To mark Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, The Kansas City Public Library is hosting two events. On November 13, 2008, Joe Markley discussed the invention process from conception and production. On November 15, the Library hosted a forum on social entrepreneurship and problem solving on the community level. Discover some of the many books available on these topics for both adults and teens.

Entrepreneurship | Inventions | Social entrepreneurship | For teens


Entrepreneurship book jacket

By Alan L. Carsrud and Malin E. Brännback
There are many steps between having an idea and going public – this book explores the entrepreneurial process through all of its stages, a process in which some half a billion people are engaged worldwide every year. Illustrated through numerous real-life examples, the book is a map of the entrepreneurial journey, exploring the wide variety of opportunities open to the entrepreneur and how to build upon them, including an overview of such essential principles as screening, market research, product development, financing, and marketing and sales strategies.

1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire
By Sam Wyly
In his fast-paced, fascinating, and candid memoir, Wyly reveals the thought processes, relationships, and financial machinations behind the building of his diverse businesses over the last four decades.

Birthing the Elephant: The Woman's Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business
By Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman
Customized for the female entrepreneur’s unique psychological experience of launching a business, Birthing the Elephant goes beyond logistics to prepare women for the emotional challenges they will face, with expert advice on reshaping ones business identity, giving up the paycheck mentality, anticipating problems, and avoiding costly mistakes. This supportive handbook gives the small-business owner the staying power to survive and succeed in the business of her dreams.

Against All Odds: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Followed Their Hearts and Found Success
By Wendy Harris
Ten successful African-American entrepreneurs are profiled in this collection that highlights the challenges and triumphs that each has met on their road to success. It includes profiles of Sylvia and Herbert Woods, owners of Harlem's famous Sylvia's Restaurant, Renee Warren and Kirsten Poe of Noelle-Elaine Media Consultants, and more.

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
By Guy Kawasaki
A new product, a new service, a new company, a new division, a new anything--where there's a will, here's the way, with Kawasaki's essential steps to launching one's dreams.

Find more books on entrepreneurship in the library.


The Inventor's Pathfinder book jacket

The Inventor's Pathfinder: A Practical Guide to Successful Inventing
By James L. Cairns
Drawing on forty years of practical experience, author James L. Cairns clearly reveals all the basic strategies of successful inventing. He teaches you how to get ideas, gauge their potential, establish their ownership, and profit from them. Cairns also shows how to avoid the devastating mistakes commonly made by independent inventors.

They Made America
By Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David Lefer
From the steam engine to the search engine, Harold Evans presents an illustrated history of two centuries of American innovators. Vast and beautifully designed, scores of men and women populate this rollicking survey which reveals the surprising truths behind many modern creations, as well as valuable lessons to be gleaned by studying these brilliant entrepreneurs.

From Patent to Profit: Secrets & Strategies for the Successful Inventor
By Bob DeMatteis
Having a novel idea and turning that idea into cash is not as simple as it sounds. The process of creating an invention, protecting that invention, and bringing it to the marketplace can cost you a bundle. To help innovative individuals learn to navigate around the many pitfalls of inventing, Bob DeMatteis has written an up-to-date guide to all the important steps involved in inventing.

The Book of Inventions
By Ian Harrison
Harrison takes readers on a wild ride through the history of the gadgets and gizmos people use every day.

Nolo's Patents for Beginners
By David Pressman and Richard Stim
Packed with plain English explanations, the book defines clearly and simply what a patent is and why an inventor needs one. It explains how to document an invention, how to conduct a patent search, the patent application process, who owns a patent, how to avoid patent infringement, and more.

The Inventor's Bible: How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas
By Ronald Louis Docie, Sr.
You've just invented a new technology, a must-have product. So now what? Patent it? Manufacture it? Sell it? Successful inventor and author Ronald Docie shares more than 20 years of valuable insight and experience in The Inventor's Bible, a guide to taking your ideas from concept to profit in record time. Using real case studies as examples, this definitive handbook tells you everything you need to know about marketing, licensing, and selling your invention.

Find more books on inventions in the library.

Social entrepreneurship

How to Change the World book jacket

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
By David Bornstein
What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are, writes Bornstein, the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up--and remake the world for the better. This book tells the fascinating stories of these remarkable individuals.

Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit
By J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson and Peter Economy
As a follow-up to their book Enterprising Nonprofits, the authors provide a full set of practical tools for putting the lessons of business entrepreneurship to work in your nonprofit. The book offers hands-on guidance that helps social sector leaders hone their entrepreneurial skills and carry out their social missions more effectively than ever before. This practical and easy-to-use book is filled with examples, exercises, checklists, and action steps that bring the concepts, frameworks, and tools to life.

Social Entrepreneurship: The Art of Mission-Based Venture Development
By Peter C. Brinckerhoff
Until very recently, popular belief held that business skills were not needed at charitable organizations. No longer. Far from interfering with an organizations ability to provide needed services, techniques such as marketing, cash flow analysis, property management, and good use of technology all contribute to a charitable organizations mission capability. Unlike a not-for-profit that thinks of itself as a charity, the successful not-for-profit is really a mission-based business. In an era of rapid change, increasing competition, and the need for more accountability to governments, foundations, insurers, and donors, knowing how to innovate, compete, and take reasonable risks on behalf of the mission is critical. It is, in short, the era of the social entrepreneur.

Find more books on social entrepreneurship in the library.

For teens

Prepare To Be a Teen Millionaire book jacket

Prepare To Be a Teen Millionaire
By Kimberly Spinks Burleson and Robyn Collins
This book features the true-life stories and struggles of – and lessons learned by – teens across the country who have successfully created businesses. It offers an array of business ideas, information, and step-by-step detailed instructions on finding funding, marketing, and manufacturing. The result is a tried-and-true blueprint that assists creative and ambitious teens in fulfilling their dreams and becoming the entrepreneurs of the future.

Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out
By Farrah Gray, with Fran Harris
A remarkable teenager who went from public assistance to a million dollar net worth shares his story and offers 9 key principles to success.

Careers in Focus: Entrepreneurs
This career resource guide defines the top careers, discussing the nature of the work, educational or training requirements, getting started, advancement possibilities, salary, employment outlook, and sources of more information.

How to be a Teenage Millionaire
By Art Beroff & T.R. Adams
The authors cite real-life success stories of teenage millionaires and provide teens with guidance and tips on becoming entrepreneurs, including how to start their own business, make their own money, and run their own lives.

Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur's Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business
By Randal Pinkett
In this guide, Pinkett walks any would-be college entrepreneur through all the necessary steps to launching a profitable, campus-based business, while simultaneously achieving academic success.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift discussed the next big political question with Executive Director Crosby Kemper III: After the Election, What Comes Next? on November 10 at the Plaza Branch. Read some of Clift’s books or explore nonfiction about U.S. presidential campaigns and elections.

Books by Eleanor Clift | Presidential Campaigns & Elections

Books by Eleanor Clift

Two Weeks of Life book jacket

Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death & Politics
By Eleanor Clift
Newsweek contributing editor Clift tackles one of the most important--and divisive--issues facing the nation: how Americans deal, or fail to deal, with dying. Clift provides a very personal narrative as she alternates between the much-publicized death of Terri Schiavo and that of her own husband.

Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment
By Eleanor Clift
Beginning with the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention of 1848, Clift introduces the movement’s leaders, discusses the marches and demonstrations, and profiles the opposition—anti-suffragettes, both men and women. The story culminates in the dramatic struggle to pass the 19th Amendment—a struggle that ultimately came down to the vote of a single legislator in Tennessee.

Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling
By Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis
Highlighting all the key players, from Elizabeth Dole to Hillary Clinton to Dianne Feinstein, two Washington pundits offer a history of women in politics that includes the prospect of a woman president in the next decade. Originally published in 2000.

War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics
By Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis
In engaging vignettes, Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis showcase the everyday activities, behind-the-scenes confrontations, and unlikely alliances of the people who influence how laws are written and which legislation will become the law of the land.

Presidential Campaigns & Elections

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the White House book jacket

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the White House: Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail
Edited and with an introduction by Charles Osgood
One of America's favorite news personalities offers a rib-tickling compendium of anecdotes from the last 70 years of presidential campaigns.

Notes from the Trail: Presidential Politics from the Inside Out
By Alexandra Kerry
In her account of her father's bid for the presidency, Alexandra Kerry brings us inside the bubble of the modern race for the presidency. Her words and images lend an intimacy to our often overblown politics as she sheds light on some of the contradictions, ironies, and saving graces of our electoral process and our country.

The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America
By Thurston Clarke
Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative of the action-packed 82 days of Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign as well as the heightened personal, racial, and political dramas of the time.

Inside the Presidential Debates book jacket

Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future
By Newton N. Minow and Craig L. LaMay
This fascinating history offers, for the first time, a genuinely informative inside look into the origins of the presidential debates and the many battles--both legal and personal--that have determined who has been allowed to debate and under what circumstances.

Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election
By Jeffrey Toobin
Seasoned political and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin recounts the events of the fateful thirty-six-day post-2000 presidential election journey with authority, insight, and juicy storytelling.

No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner
By Robert Shrum
From his unique perspective, Shrum gives listeners an epic and personal story of the struggle for power in America during the past four decades. With wit and humor, rare candor, and a wealth of detail, he vividly recounts the real personalities and real forces that shaped the outcome of the closest and most important elections of our time.

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign
By Edward J. Larson
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Larson's book presents a masterful and revelatory account of the titanic election battle that had been so momentous to the country's future that Thomas Jefferson had called it America's second revolution.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Noted Russia scholar Marshall Goldman discussed his bookPetrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia – on November 9, 2008 at the Plaza Branch. Learn more about Russia and Vladimir Putin in these books at the Library.

Books by Marshall Goldman | Russian Foreign Relations | Vladimir Putin

Books by Marshall Goldman

 Putin, Power, and the New Russia book jacket

Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
By Marshall I. Goldman
Based on extensive research, including several interviews with Vladimir Putin, this revealing book chronicles Russia's dramatic reemergence on the world stage, illuminating the key reason for its rebirth: the use of its ever-expanding energy wealth to reassert its traditional great power ambitions. In his deft, informative narrative, Marshall Goldman traces how this has come to be, and how Russia is using its oil-based power as a lever in world politics.

Lost Opportunity: Why Economic Reforms in Russia Have Not Worked
By Marshall I. Goldman
Published in 1994, Golman provides a picture of how Boris Yeltsin took on the task of reforming the Russian economy.

What Went Wrong With Perestroika
By Marshall I. Goldman
Originally published in 1991, this book examines Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika program and discusses the Soviet Union’s economic, political and social issues as well.

Find more books by Marshall Goldman in the library.

Russian Foreign Relations

 Russia's New Imperialism book jacket

Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism
By Janusz Bugajski
The Russian regime under President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a coherent long-term strategy to regain its influence over former satellites and to limit Western penetration in key parts of this region. Moscow is intent on steadily rebuilding Russia as a major power on the Eurasian stage and will use its neighbors as a springboard for expanding its dominance. In this first systematic analysis detailing Russia's post-Cold War imperialism, Bugajski challenges the contemporary equivalent of Cold War appeasement, which views Russia as a benign and pragmatic power that seeks cooperation and integration with the West.

Russia's Road to Deeper Democracy
By Tom Bjorkman
Russia has embarked on a slow but steady path of foreign policy alignment with the West. President Vladimir Putins market-oriented economic policies and structural reforms have added momentum. But in the long run, the decisive factor in Russias relationship with the West will be the nature of the political order it builds on the ruins of communism.

Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russia After the Cold War
By James M. Goldgeier and Michael McFaul
This book traces the evolution of American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union, and later Russia, during the tumultuous and uncertain period following the end of the cold war. It examines how American policymakers, particularly in the executive branch, coped with the opportunities and challenges presented by the new Russia.

The New Russian Diplomacy
By Igor S. Ivanov
In this frank and engaging book, foreign minister Igor S. Ivanov describes the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Drawing on Russias long diplomatic history, Ivanov analyzes the complex process through which a newly democratic Russia has redefined its foreign policy during a volatile transformation over the last decade.

Vladimir Putin

Putin's Labyrinth book jacket

Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia
By Steve LeVine
Acclaimed journalist LeVine provides a penetrating account of modern Russia under the repressive rule of an all-powerful autocrat. LeVine portrays the growth of a "culture of death" and documents the bloodshed that has stained Putin's two terms as president.

