Lake & Island Notes                                     August 2014

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Apostle Islands Booksellers
Voted Best of the Lake 2014!

Featured Title

Alibi for Two 
by Augustus Merrill

It’s always agonizing when someone – perhaps an author, perhaps his daughter- comes into the store and hands us a slim volume of poems and asks us to please add them to our inventory. Usually they are heartfelt, but mostly not very good. Even so, it’s hard to say “sorry, but no."  Sometimes, though, initial skepticism is overcome by the reality of something very special. That is the case with Lee Merrill’s small collection from Parallel Press. Each of his poems is prefaced with a haunting prose piece describing a place, an occurrence or a feeling that has given rise to the poem itself. They touch upon relationship, discord, aging, loneliness, and quiet natural beauty. For our friend Bill Heart he writes of “thoughts so thick they are hoisted on poles." He tells us how his third self lumbers out on to the dock “past the second wife, the first child, the latest dog." This is beautiful work!

Featured Title

Under the Wide and
Starry Sky   

by Nancy Horan

“Under the wide and starry sky, / Dig the grave and let me lie.” This book is Nancy Horan’s second novel about a famous creative genius and the woman who inspired him. In Loving Frank, which we (and our Book Group) liked very much, she gave us a fascinating glimpse into the passionate journey of Frank Lloyd Wright. This time, she captures the rich, complicated and deeply entwined lives of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny Osbourne. She probes how love and marriage can simultaneously offer inspiration and encumbrance. Under the Wide and Starry Sky is a richly imagined and compelling story of passionate love, laughter, pain and sacrifice. Because of Stevenson’s ill health and efforts to cope with it, the story takes us to settings far and wide. Beautifully written, this book blends carefully researched history with the novelist’s art. We loved this book!

Featured Title

Rules of Summer
by Shaun Tan

Combining humor and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

Then we start learning the rules. We won't post them all, but one of our favorites is "never wait for an apology." These are not rules just for summer, these are rules (and metaphors) for life and living it. A perfect book for kids from 8 to 80!
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Bayfield, Wisconsin

Wow!  You know that you are in the Literary Capital of the Northwoods when a humble authors’ event attracts a full house on an August afternoon followed by a banner front-page headline and a couple of pages in the local daily newspaper! Five local authors - Howard Paap, Julie Buckles, Dennis McCann, Beth Dooley, and Bob Nelson – each of whom has published something new in the past year, spoke about their work and answered questions for a couple of hours. It was a great conversation and a pleasure for both the audience and the writers. We’ll do more of that!
Speaking of events, we have a couple coming up in the near future.  This coming Saturday, August 16th we join The Spot in Ashland in hosting Nickolas Butler and his terrific new book Shotgun Lovesongs. Amber Dermont calls it “a Midwestern masterpiece“ and Matthew Quick says it’s “a book that makes you want to call old friends.” Its publication has made a big splash! On Friday, September 5th our old and dear friend Michael Perry will introduce his new middle reader novel The Scavengers. This is virgin turf for Mike and we are anxious to hear him speak about it. Our shop has no better friend, and if you don’t know Mike, this is your chance to get to know a great guy and a superb book. Also, don’t forget the release of Kent Krueger’s latest Cork O’Connor novel Windigo Island on Tuesday, August 19th.  A good part of this book is actually set in Bayfield! Kent, who won the 2014 Edgar Award for his novel Ordinary Grace, has been another terrific friend to our store and we are honored to be hosting him at Big Water Cafe & Coffee Roasters on October 12.

We can’t let the opportunity pass to thank our beloved mascot Kia (our miniature Husky) for her hard work over the past year. She turned five-years-old this summer (as did our shop) and she has served above and beyond the call of duty in greeting and welcoming our public despite her acute shyness. Ask for her. She may be hiding out beneath the counter. Yes, “they do make those”!

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

All of us at AIB

Upcoming events...

Nickolas Butler Reads and Discusses 
Shotgun Lovesongs

Saturday, August 16th 5:30-6:30pm
The Spot, Ashland

You don't want to miss this one! We're thrilled to be partnering with The Spot in Ashland, to bring Nickolas Butler, author of national bestseller Shotgun Lovesongs.

Butler will be reading excepts from his critically acclaimed novel, as well as taking questions from the audience. We will have books available for purchase and Butler will also be available to sign books.

This event will be FREE and open to the public. However we expect to reach a capacity audience and are recommending that folks come early to grab seats and food/drinks.
Michael Perry Reads and Discusses
The Scavengers
Friday, September 5th 4:00pm
Bayfield Carnegie Library

Join us as we learn all about Michael Perry's latest book, The Scavengers. This is Mike's first trip into the world of Middle Reader or "tween" novels. The buzz surrounding this new book is highly positive, “Gifted and gritty, Ford Falcon is a heroine with heart. She grabs you by both arms and hauls you into her world—a haunting future-scape where you have to be inventive to survive, where every decision has a price. Michael Perry’s writing is exquisite, humorous and thrilling.” —Leslie Connor, author of Waiting for Normal.

The Scavengers is a wholly original tween novel that combines an action-packed adventure, a heartfelt family story, and a triumphant journey of self-discovery. It achieves the perfect balance of humor and heart in a world where one person's junk is another person's key to survival. This event is open to all ages and free to the public.  Mike's genuine warmth and wonderful sense of humor are rare treats to experience in person.

What we're reading...

Swann's Way
by Marcel Proust 

"Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure." Okay. So we did it! After 70-odd-years of intellectual barrenness we have begun reading Proust! This first volume of À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) is a revelation. Those who know Proust already appreciate the enormous power and grandeur of this work. Those (like us) who have resisted would do well to try it on. The descriptions are hypnotic as they cycle round and round in memory – a child’s bedtime, a bit of Madeleine cookie dunked into a cup of tea, the steeple of Combray. The quotidian is revisited and layered over until the sublime emerges from the mundane. It’s probably not for everybody and all seven volumes are probably for the vanishing few. But, it will be a pleasure to say, “Yes. Of course I’ve read Proust. And I liked it!”
The Thing With Feathers
by Noah Strycker
The Homing Instinct
by Bernd Heinrich

Many good things come in pairs and these two volumes prove the point. Here, two wonderful new books plumb the topic of avian migration. Ranging from the Bee Hummingbird at less than two grams of weight to the Wandering Albatross with a twelve-foot wingspan, these books cover the science, the factoids and personal storytelling of two superb writers. Both use their material to show how the lives of birds teach us much about ourselves and our lives. Consciousness, self-awareness and empathy find their way into these pages and fascinate. Nature writing at its best!

Final Thoughts...

"To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
What will your verse be?"

~ Mr. Keating, Dead Poets Society

This week the world lost a true artist. Robin Williams was an actor who inspired generations by making them laugh, making them think, and making them cry. He may not have been an author, but he performed others' words in a way that inspired many of us to pursue our lives with true passion and joy. While he will certainly be remembered for his comedic talents, we will remember his dramatic genius. There is an entire generation who learned about poetry and Walt Whitman because of Williams' performance in Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams was a creative genius and he will be greatly missed.

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 September 15th, 2014
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