Read, Drink, Listen: March 2018

Read: Amor Towles

Amor Towles’ highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Rules of Civility was published in 2011, but if it lingers on your to-be-read list, move it to the top of your stack posthaste. Towles’ writing is exquisite and brings an authenticity to the page that will trick you into thinking he’s a contemporary of his 1930s-era characters. The vintage Manhattan setting vividly comes to life as readers are swept up in the glamour and mystery of the story and meet the indomitable heroine, Katey Kontent. Kontent’s journey as a 20-something workingwoman in 1937 New York is colored with an intriguing cast of characters. —Raela Schoenherr

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

Drink: Chardonnay

For a different approach to the grape, I’ve chosen a great chardonnay from South Africa. Villion makes a great example of “cool climate” chardonnay. No fat and buttery plonk—this chardonnay is reminiscent of white burgundy. It is lightly oaked (for eight months in French oak), which leaves the wine balanced, clean and crisp. It’s creamy on the palate with green apple, pear and almond notes. This is a great wine now that could also be aged for about five years. From high-altitude vineyards, you get a well-rounded chardonnay—find it chilled at the shop to save a step for your next get-together. $19.99. —Kevin Castellano

Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine & Spirits and a lake-area wine and liquor expert.

Listen: St. Vincent

On her fifth solo release, the Grammy-winning St. Vincent (AKA Annie Clark) showcases another virtuosic performance. Often compared to the glam rock of David Bowie or the indie style of David Byrne, with whom she collaborated on 2012’s Love This Giant, Clark is forging a style all her own: chamber pop, teased with ’80s new wave, all wrapped in art rock sensibilities. Clark remains unpredictable, even while introducing a more pop-centric sound courtesy of producer Jack Antonoff. Clark can feel aloof, but MASSEDUCTION is her most autobiographical work to date. She says, “I can’t turn off what turns me on.” A personal critique, sure, but one that also perfectly describes our instant-gratification, iPhone society. Other standout tracks include “Hang On Me,” “Los Ageless” and “New York.” —Sean Schultz

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