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
Paperback thrillers
Local interest
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
Short stories
Non-fiction (organized by Dewey Decimal numbers)
Plumas County library books: non-fiction; biography; general fiction; mystery; westerns
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.

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

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.

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!

On The Shelf 11/25/15

on-the-shelfMore Award-winning books                        Issue 2015 – 13
Each November, the National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. From 1964 to 1983, non-fiction was awarded in several subcategories; before and after those dates, non-fiction was awarded as a general category. Following are the National Book Award winners that can be found in the Downieville Library:

1961: The Waters of Kronos, by Conrad Richter
1970: them, by Joyce Carol Oates (yes, the title is spelled without a capital letter)
1990: Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson
1996: Ship Fever and Other Stories, by Andrea Barrett
1997: Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
2002: Three Junes, by Julia Glass
2007: Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson

1961: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer
1975: The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, by Lewis Thomas (Arts and Letters & Sciences)
1975: All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, by Theodore Rosengarten (Contemporary Affairs)
1980: A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken (Religion/Inspiration)
1981: The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher, by Lewis Thomas (Science)
1982: Lucy: the Beginnings of Humankind, by Donald C. Johanson & Maitland A. Edey (Science)
1983: Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller, by Judith Thurman (Autobiography/Biography)
1988: A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, by Neil Sheehan
1989: From Beirut to Jerusalem, by Thomas L. Friedman
2006: The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan
2015: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What’s New on the Shelf
The library has added a few books to its shelves: not necessarily new books; but, new to the library:

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley (young adult)
Mr. Mac and Me, by Esther Freud
Appleblossom the Possum, by Holly Goldberg Sloan (young adult)

Terrestrial Vegetation of California, by Michael G. Barbour & Jack Major (editors)
A Lawyer’s Journey, by Morris Dees (biography)

Book Review Group
The Book Review & Share Group will be on Thursday, December 17, 2PM at the library. Everyone is welcome, whether you want to share a book you’ve read, or just want to hear about what others are reading.

DPL On The Shelf 11/4/15

on-the-shelfIssue 2015 – 12
Book Reviews
Seven people gathered for the most Book Share & Review Group on October 15. Here are the books that were shared:
The Long-Legged House, by Wendell Berry: a work of non-fiction, this was the author’s first collection of essays, in which he writes about his home place, his native ground, his place on the earth. The author, a novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer, is one of this country’s leading voices on rural life. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.) Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates: a work of non-fiction, this book is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, and its author is a recent recipient of a “Genius Grant” from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The book is written as an open letter to the author’s teenage son, in which Coates details, out of his own life, what it is to be an African-American male in the United States. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker: a work of non-fiction, the book provides strategies to help the reader avoid trauma and violence. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Mr. Mac and Me, by Esther Freud: a historical novel by the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, the story, which takes place in 1914 in a village on the Suffolk coast of England, explores the relationship between a 13-year-old boy of the village and a mysterious Scottish architect in the years leading up to WWI. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Grover Cleveland, by Henry F. Graff: a biography which of the man who won the popular vote for presidency three times, and was the only president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame: the delightful book which tells the story of Mr. Toad, his indefatigable friends, and their adventures. Though written for children, it is a wonderful book for persons of every age. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Little Locksmith, by Kathleen Hathaway: a memoir, beginning in 1895, by the author about the effects of spinal tuberculosis on her childhood and adult life. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Wolves of Andover, by Kathleen Kent: set in 1670’s Massachusetts, this novel tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a man being sought by henchmen of English King Charles II, who is seeking to avenge the death of his father, Charles I, killed by Cromwell. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz: a sequel to the Millennium trilogy of books written by Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). The main characters from the earlier trilogy, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, return in a story that begins with computer hacking into the National Security Agency of the United States. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Martha Peake, by Patrick McGrath: a novel of the American Revolution, the setting alternates between England and Massachusetts, as the story is told of a girl who flees from her father in England for colonial America, where she becomes a heroic figure in the revolution. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, by Salman Rushdie: a wonder tale about the way we live now that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story, to bring alive a world plunged into an age of unreason. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Appleblossom the Possum, by Holly Goldberg Sloan: in a young adult novel about a young possum who goes to the city and discovers “monsters”, the reader learns much about possums and their characteristics. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Thursday, December 17, 2:00 PM at the Downieville Library. Everyone is welcome!

