Kansas Notable Books recognizes outstanding titles either written by Kansans or about a Kansas-related topic. These selections are some of our favorites.
White Hot Hate: A True Story of Domestic Terrorism in America’s Heartland by Dick Lehr
The thrilling true story of a would-be terrorist attack against a Kansas farming town’s immigrant community, and the FBI informant who exposed it. In the gripping details of this foiled scheme, we see in intimate focus the chilling, immediate threat of domestic terrorism-and racist anxiety in America writ large.
Words is a Powerful Thing: Twenty Years of Teaching Creative Writing at Douglas County Jail by Brian Daldorph
Since 2001, poet and professor Brian Daldorph has taught a creative writing class at the Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas. During this time he has worked with thousands of inmates, helping them to find the words to express their struggles while also giving him a unique insight into the behemoth that is the American justice system.
Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains by Lucas Bessire
This book–the first ethnography of water conservation on the Great Plains–provides an account of High Plains aquifer decline through an exploration of the different ways in which heartland residents inhabit and understand the imminent depletion of groundwater.
How to Resist Amazon and Why: The Fight For Local Economies, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future by Danny Caine
When a company’s workers are literally dying on the job, when their business model relies on preying on local businesses and even their own vendors, when their CEO is literally the richest person in the world while their workers make low wages with impossible quotas… wouldn’t you want to resist?
Mad Prairie by Kate McIntyre
In this scary, funny, and slyly political short story collection, Kate McIntyre conjures a fever dream of contemporary Kansas. Boundaries between fantasy and reality blur, and grotesque acts birth strange progeny.
Policing Sex in the Sunflower State: The Story of the Kansas State Industrial Farm for Women by Nicole Perry
The little-known story of Chapter 205, a state law that gave the Kansas Board of Health broad powers to quarantine individuals with venereal diseases. Though the law was officially gender-neutral and the state initially detained a few men under the ordinance, Chapter 205 was almost exclusively enforced against women by the early 1920s.
From This Moment by Kim Vogel Sawyer
A lost ring brings together two wounded souls–a youth minister haunted by the past and a spunky church custodian–in this heartwarming romance. But will they be able to release the past and move forward from this moment into a joyful future?
Blue Collar Saint: Poems by Brenda Leigh White
Brenda White’s verse resounds deeply, even in the dark places and in sentiments we Midwest working-class folk don’t often like to share. Only a true poet can turn life’s harsh realities into line and stanza that move us to reflect, connect, and read again.
Killing Dragons: Order of the Dolphin by Kristie Clark
Marine biologist Eva Paz is on the verge of revolutionizing linguistics by cracking the dolphin communication code, but she is interrupted by a murder. Former Navy SEAL and geneticist Thomas Sternberg arrives to help. Eva doesn’t trust Thomas, but can she set that aside to work with him to stop the sea dragon and save her dolphins?