Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet Henry Rollins and See the World at M&Q

For the past twenty-five years, Henry Rollins has searched out the most desolate corners of the Earth—from Iraq to Afghanistan, Thailand to Mali, and beyond--articulating his observations through music and words, on radio and television, and in magazines and books. Though he’s known for the raw power of his expression, Rollins has shown that the greatest statements can be made with the simplest of acts: to just bear witness, to be present.

In his new book Occupants, Rollins pairs visceral full-color photographs--taken in Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and elsewhere over the last few years--with writings that not only provide context and magnify the impact of the images but also lift them to the level of political commentary. Simply put, this book is a visual testimony of anger, suffering, and resilience. Occupants will help us realize what is so easy to miss when tragedy and terror become numbing, constant forces--the quieter, stronger forces of healing, solidarity, faith, and even joy.

You can meet Henry Rollins, see more photographs, and learn much more at M&Q tomorrow. Rollins will be in the store at 7:30pm, Wednesday, October 19. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Susan Niz's new novel Kara Lost has gotten great reviews. Alison McGhee called it "a masterful debut,” and David Housewright thinks it's “smart as hell."

Sixteen-year-old Kara fless the suffocation of her surburban life, trading in her home and family for a gritty, anonymous existence on the streets of Minneapolis. She begins a perilous journey, naive, well-intentioned, and isolated as she struggles to reconnect with her older sister.

Part of the book's charm also comes from it's setting: Uptown in the 1980s. If you visited M&Q when it first opened 17 years ago, you'll recognize Niz's description of the neighborhood:

Walking down the street, I asked myself what was so exciting about Uptown in the first place. There was plenty to look at, that's for sure. People with nose rings and spikes and patches on their black clothes. Fire-engine red and eggplant-plant purple hair, dyed with this Manic Panic stuff, drew attention from a block away. I had always shown up as is, looking suburban or not. I would watch the people as they panhandled for money to buy a case of beer, a meal, or a pack of smokes.

In Uptown, I got off by Calhoun Square and walked the block toward McDonald's. There were more street kids out in the April weather than when I left in February, but most of them wouldn't come out until after dark. Looking down at the sidewalk dotted with embedded wads of gray gum, I wondered what had been so fun about hanging out there. All I wanted was a safe little place to live and I could give up ever going there again.

Susan Niz comes to M&Q at 7:30pm, next Tuesday, September 27, to read from her new novel Kara, Lost.--David E

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cookbook recommendations from Chef Lucia Watson

If it weren't for a steady diet of tea, coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches (and cookies!) from Lucia's To Go, just around the corner from our store, we here at Magers & Quinn would have a difficult time doing much of anything. We asked Lucia Watson herself to recommend a handful of her favorite cookbooks. Here's what she had to say.
M&Q:How long have you been in business? And why?
LW:: "26 years!!! For 26 years, Lucia's has been creating weekly menus, selecting delicious wines and greeting our wonderful customers! Our Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lucia's To Go are inspired by high quality local foods, exceptional cooking, and genuine hospitality. The seasonal, nourishing, and cultural properties of cooking continue to be our passion.
  1. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi "My newest love is a book called Plenty by London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi. It's just vegetables. So inspiring and so beautiful!"
  2. Simple French Food by Richard Olney "To me, this is the authentic hands on book that describes how to cook the way the French do. I just love this book. I go back to it over and over..."
  3. Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland by Lucia Watson and Beth Dooley "Can I say my own book? It is true that it is the one I turn to always for the basics of how I like to cook: seasonal foods, roasted chicken, soups, etc."
"Other books I love and refer to frequently are Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller, The River Cafe Books by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers and all of Deborah Madison's books ."M&Q is full of good cookbooks. Come by today to find the right one for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Brooklyn, Burning Is Hot Reading

Steve Brezenoff--one of Minnesota Monthly's recent "Artists We Love"--reads from his latest novel at Magers & Quinn this Friday. Join us at 7:30pm, Friday, August 26, for a rather adult Young Adult reading.

When you're sixteen and no one understands who you are, sometimes the only choice left is to run. If you're lucky, you find a place that accepts you, no questions asked. And if you're really lucky, that place has a drum set, a place to practice, and a place to sleep. For Kid, the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are that place. Over the course of two scorching summers, Kid falls hopelessly in love and then loses nearly everything and everyone worth caring about.

Brooklyn, Burning is a fearless and unconventional love story that addresses the challenges of teens questioning their gender or sexuality. Throughout the entire book, Brezenoff never identifies the gender of his two main characters, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions about Kid and Scout.

