November 21, 2012

Points East: His work is pure Appalachia

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I’m not sure why the day after Thanks-giving is called Black Friday, but I assume that it has something to do with black ink that merchants will use on their profit and loss calculations for sales at the end of the day because it marks the unofficial opening of the Christmas shopping season.  

 I won’t be making Friday any blacker. I will be at home reading. However,  Loretta and my girls will almost surely be spending most of the day standing in check out lines at every department and specialty store in central Kentucky, but I sincerely hope they are not shopping for me. I have made it abundantly clear that the best thing, in fact the only thing, I want and will make use of, is a gift certificate to  

 I will use said certificate to purchase books that I will download to the Amazon Kindle that Loretta gave me three years ago and which has turned out to be the most used Christmas gift I’ve ever received.  

In fact, if you have an avid reader on your shopping list for whom you are considering spending $100, you might consider giving a Kindle.  Actually, the cheapest one can be had for less than $70, and that’s what I have.  When Loretta got it for me, it was top of the line and cost twice that but it’s still plenty good enough for me even though there are far fancier versions  now.

 However, there’s some excellent reading out there that simply can’t be put on a Kindle or any other e-reader.  

 For example, I just polished off two very excellent new pieces of fiction written by my good friend and fellow Letcher County native, Jim Cornett, who has lived in Burnside, Ky., since 1982.  Some of you readers may recall that I touted, here in the column, about three years ago,  Jim’s first work of fiction entitled The Frog Farm, which he did after writing and self-publishing  more than  20 documentaries pertaining to Appalachia.

 The book, published in 2005, was so well-received that he wrote a sequel, Return to Frog Farm, published in 2010.  Now the ink is barely dry on his third fictional work entitled Up on the Mountain; Down in the Valley.   I’ve just finished reading these last two and I’ve seldom been as royally entertained as Jim Cornett’s writing does for me.  In all three cases, as I neared the last page, I’ve thought to myself, “oh please don’t end so soon.”  

 It’s difficult to describe Jim’s style but I would call it pure, un-distilled Appalachia.  Readers will be reminded of, among others, Jesse Stuart, Jan Watson and John Fox Jr.   All three books are set in the hills of Kentucky, wryly humorous, happy-ending love stories.  Readers can simply kick back and enjoy an easy, entertaining  ride with plenty to smile about along the way.  

 But don’t expect slick covers and fancy art work.  Jim is about the ultimate in self publishing.  He writes on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper and his wife, Janice Jewel, helps him proofread it at least a dozen times.  Once they are satisfied with the manuscript, he heads to Office Depot to have it printed. He makes his own covers from card-stock, punches the holes himself and then puts the documents in a spiral binder, one at a time.    

 Jim sells most of his books at fairs and festivals throughout south and eastern Kentucky and through direct mail.  His market scheme is largely word of mouth and the occasional review by folks like me. I am, personally, very proud to help him out.   

 All three fictional titles are priced at $7.50 each, including postage, and would make excellent Christmas presents for anybody who loves good Appalachian fiction.

 You can order copies and/or obtain a price list for his other work by sending a check for whichever books you want  to:  Jim Cornett, P.O. Box 336, Burnside, KY 42519.

 If you want more information, you can email him at: or call him at 606-219-8302 or 606-561-5620.

Text Only
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: An almost completely true fish tale

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results