Shortlist for 2024 One Book One Nebraska Announced

September 21, 2023

Tessa Terry

Shortlist for 2024 One Book One Nebraska Announced

What book will all Nebraskans be encouraged to read in 2024? We will all find out on October 14th at the Celebration of Nebraska Books. A collection of essays by a Nebraska authors, a memoir, a novel set in the Sand Hills, and a Midwest thriller—all stories with ties to Nebraska and the Great Plains—are the finalists for the 2024 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. The finalists are:

  • The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers edited by Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray, Bison Books, 2007.
  • Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir by Debora Harding, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
  • The Echo Maker by Richard Powers, Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Picador, 2006.
  • The Line Between by Tosca Lee, Howard Books, 2019.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program 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 nineteen titles nominated by Nebraskans. In the coming weeks, Nebraska Center for the Book board members will vote on the 2024 selection.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, on October 14th, will also honor winners of the 2023 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 recognizes an organization known for exceptional contributions to literacy, books, reading, libraries, and 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.

Nebraskans are invited to take part in the Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 14th, at the Nebraska City Campus Union’s Regency Suite in downtown Lincoln, where the choice for the 2024 One Book One Nebraska will be announced. This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection will be featured in a key note presentation by Professor Rick Cypert on Mignon Eberhart and her novel The Mystery of Hunting’s End (Bison Books, 1998.) See or for more information about ongoing 2023 One Book One Nebraska activities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books will include readings by the winners of the 2023 Nebraska Book Awards,with book signings by the authors after the event. 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. 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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