MN Reads

Kate Cavett is the kind of person who wants to read the book, not see the movie.

She says she likes stories "in their original versions," so it's no surprise that this oral historian chose to investigate a neighborhood near where she grew up in a way that "records the voice of the storyteller."

Voices of Rondo: Oral Histories of Saint Paul's Historic Black Community is published by the University of Minnesota Press.

What stands out about a person when they're gone?

Carol Lafavor died in 2011, but her legacy is that of a pioneer in the places where gender, sexuality, social justice, HIV/AIDS awareness and being Native intersect.

You can air-condition a movie theater with an artesian well.

Drive-in movies didn't lose their popularity; land just got too expensive.

These and other gems are available in Dave Kenney's Twin Cities Picture Show.

Cultures define themselves in many ways, frequently with reference to the natural world.

On the surface, it's hard to see that as a bad thing.

But as we delve further into ecology ("a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment"), is the stumbling block to finding answer the way we see nature ... or just human beings?

Widespread flu.  Fires burning entire communities to the ground.

Soldiers fighting in faraway hot spots abroad and an anti-immigrant nationalism taking hold.

But journalist Curt Brown's new book isn't a chronicle of today but of one hundred years ago.  "A century," he says, "doesn't seem so long ago anymore."

Minnesota 1918 is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Karlyn Coleman celebrates her love of all things winter with a book guaranteed to make natives of the Land of 10,000 Lakes puff out their chests with pride -- and (as it turns out) horrify grade-school kids in Arizona!

Where Are All the Minnesotans? is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Minnesota Historical Society

If the committee had seen Bob Dylan's high school poetry, would he still have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016?

For better or worse, they didn't, but Dylan fans will be able to see some of the Dylan poetry canon (circa Hibbing High School, 1956) later this month at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Looking at Cathy de Moll's account of Will Steger's 1989 Trans-Antarctica Expedition on a bookstore shelf, you might be tempted to pick it up, reminded of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon coming up this weekend in Duluth.

You might know that longtime musher and sled dog trainer John Stetson (this year part of KUMD's Beargrease coverage) got his start training dogs for Steger back in 1986.

Immigrants. Working-class people who feel they have no voice. Jobs.

Labor historian Gary Kaunonen talks about the conversations then and now ... and why he thinks  history - for everyone - should be a basic human right.

Flames of Discontent: The 1916 Minnesota Iron Ore Strike is published by University of Minnesota Press.

Art historian and host of Where's Art, Annie Dugan, takes the mic to interview Andreas Marks, the author of Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture.

University of Minnesota Press

Our guest on this segment of MN Reads is Andrea Swensson, the author of Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound, published in 2017 by the University of Minnesota Press.  The book explores the culture and music that shaped the Twin Cities' R&B scene, and the life and career of Prince.  

Ms. Swensson has long been a music journalist in the Twin Cities and hosts a radio program the Twin Cities on local music.

National Geographic photographer, collaborator and dad Per Breiehagen talks about the latest entry in the "Wish" series, their photo shoot at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge in Ely for next year's book, and why you never know when photos from the archive are going to come in handy.

Insights can come from unexpected places.

After a career in academia, publishing and lecturing on fairy tales, Jack Zipes hardly expected his 3,000-picture postcard collection to yield new insights.

But it did: over five pounds worth.

"That's the point of any kind of travel, really. That it's transformational.  You become part of the world in a way that you weren't before."

~ Thomas Shevory

On this Thanksgiving Day, Sioux (Oglala Lakota) chef Sean Sherman is being treated by his family.