Saturday, December 31, 2011


The 67th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge will be marked by the Northeast Kansas Chapter of the Battle of the Bulge veterans with a lunch and program on Saturday, January 14, at the American Legion Post 17 in Manhattan.

Oral histories of veterans of that last-ditch battle from the German forces have been collected by Tad Pritchett in his book From Farm to Field. Pritchett has done book-signings at Zimmer’s in Topeka.


From Thomas Frank, the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? now comes another national soul-searching examination: Pity the Billionaire.

Frank has apparently been doing a lot of thinking about President Barack Obama, especially following Obama’s Osawatomie address about economic equality. Said Frank: “I am really, really, really happy to see him going down this road finally. But that’s why people go to Osawatomie, you know.”

(Living as I do mid-way between Kansas City International Airport and Osawatomie, I don’t think Obama took the road. Twice on that day a five-helicopter caravan flew over my house.) The book is due out on January 3. Frank’s website is


Nate Schwiethale, whose career has been in the cards, will be at Watermark Books and Café at 4701 East Douglas from 2-4 pm on Saturday, January 7, (one week from today), to sign copies of Ace High: Mastering Low Stakes Poker Cash Games.

While many of his peers stay under wraps to keep their skillset unexpected at the next game, Nathan wants to share his knowledge with new players to help them understand some of the tricks, tells and trade secrets that make no-limit Texas Hold'em cash games so feared... and so much fun.


Ascend Books, the publishers of the series For Wildcat Fans Only, For Jayhawk Fans Only, and For Tiger Fans Only, recently released another title, Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s, illustrated by
Rob Peters,
and suitable for ages 2-7.

Among the many sports titles from Ascend Books is Bill Self: At Home in the Phog.


The saga begins, with the readers’ choice about how/when/where to read the first book in the series, Wizard Dawning, by C. M. Lance.

A reviewer writes:

You can't imagine all the things global warming will be doing to us, but C.M. Lance imagines them quite capably. Prepare yourself for a coming-of-age adventure (this is book one) where it helps when wit and wizardry run in the family--and where good guys can apply previously unanticipated powers of strength and reasoning.

Readers can go to CreateSpace for a hard copy.

For an Amazon Kindle – Ebook, HERE

And an Amazon Trade Paperback HERE

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Only one more reading from the poets of Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, on Friday night, December 30, at the Percolator Look for the green awnings in the alley between the Lawrence Art Center and Ninth street, or another way to describe the location is in the alley behind 913 Rhode Island just south of the Social Service League.

You’ll find Jim McCrary, Peter Wright, Iris Wilkinson, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and probably others from 5-9 pm.

Other readings in the future will likely be in Emporia, Hutchinson and New Mexico. Stay in touch.


The Union generals who brought the victory for the north in the Civil War were sometimes impeded by vicious rivalries, so writes Albert Castel and Brooks D. Simpson , Victors in Blue, published in November by the University Press of Kansas,

In almost 400 words pages, ten photographs and TEN maps, authors Castel and Simpson reassess “how battles and campaigns forged a decisive Northern victory, reevaluates the generalship of the victors, and lays bare the sometimes vicious rivalries among the Union generals and their effect on the war.”

Castel is the author of numerous books, including Civil War Kansas: Reaping the Whirlwind. Simpson is professor of history at Arizona State University.


Yesterday, coming out of the dollar store, I was met by a sign that offered ‘FREE POEMS’, one per visitor.

The author of many of the poems, William Snyder, was braving the cold while he offered poems, many written by him, some by that prolific poet Anonymous. The poems were neatly arranged in three rows on the wall behind Snyder, visitors welcome to browse and choose. The poems really were free – he refused an offer of a dollar bill.


Copied (shamelessly) from facebook:

Jo McDougall will be interviewed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 28, on KCUR, the Central Standard show (the old Walt Bodine show), 89.3 FM, at 10 a.m. The subject is Dougall’s new memoir, Daddy's Money. The show is live, and the host welcomes call-ins and e-mails.

I'll try to get back later today with the e-mail address and the phone number.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Sparky is an inquisitive Jack Russell terrior whose adventures in exploring Southeast Kansas are chronicled in a children’s book by author Jackie Witherspoon.

Sparky’s Adventures in Southeast Kansas includes well-known historic sites, landmarks, museums, and places of interest in the nine Southeast Kansas counties. Sparky’s visits include Fort Scott National Historic Site.

