Book Reviews

Chicken Soup for the Caregiver?

The View from Nashville

Ralph Emery with Patsi Bale Cox

Funeral for a Friend

Short Stories by R.K. Gibson

By Jean Metcalfe

Chicken Soup for the Soul they're not. ButThe View from Nashville andFuneral for a Friend helped this reviewer pass the time while keeping watch at the bedside of a family member recovering from surgery.

The Ralph Emery book is "a behind-the-scenes reflection on the people and times that shaped [Nashville]" and Emery delivers on his promise that the stories are "often funny, often poignant, and sometimes heartbreaking." Beginning with the death of Conway Twitty and ending with a look at his own mortality, the veteran of 50 years in the music business covers a lot of interesting terrain in 310 pages:

Tammy Wynette's funeral

Alan's Jackson's road to stardom

The wit of Vince Gill

Faron Young's big heart

Travis Tritt's hair

Ray Charles' country soul

Roger Miller's Slippery Mind

Ralph Emery will discuss and signThe View from Nashville at the Shelbyville Road Plaza store of Hawley-Cook Booksellers on Nov. 16, 7-8 p.m.

Kevin Gibson probably holds the record for most cover stories written for this newspaper. (For now, Kevin, I will play Sammy Sosa to your Mark McGwire.)

When a small package arrived in the mailbox from Kevin, I correctly guessed that it was his new book,Funeral for a Friend. At my first opportunity, in the quiet of my patient's ICU room, I took the small book (65 pages of short stories) from my purse, furled the flexible cover so that the title wouldn't show, and began to read.

Hmmm . . . not exactly what I had expected. Not my kind of stories. Strange reading for one in my situation. Yet I didn't want to put it down.

Perhaps for Kevin it had been cathartic; maybe some demons were exorcised. Possibly an idea for Six Flags Over Purgatory?

An easy, quick read. Pick up a copy ofFuneral for a Friend at the office of LEO, where Kevin is a staff writer, for $8.95, or by sending a check or money order for $9.95 toFuneral for a Friend, c/o Kevin Gibson, 3900 Shelbyville Road, Suite 14A, Louisville, KY 40207.