Tag Archives: books

Get Crafted at The Market this Weekend

 

Where can you find some of your favorite Kentucky/Regional books, fine arts and crafts, live music, specialty food, and much, much more? The 35th annual Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2017 will be held April 22-23 at the Lexington Convention Center. Stop Mommy Goose final front coverREV.inddby our booth #102 to check out some of our new titles, and meet Mike Norris, who’ll be signing copies of Mommy Goose, from 12 – 2 pm on Saturday, April 22.

More than 200 exhibitors will be on hand at the event, which was chosen as the No. 1 Fair & Festival by readers of AmericanStyle Magazine four years in a row, and also named a top 10 event by the Kentucky Tourism Council and a top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Here’s a sampling of some of our new releases that will be available at our booth during Kentucky Crafted:

 

Featured Titles in Military History

This weekend is the 84th annual meeting of the Society for Military History. If you’re lucky enough to be in Jacksonville, Florida, come say hello and meet a few of our authors!

But even if you can’t make it to the conference, you can still check out the military history titles and series we’ll be featuring at the event:


Ranger: A Soldier’s Liferanger.final.indd

by Colonel Ralph Puckett, USA (Ret.) with D. K. R. Crosswell and afterword by General David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.)

Ranger arrived just in time. Just in time to remind us of the essence of what it means to be an American. Just in time to remind us that our liberty and the fate of all humanity depends on Soldiers who possess the courage, toughness, and determination to fight those who seek to extinguish freedom. Soldiers like Ralph Puckett—a man whose humility, commitment to selfless service, and willingness to sacrifice impels him to reject the label hero. Call him Soldier. Call him Ranger. Read this book to restore your faith in America and bolster your confidence in the future of this great nation. And ask your children to read this book so they might be inspired and understand better the intangible rewards of service and the sacred covenant that binds Soldiers to each other and the citizens in whose name they fight.”

H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump and author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam

On November 25, 1950, during one of the toughest battles of the Korean War, the US Eighth Army Ranger Company seized and held the strategically important Hill 205 overlooking the Chongchon River. Separated by more than a mile from the nearest friendly unit, fifty-one soldiers fought several hundred Chinese attackers. Their commander, Lieutenant Ralph Puckett, was wounded three times before he was evacuated. For his actions, he received the country’s second-highest award for courage on the battlefield—the Distinguished Service Cross—and resumed active duty later that year as a living legend.

In this inspiring autobiography, Colonel Ralph Puckett recounts his extraordinary experiences on and off the battlefield. Puckett’s story is critical reading for soldiers, leaders, military historians, and others interested in the impact of conflict on individual soldiers as well as the military as a whole.

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army American Warriors Series


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Sabers Through the Reich: World War II Corps Cavalry from Normandy to the Elbe

by William Stuart Nance, foreword by Robert M. Citino

In Sabers through the Reich, William Stuart Nance provides the first comprehensive operational history of American corps cavalry in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II. The corps cavalry had a substantive and direct impact on Allied success in almost every campaign, serving as offensive guards for armies across Europe and conducting reconnaissance, economy of force, and security missions, as well as prisoner of war rescues. From D-Day and Operation Cobra to the Battle of the Bulge and the drive to the Rhine, these groups had the mobility, flexibility, and firepower to move quickly across the battlefield, enabling them to aid communications and intelligence gathering and reducing the Clausewitzian friction of war.

Robert Citino will be the roundtable commentator at the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting for the panel, “Does Military Theory Make A Difference?” 

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army Battles and Campaigns Series


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The Longest Rescue: The Life and Legacy of Vietnam POW William A. Robinson

by Glenn Robins foreword by Colonel Bud Day

While serving as a crew chief aboard a U.S. Air Force Rescue helicopter, Airman First Class William A. Robinson was shot down and captured in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam, on September 20, 1965. After a brief stint at the “Hanoi Hilton,” Robinson endured 2,703 days in multiple North Vietnamese prison camps, including the notorious Briarpatch and various compounds at Cu Loc, known by the inmates as the Zoo. No enlisted man in American military history has been held as a prisoner of war longer than Robinson. For seven and a half years, he faced daily privations and endured the full range of North Vietnam’s torture program.

