Celebrate Five Years With Us!

Lake & Island Notes                       May 2015

Apostle Islands Booksellers
Voted Best of the Lake 2014!
Open All Year!
Store Hours:

Summer Hours: 
Starting Fri, May 22nd
8am-9pm Daily
Print and audio books, music, video, and more!
PLUS, e-books downloadable to most e-readers!
Recent Media Attention

Star Tribune: Midwest Traveler: Your Guide to a Bookstore Roadtrip

Featured Title

Beneath the Bonfire   

by Nickolas Butler

This is one of our favorites this year! We were already huge fans of Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, and this new collection of short stories has definitely not disappointed. In the unforgettable opener, “The Chainsaw Soiree,” a cherished recurring winter-solstice party ends up offering complicated betrayals and resentments among a group of friends and lovers. Butler has a profound sense of place setting his stories in rural Wisconsin, but even more so, his connection to the human spirit and experience carries through each and every story. Be sure to join us on June 29th for an exciting author event with Nick and also Benjamin Percy (review below).

Featured Title

The Dead Lands    

by Benjamin Percy

"Good God, what a tale. Don't miss it." This is the quote provided by Stephen King on the cover of Benjamin Percy's new book, The Dead Lands. He's right. This is a futuristic, post-apocalyptic retelling of the journey of Lewis & Clark. In this story, most of the human race has disappeared either from the flu epidemic or nuclear bombs. Cancer seems to be more prevalent than the common cold, and mutant animals are now roaming this new world where the Mississippi has dried up and no one seems to be safe. Percy's descriptions of this world and it's characters are equally beautiful and frightening. This is more than just a scary story though; this is a fable about environmental stewardship, the punishing lash of class division and the dangers of American exceptionalism. Again, don't miss out on Ben and Nick Butler's author event on June 29th at the Bayfield Carnegie Library.

Featured Title

Underwater Adventures with Louis and Louise
by Stephen T. Schram

Stephen Schram spent over three decades as a fisheries biologist on Lake Superior. His desire to inspire young readers to develop an interest in fish and the Great Lakes resulted in this book. This story follows a brother-and-sister lake trout duo as they receive life lessons from Grandpa Mack, spend a special night around the cedar stump, narrowly escape being eaten, and swim through the magic box. Along the way, they learn about the importance of respecting other fish, habitat loss, and the ecological health of the Great Lakes. Their kind, adventurous spirit provides a moral compass for all species.

Featured Title

The Wright Brothers    

by David McCullough

David McCullough is back! His special brand of historical biography and graceful style turns this time to Wilbur and Orville Wright and their quest for powered flight. It doesn’t have the weight (literally and figuratively) of his books on Adams, Roosevelt and Truman, but it is story well told. It opens with their early years in the family home in Dayton, Ohio. It follows their years as bicycle makers and into Wilbur’s momentous letter to the Smithsonian inquiring into its archive of any material regarding human flight. He is careful to emphasize that he “is not a crank” and ultimately enlists the cooperation of the institution. More of the best in popular history!
Other Links of Interest
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Other Links of Interest
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Bayfield Visitor Bureau

Well, we are officially five years into this! Last year we celebrated our fifth summer, but May 21, 2015 marks our official anniversary, and we are thrilled to be celebrating these past years with you. We knew next to nothing of bookselling from this side of the counter and little more of retail generally. With lots of help from publishers, distributors, writers and fellow booksellers (especially Richard and Carol Avol at Chequamegon Books in Washburn), we stumbled and lurched into the business. Our staff has been a godsend from Kristen our stalwart manager and the ever-detail-oriented Jack who is our "go-to guy" for those hard-to-find titles to the bevy of summer part-timers who carry so much of the load. And, no little of our formation and development has come from you – our customers.
We are often complimented on our “collection." Most of the kudos rightfully belong to those of you who have steered us to and recommended titles we had been unaware of. We knew what we liked, but we needed to know what you liked. Now we do! Likewise, we are often complimented on the book-savviness and cordiality of our staff. Then too, we are often complimented on our ambiance and the special fragrance of stacks of books on oak shelving. Finally, there is something about the presence of book people browsing in our aisles that brings it all together.  
Notwithstanding the precarious condition of the bookstore community generally in these past five years, we have managed to do pretty well. Some books – especially the local, regional and special interest – are more difficult to find and acquire on-line. Some folks – us included – still like the feel of a solid page-turning book in our hands. And then, it just feels good to be in a working, old-fashioned bookstore. Looks like we’ll be around for awhile! Come and see us during our 5th year anniversary!

