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.

On The Shelf 8/17/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 10    What’s New on the Shelf
In the previous On the Shelf column, a list of books received from Mountain House Books in Nevada City was begun. That list continues here:
Non-Fiction
Norfleet, by J. Frank Norfleet
Historic American Buildings Survey, by National Parks Service
Incidents Along the Trail of Life with Bill Ranger, by William Miles Parker (autobiography)
Gold Seeker: Adventures of a Belgian Argonaut during the Gold Rush Years, by Jean-Nicolas Perlot
Rocks and Rock Minerals, by Louis V. Pirsson
Ansel Adams, by Barry Pritzker
Men and Mines of Newmont: A Fifty Year History, by Robert H. Ramsey
Garnered Sheaves, by Albert P. Richardson
A Journal of the Santa Fe Expedition Under Colonel Doniphan, by Jacob S. Robinson
Overland Days to Montana in 1865, by Raymond W. & Mary Lund Settle (ed.)
John Dee: The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance, by William H. Sherman
The Narrative of Samuel Hancock: 1845-1860, by Arthur D. Howden Smith (ed.)
“Dear Charlie” Letters: Recording the Everyday Life of a Young 1854 Gold Miner, by Horace Snow
Man of Color, by J. Alexander Somerville (autobiography)
Fusang: The Chinese Who Built America, by Stan Steiner
James Madison Alden: Yankee Artist of the Pacific Coast, 1854-1860, by Franz Stenzel
Like Modern Edens: Winegrowing in Santa Clara Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains 1798-1981, by Charles L. Sullivan
Artists and Illustrators of the Old West: 1850-1900, by Robert Taft
Mission San Xavier Del Bac, by Writers’ Program of the WPA

Non-circulating books (found in the Reference Room)(non-fiction unless otherwise noted)
Life in the West or, The Moreton Family, by American Sunday-School Union (fiction)
Colorful California Names: Their History and Meaning, by Thomas P. Brown
Pioneer Days of Angel’s Camp, by Edna Bryan Buckbee
Social Security Time Book: Weekly (1945), by George C. Bynon
California Historical Quarterly (March, 1971), by California Historical Society
California History Nugget (February, 1939), by California State Department of Education
The Oregon Country and the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, by Herbert McLean Evans
Route of the Oregon Trail in Idaho, by Idaho Department of Highways
The Ladies of the Night: A Short History of Prostitution in Nevada County, California, by Michel Janicot
The Gold Resources in the Tertiary Gravel of California, by Roland W. Merwin
Mother Lode: 1849-1949, by May Merrill Miller (poetry)
Mines of the High Desert, by Ronald Dean Miller
Vines, Rails, & Comet Trails: Mother Lode Byways of California History, by Allan R. Ottley
The Hudson’s Bay Company: 1670-1920, by William Schooling
California Mineral Production and Directory of Mineral Producers for 1933, by State of California Division of Mines
California Journal of Mines and Geology (April, 1952), by State of California Department of Natural Resources
The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, by John Greenleaf Whittier (poetry)

Book Review & Share Group
The group meets every other month to share books that individuals have read. The next gathering is on Tuesday, August 23, at 1:00 PM. Whether you’ve read one or more books that you would like to share, or just want to hear what others have been reading, you are most welcome to attend. As always, the group meets in the Downieville Library, in the basement of the Native Daughters’ Hall on Commercial St.

On The Shelf 8/3/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 9
What’s New on the Shelf
The library has received a huge influx of books from Mountain House Books in Nevada City, upon that store’s closing. (Books also went to the Sierra County Historical Society and the Sierra City Library). Here’s what’s in the Downieville Library:
Fiction
The Marble Faun, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (2 volume set)
The Oxcart Trail, by Herbert Krause
A Lean Year and Other Stories, by Robert Laxalt (short stories)
Down Wild Goose Canyon, by Charles Elmer Upton (short stories)
The Omnibus Jules Verne, by Jules Verne
River of Red Gold, by Naida West