In The Longest Rescue, Glenn Robins tells Robinson’s story using an array of sources, including declassified U.S. military documents, translated Vietnamese documents, and interviews from the National Prisoner of War Museum. Unlike many other POW accounts, this comprehensive biography explores Robinson’s life before and after his capture, particularly his estranged relationship with his father, enabling a better understanding of the difficult transition POWs face upon returning home and the toll exacted on their families. Robins’s powerful narrative not only demonstrates how Robinson and his fellow prisoners embodied the dedication and sacrifice of America’s enlisted men but also explores their place in history and memory.


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Generals of the Army: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley

edited by James H. Willbanks foreword by General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.)

Formally titled “General of the Army,” the five-star general is the highest possible rank awarded in the U.S. Army in modern times and has been awarded to only five men in the nation’s history: George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry H. Arnold, and Omar N. Bradley. In addition to their rank, these distinguished soldiers all shared the experience of serving or studying at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they gained the knowledge that would prepare them for command during World War II and the Korean War.

In Generals of the Army, James H. Willbanks assembles top military historians to examine the connection between the institution and the success of these exceptional men. Historically known as the “intellectual center of the Army,” Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of Washington, D.C., and one of the most important military installations in the United States. Though there are many biographies of the five-star generals, this innovative study offers a fresh perspective by illuminating the ways in which these legendary figures influenced and were influenced by Leavenworth. Coinciding with the U.S. Mint’s release of a series of special commemorative coins honoring these soldiers and the fort where they were based, this concise volume offers an intriguing look at the lives of these remarkable men and the contributions they made to the defense of the nation.

James H. Willbanks will chair the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting panel, “After Vietnam: Competing Memories of America’s War in Vietnam”


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The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam

by Brian D. Laslie

Between 1972 and 1991, the Air Force dramatically changed its doctrines and began to overhaul the way it trained pilots through the introduction of a groundbreaking new training program called “Red Flag.”

In The Air Force Way of War, Brian D. Laslie examines the revolution in pilot instruction that Red Flag brought about after Vietnam. The program’s new instruction methods were dubbed “realistic” because they prepared pilots for real-life situations better than the simple cockpit simulations of the past, and students gained proficiency on primary and secondary missions instead of superficially training for numerous possible scenarios. In addition to discussing the program’s methods, Laslie analyzes the way its graduates actually functioned in combat during the 1980s and ’90s in places such as Grenada, Panama, Libya, and Iraq. Military historians have traditionally emphasized the primacy of technological developments during this period and have overlooked the vital importance of advances in training, but Laslie’s unprecedented study of Red Flag addresses this oversight through its examination of the seminal program.

Brian D. Laslie is the editor for the new series Aviation and Air Power from the University Press of Kentucky.


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Architect of Air Power: General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force

by Brian D. Laslie

Drawing on diaries, letters, and scrapbooks, Laslie offers a complete portrait of this important but unsung pioneer whose influence can be found in every stage of the development of an independent US Air Force. From his early years at West Point to his days at the Air Corps Tactical School to his leadership role at NORAD, Kuter made his mark with quiet efficiency. He was an early advocate of strategic bombardment rather than pursuit or fighter aviation—fundamentally changing the way air power was used—and later helped implement the Berlin airlift in 1948. In what would become a significant moment in military history, he wrote Field Manual 100-20, which is considered the Air Force’s “declaration of independence” from the Army. Architect of Air Power illuminates Kuter’s pivotal contributions and offers new insights into critical military policy and decision-making during the Second World War and the Cold War.

Brian D. Laslie is the editor for the new series  Aviation and Air Power from the University Press of Kentucky.


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Hitler’s Wehrmacht, 1935–1945

by Rolf-Dieter Müller translated by Janice W. Ancker

Since the end of World War II, Germans have struggled with the legacy of the Wehrmacht—the unified armed forces mobilized by Adolf Hitler in 1935 to ensure the domination of the Third Reich in perpetuity. Historians have vigorously debated whether the Wehrmacht’s atrocities represented a break with the past or a continuation of Germany’s military traditions. Now available for the first time in English, this meticulously researched yet accessible overview by eminent historian Rolf-Dieter Müller provides the most comprehensive analysis of the organization to date, illuminating its role in a complex, horrific era.

