Ice-Out Author Visits Culminate ECRL Reads Program

The culminating event of the 1st ECRL Reads program is quickly approaching.  Our ECRL Reads author Mary Casanova will be visiting four East Central Regional Library branches during November to discuss her book, Ice-Out.  For the last 8 weeks community members throughout our six counties have come together through the reading and discussion of Ice-Out and by attending multiple programs on Prohibition, the Model T, jazz music, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more topics based on the 1920s era from the book.

Mary Casanova is an award-winning Minnesota author. Many of her books stem from her life on the Minnesota-Canadian border; yet some of her stories have taken her as far away as France, Norway, and Belize for research.  Casanova grew up in a family of 10 children in St. Paul, Minnesota. In a bustling camp-like atmosphere, Casanova found that writing became her voice. “Words are my paintbrush,” she explains, “my way of exploring the world around me.”

Ice-Out is the story about 19-year-old Owen Jensen who has big dreams growing up in tiny Ranier, Minnesota, near the Canadian border.  But in the lawless Prohibition era of the 1920s, few paths are open to young men in his town, other than farming, fishing and bootlegging.  Inspired by real events in early 1920s Minnesota, it is a story of young romance against terrible odds and true grit on the border between license and responsibility, rich and poor, and right and wrong.

Casanova will be at the following ECRL branches:

  • Aitkin Public Library on Monday, November 13 at 6:30 pm
  • Princeton Area Library on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 pm
  • Wyoming Area Library on Wednesday, November 15 at 6:30 pm
  • Pine City Public Library on Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 pm.

Books will be available for sale by the author and Scout and Morgan Books from Cambridge.

The ECRL Reads program and Mary Casanova’s visit is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Join us for this free program and listen as Mary talks about how events from her own family became an integral part of the Ice-Out story and why historical fiction plays an important part in literature.

Inside the Library at Downton Abbey

East Central Regional Library has a unique event in store for Edwardian era history buffs and fans of a certain British drama series that has captured the hearts of America.  A free presentation on the library at Highclere Castle, or Downton Abbey—as it’s known to the legion of followers of the PBS series, is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 20 at Pine City Public Library. Discover insights into life on English country estates in the Edwardian era and the treasures collected over generations that filled country house libraries.

Discussed will be several topics, including book binding, significant authors, the influence of The Grand Tour (a rite of passage for the wealthy), along with tales and mysteries of the “Downton Abbey” library. Presenting is Tim Johnson, Curator of Special Collections & Rare Books/E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections housed at the University of Minnesota.

This project is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.