Whitesburg KY

Buy Jim Cornett’s new book

As you know if you frequent this column, I have basically given up on using my television for anything other than the evening news or an occasional show on KET that I have not previously seen.

You also know that reading, always my favorite form of entertainment, has almost become my exclusive way to spend idle time or relax before I go to sleep. And I’m currently set for at least a couple months because I was able to find complete collections of everything that Emilie Richards and Lisa Scottoline have written to date on Ebay for a tiny fraction of the cover cost. I have 23 bucks invested in 31 titles and that includes postage.

Actually, I’d already read nine of them, but hey, I can share the duplicate volumes with friends, like Layne Hawley, who are always loaning me books. In fact, for Christmas, Layne gave me John Gorgan’s recent book entitled “Marley and Me”.

It’s the story about the Grogans’ acquisition of a yellow Labrador Retriever puppy and the 15 or so years of life they experienced with the dog. If you are a dog lover, especially of Labs, this is an absolute must read. It is an outstanding piece of writing and telling a humorous and touching story.

So anyway, the book has been turned into a movie starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston.

Last Friday night with the temperature still in the 50s, Loretta and I decided to celebrate the hot weather by splurging on seeing the movie instead of waiting for it come out on DVD.

I’ve never actually seen a movie that I thought was as good as the book. And this one is easily the worst comparison I’ve ever seen. It did have a yellow Lab in it and a newspaper guy, but except for two funny scenes that involved the dog swallowing an expensive gold necklace and one where he pooped in the ocean at an exclusive beach, the movie bore scant resemblance to the book. In fact, the best supporting member of the cast was not even in the book.

But in the spirit of every cloud has a silver lining, about 10 minutes before the movie was scheduled to end, the projection equipment broke down. We were told we were free to wait or come back and see it again, at which point I announced that I wouldn’t sit through the movie again for 10 times the $7.50 ticket price and I wanted a carte blanch ticket for any movie in the house.

And that’s what we got. Thirty minutes later we were outside the theatre with free tickets which means that we may be able to afford a soda with two straws and a small popcorn when we go back to see a freebie.

Speaking of good reading, I doubt that “Frog Farm”, a novel by my friend Jim Cornett who grew up in Letcher County and now lives in Burnside, will ever be turned into a movie, but it is a wonderful read for anyone familiar with east Kentucky coal country. Jim has written over 20 books, six of which are focused on Appalachian cooking and well over a dozen that chronicle life in east Kentucky but “Frog Farm” is his first attempt at fiction. It also has several full-page, hand-drawn illustrations by Roy Swiney of Jeremiah, that add art and imagination to the book.

Jim’s books are all self-published in spiral binders. “Frog Farm”, now that I think about it, would make a great screenplay for a movie. In the meantime it is an oh-so nice love story that captures the essence of life in the mountains and it is worth far more than the $7 (including postage) that Jim will charge to send you a copy. He will also include a price list for his 20-some other books.

Just write a check, tell him you want “Frog Farm”, that I sent you, and stick it in the mail to James G. Cornett, P.O. Box 336, Burnside, Ky. 42519-0336.

Jim says he will send Loretta a copy of “200 Ways to Cook With Apples” if a couple dozen of my readers order “Frog Farm”. But, at $6.50 she may just order it herself before this issue of paper hits the streets.

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