Müller examines the Wehrmacht’s leadership principles, organization, equipment, and training, as well as the front-line experiences of soldiers, airmen, Waffen SS, foreign legionnaires, and volunteers. He skillfully demonstrates how state-directed propaganda and terror influenced the extent to which the militarized Volksgemeinschaft (national community) was transformed under the pressure of total mobilization. Finally, he evaluates the army’s conduct of the war, from blitzkrieg to the final surrender and charges of war crimes. Brief acts of resistance, such as an officers’ “rebellion of conscience” in July 1944, embody the repressed, principled humanity of Germany’s soldiers, but ultimately, Müller concludes, the Wehrmacht became the “steel guarantor” of the criminal Nazi regime.

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army Foreign Military Studies Series


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The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger

by Gerhard P. Gross edited by David T. Zabecki foreword by Robert M. Citino

Surrounded by potential adversaries, nineteenth-century Prussia and twentieth-century Germany faced the formidable prospect of multifront wars and wars of attrition. To counteract these threats, generations of general staff officers were educated in operational thinking, the main tenets of which were extremely influential on military planning across the globe and were adopted by American and Soviet armies. In the twentieth century, Germany’s art of warfare dominated military theory and practice, creating a myth of German operational brilliance that lingers today, despite the nation’s crushing defeats in two world wars.

In this seminal study, Gerhard P. Gross provides a comprehensive examination of the development and failure of German operational thinking over a period of more than a century. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of five different armies, from the mid–nineteenth century through the early days of NATO. He also offers fresh interpretations of towering figures of German military history, including Moltke the Elder, Alfred von Schlieffen, and Erich Ludendorff. Essential reading for military historians and strategists, this innovative work dismantles cherished myths and offers new insights into Germany’s failed attempts to become a global power through military means.

Robert Citino will be the roundtable commentator at the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting for the panel, “Does Military Theory Make A Difference?” 


Explore all of our Military History titles at KentuckyPress.com

6 Reads to Celebrate Lincoln’s Legacy

This Sunday marks the 208th birthday of Abraham Lincoln–the only president born in Kentucky! To celebrate, we’re sharing a few of our favorite books about Honest Abe.


morel.final.inddLincoln and Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages

Since Abraham Lincoln’s death, generations of Americans have studied his life, presidency, and leadership, often remaking him into a figure suited to the needs and interests of their own time. This illuminating volume takes a different approach to his political thought and practice. Here, a distinguished group of contributors argue that Lincoln’s relevance today is best expressed by rendering an accurate portrait of him in his own era. They seek to understand Lincoln as he understood himself and as he attempted to make his ideas clear to his contemporaries. What emerges is a portrait of a prudent leader who is driven to return the country to its original principles in order to conserve it.

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9780813192413Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President

As one might expect with a revered national icon, nearly every facet of Abraham Lincoln’s life has been subject to mythmaking as well as academic inquiry of widely varying quality and accuracy. In Lincoln Legends, noted historian and Lincoln expert Edward Steers Jr. carefully scrutinizes some of the most notorious tall tales and distorted ideas about America’s sixteenth President. Did Abraham Lincoln write his greatest speech on the back of an envelope on the way to Gettysburg? Did he appear before a congressional committee to defend his wife against charges of treason? Was Lincoln an illegitimate child? Was he gay? Edward Steers weighs the evidence in these and other heated debates about the Great Emancipator. Steers’s conclusions will satisfy some and disappoint others, and he just might settle some of these enduring questions once and for all.

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canavan.final.inddLincoln’s Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America’s Greatest President

In Lincoln’s Final Hours, author Kathryn Canavan takes a magnifying glass to the last moments of the president’s life and to the impact his assassination had on a country still reeling from a bloody civil war. With vivid, thoroughly researched prose and a reporter’s eye for detail, this fast-paced account not only furnishes a glimpse into John Wilkes Booth’s personal and political motivations but also illuminates the stories of ordinary people whose lives were changed forever by the assassination. Through her careful narration of the twists of fate that placed the president in harm’s way, of the plotting conversations Booth had with his accomplices, and of the immediate aftermath of the assassination, Canavan illustrates how the experiences of a single night changed the course of history.

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9780813136530Abraham Lincoln, Esq.: The Legal Career of America’s Greatest President

As our nation’s most beloved and recognizable president, Abraham Lincoln is best known for the Emancipation Proclamation and for guiding our country through the Civil War. But before he took the oath of office, Lincoln practiced law for nearly twenty-five years in the Illinois courts. Editors Roger Billings and Frank J. Williams, along with a notable list of contributors, examine Lincoln’s career as a general-practice attorney, looking both at his work in Illinois and at the time he spent in Washington. Each chapter offers an expansive look at Lincoln’s legal mind and covers diverse topics such as Lincoln’s legal writing, ethics, the Constitution, and international law. Abraham Lincoln, Esq. emphasizes this often overlooked period in Lincoln’s career and sheds light on Lincoln’s life before he became our sixteenth president.

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9780813109718With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union

William C. Harris maintains that Lincoln held a fundamentally conservative position on the process of reintegrating the South, one that permitted a large measure of self-reconstruction, and that he did not modify his position late in the war. In With Charity for All he examines the reasoning and ideology behind Lincoln’s policies, describes what happened when military and civil agents tried to implement them at the local level, and evaluates Lincoln’s successes and failures in bringing his restoration efforts to closure.

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9780813190624Lincoln on Lincoln

Though Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of numerous biographies, his personality remains an enigma. During his lifetime, Lincoln prepared two sketches of his life for the 1860 presidential race. These brief campaign portraits serve as the core around which Paul Zall weaves extracts from correspondence, speeches, and interviews to produce an in-depth biography. Lincoln on Lincoln shows a man struggling to reconcile personal ambition and civic virtue, conscience and Constitution, and ultimately the will of God and the will of the people. Zall frames Lincoln’s words with his own illuminating commentary, providing a continuous, compelling narrative. Beginning with Lincoln’s thoughts on his parents, the story moves though his youth and early successes and failures in law and politics, and culminates in his clashes and conflicts–internal as well as external–as president of a divided country. Through his writings, Lincoln said much more about himself than is commonly recognized, and Zall uses this material to create a unique portrait of this pivotal figure.

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To explore more titles about Lincoln and the American Civil War, visit our website.

New Releases in African American Studies

In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring our favorite new releases in the fields of Civil Rights history and African American studies. Which ones will you read?


untitledFaith in Black Power: Religion, Race, and Resistance in Cairo, Illinois

In 1969, nineteen-year-old Robert Hunt was found dead in the Cairo, Illinois, police station. The white authorities ruled the death a suicide, but many members of the African American community believed that Hunt had been murdered—a sentiment that sparked rebellions and protests across the city.

In this vital reassessment of the impact of religion on the black power movement, Kerry Pimblott presents a nuanced discussion of the ways in which black churches supported and shaped the United Front. She deftly challenges conventional narratives of the de-Christianization of the movement, revealing that Cairoites embraced both old-time religion and revolutionary thought. Pimblott also investigates the impact of female leaders on the organization and their influence on young activists, offering new perspectives on the hypermasculine image of black power.

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untitledSelma to Saigon: The Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War

The civil rights and anti–Vietnam War movements were the two greatest protests of twentieth-century America. The dramatic escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1965 took precedence over civil rights legislation, which had dominated White House and congressional attention during the first half of the decade. The two issues became intertwined on January 6, 1966, when the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) became the first civil rights organization to formally oppose the war, protesting the injustice of drafting African Americans to fight for the freedom of the South Vietnamese people when they were still denied basic freedoms at home.

