Those who think young adult literature is a glut of love triangles will be pleasantly surprised by the subtlety and complexity of the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. In a world where disaster has led to men being able to hear one another’s thoughts, young Todd stumbles across an insidious secret. He sets out on a journey that makes for an often gut-wrenching but ultimately impossible-to-put-down read. Start with The Knife of Never Letting Go, as reading the three books in order is a must. —Raela Schoenherr
Raela Schoenherr is a fiction acquisitions editor at a Minnesota publishing company. Find her on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.
Excelsior Bay Books
36 Water St., Excelsior
I have always felt that music is the ultimate drug: One song can make you sad, the next elicits a flood of happiness, and another can have you ready to dance the night away. During the summer, I like to hit shuffle on the iPod and hang on the deck with a few good wines, snacks and friends. Whites work nicely: A Casa Farrelli prosecco ($15), a Tavel Cuvée Royal rosé ($15) or a Tobias chardonnay ($15) complement warmer weather well. —John Farrell III
John Farrell III is the vice president of sales and merchandising for Haskell’s. His family business has been locally owned and operated since 1934.
12900 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka
You’re out for a night on the town when you walk into Madeon, a relatively new joint (well, a band) that has been generating some buzz despite its age. The room (and album, Adventure) inhales with melodic breakdowns, exhales with pulsing bass, and some familiar voices waft through the beat, falling silent when the often video game-inspired background grooves take charge of the atmosphere. When one of your friends asks how you like the place, you shrug and say, “It’s fun.” You’ll probably forget about it by next weekend, but for now, it’s pretty fun. —Alex Skjong
Alex Skjong has written for a number of publications in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Atlanta. He is a music lover first and an unreasonably tall human being second.
Barnes & Noble
13131 Ridgedale Drive