On The Shelf by Paul 7/12/17

Issue 2017 – 7
Reading with Rachel
The Children’s Summer Reading Program at the Downieville Library has added a new feature for this summer: “Reading with Rachel”. During July and August, Rachel Guffin will read with children at the library, which is located in the basement of the Native Daughters’ Hall on Commercial Street. She will read with children aged 8 and under from 1:00 to 1:30 PM, followed by reading with children aged 9 and over from 1:45 to 2:30 PM. The first session of Reading with Rachel will be on Thursday, July 13. Other sessions will be on July 27, August 10, and August 24. All children are welcome and invited, whether you are local or just visiting.

Book Share & Review Group
There were only four people present when the group met on June 27, but many books got shared. Here are some of them (more will be shared in the next On the Shelf column):
One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson: the book, a history of the summer of 1927 in the United States, focuses on various key events of that summer, including Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, the Great Mississippi Flood, Babe Ruth and the Yankee’s unusual season, the transition from the Ford Model T to the Model A, the presidency of Calvin Coolidge. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Perfume River, by Robert Butler: the Pulitzer Prize-winning author has written a novel about how war resonates down through generations of families, in this case, specifically, the Vietnam War and how it impacts the life of a Florida family over the period of a single week. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Jack Maggs, by Peter Carey: the Man-Booker Prize-winning author has set his novel in London of 1837 in this reworking of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The story revolves around the title character and his quest to find his son, who has mysteriously disappeared. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, by Peter Carey: the author fashions an entire fictitious environment, the archipelago of Efica, now an independent nation, but formerly a colony of European powers. The focus of the story is on the son of a famous actress, who is in quest of discovering who his father is. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Journey to the West, attributed to Wu Cheng’en: published in the 16th-century during the Ming dynasty, this is one of the “Four Great Classical Novels” of Chinese literature. The tale is an account of the legendary pilgrimage of Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who traveled to Central Asia and India in search of Buddhist sacred texts. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Enter Pale Death, by Barbara Cleverly: this twelfth book in the Detective Joe Sandilands series is set in England in 1933. Sandilands, of Scotland Yard, is investigating the somewhat grisly death on a country estate, while hoping to keep the woman whom he hopes to marry out of the complicated mess. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Spare Room, by Helen Garner: set over a period of three weeks in Melbourne, Australia, this novel is told from the first person perspective of a woman with whom a friend, ill with bowel cancer, comes to stay, in order to pursue alternative therapy for her disease. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons: a comic novel, the book parodies England country life of the 1930’s. Following the death of her parents, the heroine decides to take advantage of the fact that “no limits are set, either by society or one’s own conscience, to the amount one may impose on one’s relatives”. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Gudnzhong: a 14th-century historical novel, the book is set in the turbulent years towards the end of the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, starting in 169 CE and ending in 280 CE. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Tuesday, August 22, 1:00 PM at the Downieville Library. As always, everyone is welcome. You can come to share books you have read, to hear what others have been reading, or to just find a nice place to sit for a while out of the heat.