Subject: Discoveries and Inventions


Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids and the Birth of the Solar System by Natalie Starkey

This is a study of what makes up a planet or cosmic system. Where did it all begin?

Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Isaac Asimov

Is there life on other planets, did we originate elsewhere, if so where? A continuing quest.

Mr. Asimov is a favorite author of this member.

This book is available in the non-fiction section of the Grover Beach Community Library

Old Town Orcutt by William W. Orcutt

Our reader discovered the history of the founder of the town of Orcutt, south of Santa Maria.  From bare land to a busy area at the present, it made interesting reading about a person who did not set out to found a city but helped an area evolve. He did not expect it to be named after him.

This book can be found in the Local History section of the Grover Beach Community Library.

Life Below Stairs (True Lives of Edwardian Servants) by Alison Maloney

A book inspired by the TV series “Downtown Abbey” gives all the facts of who became servants, why they did, their uniforms, duties, rank and salaries, told in an interesting way. There was no education for the poor at that time because teachers and schools took money. The outlook was bleak.  Being a servant was a way to have a bed all to yourself, food, a roof over your head, something that not everyone had. Pay was dismal, but did include room and board. Hours were before sunup to after the employers went to bed, whenever that was. Time off was an afternoon or half day, if there was enough money to do anything.  Some would visit their family and financially help out at home.  It was not unusual to do ‘day work’ at 10 years of age and work fulltime at 15 or 16.  Everything was done by hand; there were no modern home aids, like vacuum cleaners or electric irons.

Our discussion hinged on work.  If you had no education why kind of work could you do? One member recalled growing up in another culture where it was not unusual for a family to stop by a home of a well to do person and offer a child for sale, to be used as a slave or servant and never to be seen again by their family.  Some were raised as family and others had to help about the house. There were some who were abused, but generally not.  It was ‘life’.

Why didn’t they leave?  Where would they go?  They had no education, where could they find work and what kind. Why didn’t they leave, if things were hard? A good reference as a hard worker was prized. People had to save money to go elsewhere, but with poor wages it took a long time.  Life on the streets was dangerous and often harder than what happened as a servant.

This book was donated to the Grover Beach Community Library and, due to space constrictions, will probably be in our next book sale, the date of which will be determined in January.   We also received a plethora of coffee table books on Downtown Abbey and related subjects, which will also be in the next book sale also.  Interested readers might want to stop by the library and peruse the selection. 

Next Meeting: January 11,2022 at the Grover Beach Community Library, 240 North 9th Street, Grover Beach at 10:30 a.m. We will have coffee or tea again.

Subject: Local Authors. Don’t forget our local author section at the Grover Beach Community Library.