Tag Archives: Christmas

ICYMI: Holiday News Break Edition

Welcome back from the holiday break! Pardon us while we brush off the cobwebs and shake out the mothballs in our brains…

Our break was full of all kinds of exciting news and tidbits, like this fascinating article from Terri Crocker (The Christmas Truce: Myth, Memory, and the First World War) in the New Republic:

New Republic Shot

“Perhaps it is time we stopped expecting history to behave like a good story—featuring obvious heroes and villains, a dash of irony and a clear moral, with a football match thrown in for good measure—and start assuming it looks more like real life: messy, inconclusive and hard to pin down. Since history is, after all, just life that happened in the past, it’s time for us to get over our need for simplicity, and accept that the past, just like the Christmas truce, is always a lot more complicated than we want to believe.”—Terri Crocker for the New Republic

Crocker also published an editorial, “Civility: The True Lesson of World War I’s 1914 Christmas Truce” in the Lexington Herald-Leader and Louisville Courier-Journal.

Over the break we also celebrated Bradley Birzer’s russell_kirk7.inddRussell Kirk: American Conservative, a biography of the great public intellectual, being named one of the Library of Michigan’s Notable Books of 2016. Kirk’s The Conservative Mind shaped conservative thought in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Elsewhere, Russell Kirk was listed as one of the Best Books of the Year by Daniel McCarthy, editor of the American Conservative

The high-flying, tumbling, falling, gutsy heroines in Molly Gregory’s Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story have been featured in the New York Timesthe New Republic, Variety.com, on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and now in the Washington Post.

“Much like the story of women in almost any industry, this one is a tale of struggle, progress and tempered triumph. . . . In her engaging and enlightening book, Gregory digs into this little-known corner of Hollywood history and gives voice to the women who have risked their lives for a few (perilous) moments on the big screen.”—Becky Krystal, Washington Post


For the late holiday shoppers, The Baltimore Sun suggested Lincoln’s Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of Our Greatest President, and the Louisville Courier-Journal had a whopping 38 suggestions for local books to give as gifts, including: Kentucky By Design, The Birth of Bourbon The Manhattan Cocktail, and Venerable Trees.

Bawden_Miller_CoverThis morning, on the first day back in the office after break, we were greeted with a lovely surprise from the inimitable columnist Liz Smith, who offers this excellent preview of Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era, one of our most anticipated books of 2016!

“[A] dazzlingly entertaining new book. . . . [Conversations with Classic Film Stars] is a treasure trove of info, scintillating gossip and outright, downright dishing.”—Liz Smith, New York Social Diary

We hope you had a restful holiday (or a grand adventure!) Holler at us in the comments or on Twitter and let us know how you spent your winter break.


The Sale is on!


We hope you enjoyed our Halloween ghost stories all week, but now that the ghoulish night is over, we can move on to more exciting things like The Holidays! Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. When else can you get amazing food, spend much-needed quality time with loved ones, and find the best shopping deals? We know you guys can take care of the first two things in that list, but if you find yourself asking, “What awesome shopping deals?”, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve got you covered there!

Every year, UPK hosts their annual Holiday Sale where we discount books left and right for your holiday reading and gift-giving pleasures. This year, we’re featuring over 1500 books in our sale! We know that number can be a bit overwhelming and you may not know where to begin, so we’ve created a “Best of the Books on Sale” list that features the highlights from multiple categories of book genres. Whether you’re shopping for a history buff, local foodie, or poetry fanatic, this guide will help you find the perfect gift.

The way the holiday sale works is when you order from our website, you will enter a code (either “FHOL” or “FSNO”) at the time of check out and you will receive either 20% or 80% off your purchase depending on the title. In order to ensure that your package arrives before Christmas, all books should be ordered before December 4, 2015.


Military History: Kentucky Maverick: The Life and Adventures of Colonel George M. Chinn
20% off
Colonel George M. Chinn’s (1902–1987) life story reads more like fiction than the biography of a Kentucky soldier. A smart and fun-loving character,Chinn attended Centre College and played on the famous “Praying Colonels” football team that won the 1921 national championship. After graduation, he returned to his home in Mercer County and partnered with munitions expert “Tunnel” Smith to dynamite a cliff. The resulting hole became Chinn’s Cave House—a diner that also functioned as an underground gambling operation during Prohibition. He even served as Governor A. B. “Happy” Chandler’s bodyguard before joining the Marine Corps in 1943.

Biographies: My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider’s Journey through Hollywood80% off
The son of famed director and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve [1950], Guys and Dolls [1955], Cleopatra [1963]) and the nephew of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz was genuine Hollywood royalty. He grew up in Beverly Hills and New York, spent summers on his dad’s film sets, had his first drink with Humphrey Bogart, dined with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, went to the theater with Ava Gardner, and traveled the world writing for Brando, Sinatra, and Connery. Although his family connections led him to show business, Tom “Mank” Mankiewicz forged a career of his own, becoming a renowned screenwriter, director, and producer of acclaimed films and television shows. He wrote screenplays for three James Bond films—Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)—and made his directorial debut with the hit TV series Hart to Hart (1979–1984). My Life as a Mankiewicz is a fascinating look at the life of an individual whose creativity and work ethic established him as a member of the Hollywood writing elite.

