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James Lileks

Columnist | Variety
Phone: 612-673-7858

James Lileks is a Star Tribune columnist. 


Lileks, a Minneapolis resident since 1976: "I've never repeated myself once. I don't like to say I write a 'humor' column, since that's subjective. What might be amusing to me might leave you poker-faced. Let's just say my columns are not intended to be taken seriously." He also writes "Streetscape" pieces, which detail the delights and errors, past and present, of the Twin Cities urban environment. He's the author of four novels, four pop-culture "humor" books on vintage subjects and two collections of columns. "People who like my stuff will probably like lileks.com, and those who don't are probably grateful for the heads-up, and will avoid it," Lileks says.
Recent content from James Lileks
Delivery tracking can make you wonder if you could have walked there faster.

Lileks: Shippers' tracking numbers track our frustration

My wife was on the phone. She had the posture of a floor lamp, which indicated both concentration and irritation."NO," she said. She paused. "NO.""Are…
Alex Riley, an associate librarian with the Arvonne Fraser Library in Minneapolis, processed returned books.

Lileks: Out: fines. In: gentle shaming

The Hennepin County Library System has announced that it no longer will charge fees for overdue books. You know this has the Grumpy-American community duly…
High resolution 3D render of Planet Earth.

Lileks: Turning to Martha Stewart for the latest spin on science news

This is good news or bad, depending on your view: The Earth is spinning faster than ever, and that means the days are shorter. Have…
istock What color are the Yellow Pages on the internet?

Lileks: Yes, the phone book still exists

They still produce phone books? Why?
A city of St. Paul snow plow worked near the Minnesota State Capitol.

You can name a Minnesota snowplow

The kooky contest, which started in Scotland, is gaining traction here.
These hunters found the elusive Golden Gnome in a St. Paul park Thursday. From left: Mason Thorson, 7, and Mack and Mace Peterson, both 5. The tree gn

Lileks: Can you find the nonexistent hidden prize?

Follow the clues and earn big bucks — well, buck.
Ceiling fans are the latest worry to cap 2020.

Lileks: The last story of the bad year? Killer ceiling-fan blades

It will be nice when we hear that honeybees are plentiful and monarch butterflies are returning in record numbers, and the evenings are full of…
Star Tribune illustration  TCF Bank name changes

Lileks: Another local name, kaput

With TCF sale, another familiar local name passes from the banking scene.
A man walks toward the McDonald’s near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis as a car waits at the drive-thru window.

The Dinkytown McDonald's has closed: Remembering the U of M's golden arches

No one's nostalgic for the Dinkytown McD's. But some of us are nostalgic for who they were when they went there.
What’s your plan for a tornado?

Lileks: Who knew masks prevented sirens

The butterfly effect and you.
A McDonald’s restaurant in Beijing. McDonald’s is selling a sandwich made of Spam topped with crushed Oreo cookies.

Lileks: What are they doing with Spam in China?

Hey, maybe it's good.