Some Like It Cold-Midwest Connections

August 30, 2010

Two hard-core surfer brothers helped transform Sheboygan, Wisconsin, into one of the most recognized freshwater surfing spots in the world!


A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari
By William Povletich

Some Like It Cold highlights the good-time years of surfing on the Great Lakes of North America. Brothers Williams are true surfers who will suffer through cold water and weather to feel the feeling only a surfer knows. A great read for anybody interested in the lesser-known history of surfing.” –John Lyman, Director, The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

“Surfing in Wisconsin?  You bet! Some Like It Cold is a story that screams to be told. The ongoing saga of brothers Larry and Lee Williams documents a near five decades deep impassioned love affair with surfing; all this amidst the uncharted wave fields of an inland ocean. Larry and Lee could have easily pulled up stakes along the way and migrated to the fertile surfing grounds of Southern California & beyond…. but they didn’t. These guys are on to something and they know it in their hearts. Follow the Williams brothers and their surfing sub-culture coterie through episodes of life’s conquests and tragedies played out in America’s Heartland.” –Mark Fragale, Curator, Honolulu Surfing Museum

For the past six decades, twin brothers Lee and Larry Williams have been surfing the gnarliest waves despite living nearly 2,000 miles from any ocean. To overcome the obstacles of being born and raised in Sheboygan, Wis., they brought their dreams and long boards to the shores of Lake Michigan. Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari (Clerisy Press, May 2010, $14.95) chronicles the lives of two brothers and the evolution of the unique culture they helped build.

Since the Williams brothers rode their first Lake Michigan waves as teenagers, surfing became their life’s ambition. Often braving 35-degree waters and wind-chill temperatures hovering below zero, they quickly realized the “Malibu of the Midwest’s” biggest adversaries weren’t the lack of waves, but rather hypothermia and frostbite. Customizing their wetsuits to allow them to last nearly three hours in the iciest of waters, the brothers helped revolutionize a surfing culture unknown to most.

At the encouragement of friends and family, the Williams brothers organized the first Dairyland Surf Classic in 1988 as an opportunity to meet and compete with those who shared their love of Great Lakes surfing. What began as a humble social gathering of a couple dozen friends now attracts hundreds of surfers and thousands of fans from around the world. The event parallels the Williams’ lifelong mission to ride the ultimate wave while bringing a newfound respect to the sport they love in the place they call home.

ABOUT THE AUTHORPovletich-hirez

Native Wisconsinite William Povletich is the author of Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak and Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold, as well as numerous magazine articles on sports and entertainment. As an Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, he recently produced Police Women of Broward County for TLC, Beach Patrol for Court TV, and A Braves New World for PBS’ Milwaukee Public Television. Povletich lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two sons.

The Personal History of Rachel Dupree-Midwest Connections

August 27, 2010

Personal History

An unforgettable novel about love and loyalty, homeland and belonging, and one woman’s courage in the face of the most punishing adversity.

A Novel
Ann Weisgarber

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is a wonderful addition to the literature of the Great Plains. Ann Weisgarber not only locates a bright, clear voice in that vast, silent region but does so in a much-neglected part of its population. This is a brave, lovely novel.”  Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948 and Orchard

Named Best Work of First Fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is an American writer’s extraordinary debut novel.  It recallsThe Color Purple in its portrait of a woman who rises above the circumstances keeping her down, and it opens a window onto the little-known history of African American settlers in the West.

It is 1917 in the South Dakota Badlands, and summer has been hard. Fourteen years have passed since Rachel and Isaac DuPree left Chicago to redeem the promise of the Homestead Act by staking a claim in this unforgiving land. Isaac, a former Buffalo Soldier, is fiercely proud: black families are rare in the West, and black ranchers even rarer.

But it hasn’t rained in months—the cattle bellow with thirst, and supplies are dwindling. Pregnant and struggling to feed her family, Rachel is isolated by more than just geography. She is determined to give her surviving children the life they deserve, but she knows that her husband will never leave his ranch: land means a measure of equality with the white man, and Isaac DuPree is not about to give it up just because times are hard. Somehow Rachel must find the strength to stake another, altogether different claim—for herself, and for her children.

