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

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 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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

An African American Book Fair

Eighteen African American authors from around the Twin Cities will gather at Magers & Quinn Booksellers to celebrate the strength and diversity of AA writing in Minnesota. Browse books from a range of local authors--ranging from children’s books and poetry to business and self-help books. Join us Thursday, July 16, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm for a great evening of community and fun.

Authors appearing are Candy Pettiford, Charles E. Cox, Jr., Coach Nakumbe, Deniesha Johnson, Derrick L. Williams, Dr. Verna Price, Jacinta Calhoun, Jeff and Shatona Groves, Joseph L. Mbele, Joyce Marrie, Lehman Riley, M. Ann Pritchard, Mahmoud El-Kati, Ms. Nique, Tommy Watson, Venita Johnson, and Zenobia L Silas-Carson.

The author fair is a unique opportunity to meet multiple authors, learn about their work, and purchase their books. Come support African American writers and writing at Magers & Quinn.

The Black Parent Group is a non-profit organization that works to connect families to local resources, provide opportunities for children to participate in artistic expression, and create events that celebrate the Black Family. Visit for more information.

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

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Love and Money

Every day, women face new challenges that come with having control over and responsibility for their financial lives, and these issues always have an emotional side. Learn how to address and overcome those issues when Dr. Kate Levinson discusses Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship With Money--4:00pm, Sunday, June 12 at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

“Here’s the book every woman (and most men) need: a clear, thoughtful, and beautifully written guide for how to cope with the myriad emotions caused by money.”--Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, author of Aftershock

Psychotherapist Dr. Kate Levinson offers fresh approaches to navigating the astonishing range of beliefs about the role of money in our lives, coming to terms with our feelings about being “rich” or “poor,” and exploring our inner money life so that we can put our feelings to work for us in a positive way. By understanding our intimate history and relationship with money we are better able to handle our money anxieties, solve our money problems, enjoy the money we have, and make room for other, more meaningful values.

“This is not just the best book about women and money that I have ever read, it is the best book about money—beautifully written, wise, accessible, practical, and profoundly healing.”--Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom

A psychotherapist for more than 25 years, Dr. Kate Levinson currently works with individuals and couples in her private practice in Oakland and is on the supervising and teaching faculty at the Psychotherapy Institute. Dr. Levinson and her husband own Point Reyes Books in Pt. Reyes Station, CA.--David E

Friday, June 3, 2011

Northern Noir

Rushmore McKenzie returns with a too-personal case that leads him up Minnesota’s Highway 61 in David Housewright’s eleventh novel--7:30pm, Tuesday, June 28 at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Rushmore McKenzie is a former cop, current millionaire, and an occasional unlicensed P.I. who does favors for friends. Yet he has reservations when his girlfriend’s daughter asks him to help her father Jason Truhler, the ex-husband of McKenzie’s girlfriend, and a man in serious trouble. En route from St. Paul to a Canadian blues festival on Highway 61, he met a girl, blacked out, and awoke hours later in a strange motel, with the girl’s murdered body on the floor. Slipping away unnoticed and heading home, he thought he’d got away--until he started getting texts with photos of the body and demands for blackmail payments he couldn’t pay. McKenzie soon finds that Truhler was set up in a modified honey trap, designed to blackmail him. But Truhler’s version wasn’t exactly the truth either. And McKenzie now finds himself trapped in the middle of a very dangerous game with some of the most powerful men in Minnesota on one side and some of the deadliest on the other.

David Housewright has won the Edgar Award once and two Minnesota Book Awards for his crime fiction. He lives in St. Paul. Learn more at

Details are here.--David E

Say Cheese

We were thrilled to host author and director John Sayles at Magers & Quinn earlier this week. He's driving around the country reading from his new novel A Moment in the Sun, and was kind enough stop by the store. The picture below shows just how thrilled we were. That's John's thrilled face too, I promise. He's just laconic.

If you missed the reading, you can see video of it on our YouTube channel. The first part is below; the rest are at And for heaven's sake, sign up for our monthly email newsletter here so you don't miss out on any of the great readings we have coming up.--David E

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Minneapolis Steampunk

A chilling, heart-wrenching tale of colliding worlds and forbidden love, The Vyne reinvents steampunk-fantasy for a whole new generation. Meet author Daniel Walls at M&Q--Thursday, June 9, at 7:30pm.

For as long as he can remember, Asher has possessed unexplainable abilities, which his widowed father has forced him to keep hidden. But when an elusive girl named Scar enters his village, Asher's life is forever transformed. Bound by despair, the teens plot to run away. However, when a mystical medallion finds its way into Asher's hands, they soon learn that running is not an option, it's imperative. Asher is thrust into the pursuit of a legendary treasure, believed to possess the power to save the world from the prophesied apocalypse. And the key to unlocking this power lies within the secret of his curse. While hunted by dark forces, Asher realizes that Scar has secrets of her own; she is not the girl he thought she was. Time is running out as he struggles to find the strength to let go of his feelings and summon the courage to embrace his destiny.

As a boy growing up on the Canadian border of northern Minnesota, Daniel Walls spent most of his free time writing and illustrating fantasy stories, sharing them with his devoted audience, an English Springer Spaniel. The Vyne is his first full-length novel, and he promises it will not be his last. Daniel lives with his wife, two children, three-legged dog, and sometimes-present cat in Minneapolis. Currently he is penning the second thrilling installment of The Vyne saga.

Stay on top of all our events, sales, and book news. Sign up for our email newsletter by clicking here.--David E

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Dean Bakopoulos reads from his novel My American Unhappiness--7:30, Wednesday, June 8, at M&Q.

“Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” The answers he receives--a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint--create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain custody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a women’s magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some “prospects”: a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola (“Why not aim high?”).

"Dean Bakopoulos is our next great Midwestern writer."--Davy Rothbart, founder and editor of Found Magazine, contributor to public radio's This American Life

A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.

Author of the award-winning debut novel Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon ("This is a wonderful book.”--Charles Baxter), Dean Bakopoulos is the founding director of the Wisconsin Book Festival and a creative writing professor at Iowa State University. He's online at

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