The first month of the new year encourages reassessments. Janice MacLeod takes stock of her choices the year she turns 34. She finds 100 ways to pare down, clean up and save her way to a new life in France. Her memoir, Paris Letters: One Woman’s Journey from the Fast Lane to a Slow Stroll in Paris, makes delightful reading.
In her third memoir, New Life, No Instructions, Gail Caldwell experiences the emotional upheaval of a great change that she thought impossible. Hip surgery gives her a new world view, which Caldwell finds both unsettling and wonderful. —Maureen Millea Smith
Available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon, or check your local library. Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
As we begin a new year, why not try something new for your wine palate? “The New Chile,” a boutique and terroir-focused Chilean wine revolution, is spreading the passion and energy of its South American wine trade around the globe. No longer “cheap and cheerful,” Chilean wines are determined to make their mark on the boutique wine world. Try the Casa Silva Carménère from the Colchagua Valley. It opens with bursts of red cherry, blackberry and blueberry fruit, as it textures the palate perfectly with hints of tobacco, leather and spice. It’s so good that you just might change your wine ways for the year to come. —Leslee Miller
Approx. $18; ask about similar selections at Edina Liquor or France 44. Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee.
Fans of Prince? Well, get your groove on, because Art Official Age is worth putting your dancing shoes on for. In his most recent release, the music is as ageless as his first album project from his youth, called For You. If you had the chance to hear Prince live at First Avenue in Minneapolis back in the day, you’ll find these tempos reminiscent of times gone by. He takes you on a journey of the enlightened soul, and suggests that, while you are dancing, telepathy and sexy grooves are the fastest way to get where you want to go. “Breakdown” and “The Gold Standard” are a couple of my favorite tracks. This album marks Prince’s return to Warner Bros. Records—Patty Peterson
CD available at Amazon.com and iTunes. Patty Peterson is an award-winning vocalist and a radio host on Jazz 88, KBEM.