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Another Way to Shop Local This Year

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I often receive books in the mail to review, particularly when they’re written by local authors. Because we don’t have a regular ‘book review’ feature in this magazine, these books constitute an ever-growing pile at the edge of my desk, waiting for the opportune time to write about them in bulk.

Guess what? It’s now an opportune time, as thoughts turn to the holidays (yes, it really is time to think about shopping for Christmas). When you’re looking to give a gift, what could be better than sharing some of the local knowledge and talent that’s represented by this collection? Most are of a size that’s perfect for stuffing a stocking, and all demonstrate the high level of storytelling talent we find in our communities. Consider the following:

Body of a Dancer. By Renee D’Aoust. 

Published by Etruscan Press and selling at retail for $15, this 171-page paperback is a story of Renee’s time as a modern dancer in New York in the 90s, including her training at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance. 

Renee, who spends part of her time in Clark Fork and part of her time in Switzerland, is a gifted writer telling a gritty story of the brutal life of a dancer today.

You can purchase this book directly from Etruscan Press ($12, http://tinyurl.com/b4oxrbw), online at Amazon, or from local booksellers.

The Friction of Desire. By Sandy Compton

Yes, that’s our Sandy Compton, and The Friction of Desire (it’s not what you might think) is his fifth book. Published by his own Blue Creek Press, the 190-page fictional paperback tells the story of Larry —60, depressed, and a recovering addict—as he tells it in a series of meetings with his psychiatrist. 

Sandy, whose column, The Scenic Route, is a regular feature in these pages, writes in a way that all can identify with as he tells the stories of love, pain, fear and redemption that weave through all lives.

You can purchase the book directly from CreateSpace ($12.95, http://tinyurl.com/a2bo5vq), online at Amazon, or from local booksellers.

Hunted. By Dale Selle

Published by the Bonner County Historical Society, Hunted tells “the true story of outlaw Mike Donnelly and his sidekicks, whose history of crime and punishment in the Pacific Northwest—including the murder of William Crisp at Hope, Idaho in 1923—spanned a period of 40 years.” This book offers a unique view of life in our area in the early decades of the last century.

Dale Selle was a high school teacher in Washington and Idaho for almost 20 years before spending the next two decades as a volunteer for the local historical society.

The 220-page paperbook can be purchased at the museum (611 S. Ella in Sandpoint), or with a credit card by phone (208-263-2344) for $18. 

Jailhouse Grub­­—Sanders County Jail Recipes & and History of Old Jail Museum. By Fredi Pargenter

A 103-page, comb-bound paperback published by the Sanders County Historical Society, Jailhouse Grub looks at local history through the eyes (and records) of the county jail. Included are biographies of all the sheriffs who served at the jail, plus some of their more famous cases, interspersed with dozens of vintage photographs and almost 50 recipes of food served in the jail (cooked by the sheriffs’ wives). “Wild game, fish, berries, lots of potatoes and farm-grown vegetables were the main ingredients of jailhouse grub” and the book features several wild game recipes.

You can buy the book locally in Thompson Falls for $10, or purchase by mail (the $12 includes shipping) from SCHS, PO Box 74, Thompson Falls, MT 59873.

Legendary Lake Pend Oreille Idaho’s Wilderness of Water. By Jane Fritz and Friends

Although we’ve mentioned this book before in the River Journal it’s well worth another mention.

Published by Keokee Books, this 419-page paperback includes hundreds of photos, including 16 pages of the legendary work of Ross Hall, plus 16 full-color plates.

A collection of stories introduces you to the 111-mile story of this truly legendary lake, including public recreation sites, paddle routes, guides to the lake’s fish and fisheries, plus a guide to more than 30 hiking trails along the lakeshore.

Author Jane Fritz is an award-winning environmental journalist and oral historian, and is joined in these pages by local writers Kevin Davis, Gary Hassler, Cate Huisman, Marianne Love, Heather McElwain, Patrick McManus, Jim Mellen and Dennis Nicholls, along with a forward by Hazel Hall and an introduction by Francis Cullooyah.

You can buy the book at the Sandpoint General store online ($24, http://tinyurl.com/arme3o9), at Amazon, or at local book stores.

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: The Northern Reaches. A geological field guide to northern Idaho and the Channeled Scabland. By Bruce Bjornstad and Eugene Kiver

Another Keokee Books guidebook, Ice Age Floods is a geological view of North Idaho and the Channeled Scablands.

