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2017 Kansas Notable Books

The State Library of Kansas is pleased to announce the 12th annual selection of Kansas Notable Books.  The fifteen books feature quality titles with wide public appeal, either written by Kansans or about a Kansas-related topic. The Kansas Notable Book List highlights our lively contemporary writing community and encourages readers to enjoy some of the best writing of the authors among us.

“The Kansas Notable Books Committee considered the eligible books published in 2016. I was delighted to receive the recommended list and make the final decision,” said State Librarian Jo Budler. “Our list is intended to showcase Kansas’ unique talent and history while encouraging residents to visit their library and check out the celebrated titles.”

An awards ceremony will be held at the Kansas Book Festival, on September 9, 2017 at the State Capitol, to recognize the talented Notable Book authors.

Kansas Notable Books is a project of the Kansas Center for the Book, a program of the State Library. Throughout the award year, the State Library promotes and encourages promotion of all the titles on that year's list at literary events, and among librarians and booksellers.

For more information about Kansas Notable Books, call 785-296-3296, visit or email

2017 Kansas Notable Books

Fast-Food Sonnets: Poems by Dennis Etzel Jr. (Topeka), Coal City Review Press

Ghost Sign: Poems from White Buffalo by Al Ortolani (Shawnee Mission), Melissa Fite Johnson, Adam Jameson, and J.T. Knoll (Pittsburg), 39 West Press and Spartan Press

Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future by Allan Drummond (Suffolk, England), Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard (Kansas City), Doubleday

Hurt People: A Novel by Cote Smith (Lawrence), Farrar Straus Giroux

Ioway Life: Reservation and Reform, 1837-1860 by Greg Olson (Columbia MO), University of Oklahoma Press

The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys into Hidden Landscapes by George Frazier (Lawrence), University Press of Kansas

Lost and Gone Forever: A Novel of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad by Alex Grecian (Topeka), G. P. Putnam’s Sons

The Memory of Lemon: A Novel by Judith Fertig (Overland Park), Berkley Books

Mike Torrez: A Baseball Biography by Jorge Iber (Lubbock TX), McFarland & Company

A Nest of Hornets by Robert Krenzel (Shawnee), CreateSpace

Never Enough Flamingos by Janelle Diller (Colorado Springs CO), Worldtrek Publishing

Phog: The Most Influential Man in Basketball by Scott Morrow Johnson (Seattle WA) University of Nebraska Press

Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming (Oak Park IL) Roaring Brook Press

The Small-Town Midwest: Resilience and Hope in the Twenty-First Century by Julianne Couch (Bellevue IA)

The State Library of Kansas—To learn more, visit

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