Top Reads for Minnetonka


Jennifer Egan, the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus and Emerald City, returns with a new novel that was named one of the five best novels of 2010 by The New York Times.

Set in New York, San Francisco, Naples and Africa, A Visit from the Goon Squad tells the story of an aging punk rocker and record executive named Bernie and the young woman who works for him.

Dealing with such themes as survival, music, self-destruction, redemption and fate, A Visit from the Goon Squad is an irresistible look at how our lives can interconnect with those around us in ways we’re not even aware. It’s sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers. –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.



Vietti Winery is famous for many different Italian bottlings, but my favorite is the Barbera d’Asti 2007. “Barbera” is the grape varietal while “d’Asti” is where it’s from—Piedmont in northwestern Italy, the Barbera capital of the world. Vietti is currently operated by the family’s fourth generation and continues to be the benchmark in Piedmont for consistency and quality.

This wine is full and rich yet so easy to drink. Nuances of cherry, vanilla and smoke create a wonderful aroma, leading to a full-bodied fruity and juicy wine with great minerality. The wine is fermented in neutral (translation: used) oak barrels, so the focus remains on the fruit while hints of oak remain in the background. Better yet, it pairs perfectly with pepperoni pizza or any pasta with a red sauce. 


17521 Minnetonka Blvd.



Ryan Sadowski is the owner of The Wine Shop. Sign up for his weekly recommendations by e-mailing, and read his best seasonal wine pick on this page each month.



Opening track of Eyelid Movies “Mouthful of Diamonds” gives the impression that Phantogram is just another laptop band. We get some fake vinyl crackle, a chintzy drum machine and a squirming synth line. Then in comes live-guitar arpeggios and Sarah Barthel’s pillow-talk vocals, and the whole equation changes. What follows—displayed front-and-center on single “When I’m Small”—is an adept fusion of minimalist electro, reptilian guitar work and a geometric complexity to the hip-hop-tinged beats.

A lazy band would ride this formula, song-by-song, all the way through an LP. Instead, Phantogram gives each cut a unique identity: Consider the skittering “Turn It Off,” the paranoid “Running From The Cops,” the lush, dying-orchid vocals of “All Dried Up,” and the shoegaze bliss of centerpiece “You Are The Ocean.” Eyelid Movies speaks of the promise that, 2011 or not, there remain undiscovered sonic landscapes.  



Barnes & Noble

13131 Ridgedale Dr.

Jack Kentala, a local freelance writer and filmmaker, 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.