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
The puppy chronicles: Angus goes to school

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.
Review: 'Educated,' by Tara Westover

Review: 'Educated,' by Tara Westover

NONFICTION: Tara Westover's fascinating memoir tells of growing up an uneducated daughter of Idaho survivalists — and then getting out.
Bookmark: The Newbery and Caldecott – as well as the other ALA awards – are bringing recognition to diverse books

Bookmark: The Newbery and Caldecott – as well as the other ALA awards – are bringing recognition to diverse books

It should be no surprise that “A Different Pond,” written by Minneapolis poet Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui, was named one of…
Minneapolis writer Kelly Barnhill writes fairy tales for grown-ups

Minneapolis writer Kelly Barnhill writes fairy tales for grown-ups

After writer Kelly Barnhill won the highest honor in children's literature, she came out with a new collection of stories — for adults.
REVIEWS: Five books to get your gardening juices flowing

REVIEWS: Five books to get your gardening juices flowing

Is it spring yet? Sadly, not outside the window. But it is spring in the pages of these five new books.
Housebreaking a new puppy at 11 below zero in Minnesota

Housebreaking a new puppy at 11 below zero in Minnesota

If you're foolish enough to adopt a puppy in the coldest month of the coldest winter in years, how are you supposed to housebreak him?
Bookmark: What treasures have you found in a Little Free Library?

Bookmark: What treasures have you found in a Little Free Library?

Have you found a neighborhood that is particularly rich in its selection of books?
Review: 'A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise,' by Sandra Allen

Review: 'A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise,' by Sandra Allen

NONFICTION: A writer uses excerpts from her uncle's unpublished memoir to offer a revealing look at mental illness.
Review: 'I Am, I Am, I Am,' by Maggie O'Farrell

Review: 'I Am, I Am, I Am,' by Maggie O'Farrell

NONFICTION: Costa Prize-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell recounts ways she nearly died, from near drowning to near plane crash to near murder.
Minnesota Book Award finalists include Bao Phi, Louise Erdrich, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Steve Sack

Minnesota Book Award finalists include Bao Phi, Louise Erdrich, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Steve Sack

The winners will be announced April 21 at the 30th annual Minnesota Book Awards gala in St. Paul.
Readers offer advice for digging out from a reading slump

Readers offer advice for digging out from a reading slump

These slumps hit us all from time to time. Here's how some folks get back to the books.
Minneapolis' Graywolf Press leads the pack of finalists for NBCC awards

Minneapolis' Graywolf Press leads the pack of finalists for NBCC awards

Minneapolis' Graywolf Press has four books on the finalist lists for the National Book Critics Circle awards — more than any other publisher — and…
Three new books celebrate the homes of other cultures

Three new books celebrate the homes of other cultures

Authors turn to other countries to show us how to make our lives more beautiful and simple.
The Puppy Chronicles follow Angus the rescue pup as he trains his St. Paul owners

The Puppy Chronicles follow Angus the rescue pup as he trains his St. Paul owners

You think you want a puppy? What, are you nuts? Over the next few months we'll tell you exactly what it's like, through the life of a rescue pup named Angus.
If you were being sworn into office, what book would you choose?

If you were being sworn into office, what book would you choose?

There is no law that requires a person being sworn into public office to place a hand on a Bible. There is no law that…
Club Book spring lineup includes William Kent Krueger, Laura Lippman and Peter Geye

Club Book spring lineup includes William Kent Krueger, Laura Lippman and Peter Geye

Anita Shreve, Emily Fridlund among speakers.
Review: 'The Music Shop,' by Rachel Joyce

Review: 'The Music Shop,' by Rachel Joyce

FICTION: Set in London in the 1980s, Rachel Joyce's fifth novel is about the down-and-out owner of a record shop who falls in love with a mysterious woman.
Lesley Nneka Arimah: A wordsmith who spins magic

Lesley Nneka Arimah: A wordsmith who spins magic

The surreal but intensely human stories of this Twin Cities writer won international acclaim — heady stuff for a debut.
17 books we're looking forward to reading in 2018

17 books we're looking forward to reading in 2018

Have you read your Christmas books and are wondering what's coming up next year?
For this Minnesota writer, the more difficult the dog, the greater the rewards

For this Minnesota writer, the more difficult the dog, the greater the rewards

Sometimes a dog that requires work and understanding is the most rewarding kind to have.
New book festival will run over 2 days, bringing 100 authors to Minneapolis

New book festival will run over 2 days, bringing 100 authors to Minneapolis

The Loft Literary Center announces Wordplay, a new two-day book festival.
Great stocking stuffers for book lovers

Great stocking stuffers for book lovers

These reading-related gifts are sure to delight.
Don't feel like reading? 10 tips to bring yourself out of a book slump

Don't feel like reading? 10 tips to bring yourself out of a book slump

Here's how to get your book groove back.
Your ultimate guide to holiday books

Your ultimate guide to holiday books

The latest bestseller, a glossy cookbook, a fat biography, an old classic — a book is a most welcome present.
BOOKMARK: Readers have a hard time choosing which books to save

BOOKMARK: Readers have a hard time choosing which books to save

I might have been unfair when I asked recently what books you’d rush to save in a disaster. Unfair, because I didn’t tell you my…
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.
Do Minnesotans really prefer to read nonfiction while traveling?

Do Minnesotans really prefer to read nonfiction while traveling?

Readers reveal vacation reads.
Review: 'To the Back of Beyond,' by Peter Stamm, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

Review: 'To the Back of Beyond,' by Peter Stamm, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

FICTION: Peter Stamm explores the secrets of a marriage in this strange, lovely little novel.
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.
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…
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