September 2016 Featured Books

Featured Fiction

The Meaning of Names

The Meaning of Names
Karen Shoemaker

Red Hen Press
Pasadena, CA

Author Website
Publisher Website

From the publisher's website:
Stuart, Nebraska is a long way from the battlefields of Western Europe, but it is not immune to the horrors of the First Great War for Peace. Like all communities, it has lost sons and daughters to the fighting, with many more giving themselves over to the hatred only war can engender.

Set in 1918 in the farm country at the heart of America, The Meaning of Names is the story of an ordinary woman trying to raise a family during extraordinary times. Estranged from her parents because she married against their will, confronted with violence and prejudice against her people, and caught up in the midst of the worst plague the world has ever seen, Gerda Vogel, an American of German descent, must find the strength to keep her family safe from the effects of a war that threatens to consume the whole world.

One Book, One Nebraska Selection, 2016
Omaha Reads Selection, 2014

Featured Non-Fiction

The Middle of Everywhere

The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community
Mary Pipher

Mariner Books, 2003

Author's Website

From the author's website:

Over the past decade, Mary Pipher has been a great source of wisdom, helping us to better understand our family members. Now she connects us with the newest members of the American family--refugees. In cities all over the country, refugees arrive daily. Lost Boys from Sudan, survivors from Kosovo, families fleeing Afghanistan and Vietnam: they come with nothing but the desire to experience the American dream. Their endurance in the face of tragedy and their ability to hold on to the virtues of family, love, and joy are a lesson for Americans. Their stories will make you laugh and weep--and give you a deeper understanding of the wider world in which we live.

The Middle of Everywhere moves beyond the headlines into the homes of refugees from around the world. Working as a cultural broker, teacher, and therapist, Mary Pipher has once again opened our eyes--and our hearts--to those with whom we share the future.

Featured Children's Literature

Simpson's Sheep Won't Go To Sleep!

Simpson's Sheep Won't Go To Sleep!
Bruce Arant

Peter Pauper Press
White Plains, NY

Author Website

Publisher Website


From the publisher's website:
Farmer Simpson works all day.
He plants his corn, and beans, and hay.
His feet get tired, his nose gets red.
At night, he likes to go to bed.

But Simpson's sheep have other plans -- and sleep is not one of them! They think of every excuse to stay awake.

They need a drink. They want a snack.
They have to ''go!'' They like to yack.

Will poor Simpson ever find a way to lull his sheep to sleep? Illustrated with soft pastel drawings that are both silly and soothing, Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep! is a story for every parent who has put a child to bed -- and every child who has creatively resisted.

Featured Poetry

Potato Soup

Potato Soup
Twyla Hansen

The Backwaters Press
Omaha, NE

State Poet Website
Publisher Website

Currently serving as the Nebraska State Poet, Twyla Hansen is the third Nebraskan and first woman to hold this position, to which she was appointed by Governor Dave Heineman in November 2013.

POTATO SOUP is rich with climate, place, color, detail and life, capturing within the covers of a single engaging and lovely collection so much of our part of the planet.—Ted Kooser

Winner of The Nebraska Book Award for Poetry, 2004