Putin's Russia: Life In A Failing Democracy
By Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Politkovskaya made her name with her fearless reporting on the war in Chechnya. Now she turns her steely gaze on the multiple threats to Russian stability, among them President Putin himself. Putin's Russia depicts a far-reaching state of decay. Politkovskaya describes an army in which soldiers die from malnutrition, parents must pay bribes to recover their dead sons' bodies, and conscripts are even hired out as slaves. She exposes rampant corruption in business, government, and the judiciary, where everything from store permits to bus routes to court appointments is for sale. And she offers a scathing condemnation of the ongoing war in Chechnya, where kidnappings, extrajudicial killings, rape, and torture are begetting terrorism rather than fighting it.

First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President
By Vladimir Putin, with Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, and Andrei Kolesnikov
This book is an intimate, candid portrait of Vladimir Putin. A compilation of over 24 hours of in-depth interviews and remarkable photographs, it delves deep into Putin's KGB past and explores his meteoric rise to power.

Inside Putin's Russia
By Andrew Jack
Written by the Moscow Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, this is a full-length account of the rise of Vladimir Putin and of his initial four years as the leader of Russia.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Witches and Halloween go hand-in-hand. Pick up one of these witchy novels for a good read this week.

The Witches of Eastwick book jacket

Selected by Time magazine as one of the five best books of the year, The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike follows three divorced witches who live in New England. A new man moves to their small town and seduces them all.

For some chick lit, try Girl's Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky where librarian Jane finds some magic books and starts experimenting with spells. Soon, she’s irresistible to men and working more magic in this humorous novel.

Owens women have been witches for centuries in the book, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Now, two sisters raised by their aunts experience love and tragedy against a backdrop of magic.

Solstice Wood book jacket

A gothic tale, Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip depicts bookstore owner Sylvia who returns to the old house where she was raised by her grandparents after her grandfather dies. Invited by her grandmother to the “Fiber Guild” – a coven of witches protecting the town from the evil fairies, Sylvia faces her secret in this magical world.

Maggie, a housewife in England, discovers a hundred-year-old witch’s journal in Dark Sister by Graham Joyce. With this journal Maggie develops her own powers and awakens the “Dark Sister” described in the diary.

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong combines romance with the supernatural. Twenty-something Paige becomes the leader of the Coven after her mother, a witch, is murdered.

The Last Witchfinder book jacket

Set in 17th century England and Salem, MA, The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow depicts a young woman, Jennet, whose father hunts down witches for a living. After her Aunt is unjustly burned at the stake, Jennet makes it her goal to eliminate the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act.

Paulo Coelho’s Brida: A Novel follows a young woman looking for knowledge and something more. As she learns about the spiritual world, she struggles with the desire to become a witch.

A gothic novel, The Book of Shadows by James Reese features a young orphan girl who is raised by nuns in a convent in the French countryside during the nineteenth century. A prank leads to witchcraft accusations, but she is rescued by mysterious creatures.

Bestselling author Anne Rice began her chronicle of the Mayfair witches in The Witching Hour. Spanning four centuries, this book moves through history to tell the story of this dynasty of witches and the being that haunts them – Lasher.

The Kansas City Public Library and Metro Sports are partnering for the theatrical premiere of the feature-length documentary, Border War on November 3 at the Plaza Branch. This documentary, produced by Metro Sports, examines the history of the athletic rivalry between the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas. Read about other sports rivalries or KU and MU athletics in these books at the Library.

Sports Rivalries | KU & MU Athletics

Sports Rivalries

Emperors and Idiots book jacket

Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred-Year Rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse
By Mike Vaccaro
With incredible energy and access, leading sports columnist Mike Vaccaro chronicles the history of the greatest rivalry in sports – between the Yankees and the Red Sox – and the two stunning American League Championship Series that define a century of baseball.

Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina, Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops
By Art Chansky
From sports writer Chansky comes a history of one of basketball's greatest rivalries: the Duke Blue Devils and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Rivalry: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and the Golden Age of Basketball
By John Taylor
Journalist John Taylor offers a masterly and brilliantly written account of basketball's golden age, as viewed through its greatest rivalry: the one between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

The Game of the Century: Nebraska vs. Oklahoma in College Football's Ultimate Battle
By Michael Corcoran
This book follows college football's ultimate battle – the Nebraska vs. Oklahoma game, November 25, 1971. Combining a history of college football with in-depth interviews, author Michael Corcoran tells it all: the play-by-play strategies and techniques, the personalities of the players and coaches who conceived the plans and executed them, the formations and intricate blocking schemes that spelled victory or defeat.

KU & MU Sports

Beware of the Phog book jacket

Beware of the Phog: 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse
By Doug Vance and Jeff Bollig
In the world of college basketball, few structures can match the aura of the massive limestone edifice situated on the University of Kansas campus known as Allen Fieldhouse. Dedicated on March 1, 1955, it marked the largest campus arena in the nation for a significant period of time. This book chronicles its history.

Game of My Life: Kansas – Memorable Moments of Jayhawks Basketball
By Steve Buckner
Players from the 1988 NCAA Championship basketball squad share their insights into their defeat of rival Oklahoma in the national championship game in this chronicle.

Stadium Stories: Missouri Tigers
By Brian Peterson
This book provides a history of Missouri Tigers football. It covers the border war with the Kansas Jayhawks, Coach Don Faurot, Coach Dan Devine, quarterback Brad Smith, and more.

Stormin' Back: Missouri Basketball Coach Norm Stewart's Battles On and Off the Court
By Norm Stewart with John Dewey
This biography covers the life and career of Norm Stewart, head basketball coach for 32 seasons at the University of Missouri from 1967 to 1999.

Book descriptions provided by Bookletters.

October is National Bake and Decorate Month. Take part in the celebration by checking out a book with delicious recipes and how-to details on cake decorating, or read a novel inspired by baking.


 From My Home to Yours book jacket

Start with the James Beard Foundation Book Award winner, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. This book has over 300 recipes perfect for home baking, including breakfast sweets, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, and spoon desserts.

For more delicious recipes, check out The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People by Abigail Johnson Dodge. From breads and cookies to pies and cakes, this resource is aimed at those short on time. The cookbook moves from the simplest recipes to those that will take more time, making it easy to find just the right recipe.