The book, which comes with a (lovable) stuffed Sparky dog, is available at the Country Cupboard at 12 North Main in downtown Fort Scott. Has to be right across the street from Books and Grannies at 11 North Main.


Doesn’t that title grab your attention?

If Ever the World is the title of a book of poetry, written by students at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas.

Not only did the students produce a book of poetry, they had an official launch at the same place many adult writers launch their books – The Writers’ Place in Kansas City, MO, the unofficial center of literary activity in the Greater Kansas city region.

The students are also maintaining a webpage to promote their achievement at .

Might be too late to order a copy for Christmas, but if you have a high school student in your family, there are always birthdays and graduations.


Following the example of other colleges and universities, next fall incoming freshmen at the University of Kansas will all be encouraged to read the same book.

Reading the same book provides a, well, a commonality, whether it happens on a campus or in a community. Suggestions of titles have been pouring in, and the book will be named in 2012.

Last year a small college, whose name escapes me, chose to read The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel, (not to be confused with The Good Soldier, a book from an earlier time), an award-winning report of the time Finkel spent with a battalion of soldiers from Fort Riley in Iraq.


There is it, in a headline – “Books make the perfect gifts for the holidays” – in one of the weekly newspapers I receive.

This one tops the column written by John Schlageck (try to pronounce that) of the Kansas Farm Bureau. I read Schlageck’s column in The Wamego Times, but I’m sure his column appears in many other Kansas newspapers.

He mentions three books: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and The Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman.

Read more about Schlageck and books at Kansas Farm Bureau. More about Schlageck at

No Kansas books on this short list. Maybe next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Book One of the Battle Wizard Sage, Wizard Dawning, by C.M. Lance, is available at

What's it all about? Read what one reviewer had to say:

You can't imagine all the things global warming will be doing to us, but C.M. Lance imagines them quite capably. Prepare yourself for a coming-of-age adventure (this is book one) where it helps when wit and wizardry run in the family--and where good guys can apply previously unanticipated powers of strength and reasoning.

Two previous blog posts about Wizard Dawning are PREMATURE RETURN TO NORMAL? and COMING SOON -- WIZARD DAWNING (where, if Microsoft and Google line up just right, you can also see the book cover).


It’s here! God’s Little Miracle Book II, by Sally Jadlow, available both in paperback and NOOK book from Barnes and Noble. You won’t be able to hold your breath through some of the entire stories, but you might try.

God’s Little Miracle Book II is a collection of 27 inspiring true stories. Subjects include a United Airline pilot’s harrowing experience on 9/11, the healing of a mysterious brain disease, and an Alaskan sea rescue.

More about Jadlow and some her other books at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Want to know more about the zany writer of Smart Shield before you make that decision to buy the book? Check out his blog at (Take my word for it, he's like no other writer I've ever read -- you'll be entertained on every page.)

Drive-By Romances, also by Zeller, is a collection of nine easy-to-read short stories with unpredictable outcomes. Smart Shield is all about how Don Milkey, also an unpredictable quantity, goes about solving a crime in unorthodox ways. Both books are available for quick purchase as Christmas gifts.

Call it one-stop shopping for all your discerning friends, at


Don’t have time to get to the bookstore? E-books are the perfect answer. Just on the market is Smart Shield by Dane Zeller “now available in a Kindle version for $1.99. Also Zeller’s collection of flash fiction, Drive-By Romances, at $.99.

You haven’t met that lovable Don Milkey (well, maybe I err a little in calling Milkey lovable), that private eye with no business office, a girl friend who “carries no weapon but asks questions with the finesse of a 12-gauge shotgun”, and a right hand man who moonlights as an apartment super where Milkey lives? It’s about time. If you’re not into eBooks, go to Amazon has got it covered, both ways.


Things on the blog are back to normal? Well, maybe not.

The post about Wizard Dawning, complete with a copy of the cover of the book, has completely disappeared.

Let me hasten to give you a URL where you can check out more about Wizard Dawning, the first book in the Battle Wizard series by C.M. Lance, And to further tempt you here is a teaser:

In the 21st century, the effects of global warming cause an exponential jump in magic power. Scientists attempt to quantify magic. Sig like most other kids whose parents can afford it, took the MAT (Magical Aptitude Test). He won’t discuss his score. Suffice it to say, he resigns himself to being non-magical.


On March 16-17, just around the corner as the calendar goes, is when Kansas Writers Association will be hosting the 2012 Crime Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita.

Conference keynoter, William Bernhardt, shared some writing advice recently on Facebook: “Write a lousy first draft. No one likes their first drafts, but you have to write the first one to get to the second, and the third, and the tenth. If you try to perfect each sentence before you write it down, you will never finish.”

