Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery Newletter
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flower eggflower egg April 2020 flower eggflower egg

Dog having just licked an envelope


Staying safe

Like so many, we’re continually looking for ways to be even more vigilant about not spreading COVID-19. It occurred to us that licking the seal on the envelopes we send out may not be in keeping with that. Since dogs apparently can’t contract COVID-19 and we happen to have a dog on hand who’s not doing much these days, we’ll have Tripod lick the envelopes. April Fool!

If only...

I wish someone would pop out this morning, holler “April Fool,” and life would go back to the way it was pre COVID 19.

We all know, my friends, that isn’t going to happen. When the pandemic plays itself out, and it will, we will experience a new normal. For now, I want you to know how deeply Jen, Bob, and I appreciate your continued support of Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery and of us. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Here are some ways:

Support your local bookstore! BeagleandWolf.comOrder books from our online book shopping site.

Order ebooks from and audio books from

Buy a gift certificate to use later. You can email to do this, or call us at 218-237-2665.

Send Jen that book you’ve been wanting to have repaired. She’s nearly caught up in the bindery, so it’s a great time to have your treasure given new life. Email or call her to make arrangements for this.

Here’s the situation now at the store (keep in mind how fluid the life is these days.)

Minnesota is under a Stay at Home order. Jen and I are at the store 9-5, weekdays. Prone sink with Out of Order signJen delivering booksWe’re here to get the mail and take delivery of shipments, check the building and the little plumbing problem we have, and fill orders. We are currently ordering books for families whose children are engaged in distance learning. (Our favorite is a book for the boy who wants to learn cursive on his own!) Bob delivering booksSome books are sent directly from the warehouse to you, we mail some, and deliver others in town.

If customers call ahead of time, we’ll put their books in front of our front door.
The store is NOT open to the public at this time.

Facebook logoIn response to requests, we’re posting a video or picture on Facebook daily, each day featuring a different part of the store.

Currently, two of our book groups are having virtual meetings and one is suspended. We have no events scheduled at this time.

We’ve packed this newsletter with more book reviews than usual. We hope you’ll enjoy reading them, and that you are safely at home,Smiling emoji following whatever orders are in place where you live. Our new mantra is “Wash hands. Read. Repeat.” We hope you're doing that. We look forward to seeing you again!

Again, we so appreciate the support we are receiving.




Benefits of audio books

Listen Up! Digital Audiobooks Are Now Available!I’ve been a fan of audio books for years, primarily while commuting. That hasn’t worked too well lately, since I now have a six-minute commute. However, I’ve discovered other times to listen to audio books. One is while I’m exercising. I know exercise is good for me, but it’s a lonely time eater, and a good book helps the time go faster. I’ve also found, much to my disappointment, that as I’ve aged, my eyes get tired way before the rest of me is ready to quit reading. Audio books to the rescue! Here’s a blog post from our friends at about the Physical and Mental Benefits of Audio Books.

March Bestsellers

Book covers are linked to our online store,
where you’ll find a description of each book.

Jen, Dennis Staples, and Sally
Jen, Dennis Staples, and Sally


book cover book cover book cover book cover book cover
Night Watchman Louise Erdrich
An interview with Louise Erdrich about the book

This Town Sleeps
Dennis Staples


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Kim Richardson

  Wolves of Eden
Kevin McCarthy

Glennon Doyle
See a Guest Review

book   book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover
Little Faith
Nickolas Butler
  Why We’re Polarized
Ezra Klein
  The Librarian of Auschwitz
Antonio Iturbe
  American Dirt
Jeanine Cummins

Midwest Made
Shauna Sever

book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover   book cover
Once Upon a River
Diane Setterfield
  Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens
Edward Carey
  Hello, Farm
Maddie Frost
  The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook
Bruce Weinstein

book cover New in paperback

Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others
Barbara Brown Taylor

In Holy Envy, Barbara Brown Taylor describes her experience as the teacher of an undergraduate college course exploring world religions. Through reading, discussion, and field trips, Taylor and her students expand their knowledge and understanding of faiths other than their own. Many times, barriers are broken down in the process. Taylor describes some of the various ways that her students react to the faith experiences and information that is presented. She also reflects openly on her faith journey. At the end of a field trip, one leader tells the group that his goal is not to convert them. Instead, he explains, his wish is for each of them to excel in their faith and become the best person they can be. Holy Envy is both informative and inspirational.



book coverAn Interview with Heather Gudenkauf

Two years ago, Beagle and Wolf was the book vendor at an event ( which included talks by six authors.  One of them was Heather Gudenkauf, a mystery writer from Iowa. Heather’s talk engaged me, and I began to read her then-current novel, Not a Sound. I’ve been reading Heather’s books ever since, and sharing them with customers. Not only am I a fan of Heather’s work, but also Heather the person, who is lovely. (She’s a dog lover, need I say more?) As a special treat, I asked Heather if we could interview her for this month’s newsletter. I hope you enjoy the interview and then read her work!


