Africabikes are Back

May 22, 2009

Last year, we sold seven Kona Africabikes.  Not bad for a bookstore. Our first shipment of bikes for 2009 has arrived.  We have two single speeds and one three speed in stock. I took the three speed for a test ride this morning.  It was a joy to ride.  It has an internally gear hub so there is no derailleur. These bikes are utilitarian riding machines.  Very simple low maintenance bikes.  I took mine to Just Food tonight for groceries and the liquor store for a 6 pack of Summit Red. The beer was a perfect compliment to our burgers and fries.  The Africabike is a great ride for getting around in Northfield. 

T2K9_AFRICABIKEONEOur selection of bike accessories is expanding.  We’ve added Soma water bottles.  These are BPA free bottles. We also have click tools, tubes, patch kits, Knog and Planet Bike lights, locks, and a variety of bags.

Laura Rider’s Masterpiece-Midwest Connections

May 7, 2009

laura_riders_masterpiece_mdBestselling novelist Jane Hamilton makes her debut at Grand Central Publishing with this funny, sexy, provocative, and dark satirical novel that turns the chick-lit genre upside-down.

Laura and Charlie Rider have been married for twelve years.  Together they’ve run the Prairie Wind Farm nursery in picturesque Wisconsin, where they share a passion for gardening, which overshadowed Laura’s physical passion for Charlie long ago.  Still, there are mostly happy lives – as long as Charlie can continue his simple life of working the land and Laura can keep reading novels while privately writing her own.

Jenna Faroli is the host of a popular radio show and is “the single most famous person in the town of Dover,” in Laura’s eyes.  When Jenna happens to cross Charlie’s path one day and they begin an e-mail correspondence, how can Laura resist using Charlie to try out her new writing skills and converse with her hero?  Together, Laura and Charlie craft florid, strangely intimate messages that entice Jenna in an unexpected way.  Things quickly spin out of control as the lines between Laura’s words and Charlie’s feelings are blurred and complicated, and Jenna has a profound effect on the couple that transforms all three of them in the end.

janehamilton_smJANE HAMILTON is the author of The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction, and A Map of the World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  Both The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World have been selections of Oprah’s Book Club.  Her last novel, When Madeline Was Young, was a Washington Post Best Book of 2006.  She lives and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin.

Westhope-Midwest Connections

May 7, 2009

Growing up in Westhope, North Dakota, during the 1960s and 1970s, Dean Hulse waswesthope_mdsurrounded by a thriving agricultural community. Family farms were the backbone of the local economy, and the small businesses lining the town’s main street provided the essentials of daily life. Since that time the small towns of the Great Northern Plains have witnessed severe economic decline as family farms have gradually been replaced by industrial agriculture.

In WESTHOPE: Life as a Former Farm Boy, Hulse recalls his idyllic childhood and adolescence in a small town that will look and feel familiar to many and movingly describes his failed attempt to carry on the family farm. Like many of his generation, Hulse discovers that the way of life he grew up with-one led by his parents and his grandparents before them-is threatened with extinction. Through a loosely chronological series of highly personal essays, Hulse delivers a strong critique of the destructive, shortsighted agricultural practices and economic policies that have led to rural depopulation throughout the Great Plains.

WESTHOPE poetically conveys Hulse’s lamentations for the people, cultures, and landscapes of rural North Dakota but is nevertheless optimistic in its outlook; as an activist, Hulse now strives to retain the essence of small-town life and to create new economic models that can revitalize and sustain it. His holistic vision for the future of rural America will inspire the many people working to make the good life-from the family farm to Main Street-a reality once again.

About the Author

deanhulse_smDEAN HULSE is a freelance writer and an activist for issues of land use, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. He lives in Fargo, North Dakota.

Mike Perry Reading at the NAG

May 4, 2009

Mike Perry will read from his latest book Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting Tuesday, May 5, 7:30 pm at the Northfield Arts Guild.  This short video is a great introduction to the book.



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