Peter Mayle, the author of many memoirs about Provence, writes with baker Gerard Auzet, owner of a French bakery, in Confessions of a French Baker: Breadmaking Secrets, Tips, and Recipes. This book breaks down the breadmaking process and has illustrated instructions on how to make sixteen types of bread, all in the casual first-person style Mayle is known for.

Baking inspires fiction, as well. Author Jeanne Ray’s Eat Cake: A Novel follows Ruth, a mother and wife who bakes to relax. This family drama has teenage kids, a recently unemployed husband, an estranged father coming to live with them, and recipes for some of the scrumptious cakes she bakes.

Citizen Vince: A Novel by Jess Walter won the Edgar Award for best novel. This mystery features Vince Camden, a doughnut baker in the witness protection program. Set against the backdrop of the 1980 election, Vince tries to decide who to vote for while the mob tracks him down.

Cake Decorating

Cake Decorating book jacket

Learn the skills taught in trade school with Cake Decorating by Rachel Brown. With plenty of photos, this practical guide covers basic equipment, different types of icing, and advanced techniques making it a great reference.

The Artful Cupcake: Baking & Decorating Delicious Indulgences by Marcianne Miller provides 32 simple cupcake recipes with lots of inspiration and details on how to make them gorgeous.

From elegant to eccentric, The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-To-Make Cakes That Taste As Good As They Look! by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen has plenty of cakes to choose from. The book is divided into three sections, covering the basics, simple cakes, and tiered cakes.

Be the hit of your child’s party with a cake from Cakes for Kids: 35 Colorful Cakes with Easy-To-Follow Tips & Techniques by Matthew Mead. This book includes recipes for cakes and frostings while providing instruction on how to assemble and decorate. The cookbook is organized by level of difficulty, from easy to medium to more advanced designs.

Notable bakers, such as James Beard and Julia Child, contributed the content for Birthday Cakes: Recipes and Memories from Celebrated Bakers by Kathryn Kleinman and Carolyn Miller. Well illustrated, each recipe includes a short essay by the baker and includes tips for decorating.

The voracious and articulate readers at Waldo continue to explore Jewish themes in the readings for the Jewish American Literature book group, Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of Jewish Imagination.

The most lively conversation to day revolved around that classic of English 101 lit courses, “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. Regarded by many critics as his masterpiece, even readers who have never picked it up recognize the name Gregor Samsa and his tragic circumstances.

Metamorphosis book jacket

This month’s readers dove right into the conversation. I could have gone out for a coffee and I don’t think they’d have noticed. A few readers started discussion by pondering why Gregor had been turned into a “giant insect”. But no one dwelt on that issue for long. Many decided it was due to his living a “joyless life” and the demands of his dependent, yet able-bodied, family. Like most serious readers, we took Kafka’s short story seriously, searching for the humanity and inhumanity in the characters, looking for the elements of Jewish literature in the story, and musing over Kafka’s reasons for choosing a giant insect instead of another creature.

Then one very astute reader pointed out the absurdity in the story and told us “The Metamorphosis” makes her laugh. She told the group that Kafka found this situation funny and asked us to look for the very dark humor present in the piece.

A great way to end an evening’s thought-provoking conversation about one of the greatest pieces of literature in the 20th century—with laughter.

Take a trip on the railways. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has a new exhibition, Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960, running through January 2009 and The Kansas City Public Library has a series of three programs planned in conjunction with this exhibition: Ian Kennedy: The Impressionists and the Railroad, David Lean and the Romance of Steam Locomotion, and Dreams of Empire: Kansas City and the Railroads. In addition, the Central Library will screen a series of train-oriented films every Saturday in November. Railroads have inspired more than art, check out some of these books and films.

Novels | Travel by Train | Photographs | Kansas City Connection |
For Kids | Feature Films


Murder on the Orient Express book jacket

Murder on the Orient Express
By Agatha Christie
En route to Paris, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot has booked winter passage on the fabled Orient Express. Among the curious assortment of passengers, a wealthy American is found dead in a night compartment. By dawn, 13 travelers, each with secrets, will find themselves suspect in the most ingenious crime Poirot has ever solved.

Iron Council
By China Miéville
It is a time of wars and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming city to the brink. A mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places.
In desperation, a small group of renegades steals a train and escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope.

Stations: An Imagined Journey
By Michael Flanagan
This book uniquely tells a family's history through the “photo album” and diary of a 20th century brakeman on the railroad. The photographs are actually paintings by Flanagan.

Home Station
By Jeanne Williams
Kansas native Jeanne Williams depicts a woman's life as a railroad station master in this novel. Set in Bountiful, Kansas at the turn of the 20th century, Lesley Morland must take over her father's role as station master as the prospect of a new train line brings the potential for prosperity to this small town.

La Bête Humaine
By Émile Zola
Did possessing and killing amount to the same thing deep within the dark recesses of the human beast? La Bête Humaine (1890), the seventeenth novel in the Rougon-Macquart series, is one of Zola's most violent and explicit works. On one level a tale of murder, passion, and possession where a homicidal train engineer lusts for a stationmaster's wife, it is also a compassionate study of individuals derailed by atavistic forces beyond their control.

Travel by Train

Stranger on a Train book jacket

Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Interruptions
By Jenny Diski
Using two cross-country trips on Amtrak as her narrative vehicles, British writer Jenny Diski connects the humming rails, taking her into the heart of America with the track-like scars leading back to her own past. As in the highly acclaimed Skating to Antarctica, Diski has created a seamless and seemingly effortless amalgam of reflections and revelation in a unique combination of travelogue and memoir.

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar
By Paul Theroux
Thirty years after his classic The Great Railway Bazaar, Theroux revisits Eastern Europe, Central Asia, India, China, Japan, and Siberia. Wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.

The Big Red Train Ride
By Eric Newby
Originally published in 1978, Newby writes about his seven-day train journey from Moscow to the Sea of Japan, chronicling his observations about Soviet life and its people.

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures along China's Ancient Silk Road
By Stuart Stevens
Published in 1988, this book provides the first account of travel in Chinese Turkistan, closed to foreigners since 1949. It shows a world where bureaucratic hazards often loom larger than geographical ones.

The Old Patagonian Express: By Train through the Americas
By Paul Theroux
Starting with a rush-hour subway ride to South Station in Boston to catch Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, Theroux takes readers on a train journey from New England to Patagonia in southernmost Argentina.


