Thursday, May 31, 2012


From the William Allen White Children’s Book Awards website:

“Two books about young girls dealing with growing pains have been judged the best by Kansas schoolchildren.

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass (Scholastic Books) and Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) are the recipients of the 2012 William Allen White Children’s Book Awards.

“The William Allen White Children’s Book Award program was founded in 1952 by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a specialist in children’s literature for Emporia State University. One of the few literary awards that asks young readers to choose the winners, the program is directed by Emporia State University and supported in part by the Trusler Foundation.

“Both authors have been invited to the awards celebration, set for Saturday, Oct. 6, in Emporia.”

More at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Don’t stumble around, get yourself over to the Bookshelf at 206 North Main in McPherson from 10-12 on Saturday, June 9, to pick up an autographed copy of The American Grain Elevator: Function and Form.

Author Linda Laird’s “Beautiful new paperback with over 150 illustrations tells the story of how grain storage began and elevators were invented. Includes sections on a variety materials used in the mid-west from the 1800s to today with many historic photos and 86 full color examples of these wonderful and fascinating buildings that are integral to our farm heritage.”

If McPherson is a bit out-of-the-way, order from the website at


Prowling BBC News, as I do several times a day, I was astounded to find a long video about Ann Patchett and her new independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee. Websites about news change rapidly, but you might be able to catch it at

A best-selling and award-winning author, Ann Patchett opened Parnassus Books in November, 2011.

Read “Ann’s Blog” at

Real, tangible, paper and ink books that you can hold in your hands may not vanish from the scene as thoroughly as some e-publishing converts predict.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Not all writers are fortunate to have had adventuresome grandmothers with a talent for committing their life stores to paper.

But upon discovering nearly forgotten letters, Dorothy Wickenden turned her grandmother’s letters into the engaging Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West.

In 1916, Dorothy Wickenden’s grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, and her best friend, Rosamund Underwood, left society life in New York to become teachers in a new school—in the wilds of Northwestern Colorado. Traveling by train to Denver and then on horseback for three days, they arrived at the remote outpost of Elkhead, where their students, the children of homesteaders, came to school in rags and bare feet.

Wickenden will be talking and signing at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 30, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 747 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO. See for admission information.


On Saturday, June 30, you’ll have a chance to hear readings by contributors to the Ninth annual Kansas City Voices. The program starts at 5 pm. Featured contributors are Gloria Adams, Bob Chrisman, Dawn Downey, Stella Robbins and Erica Williams. The Writers Place, the Kansas City Metro hang-out place for regional artists is at 3611 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Check out the website at for the calendar of classes and other events.


Quick – get them written down on paper, either in prose or poetry form, and send them off to the Kansas Authors Club 2012 writing contest before the deadline of June 15. Guidelines and other contest categories are at Clink on the contest tab. All adult contest prizes will be awarded to members and non-members at the annual convention in Salina on Sunday, October 7.

Monday, May 28, 2012


We are all hobos at heart, according to Barbara Stuber, as she will probably tell the audience at 2 pm on Tuesday, June 12 at the Corinth Library, 8100 Mission Road, Prairie Village.

Come and join author Barbara Stuber for a multi-media event as she speaks about her novel, Crossing the Tracks, a story for all generations. We will explore the timeless themes raised in the book, discuss how we might have handled the tricky situations that arise, do a book-related crossword puzzle, and view slides of the specific artworks that inspired the characters, scenes and plot of her novel. Copies of the book will be available for sale. Author Barbara Stuber is also a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

See more at

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Gordon Kessler wants my opinion so bad he’s willing to tempt me with an offer of chocolates. Actuallly, he wants everyone’s opinion, but if I can keep this quiet, and no one else gives Gordon an opinion, then I’ll be the only candidate for the box of designer chocolates.

Gordon can’t decide which cover to use for his book, Brainstorm, so he’s asking everyone to take a look HERE . Let him know which cover you like the best. The winner of the box of chocolates will be drawn from the people who voted for the top favorite.

Hey, don’t tell too many people, let’s make it just you and me, and if you win the chocolates, I’m sure you’ll be willing to share with me.

Friday, May 25, 2012


No? Drat! I’ll have to start over again. Been working on my poem for the Cowboy Poetry Contest to be held again this year in Alma, Wabaunsee County, on Friday, June 8.

Contest begins at 7 pm at the St. John’s Lutheran Hall. There will be separate divisions for humorous and serious poetry, chapmpions in each division winning two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills. Entrants will be expected to perform their own poems.

Grand prize is the Governor’s Buckle. Guidelines at

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Join world famous chefs Ardie Davis and Paul Kirk at 1 pm on Saturday, May 26, at I Love a Mystery, 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission as they talk about their new book, America’s Best Ribs. And the proof of the pudding will be barbecue treats from Johnnie’s BBQ in Mission and Olathe.

