Lake & Island Notes                                             June 2013

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Featured Selection

Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat
by Ellen Zachos

Ellen Zachos, a horticulturist, speaks of the “ease and elegance” of gathering and eating familiar backyard plants, fruits, seeds, nuts and some fungi in her newest book. Plants like Bishop’s Weed, a beautiful but aggressive ground cover, are common in many gardens and with the help of this book you will learn how to identify it and prepare it as a tasty spinach substitute. Crab apples are another common and rarely eaten treat that Zachos eagerly promotes as a semi-wild edible. Backyard Foraging is filled with beautiful pictures, useful information, and simple recipes that will impress a seasoned forager and assist the novice wild foodie learn the ropes of foraging.

Featured Selection

orphan train cover image
by Sherman Alexie

In this collection of thirty one short stories about Native Americans, Alexie, a Native himself, shows his genius as he brings characters and scenarios to life. They penetrate and expose the essence of the grief and shame that haunts the Native cultures across the U.S. - the result of genocide, persistent discrimination and neglect. It would be easy to dismiss Alexie as a profane cynic, a glib comedian, but that is exactly the problem as we continue to ignore the profound yearning for purpose this indigenous community is desperately yearning to achieve. In crisp prose, with a strident voice, much like a traditional storyteller, Alexie paints a mosaic infused with complicated visions, age old wisdom, modern dissonance, and sweet sentimentality. The stories are masterful with powerful imagery, stark frankness and ingenious metaphors. One of the metaphors that threads its way through many of the stories is the game of basketball. Read the book and see if you can figure it out - why basketball?

Featured Selection

Earth Unaware
by Orson Scott Card (and somebody else!)

We eagerly awaited this new offering by one of our favorite science fiction writers. The Enders series equals the Hunger Games series in the thrilling and disturbing depiction of the use of children to fight the battles of the grown-ups. Alas, this one doesn’t live up to the seamless structure and tight prose of Card’s earlier work.  Perhaps that’s because it doesn’t seem to really be Card’s work! And it shows! Or, maybe, it’s because the first of the Enders series is about to be released as a film and some hype was needed in a hurry. Whatever the reason, it’s a disappointment!

Featured Selection

by Colum McCann

The book begins with three transatlantic crossings, each a novella within a novel: Frederick Douglas’s 1845 visit to Ireland; the 1919 flight of British aviators Alcock and Brown; and former US senator George Mitchell’s 1998 attempt to mediate peace in Northern Ireland. McCann then loops back to 1863 to launch the saga of the women we’ve briefly met throughout Book One, beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan, whose bold escape from her troubled homeland cracks open the world for her daughter and granddaughter. McCann’s sixth novel is a brilliant tribute to his lyrical and complicated Irish homeland, and an ode to the ties that bind Ireland and America. McCann's writing style is challenging and beautiful - sometimes reading more like poetry than prose.
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Bayfield, Wisconsin
Island Notes Blog
Tornados devastate Oklahoma! The year’s first dangerous storm hits the East Coast! West Coast cities await the Big One! As Demaris said after we went through the 1989 quake in the San Fransisco Bay Area, “Every place has its faults!” One of the lesser-known, but powerfully violent “faults” that we have here in the Northwoods, is the so-called “derecho wind” (See photo).
A derecho is a straight-line wind that is associated with a land-based, fast-moving band of severe thunderstorm and can carry tornado or hurricane force. In 1977 a northern Wisconsin derecho generated winds of 115 mph. In 1998 another Wisconsin straight-line storm produced a measured wind gust of 128 mph. In 2006 a derecho here in Bayfield blew much of the local Festival of Arts out into Lake Superior.  

So, what’s this got to do with books? Um…nothing! But, we sometimes like to talk about the weather. But wait…! One of our favorite authors, William Kent Krueger, in a recent book – Northwest Angle – used a devastating derecho that occurred in the Boundary Waters a few years ago to set the scene for one of his Cork O’Connor mysteries. So there!

We have just returned from a trip to western British Columbia, Vancouver Island and the Discovery Islands. It was not a bookseller’s trip, but bookstores always seem to show up. One gem is the Book Bonanza At-The-Cove in Quathiaski Cove, BC on Quadra Island.  The village is about the size of Bayfield and has the same maritime culture and see-saw tourist seasons.  The store has a great collection and an experienced and dogged owner in Robin King.  We felt as kindred spirits.

