It’s Labor Day weekend, and many of you will close up the cabin for the season. You’re going to miss those trips Up North. But books — books will keep you going.
Earlier this summer, we ran a list of 10 titles recommended by the folks at Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais, Minn. It was a fine list, but readers had many additions.
“ ‘Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year,’ by Linda LeGarde Grover,” wrote Rachael Hanel. “It is giving me a richer perspective on Lake Superior and the North Shore.”
Justin Florey said the Drury Lane list “added four more books to my already ridiculous must-read list.” He and several others suggested Vince Wyckoff’s novel “Black Otter Bay.” “It evoked the feeling of the North Shore like no other I’ve read and, as mysteries go, it was refreshingly nonviolent.”
Leah Carlson (and many others) suggested the quirky “Vacationland,” by Sarah Stonich. “I loved everything about this book,” she wrote. (They may be pleased to note that Stonich has a sequel coming this fall.)
Marion Agnew, a writer living near Thunder Bay, Ontario, suggested four titles set on the Canadian side of the border, including “The Lightkeeper’s Daughters,” by Jean Pendziwol (“Sisters, lighthouses, events historical and contemporary, Porphyry Island, and Lake Superior”); “The Serenity Stone,” by Marianne Jones (“A very easy, extremely cozy murder mystery set in Thunder Bay”); “Silences: A Novel of the 1918 Finnish Civil War,” by Roy Blomstrom (“Full disclosure: he’s my husband”) and the classic “Paddle-to-the-Sea,” by Holling Clancy Holling.
“I know it’s a little dated (and basically American),” Agnew wrote, “but it’s so handy for creating a visual reference for the Great Lakes.”
An anonymous e-mailer who has a cabin in Tofte, Minn., suggests “Deep Water Passage,” Ann Linnea’s memoir about kayaking Lake Superior.
Patty Schmidt of Northfield recommends “In the Teeth of the Northeasters” by Marlin Bree: “The opening pages about departing from Silver Bay on a beautiful day in a sailboat educated me more about Lake Superior weather than any TV weather show could have.”
Rhonda Myrmel suggests “Compass Season, Find Your Bearings Through Nature’s Inspiration” by North Shore resident John Bragstad, a collection of 40 seasonal short stories and “a gem of a book,” she says.
Jan Dahl of Royalton, Minn., suggests Peter Geye’s novels, Cary Griffith’s “Lost in the Wild” and all of the North Shore mysteries by Norwegian crime writer Vidar Sundstol.
Carole Beach of Golden Valley rereads “The Way to the Old Sailors Home” by Thomas Baird every few years.
“It takes place during a vividly described canoe trip into what will one day become the BWCAW,” Beach says. “The word-pictures are wonderful. Each time I read it, my sympathies shift. Each of the three main characters is flawed, yet understandable.”
Judy Takkunen, who divides her time between Minneapolis and Beaver Bay, Minn., recommends nonfiction: “Talking Rocks: Geology and 10,000 Years of Native American Tradition in the Lake Superior Region.”
“This book, co-authored by UMD geologist Ron Morton and Native artist and professor Carl Gawboy, is written in chapters where we learn about natural and human history events from both a geological and a Native American perspective. Sounds kind of geeky, but I found it to be a fascinating read.”
“Canoeing With Jose” by Jon Lurie is “a true story and so timely with all the cultural issues some have,” writes Judy Johnson. “I highly recommend this.”
And writer James Manahan boldly got right to the point. “Laurie, that’s a good list,” he said. “You can add ‘North Shore Nuggets: Stories of Life, Love, and the Law on Lake Superior’ by James Manahan (me).”
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune senior editor for books. firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-673-3702 www.facebook.com/startribunebooks