An American Journey book jacket

An American Journey: Images of Railroading during the Depression
By Mark S. Vandercook
This book contains black-and-white railroad photographs, from photographers such as Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, who were employed by the Farm Security Administration between 1935 and 1940.

Iron Horses: The Illustrated History of the Tracks and Trains of North America
By Michael Del Vecchio
Containing over 150 color and black-and-white photographs, this book relives the days of the great steam engines and also includes a guide to preservation sites and museums.

Civil War Railroads: A Pictorial Story of the War Between the States, 1861-1865
By George B. Abdill
This book highlights the role played by trains and the railroad during the U.S. Civil War through over 220 black-and-white photographs.

Great American Rail Journeys: The Companion to the Public Television Programs
By John Grant
Grant celebrates the beauty and romance of train travel in this book. It depicts eight routes through North America that travel through scenic landscapes.

A Memory of Trains: The Boll Weevil and Others
By Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
This is the way that Louis D. Rubin, Jr. remembers steam railroading during the days when trains were still the dominant mode of American intercity travel. In the years after the Second World War, as a young newspaperman, he spent much of his time riding and photographing trains. Railfans and general readers alike will enjoy this memoir featuring more than one hundred of Rubin's photographs.

Kansas City Connection

Kansas City and the Railroads book jacket

Kansas City and the Railroads: Community Policy in the Growth of a Regional Metropolis
By Charles N. Glaab
In this urban study, Glaab illustrates the crucial role entrepreneurship and boosterism played in determining rail locations and consequently urban-growth patterns. First published in 1962, Kansas City and the Railroads remains highly regarded as a landmark study of the forces that shaped the growth of urban America.

The Trains in the Gully: Kansas City Railroading At the Turn of the Century
By William R. Luse
This large format book presents a snapshot of Kansas City railroading through illustrations by Luse and historical newspaper articles.

Heartland Traction: The Interurban Lines of Kansas City
By Edward A. Conrad
With over 200 photos and maps, this history covers the five electric Kansas City interurban lines in operation between 1900 and 1961 that traveled between Olathe, Lawrence, St. Joseph, Excelsior Springs, and other towns.

Missouri Pacific Northwest: A History of the Kansas City Northwestern Railroad
By I.E. Quastler
This book, illustrated by many black-and-white photos and maps, documents the railroad that ran northwestward from Kansas City to Nebraska from its creation to the time it was removed from service.

For Kids

I Saw an ant on the Railroad Track book jacket

I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track
By Joshua Prince
The liveliest rhythm and rhyme, and really cool art, carry children off on a captivating journey along the railroad tracks with a hungry little ant and the gentle giant of a switchman who cares for him.

I Dream of Trains
By Angela Johnson
A two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winner and an acclaimed illustrator join forces for this heartbreaking yet uplifting picture book about a boy, his love of trains, and his hero, Casey Jones.

The Little Engine that Could
Retold by Watty Piper
It's Christmas Eve and Santa's reindeer have all come down with terrible colds. How will Santa deliver presents? Can The Little Engine That Could come to the rescue?

Bebop Express
By H.L. Panahi
Bold, powerful artwork by the New York Times bestselling illustrator team of Johnson and Fancher brings to life this adventure across America, as a train makes its way from jammin' New York to New Orleans, celebrating jazz music along the way.

Steam Locomotives book jacket

Steam Locomotives: Whistling, Chugging, Smoking Iron Horses of the Past
By Karl Zimmermann
Once they were a familiar sight: iron horses belching smoke and steam, chugging out of depots and racing across the countryside. Those spectacular steam locomotives are gone. But in this fascinating book, Karl Zimmermann, an authority on trains, takes young readers back to a colorful era of railroad history.

Hear That Train Whistle Blow!: How the Railroad Changed The World
By Milton Meltzer
From the very first passenger train to roll down the tracks in 1825 to the advent of today's high-speed trains, the railroad has been and is still one of the most vital forces in civilization. Focusing on American railroad history but touching on other countries, award-winning author Milton Meltzer shows how something as ubiquitous as the railroad is, in fact, a force that changed the world.

The Transcontinental Railroad: A Primary Source History of America's First Coast-To-Coast Railroad
By Gillian Houghton
In the beginning of the nineteenth century, America was waiting to be explored, and several thousand adventurous people accepted the challenge. As they stretched the rails in every direction, the railroad moguls of the nineteenth century changed the face of America forever. This book provides a fast-paced and exciting look at many aspects of the building of the transcontinental railroad.

Feature Films

The Polar Express book jacket

The Polar Express (2004)
Believing in Santa Claus isn't easy when all of your friends and family insist he's just make-believe. A boy's faith is rewarded one Christmas Eve when he's awakened by a steam train that pulls up in front of his house and takes him and other children to the North Pole to meet Santa.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
A New York advertising executive (Steve Martin) reluctantly teams up with a happy-go-lucky salesman (John Candy) in an attempt to get home for Thanksgiving. What he gets is a wild-goose chase, by plane, train and automobile.

Runaway Train (1985)
Escaped convicts (Jon Voight and Eric Roberts) and a stowaway girl ride an unmanned diesel speeding out of control through Alaska.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name, this movie stars Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Albert Finney, and Ingrid Bergman. In it, a sleuth, Hercule Poirot, solves a train stabbing.

Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this movie depicts a young Czech railway trainee during the Nazi occupation in World War II. He is driven to a suicide attempt and becomes a hero of the resistance

The Narrow Margin book jacket

The Narrow Margin (1952)
Hit men board a train to kill a racketeer's widow being escorted and protected by a Los Angeles detective.

Brief Encounter (1946)
Based on a play by Noel Coward, this movie follows a British housewife and doctor who meet in a railway station, fall in love, and decide never to see each other again.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
In this film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, a girl thinks her visiting uncle is the strangler dubbed the Merry Widow Murderer.

The Lady Vanishes (1938)
As an express train thunders across Europe, a little old lady disappears into thin air. When a young woman attempts to find her, the other passengers seem strangely unconcerned. Blending wit, invention, suspense and charm, this movie is one of Alfred Hitchcock's snappiest British films.

The General (1927)
Rejected by the Confederate Army as unfit and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle, Johnnie Gray (Buster Keaton) sets out to single-handedly win the war with his cherished locomotive. When Northern spies steal his train, the intrepid Confederate takes on the entire Union army to get it back.

