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By Sarah Stonich (University of Minnesota Press, $16.95)
There is such joy in reading this novel by Minneapolis writer Sarah Stonich. The chapters — individual stories — are linked by geography: a decrepit and mostly deserted mom-and-pop resort Up North that once was the site of tragedy and passion.
This book is funny and poignant, the characters are distinct but recognizable, and Stonich grabs you right out of the chute with her first story, which involves a severed hand. There is no way you can stop reading after that.
“Potluck Supper With Meeting to Follow”
By Andy Sturdevant (Coffee House Press, $22)
Andy Sturdevant moved to Minneapolis in 2005 and apparently set out to learn everything there was to learn about the city — the contents of the photo archives at the Central Library; the alleys, which need names; the history; the divey bars and their neon signs; random flagpoles and their flags. This collection of essays is about all of those things, and, of course, much more, all steeped in Sturdevant’s intelligent, interesting and distinct voice.
Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune’s books editor. On Twitter: @StribBooks