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Selective Focus: Bowwow Powwow

On Wednesday, June 27, there is a book release event for “Bow Wow Pow Wow” illustrated by Duluth artist Jonathan Thunder, written by Brenda Child, professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, and translated to Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain, who teaches at the Misaabekong Ojibwe Language Immersion program for Duluth Public Schools.

Five-star Customer Review of Richardson Brothers Duluth-based Amazon Kindle Book

Thought you should know about this. We published a novella on Kindle a while back and this review just appeared. The novella is Menno Zwonk: Amish Outlaw, which we excerpted in the Transistor over the course of several years:

This hyperfantastic shitstorm of a story will make about as much sense as anything in 2018 without the frightening public policy implications. Filled like an overflowing park garbage can on Memorial Day weekend with biologic catastrophes, double and triple crossing henchmen, some forgivable juvenalia, ungodly sea mutants, Duluth references, and hope in the form of ecoterrorist lesbians, the Meatco minions can’t possibly know who really works for who as experiments become kill triggers plowing through law enforcement and launching giant lamprey. Can’t wait for Book Two.

Duluth Book Releases in 2018

A Nice Relaxing Sea Cruise
Dale R. Botten
Page Publishing
(Jan. 18)

Web Watching: A Guide to Webs & the Spiders that Make Them
Larry Weber
Adventure Publications
(Jan. 25)

Chance Poems
Poems by Michael Kleber-Diggs, Julie Gard, Sheila Packa and Kathleen Roberts
Edited by Kathleen Roberts
Wildwood River Press
(Feb. 3)

Sarah Seidelmann on Focus TV

Duluth author Sarah Seidelmann chats with life coach Michelle Gillette in this Focus TV segment. Focus is a magazine in West Los Angeles.

In the interview, Dr. Seidelmann talks about her latest book, Swimming With Elephants, and her previous book, Born to Freak.

Regional book industry shifts as Book World stores close

If you live or vacation in Ashland or Marquette you know Book World. Or, perhaps the proper phrasing is that you will have known it. The whole chain of stores is closing in a few weeks.

The Book World chain was always amazing to me — a hybrid of gift shop, humidor, and book/magazine store, in small towns, creating access to book culture where it might not otherwise be available. Literary magazines unavailable on the shelf in Duluth could be found in Ashland, Bemidji and other places.

I understand this website is Perfect Duluth Day, not “Perfect Lake Superior Region Day,” but if nothing else, think about this. Book World owned 45 storefronts and was the third-largest book chain in the country. Book culture is precarious, and we should do all we can to support it in Duluth.

Duluth Book Releases in 2017

David-Pagel-The-Forever-GirlThe Forever Girl: A Love Story
David Pagel
amazon.com
(Jan. 12)

The Release - Tom IsbellThe Release
Tom Isbell
harpercollins.com
Harper Collins (Feb. 14)

Hiking the North Shore - Andrew SladeHiking the North Shore, Second Edition
Andrew Slade
amazon.com
There and Back Books (March 14)

Local bookshop, national attention

Zenith Bookstore DuluthIn addition to stories on Perfect Duluth Day in September and the Duluth News Tribune this morning, Zenith Bookstore was mentioned today in the book industry newsletter Shelf-Awareness.

Book store will replace Wild West Liquor; other slow-moving changes in the works on Central Avenue in West Duluth

The former Wild West Liquor building on Central Avenue is being remodeled and new owners plan to open a used book store in the space next summer.

The former Wild West Liquor building, at left, is being remodeled and new owners plan to open a used book store there next summer.

A Carleton College professor and his wife have purchased a former West Duluth liquor store and plan to open a used book shop in a business district targeted by city officials for redevelopment.

Bob and Angel Dobrow of Northfield bought the Wild West Liquor building, 318 N. Central Ave., in July for $214,000 and plan to open Zenith Bookstore in the space next summer. The couple, along with friends and family, have gutted the 1890s building and exposed its original floors, tin ceilings and brick walls. They will eventually fill the store with thousands of books from their collection, recent purchases and new finds.

