Walter Langdon returns from World War I to Iowa where he buys a farm near his parents and starts his family. It is 1920. His wife, Rosanna, manages the farmhouse and cares for their baby, Frankie. Milk, eggs, meat, and grain come from their labor. The Langdon family’s dreams will collide with history in epic fashion, making this a compulsively readable novel. In Some Luck, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley has written the perfect book for March, when readers pine for spring and growing things. It is the first in a trilogy. —Maureen Millea Smith
Available at Magers and Quinn Booksellers or Barnes and Noble. Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
We’ve all heard the saying, “In like a lion and out like a lamb.” As Minnesotans emerge from hibernation, but are not yet ready to shed those layers, our palates push to find the delightful aromatics of the season to come. Fresh and fragrant, here’s the perfect pairing for our seasonal change.
The Chamisal unoaked pinot noir is a delightful and unique offering from the central coast of California. In general, pinot noir is aged in French oak barrels, lending a more caramel, vanilla tone to its final bottling. In this case, Chamisal Winery chooses to use stainless steel tanks, allowing the wine to retain its fresh cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors, in turn leaving the wine to taste and feel spring-like and cheerful—a perfect pairing to March! Enjoy.—Leslee Miller
About $20. Visit Edina Liquor for similar selections. Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusée.
Award-winning Carrie Underwood’s ability to deliver a song as a great vocalist and her stage presence are enough to draw anyone in. In 2012, she released Blown Away, which is her fourth solo CD. In this endeavor, Underwood shows a more mature side in her song selection. She sings about love lost and found, and what it feels like to return to your hometown. The pensive “Thank God For Hometowns” takes everyone to a place we can all go back to—home. “Wine After Whiskey” symbolically compares strong love to strong whiskey, and once it’s gone, wine can hardly take its place. “Cupid’s Got A Shotgun” is a fun play on words about falling in love. Enjoy this CD. This jazzer does! —Patty Peterson
Available at Amazon.com and iTunes Patty Peterson is an award-winning vocalist and Jazz 88 KBEM radio host.