by Kim Turkington (self-published, $14.99): The Lexington writer, who survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2005, has created a Bible study in workbook format "to equip cancer patients both mentally and spiritually for the journey," according to press materials. Available from