Steve Brezenoff is the author of two young adult novels, The Absolute Value of -1 and Brooklyn, Burning (both published by Minneapolis-based Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group). Born in Queens, Steve spent much of his twenties and early thirties living in Brooklyn. He writes about Greenpoint, the northern-most Brooklyn neighborhood, in vivid and unmistakable detail. Steve left his apartment in Greenpoint when he moved to Minnesota with his dog, Harry. It was in that apartment that he proposed to his wife, Beth (the reason he moved to Minnesota). He lives in St. Paul with Beth, their son, Sam, and Harry.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Punch-Worthy Events

Three local bookstores (Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Common Good Books, and Micawbers), three local publishers (Graywolf Press, Milkweed Editions, and Coffee House Press), one literary journal (Rain Taxi Review of Books), and the Loft Literary Center have joined forces to offer the TCLPC. Attendees can get their cards punched--as you'd do at any coffee shop--at readings and other literary events. After twelve punches, the punch card becomes a fifteen dollar gift certificate.

Join Twin Cities literary organizations for a happy hour gathering--5:00pm, Wednesday, September 14, at Club J├Ąger (923 Washington Ave. N, Minneapolis). Receive your Literary Punch Card, learn about the card and the events coming this fall, drink punch, and celebrate the vibrant literary community. Oh and get punched for the first time (at least by us)!

Details on the program are at www.litpunch.com.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


We love our animal friends here at Magers and Quinn. Not only do almost all of us have one or more pets, but one of them, Tuula, a 1.5 year old Poodle/Miniature Pinscher mix, visits the store. Tuula, as the Finns spell it, is shy and spends her time at the store napping and, at times, venturing out for treats. If she had to choose, her favorite books would be Bones: Those Delicious Treats and 20 Places to Bury Them Indoors by Ima Dog, The Joy of Chasing Squirrels by Miniature Pinscher, Poodle: The Seven Most Highly Effective Ways to Be Cute, Just by Being Yourself by The Poodle Association.


See a glimpse of Tuula at play:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wine Book Recommendations by La Belle Vie's Bill Summerville

With more than 16 years of restaurant experience, Bill Summerville has developed his own following; his attention to detail and taste in wines have been responsible for creating some of the best wine lists in the Twin Cities. One of La Belle Vie's three owners, Bill is the restaurant's managing director. With a residence mere blocks from the store, he can often be found strolling through our enormous cookbook selection.

Here are a few of Bill's recommendations for all you budding oenophiles out there:

"Karen McNeil’s Wine Bible is hands down the best overall book on wine. And it's written in a style that is so easy to read and understand."

"Anything, and I mean anything, by Andrew Jefford - articles, blogs, everything - but I especially like The New France. He writes on a level that is not for the beginner, but that does not mean a beginner should not read it as it will spark more interest on the more complex topics."

"Champagne by Don & Petie Kladstrup. Great look at the history of the amazingly tenacious people of Champagne."

"What to Drink with What You Eat by Dornenburg and Page is a great book on pairing written in a manner that makes it easy to understand with lots of great examples from sommeliers and chefs."

"Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl's Drink This: Wine Made Simple is great because she makes some very good points that other wine writers don’t approach."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Retail Life

After losing her job as a journalist, Caitlin Kelly was hard up for cash. When she saw that The North Face--an upscale outdoor clothing company--was hiring at her local mall, she went for an interview almost on a whim. She tells the story of what happened next in her book Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail and at M&Q. She'll be in the store at 7:30pm, Thursday, August 11. Details are here.

Suddenly she found herself, middle-aged and mid-career, thrown headfirst into the bizarre alternate reality of the American mall: a world of low-wage workers selling overpriced goods to well-to-do customers. At first, Kelly found her part-time job fun and reaffirming, a way to maintain her sanity and sense of self-worth. But she describes how the unexpected physical pressures, the unreasonable dictates of a remote corporate bureaucracy, and the dead-end career path eventually took their toll. As she struggled through more than two years at the mall, despite surgeries, customer abuse, and corporate inanity, Kelly gained a deeper understanding of the plight of the retail worker.

In the tradition of Nickel and Dimed, Malled challenges our assumptions about the world of retail, documenting one woman's struggle to find meaningful work in a broken system.

A regular contributor to The New York Times since 1990, Caitlin Kelly has also written for USA Today, New York Daily News, Toronto Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Glamour, and More. Born and raised in Canada, she has lived in the U.S. since 1988.--David E

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spooky Minnesota

M&Q brings you great Minnesota-made young adult fiction when Rebecca Davis reads from Chasing AllieCat--Monday, July 25, at 7:30pm.

Dumped with relatives in a small Minnesota town for the summer, Sadie Lester is relying on her mountain bike to save her from total boredom. Then she meets Allie, a spiky-haired off-road mountain biker who's training for a major race. Allie leads Sadie and Joe, a cute fellow cyclist, up and down Mount Kato, and the three become close friends. But the exhilarating rush comes to a halt when they find a priest in the woods, badly beaten and near death. After calling for help, Allie disappears from their lives.

As they search for Allie and try to find out why she left so suddenly, Sadie and Joe discover more about Allie's past, including her connection to the priest. Only on the day of the big race does Sadie finally learn the complete, startling truth about Allie--and the terrible secret that forced her into hiding.

