Books and News to Give You Paws

November 2015

Page One | Staff Picks | Youth Yak | Book Groups News


Christmas treePark Rapids is THE place to be
on November 27 and 28!

The Holiday season will kick off on the 27th with the traditional activities we all love. The Yuletide Sampler will begin at 5:00. Stop in participating business for delectable nibbles and to shop for the holidays. Many stores will have special offers—ours is 10% off books from our holiday catalog.*  

bookAuthor Eric Bergeson will be with us during the Yuletide Sampler, signing copies of his latest book, A Treasury of Old Souls. Bergeson frequently speaks on eldercare, and the book, written in his signature entertaining style, traces the growth of his love and understanding of the elderly from his first day of kindergarten to recent adventures with his great aunt Olive.

Lighting of the Christmas Tree begins at 6:00 on Main. If you can’t be in Park Rapids in person, Santawatch it on the web cam.

Santa will be at Bella Caffe’ immediately after the tree lighting and on Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00!


*Speaking of our holiday catalog, it will be inserted in the Park Rapids Enterprise on November 21. Copies will be available in the store and a link to the catalog will be available on our web site soon.

indies FIRSTSaturday, November 28 is Small Business Saturday.

Sponsored by American Express, this national event encourages shoppers to Shop Local and support small businesses in their community. The independent bookstore part of small business Saturday is known as Indies First.

We’ll be having Minnesota authors of children’s books in the store as volunteer booksellers.


Dawn Rossbach (The Cookie Garden)

bookandDebbie Hoven (Light Up the Year! And Normal Loves the Lake) will be signing copies of their books, and we’ll have copies of other books they recommend available. (Check our facebook page for more details, as we are still confirming additional authors.)


It will be a great opportunity to stock up on books for the children in your life for the holidays. We’ll serve refreshments and give away great Indies First bookbags, while supplies last. Wherever you are, we encourage you to Shop Local on Small Business Saturday!


We've decked our halls with North Woods Girl!

Last month we reviewed North Woods Girl. We’re so fond of it that
Jen got an unbound copy of the book and created a banner
which will greet you as you enter the store.


2016 and beyond...

We’re thinking past the holidays and beginning to develop ideas for programming for next year, and would appreciate your feedback.

One event we’re considering is a book retreat. We envision a Saturday in late March or April set aside to spend with other book lovers discussing 3 or 4 books all related to a theme. This event would be off-site, and would include leadership, lunch, and snacks. There would be a fee to participate. Is this something you would be interested in? Talk to Sally or Jen when you’re in the store or email

We’ve also been asked to begin a book group(s) for cabin people who are in the area on week-ends. We’re considering a pilot of this next summer. To begin, we’re thinking that we’ll meet on Saturdays, and discuss the same book that the Sister Wolf morning group is discussing. We need help fleshing out this idea, and would appreciate your input—especially if you’re in the area on week-ends.

Bestsellers for October

book book book book

Aquariums of Pyongyang


Last Night
in the OR


Edmund Persuader


Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

book   book   book   book

Hand to Mouth


Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota


North Woods Girl


A Man Called Ove


Midwest Connection Picks


bookTwain and Stanley Enter Paradise
by Oscar Hijuelos

Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos, is a luminous work of fiction inspired by the real-life 37-year friendship between two towering figures of the late nineteenth century, famed writer and humorist Mark Twain and legendary explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

The resulting novel is a richly woven tapestry of people and events as Hijuelos ingeniously blended correspondence, memoir, and third-person omniscience to explore the intersection of these Victorian giants in a long vanished world.

From their early days as journalists in the American West, to their admiration and support of each other's writing, their mutual hatred of slavery, their social life together in the dazzling literary circles of the period, and even a mysterious journey to Cuba to search for Stanley's adoptive father, Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise superbly channels two vibrant but very different figures.

bookMarvel and a Wonder
by Joe Meno

Marvel and a Wonder is a darkly mesmerizing epic and literary page-turner set at the end of the twentieth century. In summer 1995, Jim Falls, a Korean War vet, struggles to raise his sixteen-year-old grandson, Quentin, on a farm in southern Indiana. In July, they receive a mysterious gift—a beautiful quarter horse—which upends the balance of their difficult lives. The horse's appearance catches the attention of a pair of troubled, meth-dealing brothers and, after a violent altercation, the horse is stolen and sold. Grandfather and grandson travel the landscape of the bleak heartland to reclaim the animal and confront the ruthless party that has taken possession of it. Along the way, both will be forced to face the misperceptions and tragedies of their past.

The Birchwood Café Cookbook
by Tracy Singleton, Marshall Paulsen, Beth Dooley, & Mette Nielsen

 Creating a better world starts at home—in the kitchen—and for twenty years the Birchwood Cafe has guided diners to live and eat sustainably and joyfully. Now you can sample Birchwood’s recipes—adapted for home cooks—and fill your own table with some of the irresistible fare that has made the cafe one of the region’s best-loved restaurants.

In these pages, find Birchwood’s light-hearted, innovative menu: hearty hand pies and multigrain salads, decadent pastries, and award-winning desserts. Organized by eight seasons, these dishes are inspired by the way weather affects our appetites and determines what comes from our land. With Spring, we celebrate beginnings, tossing up fragrant herbs, tender greens, and tart rhubarb. Come Summer, we fire up the grill and get outside; when Scorch hits and those dog days dampen appetites, we whip up cool soups and refreshing salads. Then Autumn, with its collision of apples, pears, pumpkins, and kale; and as Dusk falls, we get cozy with bowls of savory soup. Frost tempts us back to the stove with nourishing roots. Ready for Winter, we gather close with friends near the hearth, ladling up warming stews. Come Thaw, look to the first food of the season as the maple syrup runs and we anticipate a new year. The pantry chapter features Chef Marshall Paulsen’s condiments—chutney, jam, preserves, and vinaigrettes—which can transform the simplest dish into a spectacular plate.


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