Read, Drink, Listen

In August, school systems throughout Minnesota send out supply lists for their incoming students. Library cards are often among these required items. The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson is a visual experience of what libraries mean to American communities and, by extension, to families and children. In both color and black and white, Dawson captures the spectacular and the humble in buildings across the United States. Interspersed among the photos are essays by writers Amy Tan, Dr. Seuss, Anne Lamott, and others. Readers will happily browse this beautiful book for hours. —Maureen Miles Smith

Available at Barnes and Noble for $28.10.

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


Drink like a smarty!

From New York and Chicago to Minneapolis—sherry, yes sherry is becoming one of the most consumed wines by the glass. It’s no longer just your grandmother’s ‘cooking wine.’ From light and dry, roasty and salty to sweet and decadent, sherries are some of the most talked about sippers.

Start easy with a sherry from Spain’s Bodegas Grant winery, called ‘La Garrocha’. This delicious Amontillado styled sherry will pair beautifully with a crock of creamy crab bisque, a salty triple cream Brie cheese or a simple roasted nut tray. Caramel-colored with notes of richly roasted almonds & bright white flowers, this medium bodied sherry will become an obsession you’ll have to feed. Serve with a slight chill in a small sherry glass for best enjoyment. —Leslee Miller

Visit France 44 for similar wine selections.

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


I am a huge fan of the wonderful gospel singer Robert Robinson. He’s Minnesota talent with an international sound who sings from the depths of his soul and then brings his voice down to a whisper, all in the same song. That’s a gift! What I especially love is how he brings new life to any lyric. His interpretations make you want to listen on a deeper level, making the words mean more than maybe they ever had before. His recent CD, Songs of Love and Comfort- Lullabies From The Heart, includes covers of “Fields Of Gold” by Sting, “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, and a beautiful jazz ballad titled, “For All We Know.” Robert leaves us with a beautiful message for his last song–a song simply called “Blessing.” And he certainly is that. —Patty Peterson

CD available on iTunes for $9.99, on Amazon and at

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