Go to for more details about the conference


After this lapse of several days, I think I've bullied my computer into doing things my way and will be able to resume posting. Let's hope so.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Come celebrate the second issue of Parcel magazine at 7 pm on Friday, December 16, at the Raven Bookstore, 6 East Seventh in Lawrence.

The launch party promises mulled beverages, bite-size snacks and a chance to win raffle prizes of a complimentary subscription, plus one lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate at Raven Bookstore.

Parcel is a beautifully designed showcase for work by known and developing writers and artists. Each issue is a collectible volume sent to subscribers along with limited edition broadsides and postcards. In addition to publishing writers of national renown, Parcel aspires to bring added recognition to the vigorous writing community in and around Lawrence, Kansas, and will be produced and printed locally.

Editor of Parcel is Katie Lorenz, with Justin Runge as the designer and Heidi Raak as the publisher. More about Parcel

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Leap Of Faith, a musical based on a book written by may/may not make it to Broadyway in 2012.

The musical is based on a movie of the same name, which starred Steve Martin in the role of Jonas Nightengale, a (unscrupulous) faith healer who lands in Rustwater, Kansas. The movie was based on the book of the same name written by Janus Cercone and Glenn Slater.

I’ll probably never see it, since I rarely get to Broadway, but I will be curious to learn how the Kansas residents in the book will be portrayed by Broadway.


I’m on an e-mail list, something called Nixle, from the Olathe Police department. Today’s message isn’t to inform me of a robbery, or an intersection blockage because of an accident, or to ask help in finding a missing individual.

Today’s message is to let me know about the Home for the Holidays pet fostering kick-off event on December 17, from noon to 2 pm at the Olathe Police Department, 501 East Old 56 Highway.

The program is open to Olathe Residents Only who will be able to select pets starting on Saturday. Those who wish to do so will be allowed to return the animal to the shelter on Tuesday, December 27. Certain restrictions will apply.

I hope a Home for the Holidays program is available wherever you live, but what’s really exciting for Olatheans is that Greg Kincaid, the author who first wrote about the adopt-a-pet for the holidays, is an Olathe citizen. This nationally-known program got started right here in Olathe.

From the police department e-mail:

The Home for the Holidays program was based off the book, A Dog Named Christmas, which was written by local author Greg Kincaid. To kick off the event, Mr. Kincaid will be at the Olathe Police Department from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm on December 17. Mr. Kincaid will sign autographs and have copies of his book for purchase, as well as the prequel, Christmas with Tucker, which was released in November of 2010. A Dog Named Christmas was made into a movie released by CBS as their Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation in November of 2009. To read more about Greg Kincaid, you can visit his website:


My dictionary says that zwieback is a usually sweetened bread baked first as a loaf and later cut into slices and toasted, often given to teething babies. Sounds good to me.

Lisa Weaver, co-author of On the Zweiback Trail, will have more to say about zwieback and other delightful delicacies during an open house from 6:30-8 pm on Thursday, December 29, at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus in North Newton. Weaver’s co-authors are Julie Kaufmann and Judith Rempel Smucker.

The book covers Russian Mennonite history from “A is for Anabaptist” to “Z is for zwieback.” . . . “a voyage of discovery down the alphabet trail to celebrate the history, culture and service of this branch of Anabaptist believers. From the early 1500s to the present, it’s all there for young and old to enjoy.”

“For more about the book party for On the Zwieback Trail, contact Rachel Pannabecker at the museum, located at 27th and Main in North Newton, at 316-283-1612,” Bethel College,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Despite headlines from ten years ago, nothing changed in Sig’s life, until mysterious Great-Grampa Thor shows up with injuries sustained in a battle with a Dark Wizard. He bestows upon Sig, his only male heir, a magical family heirloom. Unfortunately, Sig can only access a small portion of its power.

With Great-Grampa Thor disabled, the Dark Wizard comes after Sig. He escapes and falls in with a group of fellow supernaturals. His new friends help him fight off more attacks. Sig searches desperately for his magic. If he can’t stand on his own against the Dark Wizard, how can he take Great-Grampa Thor’s place and lead the fight against black magic?

Wizard Dawning is the first book in a series by C.M.Lance. Stay tuned for information on how to order. Check out C.M. Lance’s website at


Music + Poetry + Art = Holiday reading and party at The Writers’ Place at 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, at 7 pm on Friday, December 16.

