Lake & Island Notes                                                  January 2014

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Upcoming Event
at Northland College


Thursday, January 30th
Sigurd Olsen Environmental Institute

Apocalyptic Planet is a combination of science and adventure that reveals the ways in which our world is constantly moving toward its end and how we can change our place within the cycles and episodes that rule it. In this riveting narrative, Childs makes clear that ours is not a stable planet, that it is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. Childs refutes the idea of an apocalyptic end to the earth and finds clues to its more inevitable end in some of the most physically challenging places on the globe. Join us as we learn more about Craig Childs and his book.

Upcoming Event!
Apostle Islands Sled Dog Races
February 1-2

The races start at 10am both Saturday and Sunday. Hearts race and pulses quicken as the teams head into the starting chute, the breath of the anxious dogs filling the air with steamy blasts. Then, the signal is given and they’re off in a blurred fury of brilliant colors and snow, charging ahead into the raw wilderness to the encouraging calls of their mushers. Visit for more details.

Check out these titles about mushing for children and adults!
Born to Pull, by Bob Cary
Kiana's Iditarod, by Shelley Gill
Dogteam, by Gary Paulson
Winterdance, by Gary Paulson
Running With Champions, by Lisa Frederic

Featured Title

The Invention of Wings

by Sue Monk Kidd

In simple terms, this book is the fictionalized history of the Grimké sisters, Sarah and Angelina (Nina), who were at the forefront of the abolitionist and women's rights movements, wound around the narrative of a young slave, Hetty, who was given to Sarah as an 11th birthday present. Sarah despises slavery, even at that early age, and out of principle attempts to reject the gift.

Much of the Grimkés' story is historically based: Kidd has fleshed out mountains of research — facts, figures, dates, letters, and articles — into a believable and elegantly rendered fictional first person account of Sarah's life.

This book asks some very poignant questions. What does it mean to be a sister, a friend, a woman, an outcast, a slave? How do we use our talents to better ourselves and our world? How do we give voice to our power, or learn to empower our voice?

Featured Title

Cub's BIG World 

by Sara L. Thomson

One day, Mom and Cub venture out of their den, and amid all the wonders Cub realizes how easy it is to lose Mom. Even the one thing that makes Mom stand out in a “white, white world”—the black of her nose—can’t be counted on: ermine have black tails, and seals have black noses. Illustrator Joe Cepeda continually reveals the landscape from different angles and with surprising colors; in the seal vignette, he looks up at Cub as she peeks through a hole in the ice into the green-blue water below. Thomson’s calm voice makes it clear that Mom’s absence is only temporary, so readers can snuggle up and relish this big polar world, gorgeously imagined.


Other Links of Interest
Our Website
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Island Notes Blog

Ah!  Nature!  She’s been a bitter partner so far this winter – deep snow and even deeper temperatures for six weeks and more. Feels like the old days. Hey! This climate change thing must surely be a hoax! But, before we get too comfortable with that notion, let’s listen to Craig Childs whose book, Apocalyptic Planet, won Northland College’s 2013 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Craig will be with us in Ashland on January 30th to receive the award and will speak to the sweeping and perilous challenges facing the planet and the prospects for the survival of humanity on it. Don’t miss this: January 30th at 7:00pm, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College, Ashland.
We can’t whine too much about the weather since we bailed on it in mid-December for a month in Central Chilean Patagonia where summer (such as it is there!) reigned. We spent time with Doug and Kris Tompkins who have privately acquired and conserved over two million acres of magnificent wilderness terrain in southern Chile and Argentina converting it to national parks. See their website for more information. Together with their other related conservation and advocacy projects, it is clear that they reside in the absolute top tier globally of private individuals in terms of efforts to preserve threatened wild lands. We were in the Chacabuco Valley (site of the new Patagonia National Park) which lies 5-6 hours south of the closest airport (Balmaceda, Chile) on rough, mountainous, sometimes harrowing one-lane dirt roads.
And then we get back to Bayfield and - Wow! After five years of unstable ice, the cold spell has opened access to the incredible mainland ice caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The caves are reached from Meyer’s Beach landing about three miles east of Cornucopia and require a one-mile hike across the ice of Mawikwe Bay. This is perhaps the most unique and awe-inspiring feature of the park and last weekend attracted over one thousand visitors. It was the largest single visitor count in the park’s history – summer or winter! So, best to come on a week day. Access has been facilitated by The Friends of the Apostle Islands, the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau, and the Town of Bell.   There’s a nice section on the ice caves in the definitive Apostles Islands book Jewels on the Water: Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands with text by Jeff Rennicke and photographs by Layne Kennedy. We’ll send you a copy for $24.95 plus 99 cents shipping. Give us a call or just stop in and save the 99 cents!
Thank you all for your loyalty over the past year.  We are very, very grateful and it sees us through the winter lull and keeps us open year-round. We wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you here at Apostle Islands Booksellers.

