William Kent Krueger: Northwest Angle

 

This story by regional author William Kent Krueger takes place on Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. The date is July 4th, 1999. A rare weather system called a derecho produces straight line winds of over one hundred miles per hour in a broad swath across the lake. The result is the great Boundary Waters blow-down.

The story focuses on the Cork O’Conner family. Cork and his daughter Jenny are out on the lake when the storm hits. Cork maneuvers his launch in the lee of an island and they ride out the storm, then seek shelter on the island. While on the island, Jenny stumbles across a rude shelter inhabited by a young woman (dead) and an infant (alive). While on the island they are confronted by a man who is clearly searching for the inhabitants of the shelter and who is armed with a rifle. By the skin of their teeth, Cork and Jenny escape the rifleman and return to their resort with the infant in hand.

Since Lake of the Woods straddles the US/Canada border, someone with intimate knowledge of the lake and a fast boat can move goods between countries. Soon the O’Conners learn the rifleman at the island is likely Noah Smalldog, a rogue member of the Ojibwe band who is involved in smuggling.

Following reports of a fast boat docking at night at Stump Island, the O’Conners explore the island. There they meet members of the Church of the Seven Trumpets, a cult building a citadel on the island against end times which the Seven Trumpet folks say are coming soon. The O’Conners find themselves unwelcome and are run off the island.

In the meantime, Jenny falls in love with the infant and is fearful that Noah Smalldog is searching for the child. The story unfolds not unlike a Nancy Drew mystery, with appropriate twists and turns. Who is Noah Smalldog really? What are those Seven Trumpets people up to on Stump Island? Will Jenny be able to keep little Rabbit (as they call the baby)? The tale combines a blend of Christian and Ojibwe faith and philosophy. William Kent Krueger pens a great story and tells it well. The pacing is good and there is plenty to keep one’s attention. Did I want to read on? I sure did.

Northwest Angle: William Kent Krueger $7.50

William Kent Krueger at Book Shop Sioux Falls

Mystery Adventure at Book Shop Sioux Falls

  • Dave

———An Uncommon Collection———– ——Easton Press Collector’s Edition —— Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, Jesse James

Just in this AM. A seldom seen three book collection published by Easton Press. The topic is Old West. Billy the Kid (The Endless Ride), Butch Cassidy (A Biography), and Jesse James (Last Rebel of the Civil War) comprise this collection. These rich brown leather-bound volumes feature gold lettering, embellishment and gilt-edge. The end papers are fancy, the paper acid free and there’s a ribbon.

If your library includes Old West, this is a rare chance to acquire the full set of these handsome books.

Butch Cassidy – $95

Jesse James – $95

Billy the Kid – $95

Leather-bound at Book Shop Sioux Falls

 

 

 

Get your hippie – boho vibe on

Check out this excellent macrame hanging table. The table is constructed from welded steel rings lushly covered with lime green macrame knotting. This vintage hanging table suspends from the ceiling  and will be the focal point of any room it graces.

Macrame table at Gifty Things Vintage – $85.00

Just in this AM: Nancy Drew #65-#116

Nancy Drew is in the house! Or at least 51 of her books are. These trade size paperbacks from the late 80’s and early 90’s are clean and tight – spines are clear and colors are bright. The adventures of Nancy, Bess, George and Nick are priced at $4.00 each. If you love Nancy Drew, this is a great time to fill out your collection at a modest price.

J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is J. K. Rowling’s latest (and last) Harry Potter offering. Based on a new story by Rowling with John Tiffany (playwright) and Jack Thorne (director) Rowling presents the final Harry Potter story as a play. The play is written (and performed) in two parts and is currently in production in Great Brittan, with negotiations underway for Toronto and New York performances.

Harry Potter fans will recall Harry’s arch nemesis Voldemort has promised to return victorious by causing Harry’s demise. The story revolves around this promise and schemes hatched by various interested parties to disrupt Voldemort’s plans for a triumphant return (including preemptively killing Harry).