Rebecca Fjelland Davis, of Good Thunder, MN, is a serious cyclist and the author of Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged. She teaches English and humanities at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. Visit her online at www.rebeccafjellanddavis.com.

Details on this and all our author events are here.--David E

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Real Gem

If you missed last night's reading by Sapphire, you missed a good time. The poet and author of Push gave a mesmerizing reading from her new novel The Kid.

But don't despair. We'll post video of the event soon at www.youtube.com/magersandquinn.--David E

Friday, July 15, 2011

From Down South to Up North

Author Ben Westhoff discusses his book Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop at Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Thursday, July 21. Details are here.

Rap music from New York and Los Angeles once ruled the charts, but nowadays the southern sound thoroughly dominates the radio, Billboard, and MTV. Coastal artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Ice-T call southern rap “garbage,” but they’re probably just jealous, as artists like Lil Wayne and T.I. still move millions of copies, and OutKast has the bestselling rap album of all time.

In Dirty South, author Ben Westhoff investigates the southern rap phenomenon, watching rappers “make it rain” in a Houston strip club and partying with the 2 Live Crew’s Luke Campbell. Westhoff visits the gritty neighborhoods where T.I. and Lil Wayne grew up, kicks it with Big Boi in Atlanta, and speaks with artists like DJ Smurf and Ms. Peachez, dance-craze originators accused of setting back the black race fifty years. Acting both as investigative journalist and irreverent critic, Westhoff probes the celebrated-but-dark history of Houston label Rap-A-Lot Records, details the lethal rivalry between Atlanta MCs Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and gets venerable rapper Scarface to open up about his time in a mental institution. Dirty South features exclusive interviews with the genre’s most colorful players. Westhoff has written a journalistic tour de force, the definitive account of the most vital musical culture of our time.

“Ben Westhoff possesses the ear of a skilled hip-hop critic, the cadence of a poet, and the nerves of a pro boxer. Dirty South reveals not just the grit and spirit of Southern hip-hop, but the intensity of old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting--mixed with a dash of Gonzo journalism for good measure.” --Mara Shalhoup, author of BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family

“Ben Westhoff brings journalism back to hip-hop, and hip-hop back to journalism, by reclaiming the lost art of reporting. As a result, Dirty South is a most fascinating trip through Southern hip-hop’s origins and current reign. Great book.”--Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

Ben Westhoff is a former staff writer for St. Louis’ Riverfront Times, whose work has also appeared in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing, Spin, and Pitchfork.--David E

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

American Gothic

Donald Ray Pollock will read from his chilling new novel The Devil All the Time at Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Tuesday, July 19. Details are here.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.

“Pollock--who spent three decades working at an Ohio paper mill before his 2008 story collection, Knockemstiff (the name of his real-life hometown), garnered widespread acclaim--doesn’t get a word wrong in this super-edgy American Gothic stunner.”--Elle Magazine

Donald Ray Pollock, recipient of the 2009 PEN/Bingham Fellowship, made his literary debut in 2008 with the critically acclaimed story collection, Knockemstiff, of which the San Francisco Chronicle said, “This is as raw as American fiction gets. It is an unforgettable experience.” Pollock worked as a laborer at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1973 to 2005. He holds an MFA from Ohio State University.--David E

Local History, Part 3

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.One of the photos from the book is this early shot of the Wedge Co-op.(Click it to see a larger version.)
As interest in the co-op increased, the Wedge outgrew its space and moved to an old 7-Eleven on Lyndale Avenue just south of Franklin Avenue. Membership and sales continued to grow, and by 1991 the co-op’s membership coordinator, Elizabeth Archerd, said that it was “a supermarket by industry standards . . . operating out of a convenience store.” In 1992, the Wedge tripled its space in a new building adjacent to the 7-Eleven. Dan Foley, the general manager of the co-op in 1992, said that the expansion was a “reflection of the community needs” as “it was so crowded, people couldn’t shop there. The customers wanted more selection, more room, more hours, more service, and healthy, natural foods and organic foods.” Not everyone was happy with the expansion. Prior to opening, vandals dumped buckets of paint in the store and tried to it up by opening propane gas tanks. However, the community embraced the store, and the Wedge saw memberships increase from 550 to 6,000 between 1991 and 1998. (Photo by Jeremy Nichols.)
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Local History, Part 2

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.
One of the photos from the book is this picture of the CC Club in its early days. (Click it to see a larger version.)
The CC Tap, now the CC Club, has stood on the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Lyndale Avenue since 1934, when it first opened to serve thirsty Lyn-Lake residents eager to raise a glass to the end of Prohibition. It is shown here in 1967. Nearly two decades later, the bar was memorialized in The Replacements’ song, “Here Comes a Regular.” (Minnesota Historical Society; photograph by Norton and Peel.)
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crazy Good

The world took notice of Lynne Jonell in March, 2010, when President Obama bought a copy of her book The Secret of Zoom during a stop in Iowa City. Minnesotans, however, have long recognized the talented author in our midst. Lynne Jonell visits Magers & Quinn to read from the third book in the acclaimed Emmy series, Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry--1:00pm, Saturday, July 16, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Emmy is just an ordinary girl who can talk to rats. She can shrink to the size of a rodent, too. And just a few weeks ago, she even became a rodent to defeat her evil former nanny, Miss Barmy, and save some little girls from a fate worse than death.

