An emotionally gripping novel of survival, Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge tells the story of Barry and Sophie, who are stranded on a tiny island in the South Pacific after a plane crash. Readers will be fascinated as they’re swept into Barry and Sophie’s efforts to battle the challenges of surviving in unlikely circumstances and managing their dreams for a future back in civilization. The story is primarily contained to the main characters, and excellently portrays the wide range of human emotion Barry and Sophie face as two strangers in an extreme life-and-death situation. Castle of Water is a novel that will stick with readers long after they turn the final page.
Raela Schoenherr is an editor at a Minnesota publishing company. She loves to talk books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.
For July, I’ve picked another French classic, in my opinion. Olivier Leflaive is one of Burgundy’s premier white wine producers, crafting some of the most sought-after chardonnays on the planet. This wine, called Les Séttiles, is a great value. It is a cuvée of several of their vineyards, so they can make it a consistent blend every vintage in their style. It’s 100 percent chardonnay, with a little oak influence. This gives mellow notes of melon, apple, butter and acidity to keep the wine lively. This one’s a must-try for any chardonnay lover, and a great value white Burgundy at only $24.99. —Kevin Castellano
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a lake-area wine and liquor expert.
Born from her years studying the masterful Thelonious Monk, Minneapolis pianist Laura Caviani does a stellar job recreating the jagged melodic lines produced by one of the most challenging musicians of all time. On Mysterious Thelonious, listeners might mistake the rhythmic key strikes and mile-long runs to be coming straight off a record cut during the bebop great’s heyday, but those are Caviani’s hands you hear at work on Monk standards. Caviani currently teaches at both Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges, but has also taught at various middle schools around the metro as part of an education program co-founded by Wynton Marsalis. She frequently performs around the Twin Cities if you’d like to catch her live. Mysterious Monk is a perfect album for both the jazz newbie and seasoned bopper alike. —Sean Schultz
Sean Schultz is a lifelong musician who enjoys consuming popular culture. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, new baby daughter and two dogs.
Read, Drink, Listen: July 2018