Nineteen years have passed and Harry, now thirty, is married (with children) to Ginny Beasly and Ron Beasly to Hermione Granger. Harry has a son, Albus. Dracos Malfoy has a son the same age, Scorpius. Everything starts at the train station, where at platform 9 3/4 , the Hogwarts Express is loading students attending Hogwart, a school for children of magicians. On this train ride, Albus and Scorpius meet and become good friends. Albus feels very much in the shadow of his famous dad and he and his dad do not see eye to eye. At school, Albus is chosen for Slytherin, the house of the snake and of dark magic and a major break with family tradition.

Albus and Scorpius come across a time travel gizmo, but it’s only a prototype and can only transport for five minutes. The boys use it in an effort to set right a perceived wrong, but produce unintended consequences. So of course they double down and time travel to fix what they broke the first time. And produce an even bigger mess.

In the end, all the old players hook up, Harry and Hermione, Ron and Ginny, Dracos Malfoy, and Albus and Scorpius to battle Voldemort one more time.

Did I want to read on? It’s Rowling, so yes, of course. It’s a good tale, full of twists and turns and lots of magic. That said, Rowling has assured audiences that the play would contain an entirely new story and will not be a rehashing of previously explored content. It seems a hard promise to keep while retaining most of the same characters and setting. If you want to read an entirely new story by Rowling pen, I suggest the Cormoran Strike series under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J. K. Rowling – $15.00

J. K. Rowling at the Book Shop

Children’s books at the Book Shop

-Dave

J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is J. K. Rowling’s latest (and last) Harry Potter offering. Based on a new story by Rowling with John Tiffany (playwright) and Jack Thorne (director) Rowling presents the final Harry Potter story as a play. The play is written (and performed) in two parts and is currently in production in Great Brittan, with negotiations underway for Toronto and New York performances.

Harry Potter fans will recall Harry’s arch nemesis Voldemort has promised to return victorious by causing Harry’s demise. The story revolves around this promise and schemes hatched by various interested parties to disrupt Voldemort’s plans for a triumphant return (including preemptively killing Harry).

Nineteen years have passed and Harry, now thirty, is married (with children) to Ginny Beasly and Ron Beasly to Hermione Granger. Harry has a son, Albus. Dracos Malfoy has a son the same age, Scorpius. Everything starts at the train station, where at platform 9 3/4 , the Hogwarts Express is loading students attending Hogwart, a school for children of magicians. On this train ride, Albus and Scorpius meet and become good friends. Albus feels very much in the shadow of his famous dad and he and his dad do not see eye to eye. At school, Albus is chosen for Slytherin, the house of the snake and of dark magic and a major break with family tradition.

Albus and Scorpius come across a time travel gizmo, but it’s only a prototype and can only transport for five minutes. The boys use it in an effort to set right a perceived wrong, but produce unintended consequences. So of course they double down and time travel to fix what they broke the first time. And produce an even bigger mess.

In the end, all the old players hook up, Harry and Hermione, Ron and Ginny, Dracos Malfoy, and Albus and Scorpius to battle Voldemort one more time.

Did I want to read on? It’s Rowling, so yes, of course. It’s a good tale, full of twists and turns and lots of magic. That said, Rowling has assured audiences that the play would contain an entirely new story and will not be a rehashing of previously explored content. It seems a hard promise to keep while retaining most of the same characters and setting. If you want to read an entirely new story by Rowling pen, I suggest the Cormoran Strike series under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J. K. Rowling – $15.00

J. K. Rowling at the Book Shop

Children’s books at the Book Shop

  • Dave

Cherry Garcia? No, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead

Just through the door, an outstanding collection of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia bios. Nineteen books in all, if you are a Dead-Head, stop in to mine this find.

