January 2016: Read, Drink, Listen


Award-winning science writer and Ted Talk presenter Steve Silberman offers a detailed and sensitive history in NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. Silberman tells the stories of Austrian-American Leo Kanner and Austrian Hans Asperger, both physicians, who each described the personalities of children on the autism spectrum. The two men held widely differing views on causation, possible cures, and the gifts of these children. The historical detail that Silberman has unearthed shows the very complex evolution of what a diagnosis of autism could mean to a family. Neurotribes is compelling, humane reading on education, families, and neurological differences.
Available at Barnes and Noble.

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


A new year, a new you! I love looking at the months ahead and thinking of the new wines I’ll try. This should be the year you try a whole slew of new wines, too! From the rustic Old World regions, to the juicy New Worlds, I find it important to constantly update you with a variety of grapes, regions and styles. This month, I take you to South Africa! While Chenin Blanc and Shiraz are the main grapes of the region, I drink more of the area’s Chardonnays due their fresh character. Try De Westhof Estate’s ‘Limestone Hill’ Chardonnay of the Western Cape. I had the pleasure of meeting Johann, heir to the winery, and sharing a bottle of this wine with him. Rich and creamy, yet chalky and aromatically light with fresh white florals and lightly ripened peach, this un-oaked style of Chardonnay is one for your everyday collection. Limey, zesty and deliciously affordable. A real gem for the money!
Find similar selections at Edina Liquor.

-Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusée.


Guitarist Lee Ritenour has a new release called A Twist Of Rit, and it features some of the best studio and touring musicians in the contemporary jazz field. On this disc, Ritenour has revisited some of his older tunes that go as far back as 1975, and has given them a whole new sound. He’s also dedicated some songs to his friend and mentor B.B. King, who passed in 2015, and to legendary bassists Louis Johnson and Mike Porcaro. Longtime collaborators Patrice Rushen and Dave Grusin are featured on keys, Ernie Watts on sax, Melvin Lee Davis on bass, and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion. Sax man Tom Scott is credited for the original horn arrangements, and Ritenour invited a new horn section that is stellar. This CD is for smooth jazz enthusiasts who long for true instruments on the tracks, as opposed to drum machines. It’s creative, and makes you want to listen again and again.
Available on iTunes and at leeritenour.com.

-Patty Peterson is an award winning vocalist and Jazz 88, KBEM radio host.