Tag Archives: books

#BookFaceFriday “Strong, Hot Winds” by Iris Johansen

We’re heating it up with #BookFaceFriday!

It’s been hot out there this week so we thought we’d bring you the quintessential Nebraska summer title, “Strong, Hot Winds” by Iris Johansen ( Bantam, 2013.) No, it’s not about balmy gusts rolling across the plains, more like a steamy desert romance, but you can’t have everything. This title is available as an eBook in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection. We have several Iris Johansen titles in the collection, including A Face to Die For, High Stakes, Fatal Tide, Chaos, and No One to Trust

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen gives readers plenty of heat in a sultry tale of love and betrayal in the hot desert sun.
book jacket

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 188 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 21,696 audiobooks, 35,200 eBooks, and 3,964 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord

Whatever floats your #BookFaceFriday!

The summer camp vibes are strong with this week’s #BookFace! Take a break from the lake with “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Press, 2016,) available in the NLC Book Club collection. Summer Reading Programs and book lists are the perfect opportunity to start some kid’s book clubs! Book clubs are a great way to fight the summer slide, encourage critical thinking, and developing social skills, not to mention another way to foster a child’s love of reading. This is your reminder that NLC’s Book Club Kits Collection is not just for adults. We have a huge collection of young adult titles that are perfect for fostering discussion. You can search the Book Club Kits Collection by selecting “Young Adult” in the Genre drop down, or by selecting a specific grade level.

“Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak… A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.”

— School Library Journal

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Book Club Spotlight – How to Be an Antiracist

Cover of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Welcome to the first Book Club Spotlight of June! With Juneteenth this month, I thought we’d start by highlighting How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Dr. Kendi is a historian, and the founding director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Having spent 45 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, and named one of Time’s “must-read” books, How to Be an Antiracist now has two companion books: Antiracist Baby, and Be Antiracist.

Using a memoir approach, How to Be an Antiracist follows Dr. Kendi through his formative years, experiencing racism as a Black man and acting upon it himself. The narrative works as a starting point for those new to the antiracist ideology by examining ethics, intersectionality, and the history of racism/race from a first-person perspective. How to Be an Antiracist encourages its readers not just to be opposed to racism but to see how it affects every aspect of our lives and to challenge it.

“What a powerful construction race is—powerful enough to consume us. And it comes for us early.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Being only the second year that Juneteenth has been recognized as a federal holiday, discussions of race might be on your book club members’ minds. I’d recommend this for adult book groups who don’t know where to start in their discussion of race or just want to learn more about the racial system in America. Dr. Kendi leads the reader through difficult terrain in a manner accessible to the layman and ripe for discussion. His guided journal, Be Antiracist, can also help facilitate discussion amongst your members with questions such as: “Who or what scares you the most when you think about race?” and “What constitutes an American to you?”

If you’re interested in reserving this title for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our Black Voices collection, visit the link here.

Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. New York, NY: One World, 2019.

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#BookFaceFriday “Keeping Faith” by Jodi Picoult

Keep your hat on ‘its #BookFaceFriday!

Some authors are just perfect for book club discussions and #BookFace! With subjects and characters that keep the conversation flowing check out “Keeping Faith: A Novel” by Jodi Picoult (William Morrow, 2006,) available in the NLC Book Club collection. We have twenty, say that again, TWENTY Jodi Picoult titles in our Book Club Kit Collection! If that’s not enough for you, there are even more Picoult books available in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection, both in eBook and Audiobook format.

Keeping Faith is a raging success. . . . A triumph. This novel’s haunting strength will hold the reader until the very end and make Faith and her story impossible to forget.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: Nonbinary: Memoirs of a Gender and Identity

I found myself talking about all-girls code clubs in an NCompass Live presentation earlier this week. Mid-sentence, I remembered an episode of the Queer Eye where a trans girl was trying to find groups in school that fit her identity. As I recalled her troubled face, I ended the sentence to include people who identify as girls. I tried to limit the verbal word vomit as I struggled to find the right words to describe people who don’t identify as male or female.

