Staff Directory 10645026

Laurie Hertzel

Senior Editor | Books
phone: 612-673-7302
Laurie Hertzel oversees book reviews and book news for the Star Tribune. She is the author of a memoir, "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist" (University of Minnesota Press 2010) and sits on the board of the National Book Critics Circle.
Recent content from Laurie Hertzel
BOOKMARK: Twin Cities Book Festival was filled with words and laughter

BOOKMARK: Twin Cities Book Festival was filled with words and laughter

On stage, Al Franken cracked jokes and talked politics. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera praised poet Ray Gonzalez, who smiled and praised him…
Review: 'Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon,' by Henry Marsh

Review: 'Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon,' by Henry Marsh

NONFICTION: In this second memoir, Dr. Henry Marsh writes poignantly about regrets, retirement and what lies ahead.
BOOKMARK: Readers recall finding books 'in the wild'

BOOKMARK: Readers recall finding books 'in the wild'

We asked if you had ever unexpectedly found a book and picked it up. Here's what you said.
REVIEW: 'Going Into Town,' by Roz Chast

REVIEW: 'Going Into Town,' by Roz Chast

NONFICTION: New York through Roz Chast's eyes is a whole new perspective.
St. Paul writer's second novel was a big surprise

St. Paul writer's second novel was a big surprise

Peter Bognanni's second novel, "Things I'm Seeing Without You," morphed from a book for adults into one for teens almost against his will.
Review: 'Ali: A Life,' by Jonathan Eig

Review: 'Ali: A Life,' by Jonathan Eig

NONFICTION: Jonathan Eig's biography of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is careful, detailed and highly entertaining.
Minnesota writer named one of National Book Foundation's 'Five Under 35'

Minnesota writer named one of National Book Foundation's 'Five Under 35'

Award honors debut fiction writers who show great promise — and this year they're all women, including the Twin Cities' Lesley Nneka Arimah.
In the event of a catastrophe, which books would you save?

In the event of a catastrophe, which books would you save?

With Hurricane Irma headed straight for her house, Connie Ogle had to make some tough decisions. The most excruciating: Which books would she take? Which…
Native Minnesotan writer 'didn't expect' to land on Man Booker shortlist

Native Minnesotan writer 'didn't expect' to land on Man Booker shortlist

Missing Minnesota while in California, Emily Fridlund began to write. Now she's on the Man Booker shortlist.
Writer Sherman Alexie is back on the road: 'I averted a crisis'

Writer Sherman Alexie is back on the road: 'I averted a crisis'

Haunted by his mother's memory, the author halted his book tour this summer. Now he's back on the road — still outspoken, still funny, but a little more careful.
3 new Laura Ingalls Wilder books for those who can't get enough 'Little House'

3 new Laura Ingalls Wilder books for those who can't get enough 'Little House'

This year there are several new Wilder books to choose from.
Review: 'The Best We Could Do,' by Thi Bui

Review: 'The Best We Could Do,' by Thi Bui

NONFICTION: Thi Bui tells the story about her parents' escape from Vietnam in intense drawings and terse text.
Review: 'A Disappearance in Damascus: Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War,' by Deborah Campbell

Review: 'A Disappearance in Damascus: Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War,' by Deborah Campbell

NONFICTION: A Canadian journalist working in Syria goes on the hunt for her translator, who has been arrested.
BOOKMARK: Lit Crawl MN offers 'literary adventure' all over Minneapolis

BOOKMARK: Lit Crawl MN offers 'literary adventure' all over Minneapolis

Make your own chapbook, catch some poetry karaoke, and much more.
With vacation reads, Minneapolis veers from the rest of the country

With vacation reads, Minneapolis veers from the rest of the country

The results of a study of books people read while traveling may surprise you.
REVIEW: 'The Heart's Invisible Furies,' by John Boyne

REVIEW: 'The Heart's Invisible Furies,' by John Boyne

FICTION: A young gay man struggles with his identity and survival in postwar Ireland.
Do you like to share beloved books with strangers?

Do you like to share beloved books with strangers?

