Staff Picks

Wendell Berry--rural philosopher

Wendell Berry's novels are character driven stories that examine, at a leisurely pace, the joys and sorrows of small town and rural life. All have a strong sense of place, evoking thoughts of one's past home and former neighbors.

Luann D.
A Place in Time     A Place in Time    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

The most recent book about the residents of Port William, Kentucky. A group of short stories that begin in the 1860's and end after World War II. Old friends and new residents share their memories of their lives.

Andy Catlett     Andy Catlett    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

Andy Catlett: Early Travels published in 2007 set in 1943 when Andy is 9 and on his way by bus to visit his grandparents in Port William. Old ways are losing out to modern ideas and technology. Years later Andy will look back and remember this pivotal time in his life and the lives of the residents of Port William.

Hannah Coulter     Hannah Coulter    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

Published in 2004, this is a good place to start reading the Port William, Kentucky series. Hannah was born in Port William and lived her life there, growing up, marrying, and farming. Written in her own voice, this is a realistic portrait of life.

Jayber Crow     Jayber Crow    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

Orphaned at age 10, Jayber started out in college with preministerail training. But finds himself in Port William working as the town barber. From his chair he watches the citizens of the town lives play out and contemplates his own and the decisions he has made.

Memory of Old Jack     Memory of Old Jack    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

Old Jack Beechum, retired farmer, looks back at the changes that have taken place in Port William from the year 1952. The truth and integrity of the land and what people strive for as the modern world comes closer are studied.

Nathan Coulter     Nathan Coulter    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

Nathan Coulter is one of the earliest looks at Port William, Kentucky. Grandson to Hannah, brother to Tom, Nathan survives World War II, but comes home a changed man.

That Distant Land     That Distant Land    
Wendell Berry
Port William authority

An anthology, chronologically arranged, of 23 stories covering several years in Port William, Kentucky. Some of the stories have been reprinted from other of Berry's works, some are new. A good introduction to the Port William series.