Lake & Island Notes                           September 2016

Open All Year!

Store Hours:

Fall/Early Winter Hours
(starting Sep. 26th)
10am-5pm Mon-Sat
10am-3pm Sun

Books, music, video,
and more!
PLUS, e-books downloadable to most e-readers!

Apostle Islands Booksellers
Voted Best of the Lake 2014!
AND 2016! Thanks to everyone who voted!

Featured Title

The Jealous Kind
by James Lee Burke

Don’t be confused by the sexy cover of Burke’s marvelous new novel. Set in Houston in the early 1950’s, Burke’s provocative prose spins a compelling tale of the transition from teenager to manhood for Aaron Broussard and his peers. With hard hitting clarity and intense emotions, Burke uses the uncertainties of class warfare, random violence, new-found love, treachery, honor, family, and friendship to create a tension where the reader wants the pages to turn faster and faster. Rich with compelling characters and historical context, this is one of Burke’s best.

Featured Title

The Wonder
by Faye Hanson

We all remember when we were children. Teachers, parents, and other adults would tell us to "stop day dreaming" and "keep our heads out of the clouds." This is a story about a boy whose head is always full of wonder. We follow him on an average-seeming school day, where his daydreams transform the world around him. Unfortunately lots of other people - the park keeper, the bus driver, the lollipop lady - all tell him to get his head out of the clouds. It is only in art class that he realizes he can bring the wonder out of his head for the whole world to enjoy. With breathtaking illustrations, this book may be intended for early-grade-school readers, it is clearly a book for all ages.
Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS
by Joby Warrick

This winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and on the Best Books of 2015 lists of the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Kansas City Star among others, is a study in 20/20 hindsight. It’s a compelling narrative of the emergence of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi from a remote Jordanian prison to build an organization that eclipses al Qaeda as the world’s most menacing terrorist threat. Drawing from his extraordinary access to high-level CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick documents how two US administrations failed to identify and take effective action against the group. Black Flags is solid history and a great read!

Featured Title

The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

On a dark and stormy night Lo Blacklock, a travel writer on a complimentary trip on a luxury cruise ship, witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. But, in the morning, all the passengers and crew are accounted for. Hmmmmmmm? In a tightly wound Agatha Christie style tale, Ware builds a gripping, constantly surprising story of what’s going on. It’s not easy to put this one down as the twists and turns continually compel the reader to read just one more page. A worthy follow-up to Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Featured Title

American Revolutions
by Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor seeks to set the American Revolution in the broadest possible context — not only involving it in all the struggles of the rival European empires in the New World, but making the native peoples and the African slaves more important, indeed, even central, to it. He wants to show that the Revolution was anything but the “good, orderly, restrained and successful” event usually depicted “in popular history books and films.” By broadening the context, he aims to explode popular myths about it and to rip aside the mantle of nobility, dignity and heroism that he believes has too long covered up its sordid and bloody reality. By focusing on common white men, he maintains, the Revolution worked against blacks, Indians and women. The question raised by Taylor’s book is this: Can a revolution conceived mainly as sordid, racist and divisive be the inspiration for a nation?
Other Links of Interest
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Bayfield, Wisconsin

We are “1st Amendment People.”  We don’t have the NRA to back us up as do the “2nd Amendment People,” but we do have the American Library Association (ALA). Since 1982, together with other book-community organizations, the ALA has sponsored Banned Books Week during the last week in September. The point is to celebrate the freedom to read and to stress “the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them."

Each year at this time we festoon our front windows with yellow caution tape and display those books that seem to be attracting the greatest degree of challenge from those who would censor them. Most often it is parent groups, school boards, religious organizations, political cadres and the like. Their targets typically include titles alleged to feature so-called anti-family themes, offensive language, sexuality, political viewpoint, and religious or atheistic content. Where reported, principled opposition is usually effective. But, according to the ALA, nearly 85% of “banning” efforts go unreported.

What we seem to have in common with the “2nd Amendment People” is perhaps, an overwrought concern with the degree to which efforts to ban guns or books really exist. No one, to our knowledge, is seeking to repeal the 2nd Amendment or take away our guns. Likewise, we don’t know of any books that are truly “banned” – that is illegal to possess or read. Most challenges are to whether or not a particular title should be on the school library bookshelf or, for that matter, on the municipal library bookshelf. We agree that often these challenges are pernicious. But surely sometimes they are, especially regarding “age appropriateness,” worthy inquiries. The point is to be vigilant and to ensure that our core 1st Amendment rights are fully protected. To that end we celebrate Banned Books Week – September 25th through October 1st.

