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Summer Reading 2023 graphic with text "All Together Now"
The Library invites all Kansas Citians to read, learn, imagine, and explore together in this year’s Summer Reading Program: All Together Now. No matter your tastes — fantastic fiction picks, riveting real-life reads, awesome audiobooks, or gorgeously illustrated graphic novels — you can read ANY five books between June 1 and August 15, 2023, log them online, and earn a reward. Join us in celebrating the power of books to build bonds, create connections, inspire us, enrich us, and empower us.
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Arthur Stilwell

Discover the dreamer and visionary, Arthur Stilwell, whose crowning achievement was the railroad that became the Kansas City Southern.

Arthur E. Stilwell, Promoter with a Hunch
By Keith L. Bryant, Jr.
This comprehensive biography covers Arthur Stilwell’s complete life. Bryant discusses Stilwell’s childhood, his career with the railroads, life in Kansas City, the creation of Port Arthur, Texas, projects that were never completed, and his final years as an author.

City of the Future: A Narrative History of Kansas City, 1850-1950
By Henry C. Haskell, Jr. and Richard B. Fowler
Written by two Kansas City Star newspapermen, City of the Future tells the story of Kansas City on its 100th anniversary and sets that story against the larger backdrop of U.S. history.

Related event:
Meet the Past: Arthur Stilwell, June 9

These memoirs depict modern farm life – many from the perspective of recently displaced city dwellers.

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting
By Michael Perry
In over his head with two pigs, a dozen chickens, and baby due any minute, the acclaimed author of Truck: A Love Story gives readers a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country.

Stronger Than Dirt: How One Urban Couple Grew a Business, a Family, and a New Way of Life from the Ground Up
By Kimberly Schaye and Christopher Losee
Kim and Chris battle mulch, bugs, dirt, and snow, as well as their own inexperience, to launch Silverpetals Farm. Now, seven years and one successful business later, they wouldn't trade their new life for anything. For gardeners of every description, Stronger Than Dirt is joyous reading.

These memoirs depict the daily life, culture, politics, and upheaval in recent Chinese history.

Lake With No Name: A True Story of Love and Conflict in Modern China
By Diane Wei Liang
Lake with No Name is Diane Wei Liang's remembrance of the time surrounding the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989, of her own role in the democratic movement and of the friends and lovers who stood beside her and made history on that terrible day.

Escape from China: The Long Journey from Tiananmen to Freedom
By Zhang Boli
One of the top student leaders at Tiananmen Square traces his amazing path to liberty in this spine-tingling and vivid memoir.

Women have had a huge impact on architecture. These books explore the work of women architects and their role in the field.

The First American Women Architects
By Sarah Allaback
By 1920, there were over two hundred women practicing architecture in the United States, actively working on major design and building projects before they were even given the right to vote. These women designed thousands of buildings nationwide. In this book, Sarah Allaback chronicles the lives and careers of more than seventy pioneering female architects practicing in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

These books at the Library explore the intersection of art and society in the United States.

American Art

Framing America: A Social History of American Art
By Frances K. Phol
For more than a generation, critics and scholars have been revising and expanding the customary definition of American art. A tradition once assumed to be mainly European and oriented toward painting and sculpture has been enriched by the inclusion of other media such as ceramics, needlework, and illustration, and the work of previously marginalized groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Frances Pohl's Framing America provides a comprehensive survey of this new, enlarged vision of American art.