November 2016 Featured Books

Featured Fiction

Goodnight, Nebraska

Goodnight, Nebraska
Tom McNeal

Random House
New York, NY

Author Website

From the author's website:
At the age of 17, Randall Hunsacker shoots his mother's boyfriend, steals a car and comes close to killing himself. His second chance lies in a small Nebraska farm town, where the landmarks include McKibben's Mobil Station, Frmka's Superette, and a sign that says The Wages of Sin is Hell. This is Goodnight, a place so ingrown and provincial that Randall calls it "Sludgeville"-until he starts thinking of it as home. 

In this pitch-perfect novel, Tom McNeal explores the currents of hope, passion, and cruelty beneath the surface of the American heartland. In  Randall, McNeal creates an outcast whose redemption lies in Goodnight, a strange, small, but ultimately embracing community where Randall will inspire fear and adulation, win the love of a beautiful girl and nearly throw it all away.

Featured Non-Fiction

Fighting Liberal: The Autobiography of George W. Norris

Fighting Liberal:  The Autobiography of George W. Norris
George W. Norris

University of Nebraska Press (Second Edition)
Lincoln, NE

Publisher Website

From the Publisher's Website:
Though George Norris was born and grew up in Ohio, he headed west after earning his law degree and set up practice in Nebraska, eventually settling in McCook. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1902 and the Senate in 1912, Norris was a Republican for most of his life but headed a wing called the Progressives, who believed the government should be more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens. Norris believed it his duty to vote according to conscience even if that sometimes conflicted with party affiliation or popular sentiment. Beyond personal integrity, Norris also left a considerable legacy of achievements: he promoted the nonpartisan one-house Unicameral in Nebraska, led the effort to create the Tennessee Valley Authority, and sponsored the Rural Electrification Act. Fighting Liberal is Norris’s account of his amazing and admirable life from the early impoverished years that informed his populist philosophy to his career in government, where he made great contributions to the nation.

Featured Young Adult Literature

The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist
Brandon Sanderson

Macmillan, Tor Teen
New York, NY

Author Website

Publisher Website

From the Publisher's Website:    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity's only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013

Featured Poetry

Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry

Nebraska Presence:  An Anthology of Poetry
Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell, editors

The Backwaters Press
Omaha, NE

Publisher Website


From the Publisher's Website:

Edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell, Nebraska Presence includes poems by more than 80 contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn, several poets who have had their poems read on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac including Greg Kuzma, Marjorie Saiser, Twyla Hansen, Grace Bauer, and Greg Kosmicki, as well as widely noted poets Hilda Raz, Roy Scheele, Steve Langan, and many others.