But Emmy’s parents do not know about their daughter’s other life. So when mysterious things start happening that Emmy seems to be lying about, they ship her off to visit two elderly aunts in order to learn responsibility. Ratty, her rodent friend, comes along to search for his long-lost mother in Schenectady; and other friends of Emmy’s get involved in the search, too. Little do they know that Miss Barmy, bent on revenge, will follow.

Lynne Jonell lives in Plymouth, Minnesota, with her husband. She teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Learn more at www.lynnejonell.com.--David E

A Fall Preview

Magers & Quinn is pleased to announce a reading by “the best English novelist working today” (Guardian). Alan Hollinghurst will read from his novel The Stranger's Child at M&Q at 7:30pm, Thursday, October 27.

The Stranger’s Child, Alan Hollinghurst’s first novel in seven years, is a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth--and a family mystery--across generations. In 1913, George Sawle brings charming, handsome Cecil Valance to his family’s modest home outside London for a summer weekend. George is enthralled by his Cambridge schoolmate, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by both Cecil and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne’s autograph album will change their and their families’ lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will be recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried--until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them.

UK press on The Stranger's Child has been very good. The Guardian called the book "one of the British literary world's most keenly awaited events", and said "Hollinghurst has a strong, perhaps unassailable claim to be the best English novelist working today."

Alan Hollinghurst is the author of The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, and The Line of Beauty, which won the Man Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received the Somerset Maugham Award, the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He lives in London.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sapphire reads from her novel "The Kid"

Fifteen years after the publication of Push, one year after the Academy Award–winning film adaptation Precious, Sapphire brings us the story of Precious's son, Abdul. You can meet the author when she visits Magers & Quinn next week summer--7:30pm, Friday, July 15.

A story of body and spirit, rooted in the hungers of flesh and of the soul, The Kid brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones. We meet him at age nine, on the day of his mother's funeral. Left alone to navigate a world in which love and hate sometimes hideously masquerade, forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart, Abdul claws his way toward adulthood and toward an identity he can stand behind.

In a generational story that moves with the speed of thought from a Mississippi dirt farm to Harlem in its heyday; from a troubled Catholic orphanage to downtown artist's lofts, The Kid tells of a twenty-first-century young man's fight to find a way toward the future. A testament to the ferocity of the human spirit and the deep nourishing power of love and of art, The Kid chronicles a young man about to take flight. In the intimate, terrifying, and deeply alive story of Abdul's journey, we are witness to an artist's birth by fire.

Sapphire is the author of two collections of poetry and the bestselling novel Push. The film adaption of her novel, Precious (2009), received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, in addition to the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance. In 2009 she was a recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship. She lives in New York City.

Details on this and all our events are here.--David E

Cookbook Recommendations from Chef Doug Flicker of Piccolo

Doug Flicker is the acclaimed chef behind Piccolo, the south Minneapolis gem that Anthony Bourdain has called "terrific" and "really cutting edge." In a quaint space on the corner of 43rd St. and Bryant Ave, Flicker and company have been serving exquisitely executed small plates for the past 18 months. Doug took time out of his hectic schedule to provide us a list of his top five cookbooks.

White Heat by Marco Pierre White

"One of the greatest English chefs and the first to stand tall against the French. White is the original bad boy. Every cook in my generation wanted to be him. The book is full of outlandish quotes. If you look closely at the photo of the kitchen fight scene, you'll see that one of the commis is actually Gordon Ramsey."

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller

"Any cook who hasn't had to repurchase this book at least once because they have worn out the pages looking at it or spilled sh** all over it when it was sitting on their cutting board because they were referencing it...isn't a good cook. This is THE book that changed everything."

COCO : 10 World-leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs

"Ten of the worlds best chefs each name ten of their favorite chefs. The best go-to book to see what is happening right now in the world of restaurants and who is taking us there."

Quay by Peter Gilmore

"An incredibly beautiful and inspiring book by Australian chef Peter Gilmore. Throughout the book, Gilmore shows a strong connection to the land while demonstrating amazing technique and vision. Every page echoes Gilmore's personality and strength as a chef."

La Riviera d'Alain Ducasse : Recettes au fil du temps by

Alain Ducasse

"A very personal book for me. I bought this book on my first trip to Europe. I had no idea at the time who he was but it was the most beautiful book I had ever seen at the time. Never translated into English, a lot of the book remains somewhat of a mystery to me ...and that in some way continues to make it special."

