Readers suggest more Kansas books

Whenever I come out with a list, be it grocery lists or lists of books, there's always that nagging fear that I've overlooked something obvious, and crucial.

So that's why I included a little blurb with the Kansas books list that appeared on this page two weeks ago, asking people to write in if their favorite author or Kansas book was missing.

Luckily, I didn't get flaming bags of mail howling that I'd missed a Sunflower State classic that no Kansan could do without. Most of the people who wrote were suggesting their own book or one written by a friend or relative.

Newton school librarian Beverley Buller suggested more children's books, including her own "From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White," about the famed newspaper editor; Debra Seely's "Grasslands," which was chosen as one of the children's companion books when the Big Read Wichita did "My Antonia"; and a "fun older one" called "Stick and Whittle" by Sid Hite.

Wichita author B.D. Tharp and quite a few others wrote in praise of Tharp's debut, "Feisty Family Values," a novel centering on two middle-aged women who live in Wichita's Riverside neighborhood.

Hannah Gerberding of Wellington suggested a series of historical novels by her distant cousin Irene Bennett Brown, starting with "The Plainswoman."

Harold Walter of Wichita wanted to add his book "Airplane Beans," about Wichita's aviation heritage.

Other suggestions were James Preston Girard's locally set suspense novels "The Late Man" and "Some Survive," Charles A. Goodrum's "I'll Trade You an Elk" about efforts to expand the Wichita Municipal Zoo, and the historical romance "My Dear Beau" by Virginia Sneath Boyer.

Probably the most glowing recommendation came from "a friend of Kansas arts," who said that Emory Lindquist's biography of Kansas artist Birger Sandzen is "thorough and wonderfully illustrated" and "a scholarly but accessible work."

'Eat, Pray, Love' author to appear in Wichita

Elizabeth Gilbert, who sold millions of copies of her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" and was played by Julia Roberts in the movie version, will appear in Wichita on Thursday to speak and sign copies of her follow-up, "Committed." The event is at 7 p.m. at WSU's Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 29th North and Oliver.

Tickets are free with the purchase of the paperback of "Committed" at Watermark Books, or $10 for a ticket only. For more information, call 316-682-1181.