New and improved! Supersized! Bigger and better!
These phrases characterize today’s society. We are always striving to improve on an old idea, to get more of what we want, or to make an experience larger than life. In this chaos, we sometimes forget to find value in the little things or the commonplace. I encourage you to take the time to look around you and notice these things daily.
Lexington author Steve Flairty celebrates local celebrities in his collection of essays, Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things (Wind Publications, $15). These are people who are only famous in the confines of their own communities, yet each has gone above and beyond to make life better for themselves or others. Take, for instance, Patrick Henry and Patrick John Hughes, a father-son team in the University of Louisville’s marching band. Patrick Henry is blind and uses a wheelchair, and is blessed with the ability to play the trumpet and piano. To enable him to be part of the marching band, father Patrick John agreed to push his son around the field, requiring him to practice regularly with the band to learn the formations. Which is the hero? Both. Stories of 39 other heroes are included, as well as a foreword by Kentucky author David Dick. Perhaps Flairty is also a hero for bringing these folks’ stories to light.
Versailles author Becky Sears shares her second collection of poetry in Held (Lifevest, $8.99). Focusing on her own vulnerabilities, Sears forces us to take a look at our weaknesses and to see how we are all unique and valuable because of them. Particularly touching to me was a piece about all the pesky things mothers deal with from their children. At the end of the piece, Sears reminds us to be thankful for these little things and for the joys of being a mom. Also a highlight is a sampling of Sears’ black and white photography throughout the book.
Christian Writers Conference Writer of the Year and Frankfort author Virginia Smith takes her readers on a suspenseful ride through Kentucky’s horse country in Bluegrass Peril (Steeple Hill, $5.50). Single mom Becky Dennison has just hired on as the secretary for Out to Pasture, a fictional thoroughbred retirement farm based on the Old Friends thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, when she finds her boss dead in a barn. Detectives are investigating everyone, including Becky. In the midst of this turmoil, and with the help of Scott Lewis, a neighboring farm’s assistant manager, Becky tries to run the farm, keep her twin boys in line, and find her boss’s killer. Still more adventure awaits as she sorts out her feelings for the two men in her life, and learns who the real hero is.