4th Tuesdays in Winter

Winter 2010: Books & Bars will meet on the 2nd AND 4th Tuesdays at Bryant Lake Bowl –

Jan 12 and Jan 26

Feb 9 and Feb 23

March 9 and Mar 23

You can come to both or come to one but we’ll be reading twice the books this winter. You decide. Hope many of you can try to keep up with double the books as we battle cabin fever. They’ll be shorter books around 300 pages or less, very doable in a Minnesota winter.

Titles to be announced soon. Considering:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Netherland by Joseph O’Neill, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino, The Slide by Kyle Beachy, City of Thieves by David Benioff, Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, and Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald among others. Submit your 300 pages or less suggestion for our winter reads. Thanks.

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Food Network visits Bryant Lake Bowl

Thanks to Emily Finley for the find.


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Free Movie and/or Art Opening

Just letting you know we have another screening coming up, AMELIA, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. The screening will take place on Wednesday, October 21st at 7:30pm at AMC Southdale.

Please feel free to RSVP at Ameliampls@gmail.com

As always, this is on a first come first served basis so please plan to arrive early.

Enjoy the movie. I can’t make it as it’s our 9th wedding anniversary that night and we are seeing another friend/B&B’s art opening. So, if you don’t want to see the movie, consider this option instead:

midnight or so, photos by elli rader – 318 cafe, 318 water st, excelsior


featuring the music of ryan paul and the ardent

elli says:

i bought a very old house in a small rural town about three years ago, and i have spent a lot of time exploring the area on foot, on bike, and in my car. i am in love with the various stages of decay of the houses and barns, and what passes for livable structures on working farms. as soon as i moved out here i wanted to photograph them, but felt it had already been done. maybe not these particular barns, but barns in general. over the dark winters i grew to love the way the structures appear to change –or disappear- after dark. some of them are lit in very strange ways and some are not lit at all and are nearly impossible to find on tiny gravel roads. at harvest time, the farmers work around the clock, so there are enormous tractors and combines lighting up dust clouds in the middle of the night, squeezing every last hour of work out of the season. it’s startling and beautiful, and more than a little scary to be out there in the middle of nowhere, alone, at night; especially when you are as afraid of the dark (and farmers with shotguns) as i am.

the results of a summer of shooting these barns, farms, the sky and the country after dark will be on display beginning wednesday october 21 at the 318 cafe in excelsior.

please join me for the opening reception from 6 to 8 pm
and stay for the music – some of my favorite local musicians
will be performing from 8 to 10 pm.

great music:
ryan paul & the ardent
brad senne
janey winterbauer


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Book selection ideas for 2010

Here’s my current working list in progress for our upcoming year of Books & Bars. Nothing is confirmed yet. Please feel free to vote for your favorites or suggest ones to be added to our list.

Books & Bars 2010 Ideas

Jan – The White Tiger by Aravind Ariga

Feb – The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

A Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Slide by Kyle Beachy

Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Everything Matters! By Ron Currie, Jr.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving

Generosity by Richard Powers

Stoner by John Williams

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

Gilead or Home by Marilyn Robinson

Runaway  or Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro


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Free movie for our blog readers

Will anyone get this in time? A good test, perhaps?  Do you know there is a blog here yet?

Free movie for our blog readers: Thursday, October 1st at 7:30 at AMC Southdale –

RSVP at: Minneapolisrsvp@gmail.com. Please put “THE BOYS ARE BACK” in the subject. —–SYNOPSIS Inspired by a true story, THE BOYS ARE BACK is a deeply moving, wryly confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter (CLIVE OWEN) who finds himself in a sudden state of single parenthood.

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Nancy Carlson interview on Sunday

I’ve been filling in as co-host on Good Enough Moms with Erin Erickson. Sunday from 1-2pm, we’ll be interviewing children’s author Nancy Carlson on FM107.1. Listen and call in with any questions for her. We’ll also be discussing the proper way to read to children with Pablo’s kindergarten teacher, Laura Risdall.

For more behind the scenes photos check out my other blog Mustache Robots.

Also, special thanks to B&B members, Beth Dingmann for production assistance on the interview and Roxie Speth for new photos on our site.

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Books & Bars has one now. Please read and reply at your leisure. If you’re interested in contributing to it, please let me know. I hope to have guest blog posts and a meet your members feature, more to come. Send in your ideas. Thanks.

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Goodreads vs. Shelfari vs. Visual Bookshelf vs. Library Thing

Goodreads.com wins in a very informal survey (conducted in my status) on Facebook. I’ve decided to throw my efforts into that one site instead of spreading Books & Bars thinly across the others.

Feel free to friend Books & Bars and explore Goodreads.com. It’s one of the review tools I use for picking books.


Also, as a few members have found out, you might get a sneak peak into some I am seriously considering for future selections.

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Chick Lit OG

“Engage me in violent conversation.” – Sally Jay Gorce, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy.

“I’m not looking for a friend in a protagonist.” –  Jay, Books & Bars sponsor//bookseller

When you read a novel are you looking to like the protagonist? If you do not, can you still enjoy the story, the writing, and appreciate stepping into the shoes of one you may disagree with or even dislike?

We discussed The Dud Avocado which is considered as one of the first examples of modern day “chick lit”, which may sound negative but sparked quite a debate. When we tried to define “chick lit”, one regular, dubbed The Hater, said “I can’t define it, but I know when I see it.”

But if you’re going to read it, might as well start from the beginning, right? We’re still not sure if the term is acceptable, applicable or even matters. Does a woman writing a novel get pigeonholed into a marketing category with a bright pastel-colored cover featuring a poodle, high heels, shopping bags or the like?

Dundy had said the novel is the most like life of all the art forms. It’s unpredictable but realistic in its reporting of actual conversations. The technique she used for The Dud Avocado was the old western cliché of the stranger coming to town or the fish-out-of-water, in which the protagonist takes the reader with them on their new journey and experiences.

An interesing saying which was echoed in The Dud Avocado is that the first generation made the money, the second spent it and the third generation became artists.

Overall the women of the club appreciated the book more than the men, but we did like it for the most part, though the ending left some wanting more. More liberation? More feminism? More than could be an expected of a woman in the early 1950s perhaps?

Will any of you readers/booksellers/publishers be attending the Midwest Booksellers Association Trade Fair? http://www.midwestbooksellers.org/trade-show/

If so, drop me a line and we can meet. I’ll also be co-hosting a young booksellers cocktail party at the Bulldog in St. Paul that Saturday eve to discuss how Books & Bars is reinventing the book club.

Become a fan of Books & Bars on Facebook:


Thanks and see you next month as we try to solve the mystery of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

But I hope to see you here on our forum and blog on a more frequent basis.

Jeff Kamin


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St. Paul & MPLS

November – My Sister the Serial Killer

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Nov 12 – Moon Palace

Nov 20 – Urban Growler


December – Once Upon a River

by Diane Setterfield

Dec 10 – Moon Palace

Dec 17 (TUE) – Urban Growler



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