MN Reads

Duluthian Marie Zhuikov writes "eco-mystic romance novels for new adults,"  set right here at home.

Unfamiliar with the genre?  Find out what it's all about and why Marie is a little nervous to have her parents read her books!

What makes a town?  A railroad line?  A post office?

How did Minnesota's lost towns become lost ... and could our wired society - and the ability to work almost anywhere - bring them back again?

Fulcrum Publishing

We talk with Kristin Eggerling, author of Breath of Wilderness: The Life of Sigurd Olson (2014, Fulcrum Publishing), about the great wilderness educator and advocate, and champion of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota.

We talk with David Kess, author of More Than Just Ore: The Era That Really Made Ely, published in 2014 by the Ely-Winton Historical Society.  Not a dry collection of historical mining data, this book is a collection of photographs and anecdotes that give a deeper connection to the lives lived in Ely since it was founded in the 1880s. 

For the longest time, Ann Glumac wrote poetry as a way of capturing a moment or an experience.

Then she allowed herself to entertain a new idea: what if other people might like what she wrote?

On the heels of that thought: what if they don't?

My father will wake in the dark...

I buy him presents,

warm and heavy things

of wool and wood.

To warm him.

To weigh him down

so he cannot float away from me

into the big night sky.

~ "Solstice" by Ann Glumac

It was just like everyday silver or everyday dishes; it wasn't something special you hauled out for company.

That's what Peggy Trojan saw growing up and writes about, in this moving chapbook of poetry about her parents and their "everyday love."

Peggy Trojan's chapbook of poetry, "Everyday Love," was nominated for the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) in Poetry and is self-published.  All this summer, we'll be bringing you books about the Northland, from the Northland by NEMBA award-winners and nominees.

Agnes Rajala kept her writing to herself.

In fact, she didn't get around to showing it to her family until she presented them with the manuscript of "Waters Like the Sky: Book 1 – The Chronicles of an Unlikely Voyageur." 

But as her daughter explains, by the end of her life in 2013, she was not only excited about the publishing of this book with her daughter, Nikki, she had another in the series ready to go.

It wasn't until he'd had years of telling stories about his childhood and being met with laughter and disbelief that Gary Barfknecht began to suspect his upbringing on the Iron Range wasn't typical of Minnesota kids who grew up elsewhere. 

Author and Hibbing native Pat McGauley's work as an historian at the Discovery Center years ago led to (so far) nine books about the fictional Moran family - and there's another book on the way.

"I got to know the family so well, I had to keep going with them," says McGauley.

Former Two Harbors resident Dennis Herschbach already had three novels in his Two Harbors mystery series under his belt when he started writing "A River Through Two Harbors."  Then he read an article by Christine Stark in the StarTribune and his book took a turn into the only-too-real world of Native women being sex trafficked in the Northland.  When truth is more horrifying than fiction: Dennis Herschbach is our guest this morning on MN Reads.

Author Dean Hovey's family is in Carlton County, which, he explains, is why he's set his four Pine County mysteries and two Two Harbors "cozies" where he did. 

The challenges of writing what - and where - you know, this week on MN Reads.

Dean Hovey's "Undeveloped: A Pine County Mystery" was a nominee for the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) for Fiction, and all this summer, we'll be bringing you books about the Northland, from the Northland by NEMBA award-winners and nominees.

North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

We talk with Catherine Holm, author of Voice Lessons: Tales of Breaking Free published in 2014 by North Star Press of St. Cloud.

The man who co-wrote the screenplay of "House of Sand and Fog" has written a novel set in northern Minnesota.

It's a story of mistakes: those you can recover from and those you can't, of race relations and of finding - or returning - to your real self.

Shawn Lawrence Otto was the winner of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) for Fiction, and all this summer, we'll be bringing you books about the Northland, from the Northland by NEMBA award-winners and nominees.

Poet Lynette Reini-Grandell won the 2014 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA) for poetry earlier this month.  She joins us to read some selections from her first collection, "Approaching the Gate,"  and to talk about the benefits of the unqualifiable in schools.

Published by Holy Cow! Press.

In 2006, when she was 86 years old, Dorothy Dora Whipple was looking for a new challenge.  A fluent and lifelong Ojibwe speaker, Dorothy had just finished a three-year project for the University of Minnesota,  making and transcribing recordings of her language. But she knew right away what she wanted to tackle next: a book of her stories, in Ojibwe and English, with drawings to illustrate the stories and perhaps interest younger people in learning the language.

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