Seventh Anniversary Celebration

Coming up on January 12th, we are going to be celebrating seven years in the bookselling business! Time flies and, even though it’s been a rough road sometimes (literally, have you seen the construction on our street?) we are going strong and loving every step on our journey.

We thought that, especially this coming year, it would be fabulous to have a celebration right in the shop to commemorate seven years and ring in many more to come. And what better way to celebrate a bookshop than with an open mic reading? Volunteers will be taking the stage to read their favorite poems or bits of prose, either from published works or their own writing. It will be an all ages event, but wine will be served.

Along with a cake. Obviously.

Doing a reading isn’t required for anyone coming to the celebration, but it is highly encouraged. If you would like to reserve a time to do a reading, contact the shop through phone or facebook.

Local Authors Open House

With the construction of the plaza making downtown Caldwell harder to navigate, our local businesses are taking a hit. However, the literary community continues to have a vibrant home at the Rubaiyat bookstore.

On Saturday the 18th, the Rubaiyat bookshop in downtown Caldwell hosted the first Local Author Open House. The cozy shop was chock full of authors of books spanning genres and age groups, from paranormal romance, to poetry, to non-fiction and everything in between. Snacks were eaten and friends were made at this comfortable, motivational event. Writers can tend to be an introverted bunch, so events like this are great for getting artists together to support one another and make connections with like minds. It was also a good opportunity for book lovers to come and visit with the authors of some of the great books sold at the bookstore.

The bookshop also hosts a local authors book club, where anyone can come and read books written by people in our own community and discover local talent.

The Rubaiyat bookstore is well on it’s way to becoming a hub of the creative community in Caldwell. With events like the authors open house, the local authors book club, and an upcoming open-Mic poetry event, the Rubaiyat is there to support local artists and book lovers. As the construction downtown makes it more and more difficult for the small businesses who have made their home there, it’s more important than ever for the community to, in turn, support our friends doing business downtown.

Book Review: A Town Like Alice

Nevil Shute (Norway) was an English novelist and aeronautical engineer. A Town Like Alice is a story about working for what you want.  It is also a love story.

Englishwoman Jean Paget survives a Japanese death walk during World War II only to find that she cannot return to the youthful interests of the pre-war girl.  Coming into an inheritance, she returns to Malaysia to repay kindness received from the natives during her ordeal.  While there, she discovers that Joe, the young Australian man who helped her during the war, has also survived.  Jean decides to go to Australia to find Joe, stopping briefly in Alice Springs, a lovely town in the Australian outback. Continuing her search, Jean arrives in Willstown, a scattering of buildings near the station where Joe is employed.  Willstown residents have outbackitis, the firm belief that because it is located in the outback of Australia that it will never be anything. And, indeed, there are few women and no reason for women to stay  there. And no Joe because he has gone to England to search for her.  While Jean waits for Joe’s return, she turns her mind to ways to improve Willstown.  Since Alice Springs is a lovely town, it must be possible.  And you will have to read the book for the rest of the story!

Shute’s writing style is brisk and spare; his story lines are clean with well rounded characters and clean endings.  I think “A Town Like Alice” should be required senior year reading.

 

Book Review: Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker

Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker

Mildred Walker (Schemm) (May 2, 1905 – May 27, 1998) an American novelist, who published 12 novels, was nominated for the National Book Award. She graduated from Wells College and from the University of Michigan. She was a faculty member at Wells College from 1955 to 1968.

I have received many requests for this book over the last five years, so when a copy finally crossed my desk, I moved it to the top of my reading pile.

Winter Wheat is a classic “coming of age” novel published in 1944.  This classic story is now a women’s history lesson and an accurate history of the settling of the west between World War I and World War II.  

The story opens with Ellen’s hopes of attending university in Minnesota. Away from the family wheat ranch for the first time, Ellen finds love and believes her future settled.  When her city fiancé is dismayed by his visit to the dry-land wheat ranch and calls off their marriage, complicated by a poor harvest, Ellen is left adrift and unable to return to university. The following winter is a time of maturing and learning to cope with life. Her adventures will seem horrific to the young women of today, but are much like my own mother’s stories of her girlhood.

This is a well written book, interesting as both a coming of age novel for girls as well as a history. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in agricultural history, women’s history or Montana history.

Book Review: Wild Berries of the West

Wild Berries of the West by Betty B. Derig and Margaret C. Fuller, illustrated by Mimi Osborne

 

Betty B. Derig has a master’s in history from the University of Montana. Derig has written numerous articles and four books on western history, including Roadside History of Idaho. Margaret C. Fuller has a biology degree from Stanford University and is a freelance writer.

