Celebrate 150 years of Kansas! The State Library of Kansas has created a list of 150 popular books about Kansas. The list has books for any taste, including fiction, Kansas history, art, nature, and memoir. I’m including a small sampling here, but to see more we’ve created an online list
that links to our catalog or come in and see the display at the library.
What Kansas Means to Me : Twentieth-Century Writers on the Sunflower State
by Thomas Averill is the Kansas Reads selection for 2011. This collection of 20th century writers describes the spiritual consciousness of Kansans. In the preface Averill states, “Many nations, regions, and political entities have distinct cultural identities, and Kansans have been acutely conscious of an identity. . . since territorial days. This book attempts to present some of the best positive thinking about who we are and why.”
The story of a small town football team with phenomenal success inspired a New York Times sportswriter to move to Smith Center, KS for one year to find out what it was all about. Our Boys: a perfect season on the plains with the Smith Center Redmen is the tale of what he found there. He discovered a coach that is just as concerned with his players’ success off the field as on and a town that demonstrates the best of what America’s heartland represents.
For 17 years the people of Small Plains, KS have wondered about the strange happenings connected with the grave of a teenage girl. It’s never been clear what happened the night she died, but Abby Reynolds starts asking questions in an attempt to find the truth. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard is a novel full of suspense and unexpected plot twists, a memorable read.