That night, I went on Hoopla and checked out the audiobook for Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity by Micah Rajunov, hoping to find the right words. Plus, it’s almost Pride Month, so it might be a good book to help people understand a changing world. The nonbinary narratives in this book give a voice to those who do not fit neatly into the gender categories of male or female. As with any large group of people, one collection of stories can never represent an entire subset of the population. Each individual defines themselves.

Honestly, I find it difficult to neatly define what nonbinary means when the nonbinary population is still trying to define themselves, and struggling for acceptance in the world. Before reading this book, I knew that some nonbinary people used the they/them pronoun instead of she/he. Several years ago, I met them in a writing group and heard their story. Yes, you read that sentence right.

To this day, I still hear my grammar school teacher saying on repeat: ‘They’ are a group of people. She is an individual. He is an individual. We had to practice proper pronoun use around the room. Now, I still have to override the grammar side of my brain to be inclusive to all genders. So, I met them in a writing group. Just one person out of many people I met in that group.

I heard their story in that group, and now I have read the memoirs in this book. I learned from a man who finally gained the courage to transition to a female after fifty years. A trans advocate revealed the struggle of the trans nation. I added new words to my vocabulary: femme, gender rebel, genderqueer, nonbinary. These words are not my own, so I can’t help but pronounce them as though practicing a foreign language. The words are not wrong, just new. My voice tilts up at the end, as though asking if I got it right. Femme? Genderqueer? They’re never there to answer. This book gave them a voice and helped me find better words.

Stories are how we come to understand ourselves and the world. Sometimes we find a piece of ourselves we never knew was missing. New ideas give deep-seated, intangible feelings a name.  Naming an enemy gives us power to stand strong in the face of adversity. Like Rumplestiltskin. I read and wondered how many people saw ‘nonbinary’ and found peace after decades of mental anguish. Personally, I would prefer them to be nonbinary rather than depressed or suicidal.

So next time I talk about a Girls Who Code club, I will say that they are welcome. Anyone who wants them to feel safe and included is welcome. Anyone who wants to degrade them and make them feel insecure, unsafe, and less than human can see themselves out. Maybe not forever, just long enough to process. We are all human. Read their story, then we can all learn together.

Rajunov, Micah, and Scott Duane, editors. Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity. Columbia University Press, 2019.

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#BookFaceFriday – “Millennial Cervantes” by Bruce R. Burningham

We’re tilting at windmills with this week’s #BookFaceFriday.

Go on an adventure with this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “Millennial Cervantes: New Currents in Cervantes Studies (New Hispanisms)” edited by Bruce R. Burningham (University of Nebraska Press; Illustrated Edition, 2020.) The Nebraska Library Commission’s Collection is always growing, the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP). UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

“Millennial Cervantes explores some of the most important recent trends in Cervantes scholarship in the twenty-first century. It brings together leading Cervantes scholars of the United States in order to showcase their cutting-edge work within a cultural studies frame that encompasses everything from ekphrasis to philosophy, from sexuality to Cold War political satire, and from the culinary arts to the digital humanities.”

Book jacket

“This collection of nine provocative, beautifully elaborated essays explores the impact of Cervantes’s writings in their own time and place, and well beyond.”

—E. H. Friedman, Choice

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen

It’s raining #BookFaceFridays!

We took advantage of yet another rainy day for this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen (Random House, 2015) is now available in the NLC Book Club collection! We just added this New York Times bestseller to our collection thanks to a donation from Bellevue Public Library! We love that book clubs around the state regularly donate their books so that more book clubs can read them. So we want to say a big THANK YOU to all those who have sent us donations! We have three of Sara Gruen’s titles in our Book Club Kit Collection, reserve one for your group’s next read!


