Free Driving Tests!

 Free Driving Tests!  News  Comments Off on Free Driving Tests!
Aug 282015

Do you have a teen learning to drive in your house?  Did you buy a motorcycle?  Or expanding your career with a CDL?  The Portneuf Library now offers free online driving tests!  Practice here before you go to the DMV for your exam!

Free Driving Tests

Your Driver Education program contains the following state-specific information:
– 11 car practice tests
– 8 motorcycle practice tests
– 3 CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) practice tests
– 3 online driver’s manuals (car, motorcycle, CDL)
– An FAQ section with detailed answers to 100+ DMV-related questions

Click the link above to begin your practice tests today!

Chrome Library Extension

 Chrome Library Extension  News  Comments Off on Chrome Library Extension
Mar 242015

Chrome Library Extension

This is really neat!  Install the Library Extension for Chrome and when you’re searching Amazon, a little box will show up above the ‘buy’ options telling you if we have that item.  If we do, you can click ‘borrow’ to see the status of the book and put it on hold if it’s checked out.  You can also set it up for Marshall to see books they have, too.  The only thing to remember is the search is for the specific item’s ISBN, and we may have a different type or edition available.  Still, this is fun!  Check it out and save yourself some bucks by borrowing books instead of buying!

Library Extension Link

Install the extension in Chrome (It only works in the Chrome browser)
From the extension page choose the libraries you want to show
When you’re on Amazon, a little stack of books will show in the far right of your address bar.  You can also choose Portneuf by clicking on the books, choosing “Portneuf” and clicking the green plus sign.

Happy Searching!

Introducing Hoopla Digital

 Introducing Hoopla Digital  News  Comments Off on Introducing Hoopla Digital
Jan 312014

hoopla Web Banner Tagline


We are proud to introduce hoopla digital, a great new tool for streaming movies, tv shows, audiobooks, and music CDs to your personal smartphone or tablet and your computer.  Using hoopla is very easy, and there are hoopla apps in the Google Play store and iTunes app store.

First, you’ll need to set up an account with hoopla digital.  Click here to create your account.  You’ll need your library card number and your PIN; call the library if you need to have your PIN reset.

Then, download the hoopla app from Google Play or from the iTunes app store and log in with your account.  If you are using your computer, log into the website where you created your account.

Note that hoopla use is restricted to adult and teen cards that are RESIDENTS of the Portneuf District Library area.  Users are limited to 10 uses per month.

Here’s a link to hoopla digital YouTube videos for help:

Have fun!!!!

OneClickDigital – Audiobooks on the Go!

 OneClickDigital – Audiobooks on the Go!  News  Comments Off on OneClickDigital – Audiobooks on the Go!
Jan 162014



We are thrilled to announce our latest resource for listening to audiobooks, OneClickDigital!  OneClickDigital has thousands of audiobooks in all genres, including popular titles and classics.  We also have over 600 children’s books!  OneClickDigital is accessible on your personal computer or laptop, and has apps for Android, iOS, and the Kindle Fire.

To get started, you’ll need to create an account with OneClickDigital.  Click here to create your account.  Once you have your account, you may log in at any time on your personal computer to listen to books, or download the app on your Android, iOS, or Kindle Fire to listen on the go.  This is a fantastic service and we are thrilled to provide it to our library users!

Questions?  Please ask!  Give us a call or stop in today!

Nov 132012

The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment “Library 2000” Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University. The advertisements are from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Check out all the neat ads here!

Shadow of Night

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Sep 132012

Shadow of Night
by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night is the second book in Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, following up after A Discovery of Witches.  Like A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night does not disappoint!  Again, Harkness wields her skill as a master writer and storyteller in this historical fiction novel.

Set in Elizabethan England, we follow Diana and Michael on an epic historical adventure chasing after the famous Ashmole 782 and to find a teacher for Diana.  Harkness is a master storyteller and weaves a potent and enjoyable story, yes, but what shines the most about the second book in this series is Harkness’ expertise as a historian.  Harkness knows the history of Elizabethan England and Europe, and weaves a rich tapestry of a story surrounding authentic facts and places for the time.  In telling the story of Diana and Michael, she also paints a vivid picture of what life was like during the 1600s of Europe.

Thrust from England to the Holy Roman Empire, Diana and Michael must fight to hide their devotion and love from others of their kind, just as they did in the present.  But to add to the danger, the two must also hide who they are during a time of witch burning and heresy trials.  Diana and Michael tangle with the key rulers of the time period, both Elizabeth I and the Holy Roman Emperor, and must struggle to stay on top of their quest while flying enough under the radar to thwart attempts on their lives.

In Shadow of Night readers will rediscover the masterful storytelling powers of Harkness, enjoying the adventures of Diana and Michael, weaving through the story discovering more of Ashmole 782’s secrets, and Diana’s, too, but the story remains unfinished.  Readers will sit poised on the edge of their seat waiting for the final book in the trilogy.

