Staff Directory 10645026

Laurie Hertzel

Senior Editor | Books
Phone: 612-673-7302
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Laurie Hertzel has worked at the Star Tribune for more than two decades as an editor and writer. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Minnesota Monthly magazine and at the Duluth News-Tribune.


Hertzel grew up in Duluth, earned an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., has written two books, and currently serve as the autobiography chairman of the National Book Critics Circle board of directors.
Recent content from Laurie Hertzel
It was on a morning walk in November when an unleashed German shepherd ran up to Angus and began to bark and growl.

The Puppy Chronicles: An encounter with a German shepherd

When the big unleashed dog raced toward us, all I could do was shout.
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Readers share why they like to reread favorite books

You told us you reread all kinds of books ("The Great Gatsby" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are particular favorites) for all kinds of reasons.
The mountainous land of Ha Mampho village, Lesotho. Associated Press

Review: 'Everything Lost Is Found Again: Four Seasons in Lesotho,' by Will McGrath

NONFICTION: In this warm, sometimes funny memoir, a couple now living in Minnesota spend a year in Lesotho.
Sy Montgomery Photo by Nic Bishop

Review: 'How to Be a Good Creature," by Sy Montgomery

NONFICTION: In 13 appealing stories, this memoir by nature writer Sy Montgomery explores the importance of animals in her life.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is touring the country to promote her memoir, “Becoming.” The tour ends next month in New York City.

What we learned about 'Becoming' Michelle Obama in her revealing new memoir

NONFICTION: Michelle Obama traces path from strong-minded girl to powerful woman.
Your guide to nearly 60 books to give (and love) over the holidays

Your guide to nearly 60 books to give (and love) over the holidays

Our holiday books guide features picture books for kids, novels for teens, and biographies, histories, novels and story collections for all.
Avoid knucklebones such as this one is one of the pieces of advice we got for training young Angus.

The Puppy Chronicles: Advice and love for Angus from readers

Readers love their dogs — and they share that love with Angus. They also share tips and advice.
Photo by Laurie Hertzel

The Wicklow Way

A guided hike reveals some unseen treasures and teaches our correspondent how to travel like the Irish.
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Looking for books as stocking stuffers? Here are 9 ideas

Classic or quirky or oversized, these books make great gifts.
One month before his first birthday, Angus decided to destroy his dog bed. Does this look like a well-trained dog to you?

The Puppy Chronicles: As Angus turns a year old, he remains a work in progress

As Angus turns a year old, he's come a long way. But boy, oh boy, he has a long way to go.
One-third of all high school students do not read for pleasure. Fewer than 20 percent of high school students read every day.

Teens tell us about why they love to read – or don't

Adults told us how they'd get kids to read. Now we hear from the kids themselves, and they have a lot to say.
The north coast of Cornwall, England. ANDY HASLAM • New York Times

Review: 'The Day That Went Missing,' by Richard Beard

NONFICTION: In middle age, novelist Richard Beard began to plumb the facts of his little brother's drowning death.
Alexander McCall Smith

Novelist Alexander McCall Smith comes to Minnesota: 'I love writing people's conversations'

The prolific author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series doesn't need "a high body count."
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Your ideas on how to get teenagers to read

We asked you how to get teens to read. You sent memories, ideas and wise suggestions.
Angus and Rosie playing ball — and destroying it in the process.

The Puppy Chronicles: This dog needs a hobby

He doesn't swim, doesn't fetch, doesn't play well with strangers. How to burn off all this puppy energy?
The first thing we have to do when guests come over is make sure Angus is calm and not too close to the front door.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus had a bad habit of barking at our guests. And then he jumped on one.

Angus had developed a bad habit of barking when guests arrived. And then he jumped on one. We needed help.
Author Leif Enger at Park Point in Duluth.

'Lovely, forbidding' Lake Superior inspires Minnesota novelist Leif Enger

Leif Enger's lifelong loves gave wings to his third novel, but it almost never saw the light of day.
Kate DiCamillo 2016

Twin Cities author Kate DiCamillo: 'I'm looking forward to taking my heart on the road'

Kate DiCamillo's two new books carry familiar themes of friendship and loneliness.
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What makes you reread a book?

