Gretchen Rubin explores how a dwelling becomes a home in Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life, a follow-up to The Happiness Project, a New York Times bestseller. While in her apartment, Rubin takes the time to do things while she is there rather than thinking about what her home could be, or is not. She creates beauty with what she has and shows her husband the affection that humans often reserve for the people who don’t live with them. Ultimately, she grows more content in the space where she lives.
—Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
*Available for $17.53 at Barnes & Noble in the Galleria.
March is a fabulous month for reinvigorating the senses. It’s time to step out of hibernation and open the palate to something fresh and fun. From the Pacific Northwest, I recommend Sokol Blosser Winery’s Evolution Red, which the Oregon winery has named Meditrina (the goddess of wine). With a savvy new label, Sokol Blosser introduces this mysterious wine as a blend of easy-drinking grapes that lends itself to different food pairings: Soft enough to go with a bowl of pasta with tomatoes, textured enough for a filet of salmon, firm enough to hold its own with a grilled beef tenderloin. As for the grapes, the winery’s family alone knows the mystery.
—Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm Amusée. amuseewine.com
*Available at all Edina Liquor locations.
With one of the purest voices since Josh Groban, Kansas native Chris Mann breaks onto the scene after finishing fourth on NBC’s The Voicelast year, with his first CD, Road. Surrounded by the best orchestrators in the business, this mellow album is a striking collection of mostly covers. Composer Paul Anka updated “My Way,” the classic Frank Sinatra song, specifically for Mann; Anka was so taken with Mann’s voice that he sought him out and offered to change some lyrics and rework the classic for the first time since he composed it. Standouts include the title track, Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” and the classic “Ave Maria.”
Local musician, producer and composer Paul Peterson shares his CD pick of the month. paulpeterson.com
*Available on ITunes, Best Buy, and Target