Dec. 16 – Jan. 5

One Time Events:

E-Books for the Confused Reader: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 7-8 p.m., Library! At Hillcrest, Boise.

Taproot Book Club: 6:30 – 8 p.m., in conjunction with Boise Novel Orchard, Hyde Park Books, downtown Boise

Books to Film Movie Nights: Wednesday, Dec 19, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (with the Muppets!), Library! at Collister

Author Event: Thursday, Dec 20, 6 – 8:30 p.m., Eve Chandler, author of Building Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain will be discussing and reading from her book at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Dec 22, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

All libraries closed: Christmas Day, Dec. 25

BLiP: Tuesday, Dec. 25, 7 – 9:30 p.m., a screenwriting reading, Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Dec 29, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Early Closure: Monday, Dec 31, 6 p.m., Main Library! closes early

All libraries closed: New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

Writing Group: Tuesday, Jan 1, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Boise Novel Orchard meets at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Night Owl Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 2, 7 – 7:30 p.m., Main Library in Boise

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 5, 11 a.m., favorite Storytime books will be revisited today

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 5, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Reoccurring Events:

Writers’ Block:  Tuesdays, Noon – 1p.m., Boise Community Radio, KRBX 89.9. Hosted by Jennifer Sanders Peterson and Amanda Turner

Poet’s and Writer’s Open Mic: Every first Thursday, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Idaho Falls

Nook Tablet Class: Saturdays, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Nook HD/HD+ Class: Saturdays, 11 a.m., Thursdays, 6 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Reoccurring Contact Information:

·         Library! At Collister: 4724 W State St, Boise 83703, (208) 377-4995

·         Library! Main: 715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 384-4076

·         Library! At Cole: 7557 W Ustick, Boise 83704, (208) 570-6900

·         Library! At Hillcrest: 5246 Overland Rd, Boise 83705, (208) 562-4996

·         Barnes & Noble: 1315 N Milwaukee Rd, Boise 83704, (208) 375-4454

·         Rediscovered Books: 180 N 8th St, Boise 83702, (208) 376-4229

·         Hyde Park Books: 1507 N 13th St, Boise 83702, (208) 429-8220

·         The Cabin: 801 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 331-8000


An Outlaw Christmas


Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin, 2012

Publisher Summary: Celebrate the holidays with a brand-new McKettrick tale by beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller.

With his wild heart, Sawyer McKettrick isn’t ready to settle down on the Triple M family ranch in Arizona. So he heads to Blue River, Texas, to seek a job as marshal. But in a blinding snowstorm he’s injured—and collapses into the arms of a prim and proper lady in calico.

The shirtless, bandaged stranger recuperating in teacher Piper St. James’s room behind the schoolhouse says he’s a McKettrick, but he looks like an outlaw. As they wait out the storm, the handsome loner has Piper remembering long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood. But for how long is Sawyer willing to call Blue River home?

As the gray skies clear, Piper’s one holiday wish just might bring two lonely hearts together forever.

My Take:  Since I’m a hard-core Linda Lael Miller fan, I have wondered what would happen if I didn’t like one of her books – but An Outlaw Christmas is another winner. A story set in the 1800’s, where a schoolteacher rescues a wounded man, thereby ruining her reputation, but providentially he turns out to be a cousin of her closest friend’s husband, and someone with whom she falls in love so the ruined reputation is a moot point.

The book is a tag-along to the modern-day McKettrick stories – McKettrick’s Heart, McKettrick’s Luck, and McKettrick’s Pride. So it’s interesting and enjoyable to read about their antecedents. I must be from the south the way I like to connect dots on the family tree.

Ms. Miller simply tells a good story. The sweetness of the characters is not saccharine, but genuine. Piper St. James’ fear of losing her job is one indication Ms. Miller understands the times she writes about. We can snort at the ignorance of the townspeople, but the truth is, it could have been catastrophic. The only drawback was the book was too short, but we can always look forward to her next one.