With 480 pages, this paperback guides the reader to “experience, firsthand, the striking aftermath of the Ice Age floods.” Information on 39 hiking/biking trails, five driving tours and two aerial tours will allow you to witness 19 types of land forms and 65 flood-features in the landscape you see around you every day.

The book is $26 online from the Sandpoint General Store (http://tinyurl.com/ae2kuyw) and can also be purchased from Amazon and at local book sellers.

Priest River And Priest Lake: Kaniksu Country. By Marylyn Cork, Jeanne M. Tomlin, and Diane E. Mercer

Part of the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing, this 128-page paperback includes over 200 black and white images from the early years of settlement in Kaniksu Country—some of the untrammeled wilderness of North Idaho’s Panhandle region. 

Written and compiled by three respected western Bonner County historians, the images are an unforgettable testament to the determination and grit of the area’s early settlers.

You can buy the book directly from Arcadia Publishing ($21.99, http://tinyurl.com/ao6u2pc), online at Amazon or from local booksellers. 

A Smidgen of  Sky. By Dianna Winget

This 208-page paperback published by Harcourt Children’s Books is a young adult novel that tells the story of ten-year-old Piper and her attempt to call off her mother’s upcoming wedding, and the new family it will bring.

Dianna is a local resident who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and, as a step-parent, has first-hand experience with the creation of new families. 

Her debut novel can be purchased online from Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle version (retail $16.99/$11.99), or at local book stores.

A Third Grade Guide to Sandpoint. By Farmin/Stidwell Elementary Third Grade Students

This 118-page paperback would be worth buying simply for the photo of a moose in Pend Oreille Bay (taken by our own Jerry Luther) on the cover, but it’s much more than its cover.

This series of essays written by a group of third-grade students at Sandpoint’s Farmin Elementary covers everything from fishing derbies to wolves and Dog Beach through Lost in the 50s, offering a youthful perspective on why this area is such a great place to live.

Guided by teachers Rick Price, Diane Copley an Becky Charvoz, this is a fun book featuring the stories and illustrations of over 60 local students. You can purchase it directly from Amazon ($7.95) or at local book stores.

Tiger Hunting (and other adventures) On Christ’s Mission in Old India. Compiled by Frank, Joyce & Christina Coupal.

Twenty-seven years as missionaries in India provided Herman and Mildred Reynolds with hundreds of stories and now those stories are finally seeing print as the result of the efforts of their daughter, Joyce; son-in-law, Frank; and great-granddaughter Christina in this 188-page paperback published by Blue Creek Press.

“The Reynolds brought miracles to the Gonds in the forms of literacy, the newspapers soaked in Lysol Mildred took to every childbirth she attended and Herman’s double-barreled tiger gun.”

You can buy the book directly from CreateSpace online ($14.95 https://www.createspace.com/3715320), or at Amazon.

Until the End of the Ninth. By Beth Mary Bollinger.

“There are moments in baseball that sparkle with magic. And moments that break our hearts. And then there was the moment in 1946 when one minor league baseball team’s hope for magical moments came crashing to a fiery end.”

This is the true story of the Spokane Indians 1946 season and its fiery punctuation in the flames at the bottom of Snoqualamie Pass. This 192-page paperback, published by Rooftop Publishing, is also the fictional story of what might have been if ghosts were real, and if someone also betrayed by destiny and fire—Joan of Arc—was keeping an eye on an American baseball team.

Author Beth Bollinger is a Spokane attorney with a love for baseball, and an appreciation for a gutsy group of boys, many of whom had just returned from war, and their ability, it seemed, to always pull it out in the end... until they didn’t.

The book is available at Amazon ($14.95/$9.99) in both print and Kindle version, as well as at local book stores.

The Wild & Weedy Apothecary. By Doreen Shababy.

This 384-page paperback published by Lewellyn Publishing was described by Pubblisher’s Weekly, as a “well-considered alphabetic valentine to natural healing...” and Susan Weed, author of the Wise Woman herbal series, warns “Those who dare delve into this book may emerge with catnip on their breath, mud on their knees, wild fruit juices on their hands and a mysterious, satisfied smile...”

Doreen, a resident of North Idaho since her teenage years, has provided a well-sourced and indexed guide that’s an essential ingredient of a well-stocked bookshelf for those interested in “practical know-how and food for the soul.”

You can buy the book online in both print and Kindle versions at Amazon (retail $17.95/$9.99) or from local book stores.

-Trish Gannon

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Landon Otis

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