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Rural Route Bookstore
online-only bookstore featuring books about
Check the Nostalgia page for Memoirs and Other Books about Growing Up in the Midwest. Click here.
Nordskog and Hautala's book is a full-color history and celebration of Finnish sauna in the western Great Lakes. Richly illuminated by Hautala's photographs of distinctive saunas from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and Finland, Nordskog's narrative begins with the origins of Finnish sauna and the arrival of this practice in America, and continues to contemporary designs of saunas by noted architects. To a growing number of people, the culture and practice of Finnish sauna are as much a part of northwoods life as campfires and canoe trips.
This year you can fight winter's chill with the lure and lore of the sauna. Join in one of life's great pleasures by sauna-sitting in 180+° heat and throwing cool water over hot stones to create a blast of steam. Follow this with a jump in the lake or stand naked in subzero temperatures or roll in the snow. The Finnish sauna is often a modest structure made of wood and stone. Over time the wood rots, the stones crack, and finally all that is left are memories. It has been said that other than eating, there perhaps isn't another activity that brings people together to a place where mind, body, and spirit are fused (in this case, fused by heat and steam) to such an extent.
Wisconsin-resident Nordskog, and Hautala, from north central Minnesota, have produced an exquisite commemoration of the history, culture, practice and mystique of Finnish sauna in the northwoods. This is truly a beautiful book, and would make a great gift.
MN - 05 Hardcover $34.95
Beloved pets. Holiday rituals. Schoolyard antics. Teenage perspectives on a world at war. Childhood is a mixed bag of challenges and joys wherever one grows up. In Minnesota, youthful memories may be arranged seasonally: making snow angels in January, swatting mosquitoes in July.
In this, her "Growing Up in Minnesota" collection, Peg Meier — longtime and award-winning reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune — explores both bitter and the sweet themes of childhood. She has unearthed a wealth of material (diary entries, reminiscences, newspaper columns, photographs) from people who took the time to write whether as children in the moment, or as adults looking back. Humorous touches and reality checks are offered in equal doses, and the result is a fascinating array of experiences spanning the last 100-plus years.
MN - 07 Paperback $29.95
With Built-in Stereoscope Viewer-Your Glasses to the Past
This Stereoscope book looks like a long-forgotten photo album discovered in Grandma’s attic. It opens up to display a lost world come to life again, but this time through 3-D photography.
This fantastic, beautiful book includes a brief, colorful history of stereoscope or stereo photography, which started in the 1850s and remained popular until the Great Depression in the '30s. It offered people their first photographic views of the world, and was the television or internet of that era. Traveling door-to-door salesmen sold millions of photos and many, many "viewers", which were odd-looking things made of wood and thick lenses. Look in Grandma's attic, and I bet many of you will find one.
This great book contains 45 reproduced images, along with their reverse sides which contain a detailed historical caption of the image. Each book contains a 3-D-type cardboard set of "glasses" with a special type of cellophane material.
MN - 02 Padded hardcover $19.99
Michigan Yesterday & Today by Robert W. Domm
In the middle of the country and the middle of the continent one finds a Great Lakes state and a great Midwestern center, Michigan. It is a place where yesterday’s history and tomorrow’s promise endlessly vie for pride of place.
This book offers visions of Michigan in all its glory, past and present — from Native American settlements to trading outposts, farming riches to vacation splendors, and artistic heritage to automotive muscle. Images of yesterday and today unfold side by side: the changing landscape, state landmarks and architecture, and the icons of pop culture. This book offers hours of pleasure.
The book is similar to a "coffee table" book: hard covered, big, and filled with many photos, both colored and B&W. The photos — shot by Michigan's son, outdoors writer and photographer Robert W. Domm — are supplemented with vintage postcards, brochures, and advertisements all documenting the beauty of Michigan and the lives of those who live there.
MW - 01 Hardcover $25.00 NOW $20.00
Shipwrecks Along Lake Superior's North Shore by Stephen B. Daniel
According to information provided by the Minnesota Historical Society, publisher of this brand new book, "beneath the icy waters of Lake Superior lies a vast museum of maritime treasures, relics, and souls that in years past were lost to the crashing waves of this massive body of water." Many of those souls were, of course, Scandinavian immigrants who, because of their earlier fishing experiences in the North Sea, found work on the Great Lakes.
When writing this book author Stephen B. Daniel collaborated with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society and, although it is defined as "a diver's guide", one doesn't have to go under the chilly waters of Lake Superior to enjoy this book
Daniel, a veteran diver, has designed the book for those of us in "dry dock". He provides in-depth tours and 40 locational maps, details on the construction of these submerged vessels, descriptions of the circumstances, and histories of many of the sunken ships in Lake Superior. He supplements his text with 300 black and white photographs, charts, and 75 drawings or diagrams, and informs readers of the efforts being taken today to preserve these mysterious nautical sites.
MN-01 Paperback $24.95
These four books are discounted even more if purchased as a set.
and Edited by Tom Klein
Nature's Tranquility: Reflections & Insights Compiled and Edited by Tom Klein
Various naturalists share remembrances, evocative descriptions about the wilderness, and insights into the power of nature. Stunning photography brings these insights and descriptions closer to life.
SI - 35 Hardcover $9.95 Now $6.00
Wisdom Warrior: Native American Animal Legends by Dennis L. Olson
An artistic review of the wisdom of animals and the lessons humanity can learn from them has been supplemented with great photography. Olson focuses this book on the wolf, bear, eagle, deer and buffalo.
SI - 36 Hardcover $9.95 Now $6.00
Voice of the Waters: A Day in the Life of a Loon by Tom Klein
This "small coffee table" book is filled with beautiful color photography by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick, and contains short, well-written narratives by Klein that describe the daily goings-on of the loon.
SI - 37 Hardcover $9.95 Now $6.00
Explored: Letters and Journals
by Karen Kane; Photography
by Gerry Ellis