Skip to main content

Summer 2020 Books from Midwest Authors


Seasonally, I share new books from Midwest authors. I try to include a mix of genres, and books from big publishers, small publishers, and even self-published works. Some books I've received free review copies from the publisher or author; I will disclose whenever that is the case. Amazon links are affiliate links, which doesn't change your price, but means I get a tiny bit of Amazon's profits if you choose to buy after clicking through it. 

While summer is winding down a bit, there's still plenty of sunshine left to curl up in to read a great book. I apologize for the late posting, but had shipping delays on some of the books, paired with my computer dying and needing repair. But summer is my favorite season and I'm not ready to say goodbye to it yet, or to give up on a fun summer read on a warm day. And Midwest authors are ready to deliver on just that.  Here are some of the best books I found by Midwest authors for summer 2020:

The Adventures of Patches, the Archaeology Dog-Egypt

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes

a dog and several archaeologists surround a sarcophagus and several other Ancient Egyptian artifacts on the cover of The Adventures of Patches the Archaeology Dog-Egypt


About the author: Dr. Barbara-Anne Huculak is from right here in Siouxland! Dr. Huculak is a retired professor from WIT with a passion for educational travel, and wrote her book to help share that with children! 
Publisher: Self-published
What's it about: The Adventures of Patches, the Archaeology Dog-Egypt follows the titular character as he goes along on an archaeological expedition to Egypt. 
Our favorite part: My kids and I loved the cute pup and the Egyptian artifacts. My 7 year old was especially interested in Patches' adventures!
Who's it best for? Preschool & early elementary age children. This would be especially great as a book to read when introducing kids to the idea of archaeology and ancient history in general!
Where to buy it:  You can buy The Adventures of Patches, the Archaeology Dog-Egypt from Amazon: 


The Goddess Twins by Yodassa Williams

I received a free digital copy of The Goddess Twins for review purposes

About the author: Yodassa Williams is a Jamaican American writer who grow up in the Columbus, Ohio area. She's also the creator of the Black Girl Magic Files podcast. You can find out more about Yodassa Williams on her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Publisher: Self-published 
What's it about: The Goddess Twins is the story of twin sisters living in the modern day Midwest who discover they have magical powers when turning 18.. just in time to use them to unravel the mysterious disappearance of their mother, with the help of some quirky relatives across the pond!
My favorite part: I really enjoyed the vivid character depictions. I felt like the characters could definitely be real people and could totally imagine how they'd be acted if this was a movie. Yodassa Williams did a wonderful job with her descriptive writing to really make the scenes come to life. And I love the way she captured the complicated bonds between women who love each other fiercely, but all show it differently!
Who's it best for: Teens and adults who enjoy fantasy novels
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of The Goddess Twins from Amazon: 



Seasons by Michaela Brown

the cover of the Seasons cookbook by Michaela Brown features the author chopping vegetables on a wooden cutting board

About the author: Michaela Brown is a writer from LeMars, Iowa who is actually best known for her musical talents! As part of Gospel group the Browns with her siblings, she's performed hundreds of concerts singing and playing the violin. Seasons is her third cookbook. You can find more information about Michaela Brown and her many talents on her official website, or connect with her on Instagram
What's it About: Season is a cookbook focusing on seasonal and holiday foods, separated into 4 chapters based on season. The book includes a variety of desserts, sides, snacks, and entrees. 
My favorite part: Michaela's recipes are cozy Midwest-style food, approachable and delicious. I love Michaela's cheerful spirit, which shines through her writing, and I'm especially excited to try the Stuffed Baked Zucchini Boats from her fall chapter
zucchini boats in the Seasons cookbook from Iowa author Michaela Brown

One of the recipes I tried already is the Blackberry Cake Torte. It turned out really delicious and my kids gobbled it down! My only tip to add is if you use frozen berries, add 10 minutes to the baking time. 
Also, this isn't really recipe related, but I really appreciate the wipe-able cover!
Who's it best for: Anyone who loves to cook!
How to get a copy: You can buy Seasons from Michaela Browns's website


River Otter's Adventures

I received free access to an online digital version of River Otter's Adventures for review purposes

a young river otter splashes near the bank of a river on the cover of River Otter's Adventures
Cover image courtesy of Arbordale Publishing


