Apostle Islands Booksellers

snow covered trees
Lake & Islands Notes
February 2012
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Featured Title
blood bones and butter cover image

Blood, Bones & Butter  

Gabrielle Hamilton  

Published: Random House  

Price: $26.00


The first thing I wanted to do when I started reading this book was cook - something rich, warming and comforting. I wanted to cook something to share with those I love. Hamilton has a magical ability to make her readers smell and taste the foods she describes. While this is an autobiography of a sometimes troubled soul, it is so much more. Hamilton finds comfort in food. She finds beauty in the relationships formed in a kitchen. She is also honest - brutally honest. There is no hiding the fact that not everything happens as you would like it to in life. This is, of course, illustrated through cooking as well. New York Times reviewer Frank Bruni says it perfectly, "Her timing is perfect, her metaphor clear and her point indisputable. Sometimes pasta and people don't make good on all the hope you have invested in them." If you love food - either cooking it or eating it - you will be drawn in by this book.
Featured Title
steve jobs cover image

Steve Jobs 
Walter Isaacson 

Published: Simon & Schuster 

Price: $35.00


Steve Jobs died just last October 5th and yet his definitive biography is already in our hands! Walter Isaacson, whose previous biographies have included Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, has done a masterful job of not only bringing us Mr. Jobs's life, but bringing to life the whole trajectory of the tech revolution from the 80's until now. It is beyond dispute that Jobs will be seen as the protean genius of his generation of technology innovators - Bill Gates notwithstanding. Hardware, software, marketing, merchandising, music, movies - whatever, he got it just right. Isaacson had Jobs's imprimatur for the book and had access to both the subject and his family, friends and colleagues even at the difficult time as death neared. Jobs, to his enormous credit, gave Isaacson free rein to present him warts and all - and many warts there were! But, this was a great man and Isaacson does him considerable, well-deserved justice.

Featured Title
jingo fever cover image

Jingo Fever
Stephanie Golightly Lowden Published: Crickhollow Books Price: $13.95


This captivating and important novel for middle readers is the story of young Adele Klein, a German-American girl who has come with her mother from Milwaukee to live in the small town of Ashland, Wisconsin for the summer of 1918. This is the story of Adelle's struggles to cope with local patriotic fervor in support of American troops abroad, spilling over into hatred of all things German. The summer's events teach Adelle about the importance of standing up for what's right. Coincidentally, this week at our community theatre, StageNorth, the cast is delivering a profoundly touching production of The Diary of Anne Frank, the story of another little girl and her family who experienced the horrible consequences of jingoistic hatred directed against an entire ethnic group. It's so important to tell our children these stories in recognition of the well-known cautionary adage, "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," and so that they can fully appreciate that such ignorance can be directed at anyone given the right confluence of circumstances.

Other  Links


Until just the past few days it looked like winter had pretty much bypassed us this year! Not much snow, not much cold. There were just enough of both for the Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Races to have a nice run. A record number of entries - over 75. Great weekend! Still no Ice Road to Madeline Island and the ferry is still running (to the chagrin of both management and Island residents). But, we had a beautiful snow the other day, temps dropped nearer to where they should be this time of year, there is a quite a lot of February left and March blizzards are not a rarity so we're not giving up!


Our reading groups have been an important and rewarding activity for these winter months. The book list for our general book group was an eclectic selection chosen by the group. It included Freedom by Jonathan Franzen; The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes; Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff; and, Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. Also on the list, but not given a specific slot was Environmental Politics and the Creation of a Dream: Establishing the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore by Bud Jordahl. The group met on the first Tuesday of each month across the street at Big Water Cafe & Coffee Roasters (which thankfully is open every day this winter!), and typically included about ten to twelve thoughtful and articulate participants. To date all are women but men have always been invited and continue to be welcome. The conversations were lively, open and appreciative of all points of view.


Another group created just this past year, the 1st Wednesday Group, was formed around a particular subject and ended up being all men. No intention, but that's how it turned out. The book list for 1st Wednesday has followed a theme of cultural tension and conflict particularly in the context of conquest, displacement and occupation. They read Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (South Africa); Halfway Man by Wayland Drew (Canada); The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan (Israel/Palestine); The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric (Bosnia); and, Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr (North Central Wisconsin). The group met in the lower level of the Bayfield Carnegie Library and typically included eight to ten reflective and expressive participants.


Beginning in April, both groups will be suspended until next November in preparation for the welcome rush of the summer season. If you wish to join either group or be on the email list to receive notice of the meetings, please let us know.


A special note for those of you who have been so patiently waiting, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is finally being released in paperback on Tuesday, February 21st!  We will have a few copies in our store, and you can also order a copy through our website that will be shipped directly to you.   


