New Kansas Book Festival nets nearly 1,000 attendees, honors notable books

This past weekend the state library of Kansas and first lady of Kansas, Mary Brownback, held the annual award ceremony for the Kansas Notable Book winners along with a new event promoting reading–the 2011 Kansas Book Festival.  Hundreds attended the event Saturday at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka, which featured presentations by this year’s Notable Books honorees and a keynote address by David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This year’s Kansas Notable Book list of 15 books featured several non-fiction works, and also fiction works, including the high fantasy novel StarCrossed by contributor Elizabeth C. Bunce, who also won a Kansas Notable Book medal for her novel A Curse Dark as Gold, in 2009.  Here is her book with the Notable Books gold seal:

Other books named to the 2011 list are: Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun by Amy Barackman, And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado by Bonar Menninger, Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West–One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried, Baking with Friends: Recipes, Tips and Fun Facts for Teaching Kids to Bake by Charlene Patton and Sharon Davis, Bound: A Novel by Antonya Nelson, A Distant Home by George Paris, Flyover People by Cheryl Unruh, Ghost Stories of the New West: From Einstein’s Brain to Geronimo’s Boots by Denise Low, Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, A Prairie Peter Pan: The Story of Mary White by Beverley Buller, Prairie Rhythms: The Life and Poetry of May Williams Ward by Lana Wirt Myers, and The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel by Nancy Pickard.  The authors are pictured above with Roy Bird and Joanne Budler, from the state library and Kansas Center for the Book, and First Lady Mary Brownback.

“The State Library of Kansas appreciates this opportunity to recognize and celebrate Kansas’ rich literary heritage,” said State Librarian Joanne Budler.  “The Notable Books list captures the best work of our native sons and daughters, and truly captures our heritage–Kansas history, Kansas heroes and heroines, and so much more.”

Keynote speaker for the festival was David Eisenhower, co-author of Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969, with wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of President Richard Nixon.  Authors, speakers and guests were invited to the governor’s mansion Friday night before the event.  Mr. Eisenhower shared stories about his interests and the writing process and discussed books with other authors.  The Friday event was held by the governor and first lady on their terrace.  Pictured here is Mr. Eisenhower with me at the governor’s mansion:

Next year’s Kansas Book Festival is scheduled for September 15, 2012.

C.J. Bunce


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