The summer-fall season of Club Book features lots of local writers, as well as a couple of big names from elsewhere. Pultizer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson will talk about her best-selling nonfiction book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” and the beloved Alexander McCall Smith, whose last planned visit here was canceled due to volcanic ash (remember that? when planes in Europe were grounded?) will talk about the latest installment in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series.
(And here's the interview we did with him at the time--it was April 2010.)
Also in the lineup are local writers Brenda Child, Mark Rosen, Larry Millett, Jonathan Odell, David Walsh, and the lead singer of the Decembrists, Colin Meloy and his wife, Carson Ellis.
Here’s the schedule:
Millett, "The Magic Bullet": 7 p.m. June 11, Shakopee Library
Smith, "The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection": 7 p.m. June 19, Central Park Amphitheater, Woodbury
Wilkerson "The Warmth of Other Suns": 7 p.m. June 26, Galaxie Library, Apple Valley, and 7 p.m. June 27, Brookdale Library, Brooklyn Center.
Rosen, "Best Seat in the House": 1 p.m. Aug. 4, Chanhassen Public Library
Odell, "The Healing": 2 p.m. Aug. 18, Rum River Library, Anoka
Child "Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community": 7 p.m. Sept. 12, Highland Park Library, St. Pau
Meloy and Ellis, "Under Wildwood": 7 p.m. Oct. 2, Roseville Library
Walsh "Why Do They Act That Way?" and "Your Teen and No": 7 p.m. Oct. 18, Mraz Performing Arts Center, Burnsville, and 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Southdale Library, Edina.
Club Book is a free author series of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency. You can find more information at www.clubbook.org
(Good luck to all of them. And good luck to the two in the art/photography category, where the odds are a little better.)
The NEMBA is a joint venture of the UMD Library, Friends of the Duluth Public Library and Lake Superior Writers. The ceremony will be May 17 in Duluth. Thriller writer Brian Freeman will be the keynote, and, as always, poet Barton Sutter will be the charming emcee. Winners will receive $200 and a truly lovely glass plaque.
Here are the nominees:
• BlizzardBall, Dennis Kelly, North Star Press of St. Cloud
• Dead Ahead: A Jo Spence Mystery, Jen Wright, Clover Valley Press
• A Long-Forgotten Truth, Rachel Ballard, Rozlyn Press
• Telegram: A Wartime Novel about Peace, L. Douglas Hoffmann, A-Argus Better Book Publishers
• Where Echoes Die, Pam Leonard, North Star Press of St. Cloud
• Where Memories Dream: Campfire Stories for the Boundary Waters, Steven Coz, Savage Press
• The Winds of Change: A Family's Journey to a Future of Promise, Duane Schwartz, A-Argus Better Book Publishers
• Birdland, Kathy McTavish, Wildwood River Press
• Cloud Birds, Sheila Packa, Wildwood River Press
• East of Nowhere, Larry Christianson, North Star Press of St. Cloud
• Fog & Woodsmoke: Behind the Image, Stephani Schaefer, Lost Hills Books
• Marrow, Muscle, Flight, Gary Boelhower, Wildwood River Press
• Migrations: Poetry and Prose for Life's Transitions, Sheila Packa, ed., Wildwood River Press
• Tumbled Dry, Charmaine Donovan, Lost Hills Books
• Agates of Lake Superior: Stunning Varieties and How They Are Formed, Dan R. Lynch and Bob Lynch, Adventure Publications
• Ancient Earth and the First Ancestors: A Cultural and Geological Journey, Ron Morton and Carl Gawboy, illustrations by Carl Gawboy, Rockflower Press
• And the Snow Came Up to Here: Schools of Carlton County, Minnesota, Nancy C. Hanson, published by author with the assistance of Dovetailed Press
• Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez, Jim Northrup, Minnesota Historical Society Press
• A Boundary Waters History: Canoeing Across Time, Stephen Wilbers, The History Press
• Campfires and Loon Calls: Travels in the Boundary Waters, Jerry Apps, photography by Steve Apps, Fulcrum Publishing
• Cooking in Canoe Country, Robert Black with Susan Peterson, Carmen Black, and Maja Black, Nodin Press
• Dorothy Molter: The Root Beer Lady, Sarah Guy-Levar and Terri Schocke, Adventure Publications