Piccolo is located mere blocks from M&Q at 4300 Bryant Avenue South.




Phone: 612.827.8111

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Postcards from Adam Turman

M&Q has a big selection of postcards by Minneapolis' own Adam Turman. You've doubtless already seen his work on a CD, T-shirt, or a poster for any of the various bands, music venues, record labels, or clothing companies he's worked for around town.
We recently unpacked some new postcard designs. Stop in and get them before they're all gone. The cards are a great way to send a bit of Minnesota cool, even in the summer time.--David E

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dark Star Rising

Yeah, it's summer outside, but we're getting a little dark this month at M&Q. The Devil All The Timeis a gritty, gothic thrill ride of a novel. John Jodzio, author of If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home, is a fan of Donald Ray Pollock and his new book. Here's what John has to say:
"What you see is what you get with Donald Ray Pollock’s new novel The Devil All The Time and here that’s a brilliant thing. Set in post-WWII and into the early 60s mostly in Ohio and West Virginia, the book is an ensemble piece that largely explores much of the same hardscrabble terrain as his excellent short story collection Knockemstiff. It’s a shooty and stabby pressure cooker where most of the characters search desperately for redemption or to settle old scores, but where much of their redemptive search/score settling is usually badly (or in a couple of cases, horribly) misguided. Pollock prose is unsentimental and beautifully spare and adds to a backdrop where everyone is only a half-step ahead of something ominous. Everyone says Pollock’s work reminds them of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, etc) but in my mind Pollock's storytelling makes Palahnuik look like a g******n sissy."
Donald Ray Pollock reads from The Devil All the Time--Tuesday, July 19, 7:30pm. Don't be scared; be there.--David E

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Telling All

As an investigator for Minneapolis attorney Ron Meshbesher, Vincent Carraher has seen it all. In his book Whatever Happened to Lady Justice? he tells all. And he'll do it at Magers and Quinn at 4:00pm, Sunday, July 10.

Carraher writes, “After 40 years of being a criminal defense investigator I felt it was time to inform the public of some of the misconceptions of the legal system. ...I write about cases I have investigated. These cases involve high profile attorneys and local and national issues. I focus primarily on the legal system and the criminal justice system in particular. The cases I cite illustrate abuse of power by police, prosecutors, government, informants and various state and federal agencies.

“It is an unfortunate reality that many citizens do not truly understand what is going on in our legal system--well, not until they read this book.”

Vincent Carraher has been involved in some of the most famous and infamous cases in the country. From the Congdon murders to the Scott county child abuse cases Vinnie has been an eyewitness to overzealous prosecutors and police. He has worked with the best defense attorneys in the country and has worked on wrongful conviction cases including Ralph "Plookie" Duke and others.

Carraher will be introduced by Cathy Wurzer, host of Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television and host of Morning Edition on Minnesota Public Radio. Cathy Wurzer is also the author of Tales of the Road: Highway 61. Details are here.--David E

Local History, Part 1

To compile their new book Lyn-Lake, Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips drew upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from the area 's long and often quirky past. They'll visit M&Q on July 14, to share stories from the neighborhood.One of the photos from the book is this picture of the neighborhood's trolleys. (Click it to see a larger version.)
Streetcars plied the streets of the Lyn-Lake area, quickly and easily connecting residents with downtown and the commercial districts to the east and west. This 1948 photograph shows a derailed Bryant-Johnson streetcar at the intersection of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue, which has left a long line of streetcars idling in the background. (Minnesota Historical Society; photograph by Minneapolis Star Tribune.)      
Learn more about Lyn-Lake's past when Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Phillips discuss their new book at M&Q--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lucky You, We've Got Lucky Peach

The inaugural issue of Lucky Peach is available now at Magers & Quinn. The magazine--produced by the good folks who also bring you McSweeneys--is packed full of foodie goodness. There are recipes (salt cod omelet, anyone?), a very short graphic novel, and even a history of ramen noodles. Contributors include Ruth Reichl, Harold McGee, and Anthony Bourdain.

Come get your copy now. They're going to go quickly.--David E

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Poets in a Single Evening

Two local poets visit Magers & Quinn Wednesday, June 29, at 7:30pm.

Cindy Gregg is the author of Suddenly Autumn, a book of easy-to-understand poems covering topics as diverse as language, a love of globes and garlic. Gregg has been writing poetry for over twenty years. Her work has appeared in numberous small press literary magazines as well as in Minnesota Monthly. Two of her poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on his daily NPR program, The Writer's Almanac. Cindy has also written a book of short, whimsical essays called The Learning Curve: Lessons on Life, Love and Laundry.

Margaret Hasse’s three books of poems--Stars Above, Stars Below; In a Sheep’s Eye, Darling; and Milk and Tides--have been prizewinners and bestsellers. She is recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, Loft Literary Center’s Career Initiative Program, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Jerome Foundation. More information is available at www.margarethasse.com.