About the author: Linda Stanek is an award-winning children's author from Ohio, with dozens of great titles under her belt including some written in partnership with the Columbus Zoo! You can find out more about Stanek on her website
Publisher: Arbordale
What's it about: River Otter's Adventures is all about a young river otter who sneaks into a zoo and learns more about the animals there, and himself!
Our favorite part: Otters are my favorite animal, so I pretty much loved it all, but I especially appreciated that it included solid scientific facts scattered throughout an entertaining narrative that held my kids' attention.
Who's it best for? Preschool and elementary age students.
Where to get it: River Otter's Adventures will be available September 10th at chain and independent bookstores. You can pre-order it on Amazon: 


A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln by Gretchen Garrison

I received a free copy of the History Lover's Guide to Lincoln for review purposes.


About the author: Gretchen Garrison is a blogger and writer based in Lincoln. You can find more about her on her blog Odyssey through Nebraska, or connect with her on Facebook and Instagram
Publisher: History Press
What's it about: The historical background and local secrets of Lincoln, Nebraska!
My favorite part: As someone who has visited Lincoln a few times, but never really learned much about the history of the city, I found the whole thing pretty fascinating. I appreciated that it started with the story of the Nebraska state capitol and how it ended up there, as that was the first question that came to mind when I read the title and thought about what I would want to learn from the book. 
Overall I thought the breadth of the Lincoln area history included was pretty impressive. I'm sure it was hard to condense so much history in such a short space but she did a great job of keeping it concise and leaving me wanting more, but in a good way!
Who's it best for: Anyone who loves history and visits or lives in Lincoln, Nebraska!
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of A History Lover's Guide to Lincoln from area bookstores, directly from Gretchen, or from major retailers like Amazon:



I'll be back soon with fall 2020 books by midwest authors! If you have a suggestion of a book I should include, please let me know!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Siouxland Coronavirus Cancellations--UPDATED JULY 2020

In spring 2020 we saw over 20,000 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, more than 15,000 in Nebraska, and more than 5000 cases in South Dakota, many of those right here in Siouxland.  For medical information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC's coronavirus page or Mayo Clinic coronavirus page   Wow, a lot has changed since I first posted this! When I first started this post, the nearest outbreak of COVID-19 was one family in Omaha! Now, we have seen nearly everything in our tri-state area closed to try to flatten the curve, and the number of cases skyrocketed higher than many people thought possible, yet mercifully lower than many of the projection models.  I did a major update on this post in June 2020 and a small update in July 2020, and it will now reflect what is re-opening in our area! I will try to keep it up to date, so check back for updates, but I do not run any of these organizations, and I encourage you to seek out their individual websites and social media to confirm c

Siouxland Family Scavenger Hunt

What is the Siouxland Family Scavenger Hunt? The Siouxland Family Scavenger Hunt is a photo scavenger hunt that will take you all over Sioux City! This Sunday, May 24th, is National Scavenger Hunt Day, so get out and get hunting! The 2020 Siouxland Family Scavenger Hunt is also a great way to get out of the house in a social-distancing-friendly way, and to enjoy some fresh air and the sights of Sioux City with your family while you're at it!  And there are fun prizes! In this post, you'll find all the rules and info on the prizes.  Around 8am in the morning on May 24, I will post here the official list of all the places to hunt for!

Halloween in Sioux City & Siouxland

Siouxland rocks at Halloween. We've got everything from kid-friendly trunk-or-treat events and craft projects to a possibly-haunted former asylum that will terrify even teens. And as 2020 dates and details are released for more Halloween events in Sioux City and our neighboring communities, I'll try to include them all here! So bookmark this page and check back anytime you want to know where to celebrate this season, whether you're looking for spooky or sweet! Please keep in mind that things may change especially quickly this year, so please stay flexible and patient as everyone tries to find the right balance of caution and fun. Table of Contents Pumpkin Patches Events in Sioux City Trunk-or-Treats in Sioux City Events in Sioux Falls Events & Trunk-or-Treats in other Siouxland Communities Halloween Road Trips Trick-or-Treat in Siouxland 2020 There are no ordinances setting trick-or-treat hours in Sioux City, Iowa, South Sioux City, N