“Magical . . . At the Water’s Edge skillfully transports us to a small, tenacious Scottish village in the grip of war, and into the heart of Madeline Hyde, a woman who is a stranger to herself until forces convene to rock her awake. Sara Gruen is a wizard at capturing the essence of her historical setting, and does so here in spades, but it’s Maddie’s unexpected transformation that grounds and drives the novel. As her husband and best friend search the surface of the Loch, desperate for a sign of the elusive creature, Maddie learns to plumb her own depths, and comes fully alive to the world around her.”
Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone” by Diana Gabaldon

I have been a huge fan of time travel fiction, historical fiction, and medical fiction for a very long time, and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, tops my list of all three of these genres. The 9th book in the series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (2021), is her latest installment in this sweeping saga. I am also a huge fan of the Outlander TV series, currently having just concluded season 6, with each season roughly matching each book. Because it had been 8 years since the previous book, I went back and listened to books 6, 7, and 8–before diving into book 9. As always, it did not disappoint!

For those new to the series, Claire Beauchamp Randall, a WWII British Army nurse, falls through standing stones (similar to Stonehenge) in 1946, and lands in 1743 Scotland, where she meets Jamie Fraser, a twenty-something red-haired Scots warrior and laird. Claire, while trying to figure out how to get back to her own time and husband, is protected by Jamie, and they fall in love. Together they must survive clan wars, British Redcoats, injuries, starvation, and French intrigue as they come ever closer to Culloden–the Jacobite Rising battle that would determine the fate of Highlands culture and possibly the throne of Great Britain. Through all of these circumstances, Claire uses her medical knowledge to help any and all in need. Immediately before Culloden, Jamie sends Claire back through the stones to her own time–back to her husband Frank. For the next twenty years, Claire believes Jamie to be dead at Culloden, and not until Frank dies does she begin to suspect that Jamie might still be alive in the past. Eventually Claire and Jamie are reunited, and their adventures together in 18th century Scotland, the Caribbean, and the American Colonies are a great read. That brings us to Book 9–Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

It is now 1779, and Claire and Jamie have been settled for awhile on Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina, along with their daughter Brianna and her family, friends, and other refugees from Scotland. They have built a solid life–Jamie as a land owner, and Claire as a healer. Independence from Great Britain has been declared, but loyalties are split across all of the colonies, even on Fraser’s Ridge. As the Revolutionary War rages from New York to Georgia, Jamie and Claire need to once again stay closely bonded to survive–through war, fire, disease, injuries, death, and someone special from Jamie’s past. As always, a wonderful historical fiction saga with a great set up at the end for book 10. I can’t wait!

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Friday Reads: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs just wants to survive high school, get a scholarship, and travel, leaving her terrible home life behind forever.

One day, she learns that billionaire Tobias Hawthorne has just died, leaving his entire fortune to the orphaned high school student. But Avery has never met or even heard of any member of the Hawthorne family.

In order to receive this unexpected fortune, Avery must live and stay at the Hawthorne mansion for one year. According to the will, Hawthorne’s two (quite angry) daughters and four grandsons, who all received nothing, would also be allowed to continue living at the mansion. Awkward. Avery seemingly has only her sister, Libby, and best friend, Max, on her side.

What is Avery’s connection to Tobias and the family? Is she just a con-woman, as the brothers suspect? Is she just a pawn in Tobias’ final twisted game? What secrets are hidden throughout the enormous mansion and mysterious passageways? Will Avery stay alive long enough to even claim her fortune?

This is the first book in a three-part series. It’s an entertaining read that focuses more on the puzzles and riddles left by Tobias, rather than a more straight-forward detective style story. The plot moves fairly quickly as Avery and the brothers work to make sense of the will, uncover family secrets, and avoid the threats against Avery’s life.

