Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Once Was Blind...

We have some passes in the store for a preview screening of Blindness. The show will be Thursday, at 7:30pm, at the Lagoon Cinema.

The movie is based on Jose Saramago's novel of the same title. In it, everyone in the world is struck by an inexplicable loss of sight.--David E

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bad Moon Rising

We just got in these posters for the upcoming reading by Chuck Klosterman, and they're really sweet. They're printed in black, orange, and silver, and they look even better in person than the image above. The design is by the good folks at Aesthetic Apparatus.

We'll have posters for sale in the store soon. They'll also be available at Chuck Klosterman's reading (he's got a new novel out) on October 2. This event will be held at the Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Tickets are eight dollars each and can be purchased in our store or at triplerocksocialclub.com.--David E

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Must... Read... Book

Salon.com has kicked off its new "Must Read" series with a review of Kate Atkinson's latest novel When Will There Be Good News?. Like Atkinson's earlier novels, WWTBGN is hard to classify: Salon called it "a work of fancy, genre-bending footwork in which a rueful, cranky, modern comedy-of-manners dances an intricate minuet with an unlikely partner: a kidnapping plot."

I am a big fan of Atkinson's earlier novel Case Histories, so I'm glad to hear her latest book is getting good press, too.--David E

Mash Note

Sarah Hepola has written a mash note to Chuck Klosterman, and it's posted on salon.com.

The occasion is Chuck's turn to fiction. His first novel Downtown Owl has just been published. Says Hepola, "Klosterman, a man who built his career on dazzling, antic nonfiction, has also done something unexpected. (And yet, at the same time, totally clichéd.) He has written a novel. A novel that is quite good, actually. Not overeager or hyperambitious, but a slow burn of a small-town snapshot that is more "Winesburg, Ohio" than Amy Winehouse"

Chuck will be in town, reading from his novel, on October 2. This event will be held at the Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Tickets are eight dollars each and can be purchased in our store or at triplerocksocialclub.com.--David E

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Depression's Cost--Part 2

The family of Lucy Maud Mongtomery, author of the beloved "Anne of Green Gables" series of young adult novels, has recently revealed that the author's death in 1942 was in fact suicide. The news came in an article in Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper written by the Montogomery's granddaughter Kate Macdonald Butler.

Montgomery struggled with depression for years before she took her life. Now her granddaughter hopes to bring attention to the condition and its effects. "I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not to us--and most certainly not to our heroes and icons," she wrote.--David E

Bolt from the Blue

Two authors are among the 25 recipients of the latest round of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, and Alex Roth, who penned The Rest is Noise, a history of music in the twentieth century, will each receive $500,000 to further their work.

Since there is no application for the grants, the winners were all unaware that they were under consideration. Adichie told the New York Times, “I like to say that America is like my distant uncle who doesn’t remember my name but occasionally gives me pocket money. That phone call filled me with an enormous affection for my uncle!”

Details are here.--David E

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palahniuk Schwag

We've got free passes to the new movie version of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Choke. The screening will be 7:30pm on this coming Thursday at Uptown's own Lagoon Cinema. Passes are available while they last.

Here's the movie's trailer.

We also have tshirts promoting Choke (the movie). They're free with any Palahniuk book you care to purchase in the store. Again, once they're gone, they're gone.--David E

Monday, September 22, 2008

High Praise Indeed

Salman Rushdie raved about Italo Calvino's 1965 book Cosmicomics on NPR recently. He called the collection of short stories, "possibly the most enjoyable story collection ever written, a book that will frequently make you laugh out loud at its mischievous mastery, capricious ingenuity and nerve."

What more is there to say?--David E

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

From the (Dala) Horse's Mouth

Eric Dregni won a Fullbright Scholarship to his homeland of Norway. The result--beyond Fullbright-quality research, I'm sure--is his new book In Cod We Trust. The book was blurbed by Walter Mondale and Patricia Hampl.

Now comes another good review from no less an authority than norway.org. They say In Cod We Trust is good fun for readers: "If you are looking for an academic anthropological study challenging the stereotypical conceptions of Norwegians, you will have to turn elsewhere. If you’re looking for a witty account of the cultural differences between Norway and the United States, however, look no further."