Selma to Saigon explores the impact of the Vietnam War on the national civil rights movement. This powerful narrative illuminates the effects of the Vietnam War on the lives of leaders such as Whitney Young Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Roy Wilkins, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as other activists who faced the threat of the military draft along with race-related discrimination and violence. Providing new insights into the evolution of the civil rights movement, this book fills a significant gap in the literature about one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

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miller_integrated_final.indd Integrated: The Lincoln Institute, Basketball, and a Vanished Tradition

In Integrated, James W. Miller explores an often-ignored aspect of America’s struggle for racial equality. He relates the story of the Lincoln Institute—an all-black high school in Shelby County, Kentucky, where students prospered both in the classroom and on the court. In 1960, the Lincoln Tigers men’s basketball team defeated three all-white schools to win the regional tournament and advance to one of Kentucky’s most popular events, the state high school basketball tournament. This proud tradition of African American schools—a celebration of their athletic achievements—was ironically destroyed by integration.

This evocative book is enriched by tales of individual courage from men who defied comfort and custom. Featuring accounts from former Lincoln Institute players, students, and teachers, Integrated not only documents the story of a fractured sports tradition but also addresses the far-reaching impact of the civil rights movement in the South.

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9780813169743Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence

On December 4, 1906, on Cornell University’s campus, seven black men founded one of the greatest and most enduring organizations in American history. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. has brought together and shaped such esteemed men as Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West, Thurgood Marshall, Wes Moore, W. E. B. DuBois, Roland Martin, and Paul Robeson. “Born in the shadow of slavery and on the lap of disenfranchisement,” Alpha Phi Alpha—like other black Greek-letter organizations—was founded to instill a spirit of high academic achievement and intellectualism, foster meaningful and lifelong ties, and racially uplift those brothers who would be initiated into its ranks.

In Alpha Phi Alpha, Gregory S. Parks, Stefan M. Bradley, and other contributing authors analyze the fraternity and its members’ fidelity to the founding precepts set forth in 1906. They discuss the identity established by the fraternity at its inception, the challenges of protecting the image and brand, and how the organization can identify and train future Alpha men to uphold the standards of an outstanding African American fraternity. Drawing on organizational identity theory and a diverse array of methodologies, the authors raise and answer questions that are relevant not only to Alpha Phi Alpha but to all black Greek-letter organizations.

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9780813169750Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-First Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun

For much of the twentieth century, black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) united individuals dedicated to excellence, fostering kinship ties, and uplifting African Americans. Despite the profound influence of BGLOs, many now question the continuing relevance of these groups, arguing that their golden age has passed. Partly because of the influence of hip-hop culture, the image of BGLOs has been unfairly reduced to a stereotype—a world of hazing and stepping without any real substance. Not only does the general public know very little about these groups, but often the members themselves do not have a deep understanding of their history and culture or of the issues facing their organizations.

Gregory S. Parks has assembled an impressive group of contributors to show that the BGLOs’ most important work lies ahead. Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-first Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun provides historical context for the development of BGLOs and explores their service activities as well as their relationships with other prominent African American institutions. The book examines BGLOs’ responses to a number of contemporary issues, including non-black membership, homosexuality within membership, and the perception of BGLOs as educated gangs, in order to demonstrate that these organizations can create a positive and enduring future.

Purchase Here


Visit our website to explore more titles in our series, Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century.

#ReadUP in the Community: Throwback to the Future

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

University Presses have been around a long time—the oldest, continuously operated UP, Johns Hopkins University Press, was founded in 1878! When you include University Presses like Cambridge and Oxford, university press publishing has been influencing scholarship and society for more than 200 years. In all that time, UPs have had to adapt to changing ideas in academia, changes in the market, and changes in readership—both culturally and technologically.

In 2016, University Presses continue to accommodate new and emerging scholarship and sustain research and public knowledge through initiatives that benefit their community. Click through to explore a few forward-thinking endeavors from AAUP member presses.

Yale University Press

Yale explores the future of communities through their title, City of Tomorrow.

Indiana University Press

IU Press authors talk about their favorite Indiana books and authors in preparation for Indiana University’s upcoming bicentennial celebration.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Seminary Co-op Bookstores shares a Front Table newsletter from the 80s.

University of Michigan Press

Focusing on digital scholarship, UMP highlights their innovative Gabii project that allows users to engage with scholarship via a gaming platform, and the Fulcrum platform that they beta launched just a few weeks ago.

