Colorado author writes book on her adventures in remote wilderness, and new home for CDs and EZ materials

Carolyn Coleman Waller, writing as Carolyn White, is an excellent storyteller.  Based on her abundant adventures “living the life of a modern day pioneer” at a primitive, isolated guest ranch in the Idaho backcountry and as an outfitter along the Salmon River, her stories seem to tell themselves in a lovely light style reminiscent of how she might share them in fireside chats and letters to family and friends.

Indeed, those letters are the sources of several of the tales.  Others were shared in her magazine stories and a weekly newspaper column.  Now they are gathered and expanded in “Bricks Underneath a Hoop Skirt,” book one of a series she is writing about life in the rugged backcountry without telephone, electricity, hot running water or normal mail service

Each chapter has its own charm.

You’ll savor stories about recovering from falling into a freezing river when her horse stumbled in a flood; learning to train mules and saddle horses tied together for trail rides; caring for city slicker guests, dedicated guides and wranglers at a remote guest ranch without modern amenities; and generally surviving – even thriving – in harsh weather and primitive conditions.  One of her best tales documents what happened on the frigid winter day the U.S.P.S. orange bag of mail dropped from a small plane sank out of sight in the deep snow.

“It’s not a life for sissies,” Carolyn says in an understatement.  But her enthusiasm and endurance skills make clear she is fully competent to make it in a world of hunting, fishing, mule-packing and wilderness survival.  “There’s always a need for a good camp cook,” she said in a recent interview.

Born and raised in Ohio, she is a graduate of Ohio University with degrees in English and creative writing.  For the past 15 years, Carolyn has lived in the small town of Cedaredge in Delta County, Colorado with her husband John, two dogs and three cats.

She is a frequent visitor to Pagosa Springs and she has donated a copy of her book to your library.  It’s the first of a series of multiple memoirs she plans to write, the next one titled “Trucks Are For Girls.”  Her inspiration comes from her own letters, every one of which was saved by her mother, who died last December at age 98.  “They are a never-ending source of stories,” Carolyn said.

New home for audio book CDs and EZ materials

We are shifting some materials in the collection, swapping the audio book CDs to where the EZ items were.  That means all of the youth materials now are together in one space, not two, making it easier for readers to progress through literacy levels and the physical space.  This change also should make it easier for parents to find items and track children.  We hope you like these modifications.

Library closure

Your library will be closed November 22-25 so that our staff can celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends.

Activities calendars available

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

Save the date for book sale

We hope you’ll join us for a special Second Chance Book Sale on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  This event is part of the Pagosa Parade of Stores that weekend.  The books on sale are mostly fiction.  They are in great shape and they make excellent gifts.  More details next week.

Lifelong Learning today

The last of seven free fall Lifelong Learning Lectures takes place today, Thursday, November 15, from 5 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.  with “Visualizing an Unseen World: Close-up and Macro Photography” by Andy Butler covering types of equipment, lighting and composition in close-up photography.  We hope you have enjoyed these very interesting presentations.

Teen bookclub tomorrow

Friday, November 16 from 2-3 p.m. at the free teen bookclub, seventh-12th graders will discuss “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi and enjoy snacks.  Stop by the library to pick up a copy.

All-ages gaming tomorrow

Join us tomorrow, Friday, November 16 from 2-3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your friends and family.

Doggie Read Aloud for kids

Youngsters aged three-eight are invited to join us for a special storytime with a dog theme on Monday, November 19 from 4-5 p.m.  We may even have a live dog with us for this event, and kids will leave with a dog-themed book to keep.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Otaku Club

The Otaku (Anime/Manga) Club will not meet in November due to a scheduling issue.  It will resume in December when you can join us to watch anime, talk about manga and Asian cultures, and enjoy snacks.   This free club is for fifth-12th grades.

Computer classes

Join us on for free sessions at 1 p.m. to learn a useful technology skill or application.  Today, Thursday, November 15, is a basics session, with no computer experience necessary.  Thursday, November 29 you’ll learn how to access e-books and audio books using the Cloud Library.  Bring your own smartphone, tablet or laptop to browse and download materials.  No registration required.

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) takes place on  Mondays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.   Note: No PALS November 19 or 20.

Free tech sessions

Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m.    Note no session November 20.