Check out Shadow of Night from the library today!


On the Beach

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Aug 092012

On The Beach
by Nevil Shute

Two years ago, war erupted.  A horrible, terrible, nuclear war that destroyed the entire Northern Hemisphere.  Two years later, the nuclear fallout is beginning to trickle down into the Southern Hemisphere, giving the people of Australia limited time to make peace with their lives before they are destroyed by the remains of other people’s violence.

Meet Peter, Mary, and baby Jennifer, Dwight, Moria, and John, and get to know them as they live out their last days.  Shute’s On The Beach shows a picture of a society knowing its doomed, but living on and making do.  Two years is enough to adjust to live without cars, limited reserves and power, and few jobs.  Two years is enough to lead people into an optimistic outcome; many continue on with their lives as though they’ll always be the same, as though the garden bench planned this spring will be enjoyed next summer.  Others struggle to find the peace and happiness in the day to day, realizing dreams are broken and shattered.  Shute’s post war novel shocks the reader by endearing them to the rich characters, but the inevitable cannot be postponed.

Check out this classic post-apocalyptic thriller today!



 Bluegrass  Reviews  Comments Off on Bluegrass
Jun 212012

by William Van Meter

True crime novels fascinate us like little else, and many of us find the study of true crime mysteries a powerful draw.  Looking into the horrors and struggles of our fellow humans endure reminds us to be thankful and gracious in our own lives.  Typically, I read post-apocalyptic fiction, but lately I’ve picked up a few true crime thrillers.  This one is, by far, the best I’ve read so far.

Bluegrass takes place in Southern Kentucky, in a struggling rural town with a college right smack in the center of things.  Bubbly Katie grew up in a small town, bounced around the foster system, before coming to the college in Bowling Green.  There, Katie explodes her life into new dimensions, making risky choices and exploring different behaviors than what she knew from her quiet, small town life.  Katie makes new friends and pushes the boundaries her strict foster parents enforced.  Unfortunately, Katie makes some wrong choices to the detriment of her life.

But unlike most true crime books, this one reads like a novel.  Author William Van Meter begins the story of our mystery early in the lives of our characters.  He develops those characters, their surroundings, and their lives, and writes the story of Katie’s murder.   William Van Meter investigates back to fill in important details that shed light on how the crime came to happen, and how the crime laid repercussions on everyone who had Katie in their lives.  This is not a dry, exhaustive review of evidence and court proceedings; this is a story of lives that paints a clear and legible picture of the events leading up to and surrounding Katie’s horrific murder.

Check out Bluegrass to read more!




 ManualsLib  Internet Resources  Comments Off on ManualsLib
Jun 082012

Lost a manual?  Do you even keep all the manuals that come with all your stuff?  What about just grabbing a digital copy of that manual so you don’t have to worry about storing it in a junk drawer!

ManualsLib is a FREE manual library containing over 45,000 manuals for download or viewing!  The search is effective and easy, and it’s a snap to quickly find the manual you need.  Check it out today!

ManualsLib Database

The Idaho Map Room

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May 032012

The University of Idaho Library would like to announce the release of its latest digital project, The Map Room.

The Map Room is a Google Fusion Table powered Google Maps application that allows users to browse over 8000 photographs from our digital collections.  Users can browse all of these photos on our Map of All Items or browse items on 9 collection-specific maps (click the “About the Map Room” link on the home page to see the list).  Each map is searchable by keyword, limitable by decade, and equipped with pre-defined zooming coordinates for easier discovery. The images in the maps’ info/pop-up windows are linked from our instance of ContentDM; each provides metadata about the image, a link back to the image’s web page (for more information), and a link back to the collection from which the image is drawn.  Most of the photos cover the state of Idaho although there are also several groupings from around the Northwest and throughout the country.

The Map Room’s newest additions come from another new collection – Idaho Cities and Towns.

This collection makes available photographs from 134 Idaho Cities and Towns, from Aberdeen to Yellow Dog.   These can be browsed by time, location, subject, and city name (use the cities/subject tab).

Idaho Pictures Online!

 Idaho Pictures Online!  Internet Resources  Comments Off on Idaho Pictures Online!
Feb 132012

I would like to announce the release of the newly redesigned Barnard Stockbridge Photograph Collection:

The digital collection contains over 1200 historical photographs of Northern Idaho towns, mines, and mills, including photographs documenting the aftermath of the Big Burn fires of 1910 (an online exhibition of these photos and related documents can be found here: The original collection consists of over 200,000 nitrocellulose and glass plate negatives taken by Nellie Stockbridge and her predecessor, T.N. Barnard. These were given to the University of Idaho Library in 1962.

The web portal allows a user to browse these photos by timeline, subject or Google map interface, view selected photos via image gallery, and search the photographs’ metadata.

Breaking Silence

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Dec 052011


Breaking Silence
by Linda Castillo

This is the third in Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder books, focusing around former Amish police chief Kate Burkholder.  Kate is a police chief in a small Ohio town with  a significant Amish community.  Kate’s community suffers horrible hate crimes on the Amish, and she must delve into the secrets of her community in order to find the truth, and put a stop to the crimes.

