January Recommendations: Read, Drink, Listen

The monthly must-haves for January.

It is 1964, and 11-year-old Fin Hadley sits in the passenger seat of a Kharmann Ghia speeding towards Greenwich Village and away from rural Connecticut. In the cramped back seat is his dog Gus. At the wheel is Lady Hadley, Fin’s 24-year-old half-sister. In six years, Fin has lost his father, his grandparents and now his wonderful mother. Beautiful Lady Hadley is now his guardian. Choosing the best suitor for her becomes Fin’s job. What Fin finds in Lady Hadley is love, home and the predictable consistency of her inconsistency—in a word, family. Cathleen Schine’s latest novel, Fin & Lady, shines.

The Bookcase; Available for $18.29 at Barnes & Noble in the Galleria.
Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.

In the winter months, I tend to slip into a “winter white” mode, relieving my palate of the heaviness that the season sometimes brings. Instead of the dark, deep, cozy notes of an unctuous red, I rather enjoy the white wines that give me hope for the spring season ahead. The Willamette Valley Vineyards pinot gris from Oregon is a perfect example. Orangy, with a tinge of white flower, honeysuckle, pear and red delicious apple, this wine transports you to the warmer months to come. Willamette Valley Vineyards use sustainable practices and make this wine perfectly well-rounded, from vine to glass.

The Wine Shop
This wine can be found at France 44 or Edina Muni on York for $16.
Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm Amusée.

People of all ages love the music of John Mayer. His most recent recording, Paradise Valley, came after a long hiatus due to vocal problems. He moved to Montana to heal, where he developed even more of a flair for country crossovers, with songs like “Wildfire” and “You’re No One ’Til Someone Lets You Down,” plus a rockabilly feel with “Call Me the Breeze.” “Paper Doll” is also a trademark Mayer ballad that boasts his signature guitar line throughout the song. Was it written for one of his former girlfriends? You decide. The nicest surprise is the appearance of his girlfriend, Katy Perry, on “Who You Love,” where we hear a sweeter part of her voice and some of John’s best writing. Pop it in the car and enjoy a sunny winter day.

Where to buy: Available online at iTunes for $10.99.
Patty Peterson, award-winning vocalist and Jazz 88-KBEM radio host, shares her CD pick of the month.