Bluegrass Bookshelf

Books listed here are by regional authors or are of interest to Central Kentucky readers and have been published since April 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. Prices listed are for hardcover editions unless otherwise noted.

Going West: Stories by Normandi Ellis (Wind Publications, $16): The well-regarded Frankfort writer and artist collects short stories set in places from Kentucky to Colorado.

Southern Appalachian Celebration: In Praise of Ancient Mountains, Old-Growth Forests and Wilderness by James Valentine with text by Chris Bolgiano (The University of North Carolina Press, $35, available Sept. 26): In a gorgeous coffee-table book, the North Carolina photographer documents the mountains from Alabama to West Virginia. Most photos are from North Carolina, but there is a smattering from Kentucky.

On the Boulevard by Chris Helvey (Finish Line Press, $12): In his chapbook, the Frankfort poet and editor of Trajectory Journal writes of family, love and the challenges of daily life.

Memoirs of an Inner-City Elementary School Principal by Pat Michaux (Authorhouse,$14.99): In her memoir, the Lexington author writes about her 16 challenging years as an inner-city school principal.

A Preacher's Tales by Henry A. Buchanan (AuthorHouse, $17.49): A former Kentuckian and Central Baptist Hospital chaplain compiles stories and lessons learned from his years as a pastor.

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe (Tor, $15.99, available Sept. 27): Drawing on Appalachian folklore, Bledsoe spins a fantasy story set in the Smoky Mountains about a young Iraq war veteran who must summon her ancient heritage to battle an evil force threatening her homeland.

Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large by William Shatner with Chris Regan (Dutton, $21.95, available Oct. 4): The actor and part-time Kentuckian shares his wit and wisdom for living and discusses his life and career. Included are nuggets such as this: "One of my earliest roles was playing Billy Budd in a live staging of the classic, opposite Basil Rathbone. Rathbone was forever associated with playing Sherlock Holmes. Can you imagine that? Being forever linked with an iconic character?"

A Bed of Thorns and Roses by Sondra Allan Carr (Amazon and, $2.99 ebook): The Lexington author recreates Beauty and the Beast as a historical romance set during America's Gilded Age. Jonathan and Isabelle, both scarred by life, are afraid to confess their love for one another.

Horse Sayings: Wit and Wisdom Straight From The Horse's Mouth by Bradford G. Wheler (, $24.95): A collection of equine art from artists including Graeme Stevenson, Carolyn Schlam and Cholla Chambers is paired with quotations about horses.

White Boy by Danny Duncan Collum (Apprentice House, $17.95): The Kentucky State University English professor writes a coming-of-age novel about a young man in 1961 who joins the Freedom Riders group of civil rights activists.

Appalachian Ghost Stories: Tales From Bloody Breathitt by Jerry Deaton (Reformation Publishers, price TBA): The Frankfort writer gathers 16 ghost stories, mostly original, set in Breathitt County.

The Self-Improvement Book Club Murder by Todd Wright (CreateSpace, $12.99): In his fiction debut, the Lexington writer tells the story of a book club focusing on self-help books that is implicated in a murder.

Characters by the Bushel: My Love Affair With Monkey's Eyebrow by Joe Culver (CreateSpace, $13.95): The Ballard County writer remembers the colorful people of the uniquely named Western Kentucky community.

The Sheriff of Frozen's Murder Cases by Jack Justin Turner (Chestnut Hill Publishing, $23.95): In the second book of his Cumberland Mountain trilogy, the Lexington writer and Floyd County native continues the story of Eastern Kentucky lawman Jack Herald, who considers running for sheriff of his small town.

The Audacity of Dope by Monte Dutton (Neverland Publishing, $16.95, available Nov. 1): In his fiction debut, the South Carolina sportswriter tells the story of a musician-turned-reluctant hero who gets pressured into running for political office. Part of the story is set in Eastern Kentucky.

T.D. and the Tater: And Other News from Augusta County by Sam Adams (Bodmin Books, $12.99): The Eastern Kentucky writer's novel tells the story of a man who inherits a small-town newspaper and the eccentrics he must deal with.