Read, Drink, Listen


When people consider companion animals, cats and dogs come to mind. Therapy animals are also generally feline or canine. But naturalist Helen Macdonald assuages her grief at the unexpected death of her father with a unique creature. She trains a goshawk named Mabel. In H Is for Hawk, Macdonald introduces readers to the ancient sport of falconry and the fierce bird made famous by T.H. White’s classic book, The Goshawk. Readers will go into the English countryside with Macdonald as she works with her hawk. With her, they’ll meet aristocrats who have preserved this sport and its language for centuries.
Available at Barnes and Noble.

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


The new color on the block when it comes to delicious wine is orange! It’s treated much like red wine. But instead of being freshly pressed from their skins, these grapes are purposefully left in their skins for a number of hours, and in some cases, a number of years. This white grape juice, which will become orange wine, has high-acid, tangy flavor and a bronze to amber color. In many cases, the skin lends notes of bitter tannin and bright kumquat-like flavors to the juice. From Sauvignon Blanc to Italy’s Trebbiano, the range of flavors of orange wines includes fresh apple pulp, nectarine skin, and honey-scented minerals. One of my favorites is the orange Sauvignon Blanc labeled The Prince in his Caves. Loaded with fresh apricot and orange spritz, this wine is gorgeously layered with notes of lush peach skin and fresh minerality. Absolutely divine.
Available at France 44.

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


One of the hottest new artists to join the R&B and neo-soul ranks is a young man named Jarrod Lawson. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who, at 2 years old, first discovered a drum kit in his father’s recording studio. His quest for musical understanding led him to choose piano and vocals primarily, and he’s studied everyone from Chick Corea to Chopin to Stevie Wonder. Lawson can blend anything from folk, funk, R&B, jazz and rock with a touch of soul. All songs are originals, and the mature composition and performance of Lawson’s music has made him widely popular with other artists, sharing stages with Bilal, Average White Band, Angelique Kidjo and Ronnie Laws. His self titled CD, Jarrod Lawson, kicks off with lush vocals, great harmonies and a very soulful approach. He plays the piano and harmonizes with himself on all of the vocals. What talent!
Available on iTunes or at Jared Lawson Music.

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