BOOKMARK: There are so many ways to give books. You can be mysterious, leaving books where strangers might find them.
Lack of diverse lineup leads to cancellation of Mpls. writing conference

Lack of diverse lineup leads to cancellation of Mpls. writing conference

21 of the 22 speakers booked to discuss writing for children were white. "We made a mistake," says Loft Literary Center leader.
Imbolo Mbue, who is coming to the Twin Cities, talks about her novel and about being an Oprah author

Imbolo Mbue, who is coming to the Twin Cities, talks about her novel and about being an Oprah author

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel “Behold the Dreamers” looks at the American dream from the points of view of two couples — a wealthy New York…
BOOKMARK: A new subset of memoir – the memoir of dying – brings news from the abyss

BOOKMARK: A new subset of memoir – the memoir of dying – brings news from the abyss

Over the past 25 years or so, memoir writers have plumbed nearly every facet of life: traumatic childhood, coming of age, parenthood, divorce, parents’ demise,…
REVIEW: 'The Misfortune of Marion Palm,' by Emily Culliton

REVIEW: 'The Misfortune of Marion Palm,' by Emily Culliton

FICTION: A mother of two leaves her family behind after embezzling thousands of dollars in this comic novel reminiscent of the works of Maria Semple.
More beloved kids' books to love, recommended by readers

More beloved kids' books to love, recommended by readers

Readers weigh in on their favorite books from childhood.
Review: 'Morningstar: Growing Up With Books,' by Ann Hood

Review: 'Morningstar: Growing Up With Books,' by Ann Hood

NONFICTION: Ann Hood details how she grew up bookish in an un-bookish family — and how reading changed her life.
Talking Volumes' fall lineup includes Sherman Alexie and Amy Tan

Talking Volumes' fall lineup includes Sherman Alexie and Amy Tan

Memoir, history, fiction and spies: There's something for everyone at this book club.
BOOKMARK: We asked readers if they keep a book journal: Here's what they said

BOOKMARK: We asked readers if they keep a book journal: Here's what they said

Do you keep a journal of the books you read? Here's what some folks do to track their books, with ratings from "blah" to "excellent."
These new picture books have a unique Minnesota twist

These new picture books have a unique Minnesota twist

A new crop of kids' books celebrates adventure, family and, like any good Minnesota book, summer.
Celebrating a world before Kindle

Celebrating a world before Kindle

Dublin abounds in museums and libraries. Here are three that are custom-made for lovers of the printed page.
So many books, so little time: 10 tips on how to get more reading done

So many books, so little time: 10 tips on how to get more reading done

What do you mean, you're busy? Help is on the way.
Review: 'The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old,' translated from the Dutch by Hester Velmans

Review: 'The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old,' translated from the Dutch by Hester Velmans

FICTION: An elderly man begins keeping a journal to keep up his spirits in this dark, funny and true-to-life novel by an anonymous Dutch author.
Review: 'F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home,' by Dave Page with photographs by Jeff Krueger

Review: 'F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home,' by Dave Page with photographs by Jeff Krueger

NONFICTION: This big, lavish book explores the St. Paul streets that F. Scott Fitzgerald called home.
Bookmark: Writers and musicians organize to raise environmental awareness

Bookmark: Writers and musicians organize to raise environmental awareness

Back in the 1960s, Minnesota poet Robert Bly and his friend David Ray, also a poet, formed a group called American Writers Against the Vietnam…
Unplanned teenage gig in Duluth library fosters love for children's books

Unplanned teenage gig in Duluth library fosters love for children's books

When I was 13, I got a job shelving books at the public library in Duluth, the most stultifying job ever held by anybody on…
Fargo goes beyond the 'Ya, you betcha' and offers big surprises

Fargo goes beyond the 'Ya, you betcha' and offers big surprises

The neon lights glow bright along downtown Fargo's Broadway strip.
Your ultimate guide to 45 books to read this summer

Your ultimate guide to 45 books to read this summer

Our summer books guide highlights books of fiction, mystery and young-adult fiction.
Review: 'Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002,' by David Sedaris

Review: 'Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002,' by David Sedaris

NONFICTION: The first volume of the humorist's diaries, in which he traces his early years of struggle, the death of his mother and his rise to fame, is wildly entertaining but should be taken with a grain of salt.
Do you keep a journal of the books you read?

Do you keep a journal of the books you read?

