Category Archives: Nebraska Center for the Book

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2019 Book Award Winners at November 9th Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 19, 2019

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2019 Book Award Winners at November 9th Celebration

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2019 Book Award winners with author readings and an awards presentation ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on November 9th at the History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2019 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2018. And the winners are:

Children’s Picture Book: A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet by Astronaut Clayton Anderson. Illustrated by Scott Brundage. Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Young Adult: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Cover/Design/Illustration: Portraits of the Sandhills in Words and Watercolors by Richard Schilling. Publisher: Chinook Wind Books

Fiction: Lost Creed by Alex Kava. Publisher: Prairie Wind Publishing

Fiction Honor: The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland by Walter R. Echo-Hawk. Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing

Nonfiction Environmental History: Flood on the Tracks: Living, Dying, and the Nature of Disaster in the Elkhorn River Basin by Todd M. Kerstetter. Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Nonfiction Essay: Five Plots by Erica Trabold. Publisher: Seneca Review Books

Nonfiction Local History: Robber’s Cave: Truths, Legends, Recollections by Joel Green. Publisher: Mighty’s Son Publications

Nonfiction Nebraska as a Place: Portraits of the Sandhills in Words and Watercolors by Richard Schilling. Publisher: Chinook Wind Books

Poetry: The Woman in the Moon by Marjorie Saiser. Publisher: The Backwaters Press

Poetry Honor: Where the Waters Take You by Neil Harrison. Publisher: Pinyon Publishing

Poetry Honor: Landscapes, with Horses by Mark Sanders and Charles D. Jones. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, free and open to the public, will also honor winners of the 2019 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

The 2019 One Book One Nebraska selection, This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (W. W. Norton & Company) by Ted Genoways will be featured in a keynote presentation.

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the 2:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and introduction of the 2020 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. 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.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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Friday Reads: The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Cults, the impending apocalypse, and an ancient plague.

Wynter and her sister spent fifteen years within the walls of the New Earth doomsday cult compound under the charming leadership of Magnus, an ambassador to God himself. As Wynter’s sister, Jaclyn, seemed to thrive in this world, Wynter struggled.

After she’s cast out from her family and community, Wynter is forced into the outside world just in time for it to start ending. An ancient disease has been freed from the melting Alaskan permafrost and is sweeping across America causing victims to fall into madness (as well as general societal chaos and violence). Late one night, Jaclyn reappears with medical samples that might just hold the key. Now Wynter must find a way to get them to a research lab in Colorado before the world really does end as prophesied by Magnus.

The story alternates between past/present, through Wynter’s time living in the compound, to her banishment, as she connects with old family friends and tries to adjust to the outside world, then through the dangerous journey to save (and understand) the world with the help of former military, Chase Miller.

The sequel (A Single Light) comes out September 17th. (Don’t worry though, this first book doesn’t end with a big cliff-hanger.)

Don’t miss Tosca Lee tomorrow at the Book Festival!

Saturday, September 7th 1:00-2:30 p.m.

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Friday Reads: “After the Flood” by Kassandra Montag

How far would you go to find your stolen child? What lies would you tell? What lines would you cross? I have been waiting at least a year to get my hands on this book, and when I finally did I couldn’t put it down. In her debut novel, Kassandra Montag has created a world that doesn’t seem as unlikely as you’d hope. Left in a Noah-esqu existence, characters are just trying to survive the destructive effects of climate change. Only the highest mountain tops dot the new landscape after massive flooding covers the earth. Myra, our heroine, and narrator is making her life on a small fishing boat after suffering devastating loss and betrayal. With only her six-year-old daughter by her side, Myra must make the choice of pursuing the trail of the daughter she lost or protecting the one she still has.

While the setting is a post-apocalyptic, the characters are completely authentic. No super-human strength, good looks, or smarts, just real people coping with their new reality. This book left me wanting more of everything, the story, the characters, and their relationships. I’m not so secretly hoping Montag has a sequel up her sleeve.

