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.

American Swedish Institute to host discussion of Nordic Noir

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Book news, Graywolf Press Updated: June 25, 2014 - 3:31 PM

Jean Hanslin, the American Swedish Institute's book discussion leader (and a Swedish language instructor) will host a conversation in July on "Before I Burn," the Scandinavian crime novel by Gaute Heivoll and published this year by Graywolf Press.

Heivoll's book won Norway's Brage Prize, an annual prize that is considered to be the country's most significant literary award.

Participants in the July discussion are asked to read the book in advance. Coffee and treats will be provided. Register before July 13 online or by calling 612-871-4907. Cost is $20. The discussion will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday July 20 at the Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis.

Hamline announces YA reading series

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Author events, Book news, Readings Updated: June 24, 2014 - 3:19 PM

Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu

As part of its Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults summer residency, Hamline University will host a ten-day reading series in July, featuring notable writers of books for children. Authors include Twin Cities writer Anne Ursu, whose latest book ("The Real Boy")  was on the long list for the National Book Award; Gene Yuen Lang, whose "Boxers and Saints" was a finalist for the award, and many others. The keynote address, which will take place at graduation, will be by author and illustrator Vera B. Williams, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award.

The series runs from July 11 through July 20 and is free and open to the public. All events will be in Room 110E of the Giddens Learning Center on the Hamline Campus, except for the keynote address, which will be in the Anne Simley Theater of the Drew Fine Arts Center.

Here's the schedule:

Ron Koertge, Marsha Qualey, Laura RubyFriday, July 11, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Clare Vanderpool: Saturday, July 12, 3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Gary Schmidt, Jane Resh Thomas, Marsha Chall: Sunday, July 13, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Gene Luen Yang, Anne Ursu, Phyllis Root: Monday, July 14, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Swati Avasthi, Claire Rudolf Murphy, Jackie Briggs MartinTuesday, July 15, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Ricki Thompson, Alicia Williams, Melinda Cordell: Wednesday, July 16, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Sara Kvois, Mike Petry, Katie Knutson: Thursday, July 17, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Maria Macioce, Araceli EsparzaSaturday, July 19, 6:45 – 8 p.m.

Vera Williams: Sunday, July 20, 3:30-4:30 p.m.,Drew Fine Arts Center, Anne Simley Theatre.

More award (nominations) for William Kent Krueger

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Book awards, Local authors Updated: June 24, 2014 - 10:46 AM

William Kent Krueger's 2013 novel, "Ordinary Grace," was a departure for him. A coming of age story set in a small Minnesota town in the1960s, it was centered on a mysterious death, but there was no Cork O'Connor to come to the rescue. Just the gentle storytelling of the protagonist.

The book has gone on to be his most honored novel yet, winning the Edgar Award for best novel, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for best fiction, the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Dilys Award, and the Left Coast Crime "Squid" award for best mystery set within the United States. (Yes, they have awards for everything.) It's made the short list for at least three others.

Now it's on the short list for the Mystery Readers International Macavity Awards, up against such heavyweights as last year's winner, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, and Thomas H. Cook. The winner will be announced in November.

Here's the full list:

Best Mystery Novel

Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook (Mysterious Press)

Dead Lions by Mick Herron (Soho Crime)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books)

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (Penguin Books)

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin (Reagan Arthur Books)

Best First Mystery 

Yesterday’s Echo by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing)

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (Minotaur Books)

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Ballantine Books)

Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (Faber & Faber)

A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books)

Best Mystery Short Story 

“The Terminal” by Reed Farrel Coleman (Kwik Krimes, edited by Otto Penzler; Thomas & Mercer)

“The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” by John Connolly (Bibliomysteries: Short Tales about Deadly Books, edited by Otto Penzler; Bookspan)

“The Dragon’s Tail” by Martin Limon (Nightmare Range: The Collected Sueno and Bascom Short Stories, Soho Books)

“The Hindi Houdini” by Gigi Pandian (Fish Nets: The Second Guppy Anthology, edited by Ramona DeFelice Long; Wildside Press)

“Incident on the 405” by Travis Richardson (The Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble, edited by Clare Toohey; Macmillan)  

“The Care and Feeding of Houseplants” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013)

Best Nonfiction

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo (William Morrow)

Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard by Charles J. Rzepka (Johns Hopkins University Press)

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award  A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)

Saving Lincoln by Robert Kresge (ABQ Press)

Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)

Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell (Little, Brown)

Ratlines by Stuart Neville (Soho Crime) 

Journalist held prisoner 460 days in Somalia coming to the Loft

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Author events, Book news Updated: June 19, 2014 - 1:10 PM

Amanda Lindhout

Amanda Lindhout

As a girl, Amanda Lindhout had always wanted to see the world, and at age 27 she found herself in Baghdad, filing news reports for a couple of American networks and writing for her hometown paper in Canada. She headed for Somalia, where she hoped to do a month's worth of reporting, but on her fourth day she and the photographer she was traveling with were kidnapped by insurgents.

They were held 460 days, freed only after their families managed to raise $600,000 through fund-raisers, borrowing, donations, and other means. Lindhout (with New York Times magazine writer Sara Corbett) wrote a book about the experience, "A House in the Sky," newly out in paperback. (Here's a link to the Strib review.) 

While still a captive, Lindhout decided that if she was ever freed, she would work to help bring education and development to Somalia. She has since established the nonprofit Global Enrichment Foundation, which works with people in Somalia and Kenya. 

Lindhout will be in the Twin Cities at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 24) at Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls., at an event co-sponsored by the American Refugee Committee, the Loft, and Magers & Quinn.

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