Thursday, September 30, 2010

Come and Let Go

So many of us spend so much time enmeshed in other people's problems, trying to solve or change them, that we don't really know where we begin and they end. Not reacting to people or situations that provoke us is not an easy skill to develop. It takes practice and conviction that not reacting, not increasing the drama, doesn't mean we don't care. On the contrary, we are freed to show genuine love and care only when we can detach from the knee-jerk need to fix, solve, rescue, or control. Even the idea that someone else can make us feel happy (or beautiful or angry) or we them is an illusion, says Casey in this remarkable book. All our feelings come from within and we get to choose how to respond to life.

The meditations in this power-packed little book provide us the tools we need to practice letting go of the illusion that we can control anyone or anything beyond our selves. Casey teaches us to focus on finding our own balance point and recognizing how to get to it whenever we find ourselves tempted to rescue or enmesh.

"One of the most profoundly spiritual and helpful books I have read."--Hugh Prather, author of The Little Book of Letting Go and Notes to Myself

You can meet Karen Casey when she comes to Magers & Quinn Booksellers--Thursday, October 7, at 7:30pm. Details are here.--David E

Take a Chance on New Fiction

Take chance on literature when three authors of experimental fiction visit Magers & Quinn--Friday, October 8, at 7:30pm.

Adam Golaski is the author of the short story collection Worse Than Myself (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008) and the editor, with Matthew Klane, of the anthologies A Sing Economy and Oh One Arrow from Flim Forum Press. He is also the editor and publisher of New Genre, an annual journal of literary and experimental horror and science fiction. His latest novel Color Plates is a museum, alive in the now crystallized brain of a sort-of Mary Cassatt. She’s dead, you know. Four rooms of Mary’s museum are open to the public, and they are named Éduoard Manet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Mary Cassatt. Each room exhibits little stories--plates--drawn from real paintings by the painters who are the rooms’ namesakes.

John Cotter is a founding editor of the online magazine Open Letters Monthly, an arts & literature review dedicated to thoughtful and unbiased arts writing: new reviews, essays, poems, and blogs. John has published fiction and poetry in Volt, Hanging Loose and other journals; he has also directed Bollywood musicals and is currently writing a long story about gender roles and real estate swindles in the nineteen eighties in southeastern Connecticut. His first novel, Under the Small Lights, was published this June by Miami University Press. Under the Small Lights traces five twentysomethings through two years of fights, hopes, and fallout, the different roles they try, and the surprising way their natures betray those roles. Under the Small Lights addresses the doubtful possibility of collective love and the painful experiences which, once having endured them, we wouldn’t be without.

Alan DeNiro is the author of a collection of short stories (Skinnydipping in the Lake of the Dead) and a novel (Total Oblivion, More or Less). Booklist said of Total Oblivion, “There aren’t many writers who take weirdness as seriously as DeNiro does, and fewer still who can extract so much grounded emotion, gut-dropping humor, and rousing adventure from it. A dizzying display of often brilliant, always strange, and definitely unique storytelling.”

Details are here.--David E

Last Chance to See a Movie at the Harriet Band Shell

Magers & Quinn is a proud sponsor of's 2nd annual Autumn Music and Movies Series outdoors at the Lake Harriet Band Shell. Produced in cooperation with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the four-week series features a range of Minnesota musicians paired with their favorite and most inspiring films. Bands will take the stage at 8pm and play as the sun sets. The film of their choice will then screen at 9:15pm. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets.

This Friday, October 1, will be the final AM&M of the year. Stop by Lake Harriet to hear The Twilight Hours and see the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Details are here.--David E

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We're Making It Easy to Do a Good Deed

As you may recall from an earlier posting, the charity Books for Africa is presenting readings by three authors:
  • Nurruddin Farah on October 8
  • Uwem Apkan on October 9
  • Alexandra Fuller on October 9
Those events are free; details are here.

Books for Africa is also hosting a benefit reception and dinner with Alexandra Fuller at St Paul's University Club the evening of October 9. Tickets are $100, and the proceeds go to support the organization's work.

