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

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

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

George Saunders

by guest contributor Samantha Campbell

Thursday, October 10th kicked off the 17th season of the Pen Pal series put on by the Friends of the Hennepin County Library. On stage, beneath a couple of giant mice (the reading was held in the Children’s Theater at the Hopkins Center for the Arts), George Saunders gave the first lecture of the season. A nationally acclaimed writer of novellas, short stories, essays, and children’s books, Saunders was recently named to the long list for the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction for his story collection, Tenth of December. Continue reading

Eric Lundgren & Kathryn Davis

A doubleheader of a reading took place at Magers & Quinn last Wednesday, September 18 2013.  Debut novelist Eric Lundgren read from The Facades, and Kathryn Davis read from her seventh novel, Duplex.  Each of these books has been getting some ridiculously good press lately–Kathryn Davis’s book earned a full page review in the New York Times, and The Facades received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly–so it was no surprise that the house was packed. Continue reading

Marisha Pessl

by guest contributor Josh Plattner

“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”

I was sweating, and no one was surprised.

Lit events always incite this unsettling mixture of excitement and anxiety within me. Is it the anticipation of the author’s reading? Is it questions of whom I might run into? Maybe it’s the perpetual nagging of an inner voice whispering: ‘the author won’t even like you!’ (That’s too neurotic, right? Can’t possibly be healthy. Like, who actually cares if an author is a fan of someone they’ve never met and, likely, will never interact with? Well certainly not me and I definitely didn’t fixate on Marisha’s failure to respond to my tweet inquiring about the designer of her killer heels!) Continue reading