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Biggers to Hold MTR Luncheon!

The annual Kentucky Book Fair will celebrate a quarter century of hosting authors and book lovers and serving literacy causes Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Frankfort Convention Center.

There will be more than 200 authors at the 25th KBF and 600 titles, both records for a book fair regarded as one of the nation’s oldest and largest of its kind.

Here are some key authors and titles:

•Stephen Shearer’s Patricia Neal – An Unquiet Life details her film and stage career. Neal, the Kentucky born, Oscar- winning actress generations remember as a ranch housekeeper in “Hud” starring Paul Newman, will be on hand to sign it.

•Robert Hicks’ The Widow of the South examines the toll exacted on the people and places involved in the Civil War.

•Charles Shields’ Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee spotlights this unconventional, high-spirited, and sometimes hardheaded woman who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, the most widely read American novel ever.

•Eric Deters’ Pioneer Spirit – One High School’s Rise from Tragedy to Glory is an inspiring story of victory in the state boys basketball tournament. Troy McKinley, a star, will sign it as well as Joe B. Hall who coached him as a crowd favorite at the University of Kentucky.

•Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins will sign a new volume of her public papers.

•Former first lady Judi Patton will autograph Home by John Edwards on how the childhood home influences people of great achievements. It’s an anthology and Patton is featured in one of the selections.

In addition to books and authors, there will be a special salute to the Kentucky Book Fair’s 25th anniversary. It has grown from 40 authors and gross sales of $10,000 at its inaugural to book sales that ticked past $160,000 each of the last three years and the roster has averaged around 170.

That anniversary is this year’s theme and includes a continuously running slide show of photos, news stories and other memorabilia from past book fairs. It will play on a giant screen at the Frankfort Convention Center on the day of the Book Fair.

Other anniversary doings include a special section for children with readings by key authors and there will be costumed kids’ characters. A commemorative tabloid will provide the history of the Kentucky Book Fair. Patrons can write their personal thoughts to be deposited in the Kentucky Book Fair 25th Anniversary Time Capsule to be opened in 2031.

There’s a full day of symposiums and special events for librarians. Two sizes of an anniversary poster will be on sale.

In addition, Jeff Biggers, author of a book on Appalachia, will host a luncheon panel from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on the day of the Book Fair at the Capital Plaza Hotel on mountaintop removal. Tickets may be purchased through Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 859-273-2911 or 1-800-248-6849.

Here are some more titles to look for:

•My Century in History, Thomas Clark with a forward by James Klotter offers vivid memories of Clark’s journey, both personal and academic. Clark died on June 28, 2005, just days before his 102 birthday.

•Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell’s Encyclopedia of Appalachia captures the complexities of the enigmatic Appalachian region.

•James Archambeault’s Historic Kentucky with a foreword by Wendell Berry is a photographic elegy to the scenic treasures of Kentucky’s culture.

•Dwight Moody’s On the Other Side of Oddville is more than 100 short stories.

•James Gifford will sign a special reprinted edition of The Thread that Runs So True, Jesse Stuart’s well-known, inspiring work that has endured with time.

•State Treasurer Jonathan Miller will sign The Compassionate Community: Ten Values to Unite America.

•Martha Bennett Stiles’ One Among the Indians is a true story of the founding of Jamestown, Va., the first permanent English colony.

•Gene Burch and Russ Hatter are returning with Historic Images of Frankfort I and II.

•Randolph Runyon’s Ghostly Parallels is a comprehensive and detailed examination of Robert Penn Warren’s poetry.

•Carl L. Kell’s Exiled … Voices of the Southern Baptist Convention Holy War is the second of three books about the historical changes in the Southern Baptist Convention.

•John W. Snell’s Red River Gorge: The Eloquent Landscape is a full color, coffee table-style book of photographs of a top Kentucky tourist spot.

•Natty Bumppo’s War Stories: Memoirs of a Country Lawyer is a treasure chest of courtroom battles.

•Gatewood Galbraith returns to the book fair with the updated and wildly popular The Last Free Man in America.

•Genevieve Lacer’s Edward Troye – Painter of Thoroughbred Stories celebrates America’s most popular painter of racehorses during the 19th century.

There will be some new titles or past favorites of KBF patrons: David Dick, Lalie Dick, George Ella Lyon, Paul Brett Johnson, Marcia Thornton Jones, Bobbie Ann Mason and Silas House among others.

The Kentucky Book Fair is sponsored by The State Journal, Frankfort’s daily newspaper, and co-sponsored by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the University Press of Kentucky. Joseph-Beth Booksellers of Lexington is an active partner, providing logistical and other support.

The Book Fair’s profits are donated to mostly school and public libraries in Kentucky, which have few resources to expand collections, replace old books, or fund literacy-related causes. Those contributions to date total more than $250,000.

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