“Lake Wobegon Days” was published in 1985 and written by Garrison Keillor. He based it on stories from his radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” Lake Wobegon is a fictitious town set in Minnesota with eccentric characters.
The first half of the book is a history of the town. From the accidental discovery while looking for the opening of the Mississippi River, to the native tribe that tried to sell the land before they were forced off of it. And on to the founder of the town, who lied about his education so he could open a college and on to the Norwegians who populated it after a deserter from the Civil War settled there.
The second half of the book is a series of stories about the life in the small town while Johnny is growing up. The stories revolve around the cast of characters in the town and their uniquely Minnesotan viewpoint. They are hard workers and sturdy people who survive the cold winters with few words but a good nature.
The town is not a tourist destination. Most of the visitors lived there before and are visiting their family. Lake Wobegon has a volunteer fire department and a few small shops. Everyone shops locally for practical reasons. After all, the owners of the mall aren’t going to be on the Rescue Squad if they are needed, the owners of the local store will be. So it’s best to stay on their good side. This is a humorous book with entertaining stories about small-town life in the heartland of the United States.
When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.