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Book Notes: Chinese massacre in 1887 focus of Nokes’ story

Sun., Sept. 19, 2010

R. Gregory Nokes, a former reporter for the Associated Press and the Oregonian, will tell a fascinating story today at Auntie’s Bookstore.

Nokes is the author of “Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon,” (Oregon State University Press, $18.95). This is a compelling and detailed account of the massacre of 30 or more Chinese miners in the canyon on the Snake River in 1887.

It was a chilling, cold-blooded mass murder. The killers simply took up positions on the canyon walls and picked off the defenseless miners as they tried desperately to find cover. In Hells Canyon, there was no cover to find.

The motive was probably gold. The wider world did not learn of the crimes until the first bodies floated into Lewiston days later.

Nokes has uncovered a wealth of new detail about this shameful episode in Northwest history. He even found some evidence pointing to those responsible for this unsolved crime.

His reading will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the main Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.

‘Laugh, Cry’ review

Here are some excerpts from the Associated Press review of “Laugh, Cry, Eat Some Pie” (Perigee, $13.95) by Spokane author and motivational speaker Deanna Davis:

• “In each chapter, Davis weaves a mix of personal anecdotes and self-help tips with a heavy emphasis on positive psychology. She suggests using the benefits of laughter, friendship and mindfulness to get through life’s rough patches.”

• “While Davis is familiar with life’s challenges, such as illness, parenthood and death, she relies more heavily on lighthearted stories about speeding tickets, flip-flops and suburban challenges.”

Spokane Novelist Group

Writing a novel can be a lonely business. The Spokane Novelist Group provides an antidote.

The group of regional fiction writers, including a number of published authors, has been meeting for 50 years. It’s a support/critique group and all fiction writers are welcome to bring five to 10 pages to read aloud and six to eight copies for others to read along.

They meet on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. The next meeting: Saturday, noon at the Argonne Branch of the Spokane County Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road.

For more information, call (509) 590-7316.

A book club for kids

The Spokane County Library District’s North Spokane Branch, 44 E. Hawthorne Road, will launch its first book club for kids from grades 4-6 on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The initial selection: “Frindle” by Andrew Clements.

Start reading, kids. Next up on Oct. 19 will be “Found” by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Walter on the BBC

Spokane author Jess Walter’s voice was heard around the world earlier this month.

He was the featured author on a BBC World Service program called “The Strand” which was broadcast Sept. 1 and re-broadcast on Sept. 2.

Walter talked about his novel “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” which is out in paperback. You can hear the interview yourself on the BBC’s website.

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