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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow, Cold and Mystery--Up North!


All over Leelanau County, snow is being moved. People are moving it, using shovels and blowers, scoops and plows. And what is in the forecast for the days ahead? More snow!

Cooking and reading fill my days. Dinner last night was a hot skillet dish of sausage, onions and apples, simmered in balsamic vinegar and apple cider, with steamed green beans and roasted sweet potatoes on the side, the sweet potatoes tossed with pecans and bleu cheese. Hot food renews one’s courage at the end of a cold day.

Yesterday afternoon at the bookstore I started reading Keeping the House, by Ellen Baker, and am already halfway through it (p. 271), racing back and forth from the 1880’s to 1950, following various characters through marriage, family life, war and peace, and enjoying myself immensely. There’s one mystery connected with this book—at least, it’s a mystery to me at this point. The author was identified on more than one Internet site as a “part-time bookseller,” her employer Beecroft Books & Coffee in Superior, Wisconsin. But Google searching also turned up several news items about Beecroft closing in late 2007. So here are my questions: Is the bookstore defunct? If so, is Ms. Baker selling books elsewhere? Or has s successful writing career (this novel has been garnering raves across the country) changed her life completely? And what of the Beecroft people? What are they doing these days? Another Up North bookseller wants to know!

4 comments:

Ellen Baker said...

Dear PJ,
A friend alerted me to your post, and I thought I'd answer your questions! I was working at J.W. Beecroft Books when KEEPING THE HOUSE was published in hardcover (July 2007), so my job there became part of the biography that was circulated. Beecroft did close about a year ago, unfortunately, and since then I've been writing full time and traveling to promote KEEPING THE HOUSE. Right now, I'm finishing up revising my new novel, which centers around a group of women who work at a shipyard during WWII. Other Beecroft booksellers have scattered to a variety of other jobs. I hope this clears up the mystery for you! It's great to hear you're zipping through KEEPING THE HOUSE and enjoying it!
All my best,
Ellen Baker

P. J. Grath said...

Ellen, it is always such a pleasure to hear directly from an author. It also still seems like a miracle. (This Internet--wow!) Glad to hear you'll have a second novel out soon. I am sure KEEPING THE HOUSE has been the pick of many book clubs. I had to tear myself away from the story tonight to go out to dinner. Racing toward the finish, though, part of me was glad to take a break so it won't be over too soon. Sorry about the bookstore closing--always sad news from my POV--but happy your writing career is now fulltime. Thanks for connecting to Books in Northport@

Gerry said...

Another book for my list. PJ, how am I to ever finish my list?

P. J. Grath said...

I know, I know, I know! Aren't we lucky?