I'm in the middle of reading this book right now. I'm not done with it yet, I'm not even sure if I like it, but I can't stop thinking about it. A number of years ago, Don DeLillo's epic Underworld had the same impact on me. I plowed through without necessarily enjoying it, yet still found myself propelled forward. 1Q84 feels the same way. Haruki Murakami is a wonderful writer who paints an unemotionally honest picture of human interaction and behavior. It's been a long time since I was in the middle of reading something that had such an effect on me while I was reading it. The problem is—for recommendation's sake—I don't know if I like the effect. But I'm pretty darn impressed that this is a work that is clearly powerful enough to do it at all. –Charlie Leonard
THE BOOKCASE, 607 E. Lake St., Wayzata; 952.473.8341
Besides being the owner of the Bookcase in Wayzata, the Twin Cities’ oldest independent bookstore, Charlie Leonard has been at various times a writer, editor and teacher, and is currently the founder and executive director of Blue Water Theatre Company in Plymouth.
De Proef Brewery was founded by Dirk Naudts in 1996. This ultra-scientific brewery blends modern equipment and technologies with traditional brewing methods to create some truly profound offerings. Reinaert Wild Ale is a classic take on traditional Belgian triple ale with a couple of surprises. Like all Belgian triples, three fermentations take place. By adding unrefined sugar syrups to the fermentation tanks in two additions, Belgian yeast strains can raise the alcohol of these beers to 8–10 percent ABV. Lastly, a wild yeast strain known as Brettanomyces is added prior to bottling. This “wild yeast” has the ability to continue fermenting sugars that average yeasts leave unconverted. Reinaert Wild Ale pours straw colored with an immense rocky white head. This ale is both traditionally hopped and dry hopped leading to the wonderful floral bouquet. –Ryan Sadowski
THE WINE SHOP, 17521 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.988.9463
Ryan Sadowski is the owner of The Wine Shop. Sign up for his weekly recommendations via email, and read his best seasonal wine pick on this page each month.
Many have suggested that we're at a point in music where it's impossible for anything to sound new. Listen, then, to "Roygbiv" off Boards of Canada's 1998 debut Music Has The Right To Children and come back with the same verdict. In two minutes and 31 seconds, the Scottish duo create a sound-collage that evokes a complicated sort of happiness, like a dying robot trying to reconcile a troubled childhood. Other standouts include the microsong pair of "Kaini Industries" and "Bocuma," which sound like they're trying to comprehend the enormity of the universe. The remaining 15 tracks make it impossible to pin down BOC. They're not electronic, not noise, not quite IDM, and certainly like nothing else that came out of 1998. –Jack Kentala
Barnes & Noble, 13131 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka; 952.546.2006
Jack Kentala, a local freelance writer/filmmaker/musician, haunts most Twin Cities indie rock shows. He’s the tall guy blocking your view of the stage. He also recently directed his second feature film, which will hit the festival circuit this year.