What are your favorite things to do this time of year? How about taking in a baseball
game? Have you ever wondered how they make a bat? For some, a night at the theater
may be more appealing; Kentucky has a wealth of historic theaters to visit. And
still others may enjoy just relaxing on the front porch with a good book. No matter
your preferences, you can enjoy reading about them in these new books by Kentucky
Crack of the Bat: The Louisville Slugger Story, by Bob Hill (Sports
Publishing, $29.95), is an in-depth and entertaining look at the history of
the famous Louisville Slugger bat. Learn the story of the five-generation family
company, the roots of baseball, the physics of hitting the ball, and how the
bats are manufactured. Packed with over 160 photographs of players and parks,
plus interviews with baseball’s most famous names, the book will be a treasured
keepsake for any baseball fan.
In Actors, Audiences, & Historic Theaters of Kentucky (University
Press of Kentucky, $29.95), Marilyn Casto takes the reader to the theaters of
yesteryear, covering both the social and architectural history of Kentucky theaters,
then using this information to define the society for which they were built.
Examining nearly two centuries of theatrical history, Ms. Casto provides insight
into what people considered entertaining and what they deemed essential in the
theater-going experience. Included are photographs of many of the historical
theater sites as well as memorabilia from early productions.
Hill Man, by Janice Holt Giles (University Press of Kentucky, $20.00),
was originally released in 1954 under Giles’ pen name of John Garth. Above the
title was the description, “The earthy story of a Kentucky mountaineer and a
city woman.” The mountaineer is Rady Cromwell, the son of a Baptist preacher
who has long since rebelled from his moral upbringing. He is a shrewd character,
although likable, with wit and good looks to get him through life. The city
woman is Cordelia Rowe, Rady’s second wife, who “wasn’t cut out to be a ridge
runner” and remains an outsider to the ridge and its ways. Set in the mid-1920s,
Hill Man is a realistic portrayal of rural Kentucky life and language.
Life is Like a Horse Race, by Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Don
Edwards (Lexington Herald-Leader, $7.50), is a compilation of the best of more
than 20 years of Edwards’ columns examining Kentucky society and its stereotypes
with insight and humor. Edwards’ fictitious characters such as Buffy Bleugrazz
and Barbara Jean, her rural cousin, or Bubba, the mythical typical Kentuckian,
are sure to bring a smile with their tongue-in-cheek satire.
Award-winning inspirational speaker Liz Curtis Higgs tickles the funny
bone with Bookends (Multnomah Publishers, $12.99), her second work of fiction.
Higgs’ unmistakable humor is sprinkled throughout the story, making the reader
laugh out loud at the ridiculous situations in which the characters, Emilie
Getz and Jonas Fielding, find themselves. Emilie, a lover of history, has returned
to her hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania, to write a book on the Moravian church
and to uncover an artifact that could change the town’s history forever. Jonas,
a land developer, owns the land where this artifact is buried. Watch as the
two fight tooth and nail to win this battle of wills and to avoid where their
hearts are leading them-to each other.