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Books Burgers and Brews

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Over a Longmire smoked brisket sandwich and a pint of Devil’s Companion porter, lakes area readers engaged in live conversation earlier this month with Western mystery author Craig Johnson. For October, the group read “The Cold Dish,” the first book in Johnson’s Walt Longmire mystery series -- now produced as a Netflix series, “Longmire.” For nearly an hour, Johnson answered questions via Skype of the more than 50 people at the latest gathering of Books, Burgers and Brews at Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter. The year-old book club casts aside some of the traditional notions of a quiet and serious affair, opting for large, loud and interactive. A special menu developed by Prairie Bay chefs plays off themes in the books, featuring food and drink enjoyed by characters or named in their honor. For “The Cold Dish,” choices also included The @*!:& Vic burger and The Rye-Venge deli sandwich -- “served up cold with arugula and contemporary Western ranch.” Laurel Hall, librarian at Brainerd Public Library, and Sheila DeChantal, president of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library, are the faces of the ever-growing group.
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