On the Shelf by Paul 8/16/17


Issue 2017 -9
What’s New in the Library
There are several new items in the library — and not all of them are books. The children’s section features a brand-new bookshelf built by Steve Fillo, with the assistance of Arroyo, Niles, Ramon, and Rosendo. A huge thanks to them (and especially to Steve) for this great new addition, which now houses the Young Adult collection and the Juvenile Fiction collection.
Also new is a display of books new to the library, on a bookshelf straight ahead when you come in the door. Books new to the library will be shelved there for a while, before being moved to their appropriate places in the library. The shelf contains both Fiction and Non-fiction books.
And, as has become usual, there are new books in the library. They include:

Children’s books:
The Turnip, by Jan Brett
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Home with Mama, & Llama Llama Time to Share, by Anna Dewdney
Favorite Children’s Stories from China and Tibet, by Lotta Carswell Hume
Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
Dr. Seuss, by Kathleen Kudlinski
The Rocket Book, by Peter Newell
This Is a Serious Book, by Jodie Parachini
The Caboose Who Got Loose, by Bill Peet
A Treasury of Curious George, by Margret & H.A. Rey

Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, by Joe Bageant
Sacred Teachers in Fur: Mystic Memoirs, by Adrienne Gallant
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, by Marie Kondo
Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck, by Gary Noy
XIT, Being a New and Original Exploration, in Art and Words, into the Life and Times of the American Cowboy, by Caleb Pirtle
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

Speaking from Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley
To Dwell in Darkness & The Sound of Brokenness, by Deborah Crombie (mysteries)
The Ghost Fields & The House at Sea’s End, by Emily Griffiths (mysteries)
Rogue Lawyer, by John Grisham
Visions of Cody, by Jack Kerouac
Widow’s Walk, by Robert Parker (mystery)
Invisible, by James Patterson

Audio books (CD):
The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz
A Sunless Sea, by Anne Perry

Book Share & Review Group
Some of these new books might possibly be shared at the next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group, which will happen on Tuesday, August 22, 1:00 PM. Whether it’s to share one of our new books, or some other book that you have read — or whether you just want to come and hear what others have been reading — you are invited to the gathering.

Reading with Rachel
There is only one session of this feature of the Children’s Summer Reading Program left this summer: it will happen on Thursday, August 24. The time for children aged 8 and under is 1:00 to 1:30 PM; the time for children aged 9 and over is 1:45 to 2:30 PM. All children are invited and welcome.

On The Shelf by Paul 7/19/17

Issue 2017 – 8
Children’s Summer Reading Program
There is still plenty of time for children to take part in the Downieville Library’s Summer Reading Program. All a child needs to do is to check out books from the library (or read them in the library) and keep a record of books read on the forms provided. Children who have read throughout the summer, and kept a record of the books they read, will receive a free book of their own choosing at the Fall, 2017, Book Faire at Downieville School.

The other feature of the Summer Reading Program, Reading with Rachel, still has three sessions left, all on Thursdays: July 27, August 10, and August 24. Rachel reads with children aged 8 and under from 1:00 to 1:30 PM, and with children aged 9 and older from 1:45 to 2:30 PM. At each of those times, for each of the three remaining sessions, a drawing will be held to present one child with a new book of their own.

Book Share & Review Group
Continuing with the books that were shared at the June 27 gathering:
The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff: using quotes directly from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books, as well as creative conversations between the author and Pooh and his friends, this short book presents a basic understanding of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
White Tears, by Hari Kunzru: a novel about race and art, the story tells of two young white men living in New York City who appropriate an old blues song for their own profit. As NPR says, [the book] is part thriller, part literary horror novel, and…a timely novel about a topic that’s frequently discussed in America…” (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Pessimisms: Famous (and Not So Famous) Observations, Quotations, Thoughts, and Ruminations on What to Expect When You’re Expecting the Worst, by Eric Marcus: this brief book is filled with “pessimistic” — and often hilarious — quotes by a whole variety of people on a variety of topics, e.g., life, people, family, health, aging, politics, the state of the world. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise Morris: set in eastern Poland during the Second World War, this novel is the tale of two Jewish children sent into the forest to escape Nazi pursuers, ending up at the cottage of a Polish woman whom the people in the nearby village consider to be a witch. It is a story of terror, loss, and hope. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, by Ann Patchett: in this memoir of the author’s twenty-year friendship with the late Lucy Grealy (poet and memoirist), as one review states, “[the author] shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women’s friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.” (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Tuesday, August 22, at 1:00 PM.