Remember, if you’ve lost yours, we are your local bookstore!
All of us at AIB

What we're reading...

Unknown Patagonia: Chile’s Secret South
by Linde Waidhofer

This is a jaw-dropping visual exploration of a precious and unspoiled part of the world – the Central Chilean Patagonia, the Patagonia that no one knows. Waidhofer’s photographs are stunning and document a land threatened by mega-dam projects on the emerald green Rio Baker and other pristine glacial rivers and valleys. The book has been a key element in the so far successful grassroots and top echelon effort to stave-off the development of the hydroelectric complex. Because it is so important to tell the story of this special place, Waidhofer is distributing the eBook version completely free from her website. A beautiful, large-format coffee table book, with an original signed archival photo print from the book, is also available.
Under the Sun: The Letters of Bruce Chatwin
by Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin was an enormously complicated man and, as these letters reveal, not terribly likable. He was pretty much A.D.D. in terms of relationships and a serial back-biter regarding friends and foes alike. None of this takes away from the fascination of this chronicle of letters that date from his boarding school days up until just before his death at 48 years old. His best known works – In Patagonia and The Songlines - remain the standard for what is commonly known as “travel writing,” but for him the conventional boundaries of the genre are way too confining. His correspondence helps put his work in context as well as reveals the mind behind the pages of the books. His wife Elizabeth (with Nicholas Shakespeare) selected and edited the letters and provides a running footnote commentary that is, at times, interesting, but, at others, simply catty.

Bahía de los Misterios
por Roberto Ampuero

Roberto Ampuero, novelista chileno, es professor en la Universidad de Iowa y entre 2011 y 2013 desempeñó como embajador de Chile en México. Actualmente es Ministro de Cultura de Chile.  En su tiempo libre es el autor de un serie de novelas policíacas en las que figura un detective que se llama Cayetano Brulé.  Brulé es un expatriado cubano asentado en el puerto de Valparaíso.  En este episodio, Joe Pembroke, un historiador norteamericano, ha sido asesinado y decapitado mientras estaba de paseo en Valparaíso.  Un año después, su esposa, quien está muriendo de cáncer, quiere saber qué pasó. ¿Fueron narcotraficantes? o ¿fueron sus propios colegas académicos quienes tuvieron miedo de que sus investigaciones socavaran la historia convencional del encuentro entre los nativos del Nuevo Mundo y los europeos?  Cayetano Brulé acepta el caso y se embarca en una nueva aventura que va a llevarlo alrededor del mundo en busca de la verdad. (Sorry, not yet translated to English! Try Ampuero’s The Neruda Case and wait for this one!)

Final Thoughts...

Apostle Islands Booksellers is a member of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA), and as a member we are fortunate to be a part of a diverse network where we will hear about titles that might otherwise be overlooked.

Books with a regional personality often resonate best with the readers who live there. Midwest Connections gathers some of the best books that have a connection to the Midwest. MIBA selects three titles every month to feature as some of the best books with a connection to the Midwest. We would like to share these titles with you more regularly. Authors such as Micheal Perry, William Kent Krueger, and Peter Geye are just few who have been selected in the past.

This month’s selections portray three very different relationships to the Midwest.  Benjamin Percy, author of the thrilling and bestselling Red Moon, came to the region only recently and now calls it home.  Kent Nerburn, author of The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo, has been writing about the Native American diaspora of the Midwest for more than fifteen years.

And Laurie Lowenstein, author of Unmentionables, is a native Midwesterner who re-imagines the events that spawned the women’s rights movement in the Midwest, helping to make our region the place it is today. These three paperbacks celebrate the many and varied voices that contribute to enriching the Midwest.

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Offer expires February 15, 2014
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