• Ezhichigeyang: Ojibwe Word List, Nancy Jones, Gordon Jourdain, and Rose Tainter, edited by Anton Treuer and Keller Paap, Waadookodaading Ojibwe Immersion Charter School
• Faces and Places II...A Second Look: A Cook County Historical Album 1930-1960, Pat Zankman, 2nd edition editor; co-edited by M.J. Humphrey, Adolph A. Toftey, and Willis H. Raff, Cook County Historical Society
• Hiking the North Shore: 50 Fabulous Day Hikes in Minnesota's Spectacular Lake Superior Region, Andrew Slade, There and Back Books
• Minnesota Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Dan R. Lynch and Bob Lynch, Adventure Publications
• The Oranges Are Sweet: Major Don M. Beerbower and the 353rd Fighter Squadron, November 1942 to August 1944, Paul M. Sailer, Loden Books
• Staycation in Minnesota: Up North, Patricia Overson, North Star Press of St. Cloud
• Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager, Brett Laidlaw, Minnesota Historical Society Press
• Twelve Owls, Laura Erickson, with illustrations by Betsy Bowen, University of Minnesota Press
• 20 Great BWCA Trips: Exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Van Jordahl and Gerald Strom, Adventure Publications
MEMOIR AND CREATIVE NONFICTION
• Hauling Water: Reflections on Making a Home in the North Woods, Becca Brin Manlove, illustrated by Sharon Brin Hathaway, Raven Productions
• Shelter, Sarah Stonich, Borealis Books, Minnesota Historical Society Press
• Spirit of the Lights, Chuck Frederick, Lake Superior Port Cities
• A View of the Lake: Living the Dream on Lake Superior, Beryl Singleton Bissell, Lake Superior Port Cities
• Whitey: From Farm Kid to Flying Tiger to Attorney, Wayne G. Johnson, Langdon Street Press
• Around a Woodsy Corner, Marcy Bolinger, illustrated by Rhonda Weitzel, Gunflint Trail Productions
• Birds in Our Backyard: Say Hello to Minnesota's Feathered Friends, text by Adele Porter, photography by Bill Marchel, Minnesota Historical Society Press
• Buddy's Adventures: Lost Bone, Michael J. Perkins, 10,000 Lakes Art
• Frog in the House, David Mather, illustrated by Stephanie Mirocha, Raven Productions
• Little Minnesota, Kathy-jo Wargin, Sleeping Bear Press
• Oh Mighty Mississippi, Melissa Vocelka, illustrated by Amy Larson, North Star Press of St. Cloud
• Tales of Lake Superior: A Grandmother's Stories of the North, Juliet Beatrice Lind, illustrated by Joan Henrik, Joan Henrik Design
• Unforgettable, Loretta Ellsworth, Walker & Co.
• Utterly Otterly Night, Mary Casanova, pictures by Ard Hoyt, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
• Old Minnesota, Nace Hagemann, Gunflint Trail Productions
• Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota's National Park, photography by Don Breneman and weather commentary by Mark Seeley, Afton Press
Novelist Richard Ford, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, will be in Minneapolis in late May to read from his new novel, "Canada," as part of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library Talk of the Stacks program.
In June, photographer Michael Childers will discuss his exhibit, "Author, Author," a collection of more than 50 portraits of writers. The exhibit will be on display in th Minneapolis Central Library's Cargill Gallery from June 26 to Aug. 18.
And in July, Esmeralda Santiago will read from her newest novel, "Conquistadora."
All programs are held at the Minneapolis Central Library on Nicollet Mall and are free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:15 and programs begin at 7 p.m. Here's the schedule:
Richard Ford, 7 p.m., May 29
Michael Childers, 7 p.m., June 26,.
Esmeralda Santiago, July 12.
There is probably nothing that brings us instantly back to childhood quicker than recalling a beloved book. Not the fragrance of chocolate chip cookies baking, not the tinny sound of a favorite lullabye plunked out on a toy piano (remember toy pianos?), not even the softness of an old quilt. It's books, those beloved stories we heard at bedtime, those favorite novels we sank into, that bring us back.
So you know that when Parent and Child magazine came up with its list of the 100 greatest kid books, they were going to be treading on sacred ground, playing with our emotions, stirring up trouble.
