MN Reads

 

Michael McConnell and his husband of 44 years, Jack Baker, were gay-married when gay-married wasn't cool - or even legal.  But was it?  How it's possible that gay marriage was legal all along ... and an inspiring story where, not surprisingly, love wins.

Writing, like many other creative pursuits, isn't likely to make you rich.  In fact, you'd be lucky if you could buy the odd sack of groceries now and then.

So what happened when Lake Superior Writers, a loosely-knit group of 200 or so ranging from professional to wanna-be writers, offered as the prize for the 2016 Fiction Writing Contest something they thought writers wanted more than money - or even groceries?  Turned out they were right.

University of Minnesota Press

  KUMD talks with journalist, columnist, and author Rick Shefchik about his newest book, Everybody's Heard About the Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock 'n' Roll in Minnesota, published in 2015 by the University of Minnesota Press.  Recordings by The Trashmen ("Surfin' Bird"), The Castaways ("Liar, Liar") and The Gestures ("Run, Run, Run") helped place Minnesota on the rock and roll map in that decade.

A very special Christmas Eve episode of MN Reads with Kevin Kling: how to survive the holidays with family and why the mitten is always big enough.

Anyone can come up with a quick menu for winter or summer ... but what's the right meal for "scorch," "dusk," "frost" or "thaw"?

Tracey Singleton knows.  She's teamed up with Chef Marshall Paulsen and, with Beth Dooley and photographer Mette Nielsen, has the lowdown in "The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook."

The back-of-the-jacket blurb says "Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing ... his life ... is revealed in series of hilarious letters of recommendation ... each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits and passive-aggressive strategies."

But all you really need to know is that, amidst the tragedy and angst of the last week or so, this is just exactly the book you need to read.

Through dark December solstice nights
We learn to love and seek the light
Where Christmas light abounds
And all around is found ...

In a perfect world,  "The Reindeer Wish" would be sold with a few sets of earplugs.

The latest collaboration by Evert; her husband, award-winning photographer Per Breiehagen and their daughter Anja continues the whimsical adventures of a little girl in her rather magical world.

The earplugs aren't for the reader but for the other people in the room, because it's almost impossible to get through this tale of a child and her baby reindeer pal without delighted squeals.

 Tracks in the Wild, a Minnesota Book Award winner in 1994, has been reissued by the University of Minnesota Press.

Turns out, it's a perfect companion to Larry Weber's Backyard Almanac, and its author/illustrator, Northland gem Betsy Bowen, shares his passion for getting outdoors to see what's what.

Just before Cecil the lion was killed in Africa by a Minnesota trophy hunter this summer, Dr. Craig Packer's new book, " Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes, and Men with Guns" was at the printer.

"Our people choose to protect our land. Our country was the first government in the world to create a national park. I’m proud of us. One of my favorite authors, Wallace Stegner, wrote, 'National parks are the best idea we ever had .... they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.'

What could possibly be more interesting than reading a book about something called "the vampire squid from hell"?  

You might think the science-deniers are something new, but not that long ago in Minnesota, the folks that believed in the authenticity of the Kensington Runestone refused any and all efforts to debunk it.  

Musician, singer, songwriter, band member...

Perennial KUMD favorite Teague Alexy adds "author"  to his  resume with the release of  "The New Folklore: Lyrical Tales for Dreamers & Thinkers," a collection of rhyming folktales made up of rescued bits and pieces from the cutting-room floor of his 2006 album, "The New Folklore."

When author Jane St. Anthony was a girl, a man in her neighborhood killed himself.

His wife and daughter moved away, but what St. Anthony remembers most is that no one talked about it; even her questions were met with silence.

We continue our observance of Mental Health Week with a candid conversation with Jane St. Anthony.

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