Lake & Island Notes                           November 2016

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

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What's on our Top 40 List for 2016? 
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Featured Title

Old Goriot (Pere Goriot)
by Honore de Balzac

Balzac! Who reads Balzac anymore? We wondered that ourselves and so we thought we’d give it a try. We were not disappointed. Old Goriot is a part of Balzac’s Comedie Humain and first appeared in serial form in 1834 under the title Studies of Nineteenth Century Manners. He chronicles the lives of Parisian men and women who lived through the French Revolution, the times of Napoleon, and the France of the Restoration. He defines his characters in their surroundings in mid-19th Century Paris – their architecture and floor plans, their furniture décor, diet and clothing – not merely as description, but as an extension of personality and the shaping of character. The story is tense and riveting and not without humor. “All is true,” he writes early on (oddly enough in English!), “so true that everyone can recognize the elements of the tragedy in his own household, in his own heart perhaps.”

Featured Title

An Otis Christmas
by Loren Long

It's Christmas Eve on the farm where Otis and all of his friends live. Otis loves his life on the farm and can't wait for what he's sure will be the best Christmas ever. The farmer has given Otis his first real Christmas present--a shiny new horn! But when one of the animals on the farm is in trouble and the snow is proving to be a problem, it's up to Otis to save the holiday. A warm, feel-good Christmas story featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis, the friend you can always count on.


Featured Title

Light Years
by James Salter

If you want to read some good writing, try James Salter who passed away last year at 90 years of age. Richard Ford says, “It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anybody writing today.”  Light Years, published in 1975, is the story of Viri and Nedra Berland and their life as a couple from the early 60’s to late 70’s. He is an architect who commutes daily to Manhattan from the suburbs. She is a housewife and mother who shops and entertains. The novel serves as something of an anatomy of the American family of the time – the marriage, the children, the friends, the adulteries, and the unfulfilled longings. Salter conveys the sense of depth and peril that lies even in shallow waters. An earlier novel A Sport and a Pastime, set in Paris and a small town in southern France, is also brilliant if a bit sexually explicit for some.


Escape Clause

by John Sanford

Well, Virgil Flowers is back! That’s good news for many readers of the Minnesota-based mystery writer John Sandford. Here he swims naked in a swimming pool; two rare tigers disappear from the Minneapolis Zoo; immigrant workers get ripped-off; and, an animal rights activists gets vicious. Surrounding all this are the girlfriend, her sister, a sort-of priest and a band of some kind of Middle-Eastern brothers. Not much here but pure entertainment, but hey!

To the Bright Edge of the World

by Eowyn Ivey

Set again in the Alaskan landscape that she bought to stunningly vivid life in The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey's new novel is a breathtaking story of discovery and adventure, set at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a marriage tested by a closely held secret. A story shot through with a darker but potent strand of the magic that illuminated The Snow Child, this new novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Eowyn Ivey singles her out as a major literary talent.
Other Links of Interest
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Bayfield, Wisconsin

One of the many really positive things about the Bayfield area is the degree of personal commitment and effort that our friends and neighbors pour into making all of the good things about our lives here even better. The network of clubs, groups, nonprofits, churches, service organizations, local governments and ad hoc committees that serve to build our community is truly impressive. The results are obvious both to those of us who live here as well as the tens of thousands of visitors that come every year to our orchards, islands, forests, lakes, and small town life.
One example is the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore that is allied with the National Park Service and serves as its civilian auxiliary (full disclosure: we sit on its Board of Directors). At its recent meeting the Friends adopted its project agenda for 2017. Among the projects selected are: the annual Island School that brings schoolchildren from the area out into the Apostle Islands; funds to help clear island hiking trails damaged by last July’s severe storm; a picnic table; the purchase of shares in the Bayfield Electric Cooperative’s Solar Garden to provide power to the Park’s new Sand Bay Visitor Center; funds to complete the building of the Raspberry Island Lighthouse boat at the Bayfield Maritime Museum; support - both financial and volunteer - to maintain and improve gardens on lighthouse sites as well as the NPS Visitor’s Center; funds to help restore the traditional elements of the Raspberry Island lighthouse grounds; and, upgrading elements of the NPS Vistor's Center lobby. Without this support, the Park’s budget would not be sufficient for these important projects.
The ad hoc committee to support creation of a Greater Chequamegon Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a second excellent example of community initiative, but ultimately one with a less than satisfying outcome. For the past couple of years a core group of citizens has built, perhaps, the broadest and deepest coalition of individuals and groups - both public and private – ever seen in this area. Their purpose was to make application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the establishment of a National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) in the waters of western Lake Superior. An NMS is an area of the marine environment with special conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, cultural, archaeological, or esthetic qualities of national significance. Despite otherwise universal support for the idea and a strong relationship within NOAA, vaguely defined treaty rights issues have put the kibosh on the initiative. The committee has disbanded and the project abandoned. It is an immeasurable loss to the future health of the lake. We don't know the specifics, but it is a tragedy!

