Thursday, February 05, 2009


lewis_short Red Bluff resident Ashley Lewis, now in her mid-twenties, traveled the rodeo circuit with her father since she was born. Raymond Lewis was a Sierra Circuit Champion Bronc Rider and an all-around cowboy. Some of Ashley's experiences are related in "Road To Rodeos" ($24.95 in paperback from, which she illustrated with crayon drawings, in a simplified story for kids. As the tale begins, ten-year-old Ashley is loading her dad's calf roping horse into the horse trailer, and then it's off to rodeos in Idaho and Montana. Her dad ropes a calf in 10.2 seconds (no calves are injured). Skill!

villani_short "Art Towns California: Communities Celebrating Creativity--Festivals, Galleries, Museums, Dining & Lodging" ($18.95 in paperback from The Countryman Press) is by John Villani, author of "The 100 Best Art Towns in America." The California book features chapters on 27 venues, including Redding, Nevada City and Chico. The Chico chapter samples the expanse of arts in the city, from farmers' markets to theatre offerings to exhibitions. It spotlights comments from Chico artists Chunhong Chang, who "paints ethereal, soothing images capturing the essential beauty of atmospheres, wildlife, flowers, and fruits," and Richard Satava, "one of California's leading masters of contemporary glass art."

raymon_short Chicoan Ishmael Raymon "loves birds, gardening, chocolate, and freedom." He calls himself "neither Muslim nor Christian but a seeker of truth who chooses to view this life as a valuable lesson that can be utilized to open a window into another existence after this one, where my true potential and understanding will be more freely manifest." His book of essays, "Ponder This . . . Another World Is Possible" ($20 in paperback from Simply Put Press), is "my attempt . . . to dispel the myth in religion and to encourage simple living " and "a high standard of thought."

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