Lake & Island Notes                                    October 2014

Open All Year!
Store Hours:

10am-5pm Mon-Sat
10am-3pm Sun
Print and audio books, music, video, and more!
PLUS, e-books downloadable to most e-readers!
Coming next month - a catalog full of holiday gift ideas for you and yours!
And, don't forget, we're happy to special order any titles not in stock, and we are happy to mail orders to you or your loved ones as well - just call or
email and we'll make it happen.
Recent Media Attention
Michael Perry Event

Local Authors, Cocktails & Conversation Event
Other Links of Interest
Our Website
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Voted Best of the Lake 2014!

Featured Title

A Distant Father   

by Antonio Skarmeta

With one of the great contemporary voices of Latin America, Skarmeta’s work has inspired a pair of superb motion pictures – Il Postino and No. The former is the captivating story of a rural postman who delivers mail to Pablo Neruda during his exile to an isolated island. The latter captures the thrilling campaign to defeat the dictator Pinochet in the plebiscite of 1988. A Distant Father is a more intimate and personal novel (novella, really) of coming of age. There is a plot within the plot that reveals itself suddenly at the close of the story. There is a bakery, a train station, a whorehouse, and a movie theater. There is love, sex, betrayal and the hint of redemption. In a curious twist, this provincial village in the remote south of Chile has taken on a decidedly French flavor - the father is a Frenchman; the son a translator of French poetry. It is a nod to a convergence of esthetic sensibilities between the two countries and their literary connectedness. Felix J. Palma of the New York Times calls it “a fun and ironic story of the road toward maturity.”

Featured Title

Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Memoir  

by Raymond C. Kaquatosh

“Little Hawk” was born Raymond Kaquatosh in 1924 on Wisconsin’s Menominee Reservation. The son of a medicine woman, Ray spent his Depression-era boyhood immersed in the beauty of the natural world and the traditions of his tribe and his family.

After his father’s death, eight-year-old Ray was sent to an Indian boarding school in Keshena. There he experienced isolation and despair, but also comfort and kindness. Upon his return home, Ray remained a lonely boy in a full house until he met and befriended a lone timber wolf. The unusual bond they formed would last through both their lifetimes. As Ray grew into a young man, he left the reservation more frequently. Yet whenever he returned-from school and work, from service in the Marines, and finally from postwar Wausau with his future wife-the wolf waited.

In this rare first-person narrative of a Menominee Indian’s coming of age, Raymond Kaquatosh shares a story that is wise and irreverent, often funny, and in the end, deeply moving.
Join us for our open book group! Our first meeting is this Wednesday, October 22nd at 3:30pm at Big Water Coffee Roasters. If you'd like to receive more information, please email us as we'll gladly add your name to the list!

One of the early morning pleasures in the life of a bookshop is the review of the previous day’s sales. The practical purpose, of course, is the decision regarding which books to reorder and which not. A deeper pleasure comes from imagining the readers who left the shop with these treasures. Who on earth would have walked out with Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals?  How about Stegner’s Angle of Repose? Two copies of Peter C. Brown’s Fugitive Wife?  Mark Allison’s Chasing the Light – the story of the indie rock band Cloud Cult? And on and on. The pleasure comes from the recognition that our clientele is both sophisticated and diverse. That their tastes converge with ours. That we were able to provide something special and unique here in the Northwoods.
We are celebrating the recent opening of the expanded and upgraded Chequamegon Food Co-op in Ashland. The co-op is a linchpin of the rapidly emerging and maturing local food movement in the area. Together with the commitment of local farmers, food processors, and institutions like Northland College, access to healthy, natural foods has been vastly expanded in recent years. Northland College, for example, now sources some 40% of its food products locally and has committed to 80% in the next couple of years. There is a rapidly expanding literature on this subject. See, for example, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front by Joel Salatin.

And it’s not just food. There is a growing movement for local renewable energy and local finance. You might look at Amory Lovins’ Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era and Amy Cortese’s Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing. For an interesting broad overview of these movements check out Torbjorn Lahti’s My Journey with the Ecomunicipalities. In fact, the first three eco-municipalities in the United States were here in the Chequamegon Bay - Washburn first in 2007 followed by Ashland and Bayfield. Stay tuned!