Non-Fiction
The Flush Times of California, by Joseph Glover Baldwin
The Mystery of Jack London, by Georgia Loring Bamford
49er Irish, by F.D. Calhoon
Records of the Families of California Pioneers (Vol. 2), by Daughters of the American Revolution
Spanning the Gate: The Golden Gate Bridge, by Stephen Cassady
Ramblings in California, by Henry Cerruti
The Indians’ Book: Authentic Native American Legends, Lore & Music, by Natalie Curtis
Edward Borein: Cowboy Artist, by Harold G. Davidson
The WPA Guide to California, by Federal Writers Project
Poor Richard’s Almanacks for the Years 1733-1758, by Benjamin Franklin
Island in Time: The Point Reyes Peninsula, by Harold Gilliam
Chinese Temples of Nevada City and Grass Valley, California 1868-1938, by Wallace R. Hagaman
The Narrative of Samuel Hancock, by Samuel Hancock
Those Pioneers, by Dorothea Hoaglin Hayden (autobiography)
Bartlett’s West: Drawing the Mexican Boundary, by Robert V. Hine
The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, by Herbert Hoover
Josiah Gregg and His Vision of the Early West, by Paul Horgan
Death Valley Scotty Told Me —, by Eleanor Jordan Houston
Rocky Mountain Empire, by Elvon L. Howes (ed.)
The Californiacs, by Inez Haynes Irwin
Tintypes in Gold: Four Studies in Robbery, by Joseph Henry Jackson
Route Across the Rocky Mountains, by Overton Johnson & Wm. H. Winter
The Pioneer Campfire, by G.W. Kennedy
Scenery of the Plains, Mountains and Mines, by Franklin Langworthy
From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake: An Account of Overland Freighting, by William E. Lass
Unsettling the West: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California, by JoAnn Levy
The Fremont Cannon, by Ernest Allen Lewis
Paddle Wheel Days in California, by Jerry MacMullen
Minerals and Men, by James F. McDivitt & Gerald Manners
Fortune is a River: Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli’s Magnificent Dream to Change the Course
of Florentine History, by Roger D. Masters
Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigilantes, by Roger D. McGrath
Samfow: The San Joaquin Chinese Legacy, by Sylvia Sun Minnick
Fantasy by the Sea, by Tom Moran & Tom Sewell

More books from Mountain House Books will be listed in the next column of On the Shelf. Watch for it!

Book Review & Share Group
The group will gather again on Tuesday, August 23, at 1:00 PM. Everyone is invited either to share or listen.

On The Shelf 7/13/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 8  Book Reviews
The group that gathered on June 15 for the bi-monthly Book Share and Review included some adult books, in addition to the children’s books that were reviewed in the last On the Shelf column. Here are those books:
The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes: in this novel, a retired man reflects on the paths that he and his schooldays friends have taken over the years, including how the suicide of one of that younger group has affected all of their lives. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Saffron Kitchen, by Yasmin Crowther: a work of fiction, this is the story of a woman who left her childhood home in Iran — disowned by her father for a sin she did not commit — and traveled to England, where she eventually married an Englishman. Now, years later, forced to face what happened to her those long years ago, she returns to the Iranian village where she once lived, and the man whom she knew then as a boy. Her daughter, facing her own difficulties, must travel to Iran to try to bring her mother back home to England. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, by Frans de Waal: written by the world-renowned biologist and primatologist, this groundbreaking work on animal intelligence deals, as one critic has said, “a pretty fierce wallop to our sense of specialness [as humans]”. De Waal argues that we should attempt to understand a species’ intelligence only within its own context. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Silkworm, by John Galbraith: this is the second in the Cormoran Strike series of crime fiction novels (after The Cuckoo’s Calling) written by J.K. Rowling under her pseudonym. The title of the book is derived from Bombyx mori, a silkworm that is boiled alive within its cocoon to preserve the silken threads of the cocoon when he silkworm is removed. It is also the title of a controversial manuscript, whose author’s disappearance is the new case dropped into the lap of private detective Cormoran Strike. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Space, by James Michener: this novel is a fictionalized history of the United States space program (up to the book’s publication in 1982). As in most of his books, the author writes in a semi-documentary style. The timeline of the book begins in 1944 and covers more than 30 years in the lives of four men and their families: a German rocket engineer; a WWII hero turned U.S. Senator; an aeronautical engineer; and, an astronaut. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Walden and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau: here are two of Thoreau’s writings, combined in one volume. Walden is the author’s discourse on appreciating nature and discovering one’s personal identity. It details Thoreau’s experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts. In Civil Disobedience the author encourages people to think for themselves, and to follow the dictates of their own conscience. He argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing governments to make them agents of injustice. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

Reminders

The Children’s Summer Reading Program is in full swing and is open to children of all ages, whether residents or summer visitors.