  • Book #1: The Inheritance Games
  • Book #2: The Hawthorne Legacy
  • Book #3: The Final Gambit (August 2022)

Barnes, J. (2020). The Inheritance Games. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

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Friday Reads: Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

I first read Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake last winter with my kids, who both enjoy humor and talking animals (who doesn’t, right?). A story of an unlikely friendship, Badger and Skunk must learn to co-exist in Aunt Lula’s brownstone. Quiet Badger has lived contentedly alone, doing Important Rock Work, when a knock on the door heralds the arrival of his new roommate, Skunk. An arrival Badger would have foreseen had he checked his mail more often and read Aunt Lula’s letter informing him of her decision to invite Skunk into the house. Alas, he had not and the knock is an unpleasant surprise. Now Badger’s world is chaos: no quiet time for reflection and Important Rock Work, piles of dishes to scrub after Skunk cooks them both delicious meals, an errant potato left in the corner of the kitchen. And the chickens! It’s too much for one Badger to bear. Change is hard, but sometimes even the most stubborn of Badgers will realize that life is better with a good friend.

This book was reread this past week by my 11-year-old to present as a book report, and an Important Brownstone Diorama is in the works on our kitchen table. We both highly recommend this first book in the series, as a read-aloud if you are more like Skunk, or as a quiet read-alone if you are more Badger-like. We are currently awaiting the arrival of the sequel in the mail, which we check about as often as a certain Badger.

Timberlake, Amy. Skunk and Badger. ‎ Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Young Readers, 2020.

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Relaxed Copyright Rules For Virtual Storytimes Ending

Throughout 2020 and 2021, many publishers relaxed their read-aloud and book-sharing rules to allow librarians and educators to have virtual storytimes. While a few publishers have extended these policies until December 31, 2021 (and a couple into 2022), many have allowed these permissions to expire.

If your library has hosted (or is still doing) an online storytime for your youngest patrons, be sure that you check with each publisher’s rules so that you don’t run afoul of copyright laws. For instance, some may allow livestreaming of read-aloud performances, but not recorded videos. Others allow recorded videos posted to limited audiences. Videos may need to be deleted or have access disabled by a certain deadline. Permission forms may still need to be submitted and the publisher credited during the performance. Taking care to check the specific publisher’s rules will help you avoid any legal complications for your library.

We’ve been keeping track of a number of publishers’ rules here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/readonline.aspx#copyright

You can check out our other copyright resources here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/legal/copyright.aspx?menu2

Recommended reading:

These titles and more are available from the Nebraska Library Commission and can be borrowed by librarians and library science students in Nebraska. Find them in our catalog!

  • Coaching Copyright (2020, ALA Editions) by Smith, Kevin L.
  • Compact copyright : quick answers to common questions (2021, ALA Editions) by Sara R. Benson
  • Complete copyright for K-12 librarians and educators (2012, ALA) by Carrie Russell.
  • Copyright Conversations: Rights Literacy in a Digital World (2019, ACRL) edited by Sara R. Benson.
  • Copyright law for librarians and educators : creative strategies and practical solutions (2020, ALA Editions) by Kenneth D. Crews.
  • The copyright librarian : a practical handbook (2016, Chandos Publishing) by Linda Frederiksen

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Friday Reads: “Come Fly With Me: the Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am” by Julia Cooke

If you’ve spent the pandemic grounded as I have, you may enjoy the escape to exotic locates found in Julia Cooke’s Come Fly the World: the Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am.

Following the career progression of three Pan Am flight attendants, Cooke also delves into the evolution of the career itself from the 1950s through the ’70s. Many young women vied for the job of globe-trotting stewardess, but few possessed both the physical attributes (height and weight requirements) and education (a college degree and fluency in two languages were expected), combined with the poise and grace needed to deal with unruly passengers and remain calm in mid-air emergencies. Those who did were rewarded with the opportunity to see the world, shop in foreign markets, and establish themselves as independent women with their own income, with the caveat that they were expected to retire at the age of 26 or upon getting married.

These women were often on the forefront of world events, from Cold War espionage to shuttling U.S. troops on R&R trips out of Vietnam. Flight attendants on layovers in Moscow were surveilled by the Russian government, and planes were shot at in war zones.

