News

Retired Admiral Dennis Jones Writes about the Lessons He Learned Growing Up in Fairbury

Vice Admiral Dennis A. Jones, USN (Ret.), has written a fun memoir about growing up in Fairbury during the late 1950s. Written to showcase the lessons he learned while coming of age in small-town Nebraska, the book also features memorable characters and antics that would probably be frowned upon today.

From the epilogue: "Every day of my career I made decisions that were based on lessons that I had learned in Fairbury, Nebraska, and on a farm in Mahaska, Kansas. For the most part, my decisions were good, but I made mistakes—sometimes, doozies. But I knew that my childhood had given me the tools necessary to succeed and to approach situations in a logical manner. I had been taught to be decisive in my decision making, but most of all, I had been taught—no, commanded—to listen. …You can learn a lot from other people, good things and bad things, if you will just listen—I made a career of it."

Readers of A Piece of Kansas Soil by Jim Cossaart may remember Jim's great-uncle, Leslie Cossaart. Leslie Cossaart was Dennis Jones's grandfather.

Check out Parables from the Prairie: How an Admiral Was Trained on Dry Land.

How a Kansas Farmer Became a Dentist in Nebraska

Jim Cossaart's touching memoir is filled with stories (true stories) from his years as a windmill repairman, blacksmith's apprentice, tractor salesman, rancher, and farmer in and near Mahaska, Kansas.

Mahaska is just across the Nebraska state line, and Jim and his family have spent enough time in Nebraska that we feel comfortable including his book on Nebraska Book Source—in addition, the book was published by Nebraska publisher Infusionmedia of Lincoln.

Jim's stories are beautifully written with humor balanced by the tragedy of situations and behavior. His writing explores the good and the bad of human nature, small towns, and family farms. Not to give away the ending, but Jim ends up as a dentist—first in Nebraska, then in Vermont. You'll have to read the book, A Piece of Kansas Soil, to find out how.

Update 5/12/17: Dennis Jones has just published Parables from the Prairie: How an Admiral Was Trained on Dry Land. Leslie Cossaart, Jim's great-uncle, was Dennis's grandfather.

A Pocket Guide to Sauntering Is Here!

We just received delivery of Jack Phillip's A Pocket Guide to Sauntering, and the guides look great! This is actually the second version of the pocket guide, expanded to five panels from four and including the content from a bookmark Jack developed to accompany the first version. Because the guides are relatively small and lightweight compared to our normal book products, we're offering them in packets of five and ten, discounted from the cover price. Check them out when you get a chance.

The Sunflower Forest Is Imminent

We're excited to announce that William R. Jordan's ambitious and visionary book,

The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature, first published in 2003, will soon be available on our website. For those who are interested in humanity's relationship to nature and who want to learn more about the ecological restoration environmental movement, this is the first book to read. Quantities will be very limited at first, but we're hoping a new supplier will solve that problem for us.

It may be stretching things a bit to include Jordan's book in our catalog, but the phrase "the sunflower forest" is straight out of Eiseley, one of Nebraska's noted nature writers, and on page 54 of Jordan's book, he references Eiseley, the sunflower forest, and The Invisible Pyramid

(No, we will likely not be carrying Torey Hayden's similarly named novel The Sunflower Forest. It doesn't appear to mention Eiseley, or Nebraska, at all. The sunflower forest, in this case, is apparently in Wales.)

Natural Treasures Is Here!

Books arrived this afternoon, so if you were waiting until they were in stock to order your copy of Natural Treasures of the Great Plains, now's your chance.