 

A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead Dennis Mcnally $10.50
Captain Trips: A Biography of Jerry Garcia Sandy Troy $8.00
Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia Robert Greenfield $8.00
Deadheads: Stories from Fellow Artists, Friends, and Followers of the Grateful Dead (Citadel Underg Round) Linda Kelly $8.00
Garcia Rolling Stone $10.50
Garcia : An American Life Blair Jackson $12.25
Garcia A Grateful Celebration Periodical $8.00
Grateful Dead P. Crushkin $9.00
Grateful Dead a Trip Without a Ticket Pasquale De Bello $8.00
Grateful Dead Family Album Jerilyn Lee Brandelius $8.45
Home Before Daylight: My Life on the Road with the Grateful Dead Steve Parish $9.10
In the Spirit: Conversations with the Spirit of Jerry Garcia Wendy Weir $8.40
J. Garcia: Paintings, Drawings, and Sketches Jerry Garcia $20.00
Living With the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus With Garcia and the Grateful Dead Rock Scully $8.75
One More Saturday Night: Reflections With the Grateful Dead, Dead Family, and Dead Heads Sandy Troy $8.00
Searching for the Sound:  My Life with the Grateful Dead Phil Lesh $9.10
The American Book of the Dead Oliver Trager $8.00
The Book of the Dead: Celebrating 25 Years with the Grateful Dead Herb Greene $8.00
The Deadhead’s Taping Compendium, Volume 1: An In-Depth Guide to the Music of the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1959-1974 Michael Getz $20.00

Music and Dance at Book Shop

-Dave

Brad Meltzer: The House of Secrets

In Brad Meltzers latest, The House of Secrets, our narrator, Hazel Nash, wakes up in a hospital after eight days in a coma and is told she has been in a devastating car accident in which her father died. As she recovers, she learns her brain’s amygdala has been damaged: she no longer has a sense of taste and she has no memory of any relationships. As such, she fits the unreliable narrator role, since she cannot dredge up memories, she can only surmise. As readers, we are forced to rely on her memories which are faulty at best. Hazel’s nick-name is Haze and haze is very much the vibe of the book.

When Hazel wakes up in the hospital, she becomes immediately aware of FBI agent Trevor Rabkin who is waiting in the hallway for her to wake up. He claims to have worked with her father, but he has questions about her father’s activities, his demise and he questions Hazel’s role and that of her brother Skip in all that has happened. His character feels confrontational and adversarial. There is something to be turned up, but Hazel has no idea what that might be.

Her brother, Skip Nash, is in her (new) life and is able to convince her that he is in fact her brother. Skip is able to fill Hazel in on certain facts about Jack Nash, their father. Jack Nash traveled the globe researching and staring in a conspiracy TV show named House of Secrets which enjoyed decades of popularity. From a young age, Skip traveled with his dad as Jack globe-trotted for his TV show. So his relationship with their dad is much different than Hazel’s ever was.

The tale centers on an historic conspiracy story about Benedict Arnold’s bible, and Jack Nash’s search for it and for pages missing from it. Nothing is as it seems, neither Skip nor Rabkin are telling all they know. Hazel must renegotiate all relationships and work to understand who she is and who she was. I won’t be giving away much to note she dumps hot sauce on her food since some sensation seems to her to be better than none.

Did I want to keep reading? Oddly enough, since I am often put off by unreliable narrators, yes I did. Meltzer keeps you guessing even more than usual.

The House of Secrets: Brad Meltzer – $14.00

Brad Meltzer at Book Shop

Mystery Adventure at Book Shop

-Dave

Landmark books: Old friends from the 50’s

Earlier this week 31 old friends showed up at the store – books from the Landmark series.  These children’s histories were commissioned to subject matter experts of the day and edited for middle school vocabulary. Mostly American history, the Landmark series included some international topics too. At about age 10, I plowed through all the Spencer Public library (Dewey-the-cat’s home) had to offer. So when grade school US history offered it’s nominal paragraph or page on Booker T. Washington or Alexander Graham Bell or Lewis and Clark, I didn’t mind – I was more than prepared.

