Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tuesday, February 3--All Music Books Are 20% Off

For many music fans, February 3, 1959, will always be the day the music died. This year, Magers & Quinn is marking the occasion with our first-ever music sale. That day--and that day only--all our music books will be 20% off. Biographies, how-to manuals, even sheet music will all be discounted.

No coupons, no codes, no hassles. Just come in and take your pick of our huge music section. We have jazz, rock, blues, and much more all waiting for you.

Local Press

From the Star Tribune this week:
  • A review of Elissa Elliott's novel Eve: "Elliott's imaginative and convincing portrait of Eve ought to give book clubs plenty to talk about, and will leave Bible study groups even more to argue over." Elliott will be in the store for a reading on Tuesday, February 3.
  • Another review of The Rose Variations, a novel by Marisha Chamberlain, who will be at the Loft Litery Center on February 21 and in our store on March 1.
  • A conversation with Dessa, musician and new author about her collection of short storiesSpiral Bound. A release party for the book will be held on Saturday February 7th, at 8:30pm, Dessa of Doomtree celebrates the release of her first book, Spiral Bound, in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater (818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis). Tickets are $14.00 and are available now at

Friday, January 30, 2009

Win a Trip to Asheville, NC

Enter the Water for Elephants Sweepstakes, sponsored by PARADE Magazine, for a chance to win an exciting trip for you and your book club (max. 5 members). You could be whisked off to a mountain getaway weekend in Asheville, North Carolina where you'll meet and dine with author Sara Gruen. The prize includes two nights lodging at the luxurious Inn on Biltmore Estate, round-trip airfare to Asheville, dinner with the author, signed copies of Water for Elephants, and a tour of Biltmore Estate! The sweepstakes begins today and ends on March 6, 2009. See official rules and enter today at

A Bookstore with a Twist

Amid all the news of bookstore closings, I'm glad to point out some that are actually opening. Asheville, North Carolina's, Mountain Xpress newspaper reports on not one but two new bookstores in the city. I was particularly drawn to news that the Battery Park Book Exchange will feature a champagne bar. Patrons can bring in books and use the resulting store credit to purchase books or, it seems, bubbly. Come summer, the bookstore will even have outdoor seating, so folks can imbibe al fresco. That's civilized.

Details are here.--David E

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yeah, Jane Austen is good, but wouldn't her work be so much better with a few zombies thrown in? Seth Graeme-Smith thought so, and the result is his new novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance -- Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

This is the publisher's blurb: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead."

P&P&Z will be available April 15.--David E

UPDATE: Brains!

Yet Another Reason to Fund Libraries*

When Dominique Trevino of Denver went into labor on a city bus recently, her fellow rider pointed her to a public resource she hadn't planned on, the library. While a security guard made space for Trevino near the doorway, employees called an ambulance, but by the time EMTs arrived, Trevino had already given birth. Mother and daughter are both doing well, in a real hospital.

Library staff celebrated the first birth in their branch by giving the mother a tote bag containing children's books and a library card for the little reader-to-be. Details are here.--David E

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


On his recent tour, Neil Gaiman read chapters of his Newbery Medal-winning The Graveyard Book and posted videos of each chapter to his website, The entire book is available there for you, but at about 6 hours reading time, it's quite the investment of time.

The novel also comes in audiobook format read by the author, too, if you don't want to spend that much time in front of your computer.--David E

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The most prestigious prizes in children's literature were announced yesterday. Neil Gaiman's novel The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal, given to the year's best in literature for young adults.

And The House in the Night, written by St Paul's own Susan Marie Swanson, won the Caldecott Medal for children's illustration. The pictures are striking, done on scratchboard in black and white and yellow. You can hear the author read the text on Minnesota Public Radio.

We have copies of both titles in the store right now. Come get yours before they're gone.--David E

UPDATE 1/28/09: We sold our last copies of The House in the Night. We'll be getting more soon.

