Read, Drink, Listen: June 2017

The Admissions

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore is a relatable and timely novel about one family’s confrontation with the expectation of having it all and the toll it takes. The Hawthornes have a home in one of the best neighborhoods in the Bay Area, two successful careers, and three beautiful daughters. On the surface, it appears they have it all together, but their picture-perfect life is barely holding together under the pressure of their secrets and stresses. While realistically portraying the tensions of modern family life, readers will  discover the inevitable repercussions while cheering for the family to come out unscathed. This is an entertaining read that offers food for thought about what matters most to a family if and when all the distractions and expectations are set aside. Available at Excelsior Bay Books.

Raela Schoenherr is an editor at a Minnesota publishing company. She loves to talk books and writing on Twitter.


Just in time for grilling, I’ve chosen a killer full-bodied red for June.  Solanera has long been one of my favorites, and very underrated.  It is very similar in style to a new world cabernet, and I always recommend it as something different for cab lovers. It is 70 percent monastrell, 15 percent cabernet sauvignon and 15 percent garnacha sourced from vineyards in Yecla in southern Spain. This wine is barrel-aged for 10 months. With big, bright and powerful fruit flavors and lively acidity, I think it is best described as cabernet meets zinfandel.  This can age, but I find it best drunk young.  Enjoy now! $19.99. Available at Wayzata Wine and Spirits.

Kevin Castellano General manager of  Wayzata Wine & Spirits.

Highway Queen

Nikki Lane is a crossover star-in-waiting. On her latest release, the singer-songwriter from South Carolina brilliantly captures the new Americana sound: a blend of rock ’n’ roll, country and DIY sensibilities. And she comes out shooting. The album opens with “700,000 Rednecks,” a sarcastic take on the number of fans Lane thinks she needs to make it in the music industry. But the outlaw country queen can sure write a hit—just listen to “Jackpot” and try to keep your feet from tapping along. Her songs are unapologetic, with the female protagonist always in control. The title track is an homage to Lane’s years of nonstop touring, paying her dues, and breaking hearts along the way. Her honest voice is alluring and sounds like she drinks a glass of whole milk with a side of bourbon every day. I would recommend this record to fans of Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn or Wilco. The album is available online and at local book and music stores.

Sean Schultz is a lifelong musician who enjoys consuming popular culture. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two dogs.