Books, Sips and Pet Tips for October


In 1995, Kate Atkinson burst onto the literary scene in England with her novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. She did it again with Case Histories, a first in a trilogy of mysteries, in 2004. Nine years later, World War I was the subject of another breakthrough book, Life After Life. Her latest work, Transcription, tells the story of orphaned eighteen-year-old Juliet Armstrong who goes to work in 1940 for MI5, the British Security Service. Juliet listens to and transcribes the conversations of members of the Right Club, a pro-Nazi English group. This intricately plotted fast moving suspense novel captures an England that understands it could very well lose the war to Hitler. Truly, a hard to put down book that details the lives of ordinary Britons who take on the fight of their lives.

Request these books any month of the year at your local library or bookstore

Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.


With the change of temperature, comes a change in your palate.  While I’m a huge fan of full, earthy white wines when it comes to the change in season -- great for pairing to garden turnips, squash and potatoes -- most crave the more robust flavors of a red wine this time of year.  There’s something very distinct about the smell of fallen tree leaves and that chilly morning dew that puts you in the mood for cozy sweaters and warm fuzzy socks. Well here’s a wine that has just about the same effect as that comfy hoodie you’ll be reaching for this month: Moroder Montepulciano. This little producer packs one heck of a punch with their Montepulciano from Marche, Italy. Black licorice, black peppercorn and smokey grilled meat aromas meet dark bing cherry and rich raspberry flavors, making this a perfect combination to an artisanal cheese and charcuterie board. Incidentally, a perfect pairing for most Sunday fall afternoons.  
Find similar selections at Edina Liquor and France 44

Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee; and Sip Better Wine Club.


Tips to keep your pets safe and happy on Halloween:

1. Don’t leave your pet outside. Even if you have a fenced yard, bring your pet inside. Your dog may be used to strangers, but so many little ghouls and goblins running about may be too much.

2. Keep your dog restrained. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, put him in a separate room away from the front door.

3. Reassure your pet. It’s best to act as you normally would.

4. Have your dog or cat get used to (human) costumes. If your costume has a mask, keep the mask off when you are with your dog.

5. Be sure identification tags are secure.

6. Keep candy away! Many candies-especially chocolate-are toxic to pets.

7. Protect everyone from candles and pumpkins. Excited or agitated dogs can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin.

8. Think twice about dressing your dog or cat in a costume. While some dogs might enjoy being dressed up, many don’t.

9. If you take your dog with you while trick-or-treating, be prepared at all times. Do not let your dog approach the door of a house, and stay clear of possible gags or goblins. Also, bring poop bags!

10. Have fun but think of your pet’s safety. Your pet does not understand Halloween, so he needs you to provide the guidance and safety.

Ann Platt is the owner of Pets Are Inn, an award winning pet lodging business in Edina.