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

All of us at AIB

Our booksellers...

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary we thought it would be nice to introduce (or possibly re-introduce!) you to our staff. Some have been here from day one and others are just joining us this year!

Kristen has been with us since the very beginning and has been serving as our store manager for the past 3 years. The opportunity to discover, meet, and work with new authors has been a highlight for Kristen. When she is not working you will likely find her working on her own writing projects or participating in local theater productions - either on stage or behind the scenes.

Jack has also been a part of our team since the bookstore opened. Being surrounded by thousands of books filled with the magic of stories created with imagination and expressed through words is what brings him back every year. Helping a customer find just the right book for themselves, or for someone else, is great fun for Jack.

Sam Esguerra, a recent transplant from South Minneapolis, is gratified to have joined our team and the extraordinarily welcoming community of Bayfield. She is an artist and explorer who loves the richness of the short form and is in the process of building not one, not two, but three little houses.

Halee is our newest team member. She is a recent graduate of Northland College with a degree in Writing and Gender & Women’s studies. She’s lived on the shores of Lake Superior for her whole life, excluding the few years she spent in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her favorite poet is currently Fatima Asghar.


What we're reading...

H is for Hawk
by Helen MacDonald

We loved this book! Ostensibly about falconry, it is a deeper and wider stream than that. Macdonald has woven a beautifully crafted narrative. The warp consists of the parallel stories of her efforts to train and hunt with a Northern Goshawk and the efforts of T.H. White (The Once and Future King) to do the same in the 1930’s. The weft is her deep mourning at the sudden death of her father – noted photographer Alisdair Macdonald. She plumbs the literature and art of falconry from 3000-year-old images through books from the 13th, 14th, 16th and later centuries and combines it with her own (and White’s) experiences in the field. Meditative, dramatic, and lyrically written, the book has it all!
A Broken Hallelujah: The Life of Leonard Cohen
by Liel Leibovitz

Being of a certain age and temperament, we are dyed-in-the-wool fans of the inimitable Canadian poet, songwriter, and singer Leonard Cohen. Liebovitz declares categorically at the outset, “This is not a biography of Leonard Cohen.”  That has already been done quite admirably by Sylvie Simmons in I’m Your Man (2013). This one is more a spiritual fan letter. It delves deeply into his Judaism and traces his influences from the Gregorian monks to Rinzai Zen Buddhism. It’s a small and slender book that captures an essential side of this unique character, but it’s not the whole story. Nicely written.

The Whites
by Richard Price (writing as Harry Brandt)

In The Whites, Richard Price delivers a story that is taut, tough and true. In the context of the gritty, day-to-day beat of the NYPD, a niche environment most of us will never enter, Price conducts his own investigation taking us deep into the moral dilemmas and intricate complexities that make up every human soul wherever we may be. The story is about the former members of a police unit known as the "Wild Geese" and their never-ending battle to deal with their "whites," the criminals who got away with a serious crime on their watch. What begins as a pure desire to do “good” and pursue justice unravels into obsession with hunting down their former nemeses at whatever cost. Yes! The author fully intends you to draw parallels to Captain Ahab’s famous hunt of his own white whale in Moby Dick.  Highly recommended.


Final Thoughts...

Time passes, there is no denying that, but we have enjoyed this journey so much that we actually feel younger! Five years. We are proud and grateful. We believe in the power of books and the words they contain We look forward to sharing this gift with you for many years to come.

Notes on the Art of Poetry
by Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books, 
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,,, 
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter, 
such and so many blinding bright lights,, ,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

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 15, 2015
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