Pioneer Press: The best books of 2013
A Love Affair with Birds by Sue Leaf
Why I liked it: I've lived in Minnesota all my life and never heard of Thomas Roberts. So it was a pleasure to meet the father of Minnesota ornithology in this first full-length biography. Leaf ("The Bullhead Queen") writes movingly of the way in which the growing young city of Minneapolis ate up the meadows and wetlands where young Roberts saw huge flocks of birds that were gone by the time he died in 1946.
Vacationland by Sarah Stonich
What I liked: It's fun to explore the world in fiction, but sometimes you want to come home and revel in an author's evocation of the scents, sights and sounds of the place where you live. Stonich does that beautifully while slowly building links among the disparate characters.