2009 Notable Books

Amerlia Earhart

Amelia Earhart: the Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka, illustrated by David Craig

Amelia Earhart's life was one adventure after another from her early days as a wartime nurse to her triumphant solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Richly illustrated with family photos and photos seen worldwide, this book is an amazing look at her life. (Children's book)

Artfully Done

Artfully Done Across Generations by the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum; RoxAnn Banks Dicker, ed.

Compiled in memory of a special member of the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum, this oversized book features beautiful works of art from the Wichita Art Museum, 538 recipes from individuals of Kansas notoriety.


Burn by Kathleen Johnson

A book of poetry so hot it could only be named "Burn." Kansas poet Kathleen Johnson's collection ranges from life on the frontier to memories at her parent's home to tornados.


Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam by Pope Brock

Brock's colorful account of the infamous 1930's goat-gland doctor John Brinkley matches his outsized subject.

A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

A spellbinding fairy tale, spun with mystery and a shot of romance, this first novel by Lenexa writer Elizabeth Bunce is an innovative interpretation of Rumpelstiltskin. (Young adult)

Guide to Kansas Birds

The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots by Bob Gress and Pete Janzen

Gress and Janzen focus on 295 species that are most likely to be encountered in the state. Occasional day-trippers or backyard observers will be able to identify and learn about birds that regularly occur in Kansas, with stunning color photos and tips on where to search for these species.

Hometown Appetites

Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris

Syndicated food columnist and New York Herald Tribune writer Clementine Paddleford's papers located at KSU are the basis for this book about the first food writer who defined American cuisine thirty years before the celebrity chefs of today.

Kansas Opera Houses

Kansas Opera Houses: Actors and Community Events 1855-1925 by Jane Glotfelty Rhoads

From the communities, to the buildings, to the performers, Kansas Opera Houses highlights historic opera houses with fine writing and organizational reference material.

Making History

Making History: Quilts & Fabric From 1890-1970 by Barbara Brackman

Noted quilting authority Barbara Brackman has packed her book with historic photos, stories, and insights into the role of fabrics in everyday life. Making History is a compelling page-turner as well as a practical quilting book.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer by Rolf Potts

For the past 10 years, Potts has taken his keen postmodern travel sensibility into the far reaches of five continents for such publications as The New York Times Magazine. His reflective essay on visiting a county museum in Minneapolis, KS shows just how wrong preconceptions can be.

Nature of Kansas Lands

The Nature of Kansas Lands edited by Beverley Worster

Explore the richness and depths of Kansas as never before. "The Nature of Kansas Lands" is a visually stimulating masterpiece, designed to encourage Kansas residents to look beyond their backyards and fences.

Passion for Nature

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster

An extensive and well-researched biography on the great conservationist John Muir uses his personal correspondence and journals to place Muir in the social and political context of his times.

Pizza Hut Story

The Pizza Hut Story by Robert Spector

On the eve of its golden anniversary, this book looks at Pizza Hut and how Wichita founders Dan and Frank Carney turned "pizza" into a household word and took the brand to the corners of the globe.

Seeding Civil War

Seeding Civil War: Kansas in the National News, 1854-1858 by Craig Miner

A study of media coverage devoted to the beleaguered Kansas territory in the years leading up to the Lecompton Constitution, Miner's deep dig into 1850s newspapers show how newspapers played a critical role in turning Bleeding Kansas into an out of control inferno.

Survival of Rural America

Survival of Rural America: Small Victories and Bitter Harvests by Richard E. Wood

Wood knows that rural communities need more than jobs or money to survive: they need to become valued again as desirable places to live. He takes a closer look at what has happened in several Kansas farming towns and shows that there is much more depth and diversity to rural life than meets the eye.