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Safe From the Sea
Published: Unbridled Books, 2011
This debut novel by Peter Geye is a great read and has been amply awarded in literary circles - the 2010 Indie Lit Award for Literary Fiction and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards winner for Fiction, among others. The lethal fury of Lake Superior is the backdrop for what starts out as a simple story of reconciliation between father and son, but soon reveals itself as something much deeper. After receiving an unexpected call from his estranged and dying father, Noah Torr journeys home to make peace with the former ore boat sailor. When his father finally tells the story of the shipwreck that has haunted him for the past thirty-five years, Noah gains valuable insights that allow him to start fresh with his own growing family. Peter will be with us at the store and at the Big Water Café at 3:00 pm on June 25th.
In the Garden of Beasts
Published: Crown, 2011
In 1933 a nondescript academic living in Chicago, William Dodd, was appointed US Ambassador to Germany. These were the early days of Hitler's brutal rise to power and the streets were rife with violence and fear. The Dodd family stayed-on for four years while William dealt with a wide-ranging cast of characters - high-ranking Nazi officials (including Hitler), diplomats, foreign agents, and others. He sought to raise the alarm of the Nazi threat, but was ignored and ridiculed from Roosevelt on down. His daughter Martha embedded (literally) herself in a frantic social life and carried-on affairs with Nazis, diplomats and a Russian agent who recruited her as a spy. A non-fiction page-turner!
F in Exams
Published: Chronicle Books, 2011
Okay, genius, try these scholarly efforts on for size!
Question: Name an environmental side effect from burning fossil fuels? Answer: Fire
Question: Name the wife of Orpheus whom he attempted to save from the underworld? Answer:Mrs. Orpheus
Question: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?
Answer: Unusual names.
So, you get the point. A lot of belly laughs in this little volume. It is hard to put down, but probably gives greater pleasure in small doses. Very funny!
We are back on summer hours and rarin' to go for a new season! We open (including newspapers) at 8am and stay open for after dinner browsing until 9pm. We look forward to welcoming new and old friends for our 2nd year! But first, a note of caution. Although this is the most lovely and peaceful area imaginable, prudence is the word of the day!
You can't fool Mother Nature and you don't fool around with Lake Superior! Another tragedy! A young kayaker lost his life in four-foot waves and 47-degree waters off of Sand Island on Tuesday. Small craft warnings were posted, springtime winds were growing, and the water was frigid. But, youth and its sense of immortality prevailed. Lake Superior tosses around 1000-foot vessels and 15-foot kayaks with equal disregard for those on board. Is it because we call it a "Lake"? In any event, we grieve once again the toll of the "Big Sea Water" and continue to seek ways to guide the uninitiated. Dick Carver is gathering a force of volunteers to supplement the already superb warning efforts of the Park Service, Coast Guard and others.
This brings to mind two recently-published books in which Lake Superior is a central character. Peter Geye's Safe from the Sea is a saga of the North Country Torr family in which the key event is the sinking of the oreboat Ragnarok in 1967. It eloquently chronicles what can go wrong on this fierce and unforgiving water and the devastation that may follow those who experience its fury. Danielle Sosin's haunting The Long Shining Water contains three stories with characters separated by centuries, but connected across time by the frigid, lethal waters of Lake Superior. The book tracks back-and-forth as it follows the often tragic lives of an Ojibwe woman in 1622, a Norwegian immigrant fisherman's wife in 1902, and a burned-out (literally) Superior, Wisconsin bar keep in 2000.
Both Peter and Danielle will be with us here at the store this summer. Danielle will read from her book at the Big Water Cafe and Coffee Roasters on July 16th at 5pm and sign copies at the store afterward. Please join us! Peter will be with us on June 25th here in the store at 3 pm and reading at Big Water at 5pm. Please join us for this as well! These are beautiful novels and no character in them looms larger than Lake Superior. Take her seriously!
Apostle Islands Booksellers
Saturday, June 25th at 3:00pm
Author Peter Geye Signing and Reading
Now available from Apostle Islands Booksellers, Safe From the Sea, the debut novel by Peter Geye. A son returns home to reconcile with his estranged father while they relive the story of a horrific Great Lakes shipwreck that the father has only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. At times a harrowing tale of survival, at others an intimate look at forgiveness and the indubitable bonds between a father and son, here is a timeless story for readers of every stripe. Peter will be joining us for a booksigning at 3pm on June 25th, with a reading to follow at 5pm at Big Water Cafe & Coffee Roasters.
Saturday, July 9th, 8am-8pm
Regional Author Day
There is a wide variety of authors both from this region and authors who have written about this beautiful region. We have decided to host a variety of these authors at our store all on one day. Be sure to stop in and meet a diverse group of writers. Please view this author schedule for more detailed information.
Saturday, July 16th at 5:00pm
Author Danielle Sosin Reading and Signing
A beautiful novel containing three stories whose characters are separated by centuries and circumstance, yet are connected across time by the shared geography of Lake Superior's vast fresh-water expanse. The book - being released on May 17th - won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. Danielle Sosin will be joining us for a reading at Big Water Cafe and Coffee Roasters at 5pm with a signing to follow at Apostle Islands Booksellers.
What we're reading...
Serena by Ron Rash
Recommended by Kristen
The opening paragraph of this book is simply too good to paraphrase: "When Pemberton returned to the North Carolina mountains after three months in Boston settling his father's estate, among those waiting on the train platform was a young woman pregnant with Pemberton's child. She was accompanied by her father, who carried beneath his shabby frock coat a bowie knife sharpened with great attentiveness earlier that morning so it would plunge as deep as possible into Pemberton's heart."
We quickly find out that Pemberton married the title character before returning to the mountains in North Carolina. Serena is a confident, unforgiving and strong woman. She knows what she wants in life and will risk anything (including family) to get it.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times says it best, "Serena is both drama and parable. The Pemberton-ravaged landscape comes to look like "that land over in France once them in charge let us quit fighting." And as the book's homespun philosophers try to name intangibles, like love, courage and air, they also grasp the universal, imperial darkness that the Pembertons' ruthless game plan embodies. "You can't see it no more than you can see air," Mr. Rash writes, "but when it's all around you sure enough know it."
While you will definitely be shocked by some of Serena's actions, you still can't help but hope that someday she'll change. This is a beautifully written book that I highly recommend.
Published: Ecco; Reprint edition (September 29, 2009)
We like the idea of closing our newsletters with some artful words. This piece of haiku was written by David Saetre - a professor of religion at Northland College. This poem and many others can be found in
Near the Torii Gate - a collaboration of photography and haiku and waka poems David created with Don Albrecht, a professor of photography at Northland College.
Blue Heron, beak up
still among the blue iris
feet deep in the mud.
© David Saetre