Excelsior Bay Books
36 Water Street
Excelsior, MN 55331
In FORGIVENESS 4 YOU, Ann Bauer delivers a modern take on an
ancient practice: the forgiveness of
sin. Advertising tangles with absolution
when ad exec Madeline Murray finds herself confessing to a lapsed Catholic
priest in a bookstore. The encounter creates
the spark for a new venture: the
forgiveness business. The comfort of
religion without the work. Watching an
ad campaign take shape, we get intimate glimpses of the endless possibilities
for guilt, shame, remorse that haunt people’s lives. Bauer draws her distinctive characters with
wit and compassion and lets them loose in a story that has a lot to say about
what redeems us.
THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro reads like a fable. But don’t let that put you off reading this
compelling and darkly beautiful book. A
mysterious memory-stealing mist settles over the barely civilized land where
children dragged off by dragons are a fact of life. An elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, know
that they have lost memories of their life together. When their community denies them a candle for
comfort in the darkness, they set off to find comfort with their son in a
neighboring village. Devastated by long
war and ancient hatreds, the world is a fearsome and dangerous place. Axl and Beatrice rescue a boy considered
cursed by a dragon’s bite and travel under the protection of a local warrior and
for a time, King Arthur’s aging dragon slayer, Sir Gawain. The
Boston Globe calls it “a saga of revenge wrapped around a story about
love.” Inventive and artfully
constructed, THE BURIED GIANT reminds us that war and hatred feed on the lies
built into history.
THE NIGHT GUEST, dementia has begun
to work its magic in Ruth. She
knows the tiger she hears snuffling in her living room isn’t real. But it is thrilling. So is the unexpected appearance of a
“carer” sent by the government to Ruth’s isolated beach house. Frida brings warmth and encouragement
to Ruth’s unkempt life, even helping Ruth connect with an old love from her
youth. But can she protect Ruth
from the predator that circles the house every night? Suspenseful and packed with insight about the vulnerability
of being old. A knockout debut
novel from a young Australian.
Whether you’re planning a garden or just planning to shop
your local farmers’ market, Deborah Madison’s beautiful new VEGETABLE LITERACY
will soon be your favorite reference book. Long admired as a leader in the vegetarian cooking and slow
food movement, Madison brings her considerable skills and knowledge to hundreds
of exquisitely simple recipes. Each
family -- from Carrots to Mint to The Sensual Squashes, Melons, and Gourds – is
illustrated with remarkable photographs and Madison describes the features that
make its members interchangeable. Botany has never been so fascinating. Or delicious. The garden is “a lively universe that stitches us firmly to
the world at large.” In the
kitchen, it becomes a part of us.
THE GOLDFINCH is small and mysterious painting, the
centerpiece of Donna Tartt’s dense and
brilliant novel. Theo Decker
miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. The event catapults us through this
intricately crafted tale of intrigue and art, a tale of survival and longing. Tartt captures Theo’s complex inner life with
a verve that makes it impossible to abandon him in the dark heart of this
novel. His fellow travelers on this
odyssey become whole people, as flawed and fascinating as Theo himself. The masterful plot and exquisite detail of
characters and settings require constant attention. The reward of the last 50 pages is so
satisfying, I read them a second time.
You’ve never read a coming-of-age story like this one.
Lovers of dogs and a well-turned phrase: prepare to be charmed. A collection of essays and letters, E.B. White on Dogs will put a smile on
your face. Steeped in the privileged and literary world of a young New Yorker magazine, E.B. White’s essays reveal an unpretentious, kind-hearted,
and insightful man. With keen and occasionally biting humor, White’s
observations on society and the natural world are delivered through the lens of
his admiration for the dogs in his life.
One dachshund (his wife’s preferred breed) named Fred accompanies White
through the heartbreaking “Death of a Pig.”
If you’ve never cried reading Charlotte’s
Web,” you will now. Buy two. This is a lovely gift book.
Between a fortress of housing projects and the newly
christened berth of the Queen Mary, New York’s Red Hook borough shapes itself
around VISITATION STREET. Ivy Pochoda
captures the despair of lives yanked off course as suddenly and swiftly as a
swimmer caught in the dangerous currents of the East River. Tenderness infuses this gritty story, laced
with hope and remorse. Pochoda’s loving
eye takes in the exact moment of a fall from grace – the precise point at which
innocence and guilt intersect.
I’ll sell Pochoda’s literary chops to readers looking for an
intelligent, intense fiction. A great read.
Toss and turn? Count
sheep? Desperate to escape your honey’s
snoring? In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, Journalist
David K. Randall offers fascinating insights into the mystery of human
slumber. Though “ingrained in our
cultural ethos as something that can be put off, dosed with coffee, or
ignored,” every moment of our lives depends on the quality of our sleep. Unlike our ancestors, modern sleepers expect
uninterrupted blocks of this vital and elusive state. But few would give up the single greatest
impediment to healthy sleep: artificial
light. Lack of sleep creates dangers on
battlefields and football fields, roadways and school hallways, bedrooms and
boardrooms. Randall’s research will change
how you think about the time spent behind closed eyes.