Books for Africa is offering a special deal to M&Q customers. If you buy a book at the store, you qualify for a ticket at the student price of only $25.00. Stop by the store today for more information.--David E

Signed Copies of A Presidency in Peril Are Available Now

A Presidency in Peril is the latest book from Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect. In it, he contends that President Obama not only missed the moment to turn our economy around--but actually deepened Wall Street's risky grip on America's future. Carefully constructing a one-year history of the problem, the players, and the outcome, Kuttner gives readers an unparalleled account of the president's first year.

Kuttner was in town today to speak to a national meeting of grantmakers. The event wasn't open to the public, but you can still get a signed copy of Kuttner's book. Magers & Quinn has signed copies of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control Our Economic Future.

Get your copy while they last.--David E

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Read "Shared Wall," a short piece by Andrew De Young.

This week's featured author in our flash fiction series is none other than Replacement Press co-founder Andrew De Young.

Andrew's story, Shared Wall, was selected by an all-star panel of flash fiction judges -- Alexander Chee (The Queen of the Night, Edinburgh), Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket series, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs), Kevin Larimer (editor of Poets & Writers), Heather McElhatton (Pretty Little Mistakes, Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single), and author Dennis Cass, who served as lead juror in's 2010 miniStories competition.

Replacement Press, which Andrew founded with his wife Sarah, is the publisher of If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home by John Jodzio.

miniStories is a part of's mnLIT progam and is presented online by Magers and Quinn Booksellers and All the winning stories, as well as the poems from our poetry contest, What Light, will be published on and in the months to come. So come back soon!

Click here to read Andrew's story.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Didn't Think You Were Listening

It's not enough these days for authors to just write books. They have to promote themselves--get on Facebook, blog, and twitter. But all that technology can be a double-edged sword, as Megan McCain found out recently. McCain canceled an event for her book Dirty Sexy Politics, claiming several unforeseen professional responsibilities." Her erstwhile hosts were not pleased therefore when she told the twitterverse that she was off to relax in Vegas. Oops.

The Washington Post has the details.--David E

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Things First

One of the most imaginative and inspired writers of our time, Sena Jeter Naslund delivers her most ambitious and encompassing tale yet. The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with an audacious and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam & Eve. She'll read from her latest book 7:30pm, Monday, October 4, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

When Thom Bergmann discovers extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy, they fear that that the world is not ready for proof of life elsewhere in the universe. Upon Thom's his untimely--and highly suspicious--death, Lucy keeps the secret, until Thom's friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the foundation of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions . . . and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it.

“To describe the elements of this ambitious novel is to sound unhinged, but Naslund pulls it off. This thriller is rich in brilliant discourses on religion, fanaticism, the meaning of ancient cave art, the speculative future, and love.”--Library Journal

Set against the searing debate between evolutionists and creationists, Adam & Eve expands the definition of a "sacred book," and suggests that true madness lies in wars and violence fueled by all religious literalism and intolerance. A thriller, a romance, an adventure, and an idyll, Adam & Eve is a tour de force by a master contemporary storyteller.

Naslund succeeds splendidly in making history a page-turner.”--USA Weekend

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Sena Jeter Naslund is Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville; program director of the Spalding University brief-residency MFA in Writing. A winner of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writers, she is the author of seven previous works of fiction.

Details are here.--David E

Books for Africa

Books for Africa is hosting a conference next month, and they've booked a stellar lineup of authors. You can meet Nurrudin Farah on October 8 and hear from Uwem Akpan and Alexandra Fuller on October 9. Details are here.
  • Nuruddin Farah is Somalia's greatest living writer. He is a perennial Nobel Prize contender and the author of Links, Knots, and Secrets.
  • Uwem Akpan is a Nigerian Jesuit priest and writer. He is the author of Say You’re One of Them, a collection of five stories, each set in a different African country. It was an Oprah Book Club selection in 2009.
  • Alexandra Fuller is the author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, a memoir of her youth on a farm in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her second book, Scribbling the Cat, recounts her travels across the battlefields of southern Africa in the company of a former soldier.
Since 1988, Books For Africa has shipped more than 22 million books to 45 African countries. They are on once-empty library shelves, in classrooms in rural schools, and in the hands of children who have never before held a book. Each book will be read over and over again. You can learn more about them at E

Thursday, September 23, 2010

See a premiere screening of Waiting for Superman

The Twin Cities' coolest volunteer group, Rock Star Supply Co., has free passes to give away for Waiting For Superman.