This book is similar to the first two books in the series, although it is milder and much less gristly.  However, the themes are the same, the characters and their interpersonal dynamics are the same, the cold, slushy, wintery weather is the same… Although Castillo writes a good book, this book is not remarkably different from her first two enough to classify it as an excellent read.  It’s high time Castillo develops the characters more, and let them let go the tired drama they’ve experienced in the first two books.  And for pete’s sake; change the weather!




Trickster Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection

 Trickster Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection  Reviews  Comments Off on Trickster Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
Dec 022011

TRICKSTER: NATIVE AMERICAN TALES – A GRAPHIC COLLECTION, is the winner of this year’s Aesop Award (conferred annually by the Children’s Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society upon English language books for children and young adults, both fiction and nonfiction):

All cultures have tales of the trickster—a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics.

In Trickster more than twenty Native American tales are cleverly adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture in a very vivid form. From an ego-driven social misstep in “Coyote and the Pebbles” to the hijinks of “How Wildcat Caught a Turkey” and the hilarity of “Rabbit’s Choctaw Tail Tale,” Tricksterprovides entertainment for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Along with compiling and editing the book, artist Matt Dembicki illustrated one of the featured trickster tales. Dembicki is the founder of D.C. Conspiracy, a comic creators’ collaborative in Washington, DC, and has won acclaim for his nature graphic novel, Mr. Big. He currently works as an editor for a higher-education association.

Come in and check out Trickster and our other graphic novels today!

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

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Nov 292011


Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
by Alison Arngrim


Ever watch Little House on the Prairie?  How did you feel about Nellie Oleson?  Did you love her?  Hate her for the mean things she did to Laura?  Have you ever wondered just what Nellie was like in real life?


Wonder no more, and read this remarkable and likeable autobiography of Alison Arngrim!  Alison played Nellie on Little House and dishes on what life was like living part time in the 19th century on everyone’s TV screens for years.  Did Alison, playing Nellie, and Melissa Gilbert, playing Laura, really fight like that in true life?  Who was the nasty one on the set?  What was it like to dress up and play on the prairie every day?  How did the rest of the cast interact with each other?  Was Michael Landon the Pa they all needed?  Find out that, and so much more in this engaging autobiography!


Alison writes a funny and endearing story, and you’ll find yourself smiling at her inner strength and her strong character through her words.  She is honest and forthright in her book, and tells of life lessons all of us can learn from and enjoy.


Check out Confessions of a Prairie Bitch today!




Alas, Babylon

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Nov 232011


Alas, Babylon
by Pat Frank


Alas, Babylon… that was the secret pass phrase.  The pass phrase shared by two brothers, only to be used when times are dire, when the world is stark, when the world is coming to an end.  Mark is in the military, and he sees a horrible future only moments away.  He calls his brother, whispering the secret phrase.  Randy knows just what to do, and begins to prepare.


Alas, Babylon is written in the middle of the Cold War era, and tells the tale of what our land would be like after the ravaging of nuclear bombs.  Bombs explode, taking out all the major metropolitan areas and destroying life as we knew it to be.  In a small section of Florida, a small community of people survive the holocaust, and must rebuild.  Although Randy thinks to prepare after his brother’s warning, he finds he doesn’t think of all the things this new society needs.


This book is very well written, is remarkably authentic, and the depth of research behind the storytelling is clear.  The struggles and strife of the small group in Florida will catch you and wrap you deep into their story, and make you think twice about what’s going on in the world, and what’s in your pantry.  Things you never even considered become horrible problems, and things we would think of don’t even matter two bits.  This is a great book!


Check out Alas, Babylon today!


The World Ends In Hickory Hollow

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Nov 182011

The World Ends in Hickory Hollow
by Ardath MayharThe lights went out. Not an uncommon occurrence in the country, and life goes on.  Naturally, the Hardeman family went about their business, until they went into town.  Town was empty, not a soul in sight.  No one around.  Everyone gone.  Come to find out, the world ended, without a bang, without fanfare.  Tucked away, caring for themselves, the Hardeman family missed the bombs that fell, ending civilization as they knew it, and ending the lives of those in the towns and cities.  But tucked away in their hollow, the Hardeman family begins to find some of their neighbors, and begin to build a tight knit community that works together for the common good of the whole.  That is, until the Ungers find them.
The Ungers were a wild bunch, always drinking and partying and letting their children run half wild.  They were the rowdies, the rough ones, but now, they’re the really bad news in the neighborhood.  The Ungers are no longer just out for a party.  Now they’re out for blood.
In The World Ends In Hickory Hollow, we watch a small group begin to build a community and persevere against horrible attacks by the Ungers as they kill everyone in sight and loot the community’s hard fought goods.
Check out The World Ends In Hickory Hollow today to read about the Hardeman’s journey and survival of the fittest after the world falls apart!



