A Man Called Ove
Frederik Backman’s A Man Called Ove will charm your socks off—sort of a grown-up, literary version of Pixar’s film Up. Ove is the quintessential grumpy old man who, of course, is much more than he seems. Readers won’t be able to resist peeling back his layers with the turn of every page. Ultimately, A Man Called Ove reminds us of the profound and lasting impact we can have on each other when we choose to move past perception and see others for who they truly are. Found at Excelsior Bay Books. —Raela Schoenherr
Raela Schoenherr is a fictions acquisitions editor at a Minnesota publishing company and enjoys reading whenever possible. She also loves to talk books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.
High-quality sparkling wine, made in the true méthode champenoise, is hard to come by. I highly recommend Argyle winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon. For years, they have been producing amazing pinot noir and chardonnay, so it’s no surprise that they’re turning out great vintage sparkling wines as well. Using the same grape varietals as in France’s Champagne region, their sparkling wines are an affordable alternative to pricey champagne. Their brut is comprised of pinot noir and chardonnay, with flavors of honeysuckle, peach and classic biscuit aromas with a clean finish. $24.99. Found at Wayzata Wine and Spirits. —Kevin Castellano
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a lake-area wine and liquor expert.
Light Upon the Lake
Just over a year ago in Chicago, I stumbled into a dive bar per a friend’s suggestion that the local band playing there was “really good.” The group was Whitney, and I knew immediately that their bouncy yacht rock would be reaching larger audiences very soon. On their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, Whitney (ex-Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra members) swing for a lo-fi, modern folk sound. Frontman Julien Ehrlich’s falsetto is sensitive and sincere. The noodling guitar lines are reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but I hear a lot of The Band in the music. Whitney are not doing anything new, but they sure are doing it right. Keep an eye out for more from this buzzing band in the future. The album is available online and at local book and music stores. —Sean Schultz
Sean Schultz is a lifelong musician who enjoys consuming popular culture. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two dogs.