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"Killers of the Flower Moon" is the pick for the 2018 One Book-One Lincoln.

“History is a merciless judge. It lays bare our tragic blunders and foolish missteps and exposes our most intimate secrets, wielding the power of hindsight like an arrogant detective who seems to know the end of the mystery from the outset.” ― David Grann, "Killers of the Flower Moon"

The One Book-One Lincoln community reading program voters have selected “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” Grann's nonfiction book, for 2018.

Each of two other finalists got one-fourth of the votes. They are  "Beartown," a novel by Fredrik Backman about a small forest town and its junior ice hockey team, and "Little Fires Everywhere," a novel by Celeste Ng about the intertwined relationship of two families and their lives in a progressive suburb in Cleveland.

The three finalists were chosen by a 15-member selection team of community readers in a process that began in January.

The voting began Memorial Day and ended July 31, and the winner was announced Monday. The book can be checked out from libraries in print, large type and compact disc, as well as downloadable audio and e-book formats.

In “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood, Barbara Hansen of Lincoln City Libraries said in a news release.

The book is based on years of research and startling new evidence, she said, and is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals.

But more than that, Hansen said, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. 

Pat Leach, City Libraries director, said the book was the only nonfiction of the three finalists -- a narrative nonfiction that reads like a story, and is one of those examples in which truth is almost more compelling than fiction. 

"In general, (books) that are similar to mysteries or crime drama appeal to people," Leach said. "There's a real fascination with the story of people solving crimes and getting things figured out." 

People also were drawn to the book by an interest in history, especially of this country, and the culture and experience of Native Americans, she said. 

Grann is a New York Times bestselling author and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. He also wrote "The Lost City of Z," and was a National Book Award finalist for "Killers of the Flower Moon." Both were chosen as one of the best books of their respective years by the New York Times, Washington Post and other publications.

Lincoln City Libraries has sponsored the One Book-One Lincoln program since 2002 to encourage reading and dialogue, creating the opportunity for a community-wide reading and discussion experience. A lot of participation comes through book clubs, Leach said, with clubs planning their fall selections around the program's finalists. 

In Lincoln, which is a reading community, she said, One Book-One Lincoln underscores the way readers end up in conversations with each other, through books that allow them to discuss an experience they can share. 

"And I think sometimes we take that for granted," Leach said. 

To enhance readers’ enjoyment of the One Book-One Lincoln finalists, programs will be hosted at various library locations.

* Cross-Cultural and Cross-Racial Adoptions, 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th St. Representatives from Holt International will share information about the adoption process and special counseling given to prospective parents in cross-cultural and cross-racial adoptions.

* History of the Osage Nation, 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gere Branch Library, 2400 S. 56th St. Kilan Jacobs, from the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office, discusses the history and culture of the Osage Nation.

* Voices of Hope, 2 p.m. Sept. 30 at Walt Branch Library, 6701 S. 14th St. Representatives from Voices of Hope and the Lincoln Police Department provide information on how to support victims of assault and what community resources are available.

For more information about One Book-One Lincoln, including previous winners, go to

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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