Looking Back on Books in the Woods

April 18, 2019

Text and Pictures by John Silliman: Head Naturalist of Gunflint Lodge

Gretchen Anthony

In the first weekend in April, we co-hosted the 20th and final Books in the Woods event with Valley Bookseller of Stillwater, Minnesota.  I have personally been involved in the event for 16 years and have enjoyed it every time.  The event had a great 2 decade run which combined book discussions, Naturalist activities, and featured author presentations.

Mindy Mejia

This year’s authors were Mindy Mejia and Gretchen Anthony.

Mindy Mejia is the author of The Dragon Keeper, Everything You Want Me to Be, and Leave No Trace.  She put on a great presentation Friday afternoon.  Mindy was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award for Leave No Trace, and departed Saturday for the awards ceremony.

Gretchen Anthony is the author of Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners.  She gave her very enthusiastic presentation on Saturday.

I offered a plethora of different Naturalist activities during the event.  On Friday, I led a Boreal Birding Hike, Dream Catchers Craft, Northern Lights Presentation, and a Celestial Legends Night Hike.  The next day brought a Photography Hike, Northwoods Magnets Craft, Wild Edibles Hike, and (my favorite activity) the Celtic Music Show.

Conditions on the hiking trails were normal for early spring.  There was a combination of packed snow, ice, slush, and bare ground.  Signs of spring peeked out through the snow.

Reindeer/Caribou Lichen Springing Out Through a Bed of Moss

A Tree Stump with New Life

Lookout Point Overlook

Valley Booksellers and this event’s coordinator Lisa Wagner have both decided to try other things in life and business.  I wish them all the best in their endeavors.

Gunflint Lodge is hoping to start a new literary event in April and is already researching possibilities for the future.  Stay tuned to the Gunflint Lodge website and this blog for future events.

Here are many of the authors who visited Gunflint Lodge over the two decades of Books in the Woods.  It is based on my stack of signed books, and what I remember:

  • Mindy Mejia
  • Gretchen Anthony
  • William Kent Krueger
  • Erin Hart
  • Lorna Landvik
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Nicole Helget
  • Brian Freeman
  • Allen Eskens
  • Thomas Maltman
  • Linda Legarde Grover
  • Benjamin Percy
  • Will Weaver
  • Mary Sharratt
  • Peter Geye
  • Joe Kimball