Columbia University Press

In order to look forward at possibilities for future collaboration between university presses, Columbia looks back at the history of their South Asia Across the Disciplines series, jointly published by the University of California Press, the University of Chicago Press, and Columbia University Press.

MIT Press

A look back at the MIT Press Bookstore and a look forward to their new location.

University of Toronto Press Journals

Throwing it back to the evolution of UTP Journals and the development of their online platforms.

University of Georgia Press

UGA Press shares their collaborative efforts to organize the Charleston Syllabus Symposium in September.

IPR License

IPR License shares how they are building a community of university presses on its onlight rights platform and helping them to increase their revenue stream from backlist rights sales.

 

#ReadUP in the Community: Spotlight on Staff

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

From volunteerism, to mentorships, and staff members with not-so-hidden talents and passions, our friends at AAUP member presses around the world are servicing their communities in myriad amazing ways. Here are just a few examples:

Wayne State University Press

WSUP highlights their new in-house designer as part of their “Shelf-Talkers” series.

University of Washington Press

Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins on community and food sovereignty.

University Press of Mississippi

UPM Project Editor Valerie Jones discusses her volunteer work for a Jackson spay/neuter clinic .

University of Wisconsin Press

Production manager Terry Emmrich, who is also a fine art printmaker, discusses the Art & Craft of Print.

Johns Hopkins University Press

After nine years in manuscript editing at JHU Press, Debby Bors explains her passion for university press publishing.

University of Chicago Press

Associate marketing manager Levi Stahl has built a community of crime fiction fans around the cult-classic mystery novels written by “Richard Stark.”

Purdue University Press

Editor Dianna Gilroy discusses the connections between her work at the press on the Human-Animal Bond series and her work in the local and global community raising awareness about the value of the human-animal bond and the need to help homeless animals.

Princeton University Press

Behind the scenes with Eric Henney, new editor of physical, earth, and computer science at Princeton University Press.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Former Triliteral sales rep, John Edlund shares his favorite books that he represented throughout his career with Harvard, Yale and MIT.

#ReadUP in the Community: IndieBound in Kentucky

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

This year’s #UPWeek theme is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

We love to publish great books by great authors, but how do we get the books on your shelf? With a little help from our indefatigable partners in publishing: independent booksellers.

It takes a lot of love and passion for books, knowledge, and community to create a great bookstore. Indie booksellers promote new authors, help readers rediscover the classics, and bond community members through events, book clubs, meeting spaces, and even a cup of coffee.

Kentucky is unique in many ways, but one of the things we love most about our state is the number of amazing, dedicated, and energetic booksellers and bookstores across the Commonwealth!

With that in mind, we approached our #Indiebound friends with a few pressing questions about their reading communities, their favorite UPK books, and their favorite karaoke songs. . . . Get to know these champions of the written word, and stop by to snag a new book to #ReadUP!

Our Bookstores and Booksellers who Contributed here:

Our thanks to everyone who contributed their time and attention to helping us with this post. For a full list of independent booksellers in Kentucky, visit Indiebound.org or the American Booksellers Association.


Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort
with Lizz Taylor

Find Poor Richard’s Books online here: http://www.poorrichardsbooksky.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The Frankfort reading community is eager to listen to the recommendations my staff makes for “what their next read could be.”

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?

Crawfish Bottom by Doug Boyd is our top bestseller from the University Press of Kentucky titles.  This history of a local neighborhood originally right outside our front door has appeal for those who grew up here, as well as those who have heard the many colorful stories of this neighborhood.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Pearl that Broke its Shell by Nadia Nashimi.  She describes the young woman in Afghanistan trying to use education to advance their lives.  A great follow-up to Hosseini’s Kiterunner.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I would have liked to have been a doctor or detective, but I still do that type of work trying to find the books to suit my customers.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?

“You have been my friend—that in itself is a tremendous thing.”—E B White from Charlotte’s Web.  I love perusing my book shelves and remembering my “old friends.”

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?

Eleanor Roosevelt for her conviction, loyalty, and strength.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
My favorite thing to cook is food for my bookclub, the Absent-Minded Book Club (as we can never remember who is hosting or what we decided to read.  I love attempting a recipe that will enhance our latest reading experience.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I could be Wonder-Book Woman as I must wear so many hats running Poor Richard’s Books.
My costume could be old book pages shaped to drape, but then I’d get caught up reading those old pages before I finish the costume.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
I loved history, as the “truth is always stranger than fiction.”

