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On Thin Ice
Charles R. Nelson
Published: New Past Pr, 2001
Madeline Island is the only one of the Apostle Islands that is inhabited year-round. Ferry service provides transport to and from La Pointe and Bayfield during most of the year. When the lake ice has frozen sufficiently to support vehicles the Ice Road is opened.
But, what to do when the ice is too thick for the ferry and not yet thick enough for vehicular traffic? What about those couple of weeks before the full freeze and later, before the full thaw? Enter the amphibious windsled, effectively a water taxi, which does just fine on thin ice as well as open patches of water. Chuck Nelson's book chronicles the history of the Madeline Island windsled.
Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Published: Husky Homestead Press, 2008
Jeff King is one of the top endurance sled dog racers in the world. He has won the Alaskan Iditarod four times. His most recent race was here in Bayfield's own Apostle Islands Sled Dog Races in early February. His book is an inspirational account of his more than thirty years of competitive sled dog racing at the highest level. Structured as a series of autobiographical short stories, the book chronicles King's adventures from his early days on a trap line in Sonoma County, California to his heady days as the so-called "Winningest Musher in the World." This is a book for those who love the Arctic wild, the frigid outdoors and, especially, those who know and love these special dogs. Our autographed copies make great gifts!
Published: Greenwillow Books, 2008
Caldecott Medal winner Keven Henkes added Old Bear to his oeuvre several years ago (2008) and its resonance is still felt in the heart of deep winter here in the Northwoods. The elegant simplicity of the illustrations track perfectly with the story of Old Bear lying in deep hibernation and dreaming of the cycles of his many seasons - spring flowers, summer berries, fall colors and the winter stars. The rhythmic pace makes this an ideal read-aloud and gently rocks young listeners to sleep. We have featured Kevin Henkes before in these pages (My Garden - 2010) and it reminds us that fine new books have roots in the great work that has preceded them.
|Store mascot Kia with her new friend Cyrus|
We have just completed our first full annual inventory of our
book stock and sideline items.
This is no mean task! Each book and item must be hand-carried and scanned into our data base. Then discrepancies - some thirty pages! - must be analyzed and cleared. Thus far we have discovered a significant number of rookie data entry errors and extremely few mysterious disappearances from theft or other shrinkage. Bottom line? We have had a good and successful opening year!
The ice road was open for a couple of weeks, but unseasonably warm weather has closed it again. Madeline Island is the only one of the Apostle Islands which is inhabited year round. For most of the year there is reliable and frequent ferry service,but as the lake freezes and the ferry can no longer ply its way back and forth across the bay, total isolation is warded off by pressing the "wind sled" into service. The wind sled, effectively a water taxi, is amphibious and can make the crossing on both thin ice and patches of open water. Typically, after a couple of weeks, the ice is thick enough to support cars, trucks and busses and is opened up marked by a picket of left-over Christmas trees. The Islanders are liberated like no other time during the year! In homage, we are featuring Charles R. Nelson's On Thin Ice: Windsleds at Madeline Island this month and believe that, huddled in front of your fire, you will find this a unique and interesting account of a facet of Lake Superior life.
We are open for winter hours from 10am until 4pm Wednesday through Saturday. Stop by and say "Hello"!
During the quieter season, special events and promotions continue...
While things have certainly quieted down through the winter months, there is still so much for our customers and visitors. Our book club is thriving (reading up to 2 books a month sometimes!). Our poetry group has been inspired by the words of many, and our community's "First Fridays"
campaign is still going strong. First Fridays Continue on March 4th
The first weekend in March is the Annual Bayfield Winter Festival
. Some of the events this weekend raise money to support the Bayfield Area Recreation Center. In addition there are a variety of activities and events for all ages. We encourage you to stop by our stop on "Frosty First Friday" where we will have specials and refreshments for all of our visitors. What: Frosty First Friday
When: Friday, March 4th, 5-7pmApostle Islands Booksellers Book Club Going Strong
The Book Club continues apace.The bi-weekly turnouts are great and the discussions lively.So far the group has covered:One Thousand White Women,
Jim Fergus; Rearview Sunset
, Brett Champan; House of Spirits,
Isabel Allende; A Death in the Family
, James Agee; and Four Souls,
The current selection is Precious Bane
, Mary Webb and the next is A Reliable Wife
, Robert Goolrick. Check our website
us or call 715-779-0200 for the date and time of meetings.Please join us!
What we're reading...
Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
Recommended by Kristen While this non-fiction book is not a happy story, nor does it have the most inspiring ending, it is beautifully written and it gives the reader a look into one of our nation's greatest natural disasters - Hurricane Katrina.
Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a middle-aged Syrian-American father of four, owner of a successful painting and contracting firm. He works hard and takes good care of his loved ones, in America and in Syria. Eggers starts this true story about two days before the storm hits, and continues through as Zeitoun sends his family north for safety while he stays behind to watch over their home and rental properties. As the floods take over the city, Zeitoun sticks it out and rows around his community in a small canoe rescuing older folks from their homes and caring for neighborhood dogs who were left behind.
After a week of helping his neighbors, Zeitoun is arrested at gunpoint. Without spoiling this read for others, what happens through the rest of this book is tragic and true.
Eggers does not make this a political book. He does not make statements about the administration or president. He is simply telling a story about one family who survived this amazing disaster. I was sucked into this book from page one. Eggers' story telling is similar to that of Dickens or Cormac McCarthy. You will see, smell and feel everything throughout this true story.
Published: Vintage; 1 Reprint edition (June 15, 2010)
Price: $15.95 (paperback)
One last recommendation...
Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean
Recommended by Theron
In A River Runs Through It
Norman Maclean wove a compelling novel from the tragic life and death of his brother. In Young Men and Fire
he weaves equally compelling nonfiction from the tragic deaths of thirteen young smokejumpers sent in to confront the Mann Gulch, Montana fire in 1949. Incredibly, the book's three hundred pages cover the scant sixteen minutes from the drop to the deaths of all but three of the crew. In a painstaking analysis he chronicles almost second by second the unfolding of this terrifying event. But, it is more than that. Maclean was near the end of his life and, in fact, left this book unfinished. His reflections on the spiritual dimensions of tragedy, his exploration of the science and mathematics of fires and fire fighting, and his own memories of a stint with the Forest Service as a young man lift this book well beyond the typical disaster genre. As Maclean put it in notes toward a Preface written in 1984, "The problem of self-identity is not just a problem for the young. It is a problem all the time. Perhaps the
problem. It should haunt old age, and when it no longer does it should tell you that you are dead." There was no "shuffleboard" old age for him!
Our sleeping garden, soon to be reawakened. As winter pitches it's final fits, there is a special pleasure to be had sitting by the fire plotting the garden, planning seed orders and imagining the stark grays, blacks and whites of winter transforming into a lush cornucopia alive with birds, bees and butterflies.