“Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask” is botany, history, and sacred stories, all wrapped up in leaves

If you ever get the opportunity, jump off of Highway 51 in Wisconsin and start driving on County D toward Cunard Lake. In April, the trip takes you along a tree-clad isthmus flanked by still-icy lakes of such striking glamour that we have to slow down to hug the road’s curves to avoid literally dying … [ Read more]

New book on Duluth and Superior’s brewing history sets the record straight

There are lots of stories that people want to believe about history,” says Tony Dierckins, publisher at Zenith City Press in Duluth, Minnesota. “Like the People’s Brewery ‘creation myth,’ for example. It was supposedly started as this socialist movement of tied house saloon-keepers that revolted against the corporate breweries, and all this other stuff, but it turns out that … [ Read more]

Finding Marcel: The letters that brought a WWII love story to life for a Minnesota font designer

Carolyn Porter, a graphic designer based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, found a stack of beautifully hand-scripted French letters in a Stillwater antique store. She bought a few thinking they would make an ideal base for designing a new font. It was only after her curiosity led her to translate one of them that she realized the … [ Read more]

New book of unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald stories coming in April 2017

Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the St. Paul–born author of “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender is the Night,” are in luck: A new collection of the author’s finished yet unpublished stories is slated for release in April of 2017. Widely considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century, Fitzgerald was not just a novelist but … [ Read more]

Beer and wine coming to Barnes & Noble in Edina Galleria

How does a flagging retailer inject some life into their floor sales? Why, just add beer, of course. Barnes & Noble has announced plans to serve beer and wine, along with an expanded food menu, in four revamped stores over the next fiscal year. The first will open in Eastchester, New York, in October. Soon … [ Read more]

Jim Koch’s unvarnished, unconventional take on the beer business

This past year, the spotlight has been on one of craft beer’s forefathers and icons, Jim Koch, the founder and CEO of Boston Beer Company. Boston Beer has been losing market share for two straight quarters, including their Angry Orchard cider, despite a booming cider revival that has seen 71% and 11% growth in 2014 … [ Read more]

Nora McInerny Purmort laughs, cries, and changes diapers in the face of pain

There’s no other way to put it: Nora McInerny Purmort is a certified badass. The 33-year-old’s blog, My Husband’s Tumor, went viral due to the raw, touching insight it offered into the real life ups and downs of her husband’s battle with cancer and what life’s been like since he passed on November 25, 2014. … [ Read more]

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Rhonda Fleming Hayes on the ‘perfect storm of problems for pollinators’

Rhonda Fleming Hayes remembers learning from her grandmother, step-by-step, how to plant a rose bush. “My parents were gardeners,” she says. “My father studied landscape architecture for a while—and when I was four years old I was already spouting botanical Latin. I was destined to be a planter.” Her book, “Pollinator Friendly Gardening,” hit the … [ Read more]

Milkweed Books coming soon to downtown Minneapolis

Milkweed Editions is opening a bookstore, Milkweed Books, in the Open Book building complex in downtown Minneapolis in late June, reports Publishers Weekly. The retail space is still being built out for the 700 to 750-square-foot bookstore, which will be located on the ground floor of the three-story complex, adjacent to the Coffee Gallery café. “We … [ Read more]

Never-before-seen Beatrix Potter story uncovered

According to the BBC, publisher Jo Hanks has uncovered a new-to-us Beatrix Potter story, “The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots,” which Potter wrote some time before 1914. Hanks found rough sketches of “Kitty-in-Boots” and a partially arranged manuscript in the author’s papers at the Victoria and Albert Museum archives in London. The story stars “a well-behaved prime black … [ Read more]

A Scratch-and-Sniff Book—for Whiskey

Master sommelier Richard Betts has come out with a scratch-and-sniff book all about whiskey, reports the New York Times. His clever adult-oriented book provides the basics on how whiskey is made, the differences between whiskey styles, and the smells that distinguish each. For just $22, “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All” can make … [ Read more]

St. Paul author dubbed the Funniest Writer in America

St. Paul writer Julie Schumacher was the first woman to win the Thurber Prize for American Humor on Monday, September 28. The award has been around for 18 years; past winners include Jon Stewart, Ian Frazier, and David Sedaris. Schumacher, a University of Minnesota professor, won the award for her novel “Dear Committee Members.” The book is a … [ Read more]

Libraries go mobile with books on bikes

GOOD Magazine recently featured a story about librarians around the U.S.–and the world–delivering books to children in so-called “book deserts”: areas without easy access to libraries and reading material. In Washington, D.C., Soar with Reading installed book vending machines to dispense 100,000 brand-new free books in three locations. Outside the U.S., Book Bus delivers books to children … [ Read more]

Drama with Harper Lee’s lawyer continues

The New York Times is reporting that Tonja Carter, Harper Lee’s lawyer, has further extended her control over the famed author’s life and legacy recently, causing even more controversy after the release “Go Set a Watchman.” Carter is not only Lee’s lawyer. She is also Lee’s spokeswoman, the trustee of her estate, holds power of attorney over the … [ Read more]

Tom Weber’s Twin Cities

The MPR radio host swaps airwaves for paper to highlight the best of Minneapolis-St. Paul Sometimes it takes a Minnesota transplant to point out the Twin Cities’ best features. Those of us who were born and raised with access to the lakes, theater, butter heads, museums, and markets are prone to forget how good we … [ Read more]