November LKM: Read, Drink, Listen


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is set to be a breakout, and you’re going to want to get your hands on it soon. It’s an addictive and fast-paced read that will keep you flipping pages as fast as you can. Even if you’re over dystopian settings, this brutal, ancient Rome-like world feels fresh and new. The web of complicated relationships is complex, the villains range from the mysterious to the psychopathic, the action is nonstop, the twists are thrilling and heart-wrenching, and the end will leave you craving more. —Raela Schoenherr
Excelsior Bay Books

(Raela Schoenherr is a fiction acquisitions editor at a Minnesota publishing company and enjoys reading whenever and however possible. She also loves to chat books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.)


I love to entertain, and this rule makes it easy: Always have something ready. I keep a bottle of Louis Bouillot Sparkling Rosé ($15) in the fridge, and a few inexpensive bottles like Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon ($10), Fog Mountain Cabernet ($10), Cedar Springs Chardonnay ($8) and Folie à Deux Chardonnay ($12) on hand in case company stops by. Pair any of these with simple food (cheese and bread, fruit) and you’re ready for entertaining. —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.)


Anyone who has shed grade-school angst will quickly see the tropes at play in Bea Miller’s Not An Apology. While Miller’s starry-eyed anthems of youthful rebellion aren’t blazing any new trails, there’s enough melody and song structure here to forge a solid pop effort. It also doesn’t hurt that Miller has the pipes to back up the earnestness, showing her chops on “Fire N Gold” (the album’s clear hit) and dialing back on the slightly manufactured folksiness of “Force of Nature.” If cards are played right, there could be a new Avril Lavigne on the block. But don’t bother telling that to any of Miller’s fans. Instead of agreement, you’re more likely to hear, “Who?” —Alex Skjong
Barnes & Noble

(Alex Skjong has written for a number of publications in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Atlanta.)