Read, Drink, Listen

For decades in the United States breadwinners walked to work, children walked to school, and spouses pulled a metal cart to the neighborhood grocery store. Cars were reserved for Sunday excursions and family trips to the cabin. Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips, published by the Book Division of the National Geographic Society with an introduction by Keith Bellows, is a visual delight and a road trip dreamer’s guidebook. There is a drive here for everyone – from the North Shore Loop of Minnesota to the Silk Road of Uzbekistan. Roads, distances, websites and when to go are included. Available at Barnes and Noble for $29.

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


From BBQ grills to pool floaties, long summer days in July remind us why we live here. The fresh aromas of newly cut grass and lush garden flowers have us reaching for crisp, white wines to quench our thirsts. And if there were a white grape meant for this season, it is Sauvignon Blanc. It exudes flavors of grass clippings, grapefruit, sunshine and ripe stone fruit. Perfect for those mouthwatering days of summer! I’ve recently discovered The Loop Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Round and juicy with notes of muskmelon and honeydew, yet delightfully zippy and refreshing – I am in love with this southern hemisphere gem. Under $15. For similar suggestions check Edina Liquor or France 44.

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


Warm weather makes me want to listen to music with warm sounding titles. Between traveling and lazing around, I love a good lyric from gifted musicians who help set the summer scene. Jazz singer and songwriter Michael Franks is best known for his bossa nova style. His CD called Time Together includes songs like “Now That The Summer’s Here”, and “Summer In New York”. However, if you travel in search of warmth, listen to “One Day in St. Tropez” or “Charlie Chan in Egypt,” and discover firsthand Franks’ experiences through song. I usually find myself wanting to do what one of the lines in his song says, “I won’t be going anywhere, except my Adirondack chair, now that the summer’s here.”  CD available on iTunes, Amazon and at

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