To begin with, it is not a bad list. E.B. White's "Charlotte's Web" is No. 1, and there is no arguing with that. But it is a peculiar list, in that picture books and early reader books and young adult novels are all mixed up together. Any list that has "Frog and Toad Are Friends" (a fine book, truly) next to "The Hunger Games" is going to be a list that is trying too hard. You can't be all things to all children.
I'll paste in the list below, but I'm interested in what you think is missing. Where, for example, is Mercy Watson? Or Bink and Gollie? Or Winn-Dixie? Or any Kate Di Camillo?
Where is "Little Women"? (Or any Louisa May Alcott?) Where is "Blue Willow"? "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"? 'Misty of Chincoteague"? "Greensleeves" (which I continue to read again and again). "Witch of the Glens" (or any Sally Watson)? "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day"? "Mary Poppins"? Any of the "Shoe" books? "The Borrowers"?
"Twenty-One Balloons"? "The Call of the Wild"? "Black Beauty"? Stop me; I'm being transported to 1965.
Help me out. Scan the list and add your favorites.
1. Charlotte's Web
2. Goodnight, Moon
3. A Wrinkle in Time
4. The Snowy Day
5. Where the Wild Things Are
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
7. Green Eggs and Ham
8. The Diary of a Young Girl
9. The Giving Tree
10. Frog and Toad are Friends
11. Anne of Green Gables
12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
14. The Wind in the Willows
15. The Dot
16. Tuck Everlasting
17. Pat the Bunny
18. When Marian Sang
19. Knuffle Bunny
20. Where the Sidewalk Ends
21. Bud, Not Buddy
23. The Phanton Tollbooth
24. The Little Engine that Could
25. The Giver
26. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
27. Black on White
28. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
29. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
30. My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
31. The Mitten
32. The Runaway Bunny
33. The Hunger Games
35. Freight Train
36. The Secret Garden
37. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
38. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
39. Zen Shorts
40. Moo, Baa, La La La!
42. What Do People Do All Day?
43. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
44. Good Night, Gorilla
45. The Composition
46. Not a Box
47. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
49. Martin's Big Words
50. Sarah, Plain and Tall
51. Sylvia Long's Mother Goose
52. The Lightning Thief
53. The House at Pooh Corner
54. Through My Eyes
56. Living Sunlight
57 The Bad Begining
58. Harvesting Hope
59. Dear June
60. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
61.The Lion & the Mouse
62. Diary of a Worm
63. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
64. My Truck is Stuck!
66. The Maze of Bones
67. Esperanza Rising
68. Counting Kisses
69. The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
71. Bridge to Terabithia
72. Are You My Mother?
73. Tea With Milk
74. Owl Moon
77. Hi! Fly Guy
78. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
79. Llama Llama Red Pajama
80. What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?
81. Lincoln-A Photobiography
82. Ivy + Bean
84. No No Yes yes
85. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
86. Interrupting Chicken
88. Grumpy Bird
89. An Egg is Quiet
90. Puss in Boots
91. Team Moon
92. What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby?
93. We the Kids
94. I Took the Moon for a Walk
95. A Single Shard
97. The Adventures of Captain Underpants
98. First Words
99. Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices
Is the scene in "Persuasion" when Capt. Wentworth leaves the love note for Anne Elliot the most romantic love scene ever written? (Oh, to get a letter that says, "You pierce my soul!")
Or maybe the tragic, true story of Abelard and Heloise is the most romantic book ever. The version I read, back in high school, was one I discovered in the stacks of the Duluth Public Library. It was written by George Moore, and the Duluth library had a first edition from 1921--bound in black leather, with yellowed, deckle-edge pages,.
The dialogue was not set off by quotation marks, but flowed through the text in what seemed to me to be a very poetic manner. I devoured that book, weeping a little, wishing, perhaps, just a little, that I, too, could be seduced by my teacher, who would then be castrated, and I would then flee into a nunnery where we would write passionate letters to each other for the rest of our lives.
It seemed, at age 16, to be the perfect relationship.
(And oh, the books you can find in your library!)
And of course there's Catherine and Heathcliff, though they left me colder than they did my friends. And that moment in "These Happy Golden Years" when Laura and Almanzo get engaged, and she offers her cheek to him and says, primly, "You may kiss me." It doesn't take much; it's all about timing and context and, of course, the way the author builds to that moment.
What are your favorites? Your most romantic books, or stories, or scenes? It's Valentine's Day. Let's get those hearts a-pumping.
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