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Posts about Book news

Michael Connelly added to Talking Volumes season

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: September 25, 2013 - 4:35 PM

Crime writer Michael Connelly is coming to town Dec. 3.

Michael Connelly, author of "The Lincoln Lawyer" and many other best-selling crime novels, has been added to the Talking Volumes live book-club season. He will be at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul to talk about "The Gods of Guilt," his 26th novel and the fifth to feature his second most-recurring lead character, defense attorney Mickey Haller. This time around, Haller's on the case when a former client is murdered.

Minnesota is one of just four U.S. states Connelly will visit on his tour. He'll also be appearing in New York, California, Arizona and six cities in the UK.

"The Gods of Guilt" comes out Nov. 21. Read the first two chapters here: http://www.startribune.com/a2500

Advance $23 tickets go on sale Oct. 1 at noon (for Star Tribune subscribers and members of MPR and The Loft). General-public $25 tickets go on sale Oct. 8 at noon. http://fitzgerald theater.publicradio.org

Vince Flynn's last book postponed indefinitely

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: July 25, 2013 - 10:42 AM




Vince Flynn was working on a 14th Mitch Rapp novel when he died in June.      Star Tribune photo by Jim Gehrz.

Vince Flynn, the author of the best-selling Mitch Rapp political thrillers, was working on the 14th installment in the series, titled "The Survivor," when he died of cancer in June. The book was to have been released in October.

His publisher, SImon & Schuster, has released a statement saying that the St. Paul native's book is "postponed indefinitely" because it is "too soon to know" how much he had completed.

Ordinarily Vince's editor, Emily Bestler, would have been in constant communication with him about the book, but during his last six months, Flynn's health was the only priority, said Simon & Schuster spokesman David Brown: "We know Vince was working, we just don't know yet what he was able to accomplish. It's just a matter of waiting for an appropriate time to sit down with his family and discuss everything. Right now we're still mourning the loss."

The implication of the statement seems to be that if it is determined there is enough material to publish the book posthumously, another writer or editor may be called in to finish it. Otherwise, it will likely be cancelled.

The same holds true for a collaboration Flynn was working on with writer Brian Haig, the statement said, though that book is still available for pre-order.

Read Flynn's Star Tribune obituary here 

Walt Bachman book tells life of man alleged to have killed his ancestor

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: April 4, 2013 - 11:12 AM


Walt Bachman, well known in Minnesota as a lawyer, former chief deputy Hennepin County attorney and a member of the family behind Bachman’s garden stores, was back in the Twin Cities this week to launch his new book. 

Bachman, pictured, who lives in New York, has written “Northern Slave, Black Dakota” (Pond Dakota Press, $24.95), a biography of Joseph Godfrey, a fascinating and little-known figure in Minnesota history.

Bachman spoke and signed books Wednesday at the Bachman’s store on Lyndale Avenue South, where the crowd included a dozen Bachman family members as well as about 10 ancestors of Godfrey, who was born in the 1830s in Minnesota, the son of a black slave woman. Godfrey, himself a slave until he ran away from his owner, later married a Dakota woman and lived much of his life with the Dakota people.

Walt Bachman’s great-great grandfather, Ernst Dietrich, was among those killed in August 1862 at the outset of the Dakota War in an attack by a party of Dakota Indians that included Godfrey.

The incident in his family history led Bachman to spend more than six years researching and writing about Godfrey and about the often-ignored fact that slavery was present in Minnesota in the decades leading up to statehood, despite its being unlawful in the territory under terms of the 1820 Missouri Compromise.

“Northern Slave, Black Dakota” is a painstakingly researched and tautly written account that pieces together from scant records the early years of Godfrey, who became much better known to the history books after his imprisonment and trial for killings during the Dakota War. 

Sentenced to hang, Godfrey’s death sentence was among a very few that were commuted by President Abraham Lincoln. Released after several years in prison, Godfrey found his way to an Indian reservation in Nebraska, where he lived a long life, dying in 1909. 

It may seem odd for someone to write the biography of a man who was alleged to have killed his ancestor on a day that is known for a pitiless bloody massacre of whites by Indians in and around what was then Milford, Minnesota. But, said Bachman, he became convinced that Godfrey, while not blameless, has been “unfairly maligned by history,” a wrong he sought to correct. “Northern Slave, Black Dakota” does that with clarity and commitment. The book should compel the interest of all who are interested in 19th-century Minnesota history.