Eric Dregni will give a reading in our store Sunday, October 5, at 6:00pm.--David E

Lost Weekend

MTv has posted an excerpt from The Alcoholic, a graphic novel by Jonathan Ames. Ames wrote the story (it's illustrated by Dean Haspiel), and true to Ames' form it is quite autobiographical. The protagonist is even named Jonathan A.

The author says that The Alcoholic is “a life-story as one big bender, and so there are plenty of girls and fights and madness and heartbreak.”

The Alcoholic hits the streets September 24.--David E

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Taste Is Free

There's an excerpt of Christopher Paolini's new novel Brisingr on MSNBC. You can also see Paolini on the Today show:

The book--number three in Paolini's Inheritance cycle--goes on sale tomorrow. We will have copies in the store for you. We open at ten.--David E

Hungry? We've Got Your Book

I like the new editorial slant of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's book coverage. They're certainly covering a lot more local authors. Case in point is the recent excerpt of Steve Lerach's memoir Fried : Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants.

Lerach began his career in the kitchen as a dishwasher at the Ambassador Hotel in St. Louis Park and worked his way up to run twleve kitchens at the University of Minnesota. His book blends restaurant lore with the author's own experience to give us a candid look behind the scenes of the food serving business.

Steve Lerach will be at Magers & Quinn Monday, October 6, at 7:30pm, to read from his memoir.--David E

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

miniStories, mnartists.org's flash fiction competition and publication series, is looking for your work. There are some really cool judges for this round: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl (senior editor and restaurant critic for Minnesota Monthly), Michael Kimball (author of Dear Everybody), and Dennis Cass (author of Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain).

This is a really good opportunity for local writers to get some free, valuable exposure with not a lot of effort. There really isn't much like this for writers in our region, and mnartists.org really wants this competitive literary series to garner enough interest from local writers to ensure it'll stay around for a long while.
  • Any genre is welcome
  • 5-500 words
  • Open only to Minnesota writers
  • Entrants must be registered as an "artist" on mnartists.org
  • Deadline is October 1, 2008
  • Full details are here.

Send your entries to stories@mnartists.org.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't Panic

Eoin Colfer, best known for his YA novels featuring Artemis Fowl, has been tapped to write the sixth novel in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, reports the Guardian. Colfer has big shoes to fill. Since the first Douglas Adams' HGttG story appeared as a radio play in 1978, the series has grown a cult following. "I feel more pressure to perform now than I ever have with my own books," said Colfer.

The as-yet-untitled sixth book will be published in October of 2009.--David E

Calling All Book Lovers!

Volunteers are needed for the 2008 Twin Cities Book Festival! Held on Saturday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, this annual celebration of books and readings features author talks and readings, children’s activities, a book and literary organization fair, used book sale, and book arts activities. The event, produced by the nonprofit Rain Taxi Review of Books, is free and open to the public. Volunteers are needed for set up and take-down, greeting visitors, and staffing author readings, Children’s Corner, and Information Desk. Shifts will be about two and a half hours, with plenty of time for volunteers to enjoy the rest of the Book Festival. Preparation information and brief training will be provided. To learn more and to sign up as a volunteer, go to the Twin Cities Book Festival website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Give a Hoot

Litmob has posted a review of Chuck Klosterman's first novel Downtown Owl. They like it, saying, "Klosterman injects much of himself into each of the characters, though you really can’t blame him for our familiarity with how he thinks. He writes with verve, and has earnestly crafted characters readers will invest in."

You can read a review of Chuck Klosterman's first novel Downtown Owl right now and decide for yourself. Then hear Chuck himself on Thursday, October 2, 8:00pm, at the Triple Rock Social Club (629 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis). Tickets to Chuck's reading are eight dollars and are available at our store or online at the Triple Rock's website.--David E

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Acedia & Me & You, Too

Excerpt powerhouse USA Today has reprinted a portion of Kathleen Norris' new book Acedia & Me. Magers & Quinn is sponsoring Norris' appearance on Wednesday, September 24, 7:30pm. The reading will be at Lyndale United Church of Christ, 31st and Aldrich S. Minneapolis.
All the details are on our events page.--David E

Book Lovers Gather

Rain Taxi's 2008 Twin Cities Book Festival will be held at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (1501 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis)

This year’s lineup includes:
  • NPR's "Voice of Books" Alan Cheuse
  • Mexican author Ana Clavel
  • comics legend Jaime Hernandez
  • acclaimed novelist Valerie Martin
  • Allen Ginsberg biographer Bill Morgan
  • Icelandic author Bragi Ólafsson
  • esteemed poet Nathaniel Tarn
  • debut novelist Jess Winfield
  • AND the Twin Cities Book Launch for the selected poems of Olav H. Hauge, featuring Robert Bly and Robert Hedin

The annual Twin Cities Book Festival is a celebration of books and reading that is free and open to the general public. Visit the Rain Taxi website for full details.