A charter member of the KCBS and former three-term member of the board of directors, Ardie A. Davis, PhB, founded the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, and Baste Contest and the Great American Barbecue Sauce, Baste, and Rub Contest. He is the author of five barbeque cookbooks.

Chef Paul Kirk, PhB, a charter member of the KCBS and member of the board of directors, operates the Baron’s School of Pitmasters. The author of six barbeque cookbooks, he has won more than 475 cooking and barbequing awards, among them seven world championships, including the prestigious American Royal Open, the world’s largest barbeque contest.

See more are

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


When President Barack Obama spoke to the 2012 Joplin High School graduates last night, he used the words of a poet to convey his message. His words:

Langston Hughes, the poet and civil rights activist who knew some tough times, was born here in Joplin. In a poem called Youth, he wrote,

We have tomorrow

Bright before us

Like a flame.


A night-gone thing,

A sun-down name.

And dawn-today.

Broad arch above the road we came.

We march.

The road has been hard. The day has been long. But we have tomorrow, and so we march. We march, together, and you are leading the way.

Monday, May 21, 2012


On Saturday, June 9, 1-4 pm, Hazel Spire will read and sign books at Magnolia Health & Home, 106 N. Pennsylvania Ave. (just north of Main St.), Independence, KS 67301.

Hot tea will be served, as well as foods mentioned in the children's mysteries: Secret of the Seventh Gate, set in Iran, where Spire worked under the Shah's regime; and Arrowhead's Lost Hoard, the story of two American kids hunting for treasure on a British island, inspired by the Isle of Wight, where Spire grew up.

Her self-published chapbooks are Homeward Tracks and Tapestry of Time. Two years ago, Spire retired from teaching in Texas and moved to Chautauqua County. Her work has won numerous awards, including Honorable Mention for a poem about a country road in Kansas Voices 2011.

See Magnolia Health and Home at

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The region’s newest bookstore, Mysteryscape, has opened and one of the first events will be a book signing by Sally Goldenbaum for The Wedding Shawl and A Fatal Fleece, both part of the Seaside Knitters mystery series.

Goldenbaum will be there at 2 pm on Saturday, May 19. Where is there? At 7309 West 80th Street in Overland Park, easy to find, around the corner from the clock tower, and facing the famed Overland Park Farmers’ Market.

Check it out at


Clare O’Donohue, author of a second Kate Conway mystery, Life Without Parole, writes on her blog that at 2 pm on Saturday, May 19, she will be back at one of her favorite places, I Love A Mystery Book Store, at 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission.

No wonder – The I Love a Mystery website describes O’Donohue’s newest book as being inspired by audience comments made during an earlier signing at the mystery bookstore. Located at 6114 Johnson Drive, north side of the street, in the heart of Mission. You need to be there -- the conversation is likely to be very lively.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Sisters Carolyn Clyde Dolan and Shirley Clyde McCullough were curious about some old family memorabilia which seemed to indicate that an uncle had died of suicide. Their research led them to doubt the family history, and led to their book, Pendergast’s Retaliation: A True Cold Case File.

The sisters will discuss their book at 2 pm today, May 15, in a program at the Corinth Library, 8100 Mission, Prairie Village.


Probably the most unique copyright case in the world is that of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Barrie bequeathed all Peter Pan rights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London in 1929. Over the years royalty payments have been welcome additions to the hospital’s budget.

All that was scheduled to come to an end in 2007 — 70 years after Barrie’s death. A special UK legal exception has restored the hospital’s rights to royalties, however, only in the UK. But in the spirit of Barrie’s magnificent gift, the hospital administrators are hoping that producers outside the UK will make “donations” to offset the loss of royalty income.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Incoming University of Kansas students will be encouraged to read a “common book” as they begin their university studies, a program which “will generate opportunities for shared intellectual experiences that invite analysis, foster critical thinking, and reflect the type of reasoned discourse expected at a university.” The book chosen is Notes From No Man’s Land, by Eula Biss, who will be on campus on Thursday, October 4.

In a book that begins with a series of lynchings and ends with a series of apologies, Eula Biss explores race in America. As Biss moves across the country—from New York to California to the Midwest—she brings an eclectic education to the page based on her experiences chronicled in her essays.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The subject of numerous artists, paintings of grain elevators hang on the walls of many a corporate office throughout the Midwest. People who never set foot on a farm can still appreciate the significance of those structures that loom on the horizon, usually the first visible indicator of the presence of a town.

Linda Laird will be signing her book, American Grain Elevator from 10 a.m. to noon June 9 at The Bookshelf and Hidden Closet, 206 N Main St, Mcpherson.


Enlisting in the U.S. Army after the September 11, 2001, terrorists attacks, Michael Calore was assigned to the 1at Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment at Fort Riley, and took part in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. He returned for a second tour in June 2004.