Changes in Bookstores in the Duluth Region and Nationally

Village BookstoreLocal and national media are reflecting on the fate of the bookstore in Grand Rapids, Minn., about 70 miles from Duluth.

It’s small, smaller even than the Bookstore at Fitger’s, although it was crammed to the gills with books.

Selective Focus: Tim White

SF-TeaserTimWhite
This week in Selective Focus, we feature Tim White, who curated the previous iteration of Selective Focus – photo submissions based on a weekly theme. Tim is a photographer, writer, and proponent of the arts, and has worked on several collaborative projects in his short time in Duluth.

TW: I’ve been making photographs for about the past seven years, having lost my previous practice as a painter to solvent exposure. There were a few dormant years during this time that followed a series of personal crises, and I recently returned to photography after moving to Duluth almost two years ago. I appreciate filmic images (both moving and still), but work mostly — due to the chemistry — with digital capture, then mediate these until they better reflect what I felt when taking the initial shot. I don’t believe in pursuing a personal “style,” though I’m glad when viewers note a poetic quality to my pictures. I admire poetry’s ability to employ elements with conventional meanings (words) toward more ephemeral ends, and hope in a similar way that my work isn’t limited by the literality of the objects I depict.

Duluth-based trilogy on Kindle

zwonk book cover littleMy brother Allen and I are releasing three interrelated novellas set in Duluth, on Kindle. The first one is available now, Menno Zwonk: Amish Outlaw. Here’s the blurb we wrote for it: “A savage dystopian satire featuring Menno Zwonk, a larger-than-life Amish outlaw and big game hunter. Zwonk is locked in perpetual struggle with a closet-zoophiliac vegan animal rights activist, and an underground lesbian separatist organic farm. Meanwhile biotech has run amok and the fate of the world might be decided in Zwonk’s roadhouse restaurant outside Duluth, Minnesota. Ultraviolent, dirty, and hilarious, this book is as much a diabolical foodie novel as it is outrageous action tale.” Not for the faint of heart. Yes this work has been excerpted in the Transistor over many years. Stay tuned for pt 2 “Novelty Theater,” and pt 3 “The Guys Who Never Stop Fighting.” These books are action/adventure-science/fantasy with literary pretensions. But more than anything they may be seen as love letters to Duluth MN, where these ideas and characters gestated. Social Media: Menno Zwonk Facebook page, The Richardson Bros Facebook page.

Duluth Book Releases in 2016

In and Out of Context by Tim WhiteIn and Out of Context
Photography by Tim White
With excerpts from 21 northland writers
inandoutofcontextbook.blogspot.com
(Jan. 21)

The Duluth Grill Cookbook IIThe Duluth Grill Cookbook II
Written by Robert Lillegard
Photography by Rolf Hagberg
duluthgrill.com/cookbooks
(Feb. 29)

Not your typical cookbook review

IMG_1124

Once upon a time we stopped caring about where our food came from, and had no knowledge of the people who grew it. We stopped cooking, ate out of boxes, and tore cellophane wrappers off microwaved “TV dinners.” We even ate fast food meals in our cars without stepping foot outside. Sounds crazy, but it’s actually true! Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum came to rely solely upon international corporations to feed us, even though they’ve proven time and again that their only care is for profits.

Slowly, surely, relentlessly, we are waking up. There is another way. The Duluth Grill Cook Book II is the latest contribution toward our community’s drive to create a sustainable local food system. I lingered over a scratch-made pie and perused the book for a couple hours while taking in the atmosphere. Read my thoughts on Ed’s Big Adventure.

Book Culture in the Twin Ports

Poster of MN Bookstores

So today, I stopped by the Amazing Alonzo used bookshop. It was my second used bookstore adventure in two weeks, and it makes me think about book culture in the Twin Ports.

Fall Reading List: A Hillsider and a Buried Man

Hillsider by Don Ness The Emancipation of a Buried May by Eddy Gilmore

Two books lead the list of recommended local reads this fall: One is a new book by Duluth’s outgoing mayor, which will no doubt generate tons of attention before anyone fully reads it. The other is an impressive memoir published back in March by a humble Lakesider, which deserves to be held up next to Duluth’s highest ranking literary office.