Details on all our events are here.--David E

Monday, June 20, 2011

Don't Run Away

“Rebecca Makkai is a writer to watch, as sneakily ambitious as she is unpretentious."--Richard Russo, author of That Old Cape Magic and Empire Falls

The Borrower is the story of Lucy Hull, a twenty-six-year-old children’s librarian in the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, who finds herself both kidknapper and kidknapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home.

Ian is an incredibly bright and quirky boy and obsessed with reading. Although Ian’s mother, a strict evangelical, has requested that Lucy censor the books Ian checks out, Lucy slips books to Ian that his mother would never approve of. When Lucy learns that Ian’s parents have enrolled him in a weekly “anti-gay” class with celebrity Pastor Bob, she finds Ian stowed-away at the end of the children’s fiction aisle, prepared to run away.

Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. What follows is a comical journey that takes the pair from Missouri to Vermont, (via Chicago and Cleveland), but time is running out, and they are being followed.

With clever riffs of famous children’s books, including Goodnight Moon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, sprinkled throughout, The Borrower will delight readers of all ages.

You can meet Rebecca Makkai when she visits Magers & Quinn. She'll be here at 7:30pm, Monday, June 27. Details are here.--David E

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Learnin'

Magers & Quinn and Minneapolis College of Art and Design are teaming up to help you get smart--and save some money. M&Q newsletter subscribers are elligible for $25.00 off any adult education course at MCAD this summer. Just mention the discount code "MQDeal" when you register. (Limit one redemption per student. Offer is valid until July 31, 2011.)

MCAD offers hundreds of courses, of course. Two particularly bookish ones are

  • In a Bind: Introduction to Book Binding
    Have you ever wanted to make your own sketchbooks, journals, or idea books? Adding the element of handmade paper makes them even more unique. In this course, students will learn a variety of binding techniques to do just that. We will begin with simple structures held together with folds and stitches. No previous experience necessary.
  • Children's Book Illustration
    Capture a child’s imagination with your own original artwork while learning the tricks of the illustration trade. This course will explore the wide range of children’s book illustration, from traditional to contemporary.
    Students will learn what makes a children’s book unique, how to communicate through illustration, and how to conceptualize and storyboard ideas. Demonstrations will be given on materials that can be used to illustrate a book. Students will then be encouraged to experiment with different media and begin to create their own children’s books, from the sketch phase to final illustrations. Tips will be given on how to enter this competitive field and navigate the
    business practices of working as a children’s book illustrator.
A full list of courses is online at www.mcad.edu.--David E

Friday, June 17, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

“Half my life ago, I killed a girl.”

So begins Darin Strauss' searing memoir Half a Life. What begins as a personal tale of a tragic event and ends up opening into the story of how our lives are about defining moments, how we are affected by them, how they shape us. It is the true story of how one outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. We follow Strauss as he explores his startling past--the collision, the funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case--and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough.

"Darin Strauss' Half a Life is the best anything I've read--novel, memoir, story--in a very long time. Incredibly, it's also the most moving."—David Lipsky, author of Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

Darin Strauss is the author of the books Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy, and the bestseller More Than It Hurts You. He won the 2010 NBCC Award for Autobiography for his memoir Half a Life. Strauss currently teaches at New York University.

Darin Strauss reads from his memoir at Magers & Quinn on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30pm. Details are here.--David E

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pride Week Readings, Pt 2

Magers & Quinn Booksellers and Quatrefoil Library present two nights of GLBT readings--7:30pm, Tuesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 23. Four authors visit Magers & Quinn during Pride Week. Their work--history, fiction, memoir, and essays--showcase the GLBT experience both past and present.

7:30pm, Tuesday, June 21:

7:30pm, Thursday, June 23:

These events are co-sponsored by Quatrefoil Library. Quatrefoil Library is celebrating our 25th Anniversary in 2011. The volunteer-run, non-profit library collects, maintains, documents, and circulates gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space. Quatrefoil’s collection includes books, videos, DVDs, and sound recordings, which members may check out, as well as a large collection of non-circulating periodicals. Learn more at www.qlibrary.org.

7:30pm, Thursday, June 23

Ryan Van Meter reads from his memoir If You Knew Then What I Know Now.The middle American coming-of-age has found new life in Ryan Van Meter's coming-out, made as strange as it is familiar by acknowledging the role played by gender and sexuality. In fourteen linked essays, If You Knew Then What I Know Now reinvents the memoir with all-encompassing empathy--for bully and bullied alike. A father pitches baseballs at his hapless son and a grandmother watches with silent forbearance as the same slim, quiet boy sets the table dressed in a blue satin dress. Another essay explores origins of the word "faggot" and its etymological connection to "flaming queen." This deft is an argument for the intimate--not the sensational--and an embrace of all the skinned knees in our stumble toward adulthood.