Also see the Star Tribune's recent series about the Dakota War, "In the Footsteps of Little Crow," by Curt Brown.


Joseph Godfrey, pictured on the book cover of "Northern Slave, Black Dakota," by Walt Bachman, was born a slave in Minnesota and lived the first half of his life here.

Local authors tops in library reads

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 4, 2013 - 11:21 AM

Looks like people who frequent Hennepin County libraries are loyal to the locals: The top three books checked out in 2012 were, in order: “Kill Shot: An American Assassin Thriller” by Vince Flynn, “Stolen Prey” by John Sandford, and “Shock Wave,” also by Sandford. So there, “Fifty Shades of Grey” (no. 7).

In the top-25 list, Sandford scored a third title, “Buried Prey,” at no. 19. William Kent Krueger of St. Paul also made the list with “Northwest Angle” at no. 20.

Author John Sandford has three titles in Hennepin County libraries'  top-25 list for 2012. Photo by Stormi Greener

Dancer creates book on north Minneapolis tornado

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: January 22, 2013 - 8:05 AM


POSTED BY CAROLINE PALMER -- Special to the Star Tribune

On May 22, 2011 a tornado tore through north Minneapolis, demolishing homes, scattering belongings and changing the lives of all who were affected in an area that had already seen more than its fair share of challenges. While many of the stories of that day and its aftermath have been told through the media, there is still more to know about what happened – and what came next – for those in the storm’s path.

Choreographer Stuart Pimsler, who lives near the edge of the destruction (his house escaped damage) said by phone that it “was incredible to see how the neighborhood was visibly changed, there were mature old trees ripped out of the ground, every roof had a blue tarp on it. Some stayed on houses for over a year.” He talked with the members of his company, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT), about creating a project in response. The result is a book, “Temporary Shelter: Tales from the Minneapolis Tornado,” which will be released this Saturday, January 26 at 3 p.m. during a free event at the Capri Theater.

Pimsler’s impulse was natural given SPDT’s “Community Connections” program. Over its 34-year history the troupe has developed a “parallel track” to its performance work, he said, involving “different populations and different subject matter inquiries” in workshops and related activities. While much of this work never goes onstage, it often involves opportunities for individuals to express themselves in ways they might not have before. Health care providers and educators, for example, have been among the program’s participants.

The idea for a book about the tornado and its impact came from the desire to “create a permanent record,” said the choreographer, who was joined in the effort by photographer V. Paul Virtucio. Pimsler started by reaching out to local nonprofits like the North Point Health and Wellness Center, Northside YMCA, the Urban League, Urban Homeworks and Pillsbury United. After talking with staff he received referrals to clients. “By the time we were all done we had talked to in excess of 100 people in the neighborhood and more than 30 organizations,” said Pimsler. Homeowners, renters, small business owners, a landlord, recovery helpers – many voices were heard.

As to be expected, there were a variety of perspectives. Some people had positive experiences with the recovery and received the help they needed to get back on their feet; others felt abandoned by the government, insurance companies and landlords. But instead of bringing a particular political bent to the project, said Pimsler, “We soon found out that everybody had really different experiences. It was really important to be hands-off on having an agenda, to let the cross-section of humanity have time to speak and to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.”

For Saturday’s event at the Capri, Pimsler has asked each SPDT member “to select a person whose story they were drawn to and to do an homage to that story. So everybody will be doing a solo.” In addition to the performance there will be a buffet meal.

The following weekend, February 2 at 7 p.m., marks the opening of “Art in the Everyday: Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater Retrospective,” an exhibition at the Anita Sue Kolman Gallery of “artifacts” from the company’s history including sets, costumes and other design elements. The exhibit will include the work of the late Ronald Aiji Kajiwara, a former design director for Vogue magazine who collaborated with SPDT during its early years. Opening night will include interactive performances and a discussion with Pimsler and Artistic Co-Director Suzanne Costello. The show will run through March 5.

As if a book release and exhibition were not enough to keep SPDT busy in the coming weeks, the troupe will also perform a world premiere, “Walking, Singing and Other Habits,” and two repertory works at the Cowles Center February 15-17.


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