Despite the pandemic, we’re grateful for the events of 2021. Thank you for celebrating our 20th anniversary with us all year. We’re appreciative of the lively bookish community which surrounds the store. Whether you’re in one of our book groups, have come to an event here, drop in each time you’re in town or downtown, or recently discovered us, we’re grateful for your business.
At the same time, we look forward to a fresh start with a new year. We wish you and yours a healthy 2022, full of good times and good books.
We took a break from receiving used books during December; but we’re ready to accept them again.
As a reminder, we’re most interested in recent fiction and mystery in paperback, as well as books for children and young adults. Books should be in excellent to good condition. We generally process on Sundays and pay in store credit.
We are closed on New Year’s Day and
our winter schedule
starts on January 2nd.
We’ll be closed Sunday, January 16 for Morning In.
Our popular winter event for readers is back! There are a few COVID inspired twists, but Sally and Jen will still be recommending books they think would be great for book group discussion or individual reading.
The event will feature:
A 10% discount on the books we recommend January 15 to 21
Book related swag (if you ZOOM in, stop by the store January 15 to 21 for a swag bag. We’re not able to mail them.)
Prizes (for in-person attendees only)
Here’s what will be different:
The number of participants will be limited to 25 in each session. We’ll have one session Saturday, January 15 at 7 PM and one Sunday January 16 at 10 AM. If interest warrants, we’ll have an additional session January 16 at 2PM. The Saturday event will be available via ZOOM. Pre-registration is required, whether you participate in person or virtually. You can pre-register for ZOOM by calling Jen or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll email you the link. It will also be available on Facebook.
To attend in person, you must present a vaccination card showing you are fully vaccinated against COVID, and have received a booster OR show that you have tested negative in the week preceding the event.
Everyone must wear a mask during the entire event. (Sally and Jen will remove masks while addressing the group.)
January is Puzzle Month!
If you’re like a lot of people, winter is the time you hole up and work jigsaw puzzles. In response, January 29 was named National Puzzle Day. Any puzzler knows that’s way too short a time, so it’s been expanded to the whole month. If you need a new puzzle or two, stop in and check out our stock! We have puzzles ranging from 12 to 1,000 pieces.
Our new website has been up and running for several weeks and we want to give you an update on it.
The website lists all the books which are available from our wholesaler’s website, whether or not we have them in the store. Availability is listed under each book and will indicate if that book is in the store. If a book isn’t in the store, the approximate time for delivery is given.
When the website went live, it didn’t list any books which aren’t available from our wholesaler. We are in the midst of adding used books and others in this category. This includes books by local authors. We ask for your patience as we continue to add all these books. There are many of them, and the process is slow.
If you ever have a question about books in our inventory, please call (218-237-2665) or email email@example.com At this point, non-book items such as greeting cards, jewelry, and games are not listed on the web site.
We’ve had a great deal of positive feedback about the new website and want it to be useful to you. Do note that books ordered online can be shipped to you, you can pick them up in the store, or we’ll deliver them in town.
Book covers are linked to our online store, where you’ll find a description of each book.
William Kent Krueger
Days Like Smoke
The Littlest Yak Lu Fraser
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good
Where the Deer and the Antelope Play
Atlas of the Heart
Wish You Were Here
Three Ordinary Girls
Book covers are linked to our online store, where you’ll find a description of each book.
William Kent Krueger
The Seed Keeper
This Tender Land
William Kent Krueger
The Night Watchman
All Adults Here
The Saint Patrick’s Day Hero, Doug Mayfield
Miss Bensons’ Beetle
Where the Crawdads Sing
The Latinist Mark Prins
Tessa Templeton, a highly-focused student at Oxford, learns shortly before her doctoral thesis defense that her advisor, Christopher Eccles, is quite probably working to ensure that she cannot find a position anywhere other than within his domain. In all of this, there are numerous spot on descriptions of academia.