What’s New on the Shelf
Several books of fiction have recently been added to the collection at the library:
The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende
The 6:41 to Paris, by Jean-Philippe Blondel
The Spy, by Paulo Coelho
A Gun for Sale & The Ship-Wrecked, by Graham Greene
The Virgin’s Lover, by Philippa Gregory
The Orphan’s Tale, by Pam Jenoff
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Artemisia, by Alexandra Lapierre
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize)
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Icy Sparks, by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Katherine, by Anya Seton

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.

On The Shelf by Paul 6/7/14

Issue 2017 – 6

Children’s Summer Reading Program
Once again the Downieville Library is sponsoring a Summer Reading Program for children, whether local or summer visitors. Children can come to the library during its normal hours, Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Thursday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM, and either check out books to be read at home, or read books at the library, itself. Books read are recorded on either the “Strike It Rich!” folder that students in Mrs. Galan’s class have already received or in a “Book a Trip Around the World” passport that can be obtained at the library. Children who have read throughout the summer, and have recorded a number of books in their folder or passport, will receive a free book of their choosing at the Fall, 2017, Book Faire at the Downieville School. (Note: in order for a child to apply for a library card, they must be accompanied by a parent on their first trip to the library.)

In a few weeks, the library will begin a storytelling hour on some Thursdays. Watch for it!

What’s New on the Shelf
The library has recently received quite a few books new to its shelves. Here are some of them:

Cruel Justice, by William Bernhardt
Cleopatra Gold, by William J. Cauntz (mystery)
The Mirror Crack’d, by Agatha Christie (mystery)
The Bear and the Dragon & The Teeth of the Tiger, by Tom Clancy
To Catch a Leaf, by Kate Collins (mystery)
Under Siege, by Stephen Coonts
Black Ops, by W.E.B. Griffin
A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton
Taking Flight, by Lynne Kaufman
Very Old Bones, by William Kennedy
A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (science fiction)
Beach House Memories, by Mary Alice Monroe
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise Murphy
Dark of the Moon, by John Sandford (mystery)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! & The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, by Mo Willems (children)
Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf, by Greg Wolfe

Mountain Blood, by William Baker
Isaac’s Storm, by Eric Larson
Know Your Weimaraner, by Earl Schneider (ed.)
Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, by Steve Silberman

Book Share & Review Group
The next gathering of the group will be on Tuesday, June 27, 1:00 PM at the Downieville Library. Everyone is welcome, whether you come to share books that you’ve read or just to listen to what others have been reading.

Books for Sale
The library’s book cart can be found in front of the Yuba Gallery on Downieville’s Main Street, whenever the Gallery is open. The library seeks to keep the cart well-stocked with both fiction and non-fiction books. You can browse through the books that are there, make your selections, then leave a donation of whatever those books are worth to you. The profits go toward putting books new to the library on its shelves.