The Maze Runner

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Nov 152011

The Maze Runner
by James DashnerIt all begins in a box… Thomas wakes up, flying high into the sky in a dark, black box.  He ascends into the heavens and is deposited in yet another box, but this box is filled with boys of all ages.  Everyone has a job.  Some grow food.  Some raise and harvest animals.  Some do the cooking.  Others, the cleaning.  And a few, well, they run.

This box is surrounded by a Maze.  A maze filled with creatures… oozing, bulbous creatures covered with metal stingers and spikes and claws… creatures that chase the boys with one intent – to kill them.  A maze that changes, every night, so no matter how much the runners run, no matter how they remember the path, every day it’s different.

And it’s all coming to an end.  Thomas’ arrival is quickly followed by Teresa’s arrival, and with her comes a note, “She’s the last one.  Ever.”

So Thomas decides, that no matter what, he’s to be a runner.  He will run the maze.  He will find a way out, before they all die.

Check out The Maze Runner today, and get hooked on this excellent first book of the Maze Runner Trilogy!


This World We Live In

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Sep 292011

This World We Live In
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is the final book of Pfeffer’s riveting trilogy “Last Survivors.”  This book takes us back to Miranda, from book one, and her journal entries.  A year has passed.  Her family has struggled to hang on.  Through the ups and downs, deaths and traumas, they have prevailed.

And then, company arrives.  It’s Miranda’s father and step mother, and a motley crew collected on their journey.  Enter in Alex and Julie, from Pfeffer’s second book in the series.  They’ve left New York, and after their own troubles, begin to seek a brighter future.

Alex is willful and set in his decisions.  Julie is willful and insisting on her freedom.  Miranda just wants her family together.  But she finds herself drawn to Alex… but the choices he must make… will Miranda be one of them?

This is the conclusion to Susan Beth Pfeffer’s “The Last Survivors” trilogy, and brings together the shattered lives of a climactic devastation we should hope to never experience, and through this story, we begin to see the rebuilding of a new way of life in the face of loss and desperate circumstances.  Pfeffer pens a great story, and these books are enjoyable, if not a little frightening, reads.

Check out This World We Live In today!


The Dead & The Gone

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Sep 222011

The Dead & The Gone
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is book two in her “Last Survivors” series, and is the story of Alex and his sisters.  Alex, Julie, and Bri live in New York City when the moon is hit by the asteroid, pushing the moon dangerously close to the Earth, causing such global climate change that civilization is altered horrifically.  Alex’s family is gravely affected, not only because civilization stalls, food begins to disappear, people get sick, but also because his Father was in Puerto Rico, and his Mother was across the city in Brooklyn.

Alex struggles to take over the care of his sisters as the man of the house, doling out food, struggling to find the supplies they need to survive, while fighting to stay alive in the city, willing, hoping, and praying their parents will return.

Will they make it?  Do Alex’s parents return?  How to they survive the harsh, cold winter in New York City?  Come check out The Dead & The Gone today and find out!

Life As We Knew It

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Sep 162011


Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is a great book!  Miranda writes in her journal –

May 16th
“All of a sudden this moon thing is the biggest thing ever… Wednesday night we’re all going to be outside watching the asteroid hit the moon.”

May 18th
“I know I can’t explain, because I don’t really know what happened and I sure don’t know why.  But the moon wasn’t a half moon anymore.  It was tilted and wrong and a three-quarter moon and it got larger, way larger, large like a moon rising on the horizon, only it wasn’t rising.  It was smack in the middle of the sky, way too big, way too visible.”

And so it happens.  The moon is hit by an asteroid, and is pushed out of its orbit, closer to Earth.  Through Miranda’s journal entries, you see what happens when civilization is affected by the significant climate changes an altered moon thrusts upon the Earth.

Will they make it?  Will they find food and be safe?  Come check out and read Life As We Knew It today and find out!

If I Stay

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Sep 092011


If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

Classified as a Young Adult novel, one would assume that this is another pulpy, quick read, but that is definitely not the case!  This book has the makings of great literature… the story is poignant and rich, and Forman’s writing is clear and well done.  The story wraps you in so fast, and then you find yourself losing sleep over the twists and turns of the story.

Divulging much about the plot will detract from the suspense of the story, in my humble opinion, as I feel the book is best read not knowing much about it before beginning to read.  Essentially, Mia has a typical teen age life and a promising future, but everything changes… and she must face a terrible decision that will hurt either way she chooses.  The story centers around one day in her life, around an incident so tragic that it is truly life altering.  During that day, Mia explores her past life, and the choices she has to face, and to make.  I know that’s not much to go on as far as a book review goes, but I can say that this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Author Gayle Forman writes for all ages a classic story that is rich and full and will inspire her readers.  This book cannot help but make you reflect on your own life, the choices you have, and to appreciate the gifts we may often overlook.  This is a definite Must Read.




