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April 2014

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All things Poetic

It’s April, National Poetry Month! Thousands of organizations across the country will celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture with readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.

In honor of the month, we asked LouAnn Shepard Muhm, the Poet Laureate of Dorset, for a reading list. Her recommendations are:

Sean Hill with LouAnn Shepard Muhm
LouAnn Shepard Muhm with Sean Hill at Beagle Books on March 20


Lives of the Heart
by Jane Hirschfield
book Collected Poems
by Jack Gilbert

  Chosen by the Lion
by Linda Gregg

book   Trying to Catch the Horses
by Dan Gerber

  Dangerous Goods
by Sean Hill
book   And we’d include LuAnn’s own book!

Breaking the Glass
by LouAnn Shepard Muhm
Look for these books of poetry and many more on the Poetry Month display at Beagle Books!


Mice!Have you ever seen an animated poem?

Check some out in this clip with Billy Collins, the former Poet Laureate of the United States. 

To further celebrate Poetry Month...

Aqueous Mazagine selected one of Jen’s poems for publication in its upcoming issue, which will be available at Beagle books.

Tax Code
by Jennifer Wills Geraedts

No politics, no debate—
I need sleep.
But insistent claims
Recently fallen on his ears,
           Now recast, ready for voyage
No abatement!
Failure to expose erroneous claims intolerable
(Oh, the harm to an imagined future)
And so, turned pillowed head from sleep.

In dark reflection—

How is it that politics
Taxed us to this point:
Me to the couch
Sleep’s pillow left to fend
           among scorched sheets

Choices of frustration’s disposal—
Release – that hot twin to sorrow
(to be met with disdain)
Or conceal—
Until tears leak
Salt tracking, sizzling down face
Exiting into innocent ears
Above too-full lungs
Instead, exodus.

Neither listening to the other:
The one who is just so wrong

Introducing New Staff Members


Tammi is now on the staff at Beagle.

Hi everyone! I am so excited to join the team at Beagle Books! My daughters, Hailee(9) and Tori(19), and my wonderful husband Phil  and I are all avid readers, so this is a great fit! As you can see, this also gives me a wide range of interest areas in age groups, gender and subject areas. It's rare that you'd find me without a book in my hands at least once a day. I’m very much looking forward to getting to know you all and I will go above and beyond to find whatever you may be in need of. Please stop in and introduce yourself sometime soon!


Emily will join the staff at Sister Wolf in May.

Heading to the family cabin has always meant a stop at Beagle Books or Sister Wolf to grab the latest Indie or Midwest pick to read on the dock or  in the fish house, depending on the season. This summer I’ll be taking a break from teaching Children’s Literature at the College of St Benedict / St John’s University and living at our cabin while working on my doctoral studies. I look forward to spending time under the pines and sharing my passion for reading with all those passing through Dorset. Perhaps we can find just the book that will make your time “Up North” a lasting impression in your heart and mind.

Hannah Ekren
Sister Wolf to Open for the Season Next Month

At this writing, Dorset is still quiet and snow covered. But there’s behind-the-scenes activity going on! Sally is busy ordering, and Sister Wolf will open for the season on May 8th. We’re anxious to welcome you back to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary!

BestSellers in March

Beagle Books

book book book
The New Midwestern Table
by Amy Thielen


Ordinary Grace
by William Kent Krueger


Fall to Grace
by Kerry Casey

  book   book
Dangerous Goods
by Sean Hill
  Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski   Benediction
by Kent Haruf

Hannah EkrenNotes from Hannah

Thoughts on the Divergent Movie

I have a soft spot in my heart for Divergent. It was one of the first books I read when I discovered my love for Young Adult literature and it was one of the first books I ever blogged about. Then I became friends with some of the people who work with Veronica Roth, the author of the book, and I found myself emotionally invested in the movie.

Now that I’ve finally had the chance to watch it (twice,) I can say I’m happy with the way it turned out. It managed to stay true to Veronica Roth’s story and make a great movie that I know I can watch over and over.

I’m most impressed with the casting. I was originally worried about Shailene Woodley as their choice for Tris, but she did a spectacular job at bringing one of my favorite heroines to life. She was wonderful at conveying the emotion of the unsure, but exciting time when you leave your family and go off on your own. And Theo James just is Four. It was almost as if Veronica Roth wrote the book with him in mind as her male lead. 

I got some things out of the movie that the book didn’t completely focus on, so they complemented each other really well. There’s a lot of passion behind Divergent, both on the book side and from the movie side, and it’s just wonderful to feel like a part of that. So go see it! I know I’m going again this weekend!

Hannah was a bookseller at both Beagle and Sister Wolf and is now making her way in the publishing world in New York City.

Midwest Connections logo

Midwest Connections for March
Books or authors of particular interest to our region

bookThe Cold Nowhere
a mystery by Brian Freeman

In this sixth installment of the Jonathan Stride series, Lieutenant Stride goes home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior, where he is confronted with a crime he cannot ignore. He discovers a young woman, Cat Mateo, hiding in his bedroom, scared and dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy lake. 

As Stride investigates Cat's case off the record, a single question haunts him: should he be afraid for—or of—this damaged girl?

Freeman, who lives in Woodbury Minnesota, will be at Sister Wolf Books
on June 28 to participate in the Festival of Authors and Artists.

bookUp at Butternut Lake
a novel by Mary McNear

It's been ten years since Allie Beckett last crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she's returned with her five-year-old son.

She reconnects with her childhood friends, Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn't count on is meeting Walker Ford, a newcomer to Butternut Lake.

Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life in all of its excitement and unpredictability.

Mary McNear  based the novel on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

bookAbove All Men
a novel by Eric Shonkwiler

Years from now, America is slowly collapsing. Crops are drying up and oil is running out. People flee cities for the countryside, worsening the drought and opening the land to crime. Amid this decay and strife, war veteran David Parrish fights to keep his family and farm together. However, the murder of a local child opens old wounds, forcing him to confront his own nature on a hunt through dust storms and crumbling towns for the killer.

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