“Ryan Van Meter’s is both a charming and wounding intelligence. To read a book this observant, this fiercely honest, and this effortlessly beautiful is to feel the very pulse of contemporary American essays.”--John D’Agata

Ryan Van Meter grew up in Missouri and currently lives in California where he is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of San Francisco.His essays have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, Arts & Letters, and Fourth Genre.

CM Harris reads from her novel Enter Oblivion. CM Harris’ novel is the story of Vince, a young, moody boxer from Brooklyn with an oozing bullet wound and a spot awaiting him in the Narducci crime family. When Vince returns travelers' checks he's stolen from a British tourist, he soon finds himself in 1980s London, the epicenter of New Wave culture, unsure whether he will become a rock star, a rent boy, or a laughingstock. Vince's journey brings an awkward friendship with a glamorous drag queen, a stint in a post-punk rock band, a frustrating romance with a Bowie-esque pop star, and bloody quarrels with a misfit skinhead--Vince's own cracked reflection. In this quirky yet charming story of love and family and culture clash, Vince discovers his place in a rapidly changing world.

“C.M. Harris has the savvy to create a rousing tale, as well as the language, imagery, and wit to deliver it.”--Lavender Magazine


Adam Mandebach's smash hit not-a-kids-book Go the F**k to Sleep is the summer's hottest ticket. (We're sold out at the moment, but will have more soon.) And the phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down. The audio version of the book is read by none other than Samuel L Jackson. Oh yeah.--David E

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poetry that Brings You the World

"Make no mistake about it. R. M. Ryan's poems are big and baggy, novelistic and comprehensive. They bulge with plunder," said Robert Dana, former Poet Laureate of Iowa. You can meet Rick Ryan when he visits M&Q--7:30pm, Monday, June 20.

Sometimes funny, sometimes somber, the poems in Vaudeville in the Dark range from an elegy on the death of a miner in Sago, West Virgina, to a meditation on the life of Rembrandt. Tony the Tiger, Glenn Gould, and even Chaucer--each appears in RM Ryan’s poetry. He creates a world both frightening and funny as we reach for a "heart dissolved in melody."

"Ryan's poetry both uncovers and creates the connections between the past and this moment, startling us with a quiet, visionary power."---Naomi Wallace

R. M. Ryan is the author of Goldilocks in Later Life and the novel The Golden Rules. He lives on the Sonoma coast of California with the biographer Carol Sklenicka.

Details are here.--David E

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pride Week Readings, Pt 1

Magers & Quinn Booksellers and Quatrefoil Library present two nights of GLBT readings--7:30pm, Tuesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 23. Four authors visit Magers & Quinn during Pride Week. Their work--history, fiction, memoir, and essays--showcase the GLBT experience both past and present.

7:30pm, Tuesday, June 21:7:30pm, Thursday, June 23:

These events are co-sponsored by Quatrefoil Library. Quatrefoil Library is celebrating our 25th Anniversary in 2011. The volunteer-run, non-profit library collects, maintains, documents, and circulates gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space. Quatrefoil’s collection includes books, videos, DVDs, and sound recordings, which members may check out, as well as a large collection of non-circulating periodicals. Learn more at www.qlibrary.org.

7:30pm, Tuesday, June 21

Will Fellows discusses Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s. Vivacious, unconventional, candid, and straight, Helen Branson operated a gay bar in Los Angeles in the 1950s--America’s most anti-gay decade. After years of fending off drunken passes as an entertainer in cocktail bars, this divorced grandmother preferred the wit, variety, and fun she found among homosexual men. Enjoying their companionship and deploring their plight, she gave her gay friends a place to socialize. Though at the time California statutes prohibited homosexuals from gathering in bars, Helen’s place was relaxed, suave, and remarkably safe from police raids and other anti-homosexual hazards. In 1957 she published her extraordinary memoir Gay Bar, the first book by a heterosexual to depict the lives of homosexuals with admiration, respect, and love.

Will Fellows interweaves Branson’s chapters with historical perspective provided through his own insightful commentary and excerpts gleaned from letters and essays appearing in gay publications of the period. Also included is the original introduction to the book by maverick 1950s psychiatrist Blanche Baker. The eclectic selection of voices gives the flavor of American life in that extraordinary age of anxiety, revealing how gay men saw themselves and their circumstances, and how others perceived them.

Bronson Lemer discusses The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq. In 2003, after serving five and a half years as a carpenter in a North Dakota National Guard engineer unit, Bronson Lemer was ready to leave the military behind. But six months short of completing his commitment to the army, Lemer was deployed on a yearlong tour of duty to Iraq. Leaving college life behind in the Midwest, he yearns for a lost love and quietly dreams of a future as an openly gay man outside the military. He discovers that his father’s lifelong example of silent strength has taught him much about being a man, and these lessons help him survive in a war zone and to conceal his sexuality, as he is required to do by the U.S. military.