On The Shelf by Paul 5/10/17

Issue 2017 – 5
Book Share & Review Group
Four people gathered on April 25 to share books they had read. Here are some of them:
Sing for Your Life, by Daniel Bergner: this biography of Ryan Speedo Green tell of his journey from time spent in solitary confinement in a juvenile facility to the Metropolitan Opera stage, and beyond. The book details how he overcame all the disadvantages of growing up as an African-American male in the United States to end up in a place of which he had never even heard. (Soon to be on the shelf of the Downieville Library.)
The Hornet’s Nest, by Jimmy Carter: a novel by the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, — and the first work of fiction by a U.S. president — this is the story of the Revolutionary War as fought in the Deep South. The book’s characters, some of whom are based on the author’s own ancestors, are found on both sides of the conflict, which is fought with increasing ferocity. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Black Stallion and Satan, by Walter Farley: the fifth of twenty books in the Black Stallion series, this young adult novel sets up the opportunity for the racing world to discover which is the faster horse, the Black or his son, Satan, who has just won the triple crown. However, due to unexpected events the two horses must end up racing for their lives from a raging forest fire. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
99 Poems: New & Selected, by Dana Gioia: this most recent book of poems by California’s Poet Laureate is organized under the headings of “Mystery”, “Place”, “Remembrance”, “Imagination”, “Stories”, “Songs”, and “Love”. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah: a work of historical fiction, this is the story of two French sisters during the WWII Nazi occupation of France. One sister, whose husband was sent to the front before the occupation, must deal with a Nazi officer who requisitions her home, while the other sister joins the Resistance. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Frustrated by Hearing Loss?: 5 Keys to Communication Success, by Dusty Ann Jessen: the author, an audiologist, details issues relative to hearing loss, as well as the responsibilities of both speaker and listener to overcome the difficulties. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The End of Manners, by Francesca Marciano: in this novel two women, a journalist and a photographer, are on assignment in Afghanistan to interview girls who have attempted suicide to avoid forced marriage to older men. However, in a country where suicide is a grave taboo, to photograph these women places everyone in danger. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Missing Person, by Patrick Modriano: in the year it was published, 1978, the book was awarded the Prix Concourt, France’s prize for “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year”; in 2014, the author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The novel tells the attempts of an amnesiac private detective, who lost his memory ten years before, to discover who he really is. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch: when the author, a computer scientist, was asked to give a “last lecture” (considering his own demise and what mattered most to him), he didn’t have to look far for inspiration, since he has just recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But, his lecture, entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, wasn’t about dying. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Girl Waits with Gun, by Amy Stewart: set in 1914, this novel, based on the real-life Kopp sisters, tells of the sisters defending their family farm against a corporate bully. At the center of the story is Constance Kopp who, in real life, became one of the first female deputy sheriff’s in U.S. history. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Almost a Foreign Country: A Personal Geography in Columns and Aphorisms, by Manfred Wolf: a compilation of writings by the retired S.F. State University professor of history and philosophy. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Stolen Continents: The Americas Through Indian Eyes Since 1492, by Ronald Wright: the author explores the subject through the medium of the invasion, resistance, and rebirth of five indigenous nations: Aztec, Maya, Inca, Cherokee, and Iroquois. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the group will be on Tuesday, June 27, 1:00 PM at the Downieville Library.

On The Shelf by Paul 4/26/17

Issue 2017 – 4

Poet Laureate
The Downieville Library was one of the sponsors of California’s poet laureate, Dana Gioia’s visit to Sierra County on April 4. After all the scheduled activities, he and his wife,

Dana and Peggy at the library:

Mary, were treated to a tour of the library by librarian Peggy Daigle. During the visit, Dana donated a copy of his latest book, 99 Poems: New and Selected to the library.

What’s New on the Shelf
Several books have come into the library from the collection of the late Tom Schumann, all non-fiction. They are:
The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning, by Daniel Bor
This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works, by John Brockman (ed.)
Incomplete Nature: How the Mind Emerged from Matter, by Terence W. Deacon
The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers, by Eric Hansen
Through the Great Canadian Wilderness, by Reader’s Digest
New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy, by Robert J. Spitzer
My Stroke of Insight: a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor
The Invention of Nature: Alexander Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf
Godel Meets Einstein: Time Travel in the Godel Universe, by Palle Yourgrau

And, other books have newly appeared on the library shelves:

The Most of Lewis Grizzard, by Lewis Grizzard (5 novels)
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman
Missing Person, by Patrick Modiano (author is recipient of 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Betrayed, by Lisa Scottoline
Loyalty, by Ingrid Thoft

99 Poems: New and Selected, by Dana Gioia
If You Can’t Stand the Heat, by Fairfield Glade Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary (cookbook)
Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, by Carol J. Loomis
The Way Things Work, by David Macaulay

Book Share & Review Group
The group will be gathering on Tuesday, April 25, 1:00 PM, at the library. There is no actual group membership. The gathering consists of whoever shows up to share and/or listen. As readers of this column will know, books of all sorts have been shared in the past: fiction; non-fiction; children’s books; young adult books; seasonal books; and all sorts of others. So, whether you have one or more books that you have read which you would like to share with others, or whether you just want to hear what others have been reading, you are invited to come be a part of the gathering.

Note: SCP apologizes for posting this column later than the Book Share meeting, the column inadvertently meandered into the wrong computer file..