Waiting For Superman is the new film by David Guggenheim. It explores the current state of the nation's public school system through the lives of several remarkably determined young children.

The Rock Star Supply Co. is a St. Paul based non-profit which aims to engage the creative arts community of the Twin Cities to help improve educational outcomes for students of Saint Paul. Click on the link to learn more or to sign up for their tutor training program.

Tickets for the Wednesday, Sept 29 premiere will be available (while supplies last) at the front counter of Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Get Down

Join Magers & Quinn and the Minnesota Roller Girls Sunday, October 3, at 4:00pm, when Alex “Axles of Evil” Cohen discusses Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller Derby.

Ever wonder how roller derby began? What the hell is going on during a bout? Whether you’re woman enough to don a pair of skates? Alex "Axles of Evil" Cohen and her new book Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller Derby have all the answers.

When most Americans hear the words “roller derby” today, they think of the kitschy sport once popular on weekend television during the seventies and eighties. Originally an endurance competition where skaters traveled the equivalent of a trip between Los Angeles and New York, derby gradually evolved into a violent contact sport often involving fake fighting. But after nearly dying out in the nineties, derby has been making a comeback. From a mere handful of leagues in the United States just a few years ago, there are now more than 17,000 skaters in more than 400 leagues around the world, with hundreds of thousands of die-hard fans. Down and Derby will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the sport. Written by veteran skaters as both a history and a how-to, Down and Derby is a brassy celebration of every aspect of the sport, from its origins in the late 1800s to the rules of a modern bout to the science of picking an alias to the many ways you can get involved off skates.

Informative, entertaining, and executed with the same tough, sassy, DIY attitude--leavened with plenty of humor--that the sport is known for, Down and Derby is the first and last book on derby you’ll ever need.

When she's not knocking heads, Alex Cohen is the host of All Things Considered on KPCC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. Yeah, really.

This event is co-sponsored by the Minnesota RollerGirls. Members will be on hand to enforce proper derby etiquette and to recruit new rollergirls and volunteers.

The Minnesota RollerGirls are part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), a national governing body for female-only, skater-owned, flat-track roller derby leagues. The Minnesota RollerGirls league was founded by the Donnelly sisters in August 2004 and has grown from 6 original members to a current roster of 80 skaters, 8 referees and coaches, and countless volunteers. All participants are unpaid amateurs and the league provides insurance coverage for practices and bouts. The Minnesota RollerGirls are dedicated to our local communities and charities and we invest our time, effort, and a portion of our event proceeds to local, and sometimes national, charities. For more information please visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Details are here.--David E

Coming Home to Minneapolis

NPR's Michele Norris returns to her hometown to discuss The Grace of Silence: On Matters of Race and the Consequence of Silence--7:30pm, Friday, October 1, at the Cowles Auditorium, in the Hubert Humphrey Institute, on the University of Minnesota campus.

In the wake of talk of a “postracial” America upon Barack Obama’s ascension as president of the United States, Michele Norris, cohost of National Public Radio’s flagship program All Things Considered, set out to write, through original reporting, a book about “the hidden conversation” on race that is unfolding nationwide. She would, she thought, base her book on the frank disclosures of others on the subject, but she was soon disabused of her presumption when forced to confront the fact that “the conversation” in her own family had not been forthright.

