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
In rainy Dublin, we crossed the Ha’penny Bridge to the Winding Stair Bookshop and loaded up on books.

Bookmark: When it rains steadily during your hiking vacation, it's good to have a book or two on hand

It was raining in Ireland, and it was starting to get me down. Before you say, “It always rains in Ireland!” let me tell you:…
Peter Handke, who was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in literature, is a far-right Austrian writer who eulogized a convicted war criminal. PEN America a

Bookmark: Should literary prizes be judged by the book, or by the author? Or by both?

What should we think when the art is beautiful but the artist is reprehensible? Can we judge books — or paintings, or movies, or music…
Tim O’Brien, author of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Things They Carried,” has written a new memoir “Dad’s Maybe Book,” which impa

Minnesota novelist who thought he'd die in Vietnam wrestles with mortality once more

Tim O'Brien's memoir, "Dad's Maybe Book," is filled with advice and stories for his young sons to savor when he's gone.
Riley and his sister, Rosie. One impassive, the other ebullient. They made a good team.

The Puppy Chronicles: In the blink of an eye

One dog bite years ago taught me to be super-careful with skittish dogs.
Author Leif Enger at Park Point in Duluth.

Bookmark: Every fall, rain or shine, Rain Taxi hosts a big free book festival

Every fall, rain or shine, you can count on the annual Twin Cities Book Festival to entertain, illuminate and enthrall. Sponsored by Rain Taxi, the…
From "A Map Into the World," by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Seo Kim. ©2019 Carolrhoda Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group

These 4 picture books from Minnesota writers aren't just for kids

Picture books continue to grow more diverse, more sophisticated and carry subtler, important messages.
Kate DiCamillo

Review: 'Beverly, Right Here,' by Kate DiCamillo

MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION: Kate DiCamillo's third novel about the Three Rancheros is a big-hearted coming-of-age tale.
Who couldn’t love this face? Angus is endearing in late August.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus loves Ellen

All it took was repeated visits, lots of treats and a T-shirt.
Faith Sullivan photo by Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

Review: 'Ruby & Roland,' by Faith Sullivan

FICTION: When a strong-minded hired girl falls in love with a married farmer from a small Minnesota town, she has some hard decisions to make.
Local author Nora McInerny is part of the fall lineup for Club Book.

Club Book announces fall season, with Thrity Umrigar, Nora McInerny and six others

Writers series brings high-powered authors to local libraries.
Now approaching his second birthday, Angus has calmed down and is learning to navigate what is, for him, a nervous life.

The Puppy Chronicles: It took a long time to accept that Angus is a 'reactive dog'

It took me a long time to accept that Angus is a "reactive dog." But once I did, I began to learn how to care for him better.
Keep that summer feeling going into the fall with books.

Bookmark: 8 books to help you hang onto summer

It’s hard to believe that it’s now September. Given that I still have to pause and think before writing “2019” instead of “2018,” this is…
Apple tree illustration

Review: 'Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents,' edited by Lise Funderburg

NONFICTION: In "Apple, Tree," 25 writers explore the many ways their parents shaped them.
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How long should you read a bad book before giving up?

Some of you follow rules about the number of pages you'll give a book before quitting. And some of you just give up. And some of you never give up.
Angus waits calmly in class for the other dogs to arrive.

The Puppy Chronicles: Learning to play nice with others in socialization class

Angus is back in school, this time learning to peacefully coexist with strange dogs.
Laurie Hertzel wrote inside this copy of “Leaves” by Bertha Morris Parker repeatedly, marking how her signature changed over the years.

Bookmark: Should we write in our beloved books?

Do you think books should be respected and treated carefully, or something to love and make your own?
Tim O'Brien will discuss his first book in more than 10 years — a memoir, not a novel.

Talking Volumes 2019 brings 6 celebrated writers, including Minnesota's own Tim O'Brien

The literary series includes four nonfiction books and a collection by former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith.
Angus sits calmly and watches squirrels chase each other around the trunk of a pine tree in the park.

The Puppy Chronicles: Leash walking 2.0

Over the past year, Angus and I have slowly gotten to a good place on the daily walks. But oh, it took a long time.
This favorite reading spot by reader Susan Schaefer feels like being up in the treetops.

Readers share their favorite spots for reading

We asked you to tell us about your favorite spots to read. Here's what you said.
When we left for the weekend, Angus was hanging out on the back porch peacefully. But still I fretted about how he and the pet sitter would get along.

The Puppy Chronicles: Angus in summer

After Angus is calm and attentive with the new dog sitter, I'm starting to think some of the problems lie with me.
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Review: 'Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II," by Svetlana Alexievich

NONFICTION: In their own words, survivors of World War II — children when the war began — recall their harrowing experiences.
Megan Marsnik.

Bookmark: Four new (or newish) Minnesota books to read and love

  An uncomfortable truth: There are far more excellent regional books than I have space to review, more than I can ever read. Local writers…
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We asked for your stories about sharing books: Here's what you said

You are passionate about sharing — but also about getting back — beloved books.
Angus has mellowed since last year, and he is mostly well-behaved, though he still barks at strangers, both human and canine.

The Puppy Chronicles: Yes, Angus misbehaves, but he also does a lot of things right

Sure, Angus misbehaves. But it's time to recognize his virtues, too.
Anthony Horowitz
Photo by Jon Cartwright

Review: 'The Sentence is Death,' by Anthony Horowitz

FICTION: Anthony Horowitz's latest murder mystery mashes up fact and fiction.
45 books to keep you reading all summer long

45 books to keep you reading all summer long

Life slows down in summer. Pull up a lawn chair, pour yourself a cool drink and settle in with one of these 45 mysteries, novels, story collections and books for young adults.
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.