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

All of us at AIB

Upcoming Event...

Meet the 2014 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Winner, Robin Kimmerer
Monday, October 27th, 7:00pm
Sigurd Olson Environment Institute, Ashland

Author Robin Kimmerer will accept the 2014 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Kimmerer will present and read from her winning book Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. This event is free and open to the public. Apostle Islands Booksellers will have copies of Robin's book available for purchase.

Save the date!

The Art of Poetry:
A Discussion with Local Poets

Saturday, December 6th 4:30pm
Bates Art Bar, Bayfield

Our author discussion this past August was such an enjoyable event we thought we should do it again, but this time with poets! Please join us for refreshments, snacks and a panel discussion with a few of our area's poets. Take a look at the recent article in the Ashland Daily Press about our last author panel event for a taste of what's to come.

What we're reading...

Leningrad: Siege and Symphony
by Brian Moynahan

The Leningrad Symphony (Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7) was played in what now is again St. Petersburg for the first time on August 9, 1942. It was the 335th day of the vicious 900-day Nazi siege of the city. Played by an ensemble of emaciated musicians on the verge of starvation, the performance was so rare and powerful that it would never again be matched. Moynahan’s story is a metronome of terror: the tick being the ceaseless shelling and bombing of the city by Hitler’s Wehrmacht; the tock being the unrelenting nightmare of the purges carried out by Stalin’s NKVD. On another scale, the story swings back and forth between the desperate lives of the Leningraders and Shostakovich’s composition of the symphony. It all plays out against a drumbeat of starvation, executions and Gulag sentences among the musicians of the Leningrad Philharmonia. The writing is vivid and compelling and does full justice to “the greatest story ever played.”
The Meaning of Human Existence
by Edward O. Wilson

Ordinarily the existential questions addressed here would strike us as sophomoric in the extreme. What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? Is there a God? But, wait! They are being posed by none other than E. O. Wilson who is, perhaps, the giant among the biologists of our time. In this small volume, Wilson considers these questions with breadth, depth, grace, brilliance and generosity. Of course, much depends upon the Clintonesque qualifier that: “It depends upon what the meaning of ‘meaning’ is.”  Wilson posits “the broader, science-based meaning of human existence” which is, “the capacity to decide, and how and why the capacity came into being, and the consequences that followed.”  His is a lively and accessible argument, but, if you proceed to the Appendix, you might want to be willing to become comfortable with such notions as, “inclusive fitness,” and “allele frequency changes.”

The Book With No Pictures
by  B.J. Novak

We dare you to read this book to the young people in your life and not giggle. Comedian B.J. Novak is better known for his stand-up comedy, his role on The Office or his recent book of short stories, One More Thing. This book is irresistibly silly and the young people in your life will beg to have it read to them over and over again. Take a moment to watch this video of Novak reading excerpts to a group of young children.
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

This novel has been described as the perfect post-apocalyptic story for those who hate post-apocalyptic stories. We couldn't agree more. The story essentially begins with the end of the world. One night, in a Toronto theater, onstage performing the role of King Lear, 51-year-old Arthur Leander has a fatal heart attack. There is barely time for people to absorb this shock when tragedy on a significantly larger scale arrives in the form of a flu pandemic so lethal that, within weeks, most of the world’s population has been killed.

What makes Station Eleven so impressive is the way that it departs from generic convention. The novel is less horror story than elegiac lament; its pacing is slow and its style understated. It is terrifying, reminding us of how paper-thin the achievements of civilization are. But it’s also surprisingly — and quietly — beautiful.

Final Thoughts...

Our Shared Planet centers around a traveling environmental awareness exhibit featuring the carved birds and animals of award winning wildlife sculptor Jim Ramsdell. Jim is not only one of our neighbors, but he is an exceptionally talented, self-taught artist who discovered his gift in mid-life, and is now able to share this powerful message of awareness with others. And yes, that really is wood carving!

This piece is called "The Kingfisher and the Fisher Kings." It is just one of many of Jim's wood sculptures. To raise awareness for Our Shared Planet, Jim works and travels with his solar-powered trailer.

For more information on Jim's work
and Our Shared Planet, please visit

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 November 15th, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Apostle Islands Booksellers, All rights reserved.
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