Some book and film descriptions provided by BookLetters.

On October 28, 2008 at the Central Library, Alan Branhagen, director of horticulture at Powell Gardens, discussed the new expansion there – the Heartland Harvest Garden. Also, from October 18, 2008 – January 18, 2009, the Kansas City Public Library is hosting Hungry Planet, an exhibit of photographs documenting what families around the world eat. Learn how to grow your own food in your backyard, take a peek at food traditions in Missouri, or find some new recipes with these books.

Vegetable Gardening | Missouri Food | Cookbooks

Vegetable Gardening

The Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Book book jacket

The Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Book, Missouri Edition
By James A. Fizzell
This book contains advice for fruits, vegetables, and herbs. With 60 featured plants, the author provides characteristics of available varieties, planting and maintenance advice, as well as recipes for dishes from the garden.

The Organic Home Garden: How to Grow Fruits & Vegetables Naturally
By Patrick Lima
This book provides a user-friendly and comprehensive guide to growing fruits and vegetables in an organic home garden, accompanied by recipes. Patrick Lima is well known as both a gardener and as a writer.

Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver: The Best and Latest Advice for Beating Pests, Diseases, and Weeds and Staying A Step Ahead Of Trouble in the Garden
By Fern Marshall Bradley
With a wealth of information and tested advice, this problem-solving treasure gives gardeners every-thing they need to do battle with garden pests, diseases, and weeds – with safe, natural solutions.

The Garden Primer
By Barbara Damrosch
Garden simply, beautifully, and well with The Garden Primer, a comprehensive gardening reference jam-packed with useful information, advice, tips, and quirky wisdom. Barbara Damrosch, an "old-fashioned dirt gardener," spent years refining her natural, common-sense approach to gardening and now guides you through all aspects of planning, planting, and upkeep.

Missouri Food

Pot Roast, Politics, and Ants in the Pantry book jacket

Pot Roast, Politics, and Ants in the Pantry: Missouri's Cookbook Heritage
By Carol Fisher and John Fisher
Beginning with cookbooks from 1821 and progressing to online recipes, the authors examine Missouri cookbooks and discuss how they document our kitchens and households.

Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew
By Madeline Matson
This book provides a history of food in Missouri, from the food of the Native Americans to the food of Missouri’s settlers to the fast food of today. She covers cultural traditions, as well as highlighting important people and places.


Local Flavors book jacket

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets
By Deborah Madison
Author of the bestseller Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison visits farmers’ markets across the country and shares recipes and menus based on the ingredients she finds there.

In Season: Cooking Fresh from the Kansas City Farmers' Market
By Julienne Gehrer
In this cookbook, Julienne Gehrer couples 90 recipes organized by season with colorful photos of the City Market and interviews with farmers from Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.

Prairie Home Cooking: 400 Recipes That Celebrate the Bountiful Harvests, Creative Cooks, and Comforting Foods of the American Heartland
By Judith M. Fertig
Fertig serves up a warmhearted invitation to savor the best flavors of America's bread basket, with 400 recipes and extensive sidebars celebrating a rich tapestry of ethnic cuisines.

Fresh from the Farmers' Market: Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop
By Janet Fletcher
This book showcases the delicious fruits and vegetables available at farmers’ markets in more than 75 recipes. Food writer Janet Fletcher also includes cooking tips and shopping advice.

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Just in time for Halloween, bestselling young adult author Darren Shan discussed his many books on October 22 at the Plaza Branch. Discover Shan’s freaky worlds filled with vampires and demons.

The Demonata Series | The Saga of Darren Shan Series

The Demonata Series

Lord Loss (Book 1)
This is the first novel in a horror series from the author of Cirque Du Freak. Grubbs Grady opts out of a family trip, never anticipating that he's about to take a terrifying journey into darkness where demons and werewolves haunt his waking nightmares.

Demon Thief (Book 2)
Kernel Fleck sees lights – strange, multicolored patches of light. It's not until a window opens into a demon world, with horrific consequences, that Kernel discovers his powers. As a Disciple, his mission is to hunt vicious, powerful demons to the death in this follow-up to Lord Loss.

Slawter (Book 3)
While a new cult horror film is being shot in a deserted town renamed Slawter, Grubbs Grady and his half-brother Bill-E are thrilled to serve as onset consultants. However, as strange incidents disrupt the set, the crew begins to wonder whether more than a filming is afoot.

Bec book jacket

Bec (Book 4)
As demonic Fomorii ravage their land, Bec and a band of warrior companions leave to answer a plea for help. An orphaned priestess-in-training, Bec hopes the journey will help her solve the mystery of her birth.

Blood Beast (Book 5)
Grubbs Grady has so far escaped the family curse, but when he begins to experience alarming symptoms at the onset of the full moon, he is scared. Can he fight the beast inside or will he fall victim to his tainted blood?

Demon Apocalypse (Book 6)
For the past year Grubbs Grady has done everything to fight off Lord Loss in a desperate attempt to protect what is left of his family and friends, but this time he's played right into the eight-armed grasp of the demon master. Can Grubbs shut out Lord Loss forever?

The Saga of Darren Shan Series

Cirque Du Freak book jacket

Cirque Du Freak (Book 1)
This is the frightening saga of a young boy whose visit to a mysterious freak show leads him on a journey into a dark world of vampires. Author Darren Shan's vivid detail and original voice will have young readers glued to their seats in terror. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and a petrifying ending, Cirque Du Freak will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more.

The Vampire's Assistant (Book 2)
In this compelling sequel, The Vampire's Assistant continues the saga of Darren Shan as he resists the one temptation that sickens him . . . the one thing that can keep him alive.

Tunnels of Blood (Book 3)
Darren, the vampire's assistant, gets a taste of the city when he leaves the Cirque Du Freak with Evra the snake-boy and Mrs. Crepsley. Soon, corpses are discovered drained of blood, and Darren and Evra must confront a foul creature who may mean the end of them all.

Vampire Mountain book jacket

Vampire Mountain (Book 4)
Book 4 in the series finds Darren and Mr. Crepsley on a dangerous trek to the very heart of the vampire world.

Trials of Death (Book 5)
The trials: 17 ways to die unless the luck of the vampire is with you. Darren Shan must pass five fearsome trials to prove himself to the vampire clan – or else face the stakes of the Hall of Death.