The bottom-line is about choices – what to include and what not to include and why. We daily face the same issue here at the store. What do we put in our paltry 750 square feet of retail space? Most often it is about “what we like or don’t like.”  Sometimes it’s about “what our customers like or don’t like.”  Even from time-to-time even our choices may seem censorious.  Not without significant team and staff debate, we sometimes could be accused of “banning” books ourselves! For example, despite their high best-seller ratings (whether real or manipulated by phony bulk sales) and periodic customer demand, we refuse to carry political propaganda and hatchet-jobs. Similarly, we don’t much like the emerging practice of a household-name author like James Patterson or Bill O’Reilly supposedly pairing with an unknown author to publish a book jointly. We very much like and respect James Patterson, but we don’t carry the books where his name has apparently been attached as a marketing device to work led by another writer.

So, we are “1st Amendment People,” but we “cut-the-cards.”  We would enjoy feedback on this and other issues that we address in our newsletter.  Thank you.

Remember, if you’ve lost yours,
we are your local bookstore!

All of us at AIB

Upcoming Events

Manitou Island Book Reading and Discussion with Edgar Award Winner William Kent Krueger

What: William Kent Krueger Reading & Discussion
When: Sunday, October 23rd at 1pm
Where: Big Water Coffee Roasters, 117 Rittenhouse Avenue, Bayfield
Free & open to the public

Cork O'Connor is back! A taut, suspenseful thriller, Manitou Canyon features everything readers love in a Cork O’Connor novel: a dramatic Northwoods setting, an intriguing view of the Objibwe culture, an enigmatic crime, masterful storytelling, and more than a few surprises. Since the violent deaths of his wife, father, and best friend all occurred in previous Novembers, Cork O’Connor has always considered it to be the cruelest of months. Yet, his daughter has chosen this dismal time of year in which to marry, and Cork is understandably uneasy.

Join us on Sunday, October 23rd at 1pm at Big Water Coffee Roasters where New York Times best selling author William Kent Krueger will read from and discuss his latest mystery! Following the discussion, we will have copies available for purchase and signing across the street at Apostle Islands Booksellers. Get a personalized copy as the perfect gift this upcoming holiday season!

Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm from Scratch

What: Reading and Discussion with author and farmer Lucie B. Amundson
When: Wednesday, October 12th at 7pm
Where: Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College, Ashland
Free & open to the public

Amundsen is the author of  Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm from Scratch, the winner of the Midwest Choice Award in Nonfiction 2016. She is also co-owner of Locally Laid Egg Company, an organic egg farm in Duluth, Minn. Her eggs can easily be found in the Chequamegon Bay region.
Apostle Islands Booksellers will be on hand with books available for purchase.

Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Presentation & Discussion with Kurt D. Fausch

What: Reading and Discussion with author Kurt D. Fausch
When: Thursday, October 13th at 7pm
Where: Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College, Ashland
Free & open to the public

The Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute will award Kurt D. Fausch the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for his book, For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist’s Journey.

Fausch is an ecologist who spent a career studying how fish make a living in streams and how streams are linked to their riparian forests. In this book, Fausch crosses boundaries of countries, cultures, and disciplines to ask why healthy rivers are essential for humans, and what would lead us to ensure that they join us in our future. Apostle Islands Booksellers will be on hand with books available for purchase.

What we're reading...

A Country Road, A Tree
by  Jo Baker

Only the true cognoscenti would recognize that the title of this novel is the initial stage direction of Irish playwright and author Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot. This work of biographical fiction covers Becket’s pre-Godot, WWII years in Paris and southern France during the Nazi occupation. Some of the book tracks Becket’s life as an ex-pat acolyte of James Joyce, acquaintance of Marcel Duchamp, and friend of Peggy Guggenheim, and how their influences may have informed his development as a writer of Nobel Prize stature. But, most of the book is an account of Becket’s life with his lover and future wife, Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil, as he takes up almost casually with the Resistance. They flee Paris to the neutral south of France slogging through miserable conditions to avoid the Gestapo. At one point they find themselves beneath a tree waiting for a Resistance contact who never shows up. Shades of Godot!

A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet, their greatest challenge each comes to realize is one of their number, Jude, who by midlife is a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man. His mind and body, scarred by an unspeakable childhood, are haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever. Jon Michaud from the New Yorker may have said it best, "Yanagihara’s novel can also drive you mad, consume you, and take over your life. Like the axiom of equality, A Little Life feels elemental, irreducible—and, dark and disturbing though it is, there is beauty in it."

Final Thoughts...

Children’s author, illustrator, and educator Anna Dewdney, whose toddler-centric picture books starring wildly expressive Baby Llama are multi-million-copy bestsellers, died at her home in Vermont on Saturday, September 3, after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was 50.

Dewdney's Llama Llama series has been one of our favorites here and across the country. Dewdney did many events where she spoke passionately about her work and children’s literacy, “When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language,” she wrote, “ reading with a child, we are teaching that child to be human. When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.”

She requested that in lieu of a funeral service that people read to a child instead.

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 Lake & Island Notes, an e-newsletter for customers and friends of Apostle Islands Booksellers, Bayfield, Wisconsin. Apostle Islands Booksellers makes every effort to honor the privacy of our customers. All emails are permission-based and will include an opt-in and opt-out function. Apostle Islands Booksellers will not share email lists with any other business, person or promotional entity.

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