Niobrara County News

NCL Announces Book Discussion Series

The Niobrara County Library will host “Rural in America,” a public reading and discussion series that looks at both romantic and realistic views of rural life. Funded by the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, the series will run from September 1, 2004 to February 2, 2005 at the Niobrara County Library. For more information and to register contact Debbie Sturman at 334-3490 or stop by the library.

The six books in the series show what it is like to grow up and live in rural America. Wendall Berry’s novel “The Memory of Old Jack” tells the story of a man who reexamines his life working on a farm in Kentucky before he dies. “A Painted House” by John Grisham is unlike his legal thrillers. The novel is narrated by a boy on a dirt-poor cotton farm in Arkansas who learns about life and death during one harvest season. Kent Haruf’s novel “Plainsong” depicts the lives of eight people in a small town on the Colorado plains. Betty Macdonald’s comic classic “The Egg and I” describes life on a small poultry farm on the Olympic Peninsula. Annie Proulx’s novel “That Old Ace in the Hole” is set on the Texas panhandle where a young man secretly tries to buy land for industrial hog farming and meets the areas eccentric residents. “Winter Wheat” by Mildred Walker tells the story of a young woman coming of age in Montana on a dry-land wheat farm.

Leading the discussions will be Lusk rancher Bob Brown. Bob holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Denver and served in various roles, including college teacher, psychotherapist, and concert musician, before relocating to Crooked Heart Ranch near Lusk in 1995.

The program is one of 12 offered by the Wyoming Council for the Humanities through its 2004 Book Discussion Program which offers reading and discussion series to nonprofit groups throughout the state. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information about WCH programs, call 721-9243 or visit the Council’s website at