The next gathering of the Book Share and Review Group will be on Tuesday, August 23, at 2:00 PM.

The library maintains a cart of books for sale at the Yuba Gallery (next to the Yuba Theatre), whenever the Gallery is open. Choose the book(s) you want and leave whatever donation you feel is appropriate. The proceeds help to provide new books to the shelves of the Downieville Library.

On The Shelf 6/29/16

Issue 2016 – 7
Children’s Summer Reading Program
Children are invited to the library (either Downieville or Sierra City) this summer to take part in the Summer Reading Program. Each child will receive a “passport”. Whenever a page in the passport is filled with a list of books the child has read — or had read to them — a Passport Stamp will be issued. At the end of the summer, great book prizes will be awarded for children who have read all summer long. The program is open to both residents and visitors. (Note: any child who can legibly write their own name can receive their own library card.)

Book Reviews
Four people gathered at the library on June 15 for the bi-monthly Book Share & Review Group. Since the Children’s Summer Reading Program is now underway, a focus of the gathering was on children’s books. Here are the ones that were shared (all of them are on the shelf at the Downieville Library):
Little Bo, by Julie Andres Edwards (illustrated by Henry Cole): written by the famous actress, the book tells the story of a small grey kitten who finds herself all alone, after being taken away from her family. Lost and afraid, she is found by Billy, a sailor, and her new life begins.
The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes (illustrated by Louis Slobodkin): written in 1944, this the story of Wanda, a young Polish girl, who goes to school in a Connecticut town, where the other children see her as “different” and mock her for her differences, including the same faded blue dress she wears to school every day. However, she claims to own one hundred dresses, all lined up in her closet.
Emma and the Silk Train, by Julie Lawson (illustrated by Paul Mombourquette): in the early years of the 20th century, high-speed trains carried silk and silkworms across the continent, from the west coast to the east coast, both in Canada and the United States. In 1927, one of those trains derailed east of Vancouver, British Columbia. This book is a fictionalized story, based on that incident, and on a young girl who has watched the “silkers” race past her home and imagined their romance and adventure.
The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit and Other Favorite Stories, by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Charles Santore): the book includes “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, “The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher”, “The Tale of Mr. Benjamin Bunny”, “The Tale of Two Bad Mice”, and “The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies”.
What Do People Do All Day?, by Richard Scarry (illustrated by the author): an illustrated panorama of the animals of Busytown at work, describing occupations and activities through detailed drawings, with labels indicating the processes and equipment they use in their many and varied jobs.

The Book Share & Review Group is changing its regular meeting day and time to the 4th Tuesday, every other month, at 1:00 PM. The next gathering will be on August 23.

What’s New on the Shelf
The library has recently received several audio books on CD:
Deep Storm & 61 Hours, by Lincoln Child
The Front, by Patricia Cornwell
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Vol. 1), by Arthur Conan Doyle
M is for Malice, by Sue Grafton
The Appeal, by John Grisham
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
Pandora’s Daughter, by Iris Johansen
The Price, by Joan Johnston
True Detectives, by Jonathan Kellerman
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon & The Mist, by Stephen King
The First Patient, by Michael Palmer
I, Alex Cross & Swimsuit, by James Patterson
Blasphemy, by Douglas Preston
Portrait of a Spy, by Daniel Silva
The Ruins, by Scott Smith
State of the Union, by Brad Thor

