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Keeping Promises

How important is a promise?

I think we would all like to be known as someone who keeps their promises, although it is sometimes very difficult. In the following books you can read all about promises, whether made to a seafaring husband, from hard-working parents to children, or from a caring adoptive parent to a needy animal.

Why not promise a special person you will spend some time reading together this holiday season?

Ahab’s Wife by Louisvillian Sena Jeter Naslund (Perennial, $15) is one of the most uniquely written novels I have ever read. If you are familiar with the classic Moby Dick, you will be intrigued by Naslund’s interpretation of the life Captain Ahab’s wife must have led while faithfully waiting for her husband, the captain of a whaling ship, to come back into port. Naslund has included several excerpts from Moby Dick to help marry the two novels together, so the reading of Moby Dick is not a prerequisite to thoroughly enjoying Ahab’s Wife. The book is written as if Una, Captain Ahab’s wife, is reading her memoirs directly to the reader as she recalls them into her thoughts. Her life is a tragic tale, but not without moments of joy and a strong sense of survival.

Muddy Branch (Jesse Stuart Foundation, $15) by Clyde Roy Pack is truly a delightful romp into a 1940s eastern Kentucky coal camp. Pack speaks often of the master storytellers he would listen to while lazing away an afternoon on the company store steps. Pack has become part of the next generation of master storytellers as he recalls hilarious tales of his youth and the antics of imaginative young boys like himself. He describes a simpler time when families and neighbors stuck together to help each other out. Throughout the book, I found myself laughing out loud at the crazy predicaments in which the Muddy Branch folks found themselves.

New to the Kentucky author scene is Leigh Anne Florence, a music teacher from Shepherdsville. Her debut children’s book is a sure hit for dog lovers of all ages. Woody, the Kentucky Wiener (HotDiggety Dog Press, $12.95) is the story of adopting a second dog into the family. Chloe, the first dachshund, feels the need to share her loving home with a playmate. A search ending with the adoption of sad and lonely dachshund pup Woody is the result. The story is based on the author’s two dachshunds by the same names.

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