Archive for October, 2011

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1972

This month, we’re traveling back to 1972 – a year of dubious distinction (Watergate happened in 1972, after all). Some of the other things you might remember from that year, if you were sentient:

  • The movie, The Godfather, is released in March, inspiring kids everywhere to fill their cheeks with cotton and begin speaking in a Noo Yawk accent.
  • The Sunshine Mine Fire occurred in Northern Idaho in May, killing 91 workers. It remains one of the worst mine disasters in U.S. history.
  • Apollo 17 lands on the moon in December, the last manned Apollo mission, and the last mission to the moon. Maybe it’s time to go back?

In case you don’t remember 1972 firsthand, or want to experience it again, pick up one of these books from the New York Times Best Seller List for the week of October 29, 1972.   It’s an offer you can’t refuse! (Okay – a little too punny – I can hear you groaning from miles away…)



1 – Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

2 – August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

3 – The Winds of War by Herman Wouk

4 – Semi-Tough by Dan Jenkins

5 – On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt

6 – Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell

7 – To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield

8 – Dark Horse by Fletcher Knebel

9 – My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

10 – A Portion for Foxes by Jane Mcilvaine Mcclary



1 – I’m OK, You’re OK by Thomas Harris

2 – The Peter Prescription by Laurence J. Peter

3 – Eleanor: The Years Alone by Joseph P. Lash

4 – Open Marriage by Nena And George O’Neill

5 – O Jerusalem! by Larry Collins And Dominique Lapierre

6 – Super Money by Adam Smith

7 – Luce and His Empire by W. A. Swanberg

8 – A Nation of Strangers by Vance Packard

9 – Fire in the Lake by Frances Fitzgerald

10 – Paris Was Yesterday by Janet Flanner

The Astor Expedition

Caldron Linn (ISHS)

Two hundred years ago, the Astor Expedition led by Wilson Price Hunt, ventured through our part of Southern Idaho and the recorded history of  this area began. The Astorians were on their way overland to the Pacific (although one group also traveled by sea) to create a fur trading post that they hoped to build into an empire. Although ultimately they do not succeed, they did help to open up this territory; Robert Stuart, in particular, helped to blaze what would become the Oregon Trail.

In celebration of the bicentennial of their arrival in our neck of the woods, we’ve compiled a list of books that will help you learn more about the entire expedition. Titles with an * are non-circulating, but can be perused inside the Library:


Across the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail – Laton McCartney

Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813 – Alexander Ross*

Astoria – Washington Irving

Astoria and Empire – James P. Ronda

Astorian Adventure: The Journal of Alfred Seton, 1811-1815 – Alfred Seton*

Astorians in Idaho – H. L. Craig

By Sea on the Tonquin– Cecil Pearl Dryden*

The Columbia River, or Scenes and Adventures During a Residence of Six Years on the Western Side of the Rocky Mountains Among Various Tribes of Indians Hitherto Unknown, Together with a Journey Across the American Continent – Ross Cox*

The Discovery of the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart’s Narratives of His Overland Trip Eastward from Astoria, 1812-1813 – Robert Stuart

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America – Eric Jay Dolin

Furs by Astor – John Upton Terrell*

On the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart’s Journey of Discovery – edited by Kenneth J. Spaulding

The Overland Diary of Wilson Price Hunt – Wilson Price Hunt*

River to the West: A Novel of the Astor Adventure – John Edward Jennings*

Travels in the Interior of America, in the Years 1809, 1810, and 1811 – John Bradbury*

A Voyage  to the Northwest Coast of America – Gabriel Franchere*

H is for Haunted

I’m not sure why autumn is the perfect season for Halloween; I really can’t imagine the ghosts and goblins that take over at this time of the year trying to haunt us in spring or summer. Maybe we are drawn to the  sense that things in nature are beginning to die, but are not yet dormant. Regardless, it’s definitely an excellent time of year to read a good ghost story (and even though I don’t believe in ghosts, I still love to be spooked).

 Grab one of these titles as you settle down on a crisp, fall night. They all have houses that are being “visited” by spirits —- or do they? Muwahahahaha…


As usual, annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus, and those with an * are recommended by yours truly.


The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

  • Much to his wife’s dismay, Conrad Harrison buys a large, old house in Wisconsin. After a few paranormal incidences in the new house, Conrad’s wife returns to her life in California. His neighbor, Nadia claims to have been victimized by the eerie house and Conrad discovers a body hidden within his home’s wall, they begin a terrifying investigation into the house’s history.

