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.

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:
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:
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

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.)


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:

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

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

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)

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