Calore’s book began as a blog, when he had difficulty conveying to civilians the nature of his war experiences. The title evolved because Calore thought “most people could relate to coffee. Some coffee is good, some coffee is bad. Just like some of his days at war were good, but many were bad - very bad.” Read more of Calore’s blog posts at . Army Coffee Sucks is available as an e-book at .


Johnson County Library and Rainy Day Books is pleased to offer you the opportunity to meet author Timothy Gay as he discusses his newly released title, Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle. Gay, a 30-year veteran of the Washington, DC public policy community, spent more than two years researching this book, combing through microfilm, letters, papers, and diaries from the men, and traveling to old airbases and battlefields throughout Europe. Assignment to Hell offers a unique view of World War II and the journalists who covered it from the front lines.

Assignment to Hell was Walter Cronkite’s description of a bombing raid over a German U-boat base in 1943. Author Gay will be speaking in a program at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park, at 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 17.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Linda Rodriguez, author of the prize-winning Every Last Secret, will be at the Raven Book Store at 7 pm Saturday, May 19.

Half-Cherokee Marquitta “Skeet” Bannion thought she was leaving her troubles behind when she fled the stress of being the highest ranking woman on the Kansas City Police Department, a jealous cop ex-husband who didn’t want to let go, and a disgraced alcoholic ex-cop father. Moving to a small town to be chief of the campus police force, she builds a life outside of police work. She might even begin a new relationship with the amiable Brewster police chief.

Linda Rodriguez is a member of the Latino Writers Collective …. and has published poetry and fiction in numerous literary magazines …. She has also published numerous articles for general and scholarly publications. More at, that’s the Raven at 6 E 7th in Lawrence.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Time's Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas is Arnold Bauer's account of growing up on a farm in Goshen Township of Clay County, published in May by the University Press of Kansas.

Among Bauer’s vivid recollections: driving a team of huge, clomping work horses; his father’s daybreak call to long days in the field at age 12; and surviving eight years of education in a one-room schoolhouse (with one teacher determined to have all her students learn the harmonica). He shares the trials of Depression and drought, experiences the coming of electricity—which prompted his father to take on a sideline as an electrician—and reveals the vital importance of the local blacksmith. Throughout the book, he finds wonder in the commonplace, like going to town on a Saturday night for a black walnut ice cream cone.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


An unbeatable combination you’ll find in A Fatal Fleece, sixth in Sally Goldenbaum’s Seaside Knitters mystery series. Sally will be speaking and signing at 1 pm on Saturday, May 12, at I Love A Mystery, 6114 Johnson Drive in Mission.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The Raven Book Store will host a reading and book signing at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 6, featuring Benjamin Busch, author of Dust to Dust – “an extraordinary memoir about ordinary things: life and death, peace and war, the adventures of childhood and the revelations of adulthood.”

You know where, 6 E. 7th in Lawrence. Other event information and more at


On Friday, June 8, Cowboy Jim Gray will come riding out of the west for an appearance in the Brown and Gold Club Series at Johnson County Community College. You’ll find him in Room 211 of the Carlsen Center at 3 pm.

Cowboy Gray is a sixth generation Kansan, dedicated to promoting and preserving the cowboy heritage. He is the author of Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas on the Violent Frontier. More about Gray and the Old West at


The above is a question which author W. Bruce Cameron considers in his new book, A Dog’s Journey. Cameron will be speaking and signing at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 9, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 747 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

A Dog’s Journey – which asks the question: Do we really take care of our pets, or do they take care of us? -- follows Cameron’s earlier best-seller, A Dog’s Purpose.

For admission ticket information, see

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The Raven Book Store will host a reading a book signing at 7 pm on Friday, June 1, featuring Alex Grecian, author of The Yard. It’s 1890 in London, a cesspool of crime and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives to investigate countless murders every month.

After a career in advertising – remember the Great American Smokeout? – Grecian wrote a graphic novel series, Proof, featuring special agent John “Proof” Prufock. The Yard is the first in a series of novels that will feature the famous London Murder Squad. The Raven Book Store is at 6 E 7th in Lawrence, half a block from the intersection of 7th and Mass (Massachusetts).

Thursday, May 3, 2012


So reads the headline of a column written by Diane Stafford in a recent issue of The Kansas City Star.

"If it seems like everybody isn't on the same page in your workplace, maybe a bookclub can help."

Stafford was profiling the Think Contracting company that encourages employees to read the same book. Time for discussions of the "common" book is included in a weekly meeting. The company provides an account for access to audible books, so the employees can do part of their “reading” during travel time.

The concept of a community, or an entire college class, sharing the same book is not new. Brings to mind the One Book, One Burg program last year when the entire community of Louisburg, including the schools, was encouraged to read Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

Or Reno County encouraging everyone to read Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems. Having a common conversational topic gives everyone something besides the weather to talk about. (Not that we don’t talk a lot about the weather, too, given where we live.)