The Vampire Prince (Book 6)
Branded a traitor, betrayed by a friend, and hunted by the vampire clan, Darren Shan, the Vampire's assistant, faces certain death. Can Darren reverse the odds and outwit a Vampire Prince?

Hunters of the Dusk book jacket

Hunters of the Dusk (Book 7)
In the seventh entry of this New York Times bestselling series, Darren Shan, part of an elite force, searches the world of the Vampaneze Lord. But the road ahead is long and dangerous.

Allies of the Night (Book 8)
Vampire prince and "vampaneze" killer Darren Shan faces his worst nightmare yet – school – but homework is the least of Darren's problems. Bodies are piling up. Time is running out, and the past is catching up with the hunters fast.

Killers of the Dawn (Book 9)
With their enemies clamoring for blood, the vampires prepare for a deadly battle – and Darren Shan is framed as public enemy number one in this ninth installment of the series.

The Lake of Souls book jacket

The Lake of Souls (Book 10)
Darren and Harkat face monstrous obstacles on their desperate quest to the Lake of Souls. Will they survive the savage journey? What awaits them in the murky waters of the dead?

Lord of the Shadows (Book 11)
Darren Shan is going home--and his world is going to hell. Old enemies await. Scores must be settled. Destiny looks certain to destroy him, and the world is doomed to fall to the Ruler of the Night.

Sons of Destiny (Book 12)
The series finale brings Darren face-to-face with his archenemy, Steve Leopard. One of them will die. The other will become the Lord of the Shadows and destroy the world. Is the future written, or can Darren trick destiny?

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Read a few “books with bite” during Teen Read Week (October 12-18, 2008). These vampires will keep you turning the pages.

Blending science with humor and horror in Peeps, author Scott Westerfeld creates a unique world where a parasite causes vampirism. College freshman Cal becomes infected with the parasite, but is “partly immune.” So, he joins an underground organization that fights the “peeps” (vampires) and discovers a dark conspiracy. If you enjoy this ALA Young Adult Top Ten Selection, check out the sequel: The Last Days.

Glass Houses, by Rachel Caine, starts off the Morganville Vampires series by introducing Claire, a college freshman in Morganville, TX. Claire escapes dorm life for off-campus living – only to discover a town full of the living dead. Other books in the series: The Dead Girls Dance, Midnight Alley, and Feast of Fools.

Several teens at a prestigious school in New York City begin to experience strange symptoms and discover they are vampires in Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Many of the city’s elite are “blue bloods,” or vampires, but another group has begun to stalk and kill some of them. Next up in the series: Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel.

Vampire Academy book jacket

In Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Lissa, a mortal vampire princess, and Rose, her half-human/half-vampire best friend, have been dragged back to St. Vladimirs Academy, a boarding school for vampires. Together, the teenage girls face danger, peer pressure, gossip, and the undead. Next in the series: Frostbite.

Pete Hautman’s novel Sweetblood has a different perspective on vampirism. Teenage Lucy is diabetic and believes diabetics were the original “vampires” before insulin was discovered. She gets involved in the goth subculture and meets someone who claims to be a real vampire in an Internet chat room. Her grades plummet, her diabetes worsens, and everything in her life starts to fall apart.

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber follows Raven, a 16-year old goth outcast obsessed with vampires. A mysterious family (of vampires?) moves in to her small town and Raven falls for their son. Other books in the series: Kissing Coffins, Vampireville, Dance with a Vampire, and The Coffin Club.

Twilight book jacket

In the New York Times bestseller, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, teenage Bella moves from Phoenix to Forks, a boring small town in Washington. Everything changes when she meets and falls in love with Edward, a vampire. Finish the series: New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

After flunking out of his previous school, 15-year old Cody transfers to Vlad Dracul Magnet School in the satirical novel Vampire High by Douglas Rees. Cody quickly learns that almost all of the gifted students are vampires and he’s only been accepted to play on the state-mandated water polo team since vampires will die if they get wet.

In the Forests of the Night was published when the author, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, was only fourteen years old. The book depicts the vampire Risika with flashbacks to her mortal life as Rachel over 300 years ago. Risika battles Aubrey, another vampire, when Aubrey threatens the one thing she cares about. More vampire novels by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes: Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, and Midnight Predator.

The 30th Annual Thorpe Menn Award for Literary excellence was announced at a luncheon at the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library by the American Association of University Women’s Kansas City chapter.

Opening remarks were given by the Library’s CEO, R. Crosby Kemper III, who professed great admiration for all of the nominees and their work.

Thorpe Menn is a former Books Editor of the Kansas City Star and the local chapter of the AAUW established the award in his honor to recognize excellence in writing by a Kansas City area author. During his tenure at the Star, Mr. Menn encouraged all forms of artistic expression, from poetry to jazz.

This year’s recipient is Martha McCarty for her book, five island diaries: stories of love, lost and found. Honorable Mention was given to Kansas City Ballet: The First Fifty Years by Wyatt Townley and Felicia Londre was also recognized for her history of Kansas City theatre in The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the crossroads of American Theatre: 1870-1930.

Local authors Cydney Millstein and Carol Grove discussed their new book Houses of Missouri, 1870-1940 on October 26 at the Plaza Branch. Explore the architecture of Missouri and the architects who worked here in these books and resources at the Library.

Missouri Architecture | Architects | Other Resources

Missouri Architecture

Houses of Missouri, 1870-1940
By Cydney Millstein and Carol Grove
With over 300 images and illustrations, this book provides a tour of 45 historic houses in Missouri. These include Oak Hill, William Rockhill Nelson’s mansion; Greystone, Major Emory Foster’s home in Pevely; and more.

Kansas City Then & Now book jacket

Kansas City Then & Now
By Darlene Isaacson
Seventy-nine pairs of photographs illustrate then-and-now images of popular locations like the Harry S. Truman Residence, the Hannibal Bridge, and the Coates House Hotel.

Kansas City, Missouri: An Architectural History, 1826-1990
By George Ehrlich
With over 200 illustrations, Ehrlich presents a comprehensive history of architecture in Kansas City. Organized chronologically by time period, this book also discusses the social and cultural contexts surrounding the architecture.

The American Institute of Architects Guide to Kansas City Architecture & Public Art
This driving tour guidebook covers the greater Kansas City area and features over 300 buildings and structures from 1850 to the present. Organized geographically, it includes a brief description of each structure, architect, builder, address, and date of construction.