Details, Details

I've lived in Minnesota a long time, but the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon was just one of those bits of local color that I never really thought about. But that might change now that I've learned about more about the event's namesake. The new book John Beargrease: Legend of Minnesota's North Shore almost makes me want to go up north. It tells the largely unknown story of Eshquabi, an Ojibwe who delivered mail along the route of today's dog race.

The Star Tribune has a write-up about the book--here. And you can meet the author himself in our store on Thursday, February 5, at 7:30pm.--David E

Monday, January 26, 2009

Starting with a Bang

We're pleased to announce our new science book club. On the fourth Tuesday of each month, the Big Bang Science Book Club will discuss a popular science or nature book over drinks at Grumpy's Bar and Grill. Featured books will cover a wide range of topics, and guest authors and scientists will add to the conversation. You don't have to read the book in advance to attend or to enjoy.

The BBBC's first meeting will be Tuesday February 24 at 7:00pm. Join us at Grumpy's (1111 Washington Av. S., Minneapolis) to talk about The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing. Author Daniel Bergner uses four case studies to explore the variety of sexual experience. The New York Times said, "The book is not written in clinical Krafft-Ebingese, but neither is it leering or salacious. The portraits are serious and even sympathetic, and their cumulative effect is to make readers realize that they understand a lot less about sex than they thought."

As a special kick-off treat, the author himself will be in town to discuss his book.

The Big Bang Book Club will meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Check out our events page for details on future meetings.--David E

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Room to Read

OK, we got a little ragged over the busy holiday season, but at least we're not as crammed as Faqir Chand and Sons Bookstore at Khan Market, New Delhi.

Via Drive-by Blogging.--David E

Thursday, January 22, 2009


If you're kicking yourself that you can't go to a poetry reading by Anne Sexton or Stephane Mallarme, Jim Clark can help you out. The UK video artist has taken still images of poets past and animated them. Then he matches the images to archival readings (when they're available). The result is a little bit Monty Python, but interesting. You can see his poetry films on the YouTubes.--David E

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

House for Sale

A dollhouse believed to have been decorated by Charlotte Bronte while she worked as a governess to the Sidgwick children of Yorkshire is up for sale. Expect to spend between £5,000 and £8,000 for the house--if you can get a mortgage.

Details are here.--David E

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Praise Song for a Chilly Day

Today was poetry's big day. More people probably heard Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem than have heard any recent piece of verse. The LA Times is first out of the gate with a transcription. Read it here.

St Paul's Graywolf Press will publish the poem in a chapbook next month.

The Utne Reader's "Great Writing" blog has a nice summary of Alexander's work and career, including links to her poetry, reviews, and recent interviews.--David E

Monday, January 19, 2009

Talking in the Library

"Talk of the Stacks," the reading series at the downtown Minneapolis public library, is out with its spring lineup.All talks are free and begin at 7 p.m. in Pohlad Hall of Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Details on the Talk of the Stacks lectures and all the library's other goings on are here.--David E

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Man, They Love Their Library!

This photo was taken at the January 7 opening of the new library--yes, a library--in the Lehen neighborhood of Salzburg, Austria. The building is built in a former football (read, soccer) stadium. You can see the architects' presentation here. Click "Bilder" to see the pictures.

And that's not the half of it. Check out this video of the opening ceremony. There were ice carvers, firebreathing jugglers, a tango trio, even an aerialist.--David E

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Poets & Writers has posted ten book portraits by Richard Baker. They are quite literally that--paintings of books. They're also accompanied by brief statements from the artist about what books have meant to him.--David E

She's No Fool

Research is always better on the beach. Sarah Vowell told Canada's National Post newspaper about her latest book The Wordy Shipmates and about her next project, a history of Hawaii after the arrival of Europeans. Given the weather lately, I'm surprised our neighbors to the north didn't stone her when they heard that last bit of news.--David E

Friday, January 16, 2009

He Who Must Be Read

John Mortimer, author of the Rumpole of the Bailey series, has died. His comic novels follow the eponymous English barrister as he navigates both the law and his marriage to "She Who Must Be Obeyed." Mortimer knew what he was writing about. He was a lawyer and testified for the defense in the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial of the 1960s.

