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When the going gets tough, the tough get going. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Sure, these statements have become clichés, but they still hold true for those who refuse to give up when faced with difficult circumstances. The folks in these books could easily have given up and led a life of misery, but they persevered and overcame their personal battles, choosing to live life to the fullest.

Tim Farmer, host of KET’s Kentucky Afield, had always been a man of determination and adventure. In his early 20s, however, his adventures almost came to an end when he lost the use of his right arm in a serious motorcycle accident. The seemingly endless months of hospital stays and painful physical therapy would have caused some to give up. But as Lexington native Steve Flairty reveals in Tim Farmer…A Kentucky Woodsman Restored (McClanahan Publishing House, $21.95), Tim instead found new ways of doing, and excelling in, the things he loved, such as shooting a bow using his teeth. In addition to hosting the show, Tim is also a motivational speaker, frequently visiting VA hospitals to encourage wounded soldiers. Flairty has included several photos in the book showing Tim in action.

A similar story beginning in an earlier time is that of the late Eureath White. White contracted polio in 1916 at age 5, leaving her with paralyzed legs, braces, and crutches for the rest of her life. Her parents were undaunted by her “disability,” and insisted that she pursue a normal life. In her autobiography, Memoirs of a Quadruped (Harmony House Publishers, $11.95), White proves herself an inspiration again and again, living much more than a full life. In a time when many women were not encouraged to pursue a higher education, White received a master’s degree and became a Ph.D. candidate. She worked all her life, held several esteemed titles, and after settling in Versailles, eventually became the first paid staff member of the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce, never letting her paralysis get in her way or using it as an excuse. Like Farmer, she simply found a different, sometimes ingenious, way to accomplish her goal.

Lexingtonian Ellie Boatman shares a fictionalized account of her own struggles in Unbridled Injustice (Outskirts Press, $16.95). In a truly captivating and sometimes maddening story, Boatman marries highly successful business owner Roy Conger, but seems to serve more as his social coordinator than his wife. Unsatisfied with simply planning and hosting lavish parties to promote Roy’s business, Ellie devotes her energy to their three children and her successful pony breeding and showing business. Her world comes crashing down, though, when Roy files for divorce and full custody of the children, using all his financial power and conniving tendencies to destroy Ellie in the process. She must fight back with all she has, not only financially but mentally to piece her life back together.

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