March 16, 2023
Last week, on International Women’s Day, my husband and I, along with a full auditorium of other fans, attended “An Evening with Louise Erdrich.” Not exactly an intimate event, but how good to be in her presence.
I have read most of her books, but can imagine re-reading several, especially The Sentence and The Nightwatchman, which my husband is re-reading now. And Love Medicine, which was published in 1984 and was the first of an eight book series. One of the books mentioned that evening was Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Traveling Through the Land of My Ancestors (2003), which is a blend of history, mythology, and memoir. I remember being entranced by that book and wish I still had my copy. Now why didn’t I buy another copy when we made a long overdue return visit last week to Erdrich’s bookstore, Birchbark Books in Minneapolis?
I guess I was just too overwhelmed as I found several books on my TBR list. I guess I will just have to return soon. Such a problem! Here’s what did come home with me:
- Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light, 50 Poems for 50 Years by Joy Harjo. Harjo, who is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, was the nation’s poet laureate from 2019 to 2023. I loved her memoir Poet Warrior–another book for the re-read list. I am keeping this book in the snug and each time before settling into read whatever is my current book, I read a couple poems in this book. Only after I read about 10 of the poems did I realize that at the end of the book Harjo has included notes about each poem, giving the context and notes about her process. I have decided to begin the book again and this time read the notes, too.
- What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez.
- The Swimmers byJulie Otsuko who wrote The Buddha in the Attic (2011), which I remember loving.
- The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak.
- The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin. I am especially eager to read this book for it is about three women living on the shores of Lake Superior at different times in history. I only heard recently about this book, which was published in 2011 by Milkweed and won their national fiction prize. It sounds wonderful. Maybe I need a reading retreat to the North Shore.
After making our purchases we had lunch right next door at The Kenwood, one of our favorite restaurants.
Such a good day!
Have you read any books by Louise Erdrich? If so, what are your favorite’s? I would love to know.
4 thoughts on “Book Report: A Trip to Louise Erdrich’s Book Store, Birchbark Books”
What a wonderful way to celebrate the day! I am ashamed to say I have not read any books by Louise Erdrich. I really need to change that. I am so glad she has a bookstore — maybe one day I can make a pilgrimage too. Authors owning successful bookstores just makes me happy, it’s one way in which the world is the way it should be.
No shaming necessary when it comes to books, BUT, that being said, I hope you move Erdrich up on your TBR. When you read The Sentence, you will also “visit” her bookstore.
I didn’t know that Louise Erdich had a bookstore! How wonderful that you and your husband got to go there, and to see her in person. I remember reading The Beet Queen years ago. I know I’ve read another of her books, but I can’t remember which one!
Erdrich’s bookstore is one of our favorite nearby field trips. Now if only Ann Patchett’s bookstore were closer!