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—What I Am Reading Now Department: A Darkness Lit by Heroes

A Darkness Lit by Heroes (cover) by Doug Ammons, available at This House of Books, your community-owned, independent bookstore and tea shop in downtown Billings, Montana

A Darkness Lit by Heroes by Doug Ammons is a compelling story that does not have any villains, only heroes. It is the story of one of the worst mining catastrophes in history, the 1917 disaster at one of the biggest mines on the “richest hill on Earth,” the Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine. 

As the title announces, A Darkness Lit by Heroes is the story of a mining disaster that happened 100 years ago. However, it really is a timeless story about the human spirit. Doug wrote: "We find that when all that sustains us is gradually stripped away – our light, water, and even the air we breathe – that something profoundly human rises up out of the darkness. We call it courage, we can call it will, we call it heroism, but it is our love for each other and the bonds between us that light even the greatest darkness.”

High Plains Book Fest 2017 Poetry Finalists

The 2017 High Plains Book Fest finalists for poetry read selections of their work on October 21, 2017, at This House of Books.

Poems Across the Big Sky II, edited by Lowell Jaeger, took the top honor. Jaeger is Montana’s seventh Poet Laureate. He teaches at Flathead Valley Community College.

Crazy Horse: the Lakota Warrior's Life & Legacy

I am tossing this into my blog simply because it amused me when I stumbled into it.

I was researching William B. Matson's book about Crazy Horse and found this. A popular book, I'd say.

Image of German-language version of Wm. Mattoon's book about Crazy Horse

Lynda Moss reads An Open Heart by Barry J. Schieber

Lynda Moss and her Bernese Mountain Dog, China Berry, read An Open Heart, written by Barry J. Schieber and illustrated by Hedvig Rappe-Flowers.The book is based on stories about Barry’s loyal companion Moritz, a Bernese Mountain dog who won the hearts of children and adults in Montana. 

China Berry trained as a puppy at Prison Paws for Humanity at the Montana Women’s Prison and recently passed the therapy animal program offered by the Intermountain Therapy Animals program in Bozeman. As a therapy team, Lynda and China will be visiting health care facilities, libraries and schools in Montana.

After the reading, Lynda and China gave away free copies of books by Barry J. Schieber to kids and their families attending the program. This House of Books also gave away some small items, such as buttons and posters.

—What I Am Reading Now Department: Sandstone

Cover of the anthology, Sandstone, a fundraiser for This House of Books, your community-owned, independent bookstore and tea shop in downtown Billings, MontanaI just finished reading Sandstone, the anthology published as a fundraiser for This House of Books. Sandstore has 30 contributors and I can say that the quality is amazing. It immediately struck me when I jumped into the first story, a beautifully described story of misadventure set on the northern border of Grand Teton National Park by Pete Fromm. There are so many good contributions that it is impossible for me to pick favorites.