Earth Abides

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Aug 242011


Earth Abides
by George R Stewart

Something happens while Ish recovers from a rattlesnake bite.  Ish is a graduate student of ecology in California, and while hiking in the mountains is bit by a rattlesnake.  He manages to make it back to his cabin, where he eventually recovers.  Then, Ish heads down into town, but no one is there…

Set in the 1940s, this book tells the tale of what happens when a killer illness removes most of the Earth’s humans.  Ish finds himself alone in the world after his recovery.  He travels all the way across the country to New York, just to see what has become of the country, and his journey shows the different way the few survivors re-create their worlds.

Ish returns to California and begins to collect people, who begin to invest in a settlement and community.  As the intellectual of the group, Ish wrestles with the ‘what ifs,’ struggling to think of ways to shape his new community into a bright future.  Throughout the book, we see glimpses of the collapse of our man made artifacts as Earth retakes her land.  We also see how new societies grow, and how from certain perceptions, religion arises.  Ish tries very hard to steward his group into a future of sustainability and growth, and through the tale of his life we learn that Earth Abides.

Check out this great classic and others at the library today!


A Discovery of Witches

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Aug 172011


A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness


By now, we’ve all seen the profusion of vampire and otherworldly creatures appearing in today’s pop literature.  Most of the books in this genre are geared toward young adult readers, and much of the writing is vapid and shallow, with too much emphasis on teen angst and juvenile interpersonal relationships, and are scant on action and/or plot substance.  However, this book is strikingly different.  The author, Deborah Harkness, is an accomplished academic writer of history, and her experience with detailed and thorough writing appears in her storytelling.  Harkness writes an amazing story full of twists and turns and subplot developments that leaves readers solving the immediate mystery while slowly working towards the mysteries overarching the entire plot.


Diana is a historian, studying alchemy, and finds herself in Oxford stumbling deeply and suddenly into a mystery of epic proportions.  She is long descended from the witches of Salem, and finds herself fighting for her life and the life of her newfound love in this story.  Diana must come to terms with what she believes versus the reality in which she lives, throwing herself into a chaotic new place she never envisioned, learning things she fought to the core of her being as unacceptable.  While the audience enjoys the story of her solving the mysteries first discovered in the Oxford library, the audience watches Diana fall deeply in love and forced to reassess herself and change to meet her new world.


This book is incredibly stunning, and is one of those page turners that leave you aching for more long after you’ve finished the last page.  Hopefully, it’s the first in a long series of adventures, as Deborah Harkness weaves a detailed and enthralling story full of rich history and interpersonal character development and associations.  This book will leave you wanting more, and eagerly waiting for the next book penned by Harkness’ hand.


Check out A Discovery of Witches and other mysteries today!




Pray for Silence

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Aug 092011


Pray for Silence
by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence is the second book in Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series.  Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in a small town in Ohio’s Amish country.  But she’s a unique chief of police, in that she was born Amish and lived Amish for her formative years.  This makes Kate ideal as the chief of police in a community populated by both the society that most of us know, and the Amish way of life.

But the book is deeper than the interplay between the two cultures of the Amish and the English.  Linda Castillo writes an amazing and addicting story, bringing her characters to life and the Ohio countryside into vivid detail.  This is the second story of Kate Burkholder’s adventures.  The first, reviewed last week, is a grim and horrific crime spree of murders across the Painter’s Mill landscape.  The story Castillo writes isn’t focused only on the crimes, but on the tangled past that Kate has as a former Amish woman.  This story is the continuation, in a way, elaborating more on Kate’s present life as the chief of police in light of a new mystery to unravel.

At the center of the story is sweet Mary Plank, a young girl head over heels in love with an outsider to the Amish world.  Her mystery man is handsome, dashing, and adoring, but…. twisted and cruel.  Mary is subjected to horrors no young woman should have to face at the hands of the beloved man she desperately wants to marry.  Her story ends in her murder, and that begins our tale.  Kate Burkholder must step into the Amish world and uncover all of Mary’s secrets in order to identify the brutal killer of sweet Mary Plank.

Not to be outdone by her first book, Linda Castillo again writes an exciting and addicting mystery crime novel, and this story will keep you glued to your most favored reading chair!

Check out Pray for Silence at the library today!





Sworn To Silence

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Aug 012011


Sworn To Silence
by Linda Castillo

Sworn to Silence is a gritty crime novel by Linda Castillo.  Set in Ohio’s Amish country, detective Kate Burkholder is faced with deep secrets from her past in light of gristly murders of the present.  Kate walks a delicate balance, with feet in each world – one in the Amish world she grew up in, and the other in the modern world in which she is the chief of police for her tiny town.

Linda Castillo writes a gripping, fast paced, addictive, and very dark crime novel.  You’ll begin this story and immediately be sucked in, turning each page as quickly as you possibly can, forgetting to eat or sleep or anything else!  This story, while dark and terrifying, is engaging and you will sit on the edge of your seat awaiting the unraveling of every little detail.