My Rating:  5 out of 5

The Last Single Maverick


Christine Rimmer

Harlequin, 2012



Publishers Summary:  Look out ladies: there’s another Traub bachelor in town! Jason “Jace” Traub is every bit as gorgeous as his sexy twin brother, but rumor has it he is even more marriage shy. There’s not a woman alive who could make this restless rancher settle down…

Yet insiders whisper that Jace has been talking wedding plans with Jocelyn Bennings, the chestnut-haired beauty who ran out on her own wedding just days ago! Could the confirmed bachelor really be hooking up with
heartbroken, headstrong Joss? Stay tuned, loyal readers, to find out if their marriage of convenience runs amuck—or if lasting passion will finally rope in the last single maverick!

My Take:  Another Traub brother bites the dust in a fun romantic read. All the ingredients are present: rich handsome hero, beautiful heroine. The characters are likable and the story moves right along to the predictable ending which is why we all read and enjoy them.

However, I’ve read all the Traub books and find the same problem with each. The author’s premise that the Traub men don’t know what love is and therefore are unable to commit is not in character with the family background. A man raised in an intact family, with brothers he loves, and parents who are in love with each other and who love him is not believable when he says he doesn’t know what love is. He could be leery of it, or not ready for it, but to say “I don’t know what love is” is not in keeping with the characters of the story.  Christine Rimmer needs to find another hook that is more believable.

I liked that they began their relationship with a friendship.  It’s too bad more couples don’t realize the importance of being friends before being lovers.  It would help a lot.

The author misses chances to take dialogue to a deeper level.  After they attended church she poured her heart out to him and when she thanks him for listening, his response of “Happy to help,” missed a chance for him to reciprocate, and deepen the story.

Finally, the two main characters names, Joss and Jace, are too alike, and it was hard to keep them straight.

My Rating: I loved it.

Dictionaries are for amateurs

I come from a family of avid readers. When other families gather, they play ball or watch sports on TV. We’re confused. Why would they waste precious time doing that? Our get togethers consist of exchanging stacks of books with other siblings. We keep lists of recommended authors on us in case we pass a used-book store and have ten minutes to stop and browse. However we’re not purists who insist on holding an actual paper book, all of us have embraced eBooks. I have the cachet of being the first sib to discover how to check out books on them through the Public Library.

Despite our fear an eReader wouldn’t give the intrinsic pleasure of holding an actual book, the prospect of never being without a book outweighed any misgivings. I now carry, to date, 382 books in my purse on my Kindle. Thus far we’re one hundred percent in the Kindle camp, but we wouldn’t sneer at a Nook user; we would just warn them that if they do buy a Nook, it won’t be compatible and therefore they won’t be able to borrow from us.

However, our prolific reading has an embarrassing downside. It makes us assume we are more knowledgeable than we are. For example, when we happen upon an unknown word we don’t immediately pick up the dictionary – dictionaries are for amateurs. The context of the sentence gives us the meaning of the word. For instance, when I read “Her vermillion handbag, matched her scarlet shoes,” I know that vermillion is a synonym for scarlet and my mind paints it a brilliant tomato red. We look good on paper because we can spell the word and use it correctly and thus continue on in our ignorance.

Our shortsightedness shows up when we have occasion to introduce these new words into our conversation. For example, I was in college before I realized that a false front was not a fuh-kade as I always said in my mind when I read it, it was a fuh-sod. And chaos, pronounced chay-ose in my mind, turned out to be kay-oss. This one is a bummer because I actually like my pronunciation better. The ignorance continued because I became enamored with foe-kuh-chee-uh bread, and scowled when the salesperson didn’t understand what I wanted. She had to gently explain that it was foe-kay-sha bread.

Our most humorous – and David, I hope you’re still in Rwanda and won’t read this – happened at supper when we were teens. Sitting around the table, talking about a supposed friend who had suddenly become stuck-up, David muttered, “He’s so pee-us.” In our conservative God-fearing, Bible-reading home we’d never heard such profanity. Then it clicked. “It’s pious, David, pious.” As in the way of all good stories, it’s become our word for holier-than-thou individuals ever since.

Surely the Brueggemann’s aren’t the only family who suffer from malapropism. Share yours and let us laugh at someone besides ourselves.