It’s history, so it’s told from somebody’s point of view. That said, these histories are competent, informative, fun to read and targeted to middle-school readers. None of these folks could fly or had any super powers, most were not chased and persecuted by shady adults in their lives, so the treatment is a bit different from teen fodder today.  But knowledge of what came before helps  inform a world view that can make us better than we otherwise would be.

Good stuff and worth the time.

 

Davy Crockett     $5.00
Dolly Madison     $5.00
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys     $5.00
George Washington Carver     $5.00
Hawaii Gem of the Pacific     $5.00
Kit Carson and the Wild Frontier     $5.00
Marie Antoinette     $5.00
Mr. Bell Invents the Telephone     $5.00
Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada     $5.00
Robert Fulton and the Steamboat     $5.00
Rogers’ Rangers and the French and Indian War     $5.00
Royal Canadian Mounted Police     $5.00
Sam Houston the Tallest Texan     $5.00
The Barbary Pirates     $5.00
The Battle of Britain     $5.00
The Building of the First Transcontinetal Railroad     $5.00
The French Foreign Legion     $5.00
The Lewis and Clark Expedition     $5.00
The Mississippi Bubble     $5.00
The Slave Who Freed Haiti     $5.00
The Story of Scotland Yard     $5.00
The Winter at Valley Forge     $5.00
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo     $5.00
Thomas Jefferson Father of Democracy     $5.00
To California by Covered Wagon     $5.00
War Chief of the Seminoles     $5.00

Dave

Clive Cussler’s latest book from the Oregon series: The Emperor’s Revenge

Another of the Oregon files series co written with Boyd Morrison, this is a rip-roaring high-tech tale of adventure on the high seas with the crew of the Oregon. If you don’t know the series, the Oregon is a tramp steamer which has a rough, rusty, neglected appearance up top but fitted with the latest of navel high tech, armament and luxury accommodation below decks by a rogue Russian shipyard.

The Corporation, which operates the Oregon is a loose band of professionals whose makeup changes to fit the latest project. At times, skills include communications, computer hacking, deep sea diving and submersibles, a four star culinary chef, explosives experts, a document and cover shop, chopper and drone piloting and of course boat driving. The Corporation takes on projects from those who can afford the bill, but retains a strong sense of being on the good-guy side of things. The players take the projects on spec for a cut of the profit.

A band of very sophisticated Russian bad guys have their eye on plunging the European economy into chaos by damaging key elements of the power grid in Europe to cause a cascade failure of the grid. They have their own top notch hacker who opens the game by denying access to account holders at the Monaco bank where the Corporation has its considerable resources. Of course, this cannot stand.

Where does the Emperor come in? The emperor in question is Napoleon Bonaparte. During his Russian campaign, Napoleon drove the world’s largest standing army to Moscow but the Russians employed their infamous scorched earth policy: destroy shelter and food to deny Napoleon’s army any forage and the Russian winter would defeat him. He retreated with a tiny fraction of his troops through Lithuania.  The Russians did leave behind treasure, however, and Napoleon’s horse troops carried it out, hiding it somewhere along the retreat route.

A parallel story emerges as NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency – another of Mr. Cussler’s mainstays) gets wind of the existence of Napoleon’s diary (which is written in Greek and in code). NUMA becomes aware of a Rosetta Stone like obelisk to decode the diary and there is a race between the good guys and the bad guys to be in possession of the diary and the obelisk so as to identify the location of the buried treasure.

As sophisticated as the good guy’s armament is, the bad guy’s ship is even better armed.  Their war ship sports a steerable laser capable of taking an aircraft out of the sky and a rail gun that launches devastating projectiles fifteen miles at 6000 miles per hour. So when they meet on the high seas, it’s tactics that win the day. The good guy’s find themselves one step behind all the way, victims of indirection and careful planning by the bad guys.

The ending is dramatic and split second close. Did I want to keep reading? Oh yeah.

-Dave

The Emperor’s Revenge             Clive Cussler – $14.50

Clive Cussler at the Book Shop

Mystery Adventure fiction at the Book Shop