Category Archives: Books

CMLE Reads Across MN: Deep Freeze

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota! (This book takes place in a fictional town, so we have dropped the pin for this book on Virgil Flowers’ hometown of Mankato.)

You know those books that you have to read ASAP? John Sandford’s  books are some of those for me! I love reading his Prey series, staring smart, rich, tough-as-nails Lucas Davenport; and this spinoff series staring Virgil Flowers is just as fun. I always pre-order these on, to make sure they arrive for me before I wake up on publishing day. Yes, I’m a fan! I started reading these books long before I moved to Minnesota, and it’s so fun to finally see for  myself the places they visit in the books.

I’ve been waiting for this book for a while now, counting down the days until it published. And it (finally!) arrived Tuesday! I have not finished it yet –  I want to draw this out somewhat until the next book comes along. But so far, it is just a fun as the rest of this series.  Do you need a fix of Virgil Flowers? Start with the first book in the series, and go from there: Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers #1).


Deep Freeze (A Virgil Flowers book), by John Sandford “Virgil knows the town of Trippton, Minnesota, a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt—and as it turned out, homicidal—local school board, and now the town’s back in view with more alarming news: A woman’s been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There’s a possibility that it might be connected to a high school class of twenty years ago that has a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little tighter, Virgil begins to dig into twenty years’ worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood. In the process, one thing becomes increasingly clear to him. It’s true what they say: High school is murder.”

Books and Beverages Podcast Episode 101: Romance

Angie, Ariel, and Annie on location at St Cloud Public Library

Welcome everyone, to
Books and Beverages Podcast from CMLE!

This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we sit in our comfy chairs and sip our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. You might want to find a comfy place to sit, to sip your beverage along with us, and just enjoy being part of our discussion.

Attention: you could win a FREE  romance audiobook!!  Leave a comment on our website! As a special thank you to our listeners, we have two free digital audiobook downloads for randomly selected commenters! We have copies of Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn from HarperAudio (we discuss this series!), and The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by Laurie Forest from Harlequin Audio.  Tell us about a favorite romance book, give us some ideas on new romance book suggestions, or other romance-reading ideas and you will be eligible to win!

This is a very inclusive book group. There are no “right” or “wrong” books to read and chat about for our book group. We want to talk about books – and we want you to share your books. At the end of our time together, everyone should have at least a couple of new things for your To Be Read (TBR) pile!

We love books, so it seems entirely appropriate to start off our book group with Romance books! Romance is an extremely popular genre – and probably much broader than you would generally imagine. There can be romance elements to books in almost any type of book. In this episode we have fun chatting about a a broad range of books we have enjoyed. Thanks to Ariel and Annie for joining Mary and Angie this week! Books are always more fun when you can chat about them with friends.

For more information about Romance books, and lots of suggestions for books you might enjoy or books you might recommend to others, see our full webpage for this episode. All drinks referenced will also be provided on this page, with links to them, photos, and recipes for you to try them for yourselves.

Young Romance Issue 1
romance stories occur across all genres and formats!


Booked for the Evening event

Are you a school, children’s or teen librarian looking to connect with others in your field and get some great book suggestions at the same time? Definitely check out Booked for the Evening, an event at St. Kate’s in St. Paul. Attendees will be able to “hear from expert panelists as they review the best new literature for kids and teens.”

The event is only $20 and takes place Monday, November 13, 6:00–8:45 p.m. in the Rauenhorst Ballroom.

The event features a “panel of expert librarians, who are graduates of the St. Kate’s master in library and information science (MLIS) program, will highlight books for primary, intermediate, and young adult readers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the best in recent literature for youth.”

Read the schedule, meet the experts, and register for this fun event here!

CMLE Reads Across MN: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but it also has many interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!

At CMLE HQ there are certain inalienable truths that we hold dear. One of them is that we love books. The other one is that we are big fans of baked goods! So discovering this series was a great thing. Cookies, cozy mysteries – great stuff!! Fortunately for all of us who like cozy mysteries, baked goods, and fun reading – there are 21 books out so far, with #22 scheduled for publication next year.  Feel free to try out the many recipes in these books. And, of course, if you want to drop off some results at CMLE HQ – we are very open to that!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery, Book #1) “No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes–one delicious clue at a time–has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this new edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds. . .

Hannah already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.”

Quick Google map note: These books are set in the fictional location of Lake Eden, MN. As with our other fictional locations, we are locating them in a reasonable real place. In this case, we are mapping them in Joanne Fluke’s hometown of Swanville, MN.

Do you have other Minnesota books you can recommend? Send in your book and some discussion about it, and we will add it into a future weekly recommendation series!

Book Suggestion Series: Joe Tesla series

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here!

This week I read an an exciting series about a character named Joe Tesla. He ran a technology startup, and made millions of dollars. But just as he was about to have a major triumph, he was suddenly stricken with severe agoraphobia  and is not able to go outside. He now lives in an amazing house underground in the tunnels running beneath New York City.  He and his service dog, Edison, have adventures and solve mysteries, along with a few of their friends and colleagues. These are not entirely believable in the details, but are fun adventures! There are only four so far, and hopefully there will be many more

The World Beneath, by Rebecca Cantrell “Under New York is a vast, dark world: a hundred miles of living, breathing, tunnels. This subterranean labyrinth inhales three million bustling commuters every day. And every day, it breathes them all out again… except for one.

Software multi-millionaire Joe Tesla is trapped in those tunnels by his agoraphobia. One by one, he is uncovering their secrets. First, he discovers a bricked-up presidential train car and its deadly cargo–a contagious madness he must contain before it escapes to…The World Beneath.”


Check out the rest of the series: