Read, Drink & Listen: Local Experts Feature the Latest Trends

Beartown by Fredrik Backman is a character-driven novel with intertwining side stories. When a traumatic event happens that threatens to bring down the whole town, none of the characters are left unaffected by love, loyalty and longing for the game of hockey. The book contains simple insights yet reveals universal truths with the idea that most of us only get one shot at life. The cover shows a small wintery town nestled in the mountains, a hockey rink and a lone bear.

“The image had the right mix of both remoteness and refuge to pique my curiosity,” says dedicated reader Rose Ryan.

Rose Ryan is a librarian at Maple Grove Library.

Not a new cocktail, but a cocktail ingredient, Sipsmith London Dry Gin is a newer gin on the market. It has been produced for the last eight years and sold in Europe. The quality of the spirit elevates classic cocktails to a totally different experience.

“It goes well with any classic gin cocktail along with new creations that bartenders have come up with,” says owner of Princeton Liquors Bill Princeton.
Sold for $29.99 per 750 ml. Available at two “Swanhouses” in Minneapolis, the Spoon and Stable and The Hewing Hotel.

Bill Princeton is a craft beer man and owner of Princeton Liquors.

Music doesn’t have to be new to be heard for the first time. Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park released in March of 2013 (available on iTunes) is a PG13 rated album that sticks out due to its brilliant, creative and witty lyrical content. Interesting techniques and instrumentation are used to help with the transitions.

Musician Nick Tucker says, “I am not a huge fan of country music, but I found this album after hearing Merry Go Ground, a song off that record. It peaked my interest because it had an older country feel, and the writing was way more creative than anything else you hear on country radio. It has impacted my playing in knowing that I don’t need to have the coolest fill to transition between sections of a song and I can just play a drum groove the entire time as long as it fits what the song needs.”

Nick Tucker is a drum and piano instructor and owner of Spark Music Studio.