You can also sign up to volunteer or to be an exhibitor.--David E

Monday, September 15, 2008

Never Enough

It's not Palin vs Gibson,but it's still funny. John Hodgman stares down the camera and talks about his forthcoming book More Information Than You Require, courtesy of BoingBoingTV.

Hodgman's book will go on sale October 21.--David E

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Words

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviewed George Rabasa's new novel The Wonder Singer. They liked it,saying, "Rabasa, who lives in Minneapolis, has a lot of fun with this book. ... His descriptions are astute and often humorous."
George Rabasa will be in our store on Saturday, October 4, at 6:00pm.We hope you can attend.--David E

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Catch of the Day

CTV.ca has posted an excerpt from The Flying Troutmans,the latest novel from Miriam Toews. Ms Toews will be in our store on Wednesday, October 22, at 7:30pm, to read from her book and take your questions.--David E

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bit by Bit

Alexander McCall Smith, author of the wildly popular No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of novels, is taking a page from Charles Dickens: he's publishing his next novel in installments. The novel will appear each weekday for 20 weeks, starting September 15 and running through February 13, on the website of the UK's Telegraph newspaper. (It will also be available as a podcast, if you prefer listening to reading. Email and RSS feeds are available too. There's everything but a book.)

The series, entitled Corduroy Mansions, will follow the residents of an apartment building in southwest London. An interview with the author and a cast of characters have already been posted. The series itself will appear here.--David E

Used is Good

Every year in Hennepin County, 32 million pounds of usable clothing and household goods are thrown away. To encourage us all to reuse items before we chuck them in the landfill, Hennepin County is again sponsoring its "Choose to Reuse" program.

Coupon books are now available. There is a small display rack of them on the front counter. Pick one up the next time you're in the store. In the book are coupons good at 84 local retailers, including Magers & Quinn, which rent, repair, resell, consign, trade, sell bulk and exchange used goods. (Note however, that although the coupon books are available now, the coupons themselves are not valid until October.)

There are more details--including a list of all the participating stores--on Hennepin County's website.--David E

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crimson, Scarlet, and Incarnadine

In the interests of national unity and harmony, amazon.com has divvied up all its books into Red and Blue, then mapped their purchases, thereby creating a multihued map of our diversity and variety. Or they've simply demonstrated something booksellers in the Twin Cities could have told you already (for example, here--scroll down to the last article): that Republicans shop online and that Democrats buy from independent booksellers.--David E

Wild Things

Children's author and illustator Maurice Sendak revealed two things about himself in the New York Times earlier this week:
  • He's a bit of a curmudgeon. "'I hate people,' he said at one point, extolling the superior company of dogs, like his sweet-tempered German shepherd, Herman (after Melville)."
  • He's gay. "“I just didn’t think it was anybody’s business,” Mr. Sendak added. He lived with Eugene Glynn, a psychoanalyst, for 50 years before Dr. Glynn’s death in May 2007."
There's actually a lot more interesting stuff in the article, but I thought those were the highlights.--David E

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wyoming... Hell on Earth?

Annie Proulx's new collection of short stories Fine Just the Way It Is is getting good reviews--with a common element. The New York Times says, "Her sense of story is admirable, her sentences are artful, and she writes like a demon. "

The folks at the New West book review also smell brimstone. They say, "Strictly speaking, not all of these nine stories are set in Wyoming—two of them occur in Hell. But the reader can be hard pressed to tell the difference between these locales as Proulx skips capably through time."--David E

Needle in a Haystack

According to WBIR, in Knoxville, TN,"A Shawano, Wisconsin man bought a book for a dollar at the Shawano City County Library Annual book sale, only to find out it's worth thousands. Fred Eberlein picked up the an 1848 printing of "The Life of George Washington" by John Marshall." Details, such as they are, are here.

