Category Archives: blog & videos

kobayashi maru

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Next meeting: Tue Feb 9th, 2010

We meet next Tuesday, Feb 9th to discuss Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s also our 6th anniversary, or is birthday more appropriate? Lately the theater has been filling up by about 6:30-40pm. So please arrive early if you can.

If you don’t get in the theater for the discussion, please stick around and feel free to have a small group book chat in the bar/restaurant/bowling alley area. We will reopen the doors to the theater by 8:30 and you can come back in for more social time. Or we will join you in the bar. It’s a small consolation perhaps, but if you are there already and wish to discuss the book with others, please do so. We are doing our best to get everyone in, but the first 100 people are all the fire code will allow. That’s why we’ve been doing hand stamps and counting clickers at the door. And also one of the reasons I am experimenting with twice a month.

Another idea I had was to push back the start time a little bit, but am not sure that would help as many people. If you have other ideas, especially venue related, feel free to e-mail me.

Thanks for a great 6 years and here’s to many more.

Jeff Kamin

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Jan 26, 2010 – The History of Love

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Hannah Tinti: “I will skype-drink with you anytime, Minneapolis.”


Hannah Tinti was fun and informative in a rousing year end night at Books & Bars.
I was all set to blog it up and then saw her awesome status update (above) and blog post. So, let’s start with the author and read what she had to say about our event:

Brief video clip (shot on tiny camera whilst holding a microphone and moderating – anyone want to volunteer to shoot some B&B footage for me? Build your resume/portfolio? Let me know. Thanks)

Thanks to everyone who braved the snowstorm. Hope to see you many of you attempt our double reading winter challenge starting Jan 12th with The Road by Cormac McCarthy and then The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. We’ll try to do more Drink-Skypes soon. Or, as Elli (@lotaleesparkman) tweeted: “@jefe23 i think the correct term for that (because i made it up) is iDrink”

Happy New Year,

Jeff Kamin
Charming Moderator/Producer

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Stealing Time with Hannah Tinti

Exciting news: Hannah Tinti will be joining us for a Skype video chat during our next meeting on Tuesday, December 8th at 7pm. Bring your questions for her. We’ll have our regular book club discussion of The Good Thief after our interview.

If you missed our last video chat, check out the clips featuring Seth Grahame-Smith.

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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

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: 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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