Library Schedule: the library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 26.

On The Shelf 10/14/15

on-the-shelfWhat’s New on the Shelf
Thanks to a couple of donations, the Downieville Library has added several books, both fiction and non-fiction, to its shelves. Here are some of them:

An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine
The Red and the Black, by Marie-Henri Beyle
The Front & Trace, by Patricia Cornwell
The Rainmaker, by John Grisham
Collected Stories of O. Henry, edited by Paul J. Horowitz
And Then You Die & No One to Trust, by Iris Johansen
The Golden Egg, by Donna Leon
The Cruise of the Dazzler, by Jack London
Texasville, by Larry McMurtry
The Gravedigger’s Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates
Unfit to Practice, by Perri O’Shaughnessy
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, by Edgar Allan Poe
The Aristrocrat, The Sea of Grass, & The Waters of Kronos, by Conrad Richter
Panther in the Sky, by James Alexander Thorn

Nicomachean Ethics, by Aristotle
The Expanded Quotable Einstein, edited by Alice Calaprice
Plato’s Theory of Knowledge, by Francis M. Cornford
Murder in the Cathedral, by T.S. Eliot (play)
The Forgotten Art of Building a Stone Wall, by Curtis P. Fields
Poor Richard’s Almanacks, by Benjamin Franklin
Mozart, by Peter Gay (biography)
Geology of the Sierra Nevada, by Mary Hill
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by David Hume
Over the Counter and On the Shelf: Country Storekeeping in America, 1620-1920, by Laurence A. Johnson
Stupid White Men…and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation, by Michael Moore
Republic & Statesman, by Plato
Collected Poems of Robert Service, by Robert Service (poetry)
45 Mercy Street, by Anne Sexton (poetry)
U.S. Grant, by Joan Waugh (biography)
A Crack in the Edge of the World: American and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, by Simon Winchester

Book Review Group
The Books Share & Review Group is meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2:00 PM at the library. Bring one or more books to share — or just come to see what others have been reading. All are welcome!

On The Shelf 9/16/15

on-the-shelfIssue 2015 – 10
Award-winning Authors
In addition to books that have won prizes, there are awards given specifically for an author’s work as a whole (the body of work). Two of these are the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Man Booker International Prize. Following are the winners of those two prizes which can be found in the Downieville Library, listed chronologically according to the year the prize was won.

Nobel Prize for Literature: awarded to “…the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction…” (quoted from the will of Alfred Nobel). This prize has been awarded since 1901.
1938: Pearl S. Buck
1949: William Faulkner
1953: Winston Churchill
1954: Ernest Hemingway
1957: Albert Camus
1962: John Steinbeck
1964: Jean-Paul Sartre
1970: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
1982: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1993: Toni Morrison
1998: Jose Saramago
2003: J.M. Coetzee
2010: Mario Vargas Llosa
2013: Alice Munro

The Man Booker International Prize: awarded every two years “…to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language….[in] seeking out literary excellence, the judges consider a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel” (quoted from The Man Booker Prize website). This prize was awarded from 2005 to 2015; as of 2016, the prize has evolved to a prize from fiction in translation, and will be awarded annually.
2009: Alice Munro

What’s New on the Shelf
The following books are new to the shelves of the Downieville Library:
Every Second Counts, by Lance Armstrong
Man in the Moon & Moon Palace, by Paul Auster
Utopia, by Lincoln Child
Hard Choices, by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lance Armstrong’s War, by Daniel Coyle
The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler
Heat and Dust, by Ruth Prawler Jhabvala (winner of the 1975 Man Booker Prize)
War, by Sebastian Junger
The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd
Where Men Win Glory, by John Krakauer
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World, by Lonely Planet
Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine Pagels
Master of War, by Suzanne Simons

The next meeting of the Books Share & Review Group is Thursday, October 15, 2:00 PM at the library.