Come hear more about this great novel from the author herself on September, 7th at the Nebraska Book Festival. This Nebraska author will be answering questions and signing books, so don’t miss it!

Montag, Kassandra. After the Flood. William Morrow (2019)

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Friday Reads: “This Blessed Earth” by Ted Genoways

Ted Genoways spent a year following a Nebraska farm family – the Hammonds – and writes about his experiences and observations in his book, This Blessed Earth. Rick Hammond and his family raise soybeans, corn, and cattle on their fifth-generation farm near York. Genoways has said that the book intends a “kind of farm-level understanding of the systems that currently exist.” Genoways captures the challenges of farming and life experienced by this one farm family and, more generally, others.

Genoways, a Nebraskan with long-standing family ties to farming, underscores the fact that farming is a huge gamble. In part, it is a matter of living with the uncertainty of weather, the unpredictability of global markets, federal farm policies, finances and more. These and many other challenges determine whether farming income exceeds expenses, falls below, or breaks even. A sudden storm, a downward turn in the markets, equipment breakdowns, and other unexpected events can change prospects dramatically.

Today’s farms are remarkably different from those of previous generations – farms covering thousands of acres, large and expensive tractors, and other equipment with computer screens, and GIS technology to determine spacing and measurement of soil moisture.

A bonus is the historical content and commentary that Genoways provides. Genoways writes about plant science, hybrid seeds, chemicals, water rights, irrigation, and much more. I grew up on a northeast Nebraska farm, decades ago. We raised soybeans among other crops. I had no idea that Henry Ford’s leadership, research, and initiatives were critical in the soybean becoming the dominant agricultural commodity that it is. Genoways details Ford’s recognition of the potential of the soybean for manufacturing and other byproducts. Genoways writes in-depth about Nebraska’s water resources, needs, vulnerability, policies, and management.

Beyond their hard work and self-reliance, farmers must have multiple skills – the ability to fix what is broken, the knowledge to grow and manage crops, the judgment to know when to plant and harvest, to raise and care for livestock, and the intellect to know when to buy and sell.

This Blessed Earth has received much-deserved recognition. It is the book selected by both Iowa and Nebraska for the two states’ 2019 statewide reading programs – All Iowa Reads and One Book One Nebraska. It is among the Smithsonian’s “Ten Best History Books of 2017” and it is the prizewinner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Award presented by the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Ted Genoways is a Nebraska book Award winner for both poetry (Bullroarer: A Sequence) and nonfiction (The Chain).

Genoways will speak at the Nebraska Book Festival on September 7.

Genoways, Ted. This Blessed Earth. W.W. Norton, 2017.

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Friday Reads: “Zoo Nebraska” by Carson Vaughan

A few Nebraska natives still remember the little ragtag children’s zoo in Royal, Nebraska before its tragic end, but its existence has faded into the background of local knowledge like an empty, weathered barn. Easily overlooked. Carson Vaughan invites readers to slow down and take a closer look at what happened—or what could have, should have happened—in Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream.

The murder of a mentor, a chimp named Reuben, a generous donation from Johnny Carson, and a white-knuckled hope to wring a scientific center out of an underfunded zoo drive founder and director Dick Haskin, but the dream alone can’t sustain him for long. Exhausted, Haskin turns directorship over to others, and we watch the actions of each new, well-meaning but misguided leader unravel into tragedy.

Vaughan calmly lays out the facts in vivid detail. Reading these pages I could feel the gravel crunch beneath my feet as he guided me through Royal, showing the empty buildings, the shadows of past residents. And I felt Vaughan’s shock as my own as he pointed, saying, “That’s where they shot Reuben.”

This week’s Friday Reads was guest written by Anna Weir, Publicist at the University of Nebraska Press! Vaughan will speak at the Nebraska Book Festival on September 7. Read Zoo Nebraska and bring your questions – I’m sure this candid narrator would be happy to answer.

