These Is My Words
Nancy E. Turner’s These Is My Words has all the right elements that combine to create the kind of historical fiction that pulls readers in and holds them until the very last page. Excellently researched and told entirely through the diary entries of the book’s heroine, Sarah Agnes Prine, this book paints the picture of what it would have been like for a young woman to settle in the Arizona territory with her family at a time when it was still very much the Wild West. The novel spans 20 years, allowing readers to see Sarah grow from a teenager with a thirst for knowledge into the kind of intelligent, strong woman who can hold her own against everything life sends her way. Available at Excelsior Bay Books. —Raela Schoenherr
Raela Schoenherr is a fictions acquisitions editor at a Minnesota publishing company and enjoys reading whenever possible.
The Four Graces
These days, Willamette Valley pinot noir is in high demand, and The Four Graces is an excellent example. Located in Dundee, Oregon, these vineyards produce fantastic wine. This pinot noir is a medium-bodied red, with smooth and silky tannins thanks to nine months’ aging in French oak barrels. The aging process imparts subtle vanilla flavors to complement the cherry and raspberry fruit, white pepper and floral notes. The Four Graces is a family-owned winery and specializes in wines that can be enjoyed now, but this is still a cellar-worthy pinot noir. This wine is great to enjoy all on its own. $31.99. Available at Wayzata Wine and Spirits. —Kevin Castellano
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a respected lake-area wine and liquor expert.
A Seat at the Table
Solange’s third studio album, A Seat at the Table, recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. A careful mixing of funk and neo soul, this new release is an understated piece of political and personal critiques. Her voice is certainly comparable to her famous older sister (y’know—Beyonce), yet Solange has carved her own unique sonic space. Jazzy electric piano chords swirl around the mellow beats. There is a hope that emanates from her gloomy words, quiet but assertive. “Weary,” “Cranes in the Sky,” and “Where Do We Go” are my personal standout tracks. I highly suggest this record to fans of Motown or ‘90s hip hop alike. 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.