On The Shelf 5/25/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 6
Book Reviews
Here are the rest of the books that were shared and reviewed at the library on April 21:
The Dog Lived (and So Will I), by Teresa J. Rhyne: the author, a cancer survivor, tells the story of her adopted beagle who contracted cancer, how they fought the cancer and won, and then how the two of them dealt with the discovery of her own cancer. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
On the Move, by Oliver Sacks: in his autobiography, the author, an internationally renowned neurologist, discusses his life from its beginning in England, through his time in California and New York, with stops in many other places along the way. Throughout, his fascination with the human mind and its mental processes is recounted alongside his forays into drugs, weight lifting, and motorcycles. The book was published within months of the author’s death in 2015. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, by Oliver Sacks: this memoir of the author’s childhood in WWII England is named for Sacks’ uncle, who manufactured light bulbs with filaments of tungsten wire, and who first initiated the author into the mysteries of metal. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, by Fail Tsukiyama: the novel follows the life of one family in Tokyo, beginning in 1939 and continuing for almost thirty years. It is a story of how events beyond their control impact upon ordinary and decent men and women. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Winds of War, by Herman Wouk: a work of historical fiction, the book features a mixture of real and fictional characters in telling he story of a United States family, beginning six months prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland and ending shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk: the sequel to Winds of War, the book continues the story of the Henry families involvement in WWII, both in the European and Pacific theaters, concluding with the bombing on Hiroshima. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

A reminder: the next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Thursday, June 16, 2:00 PM.

What’s New on the Shelf
New books are always showing up on the shelves of the Downieville Library. Here are some of the newest additions to the fiction sections:
The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi
Make Me, by Lee Child (mystery)
The Saffron Kitchen, by Yasmin Crowther
Grandmother Spider, Stone Butterfly, & Three Sisters, by James D. Doss (mystery)
The Bloody Tower & A Mourning Wedding, by Carola Dunn (mystery)
Sins and Needles, by Monica Ferris (mystery)
Cold Company, Deadfall, Death Takes Passage & The Serpents Trail, by Sue Henry (mystery)
Without Mercy, by Jack Higgins
Turning Tables, by Heather & Rose MacDowell
The Missing File, by D.A. Mishani (mystery)
Montana Sky, by Nora Roberts

Plumas County Library stations
Mary Wright, librarian in Sierra City, reminds us that the library in that town is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Other Sierra County stations of the Plumas County Library are located in Alleghany and Loyalton.

And, of course, the Downieville Library is open on Tuesdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and on Thursday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM.

On The Shelf 5/11/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 5
Book Reviews
On April 21 seven people gathered for the bi-monthly gathering of the Book Share & Review Group and shared a total of 17 books that they had read. Here are some of those book:
March, by Geraldine Brooks: in this novel, the author imagines the story of the missing father in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Mr. March, the father, is an abolitionist and chaplain in the Union Army during the Civil War. Through his letters home, the author connects with the characters in Alcott’s book. Brooks based the character of March in part on Alcott’s own father, who was a teacher and abolitionist. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Road to Little Dibbling, by Bill Bryson: another work of non-fiction by this prolific writer, the book describes his second trip through England (the first was during his college days, described in Notes from a Small Island), as he attempted to travel from the most northern to the most southern points in the country. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Quiet, by Susan Cain: subtitled “The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, this non-fiction book focuses on introverted people who have impacted the world. The author maintains that, in today’s society, we vastly undervalue introverts, and she shows how much we lose by doing so. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr: winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the book is set in France during World War II, and centers on a blind French girl and a German boy, whose paths eventually cross. The girl’s father is the master locksmith of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, who is forced to flee Paris, with his daughter, when the Nazis invade. They end up in the coastal town of Saint-Malo when the Allies bomb the town. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Brave Companions: Portraits in History, by David McCullough: in seventeen biographical vignettes the author introduces us to men and women who shaped the course of history and changed how we view the world. Included are the stories of Alexander von Humboldt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederic Remington, Louis Agassiz, Harry Caudill, David Plowden, and others. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Johnstown Flood, by David McCullough: prior to May 31, 1889, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town, living downstream from an earth dam that had been hastily built to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by industrial tycoons of the era. When the dam burst, after repeated, but ignored, warnings of pending disaster, more than 2,000 people were killed in a tragedy that became a national scandal. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Path Between the Seas, by David McCullough: the author tells the story of the effort to build the Panama Canal, a tale than encompasses the years 1870 to 1914. The book details the engineering feats, medical accomplishments, political power plays, successes and failures that were involved. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Doctor and the Diva, by Adrienne McDonnell: inspired by a true story from the author’s own family history, this work of fiction, set in 1903, tells the story of Erika — a talented opera singer and wife of a prominent Boston businessman — who secretly plans to pursue her musical career in Italy. There she meets Dr. Ravell, a rising fertility specialist, who can possibly help her overcome the childlessness to which she has become resigned. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Bountiful Container, by Rose Marie Nichols McGee & Maggie Stuckey: the authors’ contention is that, with a few exceptions, everything edible that’s grown in a traditional garden can be raised in a container. The book covers the possibilities for vegetables, herbs, fruits, and edible flowers. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Yosemite, by John Muir: published in 1912, two years before the author’s death, the book is a wonderful description of the Yosemite region, with detailed descriptions of land, water features, trees, flowers, birds and other animals, and concluding with chapter on the tragedy of Hetch Hetchy Valley. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Thursday, June 16, 2:00 PM at the Downieville Library. So, you have plenty of time to do some reading, and then come share what you’ve read. All are welcome!