Norris unearthed painful family secrets that compelled her to question her own self-understanding: from her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer weeks after his discharge from the navy at the conclusion of World War II to her maternal grandmother’s peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima to white farm women in the Midwest. In what became a profoundly personal and bracing journey into her family’s past, Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore the reasons for the “things left unsaid” by her father and mother when she was growing up, the better to come to terms with her own identity. Along the way she discovered how her character was forged by both revelation and silence.

Details are here.--David E

Young at Heart

Magers & Quinn Booksellers is pleased to host the launch party for one of the first books from Carolrhoda Lab--The Absolute Value of -1 by St Paul's Steve Brezenoff.

Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis--divorce, abuse, and a parent’s illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip--like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief. In this luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew.

Steve Brezenoff will read from his new novel tomorrow--7:30pm, Thursday, September 23, at Magers & Quinn. Details are here.--David E

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Trifecta

Three Dan Brown impersonators visited Magers & Quinn Booksellers today. OK, they're actually Jonathan Franzen, Gary Shteyngart, and Per Petterson. They stopped by today to sign copies of their new books--respectively, Freedom, Super Sad True Love Story, and I Curse the River of Time. All three were in town for various events, so we thought it would be fun to invite them all to the store at once. And, oh was it fun.--David E

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Signed by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington was in Minneapolis briefly today. She spoke to the Teamsters Women's Conference. The event wasn't open to the public, but you can still get a signed copy of her latest book, Third World America. Only Magers & Quinn has them. Stop by and get yours today.--David E

Book Talk

Sunday, September 26, at 4:00pm, two of the country's best young writers-- Joshua Ferris (author of Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed) and Peter Bognanni (author of The House of Tomorrow)--meet at Magers & Quinn for a public conversation about their work.

"The Unnamed is ambitious, intelligent, and even more complex than Ferris's debut novel, Then We Came to the End"--Christian Science Monitor

Tim Farnsworth is a handsome, healthy man, aging with the grace of a matinee idol. His wife Jane still loves him, and for all its quiet trials, their marriage is still stronger than most. Despite long hours at the office, he remains passionate about his work, and his partnership at a prestigious Manhattan law firm means that the work he does is important. And, even as his daughter Becka retreats behind her guitar, her dreadlocks and her puppy fat, he offers her every one of a father's honest lies about her being the most beautiful girl in the world. He loves his wife, his family, his work, his home. He loves his kitchen. And then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking.

"An unnerving portrait of a man stripped of civilization's defenses. Ferris's prose is brash, extravagant, and, near the end, chillingly beautiful."--The New Yorker

Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and was a National Book Award finalist. It has been translated into 24 languages. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, Prairie Schooner, and The Iowa Review. He lives in New York.

This event is part of the "InDigest 1207 Reading Series" series, presented in Minneapolis by Magers & Quinn Booksellers and InDigest magazine--an online literary magazine focused on creating a dialogue about and between the arts. 1207 brings together authors and other artists to show that the process of writing (and reading) is not done in a vacuum, but is an interactive process. Learn more at

Details are here.--David E

Monday, September 13, 2010

This week's What Light winner is Sandy Beach

This week's winning poem in's What Light Poetry Contest is Sandy Beach.

Sandy's poem, Do-It-Yourself-Narcissus (a paint-by-number picture by Andy Warhol), was selected by Chris Fishbach of Coffee House Press.

What Light is a part of's mnLIT progam and is presented online by Magers and Quinn Booksellers and All the winning poems, as well as the stories from our flash fiction contest ministories will be published on and in the months to come. So come back soon!

Click here to read Sandy's poem.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Now Face Left

This is the Korean cover art for The Girl with the Dagron Tattoo. It uses the same painting as the French cover, but oddly the artwork is reversed. I have no idea why. Anyone?--David E

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Instant Atmosphere

Bookshelf wallpaper from Bodie & Fou.--David E

Read Tomorrow Today

The New York Times loved William Gibson's latest novel Zero History. Reviewer Scarlett Thomas said, "As always, Gibson’s writing is thrillingly tight. ...The only other writer who is as good at chronicling our contemporary milieu, in which the world of things eats itself like an ouroboros[*], is Douglas Coupland. To read Gibson is to read the present as if it were the future, because it seems the present is becoming the future faster than it is becoming the past" (The full review is here.)

