Mining in Idaho

Join us tonight at 6:30 PM for a presentation by Tom Blanchard (as part of our “Explore Earth” exhibit) on the political and environmental ramifications of early mining in Idaho. Then, to satisfy your curiosity, “dig” into one of these books to learn even more about the Gem State:


The Ballyhoo Bonanza: Charles Sweeny and the Idaho Mines by John Fahey

Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas

Cabal of Death: Harry Orchard and His Associates in Murder in the Western Mining Wars by Robert G. Grimmett

Chinese Gold Mining at the Mon-Tung Site in the Snake River Canyon by Ronald L. James

Cobalt: The Legacy of the Blackbird Mine by Russell Steele

Coeur D’Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho by Richard G. Magnuson

The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America’s Richest Silver Mine by Gregg Olsen

For Wood River or Bust: Idaho’s Silver Boom of the 1880s by Clark C. Spence

Idaho’s Bonanza Years: Ghost Towns, Their History and How to Find Them by Rex Painter

Idaho’s Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 by Katherine G. Aiken

Mining Idaho’s History: Metal Mining in Idaho 1860-1960: A Mining Context for Idaho by Kathryn L. McKay

Southern Idaho Ghost Towns by Wayne C. Sparling

The Sunshine Mine Disaster by James Brock



Tee_globehe EXPLORE EARTH exhibit arrives in just a few days – Wed, Aug 24, to be exact! The exhibit will offer a chance for visitors of all ages to learn more about science in a fun, interactive way. There will be a number of informational panels, some great hands-on learning tools, and a computer kiosk with cool STEM activities.

Plus, we’re planning a number of events to stimulate interest in local science topics – with an”earth” based theme, of course. From geology talks to nature walks, we’ve got a program for every age and interest, so drop in and participate!

Here’s what’s going on:



MINING IN IDAHO with TOM BLANCHARD – Thu, Aug 25 – 6:30 PM

Tom, a former CSI professor, will be here to talk about the impact of the political and environmental decisions made during the early mining period in Idaho. Sponsored in part by the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.



Get inspired by nature and show off your creativity! Write a poem about your observations of our earth, submit it before October 9, and you might win a prize. All ages.


KIDS CLUB MOVIE  – Wed, Aug 31 – 4:00 PM

A lonely robot falls in love and goes on an adventure that will change his life, life on Earth, and humanity.


TFPL BOOK CLUB – Tue, Sep 13 – 5:30 PM

Join us for a lively discussion of John McPhee’s look at our Great Basin region in Basin and Range.



If you’ve ever wanted to learn how grow succulents (and learn more about gardening), drop in!


FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT – Thu, Sep 22 – 6:00 PM

Bring the whole clan in for the epic adventure of  three animal families and their journey across the planet. Plus, we’ll have some great take-home activities and booklists!



We’ll be at City Park with a bunch of cool science demonstrations, crafts, stories, and more – like snakes from the Herrett Center – for the whole family to enjoy!



Explore the great natural history galleries at the Center, then take in storytime, a craft, and a planetarium show! (The galleries, story, and craft are free; the planetarium show has a separate fee.)


KIDS CLUB: SCIENCE SQUAD – Wed, Sep 28 – 4:00 PM

How’s the weather? Our experiments today will focus on how weather and climate play a part in our everyday lives. (For kids grades 1-5.)


NATURE DETECTIVES – Sat, Oct 8 – All Day!

Pick up a Nature Kit at the Reference Desk – we’ll have one for every age group – then go explore! And, while you’re investigating, we hope you’ll be inspired to write a poem for the Poetry Contest!



Andrew will join us to share his new film documenting the  impact of the Carey Act – which brought irrigation and  increased settlement  – and created the “Magic Valley.”


KIDS CLUB: CRAFT DAY – Wed, Oct 19 – 4:00 PM

Come in, learn about rocks, choose a favorite, and make it a pet! (For kids grades 1-5.)


LET’S TALK ABOUT IT – Wed, Oct 19  – 6:30 PM

As part of our LTAI series, we’re reading and discussing Pulitzer Prize winners. Join us tonight for Annie Dillard’s nature classic, The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.



Shawn, geology professor at CSI, will be presenting a unique look at the amazing geology of Southern Idaho, sharing his favorite sites, and showing us how to look at our environment with new eyes.

Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet was organized by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Take Ten: Olympic Fever!

The 2016 Rio Olympics are underway, and like usual, many of us are captivated by the human stories. We all have our favorite sports – and most likely, favorite Olympic memories of those sports – so it’s always fun to settle down and have a shared experience with like-minded others from around the world.

But, in case watching is not enough, here are a number of books about the Olympics to “dive” into – when you get a break from all the coverage, that is…


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics – Daniel Brown

  • Describes how a group of working class youths from the University of Washington rowing team emerged from obscurity to defeat a field of elite international rivals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team – Wayne R. Coffey

  • Looks back at one of the greatest moments of twentieth-century sports history, the victory of the U.S. hockey team over the Soviet Union, assessing the meaning of the triumph and the paths of the players and coaches on both sides since 1980.