On The Shelf 4/6/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 4
Book Review Group
The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group takes place on Thursday, April 21, 2:00 PM at the Downieville Library. Everyone is welcome, whether you have one or more books to share, or just  come and see what others have been reading.

library book cartThe Book Cart
The library maintains a books-for-sale cart at The Yuba Gallery (next to the Yuba Theatre). There are both hardcover and paperback books to be found, as well as both fiction and non-fiction books. A box is provided so that book buyers can donate whatever they wish for the books that they purchase. Now that The Yuba Gallery has officially opened for the season, there will be plenty of opportunities to peruse the books on the cart and take some home.

 

What’s New on the Shelf
Several books new to the Downieville Library have recently appeared on the shelves. A list of the most recent acquisitions is as follows:

Fiction:
Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood (collection of short stories)
The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes (2011 Man Booker Prize)
Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
Brothers, by Da Chen
Personal, by Lee Child
The Crossing, by Michael Connelly
About Grace, by Anthony Doerr
The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain
The Whole World Over, by Julia Glass
Nature Girl, by Carl Hiaasen
The Joe Leaphorn Mysteries, by Tony Hillerman (includes The Blessing Way, Dance Hall of the Dead, & Listening Woman)
Black River, by S.M. Hulse
The Lady from Zagreb, by Philip Kerr
State of Wonder, by Ann Patchell
NYPD Red, by James Patterson (mystery)
The Pieces from Berlin, by Michael Pye
The Education of Mrs. Bemis, by John Sedgwick
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Sision
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction)
The Confession, by Charles Todd (mystery)
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

Non-fiction:
The Road from Little Dibbling, by Bill Bryson
A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey (autobiography, considered by some to be semi-fictional)
No Good Men Among the Living, by Anand Gopal
Gem Trails of California, by James R. Mitchell
A Guide to Treasure in California, by Thomas Penfield
127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralson
On the Move, by Oliver Sacks (autobiography)
Arizona Gold Placers and Placering, by Eldred D. Wilson