On The Shelf 7/22/15

on the shelfMore Book Reviews            Issue 2015 – 7

Continuing with book reviews from the most recent gathering of the Book Share & Review Group:

Etched in Sand, by Regina Calcaterra: now a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist, the author tells the true story of her early life, as she and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood, only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness. She tells how she rose above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr: winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this novel is set in occupied France during World War II, and centers on a blind French girl and a German boy, whose paths cross. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Hotel of the Saints, by Ursula Hegi: in a collection of 11 short stories the author brings to life a diverse bunch of characters, ranging from a Jesuit brother questioning his faith to a woman who is dying of cancer and travels to the coast of Mexico to take her own life. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Great Vegan Bean Book, by Kathy Heston: for vegans, beans are a wonderful friend, packed as they are with protein and with little, or no, fat. The book gives the details on a wide variety of beans, and includes over 100 recipes on how to use them. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey: nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the book is set in 1920 Alaska. A childless couple builds a child out of snow during the season’s first snowfall; in the morning, the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young girl running through the trees. The couple’s lives are changed forever through their relationship with the girl. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Last Town on Earth, by Tom Mullen: a work of ficiton, the book focuses on a town in northern Washington, which attempts to quarantine itself against the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, while at the same time dealing with the reality of World War I. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Daughter, by Jane Shemilt: written from the viewpoint of the mother, this work of fiction tells the story of a family whose a15-year-old daughter vanishes. Writing a compelling psychological thriller, the author spins the tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing child. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Walking the Gobi, by Helen Thayer: at the age of 63, and accompanied by her 74-year-old husband, the author embarked on a 1,600-mile trek across Mongolia’s Gobi Desert — without sponsors, a support team, or radio contact. The book takes readers along on the trip, and introduces them to the life and culture of the nomadic people whose ancestors have eked out a living from the “bleak” landscape for thousands of years. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Married to a Bedouin, by Marguerite van Geldermalsen: in 1978, the author visited the lost city of Petra (Jordan), and meets the man who would become her husband. This non-fiction book tells her story of living in an ancient cave and learning to love the life and traditions of the Bedouin people. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

A slight correction: in the previous On the Shelf column, it was stated that Conrad Richter’s The Awakening Land is not currently on the shelf at the Downieville Library. While that is technically true, the library does have on its shelves, as individual volumes, the three novels that make up the larger book: The Trees, The Fields, and The Town.

Reminder: the next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Thursday, August 20, at 2:00 PM.

On The Shelf 7/1/15

Book ReviewsIssue 2015-6
on the shelfThe Book Share & Review Group met this past Thursday; here are some of the books that were reviewed:
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, by John Coates: the author is a Wall Street trader turned Cambridge neuroscientist who writes about “Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust” (the book’s subtitle). (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Resistance, by Agnes Humbert: the author was an art historian in Paris during the German occupation of 1940; she helped form an organized resistance, was betrayed to the Gestapo, and spent time in prison and labor camps. This book tells her story. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name and Take Good Care of Your Garden and the Dogs, by Heather Lende: the author writes both the obituaries and the social column for her local newspaper in Haines, Alaska. These books bring to life the people and places of her small-town life. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Wellington and Napoleon, by Robin Neillands: subtitled “Clash of Arms, 1807-1815”, this non-fiction book tells the story of the two military commanders, Arthur Wellesly and Napoleon Bonaparte, who would meet on the field of battle at Waterloo. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Terror Before Trafalgar, by Tom Pocock: subtitled “Nelson, Napoleon, and the Secret War”, this non-fiction work details the years leading up to the battle of Trafalgar — a story of people, politics, and secret new weapons. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Awakening Land, by Conrad Richter: this volume consists of a trilogy of novels (The Trees, The Fields, and The Town) that explore the lives of a frontier family in the early 19th-century Ohio Valley. The third novel of the trilogy won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1951. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman: this novel tells of a WWI survivor who returns to Australia and, with his wife, takes up a job as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. Into their life, from the sea, comes a baby; the decision they make has repercussions beyond what they could originally imagine. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)

The next gathering of the Book Share & Review Group will be on Thursday, August 20, 2:00 PM at the Downieville Library.