What’s your favorite joke?
Not exactly a joke, but Mark Twain referenced Kentucky:  “I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because they are always 20 years behind.”

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to travel, hike and view art.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I actually like the privacy of my life out of the bookstore, where I am social all day long.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I think that Meryl Streep could handle it.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have some medical background as my mother was in nursing school when I was reading Cherry Ames nurse mysteries as a young girl.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
The Beatles—I even named my daughter Julia after that song.  I loved the french included in that piece.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
Robert Penn Warren was a real treat.  He said I could call him “Red,” when I didn’t know that he had been a redhead before his hair turned white.

Do you collect anything?
It’s hard to resist books, art and recipes.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Music is in my head whenever I’m in a good mood.  But the selection varies from day to day.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
A science fiction show like Star Wars, or Star Trek would be an incredible adventure.

Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, color and peace!

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Jane Austen is a favorite, as she responds to her world and admits her prejudices.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A curious cat could work if folks didn’t have allergies.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
We would be located in the middle of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter world.  How much fun to explore all the unique shops!

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen for the reason previously stated.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Definitely comfort food..maybe as satisfying as apple pie.


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Crestview Hills
with Caitlin Fletcher

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

jb-crestviewWhat do you love most about your reading community?
I love how enthusiastic they are! There’s a preconceived notion that nobody reads anymore and I find that to be entirely false. People love their books, they love reading, and they love that anticipation of waiting for a new book. We get customers coming in asking for books that they’ve been waiting for years for. It’s beautiful.
What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
I absolutely adored The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. It was full of rich characters and a plot that makes you want to never put down the book. Crystal was at our store for a signing when the book came out and she was so passionate about the book that it was hard to not enjoy it – so much love, thought, and imagination went into this book.
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron. It’s beautiful. Diverse, interesting, and realistic. I loved it.
What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Anything by Taylor Swift – usually “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Because no one sounds good singing that song and I love Taylor Swift.
If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
Gilmore Girls, probably. It’s quick, witty, and I would love to be best friends with Lorelai and Rory.
Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, laptop, and heat. Or food. Or my cat. This is a tough one.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Hermione Granger.
If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A quokka. They’re friendly, always smiling, and they’re helpful. Plus they’re really adorable.
If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
I couldn’t see us anywhere else except for the Cincinnati area. It’s our home!
If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Wow. I don’t know if I could choose just one. Stephen King is in my top list of favorite authors, so perhaps him. Or JK Rowling. Or Natalie Babbitt. There are so many.
If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Something tasty. Like a cinnamon roll – because it’s sweet and comforting.
What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
I’m not very good at cooking, but I enjoy baking. I love baking brownies, which sounds incredibly simple; but for me it’s quite an achievement!
If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
Hydro and my super power would be manipulation of water. As for what I would wear, probably something practical without a cape.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
English. Words have always come easily to me and reading has always been an escape for me.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through the phases: I wanted to be a doctor, then a social worker, then a rockstar, but in the end . . . I realized I wanted to write and since then, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Other peoples’ opinions of you does not define who you are.
If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
Maybe Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird continues to be one of my favorite books and I would have loved to talk to her about writing.
What’s your favorite joke?
“Have you heard the cookie joke? You wouldn’t like it. It’s pretty crumby!”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve never completely finished writing a novel. I start a lot, but never finish them.
What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I’m terrified of heights. If they knew, perhaps they’d stop asking me to climb tall things!
If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I don’t really know . . . I feel like I’m too weird for someone to portray. Maybe Anna Kendrick. She’s got the quirky weird thing down.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can roll my tongue. I don’t think that constitutes as a hidden talent. But it’s the only thing I can think of.
What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
Nirvana. They still are, actually. My favorite song by them is “Heart Shaped Box.”
Have you ever met any celebrities?
Not any big ones. I’ve met a few authors because of work and I met this singer from Canada that I’ve been a fan of for going on ten years now, but no one incredibly big.
Do you collect anything?
Editions of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. It’s my favorite book of all time.