Vaughan, Carson. Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream. Little A (2019)

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#BookFaceFriday “A Sister’s Memories”

#BookFaceFriday just loves a book with ties to the Good Life.

"A Sisters Memories: The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott:" Edited by John Sorensen
 If you’re in the mood for a fascinating non-fiction read check out the Nebraska Book Award-winning historical biography “A Sister’s Memories: The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott” edited by John Sorensen (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

“Grace Abbott emerged as one of the leading reformers of her generation. Studious, committed, and experienced, she worked with recent immigrants through Hull House in Chicago, headed the Children’s Bureau, and assisted in the crafting of New Deal legislation. This lightly edited volume, compiled from the notes and partially written chapters of her sister Edith, provides some insights about the motivation and dedication with which she undertook this work. Edith Abbott was an accomplished social welfare worker in her own right, and intended to publish a book to ensure that her sister’s contributions would be remembered. She included personal anecdotes about their childhood in Nebraska, their years spent in Chicago, and correspondence from Grace’s long service with the Children’s Bureau. . . . Recommended.”

(Choice)

This week’s #BookFace model is NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Sally Snyder!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know”

#BookFaceFriday is being blown away by Nebraska’s new State Poet!

"Things We Don't Know We Don't Know" by Matt Mason bookface photo

Matt Mason, Nebraska’s recently proclaimed State Poet for the term of 2019-2024, visited us to chat about poetry and his new role on this week’s NCompass Live webinar. Check out the recorded show, “A Conversation with Nebraska’s New State Poet, Matt Mason” in our NCompass Live archives. This week’s #BookFace highlights “Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know” by Matt Mason (The Backwaters Press, 2006.) If you haven’t read any of Matt’s poetry yet all we can say is “DO IT!” Take a peek at page 42 and read “After the 1996 Fiesta Bowl” and then watch Matt perform it on NCompass Live. You will not be disappointed with this Nebraska Book Award winning poetry collection!

“The only thing better than reading these poems is to hear Matt Mason himself read them.” –Marjorie Saiser

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is the author himself, Matt Mason!

Fun Fact: This book’s cover photo is by John Spence, who Matt used to work with. Matt knew he was a photographer and asked if he had photos which might go with the book. As they went back and forth, he mentioned that Bill Kloefkorn’s first printing of his first book had a photo of Spence’s on the cover. For those of you who aren’t Nebraska poetry buffs, Kloefkorn was a past State Poet of Nebraska.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available at Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 10, 2019

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

Nebraska students competed for the twentieth year in the annual Letters About Literature competition. They wrote to tell an author about how books can make a difference in a young person’s life. Young Nebraska writers who wrote winning letters in the Letters About Literature competition received award certificates from Gov. Pete Ricketts at a proclamation-signing ceremony celebrating National Library Week, April 7-13, 2019. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program. Nearly 28,000 adolescent and young readers nationwide, in grades four through twelve, participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program-hundreds of them from Nebraska. The competition encourages young people to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) who had an impact on their lives.

This annual contest is sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, with funding from Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Nebraska competition is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, Houchen Bindery Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Young Nebraska writers to be honored are:

Winners
Payton Boyer, Alliance, for a letter to M. Ruben
Ruby Cunningham, Omaha, for a letter to Ishmael Beah
Gage Boardman, Valley, writing to Becky Albertalli

Alternate Winners
Maren Steinke, Lincoln, for a letter to Paul Griffin
Makenna Miller, Elkhorn, for a letter to J.D. Salinger
Kelsee Moffat, Oshkosh, writing to Nicholas Sparks

The students wrote personal letters to authors explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the world. They selected authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle, and secondary school.

The Nebraska winners are honored at a luncheon and receive cash prizes and gift certificates. Their winning letters are placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. They will advance to the national competition, with a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. for themselves and their parents. For more information about the competition see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html.