Our thanks to the many local residents and visitors who have made our winter season a successful one. So many have come in and purchased gifts and made special orders! Our thanks also to those near and far who have taken advantage of our Online Bookstore. For those who have lost their favorite local, independent bookstore let us be that for you - even if only virtually!  


Happy reading,  

Apostle Islands Booksellers 

What we're reading...

wingshooters cover image Wingshooters       

by Nina Revoyr



Nine-year-old Michelle, an Asian-American biracial child, is left with her paternal grandparents in Deerhorn, a small, ingrown, out-of-the-way town in north central Wisconsin. Her grandfather, Charlie, despite his own cultural bigotry, bonds with her and becomes her constant companion despite the antipathy of the town. Then a Black nurse is hired at the local clinic and her husband becomes a substitute teacher at the elementary school. Now the townsfolk must "do something" and come to Charlie as one of the elders. What unfolds is tough to take, but it is written with grace and fluidity. The ostensible point-of-view is that of the forty-year-old Michelle looking back on her childhood from L.A., but the resonant viewpoint remains that of the nine-year-old child.


ISBN: 9781936070718

Published: Akashic Books (February 8, 2011)

Price: $15.95


view from creek cover imge The View From the Creek: Notes from Lake Superior's Ojibwe Country       

by Howard Paap



Howard, who lives here in Bayfield and Red Cliff, brought by a boxful of his new book the other day. We had been eagerly waiting for it to wend its way through the publishing wilderness and, at last, here it was! We sat down immediately to read it and it "set us to thinking". How does this erudite, ex-academic manage to tell us the same story of our life and people here over and over again each time in a magically fresh and compelling way? The answer is that he lives and breathes the Northwoods and has become one with it. In over one hundred brief essays, Paap catches exactly the several interwoven currents that make up our local culture - the town and reservation alike. His views from the creek "set him to thinking" and his observations "set us to thinking," too.  


ISBN: 9780878395583

Published: North Star Press of St. Cloud Inc. (June 1, 2011)

Price: $14.95


superior run cover image Superior Run     

by Tom Wells


The author, an engineer, longtime sailor and contributing editor and boat reviewer for Good Old Boat Magazine, has written this very entertaining thriller with a full-on life-and-death pursuit on the dangerous and fickle waters of Lake Superior, starting in Bayfield, Cornucopia and the Apostle Islands and extending across to Isle Royal. This exciting ride will keep you braced against the heeling of your boat!   


ISBN: 9781463719012 

Published: CreateSpace (2011) 

Price: $14.95


pity the billionaire cover image Pity the Billionaire        

by Thomas Frank


In Frank's previous book, What's the Matter with Kansas?, he wondered why in the world working people seemed so little interested in pursuing their own self-interest and, instead, bought into a politics that so apparently worked against them - tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization, austerity, and a host of social issues. Policies that built and protected the middle class - unionization; antitrust laws; regulation; and, spending on education, infrastructure and public health - came to be seen as left-wing or worse. In his new book, Thomas looks with continuing amazement at the response of the working and middle classes to the economic collapse of 2008 and the emergence of the Tea Party and an even deeper shift to the virulent right wing. Billionaires have become the new underclass! Talk about "class warfare"!   


ISBN: 9780805093698

Published: Metropolitan Books (January 3, 2012)

Price: $25.00

Final thoughts...
amarantha stories cover image Laurie Otis is the local author of The Amarantha Stories. This is the story of the life of a Swedish immigrant woman in Wisconsin. A book full of struggles, dark humor and lovely imagery - Laurie has created a story for all ages. The following is an excerpt from Laurie's book:

The house was built before central heating, so, unlike modern architecture with open spaces and wide arches, it was a series of small rooms each with its own door, eliminating the need to heat particular areas in the winter. The kitchen was the largest room and the only one currently heated. For Amarantha, its main features were the coffee grinder, which was bolted to the wall by the stove and which she turned when they visited, and the pantry, which stored the canning and was especially interesting to a small girl because it had always contained long pans of rusks.

Rusks began as tall yeast rolls which, when they were in danger of becoming stale, were cut lengthwise into thick slices and toasted slowly in a low oven. They were golden brown in color and very hard. Sometimes they were sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. It required intense sucking to render them soft enough to chew, but if you had a cup of strong coffee, made from the freshly ground beans and laced with cream from the dairy herd, you could dunk them and prolong the pleasure with slurping and sipping, dipping any broken pieces of rusk off the oily coffee surface with your spoon.

ISBN: 9781889924120 

Published: City Heights Press 

Price: $15.95

Save 20%
Save 20% off one book!  

Book must be in stock, some restrictions apply. Print this coupon and present it in store for your discount. This coupon may not be combined with any other promotions or discounts. Limited to one use and one coupon per customer.
Offer Expires: February 29, 2012