A third example is the critical and dynamic Farms Not Factories group that has raised the issue of factory farming and industrial agriculture in the context of a proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) six miles upstream from Ashland’s domestic water source in Chequamegon Bay. Dogged hard work and skillful communications have built a widely-held community consensus that factory farms must be held to the same standard of health and safety as any other industrial operation. See this recent article in The Ashland Daily Press for the current status of the effort.
Come in and check out our selection of books on the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, and the Great Lakes. There are coffee table books, guide books, natural history, and, even, fiction. They make great gifts for those who live in these parts as well as those who visit and love these islands and lakes.

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

All of us at AIB

Upcoming Events

Exhibit Dates & Hours:
November 25th-27th, 1-4pm and December 2nd-3rd 1-4pm
Exhibit Presentation & Discussion:
Monday, December 5th - Doors open at 5pm, presentation at 6pm
Bayfield Heritage Association, 30 North Broad Street, Bayfield
Free & open to the public

We are proud to be co-sponsoring this unique celebration with the Bayfield Carnegie Library and the Bayfield Heritage Association. During 2016 the Wisconsin Historical Society is providing this free exhibit to 25 communities around the state. “Wisconsin’s John Muir” explores Muir's youth in Wisconsin, his advocacy for national parks, and his views on environmental issues such as logging, hunting, and climate change. Its eight panels share facsimiles of images and manuscripts from the Society’s library and archives alongside Muir quotes and interpretive texts.

Read more about the exhibit in the recent Bayfield County Journal article by Hope McCleod.

Take advantage of these special promotions!

Have you seen our holiday catalog yet? If not, stop in and pick one up. It is chocked full of holiday gift ideas for all of the special people in your life. In addition, there is a coupon on the back for 20% off of any three items in one transaction. If that's not enough, we'd like to offer you a couple other incentives to make books your go-to gift this holiday season:
  • 20% off of any purchase of 5 or more books in any series (or books by the same author). For example get the entire Harry Potter series or William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series and save over $20!
  • 15% off hardcovers for young readers. This includes picture books, middle readers and young adults. Our selection is overflowing and includes a large variety of autographed copies!
  • And, of course, don't forget about gift cards! These are the perfect gift for those avid readers in your life. 
  • Watch for our holiday gift guide in your email in the next week with even more suggestions and promotions!

What we're reading...

Swing Time
by  Zadie Smith

They meet in a ballet class, two little brown girls who look as if they could have been cut from “one piece of tan material.” One is an immensely talented dancer the other brilliant and ambitious, but flat-footed. They bond and grow together in a narrative reminiscent of Elena Ferrante. One stays on the straight and narrow and becomes worldly and “successful” and deeply engaged in West Africa. The other, wild and erratic, becomes a West End dancer. Though their direct relationship ends, the experience of growing up together informs the remainder of the story. Smith has previously written from the third person point-of-view, but here the story is told in the first-person voice of one of the girls. Not surprisingly, Smith weaves a narrative with threads of racism, sexism and class. The Los Angeles Times calls the book “a multilayered tour de force.”

The Sun is Also a Star
by  Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

This holiday, celebrate the idea that love always changes everything with a romantic and unconventional new love story for young adults from Nicola Yoon.

The Nix
by  Nathan Hill

Described by the New York Times as the “love child of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace,” and by a reviewer for NPR as “a vicious, sprawling satire with a very human heart,” the sheer scope, power and human and relational insight of The Nix, Nathan Hill’s stunning debut novel, defies our ability to do it justice in this brief paragraph. The backdrop includes Norway in the 1940’s; a boomer’s coming of age in the 1950’s and her inadvertent and ultimately life-changing entanglement in the 1968 Chicago protests; and contemporary American life with its menu of interesting characters illustrating many of our most challenging social issues. It is in one light a sweeping media and political satire, in another a heart-wrenching mother-son psychodrama. And yet it is so much more. Hill demonstrates through his deftly woven narrative how pivotal shifts in our lives result most often not from any calamitous act or decision, but rather from the collective impacts of so many seemingly minor decision-points along the way. We all know what it’s like to wake up one day and wonder how we got to where we are in life. In The Nix, Hill brilliantly shares one perspective on how this can happen. Well worth the read!

Final Thoughts...

From Leonard Cohen who passed away at 82 years of age on November 7, 2016, in Los Angeles.  Well, he was spared the election!  This piece is from his newly released album - You Want It Darker.

"If I Didn't Have Your Love"
If the sun would lose its light
And we lived an endless night
And there was nothing left that you could feel
That's how it would be
What my life would seem to me
If I didn't have your love to make it real

If the stars were all unpinned
And a cold and bitter wind
Swallowed up the world without a trace
Ah, well that's where I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I couldn't lift the veil and see your face

And if no leaves were on the tree
And no water in the sea
And the break of day had nothing to reveal
That's how broken I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I didn't have your love to make it real

If the sun would lose its light
And we lived in an endless night
And there was nothing left that you could feel
If the sea were sand alone
And the flowers made of stone
And no one that you hurt could ever heal
Well that's how broken I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I didn't have your love to make it real

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Offer expires December 24th, 2016
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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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