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

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