Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery Newletter
         Books and News to Give You Paws

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April 2021  

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We’ve been so grateful to you for keeping us in business during the pandemic (and we still are!) In March, we had another reason to appreciate you, as you put up with our construction with smiles on your faces. Thanks for using the back door, for putting up with occasional noise and sometimes equipment and tools blocking the sidewalk, and for telling us how great the new entryway looks! It’s nearly done, but painting will have to wait until the weather is warmer, and signage will follow.



New entryway under construction

Photo of bag stuffed with books

Celebrating 20 years!

It’s been 20 years since the founding of Beagle Books, and we’re celebrating all year long! The 20th of each month we’ll give away a bag stuffed with books and bookish swag. Enter every time you’re in the store, no purchase necessary. If you can’t get in, email to enter. These are the only two ways to enter the drawing. (Note: prize bags must be picked up as we are unable to mail them. We will hold them, however.)


Independent Bookstore Day: Saturday, April 24, 2021


One Day. Hundreds Of Bookstores. Fifty States. Join the Celebration!

Sally and Jen in 2019 Independent Bookstore shirts
Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April. Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before.
Nowhere else.


Sally and Jen on Independent Bookstore Day 2019. This year: new hair colors, new tshirts!

Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle has been named the 2021 IBD ambassador.

The bestselling author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Untamed, is now a champion of independent bookstores.

“I have been to one million independent bookstores. I have met the booksellers who founded them and own them. I have fallen in love with them,” said Doyle. “Zero jerks own independent bookstores. They just don’t. They are — always — people who believe in and deeply invest in communities and art and ideas. And during this pandemic, in which we have lost one local indie per week, we need to prioritize investing in these local businesses who invest so much in us.”

At Beagle and Wolf, you’ll find exclusive IBD merchandise, some fun give a-ways, the great stock coming in for summer, a free book with every purchase, and a chance to sign up for the book bag drawing. With any luck, you’ll walk through the newly completed entryway, but we’re not making any promises! In the meantime, we’ll be slipping an IBD bookmark in every book we sell.

book coverMary Casanova
Thursday, May 13 at 7:00

Mary CasanovaJoin Jen in conversation with author Mary Casanova to discuss her new book, Waterfall!

In her third Rainy Lake historical drama, Mary Casanova takes us back to pristine and rugged northern Minnesota. It's 1922, women have won the right to vote, and Trinity Baird is of age. But at 21, after nearly two years at Oak Hills Asylum, she returns to her family's island summer home with her self-confidence in tatters and her mind seared by haunting memories. Her parents are oblivious to what they have put her through and instead watch their daughter for the least sign of defiance. Trinity struggles to be the "respectable" young woman her parents (especially her mother) demand, so that she can return to her independent life studying art and painting in Paris. She never wants to go back to Oak Hills, where they "treat" hysterical, i.e., unconventional, young women.

With enough talent and ambition to be accepted into the Sorbonne, Trinity had hoped she would be well on her way as an artist by now. On the island, she returns to what sustains her: painting. While her love for this beautiful place is deep and abiding, the few months ahead present a near-impossible task: recover the strong sense of self she's nearly lost during her time away, while holding off her powerful family's efforts to coerce her into submission. When her parents arrive on Baird Island, her father brings along a promising young architect to help with plans to build new guest cabins. Trinity suspects her parents are trying to introduce yet another marriage prospect. Or might she have found an ally?

Informed by historical figures, by the burgeoning growth of women's rights in the early twentieth century, and the complicated issue of mental illness and how "difficult" women were silenced, Waterfall offers a compelling story of an inspired, ambitious, and soulful young woman's fight to find her way.

A link will be available closer to the event.

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Announcing our Fall Reading Retreat,
scheduled for October 8 to 10!

A Reading Retreat is a gift you give yourself. It’s time outside your ordinary schedule when you can relax, discuss books with other lively and interesting readers, and eat meals which someone else has prepared. We’ve cancelled three reading retreats during the pandemic, but are cautiously optimistic that the one for this fall will be a go. We will expect that participants will have been vaccinated against COVID. More details will be forthcoming, but we can tell you that one of the books we’ll be reading is The Seed Keepers, by Diane Wilson.

New Releases!

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The Book of Longings
Sue Monk Kidd

Carefully researched and imaginatively told, Sue Monk Kidd’s latest novel, now out in paperback, l is the story of Ana, the wife of Jesus of Nazareth. Ana was self-educated, literate, rebellious, and longed for her voice to be heard and her story to be told. Born into a wealthy family, she pushed against cultural norms and married a peasant, a man far below her social status, after refusing to marry the man who parents had chosen for her. Jesus, a man with longings of his own, was a good partner for her. Kidd seamlessly weaves together imagined events and people with events and persons from the Biblical accounts of the life of Jesus. I loved this book!



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Oprah’s latest pick for her book club are the distinguished Gilead novels by Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, Home, Lila, and Jack. Jack will be released in paperback on April 6.


Continued Pandemic Protocol in the Store

Since the pandemic started, we have followed the guidance of the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the governor’s mandates, and we will continue to do so. At this point, this is what we are asking of you:

Welcome! Masks Required. No WHining! ;) Sanitize Hands. (We have sanitizer inside.) Limit of 10 people in the store. Social distance.

