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All Nebraskans urged to read “This Blessed Earth” for statewide book program

November 11, 2018

LINCOLN - A book about the struggles and rewards of family farming is the pick for the 2019 One Book One Nebraska program.

Fourth-generation Nebraskan Ted Genoways wrote the book, called “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm.”

Research librarian Helen Dagley says the book is also being featured by the sister program, All Iowa Reads.

“Our current choice for 2019 is about the land and good use of the land and water and resources and things like that,” Dagley says. “All of those things and more are of common interest to both states.”

It’s the first time the neighboring programs in Nebraska and Iowa have picked a book jointly.

Dagley says, “The two states have so many things in common, including the author who loves both states and writes words that will resonate with both sets of readers.”

Entering its 15th year, One Book One Nebraska encourages residents across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting.

Libraries, book clubs, schools and other local organizations are encouraged to sponsor round-table talks about the title.

“It will give rise to discussions within the people who are reading it whether they are farmers themselves or city dwellers,” Dagley says. “The issues from the farms really resonate with people who are living in the city when it comes to crop production and clean water and different things we see in the headlines almost daily.”

The two programs picked a joint selection for the upcoming year as the combined Iowa and Nebraska Library Associations Conference will be held in Omaha in the fall of 2019.

Genoways lives outside Lincoln and his book tells the story of a farm family from harvest to harvest, facing challenges from rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change and shifting trade policies.

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