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Thank You for 2022!

Newsletter; Dec 23rd 2022

What a year 2022 has turned out to be! The year we returned to “normal”, was also a completely un-normal year for me. Corporate life is a distant memory, opening boxes and shelving books is the norm, with lots of learning on the way.

With your support we have reached almost a 1000 families. Wow! THANK YOU to everyone who made a purchase, attended events and book clubs, supported Authors, used Bookshop instead of Amazon, told your friends and neighbors, wrote reviews, and supported us in myriad other ways from near and far! What an amazing community you are! You should be proud of your contribution to promoting science and reading, not just in your family, but in all of Minnesota!

We are still open today 12/23 10-6:30pm and tomorrow 12/24 10-4, in case you forgot somebody or just need an escape from the family :)

We will be closed Dec 25th through Jan 6th. Open again on January 7th 2023.

Meanwhile, the marvel that is science continues its march forward:

  • Scientists have said that microwaving the Moon might make it safer to land on. You read that right, they're talking about melting lunar soil with microwaves! Bet you didn't see that one coming!

  • All those new laptop and phone gifts usually means the landfill for the old ones. But there's hope in the future of being able to upgrade without the guilt: Mining electronic waste for rare-earth elements while isolating the remaining toxic chemicals could help solve the global e-waste crisis

Whether you're in frigid Minnesota or balmy Bahamas, hope you are in company of loved ones and having a jolly good time. Happy Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah to those celebrating!

Thank you, stay warm and happy reading,


New Releases this week

Orchid Muse

By Erica Hannickel

One of Literary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2022

A kaleidoscopic journey into the world of nature’s most tantalizing flower, and the lives it has inspired.

The epitome of floral beauty, orchids have long fostered works of art, tales of adventure, and scientific discovery. Tenacious plant hunters have traversed continents to collect rare specimens; naturalists and shoguns have marveled at orchids’ seductive architecture; royalty and the smart set have adorned themselves with their allure. In Orchid Muse, historian and home grower Erica Hannickel gathers these bold tales of the orchid-smitten throughout history, while providing tips on cultivating the extraordinary flowers she features.

Consider Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria, the two most powerful women in nineteenth-century Europe, who shared a passion for Coelogyne cristata, with its cascading, fragrant white blooms. John Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, cultivated thousands of orchids and introduced captivating hybrids. Edmond Albius, an enslaved youth on an island off the coast of Madagascar, was the first person to hand-pollinate Vanilla planifolia, leading to vanilla’s global boom. Artist Frida Kahlo was drawn to the lavender petals of Cattleya gigas and immortalized the flower’s wilting form in a harrowing self-portrait, while more recently Margaret Mee painted the orchids she discovered in the Amazon to advocate for their conservation.

The story of orchidomania is one that spans the globe, transporting readers from the glories of the palace gardens of Chinese Empress Cixi to a seedy dime museum in Gilded Age New York’s Tenderloin, from hazardous jungles to the greenhouses and bookshelves of Victorian collectors. Lush and inviting, with radiant full-color illustrations throughout, Orchid Muse is the ultimate celebration of our enduring fascination with these beguiling flowers.

Erica Hannickel, a master gardener, is professor of environmental history at Northland College. The author of Orchid Muse: A History of Obsession in Fifteen Flowers and Empire of Vines: Wine Culture in America, she writes for Orchids magazine and blogs at She lives in Wisconsin.

From Scalpel to Spade

By Arthur van Langenberg

Dec 27th 2022;

Biography & Autobiography / Medical (incl. Patients)

From Scalpel to Spade is a sparkling memoir from surgeon and gardener Arthur van Langenberg as he traces the lessons learned from a life well lived, recounting his adventures in both medicine and gardening with charm, wit and fascinating insight.

