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Books written by authors with ties to Lexington

Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by local authors in Lexington, Kentucky.

lex-book-store-joseph-beth

Joseph-Beth Booksellers always has a dedicated section of Kentucky-based books. | Photo by LEXtoday

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor (or former neighbor). Brew up a batch of your favorite tea or coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Lexington.

Fiction

  • “Mr. & Mrs. Witch” by Gwenda Bond | Release date: March 27, 2023 | Read the twist and turns of a pair of newlyweds who discover each other’s supernatural identities + their mission — to take each other out.
  • Lark Ascending” by Silas House | Release date: Sep. 27, 2022 | This book places readers in the shoes of a refugee — reminding them to hold on to hope even during dark times.
  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Edwards | Release date: May 30, 2006 | Two different families are forever bound by a father’s rash decision.
  • The Natural Man” by Ed McClanahan | Release date: Jan. 1, 1993 | This comedy documents the unlikely friendship between a high school bookworm and Hulk-ish high school basketball star.
A woman, Mariama Lockington, with a bright colorful striped sweater holding a book titled "For Black Girls Like Me"

Lexington’s own Mariama J. Lockington holding one of her many books. | Photo by Mariama J. Lockington

For the family

  • “For Black Girls Like Me” by Mariama J. Lockington | Release date: July 30, 2019 | Follow along as a young adoptee learns to navigate life in a new city.
  • Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains” by Mike Norris | Release date: Dec. 17, 2016 | Teach kids to celebrate Appalachian culture with ~50 different nursery rhymes.
  • Under the Ocelot Sun” by Jeremy Paden | Release date: July 14, 2020 | A mother tells the story of her homeland while struggling to find her place in a new environment.
  • Mosquitoland” by David Arnold | Release date: March 3, 2015 | This young adult novel follows a young girl searching for her mother, meeting a quirky cast of characters along the way.

Part of a series

  • “The Secret Weapon” by Bradley Wright | Release date: April 26, 2020 | The first of six books, this thriller series follows the life and work of CIA agent Alexander King.
  • Bluegrass State of Mind” by Kathleen Brooks | Release date: Nov. 17, 2013 | After witnessing a violent crime in NYC, the lead character seeks refuge in Kentucky only to find that trouble has followed her to the Bluegrass.
  • Greater Than Rubies” by Hallee Bridgeman | Release date: Dec. 20, 2012 | A woman with a troubled past meets her match — a handsome billionaire. But is it all too good to be true?
  • The Hilltop Murder Mystery” by Steve Demaree | Release date: Jan. 1, 2006 | This humorous murder-mystery novel follows two detectives who interview eight different suspects — all with ironclad alibis.
Two men, Tom Leach and Mike Pratt, sitting with headsets on at a table calling a basketball game.

Tom Leach, left, and the late Mike Pratt, know a thing or two about Kentucky men’s basketball. | Photo provided by UK Sports Network

Personal stories

  • Kentucky Basketball: Two Decades Behind the Scenes” by Mike Pratt and Tom Leach | Release date: Nov. 23, 2021 | A candid collection of intimate conversations between two longtime UK basketball analysts, Tom Leach + the late Mike Pratt — both of which are almost as famed as Rupp Arena itself.
  • My Century in History: Memoirs” by Thomas D. Clark | Release date: Aug. 4, 2006 | This University of Kentucky history professor spent more than three decades researching, writing, and teaching about Kentucky — this is his story, in his own words.
  • Hill Women” by Cassie Chambers | Release date: January 12, 2021 | Tracing her family lineage through the hills of Eastern Kentucky, this author tells the stories of the strong women that raised her.
A man, Jon Carloftis, standing amongst some plants and trees, holding his book

Would you expect to see the king of gardens take this picture anywhere else? | Photo by Malicote Creative Co.

Learn something new

  • “Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens” by Jon Carloftis | Release date: December 16, 2023 | Take a peek into beautiful world of this renowned designer where you’ll be treated to breathtaking photos of 24 of Carloftis’ gardens.
  • A New History of Lexington, Kentucky” by Foster Ockerman Jr. ” Release date: October 11, 2021 | Lexington is so much more than the “Horse Capital of the World.” This book educates readers on the lesser-known historical events of the city.
  • Scientific Kentucky” by Duane S. Nickell | Release date: July 18, 2022 | This book documents the scientists and inventors from the Bluegrass who made significant contributions to the world of science.

Poetry

  • Affrilachia” by Frank X Walker | Release date: November 17, 2000 | With the publication of this book, Frank coined the term “Affrilachia” and helped pave the way for future African American poets living in the Appalachian south.
  • Bright Dead Things” by Ada Límon | Release date: September 15, 2015 | The collection of poems in this book explore the idea of leaving your world behind to find something new — a finalist for the National Book Award.
Crystal Wilkinson's hands holding her book "Praisesong of the Kitchen Ghosts"

Crystal kicks off her 17-stop book tour tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. | Photo courtesy of Crystal Wilkinson

Cookbooks

  • “Just a Few Miles South” by Ouita Michel | Release date: | Read the stories behind + learn the recipes of Holly Hill & Co.'s famous menu items including TKTK
  • “Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts” by Crystal Wilkinson | Release date: January 23, 2024 | This award-winning author takes us inside the heart and kitchen of her Appalachian upbringing.

Need more recommendations? Stop by Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Black Swan Books, Glover’s Bookery, or SQecial Media, to get expert advice from Lexington’s local booksellers. 📚

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