The Last Deployment is a moving, provocative chronicle of one soldier’s struggle to reconcile military brotherhood with self-acceptance. Lemer captures the absurd nuances of a soldier’s daily life: growing a mustache to disguise his fear, wearing pantyhose to battle sand fleas, and exchanging barbs with Iraqis while driving through Baghdad. But most strikingly, he describes the poignant reality faced by gay servicemen and servicewomen, who must mask their identities while serving a country that disowns them. Often funny, sometimes anguished, The Last Deployment paints a deeply personal portrait of war in the twenty-first century.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The More You Know...

Did you know that Bob Mould wrote the theme song for Jon Stewart's Daily Show? That's just one of the useful facts you can learn in Bob Mould's new autobiography See a Little Light. Impress your friends and confound your enemies, with the simple knowledge in books!

You can learn even more when Bob Mould himself stops by M&Q this Tuesday, June 14, at 9:00pm, to talk about his life, his music, and his new book. Details are here.--David E

Saturday, June 11, 2011

________[adv.] Departed

Leonard B. Stern was a writer on The Honeymooners and executive producer of Get Smart, but he'll likely be remembered most for his literary creation, the Mad Lib. He and partner Roger Price couldn't find a publisher for the first Mad Libs, so they paid for the first printings and stored 14,000 of the game in Stern's dining room. Eventually their determination paid off, of course. Stern's New York Times obituary is here.

Celebrate this pioneer of American games with a Mad Lib of your own. We've got a big selection to choose from. Browse them online or stop in the store.--David E

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Local History

Minneapolis history comes alive in hundreds of historic photographs. Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips draw upon both private and public collections to bring together a fascinating compilation of seldom-seen images from Lyn-Lake's long and often quirky past.
Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips will visit Magers & Quinn to talk about their book and Lyn-Lake's colorful past--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.

Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips will visit Magers & Quinn to talk about their book and Lyn-Lake's colorful past--7:30pm, Thursday, July 14. Details are here.

The Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis, centered around the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and West Lake Street, is one of the city's most distinctive neighborhoods. The core commercial district is one of the oldest in South Minneapolis, thanks in part to its strategic location along several early streetcar lines. A rail line along Twenty-ninth Street, now the Midtown Greenway, brought an industrial element to the neighborhood and provided additional jobs for the thousands of residents who lived in the surrounding houses and apartment buildings. As the neighborhood evolved, it took on a distinctive bohemian bent and filled with a diverse mix of artists, musicians, and writers living side by side with blue-collar industrial workers, along with those who worked at professional office jobs downtown. Lyn-Lake retains its unique flavor today, characterized by its blend of both the historical and the cutting edge.

Cedar Phillips is an author and an independent historian. Thatcher Imboden is a local business district leader and a Minneapolis commercial real estate development specialist. The siblings grew up in the area and together authored Uptown Minneapolis, also in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series.--David E

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

From Norway with Love

Get a taste of contemporary Scandinavian literature. Norwegian author Johan Harstad’s debut novel, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion, is a bestseller in eleven countries. He will read from his book at Magers & Quinn Booksellers at 7:30pm, Tuesday, June 14.

Harstad tells the story of Mattias, a thirtysomething gardener living in Norway whose idol is Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, who was willing to stand in Neil Armstrong’s shadow in order to humbly work for the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Following a series of personal and professional disasters, Mattias finds himself lying on a rain-soaked road in the treeless Faroe Islands with a wad of bills in his pocket and no memory of how he got there.

Mattias’ odyssey through a world of unconventional psychiatry, souvenir sheep-making, the Cardigans, and the space between himself and other people is a journey as remote and dangerous as the trip to the moon itself.

Paolo Giordano, author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers says, “There's so much music, exuberance, bewilderment and sweet melancholy in Johan Harstad's Buzz Aldrin. It's rock 'n' roll, then heartbreaking, then rock 'n' roll again. I devoured every line.”

Johan Harstad is the winner of the 2008 Brage Award (previously won by Per Petterson). He lives in Oslo.

This event is co-sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Honorary Consulate General. The Consulate General in Minneapolis provides consular services for the State of Minnesota. We represent the Norwegian government and serve Norwegian nationals that live in the area. The purpose of our presence is to take care of Norwegian interests ranging from consular services to the individual to promoting Norwegian culture, assisting Norwegian businesses and reporting on political and economic affairs of importance for Norway.

Details on this and all our events are here.--David E

The Tiger's Wife Wins the Orange Prize

Tea Obreht's debut novel The Tiger's Wife has been awarded the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. The £30,000 prize is given annually to the best novel written in English by a woman. At 25, Obreht is the youngest recipient ever. Details are here.

We've long been big fans of The Tiger's Wife here at M&Q. Tea Obreht visited the store in March. If you missed her reading, you can still see it on our YouTube channel--www.youtube.com/magersandquinn.

M&Q brings worldclass authors to you right here in Minneapolis. Stay in touch so you don't miss out. Read our events page, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or just stop in the store and talk to us. We'd love to see you soon.--David E