Best books for holiday reading/giving

By: By Lora Finnegan Special to The News Messenger
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First of two parts

Looking for some gift book ideas? Not long ago, the Friends of the Lincoln Library asked library staffers for their favorite books about or set in California. Look for them in the library or buy them. This week and next, we’ll be giving you their suggestions.


“Daughter of Fortune” by Isabel Allende

Among my many other favorite California books is “Daughter of Fortune” by Isabel Allende. This book is about a young woman who comes to the Sacramento/Placer County area from San Francisco during the Gold Rush days. It is filled with a very compelling story plus colorful background and intense historical research. Additionally, Ms. Allende lives in San Rafael and is a huge believer in and supporter of libraries. She has a large number of novels and is found on many book club reading lists.

—Linda D. Derosier, library assistant


“Tahoe Silence” by Todd Borg

This is from local author Todd Borg, who writes mystery novels set in Lake Tahoe. This particular book involves a kidnapping of an autistic teen girl in Lake Tahoe. I learned more about autism and more about the Lake Tahoe area in this book. The author stirred my emotions and made me laugh, which I like in a book. Todd Borg writes a mystery series involving Owen Mckenna, a retired San Francisco cop who moved to Tahoe and opened a private investigator business. He has nine books in this mystery series.

—Susan Hutchins, library assistant


“Patty Reed’s Doll: The Story of the Donner Party” by Rachel K. Laurgaard

One of my favorite California books is a children’s story, “Patty Reed’s Doll: The Story of the Donner Party” by Rachel K. Laurgaard.

In the winter of 1846, the Donner Party was stranded by heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada mountains. During this perilous journey, many died but one of the survivors was 8-year-old Patty Reed, who was filled with dignity and determination in the face of mortal danger. This is her story, as told by Dolly, the wooden doll she kept hidden in her dress.

Dolly, who was recently restored, has been on display for half a century at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento.

—Jill Loya, library assistant


Thanks to Friends of the Lincoln Library officers

We don’t want the year to end without saying thanks to Friends of the Lincoln Library’s 2012 elected officers.

Friends Secretary Jane Tahti, known for both her sweet disposition and razor-sharp mind, continues as secretary.

Outgoing board members include Vi Kuka, who as treasurer brought order and clarity to the books (and was always patient about explaining the numbers). Jeff Greenberg, vice president, was the go-to guy for working with local businesses and getting jobs done with speed and a sense of humor. Shirley Russell drops the mantle of corresponding secretary but will continue in her invaluable role as Chief Honcho of our book sales.

And finally, our thanks go to Karen Jarrell, outgoing president, who brought a new level of professionalism to our group without sacrificing the southern charm and friendliness she brings wherever she goes.

Thanks to all of you from your good friends at the Friends.


Christmas family story time

Don’t forget to bring the kiddies to the free Christmas Family Story Time with John and Carol Noon from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Twelve Bridges library. The Noons put together a terrific affair, including songs, stories, costumes and treats designed for the younger set and their parents or grandparents (I went to their Halloween story time and tremendously enjoyed the “show”). It’s free.


At the Twelve Bridges Library

Dec. 15 from 2-3:30 p.m.:  Christmas Family Story Time with John and Carol Noon.

Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.: Free Family Movie Night (“Santa Paws, 2”). Doors open at 5:30 p.m.


This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 394, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404, or  Lora Finnegan is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member.