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
From “Lion of the Sky” by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrations by Mercè López. Copyright © 2019 by Millbrook Press, an imprint of Lerner Publishin

10 new picture books by Minnesota writers to add to your child's shelf

A fresh crop of 10 picture books by Minnesota writers or illustrators is populated with creatures from the natural world.
Angus is eager for us to take down the fencing and let him at the new grass.

With two big dogs and a shady yard, mud season lasts all summer

Twenty years of busy dogs and maturing trees have rendered our backyard grassless. Angus doesn't care — bare ground is easy to dig. And so he digs.
Mary Miller
Photo by Lucky Tucker

Review: 'Biloxi,' by Mary Miller

FICTION: "Biloxi" ponders the question whether it's possible to change in late middle age.
Writers Laila Lalami and Tommy Orange took part in a discussion about voice and character.

Bookmark: Looking back on the inaugural Wordplay writers festival

Well, in the end, it was all pretty great, wasn’t it? Starting with the weather, which had been iffy right up to the opening of…
The new dog door has Angus stymied.

The Puppy Chronicles: A dog door stymies Angus

When we replaced a torn screen with an actual dog door, Rosie was fine — but Angus was flummoxed.
Does your favorite spot change by the season?

What's your favorite spot to read, and why?

We all have our favorite spots, for all kinds of reasons, and they may change with the seasons or over time.
Among the literary luminaries appearing at Wordplay are top, from left: Julie Schumacher, Dave Barry, Tommy Orange, Marlon James; bottom from left, Sa

Navigating the Wordplay festival: Writers not to miss

Stephen King is just one of 100-plus writers at the inaugural book fest. Here's our guide to navigating the array of alternatives, geared to your interests.
Ann Patchett

The next seasons of Pen Pals will bring in Ann Patchett, Susan Orlean, Tommy Orange and more

The Pen Pals writers series will bring in five notable writers beginning this fall for its 23rd season, including a Man Booker finalist, a PEN/Faulkner…
John Connell on his family’s farm in Ireland.

Review: 'The Farmer's Son: Calving Season on a Family Farm,' by John Connell

NONFICTION: A young man returns to his family's farm in Ireland to face his past and his future.
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We want your stories about lending (and borrowing) books

It's painful to give up beloved books, even briefly. And yet it's more painful not to share them.
Isabella Callery, Photo by James Kegley.

Northfield, Minn., high school student wins national poetry competition

Northfield high school student wins national poetry competition.
Angus learns impulse control through games such as this one: He can look at the treats, but he cannot eat them until he is given the OK.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus' training has been two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes two steps back.

Just like this chilly spring, Angus' training can feel like we're lagging behind.
Angus chews his bully sticks for a while--and then hides them from Rosie.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus has started hiding some of his treats and Rosie is determined to find them

Angus has a habit of hiding, rather than eating, his nightly chewies. Rosie has made it her mission to find them.
Visitors to the ABC exhibit pose with their favorite picture-book characters.

Bookmark: New book, and U exhibit, celebrate history and importance of children's books

I had to laugh when this book crossed my desk a few weeks ago: “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter,” by Leonard S.…
Joan Crosby and her husband, Dick, spent a year in this tiny cabin on Tucker Lake a few miles off the Gunflint Trail.

Review: 'Tucker Lake Chronicle: Thirteen Months in the North Woods,' by Joan Crosby

NONFICTION: An entertaining memoir of 13 months spent in an unfinished plywood cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota.
At Cream and Amber bookstore in Hopkins, customers can sip a beer while they browse the shelves.

As 3 Twin Cities indie bookstores have closed, 3 have opened

As we head toward Independent Bookstore Day next Saturday, let's assess.
Brian Freeman

Newbies, mostly, take home Minnesota Book Awards in a night of upsets

Some of the state's best-known writers were shut out on a night of upsets.
Books are great but books that make you laugh out loud are even better.

From David Sedaris to P.G. Wodehouse: More cheery books for a reluctant spring

Well, we made it through March. Congratulations! But remember last April’s blizzard? We probably still need cheerful books. Readers offer a flood of suggestions, mainly…
Angus and Rosie play exuberantly but when Rosie is agitated, Angus tries to soothe her.

The Puppy Chronicles: Not all dogs respond well to the same kind of training – with Angus, we are trying something new

A new kind of training means better communication between dog and human.
Winners of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle awards, including members of Arte Publico Press, Christopher Bonanos, Maureen Corrigan, Zadie Smith,

Bookmark: National Book Critics Circle award winners gave warm and generous thanks

One of the great joys of attending the National Book Critics Circle awards each March in New York City is being able to watch…
Angus and his buddy Blue played hard all weekend. Not pictured: Rosie, who disgraced herself by snarling at Blue.

