Recent content from Laurie Hertzel
Memoir, history, fiction and spies: There's something for everyone at this book club.
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."
A new crop of kids' books celebrates adventure, family and, like any good Minnesota book, summer.
Dublin abounds in museums and libraries. Here are three that are custom-made for lovers of the printed page.
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
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
NONFICTION: This big, lavish book explores the St. Paul streets that F. Scott Fitzgerald called home.
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…
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…
The neon lights glow bright along downtown Fargo's Broadway strip.
Our summer books guide highlights books of fiction, mystery and young-adult fiction.
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.
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
NONFICTION: Two memoirs told in graphic-novel form tell powerful — but very different — stories of destruction and rebirth.
“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…
The secret is out — you love reading aloud, and you love being read to. I knew it! And I am delighted. Last month I…
Julie Schumacher's new coloring book (yes, you read that right) skewers the world of academe.
NONFICTION: A young man bought an abandoned house in Detroit to rehab it — and became part of a community.
The author will receive $10,000 and a publishing contract with Milkweed Editions.
Before it was even published, Twin Cities writer Lesley Nneka Arimah's first book was all the buzz.
NONFICTION: New Yorker writer David Grann delves into mysterious killings on the oil-rich Osage reservation in Oklahoma in the 1920s.
Surprises abound as newbie winners nudge venerable writers in several categories.
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,…
The bestselling author doesn't find everything funny. Humor, he notes, depends on context. He will speak Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota.
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…
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.
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…
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…
Twin Cities bookstores will hand out pocket-size poems in March and April on the theme of migration.
Yaa Gyasi's family saga will spark a community conversation in Eden Prairie.
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…
NONFICTION: Michael Finkel's fine exploration of the mysterious life of a hermit fails to answer the key question: Why?
It's still February, and we're still looking for "bloated books" to while away the dark evenings.
Award honors those who have devoted a lifetime to literature and books.
The Mall of America is looking for a writer to spend five days writing about the mall.
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.
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
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…
NONFICTION: A riveting work draws on diaries of Leningrad residents during the city's World War II siege.
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…
The Minnesota Historical Society Press and the University of Minnesota Press each have four finalists.
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…
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,…
NONFICTION: A fascinating biography of George Herriman, the creator of the comic strip "Krazy Kat," and a man who slipped past the color line.
There's been a lot of outrage in the past week over the Breitbart News editor's recent book deal.
NONFICTION: A profound, charming memoir of art, books, life — and birds.
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…
NONFICTION: In empathetic entries, writer Astrid Lindgren guides readers through a Scandinavian view of WWII.
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…
NONFICTION: The dogs and cats of Instagram are hamming it up in two new books of mostly pictures.
"The Pickwick Papers" and "The Tawny Scrawny Lion" were among the favorites.
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…
Review: 'Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart,' edited by Krista Halverson
NONFICTION: An affectionate, gossipy history of the legendary Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Co.
It is probably a bad idea to write this, because we already spend way too much time on the web. But as I sit at…
Our annual holiday books guide highlights a dozen novels and a dozen books of nonfiction, as well as a liberal sprinkling of glowing picture books; important young-adult fiction; bold, gorgeous graphic novels, and regional books steeped in sense of place.
NONFICTION: This sweeping biography of the visionary Black Elk is also a history of the destruction of an ancient culture.
Can't decide on a book? Read reviews, turn to page 69, or just let your cat pick.
The annual awards ceremony was infused with politics and the 2016 presidential election. Finalists with Minnesota ties missed out.
NONFICTION: Illustrated anecdotes from 75 indie shops — most living, a few sadly dead.
NONFICTION: A New York City writer heads to Iowa to escape a tortured romance and finds his true self in the countryside.
Everything about a library opened doors, let in light, told you more than you had ever expected to know. Perhaps best was the card catalog which was filled with history and possibility.
I don’t like being scared. The older I get, the more susceptible I am to “ghoulies and ghosties/And long-leggedy beasties/And things that go bump in…
The novelist broke a longtime vow, drawing on her own life for her latest book.
In her acclaimed memoir, author Elizabeth Alexander writes about the excruciating loss of her husband – but also of their joyous life together.
Funny and serious, fiction and nonfiction, the book club's 16th season has something for everyone.
Meet favorite authors and pick up some books at the annual Twin Cities Book Festival.
FICTION: A beautiful woman is killed, and everyone around her has a different story.
It's a well-known fact that right after I moved away from Duluth, the town became hip. Brewpubs and galleries opened; food became artisan and locavore;…
There are millions of books out there, and new ones publish every week. What's your method?
NONFICTION: An affectionate, entertaining biography of American pianist Van Cliburn, whose passion for Russian music briefly paused the Cold War.
I am trying to imagine what a conversation might be like between Claudia Rankine and Marilynne Robinson. Two brilliant women, successful writers, deep thinkers. What…
Get hip to fall's biggest books, plus local readings by Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon and more.
Some of you learned to read by looking at photo captions in National Geographic, the printing on your mother’s cigarette pack, the label on your…
FICTION: A woman starts over in implausible yet entertaining "Leave Me."
NONFICTION: You'll gobble up this delicious behind-the-scenes account of a start-up restaurant in New York City.
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