Photo by Todd Buchanan
As a born-and-raised Minnesotan, I might be a bit biased, but with the Boundary Waters, the music and arts scene in the Twin Cities, and roadside attractions such as the Jolly Green Giant and the World’s Largest Twine Ball, Minnesota is obviously one of the best places to live.
My love for all things Minnesota grew a couple weeks ago when I learned about three new state-themed books. Each shows a unique reason why our state is among the best:
By Amy and Dave Freeman
Published by Milkweed, September 2017
This book follows Amy and Dave Freeman during a 366-day stay in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The couple took their journey a couple years ago to bring attention to sulfide-ore mining (a type of mining that could contaminate the Boundary Waters’ lakes and rivers). They updated their progress on social media and attracted national media attention. Since Milkweed published their comprehensive book about the trip this fall, the Freemans have given presentations and met with Senator Al Franken to discuss protecting the Boundary Waters.
No matter your view on mining, the book’s breath-taking photos of Minnesota’s beauty is worth checking out. From misty sunrises to dogsledders mushing across frozen lakes, the Freemans capture a rare, gorgeous view of the Boundary Waters.
By Chris Riemenschneider
Published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, October 2017
First Avenue: Minnesota’s Mainroom looks and feels like the coolest scrapbook ever. While Chris Riemenschneider, a music critic with the Star Tribune since 2001, does an amazing job of recounting the groundbreaking concerts and acts that have happened on this legendary stage (for example, R.E.M. when it was still an underground college band), it was band posters, ticket stubs, and photos from the concerts that pulled me into the book. Riemenschneider somehow managed to make me feel like I was reliving personal memories, not just stories that have been passed down like legends from parents and grandparents.
Warning: You may feel the need to attend a concert at First Ave after leafing through this masterpiece.
By Lee Lynch
Published by Amazing MN, September 2017
Have you ever felt like the only thing that non-Minnesotans know about this state is that it can get reeaally cold and that we have a lot of lakes? That’s why Lynch compiled a book that talks about all the other facets of the state, all of which, he argues, make it amazing (hence the name). Lynch covers our sports teams, diversity, theaters, education systems, our love of Dylan and Prince, and so much more.
Next time your out-of-towner relatives and friends ask why you live in Vikings country, highlight the reasons that are nearest and dearest and send them this book. Even if it doesn’t convince them to move here (their loss), it’ll look great on their coffee table.