I KNOW there is at least one Kansan in the list of people who will help with the celebration, and I’m guessing maybe there are others: Phyllis Becker, Martha Gershun, Tina Hacker, John Hastings, David Arnold Hughes, Lindsey Martin-Bowen, Eve Ott, Pat Lawson, Shawn Pavey, Susan Peters, Tim Pettet, Michelle Pond, and Carl Rhoden.

Music by Jim Abel and Kevin Hiatt. All donations will go to the Phil Miller scholarship fund.

(I tell my Missouri friends: “You may live in Missouri, and your book may be about Missouri, but if you want a post on my blog, you have to come over to Kansas to do a book-signing.”)


Copied (shamelessly) from facebook:

Tonight is the book release event for Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement. Edited by Myrne Roe, and published by Watermark Press, this local history captures a critical decade when the women’s rights movement was gaining momentum nationally, and explains how that movement affected dynamic women in a city in the middle of the country.

Come to Watermark (4701 East Douglas) tonight, Tuesday, December 13, at 7:00 for the presentation and book signing.

Roe’s book includes 69 essays by 79 contributors about the women’s rights movement in Wichita,

Monday, December 12, 2011


Just open, the 23rd annual Kansas Voices writing contest sponsored by the Winfield Arts and Humanities organization. Adult and youth categories, in prose and poetry.

Deadline is March 15, 2012. Contest guidelines at . Click on Annual Events and then click on Kansas Voices.

Sponsors are Cowley College, Winfield Consumer Products, Winfield Daily Courier, CornerBank, Bob & Nancy Love of Wichita, and GE Engine Services. Underwritten by Winfield Convention and Tourism.

Winners will be invited to read in a special presentation in Winfield on the first Saturday in May. Kansas Voices is not to be confused with Kansas City Voices (but the submission period for Kansas City Voices is currently open).

Sunday, December 11, 2011


“ . . . soft beignets danced around the cafe' au lait. With the sweet fragrance of magnolias in the air . . .” Did someone mention pralines?

Where else but in Cajun Country, the setting for Chara Mock’s children’s book, The Cajun Nutcracker. Mock will be at the Oak Park Mall Barnes and Noble, 11323 West 95th Street in Overland Park at 6 pm on Wednesday, December 14.


Not sure where I got this information, but it’s true, every word.

It’s not everyday a person can truly say they achieved a dream, but that is exactly what Todd Vogts, of Arnold, has done.

Vogts, a journalism teacher at Western Plains High School in Ransom, has published his first novel, and he will be hosting a book signing at the Ransom Public Library on Saturday, December 17.

His book is titled Murder at St. Alfanus.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. until noon.

The Ransom Library is at 411 South Vermont. More about Vogts at


Katherine Karlin’s Send Me Work has gained a thoughtful review in the Wichita Eagle’s Sunday paper. Writes Lisa McLendon:

And though the stories center on workplaces and women in them, they’re also about relationships. Mainly the relationships we forge at work: easy camaraderie and uneasy alliances . . . . And we see that not only do people shape their work, but their work shapes them, in ways that reach far beyond the time clock.

Check out Karlin’s website at Read the whole review at
Wichita Eagle Review. (Don't wait too long, some of these links have a very short shelf life.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Couldn't get the names of all the poets at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center on the same post. This includes the rest of the names. See the post below POETS HAVING TOO MUCH FUN.


Those Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems poets are having ‘way too much fun. They’ll be back in Lawrence again at 7 pm on Tuesday, December 13, at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center at 917 Highland.

Scheduled are K L Barron, Roy Beckemeyer , Paula Ebert, Anne Haehl, Joseph Harrington, Nancy Hubble, Gary Lechliter, Stan Lombardo, Dixie Lubin, Ronda Miller, Judy Roitman, Amy Nixon, Tom Reynolds, Beth Schultz, Mary Stone Dockery, Olive Sullivan, Wyatt Townley, Serina Hearn, Roderick Townley, Diane Wahto, Iris Wilkinson, Liz Black, Max Yoho.

Sales of Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems are being handled in Lawrence by Raven Book store, 6 East 7th.


That’s the advice of Jim Gray, who will be speaking about “Kansas Cattle Towns”, at noon on Thursday, December 15, at the Prairie Museum of Art and History at 1905 South Franklin in Colby.

Gray is the author of DESPERATE SEED: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier. When not on the lecture tour, Gray seems to hang out at Drovers Mercantile in Ellsworth,


An author who is passionate about preserving Kansas’ basketball history, Steve Farney will join Rich Hughes from 10 am until noon on Saturday, December 10, at The Bookshelf and Hidden Closet, 206 N. Main in McPherson.

