Pamela Carter Joern
Been There
The Plain Sense of Things)
Image by Dawn Villella
Pamela Carter Joern enjoyed her events
The Plain Sense of Things.
Common Good Books
St. Paul, MN
September 12, 2008
The Beatrice Public Library is a thing of
beauty and would warm the heart of any
book lover. Librarian Laureen Riedesel gave
me a tour, introduced me to the Black Crow
Restaurant, and led a discussion with a
small but mighty group of women. Here,
Laureen and I share a bench with a
sculpture of a reading boy.
Beatrice Public Library
Beatrice, NE
September 16, 2008
Drop by Visit
Chapters Book Store
Seward, NE
Carla Ketner runs a terrific bookstore on
the town square in Seward, Nebraska. I
stopped to sign copies of my books and
bought a lovely children’s book titled
C is
for Cornhusker.
Lee Booksellers
Lincoln, NE
September 17, 2008
The Bookworm
Omaha, NE
September 18, 2008
Two years ago, The Bookworm in Omaha
hosted my first ever reading. It was fun to
be back, and here we all are: lots of family
and a few interested friends. Sitting on my
brother’s lap is my youngest fan to date, my
grandnephew Jacob who is one year old.
Trinity Village
Papillion, NE
September 19, 2008
Bookcase of Wayzata
Wayzata, MN
September 23, 2008
It started as a dark and stormy night, but
the weather cleared and I had a good time
with the venturous folks who showed up
at the Bookcase. Thanks to the staff for
providing the wine.
Guest Appearance on Write-On Radio
Fresh Air Community Radio KFAI
Minneapolis/St. Paul,
September 25, 2008
Lynette Reini-Grandell, poet Margaret Hasse, and I
spent a lively half hour on Write-On Radio. Margaret
Hasse grew up in South Dakota, about 120 miles from
my home town in the Nebraska panhandle. My stories
of the plains and Margaret’s new book of poems,
Milk and Tides, both explore themes of family and
primal connections to landscape. You can learn more
about Margaret’s work at
Thanks to Lynette for facilitating a great discussion.
Guest Author
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE
September 15, 2008
It was a treat to revisit my alma mater, the
University of Nebraska, and be a guest author
in Timothy Schaffert’s fiction writing class.
The students were smart and polite, and I
suspect many will one day be published
authors. The campus looks terrific. Here’s the
refurbished Temple Building (thanks to an
endowment from Johnny Carson) and the Love
Memorial Library, both buildings where I spent
a lot of time as a student.
Omaha, NE
September 20, 2008
The Omaha Lit Fest is a fun-packed,
book-loving day (plus a couple of
evenings), the brain-child of Timothy
Schaffert. Here I am on a panel talking
about research as it relates to fiction and
non-fiction. The whole day was devoted to
discussions about plagiarism and
boundaries between truth and lies.
Needless to say, the name James Frey
surfaced often.
Lee Booksellers in Lincoln, Nebraska is a
flourishing independent bookstore with a
grand reputation. I had a great time here,
thanks to a few family members, staff
from UNL Press, and some old college
friends. Thanks to Dana and Lynn Roper
for lunch and to Judy and Gary Heaston for
hosting me.
The Plain Sense of Things is a Midwest Booksellers
Association Connections Pick, and I was privileged to
participate in the author’s lunch at the MBA Trade
Show. Thanks to Susan Walker for organizing a fun
way for writers to meet other writers and booksellers
from independent bookstores. Three cheers for
independent booksellers—those champions of reading
who make it possible for us to buy books and
participate in our local communities.
This gathering was a lot of fun. Not every
writer gets to travel with her own band. Here’s
my daughter, Shannon, as lead singer, backed
up by Brad (my husband), Matt Youngblood
(Shannon’s husband), and our good friends,
Randy Baker and Doug Weatherhead. David
Unowski from Magers & Quinn staffed the
book table. Thanks to Jane Ann Nelson,
Church Moderator, and Pastor Diane Hooge
for coordinating, and kudos to the kitchen
helpers and all those who provided cookies and
Judson Memorial Baptist Church
(in cooperation with Magers and
Quinn Bookstore)
Minneapolis, MN
September 28, 2008
Boulder, Colorado was a gorgeous setting for
this conference on western literature. I
attended sessions of Cormackians (experts on
Cormac McCarthy) and Catherites (Willa
Cather scholars) and one wild and funny
melodrama about the first person convicted
of cannibalism. I signed a few books, and
with me are Terra Chapek and Heather
Lundine from University of Nebraska Press.
