Archive for June, 2013

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1996

We won’t go too far back this week – 17 years ago doesn’t seem that long ago to me, at least. So, let’s look at 1996. The Olympics were held in Atlanta that year, and the Nintendo 64 came out in the summer. Here are a few other events you might remember:

  • In January, France conducts the last atom bomb test.
  • In July, the first cloned mammal, Dolly, is born in Scotland.
  • In August, the Prince Charles and Princess Diana are formally divorced.

And what were we reading? Check out this New York Times Best Sellers list from the week of June 30.



1. The Runaway Jury by John Grisham

2. How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry Mcmillan

3. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

4. The Tenth Insight by James Redfield

5. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

6. I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn

7. Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark

8. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

9. The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer

10. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

11. Malice by Danielle Steel

12. Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara

13. Sudden Prey by John Sandford

14. Primary Colors by Anonymous

15. Drink with the Devil by Jack Higgins



1. Bad as I Wanna Be by Dennis Rodman with Tim Keown

2. The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams

3. Outrage by Vincent Bugliosi

4. In Contempt by Christopher A. Darden with Jess W. Alter

5. No Shirt. No Shoes. . . . No Problem! by Jeff Foxworthy

6. Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose

7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

8. I Lived to Tell It All by George Jones with Tom Carter

9. Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot by Al Franken

10. Blood Sport: The President and His Adversaries by James B. Stewart

11. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

12. Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America by Roger Morris

13. How Could You Do That?! by Laura Schlessinger

14. The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore

15. Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

16. The Rants by Dennis Miller


Take Ten: Growing Up in Famous Families

I can remember times when I was convinced I was growing up in the wrong family. My real parents were probably royalty somewhere, and I was surely missing out on being a true princess. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one who harbored such fantasies. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be a part of a well-known family, pick up one of these memoirs. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener (even if you don’t have to mow it).


Astor Orphan: A Memoir – Alexandra Aldrich

  • A descendant of a great American plutocratic dynasty who grew up in the servants’ quarters of Rokeby, the Astor family’s beautiful mansion, reveals how she was able to impose order on her anarchic world.

Composed – Roseanne Cash

  • Cash writes compellingly about her upbringing in Southern California as the child of country legend Johnny Cash, and of her relationships with her mother and her famous stepmother, June Carter Cash.

Dead End Gene Pool: A Memoir – Wendy Burden

  • A descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt presents an insider’s tour of America’s old-money wealthy class, profiling the members of her dysfunctional family while identifying toxic factors and behaviors that have influenced their downfall.

Dumbfounded: A Memoir – Matt Rothschild

  • A candid, poignant, often humorous memoir describes growing up as a chubby Jewish kid under the care of his grandmother after his mother leaves him for Italy and her fourth husband, his troubled childhood, his sexual confusion, and his struggle to fit into the genteel world of Upper East Side Manhattan and his eccentric and dysfunctional family.

High on Arrival – MacKenzie Phillips

  • The author, best known for her role on the sitcom “One Day at a Time,” reveals her story of growing up in a legendary rock-and-roll family, the demons she has battled, and the redemption and peace she ultimately found.

Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir – David Rieff

  • A tribute to writer Susan Sontag and her final battle with cancer, written by her son, relates the human experience of being close to someone who is gravely ill and evaluates the current state of cancer research and treatment.

Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption – Christopher Lawford

  • The son of actor Peter Lawford and JFK’s sister, Patricia, describes his privileged childhood alongside the offspring of other famous celebrities and politicians and his struggles with alcohol and heroin addiction.

This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing up Gotti – Victoria Gotti

  • Victoria Gotti, the daughter of reputed Gambino mob boss John Gotti, presents a rousing memoir of life in the household of New York’s most infamous Mafia Don. Chronicling her childhood, her father’s unsavory occupation, and her subsequent fortunes in adulthood

Under a Wing: A Memoir – Reeve Lindbergh

  • The children’s book author describes her famous father’s harsh discipline, her mother’s love, and the lasting effects of her brother’s death.

Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

  • A memoir based on the author’s one-woman show describes growing up with celebrity parents, her early success in “Star Wars,” battle with addiction and mental illness, turbulent romances, role as a single mother, and struggle for recovery and healing.


Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus. Log into NoveList Plus with your TFPL Library card.


Great Online Resource – Genealogy Websites

Did you know that the Library provides access to the two biggest genealogy databases on the web? If you are interested in tracking your family history – or if you’re already doing it – you may be interested in looking through Heritage Quest and

Heritage Quest can be accessed both inside the Library and from home. It’s funded by the Idaho Commission for Libraries, so it’s open to all citizens of Idaho (regardless of whether you have a library card or not). Click here to get to the page (Libraries Linking Idaho), and then click on the Heritage Quest Online logo at the bottom of the page. All you need to sign in is your zip code and city of residence.

You don’t need to sign in to anything to use, but you do have to be inside the Library. Use the TFPL computers for an hour each day with your Library card, or bring in your own laptop. Just go to our website,, and click “” under the Reference heading on the right. Have fun!

And, if you’re just getting started, don’t forget that we have a program next week just for you. John Cox, from the Family History Library, will be here to give some tips, tricks, and techniques for plotting your family tree.

Genealogy for Beginners

Thursday, June 20

1:00 PM


The Saga of Family

Our focus for Summer Reading in June is “Digging into the Past.” Looking into your own family history is a popular pastime, but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at someone else’s family issues (after all, you can’t spell dysfunctional without ‘fun’). The following books are all sagas about families – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pick one up and forget about the drama in your own family for awhile.


The Forsyte Saga (All three novels included in one book: The Forstye Saga) by James Galsworthy

  • The saga begins with Soames Forsyte, a successful British solicitor who buys land at Robin Hill on which to build a house for his wife Irene and future family. Eventually, the Forsyte family begins to disintegrate when Timothy Forsyte, the last of the old generation, dies at the age of 100.

Kent Family Chronicles (Book 1: The Bastard) by John Jakes

  • Begins with the the illiterate son of a French nobleman who flees Europe to join in the turbulent events that began the American Revolution, and covers the growth of America until the 1890s.

Williamsburg Saga (Book 1: Dawn’s Early Light) by Elswyth Thane

  • The lives of several generations of two families, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with events of WWII.

The Century Trilogy (Book 1: The Fall of Giants) by Ken Follett

  • Following four families, Follett traces their lives from the beginnings of WWI through the Cold War.

Morland Dynasty (Book 1: The Founding) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

  • A series of 34+ novels tracing the lives of the Morland family of York, England from the War of the Roses in the 14th Century through the Jazz Age of the 2oth.

The Sackett Series (Book 1: Sackett’s Land) by Louis L’Amour

  • A look at the lives of members of the Sackett clan as they emigrate to America from England, covering the expansion of the West.

The Courtney Novels (Book 1: When the Lion Feeds) by Wilbur Smith

  • Chronicles the lives of the Courtney family as they settle and live in South Africa, from the 1600s through the 1980s.

Ravenscar Trilogy (Book 1: The Ravenscar Dynasty) – Barbara Taylor Bradford

  • Beginning at the turn of the 20th Century, this series follows members of the successful Deravanel family through the early part of the 20th Century.

Immigrants Series (Book 1: The Immigrants) by Howard Fast

  • Follows the lives of three California families from the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 through the rest of the 20th Century.

The House of Winslow (Book 1: The Honorable Imposter) by Gilbert Morris

  • These 40 novels cover the Winslow family from their arrival in North America on the Mayflower through WWII.