Classic Film: Rex Ingram: Visionary Director of the Silent Screen
20% off
In Rex Ingram, Ruth Barton explores the life and legacy of the pioneering filmmaker, following him from his childhood in Dublin to his life at the top of early Hollywood’s A-list and his eventual self-imposed exile on the French Riviera. Ingram excelled in bringing visions of adventure and fantasy to eager audiences, and his films made stars of actors like Rudolph Valentino, Ramón Novarro, and Alice Terry—his second wife and leading lady. With his name a virtual guarantee of box office success, Ingram’s career flourished in the 1920s despite the constraints of an increasingly regulated industry and the hostility of Louis B. Mayer, who regarded him as a dangerous maverick.

Civil Rights: The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky
80% off
As one of only two states in the nation to still allow slavery by the time of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, Kentucky’s history of slavery runs deep. Based on extensive research, The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky focuses on two main antislavery movements that emerged in Kentucky during the early years of opposition. By 1820, Kentuckians such as Cassius Clay called for the emancipation of slaves—a gradual end to slavery with compensation to owners. Others, such as Delia Webster, who smuggled three fugitive slaves across the Kentucky border to freedom in Ohio, advocated for abolition—an immediate and uncompensated end to the institution. Neither movement was successful, yet the tenacious spirit of those who fought for what they believed contributes a proud chapter to Kentucky history.

Bourbon: The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries
20% off
More than two hundred commercial distilleries were operating in Kentucky before Prohibition, but only sixty-one reopened after its repeal in 1933. As the popularity of America’s native spirit increases worldwide, many historic distilleries are being renovated, refurbished, and brought back into operation. Unfortunately, these spaces, with their antique tools and aging architecture, are being dismantled to make way for modern structures and machinery. In The Birth of Bourbon, award-winning photographer Carol Peachee takes readers on an unforgettable tour of lost distilleries as well as facilities undergoing renewal, such as the famous Old Taylor and James E. Pepper distilleries in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful book also includes spaces that well-known brands, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, have preserved as a homage to their rich histories.

Politics: Writing Southern Politics: Contemporary Interpretations and Future Directions
In Writing Southern Politics, leading scholars review the key research and writing on southern politics since World War II. This essential volume covers topical areas such as civil rights, public opinion, political behavior, party development, population movement, governors, legislatures, and women in politics.
“Provides the most comprehensive overview of the southern politics literature. The subfield has been crying out for a volume such as this … it will likely become required reading for both students and scholars of southern politics.” — Jonathan Knuckey, University of Central Florida

Cultural Studies: Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the Twenty-First Century
Virtual Afterlives investigates emerging popular bereavement traditions. Author Candi K. Cann examines new forms of grieving and evaluates how religion and the funeral industry have both contributed to mourning rituals despite their limited ability to remedy grief. As grieving traditions and locations shift, people are discovering new ways to memorialize their loved ones. Bodiless and spontaneous memorials like those at the sites of the shootings in Aurora and Newtown and the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as roadside memorials, car decals, and tattoos are contributing to a new bereavement language that crosses national boundaries and culture-specific perceptions of death.

Food: Eating as I Go: Scenes from America and Abroad
What do we learn from eating? About ourselves? Others? In this unique memoir, Doris Friedensohn takes eating as an occasion for inquiry. Munching on quesadillas and kimchi in her suburban New Jersey neighborhood, she reflects on the meanings of cultural inclusion and what it means to our diverse nation. Enjoying couscous in Tunisia and khatchapuri (cheese bread) in the Republic of Georgia, she explores the ways strangers maintain their differences and come together. Friedensohn’s subjects range from Thanksgiving at a Middle Eastern restaurant to fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca. Her wry dramas of the dining room, restaurant, market, and kitchen ripple with geopolitical, economic, psychological, and spiritual tensions. Eating as I Go is Friedensohn’s distinctive combination of memoir, traveler’s tale, and cultural commentary.

Poetry: Many-Storied House
Collectively, the poems tell the sixty-eight-year-long story of the house, beginning with its construction by Lyon’s grandfather and culminating with the poet’s memories of bidding farewell to it after her mother’s death. Moving, provocative, and heartfelt, Lyon’s poetic excavations evoke more than just stock and stone; they explore the nature of memory and relationships, as well as the innermost architecture of love, family, and community. A poignant memoir in poems, Many-Storied House is a personal and revealing addition to George Ella Lyon’s body of work.

