Books and News to Give You Paws


August 2015

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Paws Points Events logoAugust book signings

All of these are Paws Points events!


book August 1, noon to 2:00

Norma Knapp will be signing copies of her new memoir, Scoria Roads. Knapp writes heart-rending stories about living in twenty different houses in her first twenty-one years. The book is a touching meditation on what it means to love, lose, accept, and negotiate fate’s obstacle courses. The memoir is filled with Knapp’s towns and landscapes changed from the sweet safe ’40s and ’50s to a chaotic world today caused by a blistering oil boom. Knapp will also be signing copies of her earlier book, Missing My Best Friend, a children’s book about grief.





August 8, noon to 2:00

Nel E. Sherk will be signing copies of Beyond Our Control. When her husband left her alone with three young children, Nina was forced to try and figure out what happened to her life. Where had she gone wrong? What could she have done differently? She began to think back to how hard her life was as her kids turn to their neighbor, Sam, for help with their mom. She soon finds that love can be found anywhere, any time, and dwelling on your past won't get you anywhere you haven't already been.

bookbookAugust 18, noon to 2:00

Join us as we welcome two poets to the store! Kathryn Kysar will read from her latest book, Pretend the World. From her Saint Paul kitchen to the historical shores of Lake Superior, from a rock outside of Bagdad to a clothing factory in Guangdong, Kysar constructs and reconstructs a world in poems that confront our false sense of safety and explore the inequities and fissures in women's lives. Poet and staff person LouAnn Muhm (Breaking the Glass) will facilitate the session. Books by both are now available at the store.


bookAugust 22, noon to 2:00

Bemidji author Doug Lewandowski will be in the store signing copies of his novel, Woman River. The book is in the tradition of Staggerford and Winesburg Ohio, interweaving themes of belief, doubt and revelation in traditional and unconventional ways. Lewandowski’s work life has been dedicated to understanding human behavior and motivation, and his understanding of the human condition is reflected in this book.


bookAugust 29, noon to 2:00

Betty Boughton Hanson will be signing copies of a book for young children, Kudos for Kids. Hanson created the book to encourage caregivers to read to children. It has simple text and colorful photographs. One of the pictures (which was printed in a national magazine) was taken in Park Rapids!


New Men’s Book Group?

We’ve heard interest expressed in starting a men’s EVENING group. If you’re interested, please email Jen at with the subject line MEN’S EVENING BK GP. It’s possible we could host a men’s evening group on the 2nd Thursday of the month, which is the same time that the women’s Beagle book group meets—in separate rooms of course.

Now in paperback!

bookThe Rosie Effect
by Graeme Simsion

If you haven’t already read The Rosie Project, read it and then the sequel, The Rosie Effect. Both are great summer reads—screwball romantic comedies with quirky yet endearing characters.

bookStone Mattress: Nine Tales
by Margaret Atwood

This is Atwood’s latest release—a collection of nine short stories which I forced myself to read slowly to savor. While I enjoyed Atwood’s science fiction/future dystopian novels, I’m really enjoyed a return to the feminist novelist I fell in love with as a young woman. The first three stories in the collection are connected—each is presented from a different perspective about a pretentious famous poet and his love interests. Throughout the three stories, a lot of time is covered—at one point in one of the stories the poet is young and unknown, in another, we witness the poet’s funeral after he died as old man. Atwood does an amazing job of weaving wit and irony with the human condition, and incorporating new technology (which should not have come as a surprise—if you want to talk to Atwood, get on Twitter—really.)

bookClose Your Eyes, Hold Hands
by Chris Bohjalian

Emily Shepard is on the run after the nuclear plant where her father worked has suffered a cataclysmic meltdown, and all fingers point to him. Now orphaned, homeless, and certain that she’s a pariah, Emily has taken to hiding out on the frigid streets of Burlington, Vermont, creating a new identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. Then she meets Cameron. Nine years old  with a string of foster families behind him, he sparks something in Emily, and she protects him with a fierceness she didn’t know she possessed. But when an emergency threatens the fledgling home she’s created, Emily realizes that she can’t hide forever.

Bestsellers for July

book book book book book

Go Set a


Windigo Island




The Invention of


I Am Malala

book   book   book   book   book



Goodnight Loon


Drop the Puck,
It’s Hockey


Bird Skinner


The Children Act


Midwest Connection Picks


Kitchens of the Great Midwest
by J. Ryan Stradal

A novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. Each chapter in this startlingly original book tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the essence of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent, sure to appeal to readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?Olive Kitteridge, and Garrison Keillor.

And just for fun, we’re giving away a recipe card with the purchase of the book, while supplies last.

Click here for an excerpt of the audio book.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!
A Children's Picture Book by Elise Parsley

This unforgettable introduction to a charismatic kid heroine also marks the dazzling debut of an extraordinary new artistic talent!

Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who's determined to have the best show-and-tell of all—until her reptilian rapscallion starts getting her into some major trouble. Now it's up to Magnolia to find a way to send this troublemaker home—but what could possibly scare an alligator away?

Read about this book's remarkable path to publication.

Author Elsie Parsley lives in Moorhead, Minnesota.


by Dean Bakopoulos

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on the same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, the town’s adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire, Don, and their neighbors and friends find themselves exploring the most puzzling quandaries of marriage and maturity. When does a fantasy become infidelity? When does compromise become resentment? When does routine become boring monotony? Can Claire and Don survive everything that befalls them in this one summer, forgive their mistakes, and begin again?

Award-winning writer Dean Bakopoulos delivers a brutally honest and incredibly funny novel about the strange and tenuous ties that bind us, and the strange and unlikely places we find connection. Full of mirth, melancholy, and redemption, Summerlong explores what happens when life goes awry.


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