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New Year’s inspiration from local author

A new book called “Poems, Prayers and Prose: A Devotional,” by local author Janice Dinkel, is a work of mini-essays, poems and prayers that will inspire you at New Year’s and all year round.

She opens with a chapter appropriately titled “A New Year, A New You” with her recommendations to help ensure you spend quiet time with the Lord every day. Other essays take you through the seasons, and cover a broad range of subjects including anger, tolerance, joy, patience, diversity, transitions, focusing, dealing with change, the blessings of children, issues faced by our country and coping in tough times.

Interspersed throughout the book are prayers and 20 of Janice’s poems. In fact, as you read her observations, you learn that she is a multi-talented writer who enjoys writing stories, poetry and lyrics. She also is a singer and guitar player who loves to fish, hike, walk, swim, travel, read and scrapbook. Above all, she’s a devout Christian and very proud mother of two adopted boys, Anthony, 21, and Matthew, 12.

She seems to be a compassionate woman who cares greatly for children and for the underprivileged. Perhaps this comes from the fact that she’s from a family of pastors and lay leaders in the Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

Originally from Albuquerque, Janice and her son, Matthew, moved to Pagosa Springs from Phoenix full time in 2007. She is a teacher who specialized in speech therapy at a special needs preschool in Phoenix and today substitutes in the Pagosa Springs school system teaching special education and other subjects. She also does domestic violence outreach work in Archuleta County, Durango and other nearby areas — wherever she is needed, she says.

Janice says she wrote the devotional, “to encourage others, especially those going through tough times.” Her practical guidance should make this book a welcome addition to your inspirational bookshelf. You can find “Poems, Prayers and Prose” at the library, or phone Janice at (970) 317-4518 if you want to buy your own copy.


“Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope” by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly provides an unflinching look at the overwhelming challenges of brain injury and the great love and courage of this remarkable couple. “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero” by Chris Mathews takes us through JFK’s life from privileged, rebellious youth to American president. “Blue Nights” by Joan Didion talks with stunning frankness about losing a daughter. “Man Seeks God” by Eric Weiner undertakes a worldwide exploration of religions, hoping to come to a personal understanding of God. “Being George Washington” by radio host Glenn Beck is a new look at this great American hero and the history surrounding him.

Other nonfiction

“Back to Work” by Bill Clinton presents his ideas on restoring economic growth, job creation, financial responsibility, resolving the mortgage crisis and pursuing a strategy for the future. “The New New Rules” by comedian Bill Maher is a collection of new and best-loved observations about the world around us, plus tips for improvement.

Mysteries and suspense

“The Talk Show Murders” by Al Roker is a new mystery involving past secrets of celerity chef turned sleuth Billy Blessing. “Vigilante” by Stephen J. Cannell is a thriller featuring LAPD detective Shane Scully and his partner Sumner Hitchens. “Soft Target” by Stephen Hunter is a thriller set in America’s largest shopping mall in suburban Minneapolis. “The Drop” by Michael Connelly is the latest in the murder mystery series featuring LAPD detective Harry Bosch. “Dead Bolt” by Juliet Blackwell is the latest in the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series, this one set in San Francisco.

Large print

“V is for Vengeance” by Sue Grafton is the latest in the series featuring PI Kinsey Millhone.

“Red Mist” by Patricia Cornwell is the latest in the series featuring Kay Scarpetta. “Devil’s Gate” by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown is the latest in the NUMA Files series. “Come A Little Closer” by Dorothy Garlock is set in a small Wisconsin town just after World War II. “Bride of the Night” by Heather Graham features vampire Tara Fox.

Other new novels

“The Scottish Prisoner” by Diana Gabaldon involves a paroled prisoner of war in 1760 being drawn back into dangerous English politics. “The Forgotten Affairs of Youth” by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest in the Isabel Dalhousie series.

Thanks to our donors

For their generous donations, we thank Robert and Charla Green, Judith Knott, and Donald Logan and Patricia Howard, the latter’s gift in honor of Bob and Carole Howard. For books and materials this week, we thank Lyn Dryburgh. We also want to thank everyone who brought in holiday goodies for the staff.

Quotable quote

“The world makes way for the person who knows where he or she is going.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer and poet.


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