Holiday Gift Guide: Ethan Boatner


A Cookie Before Dying

Olivia Greyson, owner of The Gingerbread House, Chatterly Heights’s nirvana for the cookie obsessed, is once again plunged into intrigue and murder with the stabbing death of a stranger in the town park. A ghostly ballerina, a vindictive, anti-sugar health food shop, and lots of icing top Lowell’s second Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery. Written by Virginia Lowell.

Berkley Prime Crime


Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota

An excellent springboard from which to dive into Queer Minnesota’s history. Van Cleve dared to plunge into the vast mother lode of material at UMN’s Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies. He does not claim to have “told it all,” but he writes cogently and entertainingly. His use of small, discrete sections allows the reader to sail from start to finish, or choose to meander around an archipelago of topics at will. 130 Illustrations.  Written by Stewart Van Cleve.

University of Minnesota Press


The Russian Boy

Neil Plakcy, author of the Mahu mystery series and the Golden Retriever Mysteries (In Dog We Trust), plunges us in Russian Boy into a modern-day art heist cum historical gay romance. The erotic present of the thief and theft blends into the erotic elderly painter and his young subject. Sometimes sexy, sometimes violent–or both. A heady mix to drink in deep draughts.

Neil S. Plakcy


The Bird in Art

A gorgeous volume depicting man’s relation to birds through some 250 works of art, ranging from the Paleolithic to the present. Author and art historian Caroline Bugler presents her text thematically, showing birds in myth, as hunters, and as companions. Ornithologist and art lovers alike will cherish this book.



Silhouette of a Sparrow

A charming YA novel of a young girl’s coming of age—and awareness—set in 1926 Minnesota. Sixteen-year-old Garnett Richardson is sent to spend the summer with wealthy relatives in a resort hotel in Excelsior. Her father is ill, and she will be expected to return in the fall to marry and help support her family. But there is the possibility of a college aid, and the feelings aroused by Isabella, a runaway and dance hall performer. Ornithologist Garnett is torn between the freedom of her beloved birds and duty. Written by Molly Beth Griffin.

Milkweed Editions


Children of the Northlights

For children or adults, Children is a reprint of one of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaires’ lovely books on the Sami, the people of the reindeer among whom the authors lived. The sweet, lively drawings introduce readers young and old to Lise an Lasse, siblings who live at the very top of Norway.

University of Minnesota Press


Bi-Curious George: An Unauthorized Parody

Definitely not for the kids—at least those under eighteen. This unauthorized bi-curious George flees the jungle to follow the Man with the Sassy Beret. Testing his limits with sailors, firemen, body shots, bodacious parties, and drug dealers, George finally finds a safe—and swinging—haven.  Written by Andrew Simonian.

Cider Mill Press


The Boy Who Slept Under the Stars: A Memoir in Poetry

Kinship, love, and loss inform this memoir of the author’s brother, lost on a solo hike in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In poetry and prose, Roseann Lloyd eloquently expresses the special grief that afflicts those who must mourn without the body of the loved one. Her feelings ripple out to embrace a kidnapped boy, climbers missing on Mt Everest, and others who have never returned.

Holy Cow! Press


Baroque: Theatrum Mundi: The World as a Work of Art by Dr. Barbara Borngässer and Gothic: Visual Art of the Middle Ages: 1140-1500 by Prof. Dr. Bruno Klein

Publisher Rolf Torman’s team continues their remarkable ten-year Collection of Art Epochs projects (see Ars Sacra, Lavender 418) with Baroque and Gothic. The oversize format (11 ¼ x 15 x 1/2) and straightforward photography by Achim Bednorz make the subjects fairly come alive in your presence, opening a wonder of hidden detail unavailable in other art books. Each contains over 600 photos in 568 pages–a splendid feast for the eye and spirit.

h.f. Ullman

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