Beyond travel books |

Beyond travel books

Teri Andrews Rinne
Friends of the Library

Travel books and videos are a wonderful way to nail down the nuts and bolts of travel planning: logistics, transportation, attractions, accommodations and the like.

As this column explored last week, the Truckee Library is a treasure trove of books and videos devoted to planning your dream vacation. To add a entirely new dimension to your travel planning, it helps to immerse yourself in the culture and history of your travel destination by listening to language tapes and music, watching movies and documentaries and reading both fiction and non-fiction books.

This summer my family is traveling to Europe for three weeks, visiting family in the German Alps, with side trips into Austria and the Czech Republic, followed by a week in Paris. In the interest of brevity, I will concentrate on how we are preparing for the Paris leg of our journey. In addition to using the library’s language tapes and CDs to brush up on our rusty German and French, watching foreign films with English subtitles is a good way to start “hearing” the language before arriving. My favorites in French at the Truckee Library are “Amelie” and the trilogy “Red, White, and Blue.”

A favorite non-fiction book is Paris to the Moon, which chronicles an American journalist’s experience living in Paris with his wife and son for five years. Antonia Fraser’s biography of Marie Antoinette and the “post-punk” film adaptation gives a great backdrop to a day trip to Versailles. Fiction set in Paris abounds, with the most popular in recent years being the Da Vinci Code. Another title generating much excitement in the library and book club world is Suite Française, a set of novellas written during the Nazi-occupation of France during WWII.

To prepare our 11-year-old daughter Gabrielle for the trip, I found there’s almost too much on the shelves of the Truckee Library. Here’s just a sampling of Paris picks for all ages. In picture books, there’s the Madeline series and Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail, among many, many others. In chapter books, there is the contemporary classic, Linnea in Monet’s Garden. This year’s Caldecott Award winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a 550-page tour de force in words and pictures about a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station during the 1930s. In the Young Adult section, there is Anne Frank and Me, a time-travel adventure set in Nazi-occupied Paris. More contemporary and less serious, there’s Pardon My French, part of a fun series called Students Across Seven Seas (S.A.S.S.) about the adventures of American foreign exchange students. In non-fiction, there’s the Louvre Up Close, a stunning new acquisition that elevates “lift-the-flap” book to a new level.

This is Paris is part of a classic series of travel guides written for children in the 1950s-60s and recently republished and updated while still retaining its original charm. Movies for children set in Paris include “Madeline,” “”The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the “Red Balloon,” and “Ratatouille.” Non-fiction titles on video include a documentary “Families of France.” Whew!

So remember to look beyond the travel guide section of the Truckee Library to further enhance your travel experiences!

Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave. 582-7846


Monday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Bookshelf’s Dry Camp Book Club at the Library

Meets monthly at the Library. Participants at the book group meeting will receive a coupon for 15 percent off a one-time book purchase at the Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks. Everyone is welcome.

This month’s selection: The Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo, to be discussed Wednesday, July 15 at 7 pm

Ongoing: Catch the Reading Bug! Summer Reading Program for ages 5-12, Weekly special events every Wednesday at 4 pm, June 25-July 30.

Today is the Catch the Reading Bug Kick-off Party: scavenger hunt, bug stories and jokes and even “bugs” for dessert…

Storytimes on summer break, resuming in late August; watch this space for more information.

Now on display at the library:

Portraits by Truckee artist Raphael Jolly

Over the fireplace: “The Tragic Demise of Yogi Bear”, mixed media by Eve Werner

In the Children’s Wing: “Becoming American” story quilt by Mrs. Blesse’s 5th Grade Class

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