Wild Berries of the West covers the northwest from the Rocky Mountains to the pacific coast, north to British Columbia and south into northern Mexico.  It is well written with beautiful identification photographs of many of the listed plants.  This field guide includes Native American lore, recipes, medicinal uses and gardening tips. The illustrated glossary of plant parts is clear and easily understood.

Wild Berries of the West is a good, solid field guide that would fit into the libraries of both the beginning naturalist and advanced survivalist.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in native flora

Book Review: Unrestrained Behavior

Unrestrained Behavior by Jerry Summers

 

Jerry Summers, former Chief of Police of McCall, Idaho, holds an undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry and a master’s degree in business administration in marketing from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.  Summers also has extensive experience in the various law enforcement fields.

Summers third book in his “Un” series has wonderfully twisted plot lines that carry through to a clean finally.  Wendy, domestic violence councilor, has taken her need to help her clients to new heights. Suicides and accidents are stacking up around her. She has new wealth and a new love interest, as well as new plans for the future.

Unrestrained Behavior is well written and readable. I would recommend it for adults who enjoy mysteries and thrillers, but suggest that they read the first two books in the series first.

Book Review: Uncontrolled Spin and Unmerited Favor

Uncontrolled Spin and Unmerited Favor by Jerry Summers

Jerry Summers holds an undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry and a master’s degree in business administration in marketing from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.  Summers also has extensive experience in the various law enforcement fields. Uncontrolled Spin, book one of a planned four-part series, is Summers debut novel. Unmerited Favor picks up the story line with no background introduction. I will be reviewing them as a single book.

Summers writes action scenes that are brilliant, bringing the characters and story to sparkling life. Characters begin as classic archetypes, the gold digger, the dumb blonde, the arrogant male, and do not progress into well rounded people except during action scenes. Summers plot lines are complex and interesting.  The books feature high-stakes marketing venture, serial murder, corporate espionage and romance.

In spite of the flaws typical of a debut novel, I plan on reading the third segment of Jerry Summers’ story which is due to be released in July of this year. This new author shows possibilities for future greatness.

Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is an American author and screen writer. She has written eight books, adult and young adult novels.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a delightful story about a bookstore. Fikry, recently widowed, is cranky, drinks too much and has no vision of a future worth bothering with. His bookstore, brainchild of his deceased wife, is failing and he doesn’t really care. Drunken, he dreams of his wife while someone steals his very desirable, first edition Edgar Allen Poe. Life changes soon after, when an odd gift is left for him at the bookstore. Life, once again, becomes interesting for Fikry.

Zevin is spare with her words. Description is used when it is necessary for the story, but does not clutter the stage. There are no unnecessary characters. This is a quick read, well worth an afternoon. It is hard to write about this book without giving away spoilers.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is my new number one must read, almost more so than A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. Those of you who have shopped at The Rubaiyat have probably already read A Town Like Alice, either to humor me or get me off of your back. Prepare to read Fikry.

Book Review: On the Trail of Bronco Billy

On the Trail of Bronco Billy, Third Edition, by Sandy Kershner

Sandy Kershner has put great energy and enthusiasm into recording the filming of Bronco Billy, directed by Clint Eastwood, as well as starring Clint Eastwood.

On the Trail of Bronco Billy is a marvel of local history, from locations to people.  Kershner interviewed many of the people who were extras in the movie as well as people who interacted with the cast casually. Her personal histories are capped with current information about the people she interviewed. Kershner includes historical information about locations used in the movie and added current information, as well.

This is a wonderful local history source. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the community, whether they liked the movie or not.

Book Review: Make Me Burn, Isle of the Forgotten #1 by Tiffany Roberts

Make Me Burn, Isle of the Forgotten #1 by Tiffany Roberts

Tiffany Roberts is the pseudonym for Tiffany and Robert Freund, a husband and wife writing duo.
Tiffany was born and bred in Idaho, and Robert was a native of New York City before moving across
the country to be with her. The two have always shared a passion for reading and writing, and it is
their dream to combine their mighty powers to create the sorts of books they want to read. They live
in southwestern Idaho with their three children, where they are now actively pursuing their dream.
Make Me Burn, Isle of the Forgotten #1, ‘Tiffany Roberts’ debut novel, is a paranormal romance.
Demon Morthanion is stripped of his magic and exiled to the Isle of the Forgotten by the mage
council. On the isle, he finds the love of his life and sets about courting her. The characters develop
though out the book, gaining a surprising depth for the genre. The plot is classic, but contains several
interesting twists that will enchant most romance readers. Over all, this is an excellent debut novel.
I will be recommending this young author duo to customers who enjoy romance novels and am
looking forward to following their career.