As the novel unfolds, Eccles’s tactics become more-and-more invasive, and Tessa’s options quickly become less viable. As she attempts to recover from the damage to her career and finds a new opportunity in her area of research, Eccles rapidly begins to lose control of his infatuation with Tessa. In addition, Eccles’s mother is dying, and as he recalls incidents from his childhood, we can better understand the complexity of his motivations.
The story of Daphne and Apollo comes up frequently, but it is hardly a clear parallel to the relationship between Tessa and Eccles.
Despite the title and the focus on a second century Roman poet and Latin, the novel is very readable, and I found myself staying up late to finish the last half of the book! An excellent debut!
Two men meet in Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War. One, Adrian de Groot, is a reluctant member of the Nazi German Intelligence Service. He's tasked with recruiting disaffected Irish Republican fighters who have been captured fighting for the Republican Spanish. Frank Pike is one such fighter, just about to be shot, when he's offered the job of helping de Groot. They will create a diversionary front in Ireland, so that German forces will be better able to invade England. But as the two men become acquainted, things become complicated. When the Russian Front is opened and plans for the invasion of England are postponed, the two men briefly become lovers. [aside: I told you things become complicated] Both men also begin secretly pursuing their own agendas.
Peter Mann is a professor of European History. His portrayal of life in Berlin as the war grinds slowly towards defeat is blisteringly gritty, both objectively (the daily struggle for necessities), and subjectively (moral and ethical boundaries shift under relentless brutal stresses.) Not for the faint of heart, this book is richly rewarding for readers seeking well developed characters of rare quality.
The novel begins with Thea waiting outside a prison for the release on parole of her only child, 20 year old Stefan. At 17, Stefan was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend, Belinda. He was on drugs at the time and has no memory of what happened.
Thea and her husband, Jep, quickly learn that Stefan’s adjustment to life outside prison will be difficult, and that their own lives will be affected as well. Protesters organized by Belinda’s mother are frequently outside their home and Stefan’s experiences in prison have left him fearful in most situations. He is also filled with guilt.
Several storylines quickly develop. Thea, a college professor, is pressured to take an unplanned sabbatical. Stefan struggles to find employment and to find meaning in his life. Occasionally, Thea sees a threatening and sinister figure nearby. She also receives a series of disturbing texts and phone calls.
The book, which deals with the themes of motherhood, guilt, and forgiveness, is a rewarding read.
Joan is an ICU doctor in New York City. She gladly takes on extra shifts because it is in the hospital ... in her role as an attending physician ... that she feels most comfortable.
There are pressures to become “more” ... from her brother, from her sister-in-law, from the renter across the hall, and even from the doorman. Joan, however, has found a life that she finds quite satisfying.
Written in the first person, Joan provides the reader with more humorous commentary than she provides to the people around her. And it is this wit that makes her a more thoughtful and lovable character than we might otherwise find her.
This was a great read. It gives the reader a chance to ponder what it means to be different, to be anonymous, to be an outsider, to be accepted, and to be loved.
The pandemics of 1920 and 2020 are the bookends to Violeta’s life. In between, her long life in an unnamed South American country is packed with events, people, and experiences. Her wealthy, city-dwelling family loses everything in the Great Depression. After the suicide of her father, the family relocates to a farm in a remote part of the country, living on limited means. Violeta, once a spoiled and willful child, grows into a passionate woman. She has a talent for making money and for forming long-term relationships—some nurturing, others destructive. She sees the fight for women’s rights, the overthrow of the government, and people she cares about involved in drug abuse, life on the streets, and dubious employment. Allende, the consummate storyteller, packs a century full of history into one rich life.
The Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything (Abridged)
A. Rutherford and H. Fry
How can you possibly turn down reading a book with that kind of title? Well, if you start reading it, you’ll find that the book begins by discussing playing peek-a-boo with a baby…not exactly what I expected. But I forged forward.
I suppose if you are writing an abridged book on Everything you certainly have the power to pick and choose what topics you want to cover. Here is a question to get things (and the book) started.