But beyond the fast paced crime story, Linda Castillo accurately portrays the life lived in a small Amish town.  The author obviously did extensive research to learn about the ways of Amish living, and her research paints a vivid and real life picture in which her story unfolds.  The attention to detail coupled with the excellent writing and storytelling makes this a must read book!

Check out Sworn To Silence and other mystery novels at the Portneuf Library today!



Who Were They Really? The True Stories Behind Famous Characters

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Jul 252011


Who Were They Really?
by Susan Beth Pfeffer


Who Were They Really is a collection of very brief biographies of famous literary characters.  The book’s intended audience is the young adult reader, but readers of all ages will enjoy learning more about who Peter Cottontail really was, and how he came into existence.  Susan Beth Pfeffer collects 12 characters famous from our childhoods and paints pictures of who they were and how they came into existence, or how they created their famous literary characters.  In this book, read more about Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, and even Mother Goose.  Susan Beth Pfeffer writes clearly and her short biographies are enjoyable and insightful for every reader.  Learn about your favorites, and discover new characters and authors in this great book.


Check out Who Were They Really? and other great biographies today!



What So Proudly We Hailed

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Jul 202011

What So Proudly We Hailed
by James Howard

What would you do if the country was plunged into chaos, and nothing worked the way it should?  This is the story of what happens when America suffers a horrible attack on the nation’s power grids, crippling the US and sending her countrymen into complete civil disorder.  Money is no good, and bartering takes over.  But what do you have to trade?  Vigilantes and local militia set up camps and run neighborhoods, but who controls them?  The only solution in Jason Ribault’s mind for his family, is to take to the Carolina coast.  Jason and his family shore up on their small cabin boat and snug into the Low Country’s barrier islands to wait out the danger and the terror of what becomes of America when her government completely topples and loses control.

This book is particularly frightening, because the scenario, and even bits of the scenario, are completely plausible.  Something like this might happen any day… are you ready?

Get sucked into the amazing page turner today, and start really thinking about the value of what is to become tomorrow!

What So Proudly We Hailed


The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

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Jul 152011

The Sweet Relief of Missing Children follows the lives of several teens and preteens over two generations. As you may have guessed from the title, this is not a “feel-good” story. each child is faced with many different challenges that overwhelm them. A good example is Paul – renamed Pax – who, try as he might, can never run far enough away to be free of his negligent mother’s memory, and Grace the average mother who, as a teenager, swore that she would never marry. Each character whirls along their own little path, meeting each other in unanticipated ways, then moving on, slightly lessened by the experience.

Despite the negativity of the stories, Sarah Braunstein executes the book amazingly well I and highly recommend this book. Admittedly, this book is not for everyone. If you prefer the happy fuzzy books, or if you do not like reading about teenagers in adult situations, this is not the book for you. If, however, you read books for a well written story and like to feel the characters reach out and pull your emotions, then The Sweet Relief of Missing Children should be the next book on your list.

Review written by Josh Barnes, Portneuf Library Staff





 Virals  Reviews  Comments Off on Virals
Jul 072011

By Kathy Reichs

Ever watch the show Bones? Have you ever read any of Kathy Reichs’ books that the TV show Bones was based on? Well, Kathy Reichs started writing young adult fiction, her debut YA novel being Virals. Virals follows the common themes prevelant in today’s YA fiction of otherworld creatures in today’s society.  Virals centers around the story of a group of teens who rescue their favorite wolf pup from a research laboratory, and the mystery they must solve to answer the questions about the mystery they uncover.  The teens, while rescuing their beloved pup, are exposed to a virus that permanently alters their DNA giving them werewolf like abilities.  These new abilities the teens have cause them to struggle to get along amongst the normal people of society, but at the same time, the same abilities help them to uncover the mystery they find about the research station near their homes.

Reichs is a fabulous author that writes a fast paced and engaging story, and this novel is no different than her Bones books.  The book draws you in and keeps you wrapped up and wanting to turn every page to follow the adventures of the kids in the story.  The book is well written and fast paced, yet sprinkled with a hefty dose of the science behind what happened to the kids.  The science is clearly written and is a great flourish to the storyline.

Overall, this is a great book for young adult and adult readers alike.  Come in and check out Virals today!


Jun 162011

Upstairs Girls: Prostitution in the American West
By Michael Rutter

Upstairs Girls demystifies the stereotype of the “hooker with a heart of gold” so popularized by film and media in the twentieth century.  We’ve all seen the western movies showing the fancy dance hall girls, but that necessarily wasn’t always the case.

Author and historian Michael Rutter brings forth historical documentation describing and explaining the real truth of the prostitution profession in the Wild West.  Broken into three parts, Rutter details the truth behind the varied levels of prostitution, as well as the Dance Hall Girls and the Purity Movement as  correlations to prostitution, and finishes with biographies of popular western prostitutes.  Rutter explains how women found themselves in the situation of choosing the “Sisterhood,” as well as the different classifications of prostitution in the old west.  Not every woman was able to work her way into a fancy brothel with beautiful dresses and fine furnishings, and Rutter illustrates all conditions, no matter how horrific, including the Chinese sex trade so often overlooked by popular media.

