The Nebraska Center for the Book

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2023 selection:
The Mystery of Hunting's End
by Mignon Eberhart

One Book official website

The Bones of Paradise 


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One Book One Nebraska

One Book One Nebraska logoLaunched each January, this dynamic program cultivates a culture of reading and discussion in our state by bringing our diverse state together around one great book by a Nebraska author.


The notion of one book/one city (state, county, church, etc.) was the brainchild of the now famous Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl. The idea of city-wide reading programs started in Seattle in 1998 with the program “If All Seattle Read the Same Book” initiated by the Washington Center for the Book, located at the Seattle Public Library. The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book reports that “One Book” programs have been introduced across the USA and around the world. The Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Library Association, and Humanities Nebraska (formerly Nebraska Humanities Council) spearheaded the One Book One Nebraska initiative in 2005.


Reading great literature provokes us to think about ourselves, our environment and our relationships. Talking about great literature with friends, families and neighbors often adds richness and depth to the experience of reading.

The Nebraska Center for the Book believes One Book One Nebraska demonstrates how books and reading connect people across time and place. Each year, Nebraska communities come together through literature in community-wide reading programs to explore a classic work by one of Nebraska’s best-loved authors, or a book with a Nebraska setting.

Selecting a work by a Nebraska author or set in Nebraska celebrates the state’s literary heritage.

Nominate a book

The Nebraska Center for the Book invites recommendations for One Book One Nebraska book selection. The Center for the Book will consider books written by a Nebraska author (living or dead/with current or former residence in the state,) or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Books should have a broad appeal to readers across Nebraska and lend well to group book discussion. Books may be fiction, non-fiction, biography, memoir, or poetry. They must be in print and readily available. The Center for the Book strongly suggests that anyone who nominates a text should have read it.

To nominate a book for 2024 One Book One Nebraska, you can fill out this Online Form. Recommendations may also be sent via the U.S. Postal Service to the Nebraska Center for the Book; One Book One Nebraska; c/o Nebraska Library Commission Reference Services; 1200 N Street, Ste. 120; Lincoln, NE 68508-2023.


The Mystery of Hunting’s End by Mignon Eberhart

Smack in the middle of the rolling desolation is Hunting’s End, a weekend lodge owned by the rich Kingery family. To that place socialite Matil Kingery invites a strange collection of guests — the same people who were at the lodge when her father died of “heart failure” exactly five years ago. She intends to find out which one of them murdered him.

Go to the 2023 One Book One Nebraska Website.


The Bones of Paradise by Jonis Agee

A multigenerational family saga set in the unforgiving Nebraska Sand Hills in the years following the massacre at Wounded Knee—an ambitious tale of history, vengeance, race, guilt, betrayal, family, and belonging, filled with a vivid cast of characters shaped by violence, love, and a desperate loyalty to the land.

Go to the 2022 One Book One Nebraska Website.


Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II by James J. Kimble

This title takes readers across the entire state of Nebraska during the scrap metal drive in early America's involvement in World War II. The book covers every county's participation in the Nebraska plan, and how it fit into the larger effort on a national level.

Go to the 2021 One Book One Nebraska Website.

All the Gallant Men 2020

All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton with Ken Gire

As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of five living survivors of the Arizona, offers an unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history.

Go to the 2020 One Book One Nebraska Website.

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm 2019

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm by Ted Genoways

This Blessed Earth asks the question, is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day.

Go to the 2019 One Book One Nebraska Website.

Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry 2018

Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry edited by Greg Kosmicki & Mary K. Stillwell

Nebraska Presence includes poems by more than 80 contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, former State Poet William Kloefkorn, and many others.

Go to the 2018 One Book One Nebraska Website.

Black Elk Speaks 2017

Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt

The story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time.

Go to the 2017 One Book One Nebraska Website.

The Meaning of Names2016

The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Stuart, Nebraska is a long way from the battlefields of Western Europe, but it is not immune to the horrors of the First Great War for Peace. Like all communities, it has lost sons and daughters to the fighting, with many more giving themselves over to the hatred only war can engender.

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2016 One Book One Nebraska Website.

