Tag Archives: Nebraska Author

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.

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

Friday Reads & BookFace Friday: Bivouac by Kwame Dawes

I’m reading Bivouac by Kwame Dawes, and I’m reminded that the 1980s were more than a station on your satellite radio. (And does your 80s station play Burning Spear as well as Musical Youth?) The novel is set in Jamaica, and politics are tumultuous throughout the region, and the activist father of our protagonist has died. It could be murder, but that murder might be medical malpractice, or it might have been as assassination.

Dawes uses a notable structural technique in telling the book from more than one viewpoint, and it feels modern as storytelling, extratextual—and the structural choices in form suggest to the reader that they consider the structural forms of the novel, and of family, and of political organization.

The formal structure only helps the reader become more intimate with the characters, and there is much to know. I’m thinking about the problem of guilt for a person who does not have good luck, but has still better luck than people close to them. I’m thinking about how a person can lose a progenitor but have that family live on as a symbol of something important to them—and how that can create tension between the love they feel for family, and the reality they have to continue to live in without that family present. You can’t resolve anything with someone who is gone, except by resolving with yourself. And everyone who is left behind has their own grief, and not all grief gets along.

Review by Lynda Clause, Nebraska Library Commission employee

Dawes, Kwame S. N. Bivouac: A Novel. , 2019. Print.

Meet the author at the upcoming Nebraska Book Festival September 7th in Lincoln.

 

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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)

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

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)

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

#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!

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

#BookFaceFriday “The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God”

This week’s #BookFace had us at “seriocomic love story,” and yes, seriocomic is a real word."The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God" BookFace Image

The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God” by Timothy Schaffert (Unbridled Books, 2005) is this week’s #BookFaceFriday selection. Written by a Nebraska author, and set in our very own state, this novel is all about the twisting turns of the “Good Life.”  This novel a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and it’s the perfect choice for your next book club read!

“Laced with hope and an aching sweetness, it is as whimsical and smile-inducing as its title. Readers will fall for Hud, his family, and the one-off inhabitants of the quirky little town from page one owing to Schaffert’s homey yet elegant and precise prose. The only reason to put the book down is to make it last.” —Library Journal, starred

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is our Information Services Librarian, Aimee Owen!

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!

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

#BookFaceFriday “A Lost Lady”

It’s the end of an era with this week’s #BookFace!

"A Lost Lady" by Willa Cather BookFaceWe chose, renowned Nebraska author, Willa Cather’s novel “A Lost Lady” (Virago UK, 2006) as this week’s #BookFaceFriday selection. Published in 1923 and set against the background of the west, it’s a third person account of a small town aristocrat’s social decline, and the symbolic end of the idealized pioneer and old west. The heroine, Marian Forrester, has been coined a “symbolic flower of the Old American West,” and is rumored to have been an inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy Buchanan. This short novel is a quick and engaging read for any book club!

Her finest novel… Unforgettable…This wonderful performance displays Cather’s narrative technique at its sharpest, as well as her understanding of the eloquence of the slightest gesture, the simplest statement … A masterpiece.” –Irish Times

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is our Cataloging Librarian, Allison Badger! If you get a chance, wish her a happy birthday, because it’s today!

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!

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

#BookFaceFriday “Last Night in the OR”

I need a 100 cc’s of teddy bear stuffing, STAT!

Just kidding. Unlike this week’s #BookFace author, we didn’t actually need to do any doctoring for this week’s photo. “Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey” by Bud Shaw, MD (Plume, 2015) is the fascinating memoir of retired surgeon, Bud Shaw. It follows his journey in medicine, more specifically, the revolution in the field of liver transplantation.  This Nebraska author tells us stories from his days in medical school to opening a world renowned transplant center in Omaha. As a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection this memoir is a perfect non-fiction choice for your book club’s next read!

Shaw’s lean prose offers insights into medical professionals’ private perspectives as well as a sobering sense of human fragility and the scientific strides taken to counter it. A bracing, unusual personal narrative that should appeal to aspiring physicians as well as to those considering the “big questions” around high-risk surgery.”—Kirkus

This week’s #BookFace model is our Computer Services Director, Vern Buis. He may not perform surgery on humans or teddy bears, but he always diagnoses and cures our sick 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!

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