On the Shelf by Paul 3/29/17

Issue 2017 – 3    Reference Room
As noted in the first On the Shelf article of 2017, the Downieville Library’s Reference Room was “shaping up very nicely”. The library is now glad to report that the Reference Room is up and ready for use. On the shelves are both circulating and non-circulating books (i.e., books that can be
checked out, and books that can only be used in the library). Here’s what’s available:
Home Medical Library, by American Medical Association (12 volumes)
Great Books, by Britannica (48 volumes)
Instant Reference Library, by Career Institute (7 volumes)
The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau, by Danbury Press (20 volumes)
Nature Library, by Life (5 volumes)
Science Library, by Life (9 volumes)
Explore America, by Reader’s Digest (8 volumes)
Sierra County, by James J. Sinnott (5 volumes)
The Art of Sewing, by Time-Life Books (16 volumes)
The Epic of Flight, by Time-Life Books (18 volumes)
Great Ages of Man, by Time-Life Books (7 volumes)
Home Repair and Improvement, by Time-Life Books (7 volumes)
Library of Nations, by Time-Life Books (16 volumes)
Life Library of Photography, by Time-Life Books (16 volumes)
Planet Earth, by Time-Life Books (16 volumes)
The Old West, by Time-Life Books (26 volumes)
All the World’s Animals, by Torstar Books (9 volumes)
The World Book Encyclopedia, by World Book, Inc. (22 volumes)

Additionally, there are several dictionaries, atlases, and reference books on anatomy, health, law, and other subjects.

The Reference Room also serves as the library’s computer room, with WiFi availability through the library’s computer or patron’s own devices. And, the room provides the means for copying and scanning documents.

What’s New
Several new books grace the Downieville Library’s shelves, including:

The Sellout, by Paul Beatty (winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize)

Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland, by Tim Pat Coogan (biography)
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The White Bunny and His Magic Nose, by Lily Duplaix (children)
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
In Other Words, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty, by Kenneth Librecht
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals, by Jeffrey Maussaieff Masson
Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, by Diane McWhorter (winner of 2002 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction)
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow (children)
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester

On The Shelf by Paul 2/15/17

Issue 2017 – 1

A New Year — Same Old Ever-Changing Library
The Downieville Library enters the new year much as it left the old one: offering the same services as before; but, seemingly, with always something new to offer. On the services front, there are, of course, books to check out and read (children’s fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction), audio books for listening, DVD and VHS movies for watching, a computer for use, as well as a Wi-fi connection so that people can use their own devices, copying and printing capabilities, and knowledgeable and friendly staff on hand to be of assistance. On the “something new to offer” front, the reference room is shaping up very nicely (watch for more information in an upcoming On the Shelf column), and new books, audio books, and videos arriving in the library on a somewhat constant basis.

So, whether you’ve been a regular patron of the library — or have never visited it before — we urge you to make it a part of your regular 2017 routine. You just might be amazed by what you discover here.

What’s New
Speaking of “something new to offer”, several new items have recently been added to the library’s collections:

Fiction books
Edge of Battle, by Dale Brown
Sorcerer to the Crown,by Zen Cho
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Black Site, by Dalton Fury
Heroes Proved, by Oliver North
Blue Labyrinth, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (large print)
Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials, by Ovidia Yu (mystery)

Non-fiction books
This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes, by Marilyn Berger
Flags of Our Fathers, by James Bradley
The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War, by George B. Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph W. Kirkley
Black Hearts, by Jim Frederick
The Manhattan Project, by Cynthia C. Kelly (editor)
Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II, by James J. Kimble
I’m Staying with My Boys, by Jim Proser
Always Running, by Luis J. Rodriquez

Audio books on CD
Divine Love, by Wayne W. Dyer
We Are Water, by Wally Lamb
After I’m Gone, by Laura Lippman
Recovering Charles, by Jason F. Wright

Book Share & Review Group
One other offering the library brings to the community is the Book Share & Review Group. During its bi-monthly gathering, participants share books they have read (some are in the library, others aren’t), so that we are exposed to books which we otherwise might not have encountered. The next gathering is Tuesday, February 28, 1:00 PM. You are welcome to come and share — or just to come and listen.

