Bluegrass Bookshelf, December edition

Books listed here are by regional authors or are of interest to Central Kentucky readers and have been published since July 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.

Sacred Places of Kentucky, photography by Wes and Stacey Battoclette, written by Amanda Hervey and the Rev. Roger Jasper (Kentucky Monthly, $29.95): In a beautiful coffee-table-size book, the husband-and-wife photographers capture images from churches and other faith-based places across the Bluegrass State. Available at

The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker (Poppy, $17.99, available Jan. 2): In her first novel for young adults, Whitaker, a Cynthiana native who lives in New York, tells the story of 14-year-old Kentucky girl Ricky Jo, who learns much about herself when she trades in her old life to be part of the popular kids at school.

Star-Spangled Hearts: American Women Veterans of World War II by Jeffrey S. Suchanek and Jeanne Ontko Suchanek (Broadstone Books, $29.95): Jeffrey Suchanek, an oral historian and senior archivist at the University of Kentucky Libraries, and his wife tell the stories of some of the remarkable women who served during the war. Included are several Lexingtonians: Helen Horlacher Evans, Susan Dearinger Tucker, Betty Leggett Sherley, Helen Fleming, Betty Metcalf Morgan, Helen Reed, Jeanette Anderson Rood, Mary Hiten Scouten and Marguerite Hirschinger Arndt.

Sweet, Sweet Sorghum: Kentucky's Golden Wonder by Rona Roberts (CreateSpace, $26.95): Through stories and recipes, the Lexington food blogger re-introduces readers to a sweetener that has deep roots in Kentucky and the greater region.

The Life of C.S. Rafinesque, A Man of Uncommon Zeal by Charles Boewe (American Philosophical Society, $50): The former Kentucky resident, who now lives in North Carolina, chronicles the life of the often- misunderstood early 19th-century naturalist and professor at Transylvania University, where his remains are entombed. The book comes with a CD-ROM that contains transcriptions of all the known letters written by Rafinesque and those written to him.

Light in the Morning: A Collection of Poems on Loving, Living and Being by Vijay Singh (Xlibris, $15.99): The University of Kentucky engineering professor and poet writes about the wonders of finding romance, the challenge of embracing change and the bliss of appreciating nature.

Neither Blue Nor Gray: Stories of the Civil War in Kentucky by Marshall Myers (Jesse Stuart Foundation, $15): The Eastern Kentucky University professor collects the stories of lesser-known soldiers in the War Between the States.

The Emperor of Time by Gregory King (Weston & Wright Publishing, $21.95): In his children's book, suitable for ages 9 and older, the Lexington writer tells the story of a boy named Alto, who is the biggest time-waster in his village. When the powerful Emperor of Time decides Alto has wasted so much time that he will be granted only three more hours to live, Alto tries to appeal the decision.

Invoking the Scribes of Ancient Egypt: The Initiatory Path of Spiritual Journaling by Normandi Ellis and Gloria Taylor Brown (Bear & Co., $18): Ellis, of Frankfort, and Brown, of San Diego, guide readers in how to find purpose in our lives through Egyptian-style writing.

Growing Up White in Brassfield: A Memoir by Sally Pearson Congleton (AuthorHouse, $18.99): The Central Kentucky writer chronicles how race relations played an integral part in her childhood.

Coin Clues: Making Change by Evelyn B. Christensen (MindWare, $12.95): The Lexington writer's latest educational puzzle book features more than 100 puzzles designed to help students ages 8 and older have fun while developing money skills, logic and deductive reasoning skills.

Unshackled: Experiencing True Freedom for Men and Women by Peggy Park (Winepress, $14.99): The Lexington writer offers guidance for how people ruled by addictions, wrong attitudes and self-defeating behaviors can break free of those burdens.

boc: A Collection of Short Stories by E.B. Taylor (CreateSpace, $10.99): The Ashland writer shares eight short stories spanning a range of topics.

There Is No Hope Here by Richard Biggs (CreateSpace, $15.90): The story of Julie Holland, the Eastern Kentucky native who started the Knoxville-based Christian charity Mission of Hope.

Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity and Popular Fiction Since 1878 by Emily Satterwhite (The University Press of Kentucky, $40): Using fan mail as her unique source, a professor at Virginia Tech explores how readers of popular fiction view Appalachia.

Theo and the Mouthful of Ashes: A Novel by Ron Rhody (Outer Banks Publishing, $14.99): In his prequel to 2009's Theo's Story, the North Carolina writer, a Frankfort native, tells the story of a young Korean War vet working as a newspaper reporter in 1950s Kentucky who must help solve a brutal murder.

Unauthorized by B.W. Bever (PublishAmerica, $16.95): The Bourbon County resident collects poems that he has written since the 1970s.