On May 28, State Librarian Christie Brandau and Roy Bird, Director of the Kansas Center for the Book (KCFB) at the State Library of Kansas, unveiled the 2009 Kansas Notable Books List. This fourth annual roll of honor includes fiction, nonfiction, adult and children’s books, each of which was published during 2008 and identified as outstanding for different reasons.
A committee of the KCFB identified the titles and submitted them to State Librarian Christie Brandau for the final decision. The 2009 Kansas Notable Book advisory committee included representatives from academic, public and school libraries, authors, booksellers, publishers, and the media. Press releases were sent out across the state to daily and weekly newspapers on May 28. The authors of the 15 Kansas Notable Books will be honored at a reception hosted by the State Library of Kansas later this summer.
Begun in 2005, with the first titles announced in 2006, the Kansas Notable Books List has quickly become a highly respected honor among the state’s writers. The project was singled out along with others in the citation for the Kansas Center’s 2008 Boorstin Center for the Book Award, the highest accolade a state center for the book can receive. Authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians have featured Notable Books in presentations, displays, and literary events around the state. Authors have appeared at many venues in the state as well. The summer 2009 issue of Kansas! magazine listed Kansas Notable Books as number 12 in their list of “13 Reasons We Love Kansas.”
The 2009 Notable Books List continues to raise awareness of writing by Kansans and about Kansas.
More about the Notable Books project can be viewed at http://www.kcfb.info.
Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka, illustrated by David Craig
Richly illustrated with family photos, this children’s book is an amazing look at Amelia Earhart’s life.Artfully Done Across Generations: An Art Cookbook by Friends of the Wichita Art Museum This over-sized book includes time-tested recipes along with informative sidebars and sumptuous artwork from the museum’s collection.
Burn by Kathleen JohnsonKansas poet Kathleen Johnson’s collection ranges from life on the frontier to memories at her parent’s home to tornadoes.
Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam by Pope BrockBrock’s colorful account of the infamous 1930s goat-gland doctor John Brinkley matches his out-sized subject.
A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. BunceA spellbinding fairy tale spun with mystery and a shot of romance, this first novel by a Lenexa, Kansas writer is an innovative interpretation of Rumpelstiltskin. (Young adult)
The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots by Bob Gress and Pete JanzenOccasional day-trippers or back yard observers will be able to identify and learn about birds that regularly occur in Kansas, with stunning photos and tips on where to search.
Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia HarrisSyndicated food columnist, New York Herald Tribune writer, and Kansan, Clementine Paddleford’s papers at KSU are the basis for this book about the first celebrity food writer who defined America’s cuisine.
Kansas Opera Houses: Actors and Community Events 1855-1925 by Jane Glotfelty RhoadsFrom the communities, to the buildings, to the performers, this book highlights historic opera houses with fine writing and organizational reference material.
Making History: Quilts & Fabric From 1890-1970 by Barbara BrackmanNoted quilting authority Brackman has packed her book with historic photos, stories, and insights into the role of fabrics in everyday life.
Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade As A Postmodern Travel Writer by Rolf PottsPotts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents, but his chapter on Minneapolis, Kansas shows that surprises can be found in the most unlikely places.
The Nature of Kansas Lands by Beverley Worster (ed.)A visually stimulating masterpiece designed to encourage Kansas residents to look beyond their back yards and fences.
A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald WorsterAn extensive and well researched biography on the great conservationist uses his personal correspondence and journals to place him in the political context of his times.
The Pizza Hut Story by Robert SpectorOn the eve of its golden anniversary, this book looks at Pizza Hut and how the Wichita founders turned “pizza” into a household word.
Seeding Civil War: Kansas in the National News, 1854-1858 by Craig MinerA study of how 1850s newspapers played a critical role in turning Bleeding Kansas into an out of control inferno.
Survival of Rural America: Small Victories and Bitter Harvests by Richard E. WoodWood takes a close look at what has happened in several Kansas farming towns and shows that there is much more depth and diversity to rural life than meets the eye.