When Laura and Luke, who live in Minneapolis, asked what I might like for Christmas, I suggested a book about Minnesota. I have been to the state 10 or 15 times since Laura moved there in 2011 and like the place. So I suggested something about its history, land, and culture. Minnesota Days: Our Heritage in Stories, Art, and Photos covers all three of those topics well.
Minnesota Days is a beautiful book filled with short pieces written by notable Minnesotans illustrated by Minnesota art works and photographs. Readers from any state will recognize some of the authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gordon Parks, and Garrison Keillor. Others journalists, historians, and novelists will be new to non-Minnesotans. Having read this book, I would like to read more by Grace H. Flandrau, Bill Holm, and Jon Hassler.
You can learn much just looking at the pictures, some of which are by famous Minnesotan photographers and artists. They show landscapes, wildlife, people, cities, and cuisine. I particularly want to call your attention to the topical map on page 106, "Minnesota Principle Hot Dishes by Region." Cheese scalloped potatoes, corny burger bake, wild rice casserole, German pork chop casserole, and jiffy tuna hot dish all appeal to me. A wandering tour of "the Land of Sky Blue Water" would be caloric.
If you are not in Minnesota, your library may not have Minnesota Days. Ask for an interlibrary loan. I am lucky to have my own copy. Thanks you, Laura and Luke.
Minnesota Days: Our Heritage in Stories, Art, and Photos edited by Michael Dregni. Voyageur Press, 1999. 160p. ISBN 0896584216.