The Happy Bookers are returning to the Twin Cities. So what a perfect time to have a flashback to the last time our group was there…


You might be able to identify this skyline as it is Minneapolis where the Happy Bookers ventured for their summer adventure of 2016. 

We met up at Birchbark Bookstore since we had read the owner Louise Erdrich’s 15th novel, La Rose. The bookstore has been in this residential area for over 20 years. It is packed to the gills with not only Erdrich’s works and top sellers but more importantly Native American writers and native crafts. Shelf markers with  employee picks and reasons definitely helped our choices. BTW classroom teachers/parents here’s the place to find wonderful curriculum materials to teach about our country’s first residents. 

After perusing the store and making our purchases, we took the walking path along the Lake of the Isles before heading back for lunch at Kenwood. As you may recall, we not only read good books but we also eat well when we are together.  

    Take a look at these presentations.

Swiss chard frittata (L)  smoked trout with  hollandaise sauce and hash browns(R) pork belly hash ( No, I didn’t try that one)

In addition to the trout entree, I also enjoyed Kenwood’s corn chowder with chanterelle mushrooms. Delish! (It was a bit too noisy at lunchtime to discuss the book so we decided to wait until later.)

After lunch we dropped off our stuff at our St. Louis Park lodging  and toured the premises, then off we went in one car to head for the Minnesota Art Institute.

The photograph exhibit was Who’s Who Seeing Back to Front. The idea was how we recognize celebrities. The exhibit perspectives included views from either the front/ back. Half of the exhibit was trying to identify those photographed from behind.

Who do you think these are from behind? The left one is to warm you up. The one on the right is a bit more difficult but a hint is they are sisters in Kansas City heading off to a white school.

Here are some of my other favorite museum pieces in MAI

Garden sculpture, furniture, glass, mobile, fabric and  print 

Iowans do you recognize this midwestern intaglio work below? It’s of  Leonardo Lasansky, one of Mauricio’s sons (Mauricio created this type of printmaking.)

After this culture fix we headed back home to catch our breath and head out for dinner.  Four of us walked and the others met us at Crave where I tried the traditional Poke Bowl with Ahi Tuna. It hit the spot and crave it I will for a return visit!

We beat the thunderstorm back home by about 5 minutes and had our book discussion of Erdrich’s La Rose, an Ojibwe story of atonement. The weather gods of thunder, lightning and rain added to the eye opener novel’s discussion as so little of this Minnesotan tribe/ any other was spoken about/ taught during our school days.  Native Americans have faced way too many injustices.

After the book review we had a rambunctious game of Catch Phrase of the ’70’s to end our wonderful day. Laughter is never in short supply and clues such as this is a really good book by a really good author didn’t help us narrow down a phrase too fast as we certainly have read many but I’d be remiss to not add La Rose was not the only thing to get a thumbs up. 
Happy Bookers are the best…

(BTW I’ll make this public now, I’m putting in my vote early for Oregon next summer to visit Violetta, one of our group who moved!)

Stay tuned for what this 2019 trip will bring… Oregon is still in the planning.

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