If you follow book news, you remember when Robert Galbraith was revealed as the pen name of J.K. Rowling, the mega-bestselling author of the Harry Potter books. If you’ve never read one of Galbraith’s novels, move The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first in a series, to the top of your list. The titular detective, Strike, is a private investigator undeniably at the end of his rope. Robin, his temp agency assistant, is an unlikely partner and her bright-eyed ambition serves as the perfect foil for Strike’s world-weary intuition. After The Cuckoo’s Calling, keep going—each entry in the series improves upon the last. —Raela Schoenherr // Excelsior Bay Books
Raela Schoenherr is a fiction acquisitions editor.
Gerard Bertrand is a terrific French wine producer specializing in red wine from appellations all over southern France. This month, we focus on Bertrand’s Côte des Roses, a dry, crisp and refreshing rosé wine from the Languedoc region. Comprised of grenache, cinsault and syrah grapes, this wine is very similar to a provincial rosé in style. It’s delicate, floral and fruity, but also dry, and is best served chilled. Rosé from Languedoc has really taken off in popularity, and there are many great examples, but I think Gerard Bertrand is an especially great value—and the bottom of the bottle has an etched-glass rose. $18.99. —Kevin Castellano // Wayzata Wine and Spirits
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a respected lake-area wine and liquor expert.
Although the album is more than a decade old, Chicago alt-country heroes Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot stands tall and apart from most indie records made today. This album is to alternative and indie rock what Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is to pop music. With track after track of unique hooks, dreamy production and singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy’s aching vocals, it’s no surprise that this album continuously tops “best of” lists of the 21st century. Take a listen and let Wilco draw you into their dark and beautiful folk rock masterpiece. Highlights: “Kamera,” “Jesus, etc.” For fans of: The National, Beck, Neil Young. —Tyler Phelps // The album is available on iTunes, at amazon.com and at local book and music stores.