Bold Expansion book jacket

Bold Expansion: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Bloch Building
By Toni Wood and Ann Slegman
The construction of the Bloch Building represents one part of a total transformation of the Nelson-Atkins. This book is intended to celebrate this moment in the museum's history, with a look at how the institution arrived at this period of change.

St. Louis Lost
By Mary Bartley
With over 100 images, this book explores the historic buildings of St. Louis that no longer exist and the people involved in those projects.

Kansas City Style: A Social and Cultural History of Kansas City As Seen Through Its Lost Architecture
By Dory DeAngelo, Jane Fifield Flynn
The authors discuss many Kansas City structures that are no longer standing in this well illustrated book. It also includes biographical information for many of the architects.


Edward W. Tanner, Architect
By Charles and Mary Baer
Well known for his work with the J.C. Nichols Company, Edward Tanner was the architect for the Country Club Plaza. This book covers his work in the Kansas City area and includes many photographs.

Stalking Louis Curtiss, Architect: A Portrait of the Man and His Work
By Wilda Sandy
Learn more about the life and career of this innovative architect who worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and designed many buildings in Kansas City.

William Adair Bernoudy, Architect: Bringing the Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright to St. Louis
By Osmund Overby
Illustrated with more than 280 photographs and 29 floor plans, this book is an exploration of the work of William Adair Bernoudy. A leading advocate of Frank Lloyd Wright's modern organic architecture, Bernoudy was best known for his skill in designing houses that harmonized with the local environment and terrain. He was the creator of more than one hundred new structures and played a vital rote in the architecture of St. Louis and the surrounding area.

Other Resources

Kansas City Architecture
Discover more resources on architecture in the Kansas City area in this resource guide provided by the Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Kansas City Architecture Digital Gallery
These digitized images from the Missouri Valley Special Collections include photographs of significant buildings in Kansas City, including homes, banks, hotels, theaters, churches, hospitals, and much more.

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with some great books for kids and teens. Read a book with your children in both Spanish and English or pick up an award-winning novel for teens.

Bilingual books for kids

My Very Own Room book jacket

In Spanish and English, Amada Irma Pérez tells the story of a young Mexican American girl who lives with her large family in a crowded house in My Very Own Room / Mi Propio Cuartito. She wants a space of her own, so her family works together to turn a small closet into her dream room.

Pat Mora rhythmically describes the animals and noises of the desert in Spanish and English in Listen to the Desert / Oye al Desierto. Illustrated in watercolor, this picture book is great for reading out loud.

Olga Loya tells fifteen Latin American traditional tales in Magic Moments / Momentos Mágicos. This book’s stories in Spanish and English are divided into four sections: scary stories, myths, trickster tales, and strong women.

For a bilingual Halloween poem, turn to Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. This colorful, seasonal book depicts all types of ghosts and creatures headed to the Monsters' Ball.

Award-winning books for teens

Before We Were Free book jacket

Winner of the Américas Book Award, Julia Alvarez depicts a 12-year old girl, Anita de la Torre, living in the Dominican Republic in the novel Before We Were Free. It’s 1960 and most of Anita’s relatives have emigrated to the U.S. Her family in the Dominican Republic is terrorized by the government’s secret police.

Pablo, a six-year old Mexican boy, is orphaned in an illegal border crossing. He comes to live with 16-year old Sophie and her family in Red Glass by Laura Resau. This Américas Book Award Winner focuses on Sophie as she helps Pablo go back to his surviving family in Mexico in this novel about the immigrant experience.

A 2005 ALA Young Adult Top Ten Selection, Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz captures life growing up Chicano in a small town in the 1960s. It depicts the tough barrio of Las Cruces, NM, where Sammy and Juliana live and struggle with violence, racism, and the impact of the war in Vietnam.

An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer contains twelve short stories depicting immigrant teens in America with a Puerto Rican heritage. This book won the Pura Belpré Award.

Nonfiction books

Famous Hispanic Americans book jacket

Famous Hispanic Americans by Janet Nomura Morey and Wendy Dunn profiles fourteen accomplished Hispanic Americans, including politicians, scientists, artists, performers, and others. Each entry discusses the person’s childhood and how they achieved success.

George Ochoa has compiled a quick reference called The New York Public Library Amazing Hispanic American History: A Book of Answers for Kids. This handy book includes fun facts in a question and answer format.

For baseball lovers, take a look at Latino Legends: Hispanics in Major League Baseball. In this book, Michael Silverstone includes biographies of players from Spanish-speaking countries, such as Roberto Clemente and Miguel Tejada.

More recommended reading

Find more good books for kids and teens in these award lists. The Américas Book Award recognizes outstanding books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States and the Pura Belpré Award highlights Latino and Latina writers and illustrators whose work best portrays the Latino culture.

Anyone listening to the radio in the 1970s certainly heard a song or two by the Red-Headed Stranger. Anyone reading the local Kansas City daily newspaper anytime from 1880 to the present is familiar with the name of its founder, William Rockhill Nelson.

It is Nelson the latter for whom the Kansas City Star and The Writers Place named their literary awards in 2003. Each year prizes are given to authors living in Kansas or Missouri in recognition of outstanding achievement in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

This year’s winners were celebrated at Raglan Road in the Power & Light District. Kansas City Star Books Editor, John Mark Eberhart, hosted the awards ceremony and Senior Writer and Editor, Steve Paul, served as master of ceremonies for the writers. All were present to accept their awards and treat the audience to readings from their winning works.

Debut novelist, Matthew Eck, took the fiction prize for his novel The Farther Shore. He read a thought-provoking segment that also had a touch of humor as a soldier mused on the origins of the name of his hometown of Wichita, Kansas with a fellow comrade. Mr. Eck was recently named one of the “5 Under 35” writers to watch by the National Book Foundation.

Poet Diane Glancy, much admired for her storytelling poetry, took the podium next to weave a spell of words from her award winning collection, Asylum in the Grasslands.

Nonfiction award winner, Dr. Milton Katz, read an upbeat passage from his book, Breaking Through: John B. McLendon, Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer.

The ceremony closed on a musical note with original contributions from singer-songwriters Robert Folsom and Robert Trussell.

The written and performing arts are alive and well thanks to the foresight of William R. Nelson. It’s a pity he had to miss today’s festivities.