Give the gift of the written word. These 7 books were published by Kansas authors in 2023


Looking to buy a last-minute holiday gift for someone who loves to read? Here are seven books written by Kansas authors that were published this year. The list includes fiction, nonfiction and two children’s books.

‘KU-phoria: A collection of stories about KU traditions, KU Info and KU basketball,’ by Curtis Marsh

Curtis Marsh, known to some as “Mr. KU,” has worked since 1993 for the University of Kansas, where he is associate director of development for the KU Endowment Association. His first book, “KU-phoria,” was published in October.

A 1992 KU graduate, Marsh’s experience includes being director from 2005 to 2019 of the “KU Info” service. His 200-page book shares numerous fun facts about KU, including that its initial mascot was the bulldog, and tells stories illustrating why people are so passionate about KU.

“KU-phoria” includes about 40 photos and is published by University of Kansas Libraries. It can be purchased for $24.99 on the website of the KU Bookstore.

‘Myrtle, Means and Opportunity,’ by Elizabeth C. Bunce

“Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity,” published in October by Algonquin Young Readers, is the fifth and last book in award-winning Lenexa author Elizabeth C. Bunce’s “Myrtle Hardcastle” series aimed at readers between ages 8 and 12.

The 368-page cozy mystery follows 12-year-old, Victorian-era amateur sleuth Myrtle Hardcastle as she uncovers a string of murders on a haunted Scottish estate.

“Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity” is available for $17.99 in hardcover and $8.99 in paperback at

‘The Privilege of the Happy Ending: Small, Medium and Large Stories,’ by Kij Johnson

Award-winning writer Kij Johnson, a faculty member at the University of Kansas, has created three novels and more than 50 works of short fiction.

Her latest book, a 304-page collective of stories titled “The Privilege of the Happy Ending,” was published in October by Free Beer Press. The stories explore gender, animals and the nature of stories. They range in form from classically told to deeply experimental.

“The Privilege of the Happy Ending” is available from for $18 for paperback and $28.83 for hardcover.

‘The Twelve Hours of Christmas,’ by Jenn Bailey

A big family gathers to celebrate the holidays in this children’s book by award-winning writer Jenn Bailey, which is a reinvention of the classic holiday carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” It celebrates the most important part of Christmas: Being together.

Bea Jackson illustrated the 32-page book, which is aimed at readers ages 4 to 8 and was published in October by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

‘”The Twelve Hours of Christmas” is available in hardcover for $18.99 from

‘Secret Kansas: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,’ by Roxie Yonkey

Roxie Yonkey, of Goodland, specializes in road tripping and has been writing about Kansas places for more than 30 years. Her latest book is titled “Secret Kansas: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.”

The book tells various stories from the Sunflower State’s past, including how Veterans Day was first observed in Emporia, how mentholatum got started in Wichita and how a Cherryvale man wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, only to lose his claim to its authorship.

“Secret Kansas” was published last April. It is available for $22.49 in paperback at

More:1970s Topeka is the setting for a ‘cozy mystery’ written by local author M.J. Van Buren

‘Resilient Heritage: The Episcopal Church in Topeka: The College of the Sisters of Bethany, Christ’s Hospital, Grace Cathedral, and St. David’s,’ by Don Chubb

Topeka native Don Chubb is a businessman, local historian and longtime deacon at Topeka’s Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

Chubb’s book, “Resilient Heritage,” tells the story of how important the Episcopal Church has been in the development of the city of Topeka.

The book was put out in November by Retelling and is available for $18 in paperback at Kaw Valley Spring. All proceeds go to Grace Cathedral.

‘The Jayhawk: The Story of the University of Kansas’s Beloved Mascot,’ by Rebecca Ozier Schulte

For more than a century, a mythical bird — the Jayhawk — has been the mascot of the University of Kansas.

Rebecca Ozier Schulte, a 1976 KU graduate and longtime university employee who served 18 years as KU’s archivist, tells the Jayhawk’s story in her 176-page book, which has more than 300 photos.

“The Jayhawk” is available for $34.95 in hardcover at the website of its publisher, University of Kansas Press.



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