The BBC has details and remembrances.--David E

Minnesotans Love Their Books

Amid the gloomy economic news, there are still some bright lights. Case in point is St Cloud's indie bookstore Books Revisited. The University Chronicle has posted an article about the 18-year-old bookstore. Customers love its blend of new, used, and rare books--and the smell.

Check them out the next time you're in downtown St Cloud or visit them now online.--David E

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rabbit Redux

The Book of Bunny Suicides--which this writer considers to be the best book ever--has survived a parent's challenge and will remain in the Central Linn High School library in Halsey, Oregon. Details are here.--David E

The Anti-Foodies' Foodie

I liked Laura Miller's review of Mark Bittman's new book Food Matters right from the opening paragraph:

"Mark Bittman is the anti-foodies' foodie, one of the few culinary writers around who don't indulge in either the precious chefolatry of the Gourmet magazine set or the remedial pandering of Rachael Ray. In his instant-classic cookbooks and "The Minimalist" columns for the New York Times, he treats the preparation of food as an enjoyable daily activity that needn't be fetishized but that also shouldn't be reduced to layering prepared foods in a casserole dish, popping it in the oven, and chirping "Yummers!""

You can read the rest of the article here.--David E

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hot off the Press

Graywolf Press is publishing a chapbook of the new poem which Elizabeth Alexander will read at the inauguration on Tuesday. The chapbook will be available February 6. You can order a copy from Graywolf here (to be shipped when it's available), or you can get one in the store next month.--David E

Body of Work

The blog Corpus Libris, subtitled "An ongoing photo essay on books and the bodies that love them," compiles pictures of people which incorporate book covers. I thought yesterday's was particularly good.--David E

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who's the Boss?

“Todd Boss is going to be a poetry all-star,” predicts Sherman Alexie. “He can make any rhyme feel like a concealed weapon.” (Christian Science Monitor)

Todd Boss' poetry collection Yellowrocket is getting a lot of attention. Not only the CSM, but also The New Yorker and Minnesota Public Radio have praised the self-appointed Poet Laureate of Nina's Cafe in St Paul. We like him too; Boss read here last November.

Now Boss has produced a video, so you can watch his poetry as well as read it.--David E

Friday, January 9, 2009

Brand-New Pooh

The estate of A.A. Milne--which operates as Trustees of the Pooh Properties--has authorized the first new Winnie the Pooh book since Milne's death. The anointed author is David Benedictus, who has previously penned audio adaptations of the classic childrens' stories. The new book will be titled "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood" and will be published October 5.

The Star Tribune has the details..--David E

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Timesuck for Dummies lets you create your own book cover in the style of Wiley's omnipresent "...For Dummies" series. It's a good way to waste five minutes.--David E

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Look

Four Corners Books
in the UK has a series of books they call "Familiars." They're "artists’ responses to classic novels and short stories." The first book in the series was Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray reinvented as a 1970s fashion magazine. They've also released reworked versions of Dracula and Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor, an unfinished novel by Franz Kafka.

Thanks to The Caustic Cover Critic for the tip.--David E

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Good Neighbors

The Loft Literary Center and Magers & Quinn Booksellers announce the formation of a working relationship which will benefit Minnesota writers and readers alike.
  1. Magers & Quinn will be the bookseller at Loft events and festivals.
  2. Loft members will receive a discount on all purchases at Magers & Quinn as well as at Loft events where books are being sold by M&Q.
  3. Magers & Quinn will list Loft events on its website and support Loft events with in-store displays.
  4. Convenient links will help familiarize Loft members with Magers & Quinn’s books and events and will lead M&Q customers to the Loft’s website.

Magers & Quinn Booksellers and The Loft Literary Center’s new working relationship is a great example of how a for-profit and a not-for-profit can work together for their mutual benefit and for the benefit of Twin Cities book lovers.

“For 34 years, The Loft has played a major role in making the Twin Cities into the great literary center that it is. We hope to build a strong and long lasting relationship. This is a very good beginning,” Jay Peterson, manager at Magers & Quinn said.