Moving and majestic, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree is an unforgettable novel about love and loyalty, homeland and belonging. Above all, it is the story of one woman’s courage in the face of the most punishing adversity.

ABOUT THE AUTHORannweisgarbercreditchristinemeeker

ANN WEISGARBER was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. After graduating from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, she was a social worker in a psychiatric hospital before moving to Houston, Texas, with her husband. She earned a Master of Arts in sociology at the University of Houston and taught high school and then sociology at a junior college. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, and now divides her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas.

The Blessings of Animals-Midwest Connections

August 26, 2010

A wry and deeply affecting story of forgiveness, flexibility, happiness, and the art of moving on…

Blessings of Animals high res

A Novel
Katrina Kittle

This is Katrina Kittle’s first paperback original, but her books have performed extremely well in paperback—with The Kindness of Strangers(2007) now topping 95,000 copies sold.

The Blessings of Animals includes a P.S. section featuring essays from the author about her travels and about the inspiration for the novel, as well as an excerpt from her novel The Kindness of Strangers.

Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch in her life. Stymied by her recent divorce, she is on a quest to unravel the secret ingredients of a happy, long-lasting marriage. Are today’s wedding vows realistic, practical, and applicable? Or is the entire institution of marriage outdated and obsolete?

Surrounded by several couples approaching different milestones in their relationships, Cami reflects on the deepest meanings of love and partnership. As her parents prepare to celebrate their 50th anniversary, her brother and his partner find themselves legally blocked from marriage. Her best friend and soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law have become newly engaged, while her teenaged daughter’s romance begins to develop its own complications. And now Cami’s ex-husband and two other men are becoming tangled in her own post-marriage love life.

Amidst this circus of relationships, Cami begins to make sense of marriage’s great mysteries-and disconnects. Surrounded by a humorous gang of animals-an angry horse, an escape-artist goat, and a three-legged cat-Cami also comes to terms with her own divorce as she learns the lessons of forgiveness, adaptation, and joy that help her master the art of simply moving on.

ABOUT THE AUTHORblessingsauthor

Katrina Kittle is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers, which received the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. She graduated with two degrees from Ohio University—a BA in English and a BS in Education. Kittle helped found the All Children’s Theatre in Washington Township, Ohio, and previously taught theater and English to middle schoolers at the Miami Valley School in Dayton. She has also worked as a veterinary assistant. After a year of traveling, she recently returned to Dayton to begin working full-time on her fifth novel.

Harper Perennial

Starting From Scratch-Midwest Connections

August 24, 2010

Starting From Scratchcover

A funny, bittersweet ode to the power of family bonds and the solace of good food.

A Novel with Recipes
Susan Gilbert-Collins

What a wonderful story of familial love, loss, and the healing power of made-from-scratch food. I was completely absorbed by the lives of the Tschetter family, and I very much want to be invited to their house for dinner on a night when Olivia is cooking. Susan Gilbert-Collins has written a fantastic debut novel: warm, witty, and redemptive.”  Susan Rebecca White, author of A Soft Place to Land

Why is someone who just defended her doctoral dissertation still wasting her time at her childhood home, two months after her mother’s funeral, making coq au vin and osso buco? Olivia Tschetter, the youngest of four high-achieving South Dakotan siblings, is not returning to “normal”—or to graduate school— quickly enough to suit her family. She wants only to bury herself in her mother’s kitchen, finding solace in their shared passion for cooking.

Threatened with grief counseling, Olivia accepts a temporary position at the local Meals on Wheels, where she stumbles upon some unfinished business from her mother’s past—and a dark family secret. Startling announcements from two siblings also challenge the family’s status quo. The last thing she needs is a deepening romantic interest in a close but platonic (she thought) friend.

But while Olivia’s mother is gone, her memory and spirit continue to engage Olivia, who finds herself daring to speak when she would never have spoken before. Told with humor and compassion, Starting from Scratch explores the shifting of family dynamics in the wake of shattering loss and the healing power of cooking.