How many people are now in your home during the day?
Right now there are three of us. My husband, my twenty-year-old daughter who is finishing up her college semester at home, and me. We have three separate workstations set up around the house and different schedules, so everyone is working to be very quiet. My two other children are living and working in another city—it’s hard to have them away right now—but we connect every day.

And, how many people are *usually* at home during the day?
Usually I’m the only one home during the day—it’s definitely a new dynamic!

You’re in Iowa—does Iowa have a shelter-in-place (or as we call it in Minnesota, Stay-Home-Minnesota) type of order?
As of this writing, we do not have a shelter-in-place order for Iowa. However, schools, workout facilities, salons, restaurants (except for delivery or carry-out), and other businesses are closed. We are all being encouraged to practice social distancing and to only leave home when it’s necessary. It’s up to all of us to keep our community healthy.

Has COVID-19 affected your creativity? Has it either stifled or jumpstarted it?
The pandemic has actually jumpstarted my creativity. I tend to turn to writing and reading during challenging times, so I hunkered down and have finished the first draft of my next novel while homebound. Now I’m brainstorming ideas for another novel.

book coverYou have a forthcoming book that takes place largely in June of 2020, but of course at the time you were writing it, COVID-19 was not yet on our radar, so it doesn’t exist in the book. How do you feel about that?
The fact that my new novel, This is How I Lied, takes place in June of 2020 and does not mention COVID-19 hits me in two ways. Though I write fiction, I do strive to be factual when it comes to true life events that impact my characters. The absence of COVID-19 would definitely impact my characters and their day-to-day lives and the fact that it won’t be included in the book does stand out. On the other hand, I think there will be plenty of time down the road for works of fiction to delve into life during COVID and books absent of this worldwide tragedy will be a welcome reprieve for readers.

What’s been your favorite bookstore/author/reader response to all of this?
I’ve always believed it, but now I know it’s true—book people are the best people. It’s been amazing to see the response.

book coverBookstores everywhere are working tirelessly to bring books to readers and my independent bookseller, River Lights 2nd Edition, in Dubuque, Iowa, is no exception. Though they are closed to the public, they are fulfilling online orders. I just ordered two books about birds, including one called Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America (hilarious) to give as gifts.

Authors Jenna Blum and Caroline Leavitt have created an incredible network called Almighty Blaze that works to connect authors to readers during the shutdown.

One reader’s response was to put a big basket of books on her front porch so that her homebound neighbors can stop by and safely pick out their next read. So simple but perfect!

What are you reading?
I’ve read so many great books as of late—I usually have three books going at one time. I got a sneak peek into Roz Nay’s Hurry Home – it’s a twisty, suspenseful story about two sisters and nothing is as it seems. It hits the shelves this July. I’m also reading Mary Karr’s memoir, The Liar’s Club. It’s funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written—I highly recommend it. I’m also reading an advance reading copy of a novel by Julie Heaberlin titled We Are All the Same in the Dark. Like all of Julie’s novels, this one blends heart-pounding suspense and gorgeous prose—my favorite combination.

Have you binge-watched anything?
Yes! I recently binged The Stranger on Netflix. It’s about a stranger who comes to town and begins to visit various members of the community,  disrupting their perfectly curated lives. It’s adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben.

Do you think you might talk about COVID-19 in future books?
As I mentioned, I just finished the first draft of my novel set to come out in 2021 and I do mention COVID-19 in passing. The virus doesn’t play a big part in the story, but I felt it was important to acknowledge it. I think as writers, this is one of the ways we explore and process what’s going on in the world. We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19 and some have lost loved ones or will lose loved ones—so I think it will become a big part of literature and the arts moving forward.


Heather and her dog

Most importantly, how is your dog?
Lolo is doing great! She is loving that we are all working from home. She can wander from room to room and find someone to give her some attention. She also enjoys the many walks we’ve been taking.


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