Hot Reads for Cold NightsThis winter has been unseasonably mild, but nights are still cold. What better way to enjoy an evening than to turn off the TV and curl up with a good book?
By: Mark King, Cloquet Public Library, Pine Journal
This winter has been unseasonably mild, but nights are still cold. What better way to enjoy an evening than to turn off the TV and curl up with a good book? The Cloquet Public Library is prepared to help with its current winter reading theme, “Hot Reads for Cold Nights.” The library has posted a list of staff recommendations they think you will enjoy – a selection of mysteries, thrillers, popular fiction, literature by local authors and non-fiction.
The library is also inviting the public to submit their favorites. All that’s required is to submit, in writing, a book that you think others will enjoy, along with a one-sentence description of why you are recommending it. The first 10 people to submit a recommendation will receive a free “Hot Reads” refrigerator magnet, and their submissions will be added to the library’s recommended reading list.
Staff picks are posted on the library’s website. A shelf in the New Media area is reserved for “Hot Reads” titles and the “Hot Reads” list will also be posted there. Free bookmarks may be picked up at the front desk.
To submit your recommendation for “Hot Reads for Cold Nights,” e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your written recommendation at the front desk. Also include name and contact information.
In conjunction with the “Hot Reads for Cold Nights” theme, Duluth author Jack Salmela will give a presentation on his recent thriller, “Sisterhood of the Hennepin Chalice,” (North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2011) at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.
Salmela’s book has been chosen as the library’s “Top Pick” for winter reading. A slide show of Minnesota locations in the novel, including many around Duluth, will be presented. The presentation will be accompanied by a professional performer who will re-enact the role of Oscar Olsson, a real-life survivor of the Titanic, who plays a small but crucial role in the novel.
“Sisterhood of the Hennepin Chalice” will remind readers of a Northland variation of Dan Brown’s best-selling “The Da Vinci Code.” A historical mystery concerning alleged Norse explorers of the Upper Midwest is entwined with the life of a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Minnesota who has broken up with his girlfriend, in part over their divergent views of faith. Events from two timelines appear in alternate chapters in addition to the present day. The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the collapse of the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River in 2007 are important plot elements.
In a significant departure from “The Da Vinci Code,” Salmela’s novel affirms a traditional Christian faith even as it draws on a melding of pagan goddesses, a medieval Cistercian religious order in Sweden, and Scandinavian-American Lutheranism. A Duluth church figures prominently in the mystery. Salmela is also a local authority on stained glass and recently produced a video series on the history of stained glass in several locations around Duluth.
Refreshments for the event, including hot apple cider, will be coordinated by the Sons of Norway-Heimsyn Lodge, courtesy of local president Cynthia Johnson. Funding for the program is provided by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Other library news: World Book Night
The library is also taking part in the first World Book Night to be held in the United States on April 23. Publishers have made arrangements to publish special paperback editions of a number of high-quality fiction and non-fiction works that will be made available for free distribution. Local volunteers will hand out the books at various public locations in the community on the evening of April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday. The purpose of the book drive is to reach people who have not purchased and would not otherwise be reading the books. The event has been an enormous success in the United Kingdom. The Cloquet Public Library is coordinating the local effort.
For questions about the Cloquet Public Library, go to the library’s website, www.cloquet.lib.mn.us, or find more events news at http://cloquetlibrary.blogspot.com/.