The Puppy Chronicles: Four dogs might be two dogs too many

When the man of the house goes out of town, the dogs outnumber the lone adult left behind. Reinforcements arrive — in the form of more dogs.
Sheletta Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Heather Belair of New Brighton and Charlotte Larson of Hopkins with some of their “magical” Michelle Obama ge

As Michelle Obama's rock-star-scale book tour hits St. Paul, fans are bedazzled

Six women formed a club to read one book: "Becoming." And when its author brings her arena show to town this week, they'll be there.
Stephen King

How to see Stephen King and other big authors at Minnesota's new book festival

Tickets to the new Wordplay book fair in downtown Minneapolis in May are going on sale in just a few days.
Angus was pretty cheerful in the exam room until the veterinarian walked in.

The Puppy Chronicles: Nature vs. nurture: Angus has a calm, loving home life. So why is he so wary?

Angus has never liked strange people or unfamiliar situations. But when he growled at the veterinarian, it was time to act.
Moth Walker and Raynor Winn, on their life-changing journey. Raynor Winn

Review: 'The Salt Path,' by Raynor Winn

NONFICTION: Their home and savings were gone and a lethal diagnosis was hanging over their heads — so Raynor Winn and her husband shouldered their packs and went for a walk.
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12 cheery books to bring you out of the winter doldrums

What books do you pick up when you're feeling blue?
The walks have been cold and icy this winter, and for a long time there wasn't enough snow to make Angus happy. Now, there might be too much.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus' famous ear goes kerflooey

An ear infection, dark and icy walks, mocking squirrels — it's been a tough winter for Angus.
Louise Erdrich

Need to find a writer? The new Minnesota Writers Directory can help

The searchable website, newly launched (and still in its infant stage) by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, gives you authors at your fingertips.
Lorna Landvik

Club Book author series includes Leif Enger, Don Winslow, Lorna Landvik and more

Minnesota writers Leif Enger and Lorna Landvik and thriller writer Don Winslow anchor the free lecture series.
What were your favorite books of last year?

Readers reveal their favorite reads of 2018

We asked you to reveal your favorite books of 2018. Here are your recommendations.
Kate DiCamillo in 2016.

Kate DiCamillo, Kelly Barnhill lead field of Minnesota Book Award finalists

Winners from nine categories will be announced in St. Paul on April 6.
Angus discovers the webcam and is intrigued.

The Puppy Chronicles: The secret life of Angus

If you could spy on your dog while you were gone, what would you see?
Stephen King records an audiobook in New York last July. The Portland Press Herald in Maine said it would bring back its local book reviews if the aut

Bookmark: Good and bad news for book reviews — and Stephen King to the rescue

Two big things happened recently in the world of book reviewing, one quite good and one very bad. We’ll start with the bad. On Jan.…
Stephen King will play a concert at First Avenue with Amy Tan, Mary Karr, humorist Dave Barry and sportswriter Mitch Albom.

Stephen King and other top authors headed to Mpls. for new book festival

Wordplay in May will feature about 100 top writers of everything from fiction to cookbooks.
Dani Shapiro Photo by Michael Maren

Review: 'Inheritance,' by Dani Shapiro

NONFICTION: In her most powerful memoir yet, Dani Shapiro confronts the discovery that the man who raised her was not her biological father.
The readings are free, and there will be hot coffee, hot cider, cookies and books.

Bookmark: The St. Paul Library's Fireside Reading Series features Sarah Stonich, Heid Erdrich and more

Built in 1930, the Hamline Midway Library in St. Paul is a lovely old brick building with bay windows, a grand front entrance and a…
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Books and Twin Cities book events you won't want to miss

It's time to get excited about another year of books and reading.
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Which books did you love reading this year?

This year I did something I have never done before: I kept track. I wrote down the title of every book that I read to…
Once he put his mind to it, Angus destroyed his dog bed in record time.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus offers advice on how to make a puppy happy

Now it's his turn: Angus offers advice to readers on how to make a puppy happy.
From the very beginning, Rosie and Angus, shown here in May, had distinctively different personalities and behaviors.

The Puppy Chronicles: Every dog is a new beginning

Twenty-five years of owning dogs has taught us one thing: What works for one dog doesn't necessarily work for another.
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.
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