They were also often on the leading edge of the feminist movement, pressing the industry for changes in uniforms and physical requirements, as well as allowing married and pregnant women to continue working, and helping men gain entry into the profession.

If your impression of flight attendants is more “Coffee, tea, or me?” than “I am woman, hear me roar”, you will find Cooke’s history of the profession, with it’s glamour and grit, as fascinating as I did.

Cooke, Julia. Come Fly With Me: the Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am. Marine Books, 2021.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate”

Yeehaw! Get along, lil’ #BookFaceFriday!

In honor of a true Nebraska legend, today we are highlighting Leta Powell Drake’s memoir, “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate: A History of Nebraska’s Children’s TV Shows(J & L Lee Co., 2014). Leta Powell Drake was a celebrity in Nebraska and throughout the world of entertainment with a 50-year career in broadcasting. To us, at NLC, she holds a special place as a narrator for our Talking Book and Braille Service. Many of her famous interviews have been archived by History Nebraska and can be found on their YouTube channel. We highly recommend her memoir and 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 University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program. In 1972, the Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.

“The Calamities of Kalamity Kate is a nostalgic trip into the past that is not only enjoyable but edifying.” — foreword by Ron Hull

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 – “Librarian Tales” by William Ottens

This #BookFaceFriday really stacks up!

We are not done hyping NLC’s library science collection! It’s not just textbooks and curriculum, but fun reads like “Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks” by William Ottens (Skyhorse, 2020.) A book of anecdotes that is perfect for library staff and those who think librarians just read all day long. This Library Science Collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs. This includes all librarians and library science students. The checkout period is 4 weeks, and items can be sent through the mail or picked up in person. You can find all of these books and more in our catalog, or reach out to our reference staff for a recommendation!

“”In this delightful book, Ottens pulls back the cover of library life and the magic and mayhem found within. Librarians will recognize themselves in these wonderful stories, while readers will gain a greater appreciation for their favorite local library.”

Jill Grunenwald, author of Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

This week’s #BookFace model is the most adorable book stack I’ve ever seen.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday – “Creativity for Library Career Advancement”

A bright idea for a #BookFaceFriday!

Voila! Did you know the Commission has a collection of library science titles? Our Library Science Collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs. This includes all librarians and library science students. The checkout period is 4 weeks, and items can be sent through the mail or picked up in person. We get new titles in all the time like “Creativity for Library Career Advancement: Perspectives, Techniques and Eureka Moments” edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood (McFarland, 2019.) You can find all of these books and more in our catalog, or reach out to our reference staff for a recommendation!

“An insightful collection…expertly organized and presented…an extraordinary, informative, comprehensive, and insightful contribution that is very highly recommended”―Midwest Book Review

This week’s #BookFace model is Jen Wrampe, NLC’s Administrative Staff Assistant. She pretty much keeps our office running; without her we wouldn’t even have pens to write with.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday – “The Blue Tattoo” by Margot Mifflin

It’s the wild west with this week’s #BookFaceFriday.

Take a trip back in time with this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West)” written by Margot Mifflin (University of Nebraska Press; Illustrated Edition, 2011.) The Nebraska Library Commission’s Collection is always growing, the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP). UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

The Blue Tattoo is well-researched history that reads like unbelievable fiction, telling the story of Olive Oatman, the first tattooed American white woman. . . . Mifflin weaves together Olive’s story with the history of American westward expansion, the Mohave, tattooing in America, and captivity literature in the 1800s.”—Elizabeth Quinn, Bust

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “The Children’s Blizzard”

Get blown away by this #BookFaceFriday!

January 12, 1888, began as an unseasonably warm morning across Nebraska… but that’s not how it ended. Today for #BookFaceFriday we have a tale of two books, both titled “The Children’s Blizzard,” and both about that fateful snowstorm. And yes, they are both a part of one or more of our collections. First, we have “The Children’s Blizzard: A Novel” by Melanie Benjamin (Delacorte Press, 2021) is brand new to our Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection, and it’s available in both eBook and Audiobook.

