Thanks goes to those who donated books this week to be taken to Ukraine. Eight women from our sister city of Uman, Ukraine, are currently visiting Davis, taking part in a Women's Political Campaign Management Institute offered at International House.
The institute was the brainchild of former Davis Mayor Maynard Skinner, a longtime member of the Uman-Davis Sister Cities Project. Members of the project are hosting the Ukrainian women in their homes. The visitors include a doctor, lawyer, a recent university graduate, a museum curator and several teachers and journalists.
Sister-city exchanges throughout the years have taken place between business owners, politicians and musicians but no effort has been made to introduce citizens of Uman to Davis writers or vice versa. So a call went out asking for donations of books by Davis writers to be taken to Uman libraries.
Many people generously responded and thanks in particular goes to Mark Nemmers of Bogey's Books, Stan Robinson, Doris Earnshaw, Miriam Hummel, Robert Clark Young, Jim Saum and Dorothy Kupcha Leland. We now have all the donations we can handle.
The idea was to ask each woman to take a couple of books back in her suitcase, that way no one would be unduly encumbered and Uman readers would have the beginning of a Davis library.
Leland donated copies of the book she wrote, "Sallie Fox: The Story of A Pioneer Girl," and copies of another historical book, "Patty Reed's Doll: The Story of Donner Party," by Rachel K. Laurgaard. These books, written for young adult readers, will be popular with those in Uman looking for books in English that aren't too difficult to read. Apparently, there is a shortage of English material in Uman. Big cities like Kyiv have more to offer in terms of English-language books, tapes and videos. And, the books donated by Leland have the added advantage of describing California history.
Leland has since written another children's historical novel based on the true story of a boy who lived in Gold Rush San Francisco. That book is in the hands of her agent; I hope we'll be seeing it in print soon.
More sophisticated readers will love Stan Robinson's Mars trilogy plus "The Martians," "Escape from Kathmandu," and a collection of short stories, "Remaking History." Robinson's Mars trilogy can be technical, but I know of several university professors in Uman who will be fascinated by his descriptions of terra-forming the red planet.
Nemmers of Bogey's Books donated a variety of titles leading off with what is sure to be a crowd pleaser in Uman, "The Toads of Davis: A Saga of a Small Town," by Ted Puntillo. People in Uman will get the real story behind our famous toad tunnel.
Nemmers also included two books by Karen Joy Fowler, her short fiction in "Black Glass" and her novel "The Sweetheart Season." Into the mix went "Fun & Games" by UC Davis Professor Clarence Major, plus a book of photographs and text by John Lofland and Phyllis Haig, "Davis, California, 1910s-1940s."
Earnshaw donated a copy of "California Women Speak: Speeches of California Women in Public Office," which is right in line with the topics discussed at the institute the Ukrainian women attended. Based on the success of her first book, Earnshaw published "American Women Speak," a collection of words, photographs and biographies of 19 American women, and a third book in the trilogy, "International Women Speak," will be published before Christmas. Hummel, a retired librarian and enthusiastic reader, made a donation that enabled us to buy books, and also made several contributions from her own library. Thus, the children of Uman will be able to pour over Yan Nascimbene's magical picture book "A Day in September" and Ukrainian adults interested in U.S. history will be able to enjoy "Jefferson" by UC Davis Professor Max Bird.
(Hummel, you may remember, is the woman who submitted my far-and-away favorite for the Davis motto contest: "Multum in Parvo" or "Much in Little." Contest over, as far as I'm concerned.)
Saum contributed an early John Lescroart mystery ensuring that Uman residents will be able to read about San Francisco, crime and beer. And Young gave us paperback copies of "One of the Guys," which has the singular honor of being cited by the right-wing American Family Association as "garbage." Believe me, it's not. It's a satire about the U.S. Navy and could be translated to apply to any military branch in the world.
I hope that this is only the first shipment of Davis books to Uman. Next, it would be fun to read works by Uman writers, in translation, of course.
To inquire about ordering any of the above mentioned books from an independent bookstore,
Bogey's Books at discounted prices [ Click Here ]
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