It’s rare for a first-time novelist to get as much attention as Tea Obreht has for her novel, The Tiger’s Wife. Born in Belgrade, Obreht has lived in the United States since age 12. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The Guardian. In just her mid-20s, Obreht’s arrival on the literary scene has immediately seen her named as one of the best young American writers today.
The Tiger’s Wife tells the story of Natalia, a young missionary doctor working at an orphanage in a Balkan country. A story of secrets and mysteries about the families around her—as well as her own personal history and that of her grandfather—begin to unravel in a brilliant novel that may be destined to become a classic. —Charlie Leonard
607 E. Lake St.
Besides being the owner of the Bookcase in Wayzata, the Twin Cities’ oldest independent bookstore, Charlie Leonard has been at various times a writer, editor and teacher, and is currently the founder and executive director of Blue Water Theatre Company in Plymouth.
These days, there is a preconceived notion that all wine called Riesling is sweet, but that’s not true at all. One of the most enjoyable food wines is a dry Riesling from Alsace, France. Just like the Germans, the French bottle their wines from the Alsace region in the same flute-shaped bottle. The big difference between the two is that the Germans leave behind residual sugar after fermentation while the French ferment every last bit of sugar. I just love the Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling from Alsace. Winemaker Olivier Humbrecht is one of the only Masters of Wine that actually makes wine, and he is making it bio-dynamically. His 2008 Riesling has gobs of citrus and floral notes on the nose, with bone-dry acidity that is precise and focused. Next time you are enjoying seafood or salad, try this amazing gem! —Ryan Sadowski
THE WINE SHOP
17521 Minnetonka Blvd.
Ryan Sadowski is the owner of The Wine Shop. Sign up for his weekly recommendations by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and read his best seasonal wine pick on this page each month.
It’s maddening when a legendary, dormant band makes yearly promises to follow-up a masterpiece. That’s what Kevin Shields has teased about shoegaze juggernauts My Bloody Valentine after a 20-year hiatus. Shields claims that an unfinished album exists, but can it hold a candle to the band’s 1991 opus, Loveless? Is shoegaze dead and My Bloody Valentine obsolete? Regardless, Loveless is an undeniable album-as-art album, the kind you could hang on a museum wall. The narcotic blast of “Only Shallow” sets the scene, and “Sometimes” and “Soon” have long been in the indie canon by using guitars as texture instead of as riffs or chords. And Loveless has that magical quality of all great music: It sounds like it was released today, or tomorrow, or sometime in the hazy future evoked by the surreal album cover of a guitar soaked in the sunset colors. —Jack Kentala
FIND THE ALBUM AT:
Barnes & Noble
13131 Ridgedale Dr.
Jack Kentala, a local freelance writer/filmmaker/musician, haunts most Twin Cities indie rock shows. He’s the tall guy blocking your view of the stage. He also recently directed his second feature film, which will hit the festival circuit this year.