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There's a popular perception about ice fishing. That perception is that you have to like cold weather to like ice fishing. While it's true that we need some cold weather to make ice so we can go ice fishing, you don't need to be cold while you're ice fishing. Here are some reasons why you can go ice fishing without getting cold. First of all, clothing is a big part of staying warm on the ice. Developments and improvements in the materials used in clothing, and how that clothing is constructed, are major helps in staying warm in winter weather.
I came to know Michael Dirda several years ago when we both sat on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. He was an editor at the Washington Post's review section, called "Book World" and I came from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dirda was a very learned fellow and wrote a fascinating column for Book World based on his vast reading of literature, for which he received a Pulitzer Prize. We're both gone from the newspapers now and Dirda is writing books. His latest is "Classics for Pleasure" (Harcourt, $25).
On the regional front we have a powerful book by David Obey who has sat in Congress longer than any previous Wisconsinite. Obey's principles are fairly simple, formulated in a metaphor from America's national sport "Even more passionately than when I first entered public life, I believe, as Bob LaFollette believed, that government must be strong enough to be an effective referee, a fair umpire capable of knocking the rough edges off capitalism, just as an umpire can curb a bully on the ball diamond, to keep the big boys honest and protect the weak from being crused or bloodied." Plaudits fo
When I read the press release I knew I couldn't resist Lorna Landvik's latest novel, "The View from Mount Joy" (Ballantine, $24.95). Following her bestselling "Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons," which sold a million copies, Landvik in her new book comes back to tread familiar ground, but with a difference -- a male hero-narrator. The new book is set in south Minneapolis where I lived for 30 years.
Some excellent books are coming out of Minnesota presses and by Minnesota authors. Holy cow! Press in Minnesota keeps cranking out good books from their modest digs in Duluth. The most recent is a book close to my heart. A few years ago my wife came down with breast cancer.
Despite a good berry crop earlier this summer, black bears are hitting Minnesota bear hunters' baits with some regularity. Minnesota's bear season opens Saturday, and Wisconsin's first bear season opens Sept. 5. Baiting became legal in Minnesota starting Aug. 17. "It looks pretty good," said Steve Tomberlin of Cohasset, who will guide about 15 bear hunters this fall. "The first time we checked, we had a good number of our baits hit." "We put out 20 baits, and 10 are active," said Rob Parrott of Bear Down Guide and Outfitting in Duluth.
There are a rash of biographies just out, of varying interest and quality. Media mogul William Randolph Hearst built a dressing room bungalow in the MGM lot for his mistress, Marion Davies. Its entrance was adorned with a statue of the Madonna. Rumor had it that humorist Dorothy Parker had penned this bit of verse and pinned it to Miss Davies' door. "Upon my honor I saw a Madonna Standing in a niche Above the door Of a prominent whore Of a prominent son of a ___"(you fill in the blank) Parker denied her authorship, saying that she would never rhyme honor and Madonna.
When I was growing up in the 1940s, the kids on our block continually argued about who was the real "King of the Cowboys." Sure, sure, that's the sobriquet Roy Rogers took for himself. But some of us liked Gene Autry. We thought Gene was IT. We liked him best because Gene wasn't attached to a girl. Oh, sure there was always a girl somewhere in the background, but unlike Roy Rogers' Dale Evans, the Autry femmes weren't pert and never took center stage.
Love shines through a new book "Off the Farm/Into the World," by Don Linehan ($20), a rural Hudson native, who distinguished himself first on the basketball court, later in industry and now as a caring human being. His first book -- and I hope it's not his last -- tells the story of the Linehan family, beginning in Ireland, ending in Western Wisconsin.
Here's a passel of light reading to get you through the snowdrifts of March. "Hide," by Lisa Gardner (Bantam, $25) is a follow-up to Gardner's bestselling "Alone." In her new book, Gardner has her heroine, Annabelle, opening her morning paper in Boston to discover that she is dead. This is something of a shock and she wonders what led her parents to send in the obit. Gardner then introduces another character who appeared earlier in "Alone," when he was working as a sniper.