You can meet William Gibson Thursday, September 16; he'll be reading at the Minneapolis Central Library at 7:30pm. Tickets are available now at M&Q. Get yours today.--David E

Friday, September 10, 2010

Inside the Paper

Laurie Hertzel's new book News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist takes us behind the scenes at the Duluth News Tribune and later Minneapolis' Star Tribune, where Hertzel now reigns as Book Editor. Her new memoir is funny and charming and full of characters. The book trailer gives a preview of all that.

Meet Laurie Hertzel at M&Q this coming Monday, September 13, at 7:30pm. Details are here.--David E

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Light My Fire

Slate has posted a handy primer on how to burn a book. The good news? It's not that easy to do--at least not a single volume. The bad news, at least for the haters, is that the best way to burn a book is to open it.

Details are here.--David E

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Looking Ahead

William Gibson has a pretty good track record predicting the future. After all, this is the man who coined the word cyberspace and wrote about an all-encompassing global computer network years before it reached its tentacles into your home and pocket. So it's heartening to hear that he's not as doom-and-gloom about the future of ink on paper as some. He actually thinks books will be with us for a long time more.

"My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they’re able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home."

You can read the rest of Gibson's interview with the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog here. Then you can meet him and ask him your own questions when William Gibson reads from his new novel Zero History at the Minneapolis Public Library, Thursday, September 16, at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at Magers & Quinn right now. Stop in for yours while they last.--David E

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Talking Monkeys

Sara Gruen was on MPR's Midmorning show today, discussing her new novel Ape House. Gruen spent time at Des Moines' Great Ape Trust, working with their bonobos. The Trust has taught the little monkeys to speak, using pictorial cards. Gruen incorporated talking apes into her new novel, which the New York Times called "an incisive piece of social commentary." You can hear the whole interview here.

You can meet Sara Gruen this Thursday, when she visits Minneapolis. Tickets are available now at Magers & Quinn Bookselers. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Voices

Two great poets--one from Istanbul, one from Minneapolis--bring a world of poetry to Magers & Quinn Booksellers. Julie Doxsee and Paula Cisewski read from their new poetry, Sunday, September 12, at 4:00pm.

Born in London, Ontario, Julie Doxsee is a professor of writing and literature at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of Objects for a Fog Death and Undersleep.

“What joy to find concision and fleet imagination conspiring so closely in this book.”--Elizabeth Robinson

Ghost Fargo, the second poetry collection by Paula Cisewski, was chosen by Franz Wright for the 2008 Nightboat Poetry Prize and released in the spring of 2010. She is also the author of Upon Arrival.

Details are here.--David E

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book of Love

Hollywood studio photographer Bob Willoughby took iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda, but his most enduring subject was Audrey Hepburn. Willoughby was called in to shoot the new starlet one morning shortly after she arrived in Hollywood in 1953. As Hepburn’s career soared following her Oscar-winning US debut in Roman Holiday, Willoughby became a trusted friend, capturing both her work and home lives. Willoughby’s studies, showing her on set, preparing for a scene, interacting with actors and directors, and returning to her private life, comprise one of photography’s great platonic love affairs and an unrivalled record of one of the 20th century’s iconic beauties.

Taschen’s massive new book Audrey Hepburn collects Willoughby’s photographs in a single volume. Only 1,000 copies--almost 18 each by 20 inches and weighing over 14 pounds--have been produced. Each is signed and numbered by the photographer.

M&Q has one copy of Audrey Hepburn available for $500. Come in today or buy it here.--David E

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lisbeth, We Hardly Know Ye

In July, I wrote about the French covers of Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Now I see that The Caustic Cover Critic has posted images of Spanish-language versions of the same covers. Where the French designer showed Lisbeth Salander as Wednesday Adams, the diseñadores of these editions pictured her as, of all things, a doll.

See the covers here.--David E