From Farney’s website at

Steven Farney was born and raised near Wilson, Kansas, and was a three-year basketball letterman for the Wilson Dragons. As a junior in 1972, he was assigned a term paper and while researching that assignment, he stumbled on a story about the greatest Wilson Boy's Basketball Team, the 1929 Dragons. As he read the story, he wondered who remembered the te am, the coach and the magical season that culminated with the Dragons earning the school's first trip to the state tournament. It was an important moment for him and he decided then and there: If the chance ever presented itself, he was going to write a series of basketball history books that feartured teams and towns, players and coaches in the state who had been forgotten with time.

Fast foward 32 years. In 2004, the opportunity arose and since then he has authored three books on basketball in the state of Kansas. In August 2006, he released Title Towns: Class BB Boys Basketball Champions of Kansas (1952-68). In August 2007, he authored the second book in the series, It's Time to Play: Jack Gardner, Basketball and Kansas State University. Both books detailed forgotten basketball stories in the state. Club 50 is the third book in the series


More about the fabulous history of basketball in the state of Kansas is the subject of Netting Out Basketball: 1936, a new book by McPherson native, Rich Hughes, who will be back in town from 10 am to noon on Saturday, December 10, at The Bookshelf and Hidden Closet, 206 N. Main.

1936 was the most significant year in basketball’s first half century. For the first time, Olympic basketball ended with a gold medal game. Dr. James Naismith was honored at the Berlin Olympics for his wonderful invention, as basketball achieved widespread international acceptance in a short period of time. Forty-five years after creating an exciting indoor sport for a physical education class, Naismith watched 23 countries vie for the gold. Boycotts protested Hitler’s policies within the Olympic host country of Germany, and as a result, politics and sports were forever linked.

Hughes’s book is “The Remarkable Story of the McPherson Refiners, the First Team to Dunk, Zone Press, and Win the Olympic Gold Medal.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Wichita is the setting for The Adjustment, which is one of the St. Louis Post’s recommendation for the best books of 2011.

Similarly, St. Louis writer Scott Phillips gives the starring role to a cad in The Adjustment (Counterpoint, 217 pages, $25). In postwar Wichita, Kansas, his cad pimps for a corporate bigwig — but finds his own wife in peril because of his wartime misdeeds.


Roderick Townley’s children’s book, The Door in the Forest, got a nice mention in a Kansas City Star column by Mary Schulte about recommendations for Christmas gift lists.

The Door in the Forest by Roderick Townley (ages 8-12; Knopf Books for Young Readers; $16.99). A story of secrets, friendships and quicksand — all the elements of an entertaining middle grade novel to curl up with in front of the fireplace.


Come to the Book Barn, 410 Delaware, in Leavenworth for readings from the poets in Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems from 1-3 pm on Saturday, December 10.

Poets to be heard are Bill Karnowski, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ronda Miller, Iris Wilkinson, Rick Nichols, Judy Roitman and Amy Nixon.

Poets whose biographies have not already been listed in previous programs are as follows:

William J. Karnowski is the author of six books including Pushing the Chain, Painting the Train, Catching the Rain,True Tales Hard Tails and Highways, The Hills of Laclede and Dispensation. He has published over 90 poems in the Kansas Plus Weekly Capital-Journal Magazine and numerous websites. Karnowski lives in the Wamego, Kansas, vicinity, near the unincorporated village of Laclede with his wife, Sue. They have three children.

Judith Roitman, born and raised in New York City, landed in Lawrence KS in 1978 after bouncing back and forth between the coasts, and has been here ever since. Her book No Face: Selected and New Poems was published by First Intensity Press in 2008. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including (most recently) First Intensity, Spectaculum, Locus Point, Delirious Hem, and Bird Dog.


Mona Wilbur, author of Kayla’s Crisis: The Community, will be talking and signing at 6 pm on Friday, December 9, at the Barnes and Noble book store at Oak Park Mall, 11323 W. 95th Street in Overland Park.

Rejected by her loved ones, beaten and left for dead in the desert, Kayla is rescured and taken to a Utopian society. Fortunately, Kayla escapes just in time and learns the strange truth behind the Community’s seemingly perfect existence where the end always justifies the means, and she is forced to make the decision of her life!

Wilbur is a resident of the Greater Kansas City area.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Several books with Kansas connections made the annual 100-Best list of The Kansas City Star.

