'Minnesota Mayhem' reveals the state's dark past.
"Minnesota Mayhem" is a compendium of tragedies and near-tragedies, murders, accidents, fires, blizzards and all kinds of other unfortunate incidents, compiled by Ben Welter, news copy chief at the Star Tribune, and author of the "Yesterday's News" blog.
The pieces in his book have been culled from the pages of the old Minneapolis Tribune, Minneapolis Star and St. Paul Daily News, and they are both grim and entertaining: Frank Lloyd Wright was arrested at Lake Minnetonka for being with a woman other than his wife. A thousand people died in a northern Minnesota forest fire. St. Paul's first traffic fatality was a little girl. Minnesota's last execution took a gruesome 14 minutes.
Welter has several readings planned: 7 p.m. Wednesday, SubText Bookstore, 165 Western Av. N., St. Paul; 4:30 p.m. Friday, Barnes & Noble, Mankato; 1 p.m. July 22, a reading and wine tasting, at Parley Lake Winery, 8350 Parley Lake Road, Waconia; and 7 p.m. July 24, the Bookcase, 607 E. Lake St., Wayzata.
• "Grim," a young adult novel by Anna Waggener, the winner of the 2008 Scholastic Books' art and writing award, has been published by Scholastic Books. Waggener grew up in Thailand and studies at Macalester College in St. Paul.
• "Y," a new collection by Leslie Adrienne Miller, will be published in September by Graywolf Press of Minneapolis. Miller is the author of five collections of poetry. She teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
• Steve Aschburner, former staff writer for the Star Tribune, has written a biography of Twins great Harmon Killebrew. "Harmon Killebrew: Ultimate Slugger" has been published by Triumph Books with a foreword by Jim Thome. Aschburner now writes for NBA.com and lives in Chicago.
• "Summer of the Wolves," a young-adult novel by Polly Carlson-Voiles, has been published by Houghton Mifflin. Carlson-Voiles is a former special education teacher in the Twin Cities. She lives in Ely, Minn.
• "Yankee Doodles: A Memorable Year in America," by Dennis Kennedy, is a memoir of the author's year as a World Press Institute fellow at Macalester College in St. Paul. Kennedy lives in Northern Ireland and his book was published by Ormeau Books in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
• "Horse Camp," by Nicole Helget and Nate LeBoutillier, has been published by Egmont Publishing. Helget is the author of "The Turtle Catcher," a novel, and "The Summer of Ordinary Ways," a memoir. She and LeBoutillier, her husband, live in Mankato. They will be featured authors during this fall's Good Thunder writing series at Minnesota State University, Mankato.