Oregon Outback (Romancing America)


Elizabeth Goddard

July 2012

Barbour Books

352 pages


A Synopsis of the Four Books:

Comprising four novellas in one volume: A Love Remembered, A Love Kindled , A Love Risked, and A Love Recovered, is about four brothers journey to find love. It begins with FBI agent Jonas Love who brings trouble back home, endangering his life and that of an old flame. The second is about cattle rancher Carver Love who finds himself falling for the sheriff in the midst of chasing down modern-day rustlers. Thrill-seeker Lucas Love is featured in the third book —  a man who fears nothing until he meets a beautiful bookkeeper. And finally, Justin Love is trailing a fugitive in book four who’s heading too close to home—and one particular lodge keeper. How will God protect these men as they risk their lives to defend the ones they love?  

My Take:

Elizabeth Goddard is a good writer who creates believable likeable characters. The story runs through each novella, linking them together into one enjoyable whole. Unfortunately, my problem with the books is the problem I always have with novellas – they’re too short. I would imagine Ms. Goddard faces the same frustration in writing them that I did in reading them, namely, the extras and embellishments that make romances so much fun to read are missing. In 40,000 words, she must streamline the story and lay out the characters cleanly, which doesn’t allow for any extras that contribute so much to a book. I want to know the particulars about Carver and the sheriff’s original showdown, not a recap. How did Justin Love come to believe he was too dangerous to return to his family? What pivotal event marked his life? Hints aren’t enough for me, nor is the author’s say-so, I want to hear it myself from the characters experiences. Yes, the bare-bones of the background of the story is given, but we don’t experience it and that is a huge drawback.

My Rating: A 3 out of 5 simply because of their brevity.

Make Your Own E-Reader Cover

Have you priced the covers for eReaders? While they are down from the astronomical prices a few years ago, it’s still not uncommon to pay $50 to $100 for a cover. So chances are you only have one. As usual, creative folk have ways to avoid paying those costs, plus make them personalized. A co-worker, Charla, has made several covers for her Kindle, and she allowed me to photograph them and include her instructions for inspiration. Her first one grew out of her childhood love for Nancy Drew. She purchased a book from a thrift shop to use as her cover. It was so darling she grew more adventuresome and now has them created from other books and journals.
Here are the instructions. You will need:
1. Something to turn into a cover: Think books, journals, and notebooks with stiff covers. Remove the pages from inside so you just have a shell.
2. A piece of felt in a coordinating color that is 1/2” larger than the height and width of the cover laid flat.
3. 12” of ¼” sewing elastic – any color you prefer, cut into 4 equal sections.
4. Elmer’s or Tacky glue.
5. Piece of thin cardboard such as a cereal box.
6. Sewing machine – needle & threat would work, machine stitching is more secure

1. Place your reader on the cardboard, trace around it and cut two shapes.

2. Lay your felt on the table below your opened cover and position the two pieces of cardboard in the center of the left-hand and right-hand sides of the felt. Glue the cardboard pieces to the felt, then pull the extra felt around the top and sides, gluing them around the edges. When finished you will have 2 semi-firm sides of a book liner with the spine free. For additional hold while the glue dries, use paperclips to hold edges.

3. Place it right-side up (cardboard hidden) on the table. Using the illustration above, cut four slits in your cover alongside the spine. The slits are approximately 1.5” from the bottom and top of the liner. Insert ½” of one piece of elastic in the slit and sew it to the felt and cardboard, making sure not to stitch the 2 ½ “ that is free.
4. Bring the free edge of the elastic to the bottom of the felt, 1.5” from left-hand corner, curve under the edge, pulling it tight enough so it will be able to hold a corner of your eReader securely in place. Sew the second end through the felt and cardboard.

5. Turn the liner over and cover the left and right sides completely with glue, being careful not to get any on the spine section, and secure to the book back. When dry, you can place the eReader in the loops and it will be secure.

I have included several photos of Charla’s three covers. In one you will notice that her eReader loops are on the left-hand side. She created this one for church, so the reader is on the left and a pad is secured on the right for note taking. If you decide to make one of your own, we’d love to see it and share it on the blog. So send us pictures.

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10 from (Raising Geek Generation 2.0) has listed 67 books they think are important enough that they should be  read aloud to your kids. As a public service, I have listed the Geek’s list of 67 books below.

Keep in mind that it’s a subjective assessment of literature, which has kept me from yelling Why isn’t The Velveteen Rabbit on here? As I perused the list, positive that had probably read each and every one of them, I began to wonder where I’ve been because I’d never heard of several of them.  Like Hugo Cabret. Now that I’ve seen the movie I’m definitely going to read the book.