Nature Books: Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky
Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky provides an introduction to Kentucky’s signature rare plants with 220 full-color photographs by naturalist and award winning photographer Thomas G. Barnes. The book draws attention to the beauty of Kentucky’s old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats while focusing on the state’s endangered flora. The authors note that as of this year, 275 plant species in Kentucky are considered endangered or threatened, with more than 50 potential additions to the list. The book includes an overview of ecological communities and the ways in which they are threatened, an explanation of how various plants have become endangered, and suggestions for conservation and preservation. The Bluegrass State’s rare wildflowers take center stage with gorgeous color photography and descriptions, organized by habitat. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky will appeal to any nature lover, and the inclusion of references, a complete list of scientific and common species names, and a list of each plant’s endangered status makes the book especially useful to gardeners and to botanists and horticultural professionals.

Merry Giftmas!

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again! We are already knee-deep in the Christmas season, and yet there are still so many gifts to be bought. Instead of stuffing your loved-ones stockings with gift cards and candy, check out these awesome UPK books for a creative gift option that everybody in the family is sure to love. The best part is, if you order them through our website now through February 1st, 2015, you will receive 20% off just by entering the codes “FHOL” or “FSNO”. Happy gift-giving!

For the veteran: Grounded by Robert M. Farley


The United States needs airpower, but does it need an air force? In Grounded, Robert M. Farley persuasively argues that America should end the independence of the United States Air Force (USAF) and divide its assets and missions between the United States Army and the United States Navy.


For the history buff: Madam Belle by Maryjean Wall

Belle Brezing made a major career move when she stepped off the streets of Lexington, Kentucky, and into Jennie Hill’s bawdy house—an upscale brothel run out of a former residence of Mary Todd Lincoln. At nineteen, Brezing was already infamous as a youth steeped in death, sex, drugs, and scandal. But it was in Miss Hill’s “respectable” establishment that she began to acquire the skills, manners, and business contacts that allowed her to ascend to power and influence as an internationally known madam.


For the feminist: Violence against Women in Kentucky  by Carol E. Jordan

For more than two centuries, Kentucky women have fought for the right to vote, own property, control their wages, and be safe at home and in the workplace. Tragically, many of these women’s voices have been silenced by abuse and violence. In Violence against Women in Kentucky: A History of U.S. and State Legislative Reform, Carol E. Jordan chronicles the stories of those who have led the legislative fight for the last four decades to protect women from domestic violence, rape, stalking, and related crimes.



For the movie-goer: The Philosophy of Tim Burton edited by Jennifer L. McMahon

Director and producer Tim Burton impresses audiences with stunning visuals, sinister fantasy worlds, and characters whose personalities are strange and yet familiar. Drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dalí, Washington Irving, and Dr. Seuss, Burton’s creations frequently elicit both alarm and wonder. Whether crafting an offbeat animated feature, a box-office hit, a collection of short fiction, or an art exhibition, Burton pushes the envelope, and he has emerged as a powerful force in contemporary popular culture.

For the poet: Many-Storied House by George Ella Lyon


Born in the small, eastern Kentucky coal-mining town of Harlan, George Ella Lyon began her career with Mountain, a chapbook of poems. She has since published many more books in multiple genres and for readers of all ages, but poetry remains at the heart of her work. Many-Storied House is her fifth collection.


For the UK fan: Wildcat Memories by Doug Brunk

Wildcat Memories illuminates the intimate connection between the UK basketball program and the commonwealth. Author Doug Brunk brings together some of the program’s greatest coaches, players, and personalities to reflect on Kentuckians who provided inspiration, guidance, and moral support during their tenure as Wildcats. Featuring personal essays and behind-the-scenes stories from Kentucky legends Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Dan Issel, Joe B. Hall, Kyle Macy, and Tubby Smith, as well as newcomers Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, and John Wall, this heartfelt collection shares an inside look at what makes UK basketball extraordinary.

For the chef: The Duncan Hines trilogy
Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food by Louis Hatchett
Adventures in Good Cooking by Duncan Hines, edited by Louis Hatchett
The Dessert Book
by Duncan Hines, edited by Louis Hatchett


Duncan Hines (1880–1959) may be best known for the cake mixes, baked goods, and
bread products that bear his name, but most people forget that he was a real person
and not just a fictitious figure invented for the brand. America’s pioneer restaurant critic,
Hines discovered his passion while working as a traveling salesman during the 1920s
and 1930s—a time when food standards were poorly enforced and safety was a
constant concern. He traveled across America discovering restaurants and offering his
recommendations to readers in his best-selling compilation Adventures in Good Eating
(1935). The success of this work and of his subsequent publications led Hines to
manufacture the extremely popular food products that we still enjoy today.

For the horse lover: The Kentucky Derby by James C. Nicholson

Each year on the first Saturday in May, the world turns its attention to the twin spires of Churchill Downs for the high-stakes excitement of the “greatest two minutes in sports,”  the Kentucky Derby. No American sporting event can claim the history, tradition, or pageantry that the Kentucky Derby holds. For more than 130 years, spectators have been fascinated by the magnificent horses that run the Louisville track. Thoroughbreds such as Secretariat and Barbaro have earned instant international fame, along with jockeys such as Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte, and Calvin Borel. The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event calls this great tradition to post and illuminates its history and culture.