STARTING FROM SCRATCH not only gives insight into the grieving process itself, but also portrays a complex, realistic family dynamic.  This moving novel resonates with anyone who has dealt or is dealing with loss. But surprisingly, it is also perfect for anyone who has a love and passion for food and family. Olivia uses both to help her cope with the loss of her mother. Whether she is cooking or meddling in family and friends’ lives, there is never a dull moment. From an unplanned pregnancy to a surprise marriage, a childhood secret to an unrequited love – this novel explores the many dimensions of life in a big family.

ABOUT THE AUTHORStarting from Scratchphoto

Born and raised in South Dakota,Susan Gilbert-Collins studied English at Oberlin College and holds an M.A. in English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota. While she enjoyed teaching international students and adult immigrants, she now freelances as a technical writer in order to focus on her first love, fiction. Susan was born and raised in South Dakota and now resides in Rochester, New York with her husband and son. This is her debut novel.

Bike Stuff 20% Off

August 23, 2010

All of bicycle accessories are 20% off.  Lights, locks, tubes, socks and some gloves.  We have one messenger bag left  and a hydration pack as well.

Thief-Midwest Connections

August 9, 2010


How far would you go to understand?

A Novel
Maureen Gibbon

In writing that has been likened to that of Kate Chopin, Maureen Gibbon shows us how to play the hands we are dealt in THIEF.

Suzanne, a teacher off for the summer, has rented a cabin in a small town in the north woods of Minnesota, to escape the Cities, and her most recent dysfunctional relationship. She begins corresponding by letter with a convict named Alpha Breville, whose crime she plumbs for the hope of revelations of a trauma she suffered at the age of sixteen. As she experiments with this precarious relationship, she begins to liberate herself from the turbulence that has characterized her life ever since that event. Not virgin, victim, or vigilante, who then, is Suzanne?

ABOUT THE AUTHORGibbon Maureen (c) Jeff Jones

Maureen Gibbon is the author ofSwimming Sweet Arrow, a novel, andMagdalena, a collection of prose poems. A graduate of Barnard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has received fellowships from the Bush Foundation and Loft McKnight.  Her writing has also appeared in Playboy and The New York Times Magazine. She in an English professor at Bemidji State University and spends her summers in Park Rapids, MN.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks-Midwest Connections

August 9, 2010

PioneerWoman hc c

Wonderful recipes for family and friends fill this bestselling cookbook!

Recipes from an
Accidental Country Girl
Ree Drummond

“Drummond invites fans into her world with irresistible recipes and photos…. Here’s a mom of four who can turn out a Perfect Pot Roast and make feasts for girlfriends that start with sangria and finish with crème brûlée. It’s sweet and seductive: You’ll want to plunge right in.”  — People

“Jokey and irresistible. Drummond’s…appreciation for something as simple as well-made pico de gallo is infectious. Such attentiveness to basic cooking skills makes the book entertaining and useful.”  — New York Times Gift Guide

My name is Ree. Some folks know me as The Pioneer Woman.

After years of living in Los Angeles, I made a pit stop in my hometown in Oklahoma on the way to a new, exciting life in Chicago. It was during my stay at home that I met Marlboro Man, a mysterious cowboy with steely blue eyes and a muscular, work-honed body. A strict vegetarian, I fell hard and fast, and before I knew it we were married and living on his ranch in the middle of nowhere, taking care of animals, and managing a brood of four young children. I had no idea how I’d wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a homespun collection of photography, rural stories, and scrumptious recipes that have defined my experience in the country. I share many of the delicious cowboy-tested recipes I’ve learned to make during my years as an accidental ranch wife—including Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, Patsy’s Blackberry Cobbler, and Cinnamon Rolls—not to mention several “cowgirl-friendly” dishes, such as Sherried Tomato Soup, Olive Cheese Bread, and Crème Brûlée. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it’s as easy as pie to follow along.

You’ll also find colorful images of rural life: cows, horses, country kids, and plenty of chaps-wearing cowboys.

I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.

ABOUT THE AUTHORRee Drummond Author Photo_2x3

Ree Drummond began blogging in 2006 and has built into an award-winning website, where she shares recipes, showcases her photography, and documents her hilarious transition from city life to ranch wife. Ree lives on a working cattle ranch near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with her husband, Ladd, and their four ranch hands.


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