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.

Novelist Lorna Landvik, mystery writer J.A. Jance, booked for Talk of the Stacks

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Author events, Talk of the Stacks Updated: July 1, 2014 - 3:15 PM
Lorna Landvik. Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

Lorna Landvik. Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

The Friends of the Hennepin County Library has announced the fall season of Talk of the Stacks, the free literary series held at the Central Library on the Nicollet Mall. This season sees a mystery writer, a beloved local novelist, a psychologist, a foodie and a poet. Something for just about everything. Here's the lineup:

Aug 11:  J.A. Jance, the New York times best-selling mystery writer of more than 50 books. She'll discuss "Remains of Innocence," her latest Joanna Brady mystery.

Sept. 10: Lorna Landvik, a comic, playwright and the author of "Patty Jane's House of Curl," and other best-sellers, will discuss her newest novel, "Best to Laugh," the story of a Minnesota comedian in Hollywood.

Oct. 11: Dr. Steven Pinker (co-sponsored by Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Book Festival). Pinker is hte author of eight best-selling books and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Time, and the New Republic. He'll discuss his newest book, "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century."

Oct. 30: Dana Cowin, in conversation with Andrew Zimmern: Cowin is a food writer, the editor of Food & Wine, and a guest on the television show Top Chef. She and Zimmern will discuss her new cookbook, "Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen."

Nov. 18: Michael Bazzett in conversation with Kevin Prufer. Bazzett is the winner of Milkweed Edition's 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for poetry and the author of "The Unspoken Jokebook" and "The Imaginary City." He and Prufer -- the Lindquist & Vennum prize judge -- will discuss "You Must Remember This," Bazzett's prizewinning manuscript.

For all events, doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the event beings at 7, followed by book sales and signings.

Guardian Children's Prize longlist includes Kate DiCamillo

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Book awards, Book news, Local authors Updated: July 1, 2014 - 10:30 AM

Kate DiCamillo is just back from Las Vegas ("exhausted and overjoyed," she says on Facebook), where she was picking up the Newbery Medal that she won earlier in the year for "Flora & Ulysses," her funny, charming and poignant story about a girl, a squirrel and a vacuum cleaner. And she now finds herself on another longlist for yet another prize.

The Guardian of London has announced its longlist for The Guardian Children's Prize, a list that was described as being "challenging, funny, exciting, beautiful, thoughtful, bonkers," according to one of the judges, writer Gillian Cross.

DiCamillo's "Flora & Ulysses" is on the list, along with seven other books. Here's the list, with the UK publishers listed. (DiCamillo's US publisher is Candlewick.) The short list will be announced in August, and the winner will be annonced on Nov. 13.

"The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby: Flora in Love," by Natasha Farrant (Faber)

"Phoenix," by SF Said (David Fickling)

"Flora and Ulysses," by Kate DiCamillo (Walker)

"The Dark Wild," by Piers Torday (Quercus)

"Shine," by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling)

"We Were Liars," by E Lockhart (Hot Key Books)

"She Is Not Invisible," by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion)

"The Lost Gods," by Francesca Simon (Faber)

I don't want to jinx anyone, but wouldn't it be fun to have her report on Facebook in November that she is just back from London, exhausted and overjoyed?

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.

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