Posted by The Jesse Stuart Foundation at



New Year’s resolutions reflect personal values. Many resolutions relate to our physical being: we resolve to lose weight or start an exercise program. Some resolutions relate to our spiritual life, but it seems to me that people should also resolve to improve their minds.


In 2016, I encourage you to start a reading program. Toward that end, I invite you to join our Jesse Stuart Foundation book group, “The Regional Readers.” We meet the last Tuesday of each month at 4:45 pm. On January 26, we will be discussing “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. The book group is open to everyone, and new members are always welcome.


Nothing helps you build “mental muscles” more than reading, and I’ll recommend a few regional books to add to your 2016 reading list:


  • Hidden Heroes of The Big Sandy is a collection of biographical essays by seventeen of the region’s best authors. Reading this book will be an exercise in self-discovery for many local readers.
  • Men of Valor by local author journalist Sam Piatt is a collection of World War II stories that profile men from Southern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky
  • Jesse Stuart: Immortal Kentuckian by yours truly is a comprehensive study of one of Kentucky’s best-known citizens and most-loved writers.
  • Missing Christmas by Rowan County author Jack Ellis is a memoir of his life during the depression and World War II
  • Night Comes to the Cumberlands by Harry M. Caudill is one of the most influential books ever written about Kentucky. It was the subject of a yearlong series of articles by the “Lexington Herald-Leader.” The book focuses on the land and people of Eastern Kentucky and highlights many of Appalachia’s economic, social, and environmental problems
  • Beneath the Weeping Skies by Greenup County author Stacy R. Nelson is an exciting novel set in eastern Kentucky’s post-Civil War era.
  • Mark My Words by local author Mark Maynard is a popular collection of stories about the legendary sports heroes of Northeastern Kentucky.

These books are included among the thousands of Kentucky and Appalachian books in the Jesse Stuart Foundation Bookstore at 4440 13th Street in Ashland.


For more information, call (606) 326-1667.


 Happy New Year from your friends at the Jesse Stuart Foundation!



James M. Gifford, Ph.D.

CEO& Senior Editor

Jesse Stuart Foundation






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