This delightful memoir is the story of a life well lived—a Hong Kong doctor who worked as a surgeon for over fifty years and who later turned his hand to his other great passion, gardening. At times amusing, at times heartbreaking, and at other times educational and instructive, Arthur van Langenburg describes real-life cases and the medical causes of illnesses, including many incredible stories of life-saving operations that will keep you riveted to your seat. Interspersing these chapters are tales from his fascinating personal life, and reflections on his journey to becoming an expert gardener. Throughout the book is woven the metaphor of the author’s journey to Ithaka, as described in a moving poem of the same name that charts a path for how to live a life ‘full of adventure, full of discovery’. Beautifully written in a lively, engaging style, this book is sure to win the hearts of many, as van Langenberg's sparkling personality and fascinating insight shines through on every page. Arthur van Langenberg has lived in Hong Kong all his life except for four years in Macau during World War II and two years in Britain undergoing medical training. He has practised surgery for some fifty years, first at the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, and then in private practice. His lifelong interest in reading and gardening has helped him morph from surgeon to gardener and writer, finding fulfilment and a simpler way of life over the years. "Arthur van Langenberg is well known among the gardeners in Hong Kong. However, they may not know how respected a surgeon he is, in particular his caring approach to patients. This book will give them a glimpse of the medical aspect of this seasoned gardener . . . The real-life stories that he has recorded are so captivating. I am sure that given Arthur’s writing skill, he could turn each story into a single volume." ― Chow Shew Ping, Professor Emeritus, University of Hong Kong "The real-life cases at the scalpel’s edge are riveting. Less dramatic but no less engaging are the episodes on what life was like when learning to master the scalpel and developing the clinical sense of when to wield it or not … Senior colleagues will surely recognise the characters in the book, with a smile." ― Dr Rose Mak, Chairperson, Management Committee, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences Society Arthur van Langenberg has lived in Hong Kong all his life except for four years in Macau during World War II and two years in Britain undergoing medical training. He has practised surgery for some fifty years, first at the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, and then in private practice. His lifelong interest in reading and gardening has helped him morph from surgeon to gardener and writer, finding fulfilment and a simpler way of life over the years.

The Earth Atlas


Dec 20th 2022;

Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences; Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7

Delve beneath the surface of the Earth with this pictorial atlas and discover the secrets of our planet. How did planet Earth form? What’s under the surface, and how can we see it? Why do volcanoes erupt? What do coasts and caves have in common? What’s so important about rocks and soil? All these questions and more are answered in The Earth Atlas– a lavishly illustrated guide to our planet. From oceans to ice regions to deserts, this book takes you on a trip around Earth’s features, explaining how they formed and what impact they have on us even today, supporting life and literally shaping the world with every tectonic movement. Richard Bonson’s hand-drawn illustrations allow you to see parts of the planet that can’t be shown in photographs, with diagrams clearly annotated to help explain what’s going on.

Eyewitness The Elements


Dec 20th 2022;

Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Chemistry; Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7

A fact-filled, photo-packed guide to all 118 elements. Packed with stunning photography; Eyewitness The Elements explores the building blocks of our universe. Beginning with a concise history of chemistry, scientific pioneers, and the creation of the first periodic table, this comprehensive guide then launches into a visual tour of each individual element. Along the way, you’ll find out where each element comes from and what it is used for, explained clearly and simply for young readers. Explore elements such as nitrogen and oxygen and learn why they are essential to our survival. See how precious gold protects astronauts in space, and what makes the metal mercury so unusual. Find out about synthetic elements created in labs, which the smartest chemists are still busy figuring out how to use. This detailed, accessible book will inspire young, inquisitive minds – the scientists of tomorrow who will shape our future. Part of DK’s best-selling Eyewitness series, which is now getting an exciting makeover, this popular title has been reinvigorated for the next generation of information-seekers and stay-at-home explorers, with a fresh new look, new photographs, updated information, and a new “eyewitness” feature – fascinating first-hand accounts from experts in the field. Series Overview: This iconic series, launched in 1998, continues to captivate kids that are thirsty for knowledge, with topics ranging from dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, and flags, to chemistry, the solar system, and William Shakespeare.

DK was founded in London in 1974 and is now the world leading illustrated reference publisher and a member of the Penguin Random House division of Bertelsmann. DK publishes highly visual, photographic non-fiction for adults and children. DK produces content for consumers in over 100 countries and over 60 languages, with offices in the UK, India, US, Germany, China, Canada, Spain and Australia. DK's aim is to inspire, educate and entertain readers of all ages, and everything DK publishes, whether print or digital, embodies the unique DK design approach. DK brings unrivalled clarity to a wide range of topics, with a unique combination of words and pictures, put together to spectacular effect. We have a reputation for innovation in design for both print and digital products. Our adult range spans travel, including the award-winning DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, history, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery and parenting. DK’s extensive children’s list showcases a fantastic store of information for children, toddlers and babies. DK covers everything from animals and the human body, to homework help and craft activities, together with an impressive list of licensing titles, including the best-selling LEGO® books. DK acts as the parent company for Alpha Books, publisher of the Idiot's Guides series and Prima Games, the world’s leading publisher of strategy content for PC and console video games.