On The Shelf 3/2/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 3

Book Reviews
There were only three people present for the first 2016 gathering of the Book Share & Review Group on February 18, but the sharing and the fellowship were quite worth the time spent. Here are the books that were shared:
Elevation: 6,040, by Ernest J. Finney: this work of fiction by a local author takes place in 1981, and tells the story of thirtheen-year-old Roscoe McAdamas and his family. They live high on a ridge in the northern Sierra, although the mother and children move down the mountain in springtime each year. However, things are changing in Roscoe’s life, and nothing seems to be like it has always been. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men, by Gregory Maguire: these are the first three of four volumes in the “Wicked Years” series. In these books, the author presents a revisionist view of the land and characters from L. Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and its sequels. The first book centers on Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West; the second book tells the story of her presumed son, Liir; and, the third book relates the story of the “Cowardly Lion”, and what happens to him following Dorothy’s visit to Oz. Throughout the books, the reader gains an entirely different perspective on a long-time familiar and favorite story. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Stalin’s Daughter, by Rosemary Sullivan: a work of non-fiction, the book tells the story of Josef Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana, from her early life within the walls of the Kremlin (protected from the harsh reality of the world outside those walls), through her defection to the United States (leaving her two children behind in Russia), her eventual return to Russia, followed by a second defection to the United States, to her death in Wisconsin. Throughout her tumultuous life, Svetlana found that she always lived within the shadow of her father. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Map That Changed the World, by Simon Winchester: this work of non-fiction tells the story of English geologist William Smith and his great achievement, the first geological map of England and Wales. His was the first national-scale geological map, but was more than just a geological record. His work contributed to the theory of evolution and to a greater understanding of the true age of the earth. The book describes both Smith’s work, as well as the social, economic, and industrial context within which that work was done. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear: a stand-alone novel by the author of the Maisie Dobbs series, the book takes place in England, just prior to and during the First World War. Kezia marries her best friend, Thea’s, brother, Tom, a month before war is declared. Through decisions about managing Tom’s family’s farm, fighting for their country, and supporting the war effort, the three young people’s stories are entwined and told. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be Thursday, April 21, 2:00 PM. Put the date on your calendar, and plan to come share — or just to listen.

What’s New on the Shelf

Fiction:
Cape Refuge, by Terri Blackstock (mystery)
The Killings at Badger’s Drift & Death in Disguise, by Carline Graham (Inspector Barnaby mystery)
Justice Hall & A Letter of Mary, by Laurie R. King (Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery)
His Majesty’s Hope, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, & The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, by Susan Elia McNeal (WWII mystery)
So Sure of Death, by Dana Stabenow (mystery)
A Long Shadow & Proof of Guilt, by Charles Todd (mystery)
A Matter of Trust & Hand of Fate, by Lis Wiehl (mystery)

Young Adult fiction:
Children of the Sea (Vol. 1 & 2), by Daisuke Igarashi (graphic novel)

On The Shelf 2/10/16

on-the-shelfIssue 2016 – 2
Book Review Group
The first gathering of the Book Review and Share Group will be on Thursday, February 18, 2:00 PM. All persons are welcome to attend, as the “group” has no actual membership or organization. What we do is come together to share about books that individuals have read, and that they think might be of interest to others. Some people come just to listen. Others come to share. Be assured that you would be welcome in either “category”.

What’s New on the Shelf
A few new-to-the-library books have been added to our shelves recently. All of them are in the fiction category:

The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister
March, by Geraldine Brooks (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for fiction)
A Lion Among Men, by Gregory Maguire (the third volume of the Wicked Years books: the first two books were Wicked and Son of a Witch, both of which are on the shelves of the Downieville Library)
A Blaze of Glory and A Chain of Thunder, by Jeff Shaara (the first two volumes of the author’s Civil War series: the third volume, The Smoke at Dawn, was already on the shelves of the Downieville Library)
The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

How We’re Organized
Occasionally it’s good to remind ourselves what is in the library, and how people can find something of interest. Here are how the shelves are organized (and labeled) as you move from the front door to the rear of the library:

DVD’s & VHS tapes
Audio-books
Paperback thrillers
Local interest
Quilt-themed
Young Adult
Paperback and hardcover mystery
Favorite authors: Alexander McCall Smith; Jacqueline Winspear; Barbara Cleverly; Bill Bryson
Paperback general fiction
Hardcover thrillers
Hardcover general fiction
Native American
Westerns
Biography
Poetry
Short stories
Non-fiction (organized by Dewey Decimal numbers)
Plumas County library books: non-fiction; biography; general fiction; mystery; westerns
Children
Additionally, the reference room is still a work in progress

Within all of that, almost everyone should be able to find something of interest. Come on in, and give it a try!