Got a treasure? Bring it in to our store. We're always buying books.--David E

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Booker Shortlist Announced

The finalists for the 2008 Man Booker Prize have been announced. The six contenders areWhat's most unusual about this year's shortlist is who's not on it. Salman Rushdie's longlisted book Enchantress of Florence and John Berger's From A to X didn't make the cut; both are previous winners of the Booker. The finalists this year are largely first-timers. It's anyone's game.--David E

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Sneeze

Photographer David Maisel's new book, Library of Dust, has just been published. Its eighty photos depict copper canisters, each of which holds the unclaimed, cremated remains of a patient at the Oregon State Hospital.--David E

(With thanks to Book Patrol, who got it from the inimitable boingboing.net.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What If God Was One of Us?

Below is a video trailer for a funny children's book from South Africa. Wie Is Dit? ("Who is This?" in Afrikaans) recasts the usual Bible stories in a modern vein. My favorite is the diptych of Adam and Eve: You can tell they've been cast out of Paradise because they're clutching cell phones. (My second-favorite detail is the "S♥D" tatoo on Sampson's bicep.)

Wie is Dit is not available in the US, I'm afraid,so this video is as close as you can get.--David E

Friday, September 5, 2008

Local Writer Thrills Them Again

The Star Tribune reviewed William Kent Krueger's latest novel Red Knife, and they liked it. "Krueger keeps readers guessing in this page-turner, and it's a joy to read his easy prose and loving descriptions of northern Minnesota."

William Kent Krueger will be in our store Tuesday, September 23, at 7:30pm. You can ask him your questions and get a signed copy of his latest thriller. As always, the info on this and all our upcoming events is on our website.--David E

Cold Paradise

Per Petterson has a new book coming out. His first English translation Out Stealing Horses was a runaway success for the Twin Cities' Graywolf Press. Like his earlier novel, To Siberia is set in a very cold Scandinavia, but is full of vivid characters. Time Out New York has a preview of the book late last month called it "a frostbitten, beautifully rendered addition to the "family can really screw you up" genre."

Now John Freeman has published a longer review of the new book in Bookforum. Freeman likes the book, saying, "Gloomily, soberly, Petterson paints [his protaganist's] life with a dark, cold luster."

To Siberia goes on sale September 30.--David E

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Get Chucked

Mark your calendars now. We're sponsoring a very special event in October. Chuck Klosterman will be in Minneapolis to read from his new book--which is also his first novel. Like a colder, Reagan-era version of The Last Picture Show fused with Friday Night Lights, Downtown Owl is the unpretentious, darkly comedic story of how it feels to exist in a community where rural mythology and violent reality are pretty much the same thing.

Chuck will be interviewed by Pioneer Press pop music critic Ross Raihala. E.L.n.O, The Electric Light (no) Orchestra, will perform both before and after the interview and Q&A.

This event will be held at the Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. Tickets are eight dollars each and can be purchased in our store or at triplerocksocialclub.com.--David E

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The Academy of American Poets has given its annual Wallace Stevens Award to former Poet Laureate Louise Glück--aka Louise Glueck, for those who can't abide the umlaut. The prize is worth a whopping $100,000. (The Boston Globe has details.)

Glück is the author of several books of poetry, including Ararat and Vita Nova. You can browse our selection of Louise Glück's titles here.--David E

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stimulus Package

Yes, you can buy a copy of Helene Cooper's memoir of growing up in Liberia The House at Sugar Beach at your local Starbucks, along with your extra cold, double-skim, decaf iced green tea latte. But if you want to meet the author, you have to cross the street and visit Magers & Quinn, because on Tuesday, September 16, at 8:00pm, Ms Cooper will be in our store, reading from her book.

So to recap: Stand in line with caffeine-deprived zombies or sit in luxury with intelligent, polite readers. It's your choice. (And yes, you can bring your coffee into the store.)--David E

Monday, September 1, 2008

And Everything In Its Blog

Bookshelf is an entire blog devoted to storing books. It's not about the books themselves, mind you. It's just about the furniture we use to store them.--David E

Book and a Beer Chaser

The next meeting of the Twin Cities' most unusual and interesting book club is Tuesday, September 9. Books & Bars meets at Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake Street, in Minneapolis. Doors open at 6:00pm; the discussion begins at 7:00pm.

September's book is Zeroville. The Seattle Times called this novel "a surprising page-turner, driven by a jumpy energy and short, cinematic chapters."

Books & Bars is not your typical book club. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and drinks. You're welcome even if you haven't read the book.