On the Shelf by Paul 12/28/16

Issue 2016 – 17   Book Reviews
The Book Share & Review Group gathered for its final meeting of 2016 on December 20. Here are the books that were shared:
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad, by M.T. Anderson: a work of non-fiction written for young adults, the book tells the story of the Nazi siege of Leningrad during the harsh winter of 1943-1944. The composer, Shostakovich, dedicated his Symphony No. 7 to the city, thus earning it the name of the “Leningrad Symphony”. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Every Man Dies Alone, by Hans Fallada: a novel based on the true story of a working class couple in Berlin, who became part of the German Resistance during WWII. Published in 1947, the book was one of the first anti-Nazi novels to be published by a German after the war. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Like a Leaf Upon the Current Cast, by Katie Willmarth Green: this somewhat biographical work tells of the authors childhood at Shady Flat (between Downieville and Sierra City) as it explores the history of life along a section of the North Yuba River from pre-Gold Rush times to the present. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
In Other Words, by Jhumpa Lahiri: the author is the winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies. In the current book (published this year), Lahiri, the daughter of Bengali immigrants, tells of her love for the Italian language, and how she moved to Rome to fulfill that love. The book is written in both Italian and English, on facing pages. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Love Song to the Plains, by Mari Sandoz: a work of non-fiction, the book is a lyric salute to the earth, sky, and people who made the history of the Great Plains. The author was a Nebraska novelist, biographer, lecturer, and teacher; she wrote extensively about pioneer life and the Plains Indians. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Child 44, The Secret Speech, Agent 6, and The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith: the first three novels are a trilogy inspired by the true-life case of a man who committed a series of child murders in Soviet Russia in the years following the death of Stalin. The fourth novel is a stand-alone psychological thriller set in London and Sweden. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Maus, by Art Spiegelman: usually published in two volumes, this is a graphic novel in which the author depicts himself interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor. The artwork represents Jews as mice and other Germans and Poles as cats and pigs. It became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This, by Nadja Spiegelman: the daughter of Art Spiegelman, the author has written a memoir about her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and the fallibility of memory, as she tries to reassemble missing pieces from her family history. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, and The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, by Mo Willems: as both storyteller and illustrator of these children’s books, the author uses the pigeon to humorously teach lessons about life. (Soon to be on the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester: the book tells the fascinating story of how a British philologist and a U.S. Army surgery, sentenced to life in an English asylum after having been found not-guilty of murder due to insanity, collaborated in the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf, by Greg Wolfe: in this children’s book, an elf discovers that Santa doesn’t deliver presents to Jewish children, and decides to do something about it. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Seducing the Spirits, by Louise Young: the author, who works with the Kuna people of Panama, wanted to write a National Geographic-style book about them, but decided instead to use the form of a novel to tell their story. In the book, a female graduate student intern is sent to the Kuna people to study the nesting habits of harpy eagles, but soon discovers that she learns as much about the people, and about herself, as she does about the birds. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

On The Shelf by Paul 12/14/16

Issue 2016 – 16   Holiday Shopping
Books always make a wonderful gift (at any time of the year). The library currently has a lot of used books for sale. There is a cart of these books at the Yuba Gallery (next to the Yuba Theatre on Main Street), available whenever the Gallery is open. In addition, several boxes of used books are at the library, itself, and are available for picking through during library hours. The sales price is whatever a person feels the book is worth. All proceeds go to the library, to help to keep its collections current.

What’s New on the Shelf
In addition to books, the Downieville Library also provides movies in Blu-ray, DVD, and VHS formats. Several new movies have been added to the library’s collection lately:
Blu-ray format
Casino Royale
Clash of the Titans
Dangerous Liaisons
The Departed
43, The Petty Story
Godzilla, vs. King Ghidorah & Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle for the Earth
Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack & Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
Happy Feet
Harry Potter (complete 8-film collection)
The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey
King Arthur
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
The Sound of Music
Star Trek
Water for Elephants

DVD format
The Forbidden Kingdom
Highlander Endgame
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Ring
West Side Story

Book Share & Review Group
The group has one more meeting before 2016 comes to an end: Tuesday, December 20, 1:00 PM at the library. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season, and come hear what books others have been reading — and, maybe, share some of your own. Perhaps some will share some of their favorite holiday season books. Everyone is welcome!

On The Shelf by Paul 11/30/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 15
What’s New on the Shelf
Quite a few new non-fiction books have been added to the collection at the Downieville Library:
The Second Plane, by Martin Amis
Container Gardening, by Cynthia Bix
Losing My Virginity, by Richard Branson (autobiography)
Quiet, by Susan Cain
The Ultimate Ride, by Chris Carmichael
The Night of the Gun, by David Carr
Green Zone, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Leaving Deep Water, by Claire S. Chow
Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (autobiography)
The Rough Guide to Travel Online, by Samantha Cook & Greg Ward
Chasing the Dragon, by Christopher R. Cox
Violence & Compassion, by the Dalai Lama & Jean-Claude Carriere
Guest of Honor, by Deborah Davis
Ghost of War, by Roger Dingman
I Begin My Life All Over, by Lillian Faderman
Yoga for Dummies, by Georg Feuerstein & Larry Payne
Life in Color: National Geographic Photographs,by Annie Griffiths (curator)
A Royal Experiment, by Janice Hadlow (biography of King George III)
A Good Dog, by Jean Katz
Hold Me Close, Let Me Go, by Adair Lara
The Far Side: Gallery 3, by Gary Larson
The Rodale Book of Composting, by Deborah L. Martin & Grace Gershuny (ed.)
Back Home, by Bill Mauldin
Where White Men Fear to Tread, by Russell Means (autobiography)
The Last Best Cure, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
The World of the American Indian, by National Geographic
Fabrics for Historic Buildings, by Jane C. Nylander
America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage, by Reader’s Digest
Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
Draw and Paint 50 Animals, by Jeanne Filler Scott
Galen Rowell’s Sierra Nevada, by Sierra Club
Thank You Very Much, by Holly Stiel
Paris, by Time Out Guides, Ltd
The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, by Bill Watterson
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat, by Bill Watterson
There’s Treasure Everywhere, by Bill Watterson
Adrenal Fatigue, by James L. Wilson
The North Fork Mine of the Alleghany-Forest City Mining District, by Raymond W. Wittkopp & Wayne C. Babros
This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff (autobiography)