On The Shelf 12/30/15

on-the-shelfIssue 2015 – 15    Book Reviews
Four people gathered on December 17 for the final Book Share & Review Group meeting of 2015. Here are the books that were shared:
The Kitchen Boy, by Robert Alexander: a work of fiction, the story explores the final days of Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra, as seen through the eyes of a young kitchen boy, Leonka. Years later, as an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness of the brutal murders of the Tsar and his family. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson: this novel has an unusual structure, repeatedly “looping” back in time to describe alternative possible lives for its central character, Ursula Todd, born in 1910 to an upper-middle class British family. The story raises interesting questions of “what if?”. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
A Lawyer’s Journey, by Morris Dees: an autobiography by the co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in Montgomery, Alabama. The author details a history of some of the major legal battles the Center has waged against bigotry, discrimination, and injustice since 1971. He also tells the story of his own personal involvement in that struggle, including the number of attempts on his life by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith: this crime fiction novel is written by J.K. Rowling under her pseudonym. It is the first novel of the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels. Private investigator, Cormoran Strike, is hired to look into the supposed suicide of a famous supermodel, Lula Landry, who, as a mixed-race girl, was adopted into a wealthy white family. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library, both as a print book and an audio book.)
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: a psychological thriller, this novel is told from the perspectives of three women, who discover how their lives intertwine with one another. It begins with Rachel’s daily trips to London via train, as she passes the neighborhood where she formerly lived with Tom, who is now married to Anna, and who lives just a few houses down the street from Megan. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee: the novel serves as both sequel and prequel to Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. This story takes place 20 years after the time of the first novel, when Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch returns to Maycomb, Alabama, from New York City for her annual two-week visit. Utilizing flashbacks to that earlier time — and before — combined with what is happening in the present, Jean Louise discovers that all is not as it has always seemed to be — especially in regard to race relations in her family and town. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse: this book of fiction is an archaeological mystery, set both in the Middle Ages and present-day France. Two storylines follow two protagonists, Alais (from 1209) and Alice (from 2005), both framed against the Catholic Church’s crusade against the Cathars in the 1200’s. Ultimately, the story becomes a quest for the Holy Grail. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs, by Michaela Muntean: this children’s non-fiction book tells the story of the former circus high-wire performer who rescues “bad” dogs (after everyone else has given up on them) from shelters, utilizes each dog’s own special skills and what motivates them, and trains them into a “circus” act, which is performed primarily before school audiences. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy: winner of the Booker Prize in 1997, this debut novel is about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins in India. The book explores how small things affect people’s behavior and lives. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Review and Share Group will be on Thursday, February 18, 2:00 PM.

New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re into making resolutions for the new year, how about one in which you resolve to visit the Downieville Library, sign up for a library card (if you don’t already have one), and take home some books for reading or listening, or a DVD to watch? If you’re not into making such resolutions, come by the library, anyway. We won’t ask to which category you belong.

On The Shelf 12/9/15

on-the-shelfHoliday Shopping                 Issue 2015 – 14

If you’re still undecided about a holiday (Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Mawlid Un Nabi, Winter Solstice, and/or others) gift for a loved one or friend, please remember that books are always appropriate. And, the Downieville Library just might have something that you could use. The library has a book cart of used books for sale in The Yuba Gallery (next to the Yuba Theatre). All you have to do is choose the books(s) that you want, donate whatever you think they’re worth, wrap them up, and give them to those loved ones and/or friends. There are two benefits to this: (1) your friends and/or loved ones get books for their edification and pleasure; and, (2) the library receives funds with which they can purchase books to be placed in the library. And, of course, there is the added benefit of shopping locally.

What’s New on the Shelf
A few more books have been added to the collection at the Downieville Library. Again, these are not necessarily new books — but they are new to the library.

Fiction:
The Romance Reader, by Pearl Abraham
The Dust that Falls from Dreams, by Louis de Bernieres
Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

Non-fiction:
Portraits of Pride II: Chinese-American Legacies – First 160 Years in America, by Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
Colors of Joy and Happiness, edited by Fereidun Shokatfard (children’s)
Colors of Paradise, by Fereidun Shokatfard

Book Review Group
The year’s final gathering of the Book Review and Share Group is coming up on Thursday, December 17, 2:00 PM at the library. If you have read one or more books that you think others would also enjoy, you are invited to come and share those with the group. Or, if you just want to know what others have been reading — and what they think about what they’ve been reading — you are invited to come and listen.

Unknown-3Greetings
Whatever you’re celebrating in coming days and weeks, the Downieville Library hopes that it will be a joyous and peaceful time for you and yours!

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