The Bookshelf 6/28/07 |

The Bookshelf 6/28/07

“Five Skies: A Novel” by Ron Carlson. Set in Idaho, this is a simple story of three men, two older and one younger, who spend the summer building a stunt ramp beside a river canyon. The older men both have issues with recent deaths of a loved one, and the young man is drifting and unsure of what to do with a life that began with petty crimes. As the younger man discovers that he has value as the older men mentor him, a healing process begins.

“Life’s A Beach” by Claire Cook. This is a delightful, insightful look at life, love, growing up, and turning 50. Meet the Walsh family: Ginger, still looking for herself at 41; Geri, her BlackBerry obsessed sister who is turning 50; Dad, the take-it-or-leave-it dump diver; and Mom, a Kama Sutra T-shirt wearing parent.

“From The Palmer Raids To The Patriot Act: A History for the Fight of Free Speech in America” by Christopher M. Finan. This is one of the most important and readable books written about the price of freedom in a democracy. Do we want to pay for our freedom and security with our free speech? Timely and urgent, this is an essential book for citizens, politicians, and government officials to read and embrace.

“The Shadow Catcher” by Marianne Wiggins. Wiggins’ latest novel is a fictionalized account of photographer Edward S. Curtis, full of beautiful and lyrical writing about love and loss and art and wonderful accounts of the road trips of the character Marianne Wiggins’ accounts, which complete the story in a unique and impassioned manner.

“The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science” by Natalie Angier. Pulitzer-winning science writer Angier distills everything you’ve forgotten from your high school science classes and more into one enjoyable book, a guide for the scientifically perplexed adult who wants to understand what those guys in lab coats on the news are babbling about in the realms of physics, chemistry, biology, geology or astronomy. More important even than the brief rundowns of atomic theory or evolution – enlivened by interviews with scientists like Brian Greene – are the first three chapters on scientific thinking, probability and measurement. These constitute the basis of a scientific examination of the world. Understand these principles, Angier argues, and suddenly, words like “theory” and “statistically significant” have new meaning. Angier eloquently asks us to attend to the universe – to really look at the stars, at the plants, at the stones around us.


Compiled by owner Stacey Colin at Harmony Books, 231 Broad St. Nevada City, 265-9564. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m-5 p.m.

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