Great Plains Book of the Month

Each month the Center for Great Plains Studies features one book as its "Great Plains Book of the Month." We carefully choose books that are accessible and on topics of interest and importance for our region. They may be on any subject, of any genre, published within the last couple of years; occasionally we may feature a book published by or written at the Center. Mainly we want to bring attention to what we consider exceptional works both to learn from and enjoy.

April Book of the Month

Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats

By Angela Garbacz

Details: Regional cooking/Great Plains culture

Publisher: Countryman Press, 2019

Continuing with our theme of Great Plains books to help us through these trying times, we present Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats by Angela Garbacz, owner and head baker of Goldenrod Pastries, Lincoln, Nebraska. Her grandmother, born in Nebraska in 1912, taught her lessons from the experience of living through the 1918 Influenza epidemic. As the only one in her family not to contract the virus, Helen Cariotto stoked the woodstove, lit the fire, and prepared family food at the age of six. Angela has created a cookbook to accommodate different food preferences and allergies, as well as focusing on local ingredients and tastes. A recipe for a flourless chocolate cookie is called “Snow on Plowed Ground,” and the author says the cookies “wind up looking like a snow-covered field that has just been plowed…and its connection to the Plains, where we live here in Nebraska, provides such a great earthiness and spirit.”

“Angela Garbacz is the future of pastry. She possesses a rare mix of talent, diligence, and compassion, which she ignites with the spark of humor and wit. The beauty of Angela is that she prioritizes the art of baking and flavor while solving for the needs of otherwise ignored eaters.”

—Dave Arnold, author of Liquid Intelligence

Perfecly Golden

Past Great Plains Books of the Month:

American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, Dan Flores

A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World, Paul Johnsgard

Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, Karen Hansen

Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret, David Jachowski

A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor, Joe Starita

Natives of a Dry Place: Stories of Dakota Before the Oil Boom, Richard Edwards

Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot

Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage

Barnstorming the Prairie, Jason Weems

Homesteading the PlainsRichard Edwards, Rebecca Wingo, Jacob Friefeld

Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology 1867-2017, Edited by Daniel Simon

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

Grasses of the Great Plains, By James Stubbendieck, Stephan L. Hatch, Cheryl D. Dunn

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Ann Weisgarber

The Trans-Mississippi and International Expositions of 1898–1899: Art, Anthropology, and Popular Culture at the Fin de Siècle by Wendy Katz

Jewels of the Plains: Wildflowers of the Great Plains Grasslands and Hills by Claude Barr and James Locklear

Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America's Grasslands Since 1945 by David Vail

Converting the Rosebud: Catholic Mission and the Lakota, 1886-1916 by Harvey Markowitz

The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland by Walter Echo-Hawk

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. 

Great Plains Literature by Linda Ray Pratt

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

American Trinity: Jefferson, Custer, and the Spirit of the West by Larry Len Peterson

Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden Rensink

Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras by Kristen Epps

Visions of the Tallgrass: Prairie Photographs by Harvey Payne

Flood on the Tracks: Living, Dying, and the Nature of Disaster in the Elkhorn River Basin by Todd Kerstetter

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly by Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber

Pacing Dakota by Thomas Dean Isern

Theodore Roosevelt & Bison Restoration on the Great Plains by Keith Aune and Glenn Plumb

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron

Sovereign Schools: How Shoshones and Arapahos Created a High School on the Wind River Reservation by Martha Louise Hipp

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend

The Chisholm Trail: Joseph McCoy's Great Gamble by James Sherow

First Americans: US Patriotism in Indian Country After World War I by Thomas Grillot

A Thirsty Land by Seamus McGraw

Keetsahnak/Our Missing And Murdered Indigenous Sisters by Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell, and Christi Belcourt, eds.

Forty Acres and a Fool: How to Live in the Country and Still Keep Your Sanity by Roger Welsch