Christmas Shopping
Don’t forget that the library has a books-for-sale cart at the Yuba Gallery (next to the Yuba Theatre), whenever the Gallery is open. Pick out the books you want, and leave whatever donation you would like.

Book Share & Review Group
The group will meet again (and for the final time in 2016) on Tuesday, December 20, 1:00 PM at the library. Perhaps people will share some of their favorite holiday season books. Of course, anyone is welcome to share whatever books they have been reading lately. So, take a break from the turmoil of the season, and come see what books people are recommending. Everyone is welcome!

On The Shelf 10/26/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 14
Summer Reading Program
The accompanying photo shows Rudy Jackson, accompanied by his mother, Tessa Jackson, receiving the book Rory the Dinosaur Wants a Pet from Downieville Librarian Peggy Daigle, upon his completion of the library’s Summer Reading Program, “Book a Trip Around the World”.

Rudy Jackson, accompanied by his mother, Tessa Jackson, receiving the book Rory the Dinosaur Wants a Pet from Downieville Librarian Peggy Daigle

Rudy Jackson, accompanied by his mother, Tessa Jackson, receiving the book Rory the Dinosaur Wants a Pet from Downieville Librarian Peggy Daigle

Rudy, with help from his mom and dad, read 70 books to achieve the goal. Among those books were Inside, Outside, Upside Down, What Is a Dinosaur, The Alligator Song, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Clifford’s Puppy Days, How to Catch an Elephant, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. The library congratulates Rudy on his achievement, and hopes that he keeps on reading and loving books. He is a wonderful example for the children of the community.

Book Reviews
The Book Share & Review Group met at the Downieville Library on Tuesday, October 25. Here are the books that were shared:
When Clay Sings, by Byrd Baylor (illustrated by Tom Bahti): the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, this children’s book explores Native American pottery and symbols from the United States’ Desert Southwest. The original designs used throughout the book all derived from the prehistoric pottery of the Anasazi, Hohokam, Mibres, and Mogollon cultures. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: this non-fiction book is a part of the ReVisioning American History Series. In the introduction, the author, who is part Cherokee, states, “The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism — the founding of a state based on the ideology of white supremacy, the widespread practice of African slavery, and a policy of genocide and land theft”. She then goes on to prove the truth of that assertion in a well-documented discussion of how this nation’s history — and, indeed, its present — has been an ongoing attempt to dispossess and exterminate the people’s and civilization who were already here when Europeans happened upon their shores. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Raven’s Cry, by Christie Harris: a work of fiction, the book is based on the actual lives of leaders and members of the Haida First Nations culture of Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) off the coast of northern British Columbia. The book tells the story of how the Haida people and their culture were pushed to the edge of extinction, through the story of the Eagle chief Albert Edward Edenshaw and successive chiefs. Beautifully illustrated by Haida artist, Bill Reid, the book recreates this tale of historic tragedy, and the ultimate survival of native spirit, with dignity, beauty, and ethnographic accuracy. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, by Gerald McDermott: the author (who is also the illustrator) has written other trickster tales books, including Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon, Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa, and Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest. In this book, which was the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, he re-tells the myth of how Raven brought light to the people when all the world was in darkness. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Tuesday, December 20, 1:00 PM at the library. This gathering is a week earlier than usual, due to the Christmas season.

