MN Reads

Lorin Robinson talks about this work of historical fiction, and the modern-day pitfalls of writing across cultural lines.

"The 13: Ashi-niswi" is published by Open Books.

The historical record is written and maintained, in many cases, by people who wanted their story told - and told in a certain way.

So when Susan Bartlett Foote came across the diary of Engla Schey, with accounts and photographs of the conditions in mid-20th century Minnesota mental institutions, she knew these were forgotten - but vitally important - stories about forgotten people.

University of Minnesota Press

Bill Sullivan spent years as a roadie with The Replacements, traveling with the band at first in the "lemon jail," a late 70's Ford Econoline van named Bert.   Their escapades are the stuff of legend, but even when things seemed dire, as Sullivan relates, "we were 22 years old and were having a lot of fun, really."

Sullivan's memoir Lemon Jail: On the Road with the Replacements was published in 2018 by the University of Minnesota Press.

Author Yvonne Pearson's charming book for kids is the perfect read for little folks who might be uncertain about camping for the first time.

Sadie Braves the Wilderness is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Anthony Scott talks about the writing of the three books in this collection: Centennial Edition of the Minneapolis Beacon (1956), Minneapolis Negro Profile (1968), and Minnesota’s Black Community (1976) -- and growing up with the father who wrote them.

The Scott Collection: Minnesota's Black Community in the '50s, '60s, and '70s is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
 

Minnesota is home to more endangered species than just the wolf.

Adam Regn Arvidson takes a look, not only at the plants and animals on the list, but which ones we value, why we value them, and what we take into consideration moving forward.

Wild and Rare: Tracking Endangered Species in the Upper Midwest is published my Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Mushrooms are a fruit?

Who knew?!

Authors Michael Karns and Lisa Golden Schroeder certainly did.  They, with photographer Dennis Becker have produced a book that's part cook book, part field guide, and part coffee table book.

Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table is published by Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Long before "catfishing," email scams or Ted Bundy entered the scene, Minnesota's Harry Hayward was cutting a swath - sometimes literally - through Minnesota's female population.

The Infamous Harry Hayward: A True Account of Murder and Mesmerism in Gilded Age Minneapolis is published by the University of Minnesota Press.

"Imagination is an active power in the world that shapes how people live their lives"

So does anthropology need to rethink itself as more closely connected to art and literature - or even philosophy - than the social sciences?

Fictionalizing Anthropology: Encounters and Fabulations at the Edges of the Human is published by the University of Minnesota Press.
 

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.

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