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Have a history buff on your holiday guest list? You won't be disappointed to find all manner of biography and serious history new to bookshelves this winter. For starters, try "Geronimo," by Robert Utley (Yale University Press, $30). Utley a National Parks historian traces the Apache's reputation as it changed from killer and plunderer, to Native American icon, to prisoner of war to what Utley calls our most famous Indian. Writing about Geronimo isn't an easy task thanks to the U.S. War Department's handling of Geronimo's story from his point of view.
Someone on your holiday gift list who likes to read books by and about characters in the upper Midwest? There's a plethora in that category this year. If your target is politics, try "Minnesota's Miracle," by Tom Berg (University of Minnesota Press, $22.95, paper). Berg served in the Minnesota State Legislature in the seventies when politicos got things done. Berg covers all the Andersons, Elmer L., Wendell, Irv. There are fascinating photos from the past, showing our political leaders when they were young and sassy.
Now that the election is over I thought I might stir the pot a bit with mention of a new book that's been receiving attention. It's "The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court," by Jeffrey Toobin (Doubleday, $28.95). A writer for the New Yorker magazine, Toobin has written a red hot book about the conflicts between two young movers and shakers, Barack Obama and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.
A three-car crash on Hwy. 35 Saturday near the intersection of old Hwy. 35 in the town of Hudson sent three people to hospitals. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Department said at about 3:11 p.m., a 2006 Jeep Commander driven by Benjamin Hoffman, 31, Hudson, was facing north on Hwy. 35 and preparing to make a left turn onto Old 35 when a 1991 Chevrolet pickup driven by Joshua Marcello, New Richmond, apparently failed to stop and rear-ended the Hoffman vehicle. Hoffman was pushed into an oncoming 2006 Dodge passenger car driven by Timothy J. Anderson, 44, Lake City, Minn.
Uline Inc., a privately-held, Wisconsin-based company that sells packaging equipment and supplies to businesses, plans to construct a 640,000-square-foot building in Hudson's St. Croix Business Park and move about 150 jobs across the border from its Eagan distribution center. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported Friday morning that Uline expects to begin constructing a 610,000-square-foot warehouse and 30,000 square feet of office space in 2012.
A worker painting the I-94 westbound bridge over the St. Croix River fell from a ladder Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 20, leading to an hour-and-a-half rescue operation. The worker was about 15 feet above a platform running along the bottom of the bridge deck when the ladder somehow fell out from under him. He landed on top of the ladder and on the platform, breaking a leg in the process. St. Croix Emergency Medical Services and the Hudson Fire Department came to the man's aid when a co-worker called 911 at about 3:15 p.m. St. Croix EMS Chief Eric Christensen was the first to reach the bridge.
The two Hudson boys who were subjects of an Amber Alert have been located. According to the Amber Alert information received, the boys have been found. The information was received here at 4:36 p.m. Follow up information will posted here when available.
I first encountered University of Wisconsin professor Jerry Apps' books on the non fiction shelf. He's written informatively about Wisconsin breweries, Wisconsin agriculture, Wisconsin barns -- 20 non-fiction books in all. Apps has now turned his attention to fiction. Last year, I reviewed his novel, "In a Pickle," which he derived from his on experiences as the manager of an old-fashioned pickle factory, the kind that used to dot the Wisconsin landscape. And now I've read his latest, "Blue Shadows Farm" (Terrace Books, $26.95).
It's fun to read real history written by someone with a flair for the narrative approach. Such a real history is "In the Valley of the Kings," by Daniel Meyerson (Ballantine Books, $26). Meyerson writes of Howard Carter, the British archaeologist who opened King Tut's tomb in Egypt back in 1922. What a discovery! Meyerson's account said that thanks to the media, the world went crazy over King Tut memorabilia and one overblown news item after another. Normally this would be a good thing for the man who worked for years to discover it. Not so.
If you grew up in the 1950s, you're going to love this book. If you didn't grow up in the 1950s, you better get hold of this book and learn that the 1950s wasn't the dull, Betty Crocker, suburbanite world that it is often portrayed as. Minneapolis lawyer and former city council member Paul Zerby -- like me -- reached adulthood in the 1950s and his first novel delineates that very strange time with warmth, gusto and an assured hand with the details of life back then. "Grass," (North Star Press of St.