Previous Selections

Death Zones and Darling Spies2015

Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting by Beverly Deepe Keever

Keever was the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War and earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for reporting. In Death Zones and Darling Spies, Keever describes what it was like for a farm girl from Nebraska to find herself halfway around the world, trying to make sense of one of the nation’s bloodiest and bitterest wars.

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2015 One Book One Nebraska Website.

Once Upon a Town2014

Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene

In this nonfiction story, bestselling author and award-winning journalist Bob Greene goes out in search of "the best America there ever was," and finds it in a small Nebraska town few people pass through today—a town where Greene discovers the echoes of a love story between a country and its sons.

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2014 One Book One Nebraska Website.

O Pioneers2013

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

Willa Cather's O Pioneers! is the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish pioneers that settles on the American prairie. While Alexandra, the family matriarch, turns the family farm into a financial success, her brother Emil struggles. A novel surprisingly ahead of its time, this work touches on a wide range of enduring themes—love, marriage, temptation, and isolation.

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2013 One Book One Nebraska Website.

I Am a Man by Joe Starita2012

"I Am a Man": Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice by Joe Starita

In 1877, Chief Standing Bear's Ponca Indian tribe was forcibly removed from their Nebraska homeland and marched to what was then known as Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), in what became the tribe's own Trail of Tears. "I Am a Man" chronicles what happened when Standing Bear set off on a six-hundred-mile walk to return the body of his only son to their traditional burial ground. Joe Starita's well-researched and insightful account reads like historical fiction as his careful characterizations and vivid descriptions bring this piece of American history brilliantly to life. — St. Martin's Press

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2012 One Book One Nebraska Website.

Local Wonders by Ted Kooser2011

Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska—an area known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother’s cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the old-fashioned outhouse on his property. When casting his eye on social progress, Kooser reminds us that the closing of local schools, thoughtless county weed control, and irresponsible housing development destroy more than just the view. — University of Nebraska Press Book Jacket

Learn more about the book.

Go to the 2011 One Book One Nebraska Website.

The Home Place book cover2010

The Home Place by Wright Morris

Wright Morris is regarded as one of America’s most gifted novelists and photographers. Internationally recognized, he received the National Book and the American Book awards. The Home Place is an account in first-person narrative and photographs of the one-day visit by Clyde Muncy to “the home place” at Lone Tree, Nebraska. This “photo-text” has been called “as near to a new fiction form as you could get.” — University of Nebraska Press Book Jacket

Learn more about the book and the selection process, and access resources.

Go to the 2010 One Book One Nebraska Website.

A Lantern in Her Hand book cover2009

A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich

First published in 1928, A Lantern in Her Hand has outlasted literary fashions to touch generations of readers. In this classic story of a pioneer woman, Bess Streeter Aldrich modeled protagonist Abbie Deal on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest.

Learn more about the book and the selection process, and access resources.

Restoring the Burnt Child book cover2008

Restoring the Burnt Child by William Kloefkorn

By turns charming and resolute, funny and moving, Restoring the Burnt Child powerfully brings to life the lost, unforgettable world of a boy, and a poet, coming of age in midcentury middle America.

Learn more about the book and the selection process, and access resources.

Crazy Horse book cover2007

Crazy Horse by Mari Sandoz

Published in 1942, Crazy Horse is one of the best-known books written by Sandoz. More than a description of the life of an individual, Crazy Horse is an in-depth look at the culture and spirituality of the Oglala Sioux.

Learn more about the book and the selection process, and access resources.

One False Move book cover2006

One False Move by Alex Kava

By selecting One False Move, Nebraska readers experienced a living author’s work and a contemporary novel set in metropolitan and rural Nebraska.

Learn more about the book and the selection process, and access resources.

My Antonia book cover2005

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

The Cather Foundation helped to initiate the first One Book One Nebraska to highlight and promote the 50th anniversary of the Willa Cather Foundation. My Ántonia details the history of homesteading and the making of community in Nebraska; however, it transcends Nebraska to become a story of the making of communities all across America.

Learn more about the book and the selection process, access resources, read up on the featured artist, and more.

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