Some of the picks surprised me like Half Magic. I remember it from my childhood and while enjoyable at 10, not sure it would be memorable enough to make the list. But nostalgia kicked in and I journeyed onto E-bay and discovered that I could get a copy for $4.99. So I ordered it.

If nothing else, the list gives you a jumping off point to find books to enjoy with your children.

  1. Hugo Cabret by BrianSelznik
  2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  3. Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  4. Junie B Jones Is a Party Animal by Barbara Park
  5. Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K.  Rowling
  7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  8. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  9. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  11. Half Magic by Edward Eager
  12. Arabel’s Rave by Joan Aiken
  13. Peter and the Starcatcher by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  14. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
  15. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  16. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  17. The 13-1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
  18. The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gonick
  19. Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams
  20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  21. The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  22. The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
  23. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  24. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  25. Shredderman Series by Wendelin Van Draanen
  26. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  27. The Far Flung Adventures trilogy by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  28. The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
  29. Mrs. Frizby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien
  30. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  31. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  32. Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
  33. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  34. The Search for WonderLa by Tony Diterlizzi
  35. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  36. The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  37. Tales of aFourth Grade Nothing  by Judy Blume
  38. Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White
  39. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  40. The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien
  41. Holes by Louis Sachar
  42. The Big Orange Splot by **
  43. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  44. Stuart Little by E.B.White
  45. The Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson
  46. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg
  47. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  48. Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
  49. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
  50. A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
  51. The House of Dies Drea by Virginia Hamilton
  52. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  53. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  54. Whinn-the-Pooh by A.A. Milner
  55. Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik
  56. A Wrinkle in Tim by Madeleine L’Engle
  57. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  58. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  59. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  60. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  61. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  62. Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel
  63. Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Ryland
  64. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  65. Arthur Writes a Story by Marc Brown
  66. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  67. Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis, especially The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe

Think Only Kids Like to Be Read To? Think Again!

Readers are a snooty lot. We look down on others who ignore a book, and shudder at those who say they’ll wait for the movie to come out. In fact, we generally shun the movie, certain that it cannot equal the book. Readers cannot comprehend someone who admits “I haven’t read a book since high school.”  We’re so pretentious we have our own hierarchy.  The Only Classics readers claim top shelf, the middle ranks are the aficionados of non-fiction, mystery, biography and romance, while the bottom shelves are allotted to lovers of graphic novels.

As an avid reader, imagine my surprise to discover I married a non-reader. Let me clarify that statement: He is a non-recreational reader. He reads a lot in his job as a pastor. And what with sermon research and studying, reports and correspondence, when he gets home all he wants to do is relax in front of the TV. Coming belatedly to the understanding that he is an audio learner I now realize he chooses to relax watching TV because of the audio output.

But I still found myself wishing he read for leisure because there were books I’d like to discuss. One day on a long car trip he got bored and glancing at the book I was reading said, “Why don’t you read it to me?”  I did.  It was The Great Train Robbery by Crichton. We both enjoyed it so much that it started our book-sharing pastime.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of speed readers: We do not read every word.  In fact, we tend to go down the middle of a page, peripherally gathering the words along the edges. However, I discovered that when I read it aloud, I get every word – like a whole new story for me.

Since we began this pastime, we have met several other couples who also enjoy reading aloud. Archie reads to Verna each evening while she crochets, Cora reads to David while he fixes dinner, and Ty reads business/research books to her husband to free up his working hours for other responsibilities.

So if you’re a reader and despair of someone in your family not sharing your addiction. Maybe you can whet their appetite in another way: Read to them.

Three Books and A Desert Island

If you surf the web for any time you find all sorts of interesting ways to waste time.  Surveys and questionnaires abound. and I’m going to use one of them myself to ask: If you were going to a deserted island and could only pack three books, which three would you take?

Here are mine:

The Bible – King James version because the words are beautiful even if sometimes mystifying

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret  Mitchell – I loved it in the eighth grade, and it’s long — an important consideration for a deserted island

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – maybe I’ll finally have time to finish memorizing Sick — I’m up to “…my hip hurts when I move my chin.”

Okay, you’re up.  Which three would you take?