Every New Year’s Day, I vow to keep a record of every book I read over the next 12 months. I have a special notebook…
Reviews: 'Everything Is Flammable,' by Gabrielle Bell and 'Imagine Wanting Only This,' by Kristen Radtke

Reviews: 'Everything Is Flammable,' by Gabrielle Bell and 'Imagine Wanting Only This,' by Kristen Radtke

NONFICTION: Two memoirs told in graphic-novel form tell powerful — but very different — stories of destruction and rebirth.
'American Gods' — first the novel, then the TV series, now a coloring book

'American Gods' — first the novel, then the TV series, now a coloring book

“American Gods,” the novel-turned-TV show that Neil Gaiman said could only have been written in the Midwest is now also a coloring book. Of…
Readers recommend the best books for reading aloud

Readers recommend the best books for reading aloud

The secret is out — you love reading aloud, and you love being read to. I knew it! And I am delighted. Last month I…
Minn. prof deemed funniest person in America debuts adult coloring book

Minn. prof deemed funniest person in America debuts adult coloring book

Julie Schumacher's new coloring book (yes, you read that right) skewers the world of academe.
Review: 'A $500 House in Detroit,' by Drew Philp

Review: 'A $500 House in Detroit,' by Drew Philp

NONFICTION: A young man bought an abandoned house in Detroit to rehab it — and became part of a community.
St. Paul writer Caitlin Bailey wins Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

St. Paul writer Caitlin Bailey wins Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

The author will receive $10,000 and a publishing contract with Milkweed Editions.
Debut book catapults Minnesota author to literary stardom

Debut book catapults Minnesota author to literary stardom

Before it was even published, Twin Cities writer Lesley Nneka Arimah's first book was all the buzz.
Review: 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' by David Grann

Review: 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' by David Grann

NONFICTION: New Yorker writer David Grann delves into mysterious killings on the oil-rich Osage reservation in Oklahoma in the 1920s.
Minnesota Book Award winners include Kao Kalia Yang, Sun Yung Shin, Peter Geye, Shawn Otto

Minnesota Book Award winners include Kao Kalia Yang, Sun Yung Shin, Peter Geye, Shawn Otto

Surprises abound as newbie winners nudge venerable writers in several categories.
Young love, second chances and revolution: 7 books that feel like spring

Young love, second chances and revolution: 7 books that feel like spring

  In literature, spring isn’t just a time, it’s a symbol — of renewal and fresh starts, of surviving hardship, of budding love, of longing,…
Author James McBride finds humor in pain and pain in humor

Author James McBride finds humor in pain and pain in humor

The bestselling author doesn't find everything funny. Humor, he notes, depends on context. He will speak Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota.
National Book Critics award speeches are inspiring, filled with gratitude

National Book Critics award speeches are inspiring, filled with gratitude

The best thing about the National Book Critics Circle Awards ceremony in New York last month wasn’t the speeches, though they were great: It was…
Registration open now for F. Scott Fitzgerald conference in St. Paul

Registration open now for F. Scott Fitzgerald conference in St. Paul

The annual international F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference will take place this summer in the writer's hometown for only the second time in its history.
Bookmark: Books to spark joy when read out loud

Bookmark: Books to spark joy when read out loud

If we were lucky, we were read to when we were young. If we didn’t have parents or siblings to read to us (and I…
NBCC awards: The culmination of a long year of reading

NBCC awards: The culmination of a long year of reading

I am still reading, kind of frantically, but I think by the time I head out to New York I will be ready. I am…
Minneapolis and St. Paul bookstores will hand out pocket-sized poems

Minneapolis and St. Paul bookstores will hand out pocket-sized poems

Twin Cities bookstores will hand out pocket-size poems in March and April on the theme of migration.
Yaa Gyasi, author of bestselling "Homegoing," coming to the Twin Cities in March and May

Yaa Gyasi, author of bestselling "Homegoing," coming to the Twin Cities in March and May

Yaa Gyasi's family saga will spark a community conversation in Eden Prairie.
Two books tell the story of Russia – of now, and of then

Two books tell the story of Russia – of now, and of then

It has been many years since I have been to Russia, but my interest in that fascinating country has never dimmed. When I visited in…
REVIEW: 'The Stranger in the Woods,' by Michael Finkel

REVIEW: 'The Stranger in the Woods,' by Michael Finkel

NONFICTION: Michael Finkel's fine exploration of the mysterious life of a hermit fails to answer the key question: Why?
Readers suggest big, thick books as winter drags on

Readers suggest big, thick books as winter drags on

It's still February, and we're still looking for "bloated books" to while away the dark evenings.
St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre founder Lou Bellamy wins 2017 Kay Sexton Award

