By February 6, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Kansas Reads

The entire state of Kansas is getting together for their 3rd Annual Kansas Reads celebration. Titles are selected by a team of Kansas librarians with a deep interest in readers’ advisory. They pick the title with the broadest appeal that will best generate and sustain thoughtful discussion and is representative of the Sunflower State.

In its inaugural year, the Kansas Reads committee selected The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks. Parks is a native of Kansas and his hometown of Fort Scott celebrated the multi-talented photographer/director/author/composer in a myriad of ways. The next title chosen for the state-wide reading project was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Librarians and readers had gleeful fun with this compelling example of narrative nonfiction.

This year’s pick was announced on Kansas Day, January 29. The Virgin of Small Plains by Prairie Village, Kansas resident, Nancy Pickard is a mystery-suspense that is already generating buzz among heartland readers. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

On Monday, February 2, the Pittsburg Public Library noontime readers kicked off their month long reading binge with a soup lunch. I was invited to speak about the differences between mystery and suspense novels and show how The Virgin of Small Plains incorporates elements of both. This was a great way to warm up the attendees for Nancy Pickard’s visit to the Library on February 17. I asked the participants to ask the author into which genre she felt her novel belonged. We then moved onto to possible discussion topics I invited the readers to ponder the level of guilt each character in VOSP experiences.

The Pittsburg Public Library has a director and staff very dedicated to book discussion groups and readers’ advisory. Carol Ann Robb and her coworkers organized an elegant and lively event for their attendees with generous donations of free copies of the books from their Friends of the Library group. This Library’s staff is making sure that Kansas Reads for a good long time.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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