What’s New on the Shelf
A new book by a local author has been added to the Young Adult section: Clairvoyance, by Paige (Ali) Rambo. This fantasy novel was Ali’s Senior Project this year: she wrote the book and had it self-published, all the while learning about what it takes to get a book into print.

Children’s Summer Reading Program
All children are invited to join the reading program. Simply come into the library, get a “passport”, find some books to take home and read (books from home are also allowed), return to the library to report on the books read, get a continent sticker for each page of the passport, check out some more books, and keep going. A completed passport will earn a certificate. Also, an end-of-summer gathering for all Summer Reading Program participants is being contemplated. And, if the child is old enough to write their own name legibly, they can apply for their own library card from the Plumas County Library (of which the Downieville Library is a station).

Library Services
A reminder that the library has internet and WiFi accessibility. Patrons can either use the library’s computer or bring their own laptops or mobile devices.

The library has a printer/copier with WiFi connection, so that library patrons can bring documents that need to be copied, or print from the computer or their own mobile devices. The library charges 15¢ per page for printing and copying.

On The Shelf 6/10/15

Issue 2015 – 5on the shelf

Currently on the “Local Interest” shelf
The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, by Thomas D. Bonner
Single Woman Homstead, by Leona Dixon Cox
Ishi, by Theodora Kroeber
I’m Third, by Robert A. Nordyke
Hooked on Twain, by McAvoy Layne
Accidental Cowgirl, by Mary Lynn Archibald
The Rush for Gold, by Frank L. Beals
Badge and Buckshot, by John Boessenecker
You Bet, California Gold Fever, by Jerry Brady
A Town Above the Eagles, by Bud & JoeAnn Buczkowski
Love Untamed: Romances of the Old West, by JoAnn Chartier & Chris Enss
Bacon and Beans from a Gold Pan, by Jesse Coffee
The Story of Gold Country, California, by Alan P. Collings
Gold Diggers and Camp Followers, by David Allan Comstock
Klondike Fever, by Michael Cooper
Argonauts of California, by Thomas F. Elliott
Fire in the Sierra Nevada Forests, by George E. Gruell
Gold Dust, by Donald Dale Jackson
The California Gold Country, by Elliott H. Koeppel
Gold Rush, by Michael Kowalewski
Yuba Trails, by Susan Lamela & Hank Meals
They Saw the Elephant, by JoAnn Levy
Gold Cities, by Jim Morley & Doris Foley
Wilderness at Dawn, by Ted Morgan
Gold Rush Widows of Little Falls, by Linda Peavey & Ursula Smith
The Chinese in Northern California, by Barbara Pricer
A Treasury of the Sierra Nevada, by Robert Leonard Reid
Apache Chronicle, by John Upton Terrell
Mountain Style, by Frank “Pancho” Wilmarth
Gold Mines of the Alleghany-Forest City District, by Raymond W. Wittkopp & Wayne C. Babros
Secret of the 2 Bar 4 Ranch, Leona Dixon Cox
Sierra Summer, 1874, by Katie Wilmarth Green

Book Review Group
The group did not meet in May, due to commitments to the high school play, as well as people’s travel schedules. But, a meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 25, at 2:00 PM at the Downieville Library. Everyone is welcome. You can bring one or more books to share, if you wish, or just come to hear what other people have been reading and found interesting, exciting, and/or useful.

On the Shelf 5/6/15

on the shelf

What’s New on the Shelf – Issue 2015 – 4
Although the library doesn’t often get actually “new” books, we do get books that are new to us. And, recently, we have been “discovering” books that we have already had, but which had gotten buried in the room that is being cleared out to become the computer/reference room. So, here are some of the books that are new on the shelves of the Downieville Library:

The Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton
Winter Range, by Claire Davis
Crimson Joy & Night Passage, by Robert B. Parker
14 books by James Patterson, including Hide & Seek, Mary, Mary, Sail, Swimsuit, and Worst Case
The Wheel of Darkness, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank (this is the Definitive Edition, containing 30% more material than earlier editions)
The Olive Oil Cookbook, by Louise Pickford
The Garlic Cookbook, by Lorna Rhodes
Abraham Lincoln: The Warn Years, by Carl Sandburg (a 4-volume set donated from the library of the late Billy Laux)
The Words, by Jean-Paul Sartre (his autobiography)
Faith in a Seed, by Henry David Thoreau (his last manuscript)

Book Review Group
The next meeting of this group is on Thursday, May 21, at 2:00 PM, at the library. If you are interested in reading, you are invited and most welcome. You can bring one or more books to share, or just come to hear what other people say about books they have read. Please come!