Igniting the Flame: America’s First Olympic Team – Jim Reisler

  • Discusses the organization of the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympics, and how difficult it was for the American team which had virtually no support heading into the games.

The Games: A Global History of the Olympics – David Goldblatt

  • The definitive sports and social history of the modern Olympic Games—by one of the most celebrated sportswriters of our time.

The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games – Tony Perrottet

  • A history of the original Olympic games depicts the events of the first competitions more than 1,200 years ago, during which tens of thousands of sweltering-hot spectators watched nude athletes participate in such events as hoplitodromia, a full-armor sprint, and the pankration, a no-holds-barred lethal brawl.

Rome, 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World – David Maraniss

  • An exploration of the changes occurring in the world: the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand. In the heat of the Cold War, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections, and every move was judged for propaganda value. While East and West Germans competed as a unified team, less than a year before the Berlin Wall, there was a dispute over the two Chinas.

Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World – Andy Bull

  • Traces the efforts of four American athletes from disparate backgrounds to win the gold medal for bobsledding during the 1932 Olympics, profiling how the American public, deep in the grip of the Great Depression, rallied around their achievements.

Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics – Sue Macy

  • Looks at the history of the Olympic Games, from their origins in ancient Greece, through their rebirth in nineteenth-century France, to the present, highlighting the contributions of individuals to the Games’ success and popularity.

The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory – Julie Checkoway

  • Offers an inspiring story of how a group of poor Japanese-American kids from Hawaii were transformed into Olympic-level swimming champions.

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics – Jeremy Schaap

  • A look at the accomplishments of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games draws on interviews, family sources, and archival research to provide a portrait of a remarkable man in relation to the intrigues, controversies, and political machinations that took place.


Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus. Log in to NoveList Plus, with your TFPL card,  for more book information.

End of Summer Reading :(

Adult Summer Reading came to a close last Saturday, and we had a great time – it seems we see more participants every year! More than 100 adults this year attempted our reading challenges, interacted with our digital resources, and attended our fun Library programs. We heard great feedback, everything from “Thanks – I read something I wouldn’t normally have read” to “Are you going to do this event again soon?”. We had fun putting it all together, so we’re glad to hear you had fun! On to next year…

For a list of our winners – and a few photos of events – check out our Facebook page.

The Way Back Machine – 1969

The Way Back Machine is ready to take another trip, so let’s venture back to 1969. It was a big year for big events – you might remember Woodstock, or the Manson murders, or the Miracle Mets, but there were a few other things happening as well:

  • Led Zeppelin releases its first two albums (Jan and Oct).
  • Legend Judy Garland dies (Jun).
  • Sesame Street premieres (Nov).

In case you want to see what else we were interested in, check out these titles from the New York Times Best Sellers list from the week of July 27, 1969. Groovy.



1. The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann

2. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

3. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

4. Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

6. Except For Me and Thee by Jessamyn West

7. The Pretenders by Gladys Rockmore Davis

8. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

9. The Goodbye Look by Ross MacDonald

10. New Moon Rising by Eugenia Price



1. The Peter Principle by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull

2. Jennie by Ralph G. Martin

3. Between Parent & Teenager by Haim G. Ginott

4. The Kingdom and the Power by Gay Talese

5. Ernest Hemingway by Carlos Baker

6. The Making of the President 1968 by Theodore H. White

7. An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir by Lillian Hellman

8. A Long Row Of Candles by C.L. Sulzberger

9. The Money Game by “Adam Smith”

10. The 900 Days by Harrison E. Salisbury


Take Ten: You Can Do Magic…

Those of us living here in the Magic Valley tend to equate magic with water. After all, we’d be a land of lava rocks and sagebrush if Perrine and his investors hadn’t crafted an irrigation system to water our high desert. But our list today deals with a more ‘common’ idea of magic – that of using mysterious forces to influence our surroundings. The following books all deal with magicians, whether they are simple sleight of hand practitioners or if they practice on a more mystical level. Regardless of your choice, you’ll probably find that the outside world seems to disappear as you’re reading… without even waving a wand.


The Bullet Trick – Louise Welch

  • Delighted when his agent books him for a series of Berlin cabaret appearances, mentalist and conjurer William Wilson soon finds himself in over his head thanks to some dangerous after-hours work and dark secrets from his past.

Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold

  • In 1920, Charles Carter, known as Carter the Great, who became a master illusionist out of loneliness and desperation, creates the most outrageous stunt of all, involving President Harding–one that could cause his downfall.