Wild Fig Books & Coffee, Lexington
with Crystal Wilkinson and Ron Davis

Find Wild Fig Books & Coffee online here: http://wildfigbooks.net

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William DeShazer for the New York Times

Learn more about Crystal, Ron, and Wild Fig Books & Coffee in this recent piece from the New York Times on neighborhood bookstores!

What do you love most about your reading community?
we love their enthusiasm for good books and emerging writers.

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
the man who loved birds with UPofKy

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
the graphic novel, Beautiful Darkness. it was wonderful!

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
ron – the first african to see a slave ship off the west coast so he could warn him to the coming danger and to take appropriate action against them.
crystal – ida b. wells because she remains an inspiration.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
we’re both introverts.

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Follow the adventures of the Wild Fig “Barista Barbie” on Instagram!

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
sam jackson as both of us.

Do you have any hidden talents?
crys – trapeze artist
ron – trained assassin for the nigerian secret service.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?crystal – prince, starfish and coffee
ron – funkadelic, maggot brain

Name three things you can’t live without.
tv remote… a car… werther’s originals.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
luke cage and spongebob because they would be awesome together.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
luke cage and spongebob (see above)

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
luanda, angola because it is so lovely.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
waffles. because… “waffles”.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
art for ron because he paints.
english for crystal because she writes.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ron wanted to be an architect.
crystal wanted to be a journalist.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
dont be poor.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
crys – bell hooks
ron – haki madhubuti

Do you collect anything?
african sculptures.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
crystal – starfish and coffee, because she loves prince
ron – black steel in the hour of chaos because he’s a public enemy fan.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
the 100. because we could build a life in the hills.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
tie among gayl jones, toni morrison, and james baldwin because they are all great writers with excellent social insights.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
avocado toast because we make a great one at the store!


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington
with Kelly Morton

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The diversity and enthusiasm!

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend? 
The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. Plus anything about bourbon.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose? 
The Lorax. Someone needs to speak for the trees.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why? 
We kinda do – he’s a plastic dinosaur named Bob. No idea why.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Listen carefully to everything I say, then completely ignore it and go with your gut.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why? 
My grandfather while he was fighting in Germany during WWII; he died before I was born and it would be amazing to meet him and tell him what his service in Germany would lead to.

What’s your favorite joke? 
Two cows in a field. One cow says to the other, “Are you worried about that mad cow disease?” Other cow says, “No, I’m a helicopter.” ZING!!

Do you have any hidden talents? 
Nope. Both of them are pretty obvious.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song? 
Anything by Destiny’s Child. Also the VeggieTales theme song. I was a strange teenager.

Have you ever met any celebrities? 
Yes – if anyone asks, Jason Segel is like, the nicest guy ever.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why? 
Pie because even if you mess it up, it’s still delicious.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I don’t have a clever name, but I’d be able to breathe underwater and talk to sea creatures. I’d wear scales and seaweed – I’m beginning to think I’m just a mermaid.

What was your favorite subject in school and why? 
Lunch because food. But also art because that’s a different kind of sustenance. And English because I loved reading.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I never really decided. I still haven’t. The nice thing about books is that you can become anyone you want in the pages.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? 
I’m an introvert. 

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you? 
I’m an introvert. Seriously. Let me go hide.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
Someone completely unknown so they could get their big break!

Do you collect anything? 
Elephants, Harry Potter books, and scars, but the last one isn’t intentional.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why? 
Santeria” by Sublime because I know all the words.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why? 
Bob’s Burgers because I’m pretty sure Gene is my spirit animal and I think I’d fit in.

Name three things you can’t live without. 
Espresso, cute dresses, and my wiener dog.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why? 
Cincinnati should count as a world city! Because we’re big enough but not too big, friendly but not overbearing, and we’re obsessed with buckeyes.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
Barbara Kingsolver because I bet she’d bring all sorts of treats to share.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why? 
A really, really big just-baked cookie because we’re warm and friendly.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it? 
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Yes, in a my-heart-is-crushed-and-I’m-dying-but-ok-with-it kind of way.