Requesting Books
As several people have recently discovered, if you have a Downieville Library Card, you can request books not available in our local library. We send the request to the Plumas County Library, and then notify you when the book arrives here.

The internet is now fully operational at the library. Patrons can either use the library’s computer, or access our WiFi connection through their own laptop or other device. We are glad to have people use our computer room!

On The Shelf 4/1/15

on the shelf

Issue 2015 – 3
Popular Authors
We have several authors that seem to be very popular with some of our readers. Therefore, the library tries to keep up with the latest writings from these authors, adding these new books to our collection as they become available. Some of these authors (and some of their works) are:
Barbara Cleverly: a British author and former teacher, she now lives in Cambridge. As she tells in the first book of the Joe Sandliands series, these books were inspired by the contents of a battered old tin trunk she found in her attic; the contents included memories of a great uncle who spent a lot of time in India. This series is set in the years following WWI, and, at least initially, takes place in India; however, in later books, the action moves to England. The protagonist of the series in Commander Joe Sandilands of London’s Metropolitan Police. Another series, the Letitia Talbot Mysteries, is set in the 1920’s, and features an archaeologist-turned-detective. (There are currently 13 books by this author in the Downieville collection.)
Alexander McCall Smith: Mr. McCall Smith (yes, even though unhyphenated, that is his surname) is a Rhodesian (today Zimbabwe)-born British writer, who is Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of several series of books, including (and probably best known) The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which is set in Botswana. Other series are 44 Scotland Street, The Sunday Philosophy Club, and Corduroy Mansions — all set in Edinburgh. Additionally, he is the author of several “stand-alone” novels, collections of short stories, and novels for children. (There are currently 31 books by this author in the Downieville collection.)
Jacqueline Winspear: another British author, but one who now lives in the United States, she has stated that her childhood awareness of her grandfather’s suffering in WWI let to an interest in that war. Her Maisie Dobbs series takes place during and after the war, with most books set in England, although the most recent takes place in Gibraltar. Maisie Dobbs is a private investigator who served as a nurse during the war, and afterwards establishes an ethical investigative practice with an emphasis on achieving healing for her clients. (There are currently 11 books by this author in the Downieville collection.)
Others of our readers’ favorite authors will be featured in future On the Shelf columns.

(1) Anyone with a Downieville Library card may request books that we may not have in our own collection. And, with the internet connection at the library, we can look up books and/or authors, to aid in finding the book(s) that our patrons need.

(2) The next gathering of the Book Review Group will be on Thursday, April 15, at 2:00 PM. Anyone interested in reading is invited. You can bring one or more books to share, or just come to learn about books that others have read and liked.

On The Shelf 3/11/15

on-the-shelfIssue 2015 – 2
What’s New
Thanks to the creativity of Adam Daigle, a new bookshelf has been added to the library, freeing up space for the non-fiction collection. The new shelf is located under the window on the north side of the library, and now contains the hardcover “thriller” fiction books. As a result of this move, the shelves along the south wall, beyond the kitchen door, are now completely filled with non-fiction books, including a section of biographies and another of poetry and short stories.

Those who have been regular visitors to the library over the past several years will notice a major change in the side room. This room has now been cleaned out, and is in the process of being converted into the computer/reference room — as well as providing a meeting space out of the main flow of library traffic. The transition is still ongoing, but good progress is being made. And, the computer in the room is now available for public use — as is the library’s WiFi connection.