In the fiction category, Bent Road, by Lori Roy is the story of a Kansas family whose father transplanted them to Detroit, but circumstances brings them back to Kansas. Ben Lerner, a Kansas native, was added to the list for his first published novel, Leaving Atocha Station, tells of difficulty with the language, both English and Spanish.

Tony Horwitz wrote about one of Kansas’ most well-known residents, after he left Kansas in John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War in the non-fiction category, and an autobiography by Deb Olin Unferth, Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, also made the list.


Join author Missy McCoy for a book signing of the Paradise Cafe and Bakery Cookbook. The Paradise Cafe was a fixture in downtown Lawrence until it closed in 2004. There is still a cult following for the restaurant's Americanized international cuisine and baked goods, all made from scratch. Cookbooks can be "pre-ordered" by contacting
, or

That will be 5-7 pm on Friday, December 9, at the Raven, 6 E. Seventh in Lawrence

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Remember the My Life as A Bug writing contest? Go to and click on the contest logo to read the winning entries.


Watermark Books & Cafe is pleased to welcome Jim Lehrer for a reading and signing of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. Tickets to this event are included in the price of the book.

The program is scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday, December 7. A native of Wichita and a former bus station dispatcher, Lehrer is the prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction (including those rollicking tales of the one-eyed lieutenant governor of the state of Oklahoma).

Go to or call 316-682-1181 for information about the event.


From Bill Sheldon, the author of Retrieving Old Bones and Into Distant Grass, comes a third book, Rain Comes Riding.

Sheldon teachers creative writing at Hutchinson Community College. He is also one of the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems.


The old Baconian argument gets a fresh perspective in the work of Anthony J. Funari, assistant professor of English at Johnson County Community College.

Environmentalists today debate whether ecological harmony means we must manage the natural world or appreciate its incomprehensible complexity. This argument has a long history, beginning with Francis Bacon’s claim that through science, humanity could make Nature bend to its will. This timely book unearths the challenge voiced by John Donne, Andrew Marvell, and the Earl of Rochester to Bacon’s endeavor to make Nature subservient.

Funari will present a talk about his book Francis Bacon and the 17th Century Intellectual Discourse, at 7 pm on Thursday, December 8, in the Hudson Auditorium at the Nerrman Museum of Art at JCCC, 12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park.


A history of court justice in the state of Kansas for the past 150 years has been chronicled by Michael H. Hoeflich in a new book, Justice on the Prairie. Hoeflich will be talking about the book at 6 pm on Tuesday, December 6, at the National Archives Central Plains division at 400 West Pershing Road in Kansas City, MO.

Born from the territorial judges who maintained the federal legal presence in the tumultuous territory of "Bleeding Kansas," the Federal District Court grew from a single judge to a complex system of judges who are the entry point in Kansas into the federal judicial system. Justice on the Prairie tells the story of the Federal District Court of Kansas, which for 150 years has faced issues such as Indian claims, antitrust cases, and the enforcement and demise of prohibition. And, most notably, the landmark civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. This book explores the rich history of the court, which came into existence in 1861 after the U.S. Congress admitted Kansas as a state.

Hoeflich is the John H. and John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas. For information call 816-268-8010 or e-mail

Friday, December 2, 2011


Oops, missed a book signing earlier in the week at Watermark Books, of Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley. Several authors joined forces to produce this book which describes how tornados have shaped Kansas: Jay M Price, associate professor of history, and Craig Torbenson, professor of geography and history, at Wichita State Univesity, and students Sadonia Corns, Bethany Kennedy, Keith Wondra and Jessica Nellis.

Tornados have shaped the state of Kansas, physically, historically and culturally.


You’ve seen it, that lovely children’s book, S is for Sunflower, a Kansas Alphabet, written by Devin and Corey Scillian, and illustrated by Kansas’ own Doug Bowles.

Bowles will be at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware in Leavenworth 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, December 3. It’s also Open House at the Book Barn from 10 am to 5 pm, and from 1:30-2:30 you’ll hear Bob Spear singing Burl Ives Christmas Songs, more about the Book Barn at . ( I think my favorite Bowles’ illustration for the book is ‘P is for Prairie Dogs.)


Well, the complete title is Wander the Kansas Flint Hills in Words and Images, and the author, Stephen Perry, will be signing and displaying some of the watercolor prints that are featured in the book at 2-4 on Sunday, December 4, at the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main, in Wichita.

The book is published by Backroads Press, by Perry, who is both a printmaker and a writer,