Shortlist for 2020 One Book One Nebraska Announced

October 22, 2019

Tessa Terry

Shortlist for 2020 One Book One Nebraska Announced

What book will all Nebraskans be encouraged to read in 2020? We will all find out on November 9th. A Pearl Harbor memoir, a Midwest family saga, and an American/refugee cultural narrative—all stories with ties to Nebraska and the Great Plains—are the finalists for the 2020 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. The finalists are:

  • The Plain Sense of Things by Pamela Carter Joern, University of Nebraska Press (2008)
  • All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton (with Ken Gire,) William Morrow (2016)
  • The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community by Mary Pipher, Mariner Books (2003)

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, now in its fifteenth year, is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss the same book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. A Nebraska Center for the Book committee selected the three finalists from a list of twenty-four titles nominated by Nebraskans. In the coming weeks, Nebraska Center for the Book board members will vote on the 2020 selection.

Nebraskans are invited to attend the Celebration of Nebraska Books on November 9, where the choice for the 2020 One Book One Nebraska will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at the Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection, This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (Norton & Company, 2017) by Ted Genoways will be featured in a keynote presentation by the author at 2:45 p.m. See or for more information about ongoing 2019 One Book One Nebraska activities.

The November 9 Celebration of Nebraska Books is scheduled for 2:30 – 6:30 p.m., with the Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting to be held at 1:30 p.m. Awards will be presented to the winners of the 2019 Nebraska Book Awards, and some of the winning authors will read from their work. A list of Nebraska Book Award winners is posted at The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for the One Book One Nebraska keynote presentation.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”


The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website,    

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