Book Reviews
Here are more of the books that were reviewed during the library’s first Book Review Group gathering:
Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie: a novelist and writer of short stories, the author, who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, is of Native American and European heritage. This novel, set in the 1960’s, tells the story of young Native Americans on the Spokane Indian Reservation who, inspired by the legendary Robert Johnson, decide to start a rock-and-roll band. Along with the story of the band, the book also delves into the continuing hardships faced by modern-day Native Americans. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The “Regeneration Trilogy”, by Pat Barker: these three books (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road) are set during WWI in England and France. They are works of historical fiction, as several of the characters were actual persons. They tell the story of what today we would call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and how it was handled during that time. The third book in the trilogy — which won the 1995 Booker Prize — was one of those donated from the library of the late Billy Laux; the two other books were recently added to the library’s collection to complete the trilogy. (On the shelf in the Downieville Library.)
The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd: set in South Carolina in the early 1800’s, this work of historical fiction is inspired in party by the person of Sarah Grimke, a feminist, suffragist, and abolitionist. The story is told through the two voices of Sarah Grimke and her handmaiden slave, Hetty (“Handful”). (Not currently in the Downieville Library collection, but available at the Sierra City Library.)

On the Library’s Calendar
Book Review Group: Thursday, April 15, 2:00 PM. Bring one or more books to share, or just come to learn about books others have read.

On The Shelf 2/25/15

Issue 2015-1

on the shelfIntroduction to the Column                                                  “On the Shelf” is a column which will — on a somewhat regular basis — bring news of happenings at the library, book reviews, introduction to books and other items new to the library, and other tidbits to tantilize your interest in our local library.

Introduction to the Library
Located downstairs in the Native Daughters Hall, on Commercial Street in Downieville, the library is open to the public twice a week: on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM; and, on Thursdays from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. The library collection includes: both non-fiction and fiction books for children, young adults, and adults; DVD’s, VHS tapes, and audio books; and, several different kinds of reference books. Most of the books belong to the Downieville Libary, itself, having been added to the collection through purchase or donations. Some of the books in the library are on permanent loans from the Plumas County Library (of which the Downieville Library is a station). Peggy Daigle is the branch librarian; she and several volunteers staff the library during its open hours.

Any person who has a local address (both physical and mailing), along with either a driver’s license or other permanent identification, can obtain a Plumas County Library card at the Downieville Library. For children, the application for a library card needs to include a parent’s signature. With this card, persons may check out materials from any branch or station of the Plumas County Library. Temporary library cards are also available for summer and other short-term visitors to the area. The temporary card can be used only in the Downieville Library.

What’s New
Due to the generosity of a friend, Mead Kibbey, the library now has WiFi accessibility. There is a computer at the library, which is available to the public. Also, people can bring their own laptops, notebooks, etc., and connect through the library’s internet connection.

The library recently received a fantastic donation of 44 books from the library of one its long-time patrons, the late Billy Laux. Billy was a great history buff, and the majority of the books are historical and/or biographical. Included in this gift are books on ghost town in the west, vikings, the Napoleonic wars, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, biographies of Clara Barton, Henry Clay, Grover Cleveland, Sitting Bull, and Woodrow Wilson, and many more.

Book Review Group
On February 19, seven people gathered at the library for the first meeting of the Book Review Group. The group will meet on the third Thursday of the month, on an every-other-month basis, with the next meeting set for April 15 at 2:00 PM. All interested persons are welcome to attend. Bring one or more books that you would like to share with the group, and be prepared to say something about the book(s). The purpose of the group is to discover what other people are reading that may also be of interest to ourselves.

Here are a few of the books that were shared this time (more will be featured here in later columns):
Portrait in Sepia, by Isabel Allende: this work of fiction takes place during the time of the California Gold Rush, with action happening in Chile and San Francisco. A traumatized young woman is forced to explore the mystery of her own past. (On the shelf in the Downieville Library.)
The Collected Stories, by Grace Paley: this collection of short stories was a finalist for the 1994 National Book Award for Fiction. The author speaks through her characters’ authentic voices of New York City. (On the shelf in the Downieville Library.)
The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney: this work of fiction is a murder mystery which takes place in Canada’s Northern Territory in the 1860’s. It was the 2006 Costa Book of the Year winner. (On the shelf in the Downieville Library.)

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