In addition to learning about the history of prostitution in the Wild West, enjoy biographies of many famous wild women, from Calamity Jane to Fannie Silks to Ah Toy.  Read about your favorites, and discover new women to admire.  Many rose to positions of significant power from their wits alone, like Ah Toy.  Ah was put into the Chinese sex trade as a young woman, but using her sharp mind, she fought her way to the best position of power a woman could, even in the face of Chinese persecution.  She even took cases to court, a rarity even for prestigious white women of her time!  Read Ah Toy’s story in this fun book, and many more!

Check out Upstairs Girls and other great books about the Wild West today!

The Badge

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Jun 092011

The Badge
By Jack Webb

So, you remember the show Dragnet, right?  Well this book, written by the same Jack Webb, highlights many of the stories featured on Dragnet that were not appropriate for the television audience.  These stories were classified as too violent or too sensational for TV, so Jack Webb documented them here.  But, this book is more than just the hidden stories behind the famous TV show and its episodes.  This book goes into the elaborate inner workings of the LA Police Department.  Webb explains, in detail, what each rank of officer does, and what his daily work life was like.  Webb also explains a significant amount of LA history, as well, showing for the reader how the common icons of today’s LA came about.  The book is rich with the stories, and even richer in painting the portrait of the giant metropolis of LA.  The caveat? The book was written in the fifties, and published in 1958.  Thus, this book is truly a window back in time, showing us what life was really like living in the beginnings of the urban sprawl that is now Southern California.  Webb’s book is a testimonial to the underbelly of the squeaky clean image of the 1950s, and is a real eye opener to read.

Check out The Badge and more great crime fiction today!

Why We Get Fat

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May 042011

Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It
Gary Taubes

This is an interesting book that caught my eye when it came in our door.  Like many, I’m a bit on the pudgy side, and although I love my job, I know that part of that reason is that I spend a lot of time just sitting at this computer in my office doing stuff.  A far cry from the barn work I did for years and years.

So, like many, I’m always interested in ways to cut back on my total body mass.  I eat fairly well, and I exercise, but like many, that’s not enough to keep me slim.  So what’s the answer?  Well, I think that answer varies from individual to individual; we are all so different.

This particular book, though, lays the blame of today’s obesity squarely on the shoulders of refined carbohydrates.  We’ve all heard about the Adkins diet that eliminates all breads, grains, and sugars, and this book talks a lot about why that works, and how those pesky carbs impact our bodies.  Essentially, our bodies were not designed for the high sugar and high carbohydrate diets we have today.  Our bodies were designed to eat differently, that being what we would hunt or gather.  Biologically, our bodies weren’t made to eat white bread pumped out from factories or the amount of candy and soda we eat.

Author Taubes does extensive research pointing to many medical studies and articles regarding how humans react to the highly refined diets we eat, which is an interesting explanation as to why the carb free diets work for some people.

The book is quite interesting to read and offers more information than you’d expect from a diet book, but really, this is not a diet book.  There are not recipes or steps or a process for making yourself thin or lean, rather, just information on how the process of eliminating carbohydrates works on the human body.  As I read, I kept waiting for the magic answer, but found it came pretty late in the book.  Was it fascinating?  Yes.  Did it answer a lot of questions on why restricting carbs works?  Yes.  However, if you’re expecting any structure or recipes or rules or anything of the sort typically found in diet books, you’ll not find it in this one.  Once you have the information you need from this book, you do have to go forth and find recipes and other carb restricting diet structures to give the process to follow through with the information presented here.

Check out Why We Get Fat for more info!


Dirty Secret

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Apr 042011

Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding.  By Jessie Sholl.

Have you ever watched the show Hoarders?  Have you ever known someone in your neighborhood who had just too much stuff?  We all have, at times, but without understanding why people held on to so much stuff.

This is a facinating journey into compulsive hoarding, seen and told through the eyes of a daughter of a compulsive hoarder.  Jessie’s mother keeps stuff.  She always has, and has always had difficulty keeping things organized and neat.  Jessie tells the story of her mother’s hoarding as an adult, during a crisis with her mother’s health, with insights into what her life was like growing up.  The author shows us how hoarders live and think, and she explains, even pointing to scholarly information and definitions, what hoarding is and how it is affected by psychology.

Dirty Secret is a great read, and you feel compassion for the author as well as her mother and other family members.  The story is shocking and real, and the lessons are well learned.  Jessie Sholl is an excellent author who writes a tale worth reading.  The journey taken through this book is one of healing and understanding as a daughter explores her mother’s hoarding and forgives the hold the hoarding has had on her life.

Find Dirty Secret on our non-fiction new book shelf today.