Dreams and Shadows – Robert C. Cargill

  • Swapped for a changeling by the Bendith Y Mamau when he was just an infant, Ewan Thatcher grows up in the Limestone Kingdom — a magical realm located, oddly enough, just outside of Austin, Texas. But Ewan isn’t the only human to end up in this mythical place. Thanks to the intervention of the djinn Yashar, young Colby Stephens gets his wish: to become a wizard. But life in the Limestone Kingdom is far from paradise: scheming gods and fairies have their own plans for their mortal wards.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke

  • In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norrell, who has regained some of the power of England’s magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell’s pupil.

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

  • Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

The Magician’s Assistant – Ann Patchett

  • After the death of a homosexual magician, his female assistant journeys from Los Angeles to Nebraska in search of the man’s hidden past and discovers his estranged family, as well as the love she has always been denied.

The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister

  • Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder–or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

  • A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

The Paper Magician – Charlie Holmberg

  • Bound to a magic she never wanted, a young apprentice falls deeper into its mysteries when she must use everything she’s learned from her master in order to save him, and his heart.

Zig Zag Girl – Elly Griffiths

  • Investigating a murder committed in the style of a famous magic trick, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens reconnects with an illusionist friend from World War II to uncover links to their special ops service.


Annotations are from NoveList Plus, a great database that provides even more cool book and author information. Log in to NoveList Plus using your TFPL card.

Summer Reading 2016 Challenge: Books into Movies

Ready for another Summer Reading challenge? This one is not too hard, I promise!

Pick up a book, any book, that has been made into a movie or a television show. Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy – am I right? In fact, to make it even simpler, here’s a personally recommended list of books (and below that, a list of even more choices).

What’s the catch, you say? Well, all you have to do is write a 5 page essay comparing your book to its film and contrasting the ways in which…. just kidding! Read and relax and enjoy the rest of your summer🙂.


11/22/63 – Stephen King

King’s novel takes readers back in time – via a wormhole – to try and stop JFK’s assassination. The novel is a big read, but it moves fast, and the alternate history aspects are fascinating. (Watch the miniseries starring James Franco on Hulu).


84, Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff

Can a book be both heartwarming and snarky? If so, this is it. A memoir, told in letters, between a feisty NY reader and a stuffy British bookseller. And, with a movie that stars both Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, you can’t go wrong.


Catch Me if You Can: The Amazing True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit – Frank W. Abagnale

Read the book for the incredible details of Frank Abagnale’s true life of crime and deceit, then watch Spielberg’s movie for the stunning cinematography and the performances of Tom Hanks and Leo DiCaprio.


A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Read this classic out of season for a twist; the humor and heart still shine through even if it’s not snowing! Then, watch whatever version of the movie – muppets, animated, Patrick Stewart-ified – you love most.


The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

One of my favs – both the movie and the book. Ondaatje is lyrical, and this love story, set in Italy during WWII, offers a great escape from the busy-ness of summer. The movie, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture, is also worth a view.


Illumination in the Flatwoods: A Season Living Among the Wild Turkey – Joe Hutto

If you haven’t seen the Nature documentary, My Life as a Turkey, you should definitely watch this fascinating account of one man and his attempt to raise a brood of wild turkeys in Florida. Then, pick up the book for more insight and Hutto’s great sketches.


The Leftovers – Tom Perotta

What happens after the Rapture comes and people disappear? How do the survivors deal with loss, love, and the fear of the unknown? Perrotta’s book is not necessarily about the spirituality of the moment, but of the reality. (The HBO miniseries uses the book as a basis, but goes beyond Perrotta’s original story.)


The Martian – Andy Weir

Read this book, about an astronaut left alone on Mars, first – it’s way funnier than the movie. Then buckle down with the movie, starring Matt Damon, to get an incredible visual experience of what “stranded on Mars” means.


The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith

If you’re looking for a fun, light read, check out the first in McCall Smith’s set of stories about Botswana’s dedicated and intrepid female detective, Precious Ramotswe. The first few books in the series have been made into an excellent BBC/HBO miniseries.


Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel features a number of linked short stories revealing the personality and story of a somewhat cantankerous Maine woman. The title character is portrayed by Frances McDormand in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries.


The Spies of Warsaw – Alan Furst

If you haven’t read Furst before, Spies is a good place to start. This espionage novel – set just at the cusp of WWII – combines the best aspects of the genre: a somewhat mysterious spy, a number of close (and missed) calls, and the possibility of a romance. When you’re done reading, check out the BBC miniseries. (The jazz soundtrack is excellent!)



As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride – Cary Elwes

Okay, so this one wasn’t a book first, but it’s a great behind-the-scenes look at what happens when you make a movie from a beloved book (which you should also read, by the way). Elwes explores the cast, the scenes, and the extraordinary story of how such a small film blossomed into a cult classic. An awesome way to spend a summer afternoon or two!


And for more books into movies, here’s a list from Goodreads. Read on!


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