On The Shelf 10/19/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 13
Book Share & Review Group
This group will gather again on Tuesday, October 25, 1:00 PM at the Downieville Library (downstairs in the Native Daughters building on Commercial Street). Everyone is welcome, whether you come to share books that you’ve read or come to learn what others have been reading. Some of the books that will be shared this time are When Clay Sings, by Byrd Baylor, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Raven’s Cry, by Christie Harris, and Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, by Gerald McDermott.

What’s New on the Shelf
Several new books of fiction have been added to the library collection lately. Here are some of them:
Tevye the Dairyman and the Railroad Stories, by Sholem Aleichem (short stories)
Kane and Abel, by Jeffrey Archer
The Contrary Blues & Highway Robbery, by John Billheimer (mystery)
Lost Light & The Narrows, by Michael Connelly
Hidden Buddhas, by Liza Dalby
The Walking Tour, by Kathryn Davis
Pious Deception, by Susan Dunlap (mystery)
The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdich (large print)
Another Body in the Lake, by Rosalee S. Evans
The Language of Goodbye, by Maribeth Fischer
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
Triple, by Ken Follett
Still Life with Husband, by Lauren Fox
‘A’ is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton (mystery)
The Secret Warriors, by W.E.B. Griffin
Hummingbird House, by Patricia Henley
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse
Skin Tight, by Carl Hiaasen (mystery)
Euphoria, by Lily King
North & South, by Martha King (short stories)
Dating Dead Men, by Harley Jane Kozak (mystery)
The Moscow Vector, by Robert Ludlum
Of Love and Other Demons, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Salaryman’s Wife, by Sujata Massey (mystery)
The Strangeness of Beauty, by Lydia Minatoya
Brother and Dancer, by Keenan Morris
Bull Mountain, by Brian Panowich
Beach Road & Pop Goes the Weasel, by James Patterson (mystery)
The Skull Mantra, by Eliot Pattison
Above the Waterfall, by Ron Rash
The Choice, by Barry Reed
A Vision of Light & The Water Devil, by Judith Merkle Riley
Phantom Prey, by John Sandford (mystery)
Lady Killer, by Lisa Scottoline
An Irish Country Doctor, by Patrick Taylor
DreamEden, by Linda Ty-Casper
The Jaguar’s Children, by John Valiant
The Ice House, by Minetter Walters (mystery)
The Most of P.G. Wodehouse, by P.G. Wodehouse
Seducing the Spirits, by Louise Young

On the Shelf 9/28/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 12
Online Opportunities at the Library
The Plumas County Library (of which the Downieville Library is a station, along with the libraries in Alleghany, Loyalton, and Sierra City) provides some online services free to its patrons. In order to access these services, all you need is a library card, which, if you have a local address in Sierra County, can be obtained at one of the library stations. Here’s what’s available (through Plumas County Library’s website: http://plumascounty.us/index.aspx?nid=546):

Zinio: access to digital magazines, with availability on Mac’s, PC’s, and mobile devices. The above weblink will bring you to the library’s online services page. Click on “Zinio”, which will open up a new window. Click on “Create New Account” at the top right of the page, and a small window will open that will ask for your library card number (this is why you need to get a library card first). Follow the instructions, and soon you will have established an account with your e-mail address and password. You are now in business; so, back on the Zinio page, click on the “Browse Magazines” button, and the whole selection of available online magazines will open up to you. You can search by the magazine title, or by genres, which now include: architecture; art & photo; automotive; boating & aviation; bridal; business & finance; children; computers & technology; crafts; computers & technology; crafts; current affairs; cycling; entertainment; family & parenting; food & cooking; games; health & fitness; hobbies; home & garden; lifestyle; literary; men; motorcycles; music; off-road; outdoor; pets & animals; religion & spirituality; science & nature; sports; teen; travel; women. There are two ways to read the magazines: (1) check out magazines and read them instantly on your desktop or mobile browser; or, (2) check out and download magazines through mobile apps. You can also sign up for weekly e-mail reminders about your favorite magazines. There is no limit to the number of magazines you can check out, and you can keep them in your account as long as you wish (no “return” date).

