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Books written by authors with ties to Derby City

From fiction to memoirs and everything in between.

Hands are holding two books about wrestling.

Some of Katie’s favorite local books are about pro wrestling in Louisville.

Photo by LOUtoday

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor (or former neighbor). Brew up a batch of your favorite cup of tea or coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally-written books in Louisville.


  • The Rum Diaryby Hunter S. Thompson | Release date: 1998 | This tangled love story follows journalist Paul Kemp through the Caribbean in the 1950s through a tunnel of coruption, jealousy + murder.
  • The Last Cowboys of San Geronimoby Ian Stansel | Release date: July 2017 | This contemporary Western drama follows the story of two brothers locked in a deadly feud.
  • Sisterby Sarah Anne Strickley | Release date: January 2021 | A woman named Sister attempts to make a family out of the wreckage of her youthful indiscretions in rural Southeastern Ohio.

For the family

  • L is for Louisvilleby Gill Holland Jr. | Release date: January 2010 | Louisville artists created kid-friendly artworks to accompany 26 pieces of Louisville trivia in this abecedary.
  • Little Grump Truckby Amanda Driscoll | Release date: August 2021 | Ride along with a cute, but moody dump truck learning mindful tools to handle emotions.
  • Heartby Deedee Cummings | Release date: August 2016 | Inspired by her work with foster children, Deedee uses lyrical prose to share promises of love, life + faith.

Learn something new

  • This Used to Be Louisvilleby Kevin Gibson | Release date: September 2021 | Learn about Derby City’s past via buildings + landmarks that once were — like the old Sears Building on West Broadway.
  • Waverly Hills Sanatorium: A Historyby Lynn Pohl | Release date: June 2022 | Travel back in time to learn about Louisville’s famous sanatorium and its mixed legacy.
  • Bluegrass Brawlers: The Story of Professional Wrestling in Louisvilleby John Cosper | Release date: June 2014 | Basketball and horse racing isn’t the only sport obsession in the 502 — immerse yourself in the world of professional wrestling + the stars that got their start here in Derby City.

Part of a series

  • Horsepowerby Joy Priest | Release date: 2020 | This breakout collection of poems about the backside of Churchill Downs is part of the Pitt Poetry Series.
  • Books & Boysby Shajuanda Caprices | Release date: 2020 | Character Stacy Robby comes from a shaky foundation, but her fiesty personality + friendships help her traverse a successful career and love life.
  • A is for Alibiby Sue Grafton | Release date: April 1982 | This is the first book in a 25 part series that follows the investigations of fictional character Kinsey Millhone.

Personal stories

  • Little Brother: A Memoirby Sallie Bingham | Release date: May 2022 | This memoir tells the story of Sallie’s brother Jonathan and his all-too brief life and trouble relating to his large, prominent Louisville family.
  • The Greatest: My Own Storyby Muhammad Ali, Richard Durham | Release date: October 1975 | The heavyweight champion himself chronicles the battles in and outside the ring he faced to become a legend.
  • A Dark Room in Glitter Ball Cityby David Dominé | Release date: October 2021 | This true crime saga of the 2010 Old Louisville murder of James Carroll is told through David’s perspective as he sits in on trials + more.

Need more recommendations? Stop by Carmichael’s Bookstore or Butcher Cabin Books to get expert advice from Derby City’s local booksellers. 📚

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