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.
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.
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.
My 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.
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.
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.
Hey! A little late here with the news, but The Duluth Grill Cookbook has been picked up by Barnes & Noble in all Minnesota and Wisconsin stores. This is fun. My favorite news appearance was in Madison, not the least because they told me right at the last minute they’d love to see a cooking demo. I was not prepared for a cooking demo.