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Reading list lengthens, days shorten

Reading list lengthens, days shorten

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Another month, another deadline - where does the time go? Jack-o'-lanterns, dancing skeletons, changing colors, pumpkin pies and gift wrap seem to suggest festive times. Next year's calendars are in stores and various ads indicate it's time to shop. The Festival of the Book, the Big Read and school book fairs keep the bookstore busy. The days are getting shorter, the list of things to see and get done grows longer and the new books keep coming.

"Horse Tracks," poems by Henry Real Bird

Henry Real Bird is a rancher, former rodeo cowboy and educator, and he is also the current poet laureate of Montana. He was born on the Crow Indian Reservation and raised in the tradition of the Crow by his grandparents. He was educated in Montana at Crow Agency, Hardin, Bozeman and Billings and received a master's degree in general education. Crow is his primary language, and the history, culture, love of the land and identity of his Apsaalooke nation comes out in his writing.

The Montana poet laureate designation recognizes and honors a citizen poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment. The state poet laureate's role is to encourage appreciation of poetry and literary life in Montana by giving readings and presentations throughout the state, making poetry available to a wide state audience. Last July, Real Bird continued his relationship with the land and the people in a unique manner when he set out on horseback to the Rocky Boy's Reservation. He rode where his grandfather rode and showed the kids how to write poetry. Real Bird says of himself, "I'm just a simple guy on horseback, with a frying pan and a coffeepot and a match and pencil and paper, riding on horseback and flat enjoying myself."

"River House," by Sarahlee Lawrence

An exquisite blend of memoir and nature writing, "River House" is one young woman's story about returning home to her family's ranch and, with the help of her father, building a log house on the property. Sarahlee Lawrence grew up in remote central Oregon and spent her days dreaming about leaving her small town for world adventures. After a decade of studying, traveling, river rafting and earning a master's in environmental science and writing from the University of Montana, she returned to the place she least expected - to her dusty beginnings and her family's home. "River House" is a beautiful story about a daughter's return and her relationship with her father, whom she enlists to help brave the cold winter and build a log house by hand. Lawrence's father, landlocked on the ranch for decades, is a surfer who longs for the sea. Lawrence, a reformed river rat, has forsaken the water for a spell, determined to build a home. Together, they work through the harsh winter, father helping daughter every step of the way to achieve her dream.

"William Albert Allard: Five Decades," by William Albert Allard, with a forward by William Kittredge

This gorgeous gift book reveals 50 years of photography by National Geographic photographer Bill Allard. Allard was a pioneer of color photography with a style that called for entering people's homes and hearts. By winning their confidence, he was able to capture off-guard moments, and reveal the depth of human nature as never before seen in the pages of National Geographic. Always in search of "what is happening at the edges," his work reveals beauty, mystery and a sense of adventure. Part photography retrospective and part personal memoir, this book paints a full picture - through images and narrative - of the life of a globe-trekking photographer over the past half-century. Allard divides his time between Montana and Virginia, lecturing and exhibiting at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Several Missoulians, many Montana cowboys and members of the Hutterite community are part of this photographic collection.

"The Next Ten Minutes: 51 Absurdly Simple Ways to Seize the Moment," by Andrew Peterson

The desire to discover meaning in our lives is a powerful motivator for many people. "The Next Ten Minutes" by Missoula licensed therapist and writer Andrew Peterson is a guide for readers seeking spiritual fulfillment and a sense of purpose. The book draws on Buddhist philosophy and the author's successful counseling practices to present a series of meditative exercises designed to bring greater awareness to everyday experiences. Rather than taking readers out of the everyday, Peterson invites them to move more deeply into the familiar tasks of ordinary life, such as turning simple breathing, eating, physical love or throwing out the trash into meditative exercises that can transform your day. The power to seize the day is but a few simple steps away. "The Next Ten Minutes" is the guide to help us discover the seeds of transformation and meaning in even the most ordinary routines.

"Terra Tempo: Ice Age Cataclysm!" by David Shapiro, Erica Melville and Christopher Herndon

Join in the adventure as Ari, Jenna and Caleb unlock the secret of time travel and journey back 15,000 years to witness the great Missoula floods, the largest to have ever washed over the face of the Earth. Experience the world of the not-so-distant past when giant mammoths and saber-toothed cats roamed the Pacific Northwest. Ride along with the time travel kids as they tour the changing landscapes from the back of the mythic Thunderbird and work together to survive the dangers of the Ice Age cataclysm. This graphic novel from Craigmore Creations is the first in their new series based on real geological events, fun and accessible to people of all ages. The Portland, Ore.-based production house specializes in creating natural history entertainment. They create stories from Earth's 4.5 billion-year history with topics that include changing climates, ancient ecosystems, the geologic record, past cataclysms, present landforms, extinction events, evolution of species, human culture and more. Their goal is educational, but the approach is entertaining. Creative director David Shapiro says, "We believe learning should be fun and that the power of story works wonders to convey ideas and lessons. You may be learning, but you'll be laughing, too!"

"The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet: Know What Goes Into Every Bite with More Than 200 of the Most Deliciously Nutritious Homemade Baby Food Recipes," by Karin Knight and Tina Ruggiero

Preparing simple, homemade food in the comfort of your own kitchen is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little one. Not only does it allow you to nourish your child with the most pure and wholesome ingredients, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into every bite your baby takes. Full of recipes to suit every age and stage - from 6 months to 23 months - "The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet" shows you how simple and easy it is to prepare food your baby will love to eat-from quick purées like Mighty Tasty Blueberry and Pear Mash and No-Cook Prune Purée, to new and nourishing meals like Sweet Omelet Surprise and Finger-Lickin' Good Lentils and Potato with Cheese.

Each recipe also contains:

• Two methods for preparation - stovetop or microwave - wherever applicable, so you can whip up recipes in whatever time you have.

• An easy-to-spot snowflake icon on all recipes suitable for freezing, so you can make baby's meals at your convenience, or in batches, to save time and money.

• A complete nutritional analysis, so you can be sure you're giving your child the best possible start.

Enjoy the coming weeks. Be thankful for good health and family. And may eat, sleep, read be part of your things to do!

Barbara Theroux manages Fact & Fiction Bookstore in downtown Missoulian and writes a monthly column for Booming.


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