Quantcast

Books Posts

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.

Duluth Grill book in Barnes & Noble

duluth_grill_cookbookHey! 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.

Duluth’s Preus, Allen win 2015 Minnesota Book Awards

Duluth-based writer Margi Preus and illustrator Rick Allen were among the winners of the 27th annual Minnesota Book Awards, announced at a ceremony in St. Paul on Saturday.

Margi Preus - Minnesota Book Award 2015

One Book, One Community … One Local Author

Visit Duluth Public Library’s One Book, One Community page and cast your vote for a book to be selected for this reading program. My suggestion: Support, Linda Grover’s The Dance Boots. Grover is the only local author on the shortlist, and this award-winning set of stories is perfect for this honor. (You might also check out Grover’s hot-of-the-press novel The Road Back to Sweetgrass.)

Nominations close Feb. 1 for Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards

Celebrating books about northeastern Minnesota published in 2013. Send one book plus $25 nomination fee to UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library. Winners will be announced May 22. 

26th annual NEMBA call for nominations

Duluth Little Free Library Guide

It’s been over a year since the first post about Little Free Libraries in Duluth, and the trend seems to be growing. So now it’s time to update the list and include some photos to show what’s out there.

Little Free Libraries, of course, are boxes full of books where anyone may stop by and pick some up or drop some off.

(As usual, click on these photos to see them larger.)


997 84th Ave. W. (Morgan Park neighborhood)
Steve & Janelle Schoenbauer, Stewards #2336

Seventh1 Seventh2 Seventh3
16 E. Seventh St. (Central Hillside neighborhood)
Colin Engstrom, Steward #8416


1612 E. Skyline Parkway (East Hillside neighborhood)
John Pastor, Steward #2278

Little Free Library in the Twin Ports?

Someone asked on Twitter today if there are any Little Free Libraries in the Twin Ports. So, are there any around?

(While reading the blog, I noticed that Claire wrote an article for Publishers Weekly on the movement … maybe you might know?)

International Book Giving Day

A 7-year-old boy in Duluth created something called International Book Giving Day last year. This year the effort is actually going international. It’s on Feb. 14, a great alternative to Valentine’s Day. Since it’s kind of a blog-driven initiative I thought I’d link to my post about it here.

Urban Girl Interrupted: Duluth boy’s vision goes global

Pearl Harbor Day Reflections

When the Twin Towers were struck and fell on my birthday ten years ago, 9/11 was immediately being compared to another Day of Infamy sixty years earlier. What’s striking about the two events is how differently the news reached us. In 2001 Americans across the land were glued to their TV sets seeing replays of the horror and hearing commentaries of related unfolding events as they happened, with varying degrees of accuracy but instantly. With Internet access we could also watch reactions from around the world. Information about the 1941 attack came home to us in a far different manner, as this book excerpt shows.

During World War II my father-in-law Wilmer A. “Bud” Wagner kept a diary which years later he assembled into a book, with the help of his son Lloyd. And There Shall Be Wars is 536 pages in length with 178 original photos and illustrations. In many ways it is a remarkable document by the second man from this region of the country to enter the army, serving for the duration in North Africa, Italy and all points in between. The diary entries were made throughout, but the book’s additional value comes from the commentary added nearly fifty years later. My blog entry at Ennyman’s Territory this a.m. features the excerpt from Pearl Harbor Day through the ninth of December 1941… A thought provoking read.

And There Shall Be Wars is a worthy addition to any World War II library.

Cribbage at the Walker Art Center

The last time I ate at the Burrito Union, I had no idea they hosted a cribbage tournament. If I’d known, I would have bought a Starfire Pale Ale and signed up. I don’t live in Duluth anymore, but I’d like to play some crib with Duluthians (and even our neighbors in Superior).

I’d also like to invite everyone to a fantastic event at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis — on Saturday, August 20, the Walker’s Open Field program is collaborating with me on an event called Cribbage in the Field.

Duluth references in Lucy

“Amanda drove and let Jenny doze in the front seat while Lucy slept in back.  They woke just south of Duluth.  They spent the night in a little town called Superior.  In the morning they stopped at the grocery store in Duluth to stock up for the week.”                   — (Chapter 17)

“The road they traveled from Duluth had stretched out ruler-straight for miles, cutting farm fields in half, as pastures fell away toward island lakes.  Dark clouds gathered in the western sky as they entered the great expanses of forest in Wisconsin.”                  –(Chapter 21)

from LUCY (A Novel) by Laurence Gonzales  (2010)

Breaking News from American Library Association

Heart of a Samurai (Amulet) by Margi Preus, a Duluth resident, has been named a Newbery Honor Book at the ALA’s midwinter meeting in San Diego. Dark Emperor (Houghton Mifflin) by Joyce Sidman of Minneapolis, illustrated by Rick Allen of Duluth’s Kenspeckle LetterPress, has also been named a Newbery Honor Book. They are two of four Newbery Honor Books — basically they were the four runners-up to the book, Moon Over Manifest, that won the Newbery Medal this year.

The Newbery Medal is given each year to the author of that year’s most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature.

This is a very big deal, congratulations to Margi and to Rick!

Season’s Greetings with The PlayList

On Thursday, Dec. 9, enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with ballads, opera, and choral music along with Hibbing’s watercolor master on WDSE-TV’s The Playlist.

The ballads of Arna Rennan and Brian Dack explore a rich musical landscape; the cast of  Amahl and the Night Visitors previews this holiday classic; award-wining watercolorist Terry Maciej shares his techniques; and members of the Arrowhead Chorale prep for a spectacular holiday concert.