Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Posts about Libraries

Cheryl Strayed, Arthur Phillips headline next season of Club Book

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: December 27, 2012 - 11:13 AM

 

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed

 

Over the next five months, Club Book will bring eight writers to metro libraries, including New York Times best-selling authors Cheryl Strayed, John Sandford, Arthur Phillips and Pam Houston.

Club Book is a program of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, funded in part through Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. All events are free and open to the public.

Here’s the lineup:

Pam Houston: 7 p.m. Feb. 5, Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood. Houston, author of “Cowboys Are My Weakness” and “Waltzing the Cat,” is a novelist, essayist, editor and teacher. Her new novel is “Contents May Have Shifted.”

Lorna Landvik: 7 p.m. Feb. 28, Prior Lake Library, 16210 Eagle Creek Av., Prior Lake, and 2 p.m. April 21, Chanhassen Library, 7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen. Landvik, who lives in the Twin Cities, is the best-selling author of “Patty Jane’s House of Curl,” “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” and other novels.

Li-Young Lee: 7 p.m. March 18, St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Av., St. Paul. Li-Young Lee is a poet and memoirist, the author of “Behind My Eyes” and “The City in Which I Love You,” winner of the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection. His memoir, “The Winged Seed,” won an American Book Award.

Cheryl Strayed: 7 p.m. March 19, Central Park Amphitheater, 8595 Central Park Pl., Woodbury, and 7 p.m. March 20, Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley. Strayed, who grew up near McGregor, Minn., and attended the University of Minnesota, is the author of “Wild,” a memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The book was an Oprah Book Club 2.0 selection and has been optioned for film. She is also the author of “Tiny Beautiful Things” and “Torch.”

Arthur Phillips: 7 p.m. April 18, Stillwater Public Library, 224 3rd St. N., Stillwater. Phillips was born in Minneapolis and is the author of five novels, including “Egyptologist,” “Prague” and “The Song Is You.” His most recent novel is “The Tragedy of Arthur,” about the supposed discovery of a lost Shakespeare play.

Brenda Langton: 7 p.m. April 24, Hennepin County Library-Southdale, 7001 York Av. S., Edina. Restaurateur Langton established and ran Cafe Kardamena and Cafe Brenda and now operates Spoonriver, all specializing in local and organic cuisine. Langton is the author of “The Spoonriver Cookbook,” and has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation’s annual cookbook awards.

John Sandford: 7 p.m. May 8, Rum River Library, 4201 6th Av., Anoka. As a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, John Camp (pen name: John Sandford) won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories about a farm in crisis. Now a fiction writer, he is the author of the “Prey” series and the series featuring Virgil Flowers. His newest book is “Silken Prey.”

Benjamin Percy: 7 p.m. May 29, Hennepin County Library-Southdale, 7001 York Av. S., Edina. Percy is a novelist and essayist, author of “The Wilding” and, forthcoming in May, “Red Moon,” as well as two collections of short stories, “Refresh, Refresh” and “The Language of Elk.” He is a regular contributor to Esquire and is writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

 

Nordic mystery writer Jo Nesbo coming to town

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: October 12, 2012 - 2:17 PM

 

Jo Nesbo.

Jo Nesbo.

 

His Norwegian crime novels have astounded and entertained millions of readers across the world, translated into 40 languages and hitting best-seller lists. Jo Nesbo will be in St. Paul later this month, at an event co-sponsored by Micawber's Books and Friends of the St. Paul Library.

He'll read from "Phantom," his latst Henry Hole thriller, at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como Ave.

Nesbo is the author of more than a dozen novels, including "The Snowman" and "The Leopard." Detective Henry Hole, one of his most popular characters, is an Oslo detective with a drinking problem who fights not just criminals, but his own personal demons.

Nesbo is also an economist and a musician, so who knows what he'll do in St. Paul, exactly? Sing? Read? Help you with your taxes?

Here's Nesbo at Book Expo America earlier this year:

 

From alt-indie-rock-star to children's author

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 12, 2012 - 4:58 PM

 

Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis.

Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis.

 One of the great things about Club Book is the fact that they bring in such a wide variety of writers. Well, there are other great things--the fact that it's free, for instance, and the fact that its whole reason for being is to bring authors to far-flung places where people actually live (Apple Valley! Stillwater! Brooklyn Center!) instead of making everybody drive to downtown Minneapolis of St. Paul.

But the variety of authors is also admirable.  In the past there years they've brought in novelist Gish Jen and storyteller Kevin Kling; memoirist Elizabeth Gilbert and novelist Stuart O'Nan; uber-librarian Nancy Pearl and author (and uber-Twitterer) Colson Whitehead.

Next month, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis will present their new book at the Roseville Public Library as part of Club Book. Not exactly household names? They should be. They will be. They are going to be on the Simpsons in December! But you get to see them first. (Their Club Book appearance is at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Av. That's the cool refurbished library with the Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop attached.)

Meloy is the lead singer of the indie folk band The Decemberists, a Portland, Ore., band that has been around since 2001. His new book, "Under Wildwood," pubs later this month from Harper Collins and is the second in the Wildwood Chronicles, a fantasy series for young adults which takes place in the mythical and dangerous Impassible Wilderness outside of Portland.

 

Talk of the Stacks lineup for fall/winter announced

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: July 30, 2012 - 11:23 AM

Calvin Trillin. Staff photo by Joel Koyama.

Calvin Trillin. Staff photo by Joel Koyama.

It's excellent to see Calvin Trillin's name among the list of this fall's Talk of the Stacks guests. He had been set to come last season, but health problems forced him to postpone. Now, he is scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Dec. 6 to talk about his new book, "Dogfight: An Occasionally Interrupted Narrative Poem About the Presidential Campaign," and to launch the paperback edition of "Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of His Funny Stuff."

Here's a link to the interview we did with him last September.

The other Talk of the Stacks authors coming this fall are just as venerable:

On Sept. 21, Michael Chabon, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, will discuss his latest novel, "Telegraph Avenue." Chabon is the author of "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and Wonder Boys," among other books.

On Oct. 4, Naomi Wolf will talk about her new book, "Vagina: A New Biography." Wolf is a social critic, political activist and author, perhaps best known for her best-selling book, "The Beauty Myth."

And on Nov. 17, Geoff Dyer will be in conversation with Graywolf Press publisher Fiona McCrae, discussing "Otherwise Known as the Human Condition."  Here is a link to our review of the book, which came out last year and which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

And just for fun, here's a link to a review of Dyer's more recent book, "Zona," a meditation (with digressions) on the 1979 film "Stalker."
 

All Talk of the Stack events are free and open to the public and held at the Minneapolis Central Public Library on the Nicollet Mall. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.; events begin at 7 p.m. and are followed by book-signings.

 

 

First annual Andrew Carnegie Medals announced

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: June 26, 2012 - 10:32 AM

Anne Enright

Anne Enright

Robert K. Massie's splended biography of Catherine the Great and Irish writer Anne Enright's novel "The Forgotten Waltz" were honored this week by the American Library Association. The first annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The ALA also sponsors the annual Youth Media Awards, which includes the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

"Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman," by Massie, was also a 2011 Booklist editors' choice and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Our reviewer called the book both "vivd and sly." Read the review here.

Enright won the Booker Prize for an earlier book, "The Gathering." About "The Forgotten Waltz," our reviewer said it is subtle and suggestive. Read the review here.

Enright and Massie will each receive $5,000. The finalists -- Jame Gleick's "A History, a Theory, a Flood"; Manning Marable's "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention"; Russell Banks' "Lost Memory of Skin"; and Karen Russell's "Swamplandia!"--will each receive $1,500.

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