I have read "The Great Gatsby" at least four times in my life. I will read it again. There are so many reasons why we reread books. What's yours?
Angus is robustly healthy. But it is our responsibility to pay for medical care should he get sick, and that can be quite expensive.

The Puppy Chronicles: In sickness and in health

Sometimes we have to take the infirm with the firm — and sometimes it's a two-way street.
Kate DiCamillo

Review: 'Louisiana's Way Home,' by Kate DiCamillo

MIDDLE GRADE: In this moving sequel to "Raymie Nightingale," a young girl must figure out the meaning of home.
Danez Smith

Another fall lineup of spectacular writers coming to Minnesota

The best thing about fall is the annual lineup of writers coming to the U, Mankato's Good Thunder Reading Series and the Twin Cities Book Festival.
"Tigerland," by Wil Haygood

Minnesota titles among the 10 most absorbing books of fall 2018

‘Laurentian Divide’ In Minneapolis novelist Sarah Stonich’s sequel to “Vacationland,” a widower is set to remarry, but one of the townsfolk goes missing. (Due…
On walks, Angus remains highly alert to chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits.

The Puppy Chronicles: How to keep Angus calm around squirrels?

Angus is a mellow dog — as long as there are no small animals in his field of view.
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Is it OK for children's books to be sad? Most readers say yes

Handled with tact and hope, darkness in literature may be good for children, helping them cope with sadness and learn empathy.
Steve Jobs in 1984, and daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs today.

In 'Small Fry,' Steve Jobs' daughter reckons with her mercurial father

NONFICTION: Lisa Brennan-Jobs recounts her father's odd eating habits, coldness and manipulative ways.
Angus can fall asleep anywhere, but at night he has been confined to a kennel. Now that he is 9 months old, it might be time to let him out of the cra

The Puppy Chronicles: How much time should a dog spend in his crate?

Angus spends all day in the crate while we're at work, and all night in the crate while we're sleeping. Is it time to give him some freedom?
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Readers on books that capture the feeling of northern Minnesota

You're going to miss those trips Up North. But books will keep you going.
The love of reading starts young, and it starts at home.

How can we reverse the steady decline of reading by teens?

Reading makes us smarter. Not reading, I'm afraid, makes us dumber. Can wonderful books and smart, savvy writers solve this problem?
Shaun Bythell in front of his bookstore in Wigtown, Scotland. Photo by Ben Please

Review: 'The Diary of a Bookseller,' by Shaun Bythell

NONFICTION: A cranky Scottish bookseller records a year in the life of his shop.
With a gate left open, Angus sprints for freedom.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus gets a chance at freedom

Someone opened our side gate while we were at work, and the dogs took off at a dead run.
Traci Lambrecht works at her desk just off the kitchen of her home in Marine on St. Croix, watched over by Lamby and Teddy, her childhood toys.

'Monkeewrench' co-author continues series without mom: 'I miss her so much'

Minnesota writer Traci Lambrecht is carrying on after the death of her best friend and partner in crime — mom P.J. Lambrecht.
Peggy Orenstein

Club Book to bring in David Grann, Peggy Orenstein and other writers for fall season

The Club Book lecture series brings in David Grann, Peggy Orenstein and other writers.
Patchwork by Bobbie Ann Mason

Bookmark: 4 summer books you might have missed

Summer whizzes by, books get buzzed about, noted on “best of” and “to be read” lists, and then — blammo! — the talk turns to…
Sally Field has written a memoir, "In Pieces."

Sally Field & Dessa anchor an eclectic lineup of authors for Talking Volumes at Fitzgerald Theater

Oscar winner and local hip-hop star join Rebecca Traister, Leif Enger and Alexander McCall Smith.
The highly organized basement library of Tadhg Mac an Bháird of Anoka.

Readers offer sensible ways to organize their books

Would you arrange your books with the spine facing in? Here's what readers had to say.
Angus and his littermate, Winston, chased and wrestled and fought in an exuberant reunion.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus reunites with his brother

When we found out that Angus' brother lived just a few miles away, we knew they had to meet. But would they recognize each other?
The Floating Library attracts about 500 visitors over three weekends each summer.