Life in a Frozen World (Revised Edition)

By Mary Batten

Dec 20th 2022;

Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Water; Ages 6 to 9, Grades 1 to 4

Award-winning nature writer Mary Batten uncovers the climate change mysteries of our planet’s coldest, most extreme environment—Antarctica. Did you know that Antarctica could be the key to long-standing questions about the Earth and climate change? Though it seems very far away from us at the bottom of the world, this frozen continent affects weather, ocean currents, and sea levels all over the Earth. Its wildlife survives—and even thrives—on ice. And in the long run, so do we. From award-winning, experienced nature writer Mary Batten comes a remarkable nonfiction picture book that plumbs the mysteries of one of the most hostile environments on the planet. With clear, engaging language, Batten explores fascinating questions that scientists the world over have been researching. In the intensely cold, windy, and dry environment of Antarctica, how does a wide variety of wildlife survive? How do some species of Antarctic fishes make a natural antifreeze that prevents their blood from freezing solid? How does a forest of giant seaweed flourish under the sea when no other trees grow on the continent? Antarctica’s creatures are exquisitely adapted to their extreme habitat, but can they survive warmer waters and atmosphere? An ideal resource for young science lovers and educators, this informative volume is perfect for classroom units on climate change, conservation, ecology, environment, nature, oceanography, and more. Series Overview: Life is tenacious, grabbing onto cracks and crevices, taking up residence in the most extreme environments on Earth: the frozen world of Antarctica; the boiling hot vents at the bottom of the sea; the top of the rainforest canopy; the total darkness of subterranean habitats such as caves. This series of books deals with animals and plants in extreme environments and the amazing adaptations they have evolved for living there.

Mary Batten is an award-winning writer for television, film, and publishing. Her many writing projects have taken her into tropical rainforests, astronomical observatories, scientific laboratories, and medical research centers. She is the author of numerous articles on science topics as well as a number of children’s books. Batten was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Children's Television Workshop's science series 3-2-1-CONTACT. In the 1990s she worked with The Cousteau Society, where she acquired a lifelong love of the ocean. Thomas Gonzalez is an illustrator, designer, and portrait artist. A native of Cuba, Gonzalez came to the United States when he was ten years old. He studied at the Atlanta School of Art (now called Savannah College of Art and Design). After working at the Coca-Cola Company for more than twenty years, Tom held several creative positions with other global brands.

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

By Jill Tomlinson

Dec 20th 2022;

Juvenile Fiction / Animals / Birds; Ages 3 to 6

The magical and reassuring tale about baby barn owl Plop is a beloved children’s classic!

As read by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge on CBeebies Bedtime Stories! Plop, the baby owl, is like every barn owl there ever was, except for one thing – he is afraid of the dark . . . The dark is brimming with excitement and magic. As Plop ventures into the night, he meets a boy who shows him fireworks, a black cat who takes him exploring, a girl who tells him about Father Christmas, among other surprising discoveries . . . Filled with gentle humour and heart-warming illustrations, this uplifting story about finding the courage to face your fears has been beloved of parents and children for decades – and its message of resilience is as timely as ever!

An abridged board book edition, for readers aged 3+.

Jill Tomlinson never intended to be a writer. She trained as an opera singer, and then decided to have a family whilst her voice matured. But illness intervened, and she had to find another outlet for her energies. She started on a journalism course, and by the third lesson decided she wanted to write for children. So she did! Jill Tomlinson’s animal stories are much-loved and have been best-selling children’s books for nearly four decades.

Amazing Machines: Shiny Snow Machines

By Tony Mitton

Dec 27th 2022;

Juvenile Fiction / Technology / Inventions; Ages 3 to 5

Amazing Machines: Shiny Snow Machines is packed full of zambonis, snowmobiles, plows, and other snowy machines from the bestselling Amazing Machines creators.

Amazing Machines: Shiny Snow Machinesfollows the animal team as they wrap up warm and explore things that go in the snow! Each page is filled with details that machine-mad kids will love including zambonis, ice trucks, snow-making machines, snowgliders, and much more. From bumper cars to spinning wheels, the internationally bestselling Amazing Machines series is the perfect way for children to learn about all sorts of machines and vehicles! Each book introduces a new vehicle or machine and the many jobs it can do. Ant Parker's bright, engaging artwork and Tony Mitton's simple, rhyming text combine to make these fantastic books for young children. Kids will love getting to know the friendly, animal characters who feature throughout the series and reading about their fast-paced adventures! Continue to explore all things that go with the rest of the Amazing Machines series, including Cool Cars, Patrolling Police Cars and Roaring Rockets

Tony Mitton works as a writer and performs his poems in schools and libraries. His published work consists of collections of lyric and narrative poetry, and verse picture books. His picture books include Down by the Cool of the Pool (with Guy Parker-Rees) and The Somethingosaur (with Russell Ayto). Ant Parker is known for his distinctive, vibrant work in books such as Charlie Chick. His artwork has been animated for BBC Children's TV and he illustrates the bestselling Amazing Machines picture-book series.

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