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 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.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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#BookFaceFriday “Last Night at the Blue Angel”

This week’s #BookFace has all that jazz …


#BookFaceFriday continues to celebrate Women’s History Month with Nebraska Book Award-winning author Rebecca Rotert and her literary debut Last Night at the Blue Angel: A Novel(William Morrow, 2014). This mother-daughter story takes you deep into the 1960s Chicago jazz scene where Naomi and Sophie’s complicated relationship plays out. As a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, this book would be the perfect way to spice up any book club! You won’t be able to put down this story by a great female writer.

“Rebecca Rotert traces the difficult contours of love and devotion—a fame-bound singer desperate to change her life, and her daughter, Sophia, who’ll risk anything to stay in her mother’s marred circle of light. Luminous and deeply affecting, this book swept me along and stole my heart.” – (Paula McLain, New York Times bestelling author of The Paris Wife)

This week’s #BookFace model is NLC’s Library Development Staff Assistant, Linda Babcock!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Carry On”

Who needs space when you’ve got #BookFaceFriday?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell bookface image

Magic school, love trouble, political intrigue, and monsters running around, this week’s #BookFace really does have everything. Nebraska author, Rainbow Rowell delivers with New York Times bestseller  “Carry On” by (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015). This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and is a great choice for any book club!

“It’s a brilliantly addictive, genuinely romantic story about teenagers who can’t be neatly sorted into houses, coping with stress and loss and the confusion of just trying to be who they are. It’s as if Rowell turned the Harry Potter books inside out, and is showing us the marvelous, subversive stuffing inside.” ―Time Magazine

This week’s #BookFace models are NLC’s Computer Services Director, Vern Buis and his partner in crime, Janet Greser, our Computer Help Desk Support. These two don’t need wands to make magic, they do it every day by just by touching our computers!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “The Progeny: A Novel”

Being the descendant of a famous serial killer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

"The Progeny: A Novel" by Tosca Lee, BookFace Photo

The Progeny: A Novel” by Tosca Lee, is the first novel in her Descendants of the House of Bathory series. It’s a thrilling tale that takes you through the underground world of Eastern Europe. Tosca Lee, a New York Times bestselling and Nebraska author, brings a modern twist to the ancient mystery of Elizabeth Bathory, the most notorious female serial killer of all time. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, make it the next read for your book club today!

“Tosca Lee is a masterful storyteller who has created a rich and engaging tale of adventure, mystery, and loyalty in the face of perpetual betrayal, which kept me on edge from the first page until the last.” (Jobie Hughes, #1 New York Times bestselling author)

This Nebraska author will be make two appearances in Lincoln tomorrow (Jan. 26, 2019)promoting her new book, “The Line Between: A Novel.” Find her at Francie & Finch Bookshop​ (130 S. 13th. St., Lincoln, NE) from 11am-12:30 and at the South Point Barnes & Noble Booksellers at 2:00 pm!

Today’s #BookFace model is relatively new to NLC, meet Kayla Henzel! Kayla started with us in December as an Administrative and Communications Staff Assistant.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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NCompass Live: 2019 One Book One Nebraska: ‘This Blessed Earth’

Celebrate the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection, This Blessed Earth with Ted Genoways on the next FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 16, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

In this fifteenth year of One Book One Nebraska, we’re partnering with All Iowa Reads to inspire libraries and other literary and cultural organizations to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans and Iowans to read and discuss the same book. Join us to hear more about this dual state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, Iowa Center for the Book, State Library of Iowa, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that our featured guest will be Ted Genoways, author of the 2019 selection, This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm.

Join Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, Christine Walsh, Nebraska Center for the Book President, and Becky Faber, Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member, to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring This Blessed Earth, by Ted Genoways.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss This Blessed Earth.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2019 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2019 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 6 – You Make Me Want To Break Out
  • Feb. 20 – Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives
  • Feb. 27 – Future Ready Nebraska and the Digital Learning and Ed Tech Plan
  • March 20 – Reading Diversely

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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#BookFaceFriday “Let’s Be Reasonable”

This is a #BookFaceFriday to make Grant Wood proud.

