February 25th, 2023 1:00pm, Salmon Public Library
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Cussy Mary Carter works as a librarian through FDR’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, carrying books to rural households throughout Troublesome Creek. She spends long days delivering library reading materials and scrapbooks full of useful information to families struggling to make a living in the mountain community. Her job is challenging because of the terrain, but also because of the prejudice she faces as a blue-skinned woman, a color she inherited from her parents that is increasingly rare in her mountain home. As she searches and suffers for a cure for her condition, Cussy Mary also builds strong friendships with the people she visits, and these relationships help her to face the persecution and dangers that come her way.
March 18th, 2023 1:00pm, Salmon Public Library
Messages From My Father by Calvin Trillin
Calvin Trillin, the celebrated New Yorker writer, offers a rich and engaging biography of his father, as well as a literate and entertaining fanfare for the common (and decent, and hard-working) man. Abe Trillin had the western Missouri accent of someone who had grown up in St. Joseph and the dreams of America of someone who had been born is Russia. In Kansas City, he was a grocer, at least until he swore off the grocery business. He was given to swearing off things―coffee, tobacco, alcohol, all neckties that were not yellow in color. Presumably he had also sworn off swearing, although he was a collector of curses, such as “May you have an injury that is not covered by workman’s compensation.” Although he had a strong vision of the sort of person he wanted his son to be, his explicit advice about how to behave didn’t go beyond an almost lackadaisical “You might as well be a mensch.” Somehow, though, Abe Trillin’s messages got through clearly. The author’s unerring sense of the American character is everywhere apparent in this quietly powerful memoir.
April 8th, 2023 1:00pm Salmon Public Library
My Grandma Smoked Cigars by Sabine R Ulibarri
These stories present a series of carefully drawn human sketches of individuals–family members, like the grandmother and uncle Cirilo; friends and acquaintances, like the all-around cowboy Negro Aguilar; and Elacio Sandoval, the boyhood friend of the narrator whose fear of marriage and “love them or leave them” approach to the opposite sex makes exciting and humorous reading; and Roberto, who after going to town for nails, reappears after a three-year absence to continue as if nothing has happened. Ulibarri establishes a careful balance between childhood memories and an adult perspective while carefully analyzing the proud, independent, and sturdy atmosphere of rural New Mexico. Classic, legendary heroes of the Hispanic past reappear in these pages and, in the words of the author, “…sweetened and enriched my life then and, now, I remember it tenderly” (Chicano Literature: A Reference…393).
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