Bedside Book of Bad Girls

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Mar 252011

The Bedside Book of Bad Girls is written by historian Michael Rutter and is a historical retelling of our favorite outlaw cowgirls and madams from the Old West.  Rutter’s storytelling is enjoyable and engaging, and he draws the readers into the lives of such famous western women as Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, and Little Britches and Cattle Annie.  In addition to some of the more famous names, Rutter tells the tales of lesser known women with non-traditional, colorful pasts.

Rutter explores documents and histories to reveal the truth behind the women of the Wild West.  So many have tangled and extensive lives, yet the truth hides behind the legend that gave them their fame.  Rutter works very hard to discover the truth of the lives of these famous characters in order to set the record straight, yet explaining how the wild tales came about. The author delves into archives to find pictures  to illustrate his biographies.

Rutter distills extensive research into lively tales that are only a  handful of pages long, indeed making this an excellent bedside reader.  One will dream dreams of our historic Wild West after reading one of these 21 stories each evening!

Find the Bedside Book of Bad Girls today!

Getting Mother’s Body

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Dec 232010

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Getting  Mother’s Body

Suzan-Lori Parks

So while bothering some poor staff member, probably my administrative assistant, in the back office the other day I see this jazzy black bound book with old west typeface writing just sitting there all lonely and forlorn on a book truck.  I pick it up.  “Hmmmm… The title sounds interesting,”  I think.  See, the glorious reading required for my college degrees killed my desire to read anything other than the latest statuses of my friends on Facebook or perhaps the blurb on the TV Guide.  But things are different now.  My staff forces me to read fiction.  So, I pick up this beautiful book for further investigation.

The story revolves around Billy Beede, a pregnant, unwed young woman from rural Texas in 1963.  Her lover, a traveling salesman from a faraway town who goes around selling coffins, promises he’ll marry her on “Thursday.”  Billy tracks him down only to meet his wife and his children. Billy is left in quite a predicament, and decides to seek out the treasure buried with her mother’s body, Willa Mae Beede, two states over in Arizona.  Having no resources of her own, Billy steals her mother’s lover, Dill Smile’s truck.  Her Aunt June and Uncle Teddy load up for the adventure, as well, and they all dream of the life Willa Mae’s treasure will bring them.  Billy, Aunt June, and Uncle Teddy are immediately pursued by Dill and Laz, a young man enamored of Billy who has set his heart to be her husband.  The ensuing adventures of the Beede family are enriching, and although they’re not always bright and sunny and funny and cute, the underlying theme is the importance of family and friends, and finding the inner strength to pursue and achieve the hopes and dreams of your heart.

Billy’s life is a hard one, and Parks does an excellent job of representing the experiences of the characters’ 1960’s rural Texas town world through their multiple points of view.  As the chapters progress, they are all from a different vantage point to the story and through the eyes of all the parties involved.  This unique insight offers an in-depth and multi-faceted view of the story as it unfolds.

Getting Mother’s Body is a great read, enjoyable from the beginning to the end, and will leave you with a smile and wanting more.  You can find it on our fiction shelves, among other wonderful reads.  : )

Oh No She Didn’t!

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Dec 092010

Oh No She Didn’t
by Clinton Kelly

So if you know me, you know I’m not a fashionista.  At all.  I barely see after brushing my hair and I’m loathe to take off my corral boots, and I only recently bought a jacket for myself in order to set aside the hand-me-down camo jackets my husband no longer uses for hunting.  So when this book came into the library, I mostly picked it up because of the funny title.  I wanted to see fashion faux pas like what you see on the People of Walmart website.  However, this book was not like that, and it totally sucked me in!

Clinton Kelly does an excellent job of offering fashion advice in a funny, approachable, and sensible form.  The chapters of the book are no more than a few paragraphs long and are straight to the point.  Kelly states his fashion tip, and explains why the tip is relevant and why it is important.  And unlike most fashion magazine articles and ads, Clinton Kelly chooses tips that are completely relevant, classic, and relate to various body styles.  He explains why you want to consider skirt length style in relation to how your body looks, instead of simply stating what the fashion trend dictates.

Kelly is witty and enjoyable to read and offers style tips that even I, in my casual, helter-skelter approach to dressing myself, find relevant and valuable.  I like quick and easy dressing with a minimal of fuss, but I found as I read that I made a checklist of things to think about when shopping in the future, and things that I want consider while going through my closet in order to appear a bit more put together.  Kelly’s suggestions are timeless and relevant, simple and effective, and made for any body style.

You can find Oh No She Didn’t on our new book shelves with the rest of our new nonfiction materials.  Come check it out today!


Hours and Directions

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Sep 062010

Winter Hours: Labor Day to Memorial Day

Monday -Thursday from 10 AM to 8 PM
Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM

Summer Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day

Monday – Wednesday from 10 AM to 6 PM
Thursdays from 10 AM to 7 PM
Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM

We are closed Sundays and Holidays


5210 Stuart Ave. Chubbuck, ID 83202