How do we pass on knowledge? Maybe better is how do we acquire knowledge in the first place? One might guess you could boil it down to either intuition or scientific study. But a lot of past studies have gotten things wrong. You have to sort out the good from the bad.
So we begin with a study on what would be required to keep track of all this knowledge above, i.e. if you knew everything how/where do you store it? Bob Newhart, the comedian, had a bit where he said that if you gave an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters (this was a while back) they would eventually write all the great books because the random letters coming together would, at some point, make sense. Which is true from a probability standpoint. Soooo you would have to save everything these poor primates wrote and, of course, you would need an infinite number of editors to check it (job security.) So if you use this “infinity” logic and apply it to genetic coding (remember in biology class) it puts a hole in the theory of evolution. Hmm now that’s interesting and unexpected.
This tongue-in-cheek thinking is tried out on a number of things to include multi-dimensional universes. So what does a 4-dimensional sphere look like? The book will tell you.
There’s just a lot of fun thinking going on in this book that kind of gets your mind going. I liked it (my abridged evaluation.)
Serge A. Storms has decided that he needs to adopt a “Pump the Brakes” philosophy, where he can slow down a bit from his manic road trips and live in greater harmony with his surroundings. This leads to a condo complex in the Florida Keys, where “Pump the Brakes” is a way of life. He is, as is usual, accompanied by Coleman (Seymour Bunsen), who has never found a mood-altering chemical that he does not enjoy to excess throughout every day.
The adventures unfold around the removal of condo lease holders who are disruptive to the community, a woman who is caring for her elderly father and volunteers at a children’s hospice, two rival drug cartels, and ... for added excitement ... a hopeless gang of criminals who are led by a violent and drug-addled woman.
It is always amazing that Serge, despite being a serial killer, is actually quite admirable.
If you have followed this series (this is #25), you will not be disappointed. If you have not, this is probably as good a place as any to begin.
Alright, have you ever played the following games: Checkers, Chess, Go, Backgammon, Poker, Scrabble and Bridge? Thought you knew how to “play” them? Well, I had played six of the seven games and fundamentally thought, “I know how these work.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, including the game of Checkers.
This is a very interesting book (or maybe it’s seven different books all crunched together.) The author does a great job explaining the historical development of each of these seven games. He further explains how much time and effort must be dedicated to being really good (competitive) at playing them. How people memorize thousands of opening plays, or in scrabble’s case, thousands of words at the tournament level. A side note, scrabble at the big kids level is not restricted to just English. And the author adds his own experiences playing these games at a tournament level. For each game, the author also discusses how computers learned to play these games and how they fare playing against human champions.
As I said, very interesting and nicely written. I think you might enjoy this one.
Todd Boss's newest collection of poetry is a compelling chronicle of the poet's nomadic life of the past few years. After selling nearly everything he owned, Boss began living all over the world, which was made possible by stringing together house-sitting gigs. The poems range from grief to silly to philosophical. While there is definitely a globetrotting feel to the pieces, there's also an American home-ness to some, such as “An Ocean for Iowa.” It’s a playful fantasy of giving Iowa its own small ocean. Readers of fine poetry often must wait years between a poet's publications. It’s been over ten years since Boss’ last book, Yellowrocket, was published, but Someday the Plan of a Town was well worth the wait.
The Time of Strangeness Haiku: Pandemic Inspired to Keep Someone Sane Craig Allen Nelson
One of the perks of the pandemic has been the creativity it has inspired. Craig Allen Nelson, a Renaissance man who has taken photographs all over the world (and I do mean the whole world, all 7 continents!) used the pandemic to challenge himself. He selected 78 of his photographs and wrote a haiku for each. The photographs range from Buddha statues to penguins in Antarctica to flowers in Nelson’s Minnesota garden. Appropriately, the haiku are also varied, from meditative to light-hearted. To spend the time with these 78 pages is to give yourself a gift. Indulge.