Emily St. John Mandel & Heather Slomski

elevenEvery year a handful of books seems to outshine the others in terms of the amount of buzz they generate, or which is generated about them. Not talking about the perennial bestsellers–the Stephen Kings or JK Galbraiths or what have you. The out-of-nowhere literary successes. Think Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding from a few years ago, or more recently, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Books that, if you’re a reader, you might not necessarily read but you’re know about them. They catch your eye in the bookstore because they’re displayed prominently. They’re sold everywhere, and reviewed everywhere, and you can’t seem to escape them. And maybe you do read that book, and maybe it’s your favorite book for a while. Or maybe you read it and you can’t figure out what all the hype was about. But sooner or later, you read them. (Caveat: never read either of those books, but I intend to. Except for The Art of Fielding. Sorry Chad Harbach.) Continue reading

Lit Up Late (1/3)

Something crucial often gets lost at a literary event. There’s a thrill in seeing an author you admire in the flesh, getting your new book signed and personalized, getting to ask a question during a Q&A. There’s revelation in hearing a sentence uttered by its creator, the inflections you wouldn’t have ascribed to a line. There’s the community of the event, being surrounded by fellow readers. There are often snacks, sometimes free booze, sometimes raffles and giveaways. Sometimes literary events have little to do with literature-see Revolver’s amazing boxing party from a couple years ago. Sometimes the whole point of going to a literary event is just to reassure yourself that people who like to read aren’t going extinct. There are many of us, and we’re not going anywhere. So what’s that crucial missing component?

Oh yeah. Books.

murakami mitchell darnielle Continue reading

Nickolas Butler

When you can’t get to a reading, you bring the reading to you.

I’ve hardly been able to get out to Twin Cities events in the last six months, so I clearly wasn’t going to be able to get to Iowa City on Monday, March 24, 2014 to hear Nickolas Butler read from his buzzed-about debut Shotgun Lovesongs. Luckily, the legendary Prairie Lights bookstore streams audio of their lit events. Continue reading

The Second Annual “Cookie” House Press Holiday Party

by guest contributor Samantha Campbell

As you may recall from last winter, for one delicious day a year, local literary publisher, Coffee House Press, transforms its Northeast Minneapolis headquarters into Cookie House Press, an annual cookie potluck and book sale. This year’s event, held last Thursday, December 5th, offered a myriad of cookies that ranged from classic to experimental.   Continue reading

Amy Tan

by guest contributor Stefanie Hollmichel

There was a packed house to see the Hennepin County Library’s Talk of the Stacks event with Amy Tan on Wednesday, November 13 2013 at the Minneapolis Central library. The crowd filled Pohlad Hall and two overflow rooms. After introductions were made, Tan stepped out on stage. She is a petite woman with a big presence. Continue reading

A Simply Glorious and Ultimately Nerdy Reading

This heading is the title given to the group reading at Moon Palace Books on Friday, November 8 2013.  A strange shindig (three vastly different poets and a novelist, taking place at 4pm rather than the typical evening reading time), it did a better job of living up to the first three words of its name than the ending. Continue reading