"Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota, although it's quite small when compared to larger cities on the east and west coasts of the U.S. But size isn't everything; it's what's inside that counts, and man, this city has a ton of heart."
So begins Adam Turman's affectionate guide to his hometown, one of 25 cities highlighted in "Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 Cities," to be published this month by London's Cicada Books.
Turman, like the 24 other contributors, is a graphic designer, and in this book he takes us to his favorite haunts: the Red Stag Supper Club, Nye's Polonaise Room (so sad that pianist Lou Snider is retiring), Eat Street, I Like You ("run by two super-cool chicks"), the (sadly, now closed) Town Talk Diner and other funky places, and illustrates it with his own inimitable silk-screens.
Other designers from other cities include Esther Uhl taking you through Boston, Tom Varisco in New Orleans and Bjorn Soneson in Seattle.
It's a clever and ultimate insider travel guide. Because who knows a town better than the people who live there? And who knows the secret funky fun spots better than artists? Now you, too, can be cool. Or at least hang where the cool people hang.
•"The Road Warriors: Danger, Death and the Rush of Wrestling," by Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis and Andrew William Wright, has been published by Medallion Press. Laurinaitis was for years half of the tag-team duo called the Road Warriors. He lives in Minnesota. He'll sign books at 7 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble in Roseville.
•In April, Andrews McMeel Publishing will publish "Daddy's Little Goalie: A Father, His Daughters and Sports," by Robert Strauss. Strauss is a graduate of Carleton College and a former writer at the Mankato Free Press (as well as Sports Illustrated, the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer).
•Peter Bognanni's novel, "The House of Tomorrow," is out in paperback and is a finalist for an L.A. Times First Fiction Book Award. Bognanni teaches at Macalester College. He'll be the guest author at Books & Bars at 6 p.m. April 26 at the Aster Cafe, 125 SE. Main St., Mpls.
•Marlin Bree of Shoreview has been honored with a Boating Writers International Writing Award for his article, "Island of Doom Adventure," published in The Ensign magazine and adapted from Bree's book, "Wake of the Green Storm."