We browsed with envy in Armchair Books in Whistler, BC - a terrific little bookstore. Envy because the winter ski season is their busy time with summer tourism a close second.  A year-round business in a small town surrounded by a majestic natural setting - ah, what a dream! Wait! That’s our reality here in Bayfield! With the sled dog races, snow-mobiling, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, the ice caves, cozy inns and quirky locals. It’s not like summer yet, but we’re getting there. 

The real gem is Munro’s Books in Victoria, BC.  This is without doubt the finest bookstore we have seen anywhere!  Set in an old bank building with twenty-four foot ceilings and gorgeous wall murals it has a collection to match.  This year it is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  It was founded in 1963 by Jim Munro and his former wife, Alice (yes, that Alice Munro) as a little paperback shop.  Now, by our lights, it’s the quintessential bookstore – local, independent and book savvy!  A vanishing breed!

Happy Reading!
All of us at AIB

Meet Michael Perry!

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 6:45pm

Would you like to meet Michael Perry -
Author of Visiting Tom, Coop, Truck and Population 485?

We are thrilled to be co-sposoring with Reed Realty  Michael Perry & the Longbeds at Big Top Chautauqua on June 28th. Molly and the Danger Band will open the show.  As a part of our sponsorship we will be hosting a reception at 6:45pm, before the show. Michael will be joining us to share some of his stories, and even a sneak peak at his new book (which isn't published yet!).

Would you like to be invited to this reception? All you need to do is stop by the Apostle Islands Booksellers and make a purchase of $15 or more. You will then be entered in a drawing. Then buy your tickets for the show. We will select as many as 40 people!

In addition, we will also select one name to win two front row seats to the show as well!

All winners will be selected on
Monday, June 24th around Noon!

What we're reading...

maya's notebook cover imageDog Stars 
by Peter Heller

This post-apocalyptic novel – in the genre ranging from On the Beach to The Road – embeds seeds of redemption in a world of devastation and casual, preemptive violence. There are threads of A Boy and His Dog; Boy Meets Girl; Helping Your Neighbor; and, Tough Old Codgers. But, for the most part, it’s Dog-Eat-Dog (or, more precisely, Dog-Eat-Man!). The writing is inventive and often appealing with one-word sentences and some rhythmic phrasing that brings life and color to an otherwise bleak landscape. A virulent flu virus (with an HIV-type blood disease chaser) has decimated the human population. Climate change is drying, rotting and burning everything else. The setting is Colorado mountain country and we see it from the air in the 1956 Cessna piloted by our young protagonist. He’s “one-of-us” – sometimes savvy, sometimes naïve – amidst a small cast of uber-competents each of whom slowly succumbs to his influence. It’s a good book!

Mornings in Mexico
D.H. Lawrence

Lawrence was much reviled during his lifetime and largely condemned in obituaries at his death. While he had significant champions in E.M. Forster, Aldous Huxley and F.R. Leavis, the conventional wisdom regarding his manner and work was negative. Nevertheless Sons and Lovers, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover continue to have devoted followers. The Plumed Serpent, another favorite, has its origins hidden in a little gem in his oeuvre. Mornings in Mexico relates the experiences and impressions from his life in Mexico and Native American country in the early 1900's. His observations of household life and the markets of Oaxaca are rich and colorful. His condemnation of the manner of the “white monkeys” in their interactions with indigenous people is unsparing. His description of the Hopi Snake Dance near Oraibi on 3rd Mesa is captivating. The book does not entirely escape Lawrence’s tendency to arrogance and patronization, but it is a quiet, pleasant read.

Closing Thoughts...

Have you heard about Anne Greenwood Brown's young adult trilogy that takes place in Bayfield and among the Apostle Islands? These stories are great for teens - containing sweet young love, conflict and of course murderous mer-people living in the depths of Superior!
Anne will be doing a reading and signing on July 2nd in Ashland. We will be there to sell copies of her books!
Here are the details:

Anne Greenwood Brown,
author of Lies Beneath and Deep Betrayal
When: Tuesday, July 2nd at 1:30pm
Where: Ashland  Public Library,  502 West Main Street, Ashland

Save 20% Off One Book!

Book must be in stock, some restrictions apply. Print this coupon and present it in store for your discount. This coupon may not be combined with any other promotions or discounts. Limited to one use and one coupon per customer.

Offer expires June 30, 2013
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