The Warming House

Ep. 11: Books, burgers and croissants. (Like ya do)

Stack of books
How long would it take you to work your way through this stack of books?
Abhi Sharma | Creative Commons via Flickr

The idea for this show was borne out of a polar vortex that had all of us in The Warming House thinking of new things to do while trapped indoors. What better than to curl up with a good book and drift off. Thankfully the two booksellers we lined up for our Twins Trivia game — Lisa Deyo from Sweet Reads Books in Austin, Minn., and Joe Finck from Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul — also came with some good recommendations. (See below.)

As is the way in The Warming House, however, we quickly got distracted with food. Sharyn Jackson from The Star Tribune stopped by to help us kick off what we hope will be the most epic non-basketball bracket competition voting situation this state has ever witnessed: The Great Minnesota Burger Bracket. The brainchild of co-host Sean McPherson, the GMBB as we're lovingly calling it, kicks off in March (duh.) and will put big juicy patties of buttery beef up against other big beefy slabs or maybe even *gasp* a veggie burger? Our "advice-ologist" Sanni Brown came in hot with a recommendation for the Impossible Burger, so she's throwing down for the plants! Whatever your jam, let us know your favorite burger here or tweet us @warminghouseMPR.

Burgers were quickly eclipsed by classic funk vibes that drew our attention to some James Brown-level funky drumming for the ages from a band called The Meters. Sean said about our vinyl pick of the week that he likes "the thesis of the Meters better. Funk can be leaderless, funk can be understated, and it can be utterly unified but not monolithic in rhythmic ferocity. And also, very importantly, it can be instrumental and it can be loose."

Co-host Nina Moini tried to get us all back on the book track by talking literacy and the amazing Black Literacy Matters project with Erianna Jiles, project coordinator at Literacy Minnesota. By the by, her book pick was Octavia Butler's novel, "Kindred."

Mom-daughter duo Kathleen and Violet (7th grader at Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis) joined us for a heated game of Smarter Than a Bookworm Kid, answering questions about everything from Little Women to Pitch Perfect. Sean also told the angry mob outside our door who had been waiting for the answers to the questions we posed in our weekly promos that:

1) Steinbeck's novel "The Winter of Our Discontent" is a reference to Shakespeare's "Richard III" and 2) the opening line about clocks "striking thirteen" came from George Orwell's "1984." 

Last but certainly not least, Shawn McKenzie, pastry chef extraordinaire at Café Ceres in Minneapolis, talked with Nina about cinnamon rolls and waxed poetic about the buttery layers of a croissant. Which did what? Yeah. Got us thinking about food again! And your dang right we used "buttery" twice in the same show!

So, here's the list of burger joints that Sharyn Jackson recommended:

Book recommendations

From Joe Finck at Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul:

  • ”Go Ahead in the Rain” by Hanif Abdurraqib. (This is the one about Tribe Called Quest.)

  • “New Poets of Native Nations” edited by Heid Erdrich.

  • “Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused” by Melissa Maerz.

  • And two graphic novels: “Rusty Brown” by Chris Ware and “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” by Emil Ferris.

From Erianna Jiles at Literacy Minnesota:

  • “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

From Lisa Deyo at Sweet Reads Books in Austin, Minn.:

  • “Sarah's New Moon” by Lydia Emma Niebuhr.

  • And anything by Alison McGhee or Jacqueline West.

Guest list:

Lisa Deyo from Sweet Reads Books in Austin, Minn.

Joe Finck from Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul

Pastry Chef Shawn McKenzie from Cafe Ceres in Minneapolis

Erianna Jiles from Literacy Minnesota

Kathleen and Violet our mom and bookworm kid from Minneapolis

Sanni Brown, TWH "Advice-ologist" from The Current and Purple Current

Sharyn Jackson from The Star Tribune

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