Family storytimes

Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30-10 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move.  This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  Please note that both storytimes are open to babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to make it easier for parents to attend with their children depending on their busy schedules rather than the age of their little ones. 


“The Bread Collection” by Brian Hart Hoffman features more than 100 recipes.  “Every Day is Extra” by John Kerry is a memoir by the former senator and secretary of state.  “1,000 Books to Read Before You Die” by James Mustich includes fiction, poetry, sci-fi, travel writing, biography, history, children’s books and more.  “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics” is a look at American politics through the eyes of Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore.  “Good and Mad” by Rebecca Traister explores the revolutionary power of women’s anger.

“Rise” by Brigitte Gabriel describes the forces at work to dismantle our Judeo-Christian values.  “Roger Daltrey: My Story” is the autobiography of the founder of one of the biggest rock bands ever.  “Stop Mass Hysteria” by Michael Savage recounts the many times in U.S. history that collective insanity has gripped the American public.  “Thirst” by Scott Harrison is the memoir of the man who left his decadent life to found a charity to bring clean water to millions around the world.  “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown uses research, stories and examples to reveal the best leadership traits.

Thrillers, mysteries and suspense

“The Reckoning” by John Grisham is a legal suspense story.  “Past Tense” by Lee Child is a Jack Reacher mystery.  “Dark Sacred Night” in Michael Connelly is a Ballard and Bosch mystery.

Large print

“Holy Ghost” by John Sandford is a Virgil Flowers mystery.  “Gone So Long” by Andre Dubus III follows a father trying to reunite with his daughter after a violent act 40 years ago.  “A Willing Murder” by Jude Deveraux is a Medlar mystery.  “Silver Anniversary Murder” by Leslie Meier is a Lucy Stone mystery.  “Backde to the Wall” by C.M. Wendelboe is a Tucket Ashley western adventure.  “Flintlock: Pitchfork Pass by William W. and J.A. Johnston is a western.

“Forest Bathing” by Dr. Qing Li shows how spending time around trees will improve your health.  “A Girl Stands at the Door” by Rachel Devlin features a generation of young women who desegregated America’s schools.  “Our Towns” by James and Deborah Fallows tells of the authors’ five-year trip visiting dozens of towns and local leaders.  “JFK in the Senate” by John T. Shaw looks at how the young senator got his presidential ambitions.  “Dead and Buried” by Tim Bryant vis a Wilkie John western.

Books on CD

“Consumed” by J.R. Ward features an arson investigator hunting a deadly serial killer.  “Vince Flynn Red War” by Kyle Mills is a Mitch Rapp adventure.  “Blood Communion” by Anne Rice is part of the Vampire Chronicles series.  “A Spark of Light” by Jodi Picoult begins when a gunman takes everyone hostage in a women’s reproductive rights center.  “The Witch Elm” by Tana French begins when a man surprises two burglars in his home.  “Lethal White” by Robert Galbraith is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike crime series.

Other novels

“Family Trust” by Kathy Wang follows a family wondering about their inheritance as their father dies.  “A Well-Behaved Woman” by Therese Ann Fowler is a fictionalized look at the Vanderbilt family.  “Friday Black” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a collection of stories.


“I, Frankenstein” stars Aaron Eckhart.  “Steven King’s It” is a horror story.  “Hotel Transylvania” is a monster family comedy.  “Rental” is a Steven King horror story.  “Upgrade” is an artificial intelligence suspense story.  “Edgar A. Poe Buried Alive” is part of the American Master series.  “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” stars the actors from the original 10 years ago.  “The Good Karma Hospital” is a drama set in rural India.

Programmed Nooks

We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure.  The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers.  The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.

Downloadable e-books

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books are being added regularly to our free 3M Cloud Library.  Access them by clicking on the 3M Cloud Library icon on the home page of our website.  While there, browse through a multitude of other adult, juvenile and children’s books, both bestsellers and classics in many genres.

Downloadable films

For your viewing pleasure, we offer IndieFlix, a free streaming movie service that gives you unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website.  Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Tara McElhinney, Medora Bass and our anonymous donors.   For their generous monetary contributions, we thank Peggy Shipman and Joyce Webb.  We’re also grateful to the Pagosa Medical Group for their book barn sponsorship.

Quotable Quote

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American journalist, novelist and short story writer.

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