Western Literature Association
Boulder, CO
October 1-4, 2008
Twin Cities Book Festival
Minneapolis, MN
October 11, 2008
Excelsior Bay Books and Café 318 in Excelsior, MN
collaborate to offer the Fireside Writers Series, an
evening of reading and book talk, plus a beverage,
appetizer, and dessert for those attending. I was
honored to be the presenting writer in October. My
friend Sally Hill posed with me, and here I am again
with my husband Brad and more friends, Dave and
Marjory Adams and Cheri and Paul Hansen. Thanks
to Ann Woodbeck for inviting me, and to the staff of
both Excelsior Bay Books and Café 318 for providing
such a fun way for book lovers to gather.
Excelsior Bay Books
Café 318
Excelsior, MN
October 20, 2008
I had a great time at the Montana Book
Festival, soaking up the mountain views of
Missoula and listening to western writers
read and talk about their passions. Thanks
to Rhonda Winchell and Tom Swanson
from the University of Nebraska Press for
befriending me.
Montana Book Festival
Missoula, MT
October 23 -26, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
November 10, 2008
Magers & Quinn is the largest independent
bookstore in the Twin Cities and a great
supporter of local writers. Thanks to everybody
who came out on a cold November evening.
Loft Literary Center
Minneapolis, MN
November 18, 2008
Book Brunch
Seattle, WA
December 6, 2008
Thanks to my friend, Mae Bell (in the
sweater with red flowers on it), who hosted
a lovely brunch for her reading friends and a
few of mine. We laughed and told stories, ate
delicious food and enjoyed the view. You’ll
note the glass snack trays in these pictures,
vintage 1950’s, each one complete with a
cigarette groove and ash tray.
Drop By Visit
Elliott Bay Books
Seattle, WA
December 5, 2008
While in Seattle, I dropped into Elliott Bay Books
to sign copies. This is a terrific independent
bookstore with a smart and friendly staff and a
recently remodeled café in the basement. You
could easily spend a few happy hours here.
Thanks to my friends Ruth and Bob Inhoff
for hosting this gathering in their lovely
Florida home. That’s Ruth in the large group,
standing to introduce me to her guests. If the
weather wasn’t as warm as expected, the
people made up for it. Thanks to the Vero
Beach Book Center for supplying books.
Vero Beach Afternoon Social
February 8, 2009
Washington County Library
Wildwood Branch
Mahtomedi, MN
February 11, 2009
Thanks to Amy Zeuli for the invitation and
to Marlyce Lee for hosting my visit to the
library. On a Minnesota dark and snowy
night, those of us gathered had a great
discussion. This picture shows a few of
the group who stayed long enough for me
to remember to take a picture.
Columbia, South Carolina
February 17-18, 2009
I found out about
southern hospitality in
South Carolina, hosted
by Sally Sansbury and
Susie Childress. Here I
am with Sally and Susie
in Sally’s historic home,
with all this fabulous
food. If you look hard,
you get a hint of Sally’s
lime green kitchen, and if
you were so lucky as to
visit her, you’d see her
original oil paintings.
Susie Childress is a native
Nebraskan, and her home
is a fascinating mixture
of antiques and Russian
artifacts collected while
living there. Susie hosted
two different events, and
here we are, a couple
groups of us, laughing
and sharing stories.
My friend Sherry Baker is a preschool
director, and it seemed only fitting that we
would gather at the preschool. Sherry and
Susie Childress are sisters, so yes, we are
all native Nebraskans, and Sherry and I
couldn’t resist having our picture taken in
front of the map of the Cornhusker state. I
had a fabulous time on this book tour to
the Atlantic states. Thank you Sally, Susie,
and Sherry for your generosity and grace.
Burke, Virginia
February 21, 2009
Beaverdale Books
Des Moines, IA
February 25, 2009
Thanks to Alice Meyer at Beaverdale
Books for hosting a lovely evening. We
used to live in Des Moines, so it was
fun to connect with old friends and
meet some new ones.
The Book Vault
Oskaloosa, IA
February 26, 2009
Nancy Simpson owns a fabulous
independent book store housed in an old
bank building. Thanks, Nancy, for a fun
and energetic evening.
