Read, Drink, Listen: August 2016


In August, everyone asks, “Are you going to the Fair?” The Minnesota State Fair website shows 1,779,738 people attended the fair in 2015. A reader can attend vicariously by visiting the library. Start with Karal Ann Marling’s Blue Ribbon: A Social and Pictorial History of the Minnesota State Fair. Then pick up Minnesota State Fair: An Illustrated History by Kathryn Strand Koutsky and Linda Koutsky and finish with State Fair: The Great Minnesota Get-Together by Susan Lambert Miller. These books illustrate the summer’s end magic of the fair.
Available at a Hennepin County Library.

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


Not only do exotic food-on-a-stick menu items bring attention to the Minnesota State Fair scene, but the fair has become a beverage scene as well. From frozen foam blueberry-topped Schell’s Grain Belt Blu to the raspberry wine smoothie available at the Minnesota Wine Country building, the fair entices with a slew of tasty bites and sips galore. I’ll be at the wine country building throughout the week chatting about Minnesota wine and food pairings. I have a few favorites year after year like Northern Vineyards Winery’s Rivertown Red from Stillwater. It’s always consistent with mouthfuls of rich fruit, textured spice and delicious flavor. Come, check it out and don’t forget to say ‘hi’ when you pop in! See you there, Minnesota.
Available at Northern Vineyards Winery and some local distributors.

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


I first heard Dirty Loops while watching YouTube videos with my musical siblings. We were blown away by their sound. Dirty Loops consists of three members: Jonah Nilsson (vocals/keyboard), Henrik Linder (bass), and Aron Mellergardh (drums), and is a band from Sweden that came together during their time at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. They now have 19 million YouTube views to date. Their debut CD, Loopified, was produced by David Foster. Their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” was their calling card to get gigs, and became an overnight sensation. Also included in this CD is a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and Britney Spears’ “Circus.” As Quincy Jones puts it, “Dirty Loops are just incredible!”
Available on Amazon, iTunes and at

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