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2005 Book Award Reviews:

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J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award:
         LeNore Stumpf
, District 4, for
         Life, I Think, Is Like a Watermelon

Life, I Think Is Like a Watermelon, by LeNore Stumpf


LeNore Stumpf, District 4, Axtell, has won the 2005 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award for her collection of humorous columns, Life, I Think, Is Like a Watermelon. The award was presented at the Awards Banquet at the 2005 Kansas Authors Club Convention in Coffeyville on October 8.
—visit book's web site

Citation of the Selection Committee:

Life, I Think, Is Like a Watermelon, by LeNore Stumpf, is a deftly penned collection of humorous observations on the vicissitudes of American family life. Whether she’s reflecting upon her childhood on a Kansas farm or the antics of her own children here and abroad, her engaging homespun wit never misses its mark. The conversational style of these 90 essays, many of which appeared across 18 years as columns in the Marysville Advocate, serves up with a wink appealing tidbit after tidbit to which many readers can laughingly relate. Each essay should be taken slowly, one at a time, but, like potato chips, it’s impossible to “eat” only one. Here is a humorist who has honed her craft finely and deserves high recognition. 11/19/05

2005 J. Donald Coffin Award Nominees:

District 1 Max Yoho, Topeka — Felicia, These Fish Are Delicious
District 2 Sam Pierson, Lebo — She’s Called Willie
District 3 Richard P. Tanos, Coffeyville — The Home Child
District 4 LeNore Stumpf, Axtell — Life, I Think, Is Like a Watermelon
District 5 Mike Klaassen, Valley Center — The Brute
District 6 Eunice Boeve, Phillipsburg — A Window to the World
District 7 C. J. Morris, Dodge City — The Stone Children

2005 J. Donald Coffin Award Selection Committee

Three members of Kansas Authors Club have graciously agreed to serve on the selection committee for the 2005 J. Donald Coffin Award. We very much appreciate their willingness to assume this responsibility.

Barbara Booth, District 4, Clay Center, has a degree in journalism from Kansas State University. Barbara writes “a smattering of stuff wherein the truth lies.” She has published two books: A Centennial History of Clay Center and Diamond of the Flint Hills, a narrative history of her mother’s family. She also writes feature articles and poetry. Barbara has been a member of Kansas Authors Club since 1979. She received a Service Award in 1988. She has served as District 4 President in 1986, State President in 1990-91, and currently serves as Parliamentarian.

Tom Parker, District 4, Blue Rapids, moved to Kansas from Denver to escape the rat race a few years ago and has made himself at home in Blue Rapids, where he serves on the city council and the Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife have recently opened Blue Rapids Mercantile, with a corner to handle books by Kansas authors and host readings and signings. Tom writes a weekly column “The Way Home” and feature articles for the Washington County News.

Mark Scheel, District 2, Mission, graduated from the University of Kansas in 1967, and later took graduate studies and taught at Emporia State University. More recently he was an information specialist with the Johnson County Library in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and a member of the board of directors of Potpourri Publications. He now writes full time and volunteers on the editorial staff of Kansas City Voices magazine. His stories, articles, and poems have appeared in numerous magazines, and on Poetry of Kansas. His book, A Backward View: Stories and Poems, won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award from Kansas Authors Club in 1998.

2005 Lesley Ann Gentry, District 6, Beloit
The Lady Is a Veterinarian: The Pioneer Women Who Graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State College, 1932-1956

2005 Patterson, Naomi B. District 1, Topeka
For Crying Out Loud, Poems by Naomi PattersonFor Crying Out Loud!! Poems by . . . .
Topeka, KS: 2004, unpaged, paper

This book of poetry, the author's third, deals with life's hardships and how humans react to them. Contrasting poems illuminate life's ironies and mark her wide-ranging observations of how we recognize the brilliance, yet shortness, of our mortal experience. Line drawings enhance the images evoked by her superb use of free verse. 2005 Nelson Poetry Book Award.

—Reviewed by Don S. Pady, Dec 2005

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