“In this piercingly detailed drama, riveting in its action and psychology, Benjamin reveals the grim aspects of homesteading, from brutal deprivations to violent racism toward Native Americans and African Americans, while orchestrating, with grace and resonance, transformative moral awakenings and sustaining love.”Booklist (starred review)

Our second contender is “The Children’s Blizzard” by David Laskin (Harper Perennial; 3rd edition,2005.) A nonfiction title that is available in both our Book Club Kit Collection and as an eBook and Audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. 

“In The Children’s Blizzard, David Laskin deploys historical fact of the finest grain to tell the story of a monstrous blizzard that caught the settlers of the Great Plains utterly by surprise. Using the storm as a lens, Laskin captures the brutal, heartbreaking folly of this chapter in America’s history, and along the way delves into the freakish physics of extreme cold. This is a book best read with a fire roaring in the hearth and a blanket and box of tissues near at hand.” — Erik Larson, author of Isaac’s Storm and The Devil in the White City

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday – “Maria Czaplicka: Gender, Shamanism, Race” by Grażyna Kubica

We tip our hat to this week’s #BookFaceFriday.

If expanding your worldview or knowledge through reading was on your list of New Year’s goals, check out “Maria Czaplicka: Gender, Shamanism, Race (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)” written by Grażyna Kubica, translated by Ben Koschalka (University of Nebraska Press; Illustrated Edition, 2020.) The Nebraska Library Commission’s Collection is always growing, the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP). UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

“Grazyna Kubica examines Maria Czaplicka’s unfinished scientific legacy in this page-turner history of anthropology during wartime Britain. One review of Czaplicka’s account of her 1915 Siberian expedition proclaimed that she ‘could not be dull if she tried.’ Kubica offers a full and fitting tribute to Czaplicka’s indomitable spirit, her contributions to continuing debates, and the meaning of a truncated life in anthropology.”Sally Cole, professor of sociology and anthropology at Concordia College and author of Ruth Landes: A Life in Anthropology

This week’s #BookFace model is Mary Sauers, NLC’s Government Information Services Librarian. Mary writes the monthly Book Briefs blog post showcasing the latest UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger

Imagine yourself in lovely Victorian-era England with grand homes, elegant balls, and a large steam powered dirigible school floating by.

Wait…what?

The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger is an absolutely lovely young adult series that follows one Miss Sophronia Temminnick through her time at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Classes include “Fainting in a crowd to attract attention” and “Buying poison and planning dinner on a limited budget”.

Hold on! What?

As the books progress we’re taken out of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy into the greater world. In Scotland we’re introduced to Sophronias friend Sidhegs pack, her grandfather and uncles, all of whom are werewolves. And to London where the vampires are trying to undermine a plot they just know the Picklemen are trying to run against them.

STOP!!!! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?

I absolutely love this series! The fantasy elements are done in such a way as to seem completely plausible and familiar. This is neither a dystopian set of novels, which seem to be so popular these days, or a “princess in need of rescuing” story. These girls can take care of themselves thank you very much! Not a fan of YA? Most of Gail Carrigers other books all take place in this same lovely world but are decidedly not YA.

Oh! I almost forgot my favorite part – the mechanicals! Simple household type tasks are carried out by these steam and gear-powered robots. Sophronia happens upon one, which happens to look like a dachshund, early on in the series whom she eventually carries around like a purse. Isn’t that just the cutest thing?

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#BookFaceFriday “Code Talker” by Joseph Bruchac

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War II” by Joseph Bruchac (Dial Books, 2005) is a part of the NLC Book Club collection! Even better, your book club can celebrate Veteran’s Day all month long with our book club search engine’s Category setting. Quickly find fiction and non-fiction books covering the topic of War and Military Service.

“Bruchac’s gentle prose presents a clear historical picture of young men in wartime, island hopping across the Pacific, waging war in the hells of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima. Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac’s tale is quietly inspiring…” —School Library Journal

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