The Book Shelf
Winona, MN
March 4, 2009
Chris Livingston’s superb bookstore is
housed with a coffee shop/café in historic
Winona. Thanks to Lisa and Megan for
hosting a great evening.  
The library in Columbus, Nebraska
outdid themselves to host the One
Book/One Columbus program for
Floor of the Sky
. Melodee Pedersen and
her library volunteers hosted Brad and
me at a lovely brunch at Duster’s.
Lonnie Cerny of Lamar Advertising
designed a billboard that rose above
Highway 30. The room was decked out
in thoughtful memorabilia chosen to
reflect the book. I felt deeply honored;
my thanks to Melodee, her crew of book
lovers, and to everyone who came
Columbus Public Library
One Columbus, One Book
March 15, 2009

Thanks to Dawn Stattine (pictured with me
here) and the friends of the Brainerd
Library who invited me for their brown
bag lunch series. My friend Marsha Knittig
went with me for the day, and besides
having a grand time with the library crowd,
we enjoyed exploring Brainerd.
Brainerd Public Library
June 15, 2009
Sister Wolf Books
Dorset, MN
August 6, 2009
Thanks to Sally Wizik Wills, the staff, and
book lovers who showed up for an evening
discussion at Sister Wolf Books. We had a
grand time talking about the life of women
on the prairie, both in times gone by and
today. I’m grateful for independent
bookstores like Sister Wolf in Dorset, MN
and Beagle Books in Park Rapids (run by
Sally’s daughter Jennifer Geraedts) for
building a reading community.
It’s a special privilege to meet a roomful of readers.
Thanks to the following people for inviting me to their
book clubs: Mary Bednarowski, Mary Gilmore, Sandy
Giroux, Deb Griffiths, Cordelia Johnson, Harriet
Johnson, Randi Helling, Cynthia Levine, Sue Kirchoff,  
Marsha Knittig, Stacy Kruse, Joyce Nolen, Janet
Pearson, Jo Ringgenberg, Mary Rayan, Jackie
Thureson, and Genie Williams.Thanks to all the
hostesses for your graciousness and hospitality, and to
all you readers for your support for writers. Keep
reading; we love you. (If I’ve missed anyone, please let
me know.)
Private Book Clubs
St Anthony Library
Minneapolis, MN
October 2010
Thanks to Anita Davis and the Friends of
the St. Anthony Library in Minneapolis for
inviting me to be a guest speaker. Thanks
to the St. Anthony Book Club who chose
The Plain Sense of Things for their
October selection. I’m sorry I couldn’t
answer the mystery about the Victrola.
Thanks to Jerod Santek for organizing this reading of Career
Initiative grant recipients. This photo is a shot of the sign for my
parking space, the first time I’ve ever had a spot reserved in my
name. It was also great to meet the other readers: Patricia Cumbie
(Where People Like Us Live, a young adult novel about sexual
abuse); John Rosengren
(Hammerin’ Hank, George Almighty,
and the Say Hey Kid
, a look at the 1973 season of baseball); Kao
Kalia Yang (
The Latehomecomer, a Hmong family memoir).
Here I am with Geoff Herbach at the
Morning Mixer of the Twin Cities Book
Festival featuring Minnesota authors who’ve
published books with out-of-state presses.
Geoff’s new novel is
The Miracle
Letters of T. Rimberg.
Midwest Booksellers
Trade Show
St. Paul, MN
September 26, 2008
Trinity Village in Papillion is my mother-in-law’s
assisted living residence. Margaret Joern and her
friend Jean Gottsch gathered a group of their
friends to hear me read from these prairie
stories. This may be the sweetest invitation I will
ever receive. Margaret is sitting beside me,
wearing blue, my oldest fan at age 92.

Note: If you have used books, especially large-
print books, or cast off audio tapes, Trinity
Village could use them. If you don’t live near
Papillion, NE, consider checking with your local
assisted living complexes to see if they could
launch in a lovely renovated building in St.
Paul. Thanks to Sheila O’Connor for the
fabulous introduction. Marsha Knittig
provided prairie cone flowers, the perfect
backdrop for these prairie stories. Thanks to
all my friends who showed up to cheer, and
to the few passersby who looked in, thanks
for giving me your attention.