The Good House by Tananarive Due

  • Working to rebuild her law practice after her son commits suicide, Angela Toussaint journeys to the family home where the suicide took place, hoping for answers, and discovers an evil force that is driving locals to acts of violence.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

  • An anthropologist conducts an unusual research project in a reputedly haunted house.

Homebody by Orson Scott Card

  • After losing his daughter in a car wreck, Don Lark buries himself in the work of restoring a magnificent, long-neglected Southern mansion, but when he unearths an old tunnel in the cellar, he stirs up the demons of the house’s tragic past.

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

  • The house next door to the Kennedys appears to be haunted by a mysterious, all-pervasive evil, and the couple watches in horror as a succession of owners becomes engulfed by the same sinister force, until the Kennedys set out to destroy the house themselves.

The House of Lost Souls by Francis Cottam*

  • In an effort to save his student sister from the madness that is threatening the lives of guests at derelict Fischer House, Nick Mason teams up with Paul Seaton, a troubled man who escaped the house a decade earlier, and learns of an unspeakable crime that occurred at the house in the 1920s.

In the Dark of the Night by John Saul

  • The Brewster family’s idyllic summer vacation at Phantom Lake turns to horror when their teenage son and his friends stumble upon a mysterious secret room in their rental home, a room that has a strange influence over the boys.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters*

  • After being summoned to treat a patient at dilapidated Hundreds Hall, Dr. Faraday finds himself becoming entangled in the lives of the owners, the Ayres family, and the supernatural presences in the house.

Lost Boy, Lost Girl by Peter Straub

  • The suicide of a woman and the disappearance of her teenage son, Mark, draws the boy’s uncle, Timothy Underhill, back to his hometown of Millhaven, where his investigation uncovers a neighborhood haunted by a serial killer.

Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell

  • A worried father and his sassy, rebellious teenage daughter find themselves trapped within an apartment house where the voices and spirits of wrongly persecuted witches lie in torment.

The Seance by John Harwood*

  • Growing up with a distant father and a mother in perpetual mourning for a lost child, Constance Langton takes her mother to a seance hoping to help her find peace, only to be left alone to deal with a legacy of a decaying mansion in rural England.

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

  • A man’s attempt to sell a piece of land and the resulting Abenaki tribe’s protest that it is a sacred burial ground spurs an investigation by ghost hunter Ross Wakeman, who discovers a long-hidden murder haunting a small Vermont town.

The Shining by Stephen King*

  • Jack Torrance sees his stint as winter caretaker of a Colorado hotel as a way back from failure, his wife sees it as a chance to preserve their family, and their five-year-old son sees the evil waiting just for them.

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

  • The story unfolds with the arrival of a new governess at a remote country estate. She has been hired by the uncle of two young orphans to take complete charge of the children’s lives and upbringing. Her first peaceful weeks are disturbed by the apparition of the ghosts of two evil servants who once served in the house.

A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons

  • Returning to the small Illinois town of his childhood to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, Dale Stewart leases an empty farmhouse of a long-dead friend, who had been murdered in the summer of 1960, and finds that the house is haunted.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

  • A classic ghost story set in a small English community follows the experiences of an up-and-coming solicitor who while endeavoring to settle a deceased client’s affairs is haunted by bizarre phenomena before he is approached by a ghostly figure. (Movie comes out Feb 2012.)


A Gem of a Read

Idaho is known as the “Gem State” because virtually every type of gemstone in the world is found here – including the rare star garnet, which is found in only two places on Earth (the Himalayas being the other). But I would guess that most of us know little beyond gems other than the ones we see at the jewelry store. Here are a few resources to boost your knowledge – and some might even give you the inspiration to go exploring on your own.



Color Encyclopedia of Gemstones by Joel E. Arum

The Gem and Mineral Collector’s Guide to Idaho by Lanny R. Ream

Gems: A Lively Guide for the Casual Collector by Daniel J. Dennis

Gems and Crystals from the American Museum of Natural History by Anna S. Sofianides

Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann

Idaho Gold and Gems Maps: Then and Now

Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay

Minerals and Gems by John Sampson White

Pan for Gold and Gems at Potential Highway/Stream Crossings in Idaho by David Walker

Rock and Gem by Ra Bonewitz

The Rockhound and Prospector’s Bible: A Reference and Study Guide to Rocks, Minerals, Gemstones, and Prospecting by L. J. Ettinger

The Treasure Hunter’s Gem & Mineral Guides to the U.S.A.. Volume 1, Northwest States: Where & How to Dig, Pan, and Mine Your Own Gems & Minerals by Kathy J. Rygle



American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

The British Monarchy: Crown Jewels Gallery

Idaho Department of Lands: Gemstone Guide

International Colored Gemstone Association

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Department of Mineral Sciences