As the situation changes, we will make adjustments. Please know that our requirements are not negotiable and are in place to safeguard your health and ours.

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Farewell to two Noteworthy Authors

The literary world grieved the deaths of two noted authors in March.

Rest in Peace, Beverly Cleary and Larry McMurtry.




March Bestsellers

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


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World of Wonders Aimee Nezhukumatathil


Dusk Night Dawn
Anne Lamott


Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Kim Richardson


Goodnight Loon
Abe Sauer

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Three Ordinary Girls
Tim Brady

Matthieu Ricard


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Charlie Mackesy


Braiding Sweetgrass
Robin Kimmerer

  The Dutch House
Ann Patchett
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    The Arctic Fury
Greet Macallister
  Saint Patrick’s Day Hero
Doug Mayfield
  This Tender Land
William Kent Krueger

Paws for Poetry


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We hope you’re all making your own poet trees (see Shel Silverstein's Poet Tree Leaves for help) or, at the least, treating yourself to some poetry this month!

On April 9,at 7:00 pm A Virtual Poetry Event is scheduled as part of the Prairie Gate Literary Festival, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Morris. Featured poets are Nancy Naomi Carlson and Teri Ellen Cross Davis.


Our friend, poet David Bengtson, shared this poem with us for this month’s newsletter!

Painting of sap harvesting including horses pulling sled over snow
Sweet Harvest

When nights are crisp and days are warm,
the sap rises in a thousand secret wicks
to feed the flames of waiting leaves.

This is the season of sweetness.
In frosty haze we pound taps into sapwood.
The sap runs clear as water, sweet and sparkling.

With snow still thick, the first brown moths
of spring lightly flutter delicate wings
around the filling buckets.

This is the season of sweetness,
the sweet harvest of early spring.
                   –David Bengtson

David says this about the poem and painting above:

This was written a number of years ago to accompany a painting by St. Cloud artist, Gerald Korte (1928-2010). He taught at St. Cloud State from 1964-1986.

Both the poem and painting were commissioned by what was at the time called Hart Press, a Long Prairie printing company that no longer exists. Five paintings and poems were commissioned to be sent to customers and friends of the press (more than 2,000) each December from 1984-1988. After the company closed, I was given the five painting to dispose of as I saw fit.

This one is titled Kroll’s Zuckerwald and based on a scene that happens every year at the farm of the John Kroll family, just east of Long Prairie. I gave the painting to John and his wife, Susan. They certainly knew about the painting but had no idea it would ever find its way to them.

Do you remember/love poems from your youth?

Here’s one that has particularly stuck with me.
The poem is in the public domain.

To an Athlete Dying Young
by. A. E. Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.


I asked our staff what poems they remember from youth
and here’s how they answered.

Sally: Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

My introduction to poetry came during family car rides, when my grandmother would recite from memory long passages from Longfellow’s “Evangeline,” which began ‘This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,” Even after all these years, every time I read those words, I hear my grandmother’s voice.

Ann: anyone lived in a pretty how town by e. e. cummings

I had many e.e. cummings books during my high school and college years. This poem was one that I liked and that has stuck with me:

Pam: It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest

 My mother would recite the first stanza of this poem anytime we complained that we couldn’t so something.

Hannah: General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay

It was the rhythm of the first lines that rocked me, and still do.

Experience Poem by Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was the go-to poet whenever my heart got broken.


Reviews of Contemporary Poetry Books

book coverWhen the Heart Needs a Stunt Double
Diane Decillis

I - LOVE!! - THIS - BOOK - OF - POETRY!! Too often, a book with a terrific title exhausts its terrific-ness in the title. In "When the Heart Needs a Stunt Double,” the title poem in the collection, the author is just rolling up her sleeves. It's clear that Diane Decillis is in love with words and language. For poetry readers looking for variety without reading an anthology, this is it. I found her wide variety of poems to be (not simultaneously): familiar, tender, peculiar, clever, witty, smart, Detroit/Michigan-focused, international, and funny. I can't remember the last time I laughed truly out loud so much while reading a collection of poetry. Subjects range from family, love (of all kinds - especially romantic and culinary), Alfred Hitchcock, how to handle a fly as a pet, art, and more. I highly recommend this book!



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Raymond Antrobus

This book of poetry is amazing. The author's life history of struggling with race identity (Jamaican British), an alcoholic father, and the unavoidable loss of hearing makes for fascinating material. Antrobus uses a variety of forms and even includes some sign language. The poems are both personal and universal. 

Click here to see Antrobus’s poem, Echo. As a treat, you can hear the author read the poem.


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Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts
J. Drew Lanham

You may be familiar with J. Drew Lanham. A few years ago, his memoir The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature was released. book coverLanham is an ornithologist and in Sparrow Envy, his focus is birds Interestingly, he periodically weaves in threads of social justice. In a poem that reimagines new (improved) names for birds as well as bird groups. For example to replace a murder of crows with, Lanham offers “A Mattering of Black birds—”

I had to put the book down for a few beats and just let that resonate. 


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