Overdrive: access e-books and/or audiobooks onto your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device. Again, using the above weblink to Plumas County Library’s online services, click on “Overdrive”, which will open up a new window, entitled “Library to Go”. Clicking on the “Sign In” button at the upper right of the page will open up a window, where you will be asked to type in the library’s name (Plumas County Library). This, in turn, will open up a box asking for your library card number (remember, this is why you came to the library to get a card in the first place), after which you click on the “Sign In” button. Now the various e-books and audiobooks are open to you. You can request by book title, or you search among the available categories: all fiction; all nonfiction; biography & autobiography; business & careers; literature; mystery & thriller; romance; science fiction & fantasy. In addition, under Juvenile & Teen e-books and audiobooks are found these categories: all juvenile fiction; all juvenile nonfiction; all teen fiction; all teen nonfiction. You can borrow up to four titles at a time, with the lending period varying from title to title. You can also place four title on hold at a time, and will receive an e-mail notification when those titles become available (you then have four days to borrow the title, before the hold is cancelled). Furthermore, it is possible to renew a title, when the lending period has expired.

Zip book request: readers of this column will know that books, not currently present in the Downieville Library, can be requested through the Plumas County Library system. However, sometimes books are not available there, either. If that is the case, there is another way that books can be found, using the Zip book request system. Let your local library know of the book that you wish to read. The librarian will send a Zip request, which will result in the book being purchased, and sent directly to your mailing address. (Please let the Downieville Library know when it arrives.) When you have finished reading the book, you bring it to the library, and it will be sent on to the Plumas County Library for cataloging and adding to its collection. (We’ve already done this at least once, so we know that the system works).

Book Share Review Group
A reminder: the next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will take place at the Downieville Library on Tuesday, October 25, 1:00 PM. Come and share what you’ve been reading — or just come to listen to what others have read. Either way, you will be most welcome!

On The Shelf 8/31/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 11   July 29, 2016
Book Reviews
The Book Share & Review Group met at the library on Tuesday, August 23. Here are the books that were shared and reviewed:
The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abram: the author draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, by Nell Bernstein: one in three U.S. children will be arrested by the time they are twenty-three, and many of them will spend time locked inside one of the horrific detention centers that are the total opposite of everything we know about how to rehabilitate young offenders. In this well-researched book, the author shows that there is no right way to lock up a child — and calls for ending the system now in place. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks: in this historical fiction novel, the author, who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her book, March, draws upon the true-life story of the English village of Eyam, which, when beset upon by the plague in 1666, quarantined itself to prevent the disease from spreading further. In her fictional village, the story revolves around a housemaid named Anna Frith, on what she lived through when the plague struck her village, and on devastation that visits the life of the village and its villagers. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Hidden Buddhas, by Liza Dalby: according to Buddhist theology, the world is suffering through a final corrupt era called “mappo”. As mappo continues, chaos will increase until, finally, the world will end. In Japan, many believe that Miroku, Buddha of the Future, will then appear and bring about a new age of enlightenment. In her novel, the author describes how hundreds of temples in Japan keep mysterious hidden buddhas secreted away, except of rare viewing days. They are hidden because their power lies in their hiddenness; thus, they must be protected. That attempt at protection provides the basis on the story. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Madonnas of Leningrad, by Debra Dean: Marina is a docent at the State Hermitage Museum during the 900-day siege of Leningrad by the German army during WWII. Her clear and detailed recollections of the Hermitage collection and of the war are interspersed in this novel with her current-day Alzheimer’s-impaired life in Seattle, Washington. Thus, the book compares and contrasts the daily struggles of an Alzheimer’s victim with art history and the history of WWII’s Eastern Front. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Moths, Myths, and Mosquitoes: The Eccentric Life of Harrison G. Dyar, Jr., by Marc J. Epstein: Harrison Dyar, one of the most influential biologists of the 20th century, focus his entomological career on building natural classifications of various groups of insects. However, his scientific accomplishments are a mere component of his remarkable biography, which included tunneling an entire labyrinth beneath our nation’s capital city. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Kitchen House, Kathleen Grissom: a work of fiction, the book is set in 1791 Virginia. Lavinia, a 7-year-old Irish orphan is set to work in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner, and is absorbed into the life of the kitchen house and becomes part of the family of black slaves whose fates are tied to the plantation. As she grows older, she will be torn between the life that awaits her as a white woman and the people she knows as kin. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Neuro Tribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, by Steve Silberman: the author, a reporter for Wired, unearths the secret history of autism, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Additionally, he maps out a path towards a more humane world in which people with learning differences have access to the resources they need to live happier and more meaningful lives. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy, by Barbara Vine: when her “perfect” father dies, the daughter sets out to write a memoir of his life, only to discover that he was not who he appeared to be, at all. In this mystery novel, truths and falsehoods are convincingly interwoven, that the solution comes as a complete shock. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group is Tuesday, October 25, 1:00 PM at the library.

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