Think about multiplying your reading experience when you join 2Book Topeka, our community reading initiative. Three times a year everyone in Shawnee County has the opportunity to read two books on a theme. Our fall 2017 theme is psychological thriller featuring two historical books about serial killers in the 1890s.

We are a reading community and have come together 11 times in the past to read the same book, talk about it and enjoy events with the Big Read. Think of 2Book Topeka as “big read” times two! We started 2Book Topeka as our community read to meet the demand and enthusiasm generated by the Big Read. For many people the Big Read didn’t happen often enough.


  • Oct. 1 – Nov 12  — Visit the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery to see an art exhibit that highlights items that debuted at the 1890 Worlds Fair and are still popular today and what the time period looked like in Chicago, New York and Kansas.
  • Tues., Oct 24 | 2 – 4 pm — Share your insights during a discussion of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
  • Sun., Nov 5 | 1 – 2 pm — Death in the Afternoon: See Tanya Walsh and Valerie Reif’s multimedia presentation highlighting the historical people and events referenced in The Devil in the White City and The Alienist.
  • Tues., Nov 7 | 7 – 8:45 pm –Discuss your thoughts on The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
  • Fri., Nov 10 | 5:30 – 8:30 pm — Crime Scene Competition: Teams of four will test their sleuthing skills at the library’s crime scenes in a timed competition. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishing teams.
  • Sun., Nov 12 | 2 – 4 pm — Examine both 2Book Topeka books during this community discussion.


Book #1:  The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham overcame obstacles to construct the “White City” the 1983 World’s Fair was built around. Meanwhile Holmes designed and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds to lure victims.

Book #2:  The Alienist by Caleb Carr

When a madman begins stalking victims on the streets of 1896 New York, a team of investigators applies radical and untested techniques that include fingerprinting and the controversial science of psychology.

Previous 2Book Topeka Reads

Summer 2017
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot & The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Summer Read DNA Test Results