A St. Paul lake will once again be home to a floating library

The Floating Library returns to Lake Phalen for a fifth year of books on the water.
Angus met Lake Superior, and was unsure what to do next.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus heads Up North and almost doesn't make it

We were sure Angus would like the North Shore, if we could just persuade him to get in the truck.
Sunset over Moon Lake in the BWCA.

These 10 books capture the feeling of northern Minnesota

Gwen Danfelt, manager of Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais, has come up with a list of books to put your mind Up North even if you can't be there yourself.
Laura Ingalls Wilder at age 27.

Readers debate renaming Laura Ingalls Wilder award

When the American Library Association announced that the children's literature award that honored her would be renamed, public response was swift and passionate.
Clemantine Wamariya
Photo by Julia Zave

Review: 'The Girl Who Smiled Beads,' by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

NONFICTION: Unforgettable story of a child displaced by war is a crucial, timely read.
Laura Ingalls Wilder at age 27.

Sad as it is for lovers of 'Little House,' it was best to take Laura Ingalls Wilder's name off award

Taking Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name off a literature award is not banning her books. Her books are still there, to be read or ignored, to…
The resurgence of the chewing phase: Angus will chew anything he can get his jaws around.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus hits six months and right on schedule, he rebels

The six-month-adolescence rebellious phase hits, and everything Angus has learned goes out the window.
A.J. Pearce

Review: 'Dear Mrs. Bird,' by A.J. Pearce

FICTION: In a moving, funny homage to women and friendship, a clerk at a magazine during London's Blitz begins secretly answering advice-to-the-lovelorn letters.
Emma Brockes.

Review: 'An Excellent Choice,' by Emma Brockes

NONFICTION: A witty, honest memoir reveals adventures of medically assisted pregnancy.
A horse grazes in the village of Cloghane on the Dingle Peninsula.

Hiking the Dingle Peninsula

Hikers encountered a classic Irish landscape – and few people – along the Dingle Way.
Rare and antique books carry a special fragrance and charm.

Bookmark: Antiquarian Book Fair partners with Rain Taxi for 'Print Matters' book sale

So if you had your druthers, and it was a rainy Saturday afternoon and you had no pressing obligations and you hadn’t read anything good…
In the mornings, Angus is purely sweet. In the evenings, though, his rebelliousness begins to show.

Does training leach the joy out of my dog's life?

In the mornings, Angus is sweetly obedient. The evening brings somewhat different behavior.
Can young readers handle stories that are sad or troubling?

Is it OK for children's books to be sad?

Should books for children reflect danger, loss and pain?
From novels to mysteries to YA, 45 books you'll want to read this summer

From novels to mysteries to YA, 45 books you'll want to read this summer

Our summer books guide highlights novels, mysteries and young-adult fiction.
The border collie and cattle dog are apparent in Angus’s face — but he’s got a lot more in him, as a DNA test shows.

The Puppy Chronicles: Will DNA test reveal a Lab background?

The rescue group that brought us Angus guessed he was border collie-Lab mix. But DNA testing told us something else.
Great summer books picked by the experts, your Twin Cities librarians

Great summer books picked by the experts, your Twin Cities librarians

Twin Cities librarians share their summer reading lists.
Angus, right, played with neighbor dogs Greta and Gus almost every day over the winter.

The Puppy Chronicles: BARK! BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK!

When Angus suddenly started barking at strangers on the walk, we had to nip it in the bud. But how?
Woman fire eater

Review: 'The Electric Woman,' by Tessa Fontaine

NONFICTION: After her adventurous mother is felled by a series of strokes, Tessa Fontaine runs off to join the circus in this thrilling, moving memoir.
The screens in obedience school keep dogs like Angus from being distracted by the other dogs in class.

The Puppy Chronicles: Back to school and please don't bark at anyone, Angus

After breezing through puppy kindergarten, Obedience 1 loomed as a bigger challenge.
Hans Weyandt, posing with his Coffee House Press book, "Read This!," will be heading to the Turin Book Fair later this month.

