Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thank You!

This past holiday season, Magers & Quinn collected books for Reach Out and Read, which promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Books collected at M&Q will go to children and families at well-child visits, in the waiting room, and in the newborn program at the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in North Minneapolis.

M&Q's generous customers donated a total of 207 books. The are on their way to the clinic and will soon be in the hands of kids and families. Thank you to everyone who made a gift.--David E

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feel Better About Health Care

How is it that all other industrialized democracies provide health care for their citizens as a reasonable cost-something the United States has not yet managed to do? In The Healing of America, New York Times bestselling author T.R. Reid shows how they do it, bringing to bear his talent for explaining complex issues in a clear, engaging way. Join us for a very important and interesting discussion when TR Reid discusses The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care at Magers & Quinn-Tuesday, February 22, at 7:30pm.

In his global quest to find a prescription for American health care, Reid finds that it's not all "socialized medicine" out there. Instead, many industrialized democracies rely on free-market models the U.S. could use to cure a health system that has failed us.

"Important and powerful...a rich tour of health care around the world."---Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

"Not many writers... can match T.R. Reid's ability to bring a light, witty touch to really serious topics--like health policy."--New America Foundation

T.R. Reid is a longtime correspondent for The Washington Post and former chief of its Tokyo and London bureaus, as well as a commentator for National Public Radio. His books include The United States of Europe, The Chip and Confucius Lives Next Door. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Details on this event are here.--David E

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tea Obreht in PW

Tea Obreht was the youngest author on last year's New Yorker "Twenty Under Forty" list of writers to watch. And she managed the trick before she'd even published her first novel.

The much-anticipated tome comes out in March. Obreht talked about The Tiger's Wife in Publishers Weekly magazine. She talks about her Yugoslavian heritage and how it affected her book. The full article is here.

You can learn even more when Tea Obreht visits Mager & Quinn. She'll be in the store to read from The Tiger's Wife on March 14, at 7:30pm. Details are here.--David E

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All Wall Calendars Are 50% Off at M&Q

All our remaining wall calendars are 50% off. They're great for keeping track of literary events, you know. Get yours while they last.--David E

Sneak Peek

Brad Liening's poem "The President of the World Feels Lonely" is up on MPR's State of the Arts blog. If you like it, you can hear much more when Liening and two fellow poets read from their new work at M&Q. They'll be here Thursday, January 27, at 7:30pm. Don't miss them.--David E

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christian Lander Calls Boulder "A Halfway House For People Who Want To Move To Canada"

The Huffington Post has a quick write-up of Christian Lander's recent appearance in the bastion of whiteness that is Boulder, Colorado. He's on tour, discussing his book new book Whiter Shades of Pale: The Stuff White People Like, Coast to Coast, from Seattle's Sweaters to Maine's Microbrews.

Of his hosts Lander said, "The typical Boulder white person is generally older than most, as the only people who can afford to own property in Boulder are those who bought it in the 1970's." Local citizens apparently took their licks in stride.

What does the King of Caucasia have to say about the Twin Cities? Find out when he comes to Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Wednesday, January 19. (Hint: We're on page 95.) Details are here.--David E

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Words Beyond the Words

Bill Johnston is a prolific Polish language literary translator and associate professor of comparative literature at Indiana University. His work has helped to bring English-speaking readers to classic and contemporary Polish poetry and fiction. In 2008 he received the Found in Translation Award for his translation of new poems by Tadeusz Różewicz; this book was also a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Poetry Award.

Wieslaw Myśliwski's Stone Upon Stone is a grand epic in the rural tradition--a profound and irreverent stream of memory cutting through the rich and varied terrain of one man’s connection to the land, to his family and community, to women, to tradition, to God, to death, and to what it means to be alive. Wise and impetuous, plain-spoken and compassionate Szymek, recalls his youth in their village, his time as a guerrilla soldier, as a wedding official, barber, policeman, lover, drinker, and caretaker for his invalid brother. Filled with interwoven stories and voices, by turns hilarious and moving, Szymek’s narrative exudes the profound wisdom of one who has suffered, yet who loves life to the very core.

You can meet Bill Johnston at Magers & Quinn--7:30pm, Thursday, January 20. Details on this and all our events are here.--David E

Heidi Durrow Comes to M&Q

Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky comes to Magers & Quinn Booksellers--7:30pm, Friday, January 21. This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class--winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice--will be available in paperback on January 11.