St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre founder Lou Bellamy wins 2017 Kay Sexton Award

Award honors those who have devoted a lifetime to literature and books.
You could be 'writer in residence' for the Mall of America

You could be 'writer in residence' for the Mall of America

The Mall of America is looking for a writer to spend five days writing about the mall.
The dubious art of 'decorating' with books

The dubious art of 'decorating' with books

The beauty of books comes from the fact that the writers come in different shapes, sizes and colors — as well as mind-sets, points of view, background and attitude.
Read, discuss, act: New Little Free Library book club inspires community action

Read, discuss, act: New Little Free Library book club inspires community action

When you think about it, there’s not much of a leap from reading a good book to doing a good deed. People who like to…
What books should President Donald Trump read? From Cormac McCarthy to Dr. Seuss, readers have suggestions

What books should President Donald Trump read? From Cormac McCarthy to Dr. Seuss, readers have suggestions

Last week, the New York Times reported on a typical day in the White House for Donald Trump. “Mr. Trump,” the story noted, “who does…
Review: 'The War Within: Diaries From the Siege of Leningrad,' by Alexis Peri

Review: 'The War Within: Diaries From the Siege of Leningrad,' by Alexis Peri

NONFICTION: A riveting work draws on diaries of Leningrad residents during the city's World War II siege.
12 books to read for understanding, community building, resistance and action

12 books to read for understanding, community building, resistance and action

The country has inaugurated a new president, a man who ran on a platform of deporting immigrants, registering Muslims, draining the “swamp” of politics and…
Louise Erdrich leads finalists for Minnesota Book Awards

Louise Erdrich leads finalists for Minnesota Book Awards

The Minnesota Historical Society Press and the University of Minnesota Press each have four finalists.
Mpls. author Barnhill wins Newbery Award, children's literature's highest honor

Mpls. author Barnhill wins Newbery Award, children's literature's highest honor

Kelly Barnhill was sound asleep Monday when her cellphone rang at 5 a.m., blasting the theme from the TV show "Wonder Woman" and jolting her…
Big fat books to help winter go fast

Big fat books to help winter go fast

By this time of year, polar vortex or El Niño, it doesn’t matter: It feels like winter will never end. The up side, of course,…
Review: 'Krazy,' by Michael Tisserand

Review: 'Krazy,' by Michael Tisserand

NONFICTION: A fascinating biography of George Herriman, the creator of the comic strip "Krazy Kat," and a man who slipped past the color line.
What's the best response to book contract for internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos?

What's the best response to book contract for internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos?

There's been a lot of outrage in the past week over the Breitbart News editor's recent book deal.
Review: 'Birds Art Life,' by Kyo Maclear

Review: 'Birds Art Life,' by Kyo Maclear

NONFICTION: A profound, charming memoir of art, books, life — and birds.
Bookmark: Turning the page to 2017

Bookmark: Turning the page to 2017

Many years ago, one of my colleagues went to Ireland and came back with a sticker, which he gave to me. It’s green, white and…
Review: 'War Diaries,' by Astrid Lindgren

Review: 'War Diaries,' by Astrid Lindgren

NONFICTION: In empathetic entries, writer Astrid Lindgren guides readers through a Scandinavian view of WWII.
Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Strout, George Saunders, and more: Books to watch for in early 2017

Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Strout, George Saunders, and more: Books to watch for in early 2017

So 2016 is slithering to a close. It’s been a year, eh? Let’s look ahead. Here are some books coming up in the first half…
Reviews: 'Dogs on Instagram,' and 'Cats on Instagram'

Reviews: 'Dogs on Instagram,' and 'Cats on Instagram'

NONFICTION: The dogs and cats of Instagram are hamming it up in two new books of mostly pictures.
What's the best book you ever got as a gift? Readers share stories

What's the best book you ever got as a gift? Readers share stories

"The Pickwick Papers" and "The Tawny Scrawny Lion" were among the favorites.
Memoirs that captivate, from Regina McBride, Danielle Flood and Decca Aitkenhead

Memoirs that captivate, from Regina McBride, Danielle Flood and Decca Aitkenhead

It’s the voyeur in me, maybe. Or the years spent as a newspaper reporter. But for whatever reason, I am fascinated by the lives of…
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