"Let's Be Reasonable" by Joel Sartore BookFace Photo

Is there anything more iconic Midwestern than American Gothic? We got the chance to create our own with this week’s #BookFace selection “Let’s Be Reasonable” by Joel Sartore (Unversity of Nebraska Press, 2011). That’s the Nebraska photographer/author himself on the book cover with his wife Kathy. If you’re not familiar with this book of short essays and photography, you should really change that. It’s a must read.

“For this collection of essays and images, photojournalist Santore drew on various subjects encountered in his travels on assignment for CBS Sunday Morning and National Geographic magazine. By turns quirky, candid, whimsical and moving, they cover a wide range of topics, including endangered species, the power of laughter, state-fair food, mud, money, conspicuous consumption, and his own life and family at home in Nebraska.”—Neil Pond, American Profile

(Neil Pond American Profile 2011-09-05)

We pulled this from our Talking Book & Braille (TBBS) collection. It was recorded by NLC in 2016, and narrated by Alice Timm. It’s a part of our collection of Nebraska books and publications made available to Nebraska TBBS customers. It was recently added to TBBS’s Duplication on Demand service. You can learn all about the new Duplication on Demand service in next week’s episode of NCompass Live: Talking Books and Duplication on Demand!

Imagine if there were no books on your library shelves, and instead books were custom-made for every patron, printed and conveniently bound together during their visit. Something along those lines is being implemented with the digital talking books circulated at the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Tune in to find out about the technology behind this change, and its advantages and disadvantages for patrons and staff as we begin this adventure together!

Join Scott Scholz, Director of our Talking Book and Braille Service, and Christa Porter next Wednesday, Dec. 26th at 10:00 am Central Time. Register here!

Scott also happens to be one of this week’s #BookFace models!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Homesteading the Plains”

O give me a home where the buffaloes roam!
This week’s #BookFace is about that home on the range
!

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning nonfiction history book “Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History” by Richard Edwards, Jacob K. Friefeld, and Rebecca S. Wingo (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept their award and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“Homesteading the Plains offers a bold new look at the history of homesteading, overturning what for decades has been the orthodox scholarly view. The authors begin by noting the striking disparity between the public’s perception of homesteading as a cherished part of our national narrative and most scholars’ harshly negative and dismissive treatment.”—from the book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is very appropriately, the plains of Nebraska, more accurately a farm on the outskirts of Aimee’s hometown of Elwood!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “What Is Gone”

This week’s Bookface is a smash hit!

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning memoir “What Is Gone” by Amy Knox Brown (Texas Tech University Press, 2017). The author, Amy Knox Brown, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept her award and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“This book speaks to a current tragedy that will bring up what is yet to be dealt with from the author’s past. The back and forth writing works well in this text and references to life in Lincoln and Omaha are numerous for readers who can easily imagine exactly where events took place. The abduction and murder of Candice Harms is described in gruesome detail beyond what those of us who lived through it remember, and violence against women needs to be highlighted again and again as an ill we have not yet solved in our society. An important read for all.”—from the Nebraska Book Award Judges.

This week’s #BookFace model is the beautiful and historic Nebraska Telephone Company Building in downtown Lincoln, it also houses one of our favorite local bookstores, Francie and Finch!! Don’t worry, no vandalism was committed in the creation of this #bookface.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Short Hair Detention”

And the Book Award goes too…

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning memoir “Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide” by Channy Chhi Laux (Archway publishing, 2017). The author, Channy Chhi Laux, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept her award for and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“In a moving narrative, Channy recounts the intimate details of her journey through four devastating years of the Cambodian genocide that killed more than two million of her people. From the first six months of starvation to the agonizing moments when the Khmer Rouge separated her from her parents, Channy details how she found friendship despite dire circumstances, learned to rely on her animal instincts, endured emotional pain, and found the courage to look past her misery and persevere for the sake of her mother. Through it all, Channy reminds all of us that it is possible to survive unforgiving conditions through faith in God, a fierce determination, and unwavering inner strength..”—from the book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is the completely adorable Kayleigh Nguyen!!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 31, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. The 26th annual reflective writing competition is sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book and presented in association with affiliate State Centers for the Book with funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2019. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners will receive state prizes, and then advance to the national judging.

