Readers are invited to a last fling with summer when they open Gardens of Kentucky (The Sulgrave Press, $39.95), with photography by Dan Dry and text by Amy Spears. Inside are photos of some of Kentucky’s loveliest private gardens.
Championing the idea of garden as art form and as aesthetic escape, the tome features formal European-style gardens, country gardens, and the ingenious designs of petite urban gardens. The text volunteers techniques for gardeners to use while the photographs offer inspiring feasts for the eyes of any gardener.
Trapped! The Story of Floyd Collins (University Press of Kentucky, $19.95), written by Robert K. Murray and Roger W. Brucker, is a new edition of an oft-told story. This gripping account of the 1925 entrapment of Floyd Collins in Sand Cave simultaneously thrills and terrifies any reader. Readers will find the tension of the numerous rescue attempts enthralling. A new epilogue is provided.
It All Happened in Renfro Valley (University Press of Kentucky, $14.95) by Pete Stamper is the first definitive history of the Renfro Valley music and entertainment scene. As a longtime Valley performer, Stamper tells the story of the creation, and continued longevity, of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and Sunday Morning Gatherin’ broadcasts in a style both anecdotal and factual. Now celebrating its 60th year, Renfro Valley continues to entertain audiences with a mix of what Stamper calls “fun and frolic.”
Catherine Conner’s From My Old Kentucky Home to the White House: The Political Journey of Catherine Conner (University Press of Kentucky, $24.00) is the autobiographical account of this Kentucky native’s distinguished involvement in national politics. Born near Bardstown, Ms. Conner led the state-wide charge to save My Old Kentucky Home, the birthplace of Stephen Foster’s song by the same name. In 1932, Ms. Conner became the youngest Democratic National Committee-woman. After helping Franklin Delano Roosevelt gain office, she joined FDR’s inner circle of advocates for domestic change. She met celebrities and people in power. Readers will enjoy Ms. Conner’s account of her experiences with the “vicissitudes of fortune.”
Lyman Draper’s interviews with Nathan Boone have long been referenced by historians as a definitive source on Colonel Daniel Boone’s life in Kentucky and Missouri. Now, the interviews are bound together in one collection, My Father, Daniel Boone (University Press of Kentucky, $19.00), edited by architect and historian Neal O. Hammon. Throughout the interviews, Nathan Boone and his wife, Olive, dispel many half-truths and myths about the legendary pioneer. Now available to a wider audience, this text is a valuable resource and a unique window into life during Colonel Boone’s years.
In a vastly different terrain, Gayl Jones, author of Song For Anninho (Beacon Press, $22.00), intrigues readers with a haunting love poem set in 17-century Brazil. Two lovers, both inhabitants of the secret enclave of Palmares, Brazil, attempt to flee after the Portuguese destroy the settlement belonging to escaped African slaves. Jones’ verse recounts Almeyda’s spiritual journey into another realm to find her lover Anninho after their separation at the hands of brutal Portuguese soldiers. It’s a chilling, evocative read.
New to paperback are Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s novel Icy Sparks (Penguin, $12.95) and Bobbie Ann Mason’s collection of short stories entitled Midnight Magic (Ecco Press, $16.00).