Bookmark: American booksellers heading abroad

I hear that Italy is beautiful in the spring. Hans Weyandt is about to find out. Weyandt, manager of Milkweed Books in downtown Minneapolis, is…
Celeste Ng

Pen Pals lecture series announced; will bring in Amor Towles, Lauren Groff and more

Amor Towles, Lauren Groff, Min Jin Lee and others coming to Hopkins this fall and next spring.
Nathan Hill

Workshop on publishing brings big-name authors to the University of St. Thomas in June

Publishing workshop brings authors and agents to the St. Thomas campus in June.
Do not do this with your books.

Display your books at home any way you want — just don't do this

It's suddenly all the rage to display your book collection with the spines turned inward.
Though he spends plenty of time in the yard or sprawled on the couch, Angus is perfectly happy to hang out in his crate.

The Puppy Chronicles: If you want peace in your life, train your dog to love its crate

Crates are not the answer for every dog. But if your dog loves its crate, you — and the pup — are very lucky.
Bao Phi, photographed at The Loft, has a new poetry book out called "Thousand Star Hotel," Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN.

Novelist Lesley Nneka Arimah, poet Bao Phi, cartoonist Steve Sack win Minnesota Book Awards

It is a mark of how accomplished Minnesota’s writing community is that many of the winners of this year’s Minnesota Book Awards were honored for…
Detail of the Twin Cities bookstore map by Kevin Cannon that will be given away on Independent Bookstore Day.

Independent Bookstore Day is a 12-hour party for Twin Cities book lovers

If you’re anything like me (and good luck to you if you are), every time you go to a bookstore it feels a little like…
Now that he is five months old, Angus has started seeking independence on the leash. Time for training!

The Puppy Chronicles: Leash training is short-term pain for long-term peace

If you don't want your shoulder and neck to suffer, train your dog to the leash.
There are now more than 50,000 Little Free Libraries nationwide.

Little Free Libraries provide books (and joy) to enthusiastic readers

Nearly 10 years after they started in Hudson, Wis., little libraries-on-a-stick have spread across the United States.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith

It's an amazing spring for big-name writers visiting the Twin Cities

When you see this lineup of book events, you're going to be busy a dozen times over.
Old books!

Bookmark: Ohio bookstore's remarkable website will help you find books you barely remember

Every now and then, a fragment of a book I once loved will swim toward the front of my brain. Just a floating wisp of…
Angus likes to keep Rosie under close surveillance.

The Puppy Chronicles: If you have two dogs, pay attention to pack hierarchy

Rosie, our resident black Lab, loves Angus. But at times she gets fed up with him. What then?
Angus was angelic in puppy class.

The puppy chronicles: Angus goes to school

A well-trained dog is a good dog. But, oh, the training takes time. And there have been lots of changes over the years.
Layli Long Soldier, winner of the National Book Critics Circle prize for poetry, awaits her turn to read the night before the event.

Bookmark: NBCC awards ceremony is an evening of books, writers and words

There’s nothing quite so special as an evening devoted to authors, books and the written word. All year, writers work alone, in front of a…
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Readers share books they'd swear an oath on

Your suggestions have been delightful, far superseding anything that anyone has ever actually done.
A dancing bear named Charlie awaits transport to Dancing Bear Park, where he will learn freedom.

Review: 'Dancing Bears,' by Witold Szabłowski

NONFICTION: A Polish journalist looks at how individuals — human and ursine — cope with sudden freedom.
Empty cereal boxes, puffy toys, bare toes: Angus contemplates what to chew next.

The Puppy Chronicles: Oh, the biting!

In which we try to teach Angus that toes are not edible, at least not while they are attached to my feet.
Anne Ursu

Twin Cities writer helps reveal male kid-lit writers behaving badly

Rumors are flying, stories are being told and maybe between the time I write this and the time you read this, everything will have changed.…
Elizabeth Willard Thames

Review: 'Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living,' by Elizabeth Willard Thames

NONFICTION: Co-founder of popular website tells you to save money now to be rich later--sort of.
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