A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to receive a $2,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2019. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $500 cash award.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and information on the new online entry system, at www.read.gov/letters. Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available on the Nebraska Center for the Book website or watch the upcoming NCompass Live session on November 7, 2018. Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions must be completed online by December 14, 2018. For more information contact Tessa Terry, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.

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 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, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases .

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“This Blessed Earth” Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 29, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm
Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a fourth-generation Nebraskan —and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017) by Ted Genoways is the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection.

This Blessed Earth asks the question, is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day.

For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, This Blessed Earth is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2019 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2019 will mark the fifteenth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book 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 housed at and supported by 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.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award Winners at December 1st Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 10, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award Winners at December 1st Celebration 

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award winners with author readings and an awards presentation ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1 at the History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2017. And the winners are:

Children’s Picture Book: Simpson’s Sheep Just Want to Sleep by Bruce Arant. Publisher: Peter Pauper Press, Inc.

Chapter Book: George and the Stolen Sunny Spot by Kristin Bauer Ganoung. Publisher: Prairieland Press

Young Adult: The November Girl by Lydia Kang. Publisher: Entangled Teen

Cover/Design/Illustration: Nebraska’s First College: Shaping the Future Since 1867 by Dan Sullivan. Design by Christine Zueck-Watkins. Publisher: Peru State College Foundation

Fiction: World, Chase Me Down: A Novel by Andrew Hilleman. Publisher: Penguin Books

Fiction Honor: Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler. Publisher: Little A

Fiction Short Story Honor: One With Bird: And Other Stories by Douglas K. German. Publisher: iUniverse

Nonfiction Biography: The Weight of the Weather: Regarding the poetry of Ted Kooser edited by Mark Sanders. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

Nonfiction Culture: The Sex Effect: Baring Our Complicated Relationship with Sex by Ross Benes. Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

Nonfiction History: Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History by Richard Edwards, Jacob K. Friefeld, and Rebecca S. Wingo. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Immigration Story: Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide by Channy Chhi Laux. Publisher: Archway Publishing

Nonfiction Memoir: What is Gone by Amy Knox Brown. Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Nonfiction Reference: Atlas of Nebraska by J. Clark Archer, Richard Edwards, Leslie M. Howard, Fred M. Shelley, Donald A. Wilhite, and David J. Wishart. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Sesquicentennial: 150@150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial by Jeff Barnes. Publisher: The Donning Company Publishers

Poetry: Rock Tree Bird by Twyla M. Hansen. Publisher: The Backwaters Press

Poetry Honor: Blind Girl Grunt: The Selected Blues Lyrics and Other Poems by Constance Merritt. Publisher: Headmistress Press

Poetry Anthology: Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology 1867-2017 edited by Daniel Simon. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, free and open to the public, will also honor winners of the 2018 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

The 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell will be featured in a keynote presentation at 2:45 p.m.

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the 2:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and introduction of the 2019 One Book One Nebraska/All Iowa Reads book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. 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.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

Posted in Books & Reading, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Last Farmer: An American Memoir”

Old McDonald has nothing on this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

"The Last Farmer" BookFace Photo

The Last Farmer: An American Memoir” by Howard Kohn (Bison Books, 2004) is a great read, even if you’re just a farm kid at heart. This memoir is based on Howard Kohn’s father, his last few seasons working the farm that they both were raised on. Kohn, a former editor at Rolling Stone, digs into the gritty details of his father’s story and the only way of life he ever knew. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the Bison Books, and imprint of University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“A stunning portrait. . . . Kohn went looking for one story—his father’s—only to find his own.”—Chicago Tribune

This week’s #BookFace model is Three Rivers Library System Director, Eric Jones!!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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