It's January, and you know what that means: The Minnesota Book Awards gala event is getting close, with a steady stream of announcements and auxiliary awards leading up to it.

The Book Artist award was announced last month, Wendy Fernstrum. (An exhibit of her work will open at Open Book on Feb. 19.)

The Kay Sexton Award will be announced very soon (very soon!) (watch this space!). Ditto the finalists for the Minnesota Book Awards, which will be announced Jan. 30.

The winner of the Hognander Minnesota History Award, which is given only every other year, will be announced in early March. And then the gala itself, at the Union Depot in Lowertown St. Paul, on April 16.

Here are the books that are in contention for the Hognander award, with links to Star Tribune reviews, when available:

"Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in MInnesota, 1865-1912," by William D. Green. (University of MInnesota Press)

"Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women's Movement," by Lori Sturdevant (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

"My Grandfather's Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation," by Brenda J. Child (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

"Myths of the Rune Stone: Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America," by David M. Krueger (University of Minnesota Press)

"North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota's Superior Coast," by Chel Anderson and Adeleheid Fischer (University of MInnesota Press)

"Stassen Again," by Steve Werle (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

"Taconite Dreams: The Stuggle to Sustain Mining of Minnesota's Iron Range, 1915-2000," by Jeffrey T. Manuel (University of Minnesota Press)

"Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe," by Anton Treuer (Minnesota Historical Society Press)