"A heartbreaking debut . . . keeps the reader in thrall."--Boston Globe

Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop. Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

"The Girl Who Fell from the Sky can actually fly. . . Its energy comes from its vividly realized characters, from how they perceive one another. Durrow has a terrific ear for dialogue, an ability to summon a wealth of hopes and fears in a single line."--New York Times Book Review

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

Meet Whitey

The author of Stuff White People Like is back with a new collection of Caucasian foibles--7:30pm, Wednesday, January 19, at Magers & Quinn.

If you thought you had white people pegged as Oscar-party-throwing, Prius-driving, Sunday New York Times–reading, self-satisfied latte lovers--you were right. But if you thought diversity was just for other races, then hang on to your eco-friendly tote bags. Author and veteran white person Christian Lander is back with fascinating new information and advice for dealing with the Caucasian population.

Sure, their indie-band T-shirts, trendy politics, vegan diets, and pop-culture references make them all seem the same. But a closer look reveals that from Austin to Australia, from L.A. to the U.K., indigenous white people are as different from one another as 1 percent rBGH-free milk is different from 2 percent. Where do skinny jeans and bulky sweaters rule? Where is down-market beer the nectar of the hip? What are the capitals of vintage board games, Vespa scooters, Birkenstocks, and Frisbee sports? If you want to know the places cute girls with bangs and cool guys with beards roam and emo musicians and unpaid interns call home, you’d better switch off the Adult Swim reruns, put down that copy of The Onion, pick up this book, and prepare to see the white.

Christian Lander is the creator of the popular blog and the author of the New York Times bestselling book Stuff White People Like. A one-time Ph.D. candidate and acclaimed public-speaking instructor, he has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, living among white people and studying their native customs. He presently resides in Los Angeles, where he enjoys such local pleasures as Ray Ban Wayfarers, skinny jeans, yoga, interior design, and crippling debt.

Details are here.--David E

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're #3--and #7!

Central Connecticut State University’s annual study ranking the most literate cities in the United States has been released, and the results are good for the Twin Cities. Statisticians compiled numbers for newspaper circulation, bookstore sales, magazines subscriptions, educational attainment, library usage, and the Internet availability.

Minneapolis ranked third on the list, and St Paul was number 7. Washington, DC, was in first place. New York City didn't crack the top ten. Details are here.--David E

On the Day You Were Born

Get in the wayback machine and see what books were topping the New York Times' bestseller list on the day you were born--or any other day in history. The Australian book search site does the legwork for you. Check your birthday bestsellers here.--David E

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Forgotten Bookmarks

A kind Facebook fan pointed out an excellent blog: Forgotten Bookmarks displays the weird and wonderful things you can find in a used book. The unidentified owner photographs not only the bookmark, picture, of other foundling, but also the book in which it was located. See all the entries at, and visit for more news and conversation.--David E

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gained in Translation

The Star Tribune recently reviewed Stone Upon Stone, an epic novel of life in Poland during and after the Second World War, by Wieslaw Mysliwski. They drew particular attention to the book's verbal artistry: "The life he leads is told in a blast of sentences. Sometimes a character's dialogue goes on and on without paragraph breaks for several pages. This abundance of verbal explosion can get tiring at times, but can also be exhilarating."

How does one bring such a wordy, expressive novel from Polish into English? What is the translator's role in creating (or recreating) an author's style for an audience so removed from the book's original readers? Find out when Bill Johnston, translator of Stone Upon Stone comes to Magers & Quinn. He'll be in the store Thursday, January 20, at 7:30pm. Details on this and all our events are here.--David E

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snooki Gets Snarked

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that A Shore Thing was released into the world yesterday. The novel by The Jersey Shore's Nicole Polizzi--aka Snooki--promises "hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila." But does it deliver?

Literary mavens can get a sneak preview: the esteemed book journal that is the New York Post has published excerpts. (You know you're going to look. Go on.) And has paired the choicest morsels with related gems from Hemingway, Steinbeck, Didion, and Faulkner--the better to place Snooki's oeuvre in its proper context within the writing world.

Before you ask, no, we don't have any copies of in the store. But we'd be glad to order one for you. And we won't judge you.--David E

Saturday, January 1, 2011

All the News That's Fit

The January edition of M&Q's monthly email newsletter is online--click here to read it. Find out about the big, new January books, events at M&Q this month, what our book clubs are reading, and much more.

You can browse back issues and sign up to have the M&Q newsletter delivered to your inbox every month right here.--David E