Everybody wants to go Up North in the summer anyway, so why not head in the direction of Bemidji in mid-June? The Bemidji Library Book Festival is attracting an interesting lineup of Minnesota writers -- from prolific and beloved children's author Phyllis Root, to poets Todd Boss and Heid Erdrich, to memoirist Catherine Friend, whose new book, "Sheepish," is just out.
(But wait! There's more!) A total of 15 writers will speak over the course of six days, with the featured author -- Roxana Saberi -- presenting at 7 p.m. on June 17. Saberi, author of "Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran," will speak at the Bemidji High School Auditorium.
The other events -- Mary Casanova, Susan Marie Swanson, Julie Schumacher, I can't list them all because I don't have room -- will be scattered across Bemidji, at the library, the music school, the American Indian Resource Center, and elsewhere.
All this, and the towering pines, and the great outdoors, and Minnesota in June.
• "Whose Hand?," the second Skeeter Hughes mystery by Judith Yates Borger, will be published in August by Nodin Press. Borger will launch the book at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, and then sign books at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 at Valley Bookseller.
• "In Caddis Wood," by Mary François Rockcastle, will be published in September by Graywolf Press. Rockcastle is a dean at Hamline University, an editor of Water-Stone Review, and author of a previous novel, "Rainy Lake."
• "The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn and the Pitching Duel of the Century," has been published by Triumph Books. Its author, Jim Kaplan, is a former sportswriter for the old Minneapolis Star.
• "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?" by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont, has been published by Perigree. It looks at long-gone icons of the 1970s and '80s . Cooper was a longtime Minnesotan, now in Seattle, and Bellmont lives in the Twin Cities. They'll be at Barnes & Noble HarMar Mall in Roseville at 7 p.m. June 9, and at Barnes & Noble Mall of America at noon June 11.