Calendar

Feb
13
Tue
Omar El Akkad @ St. Anthony Park Library
Feb 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, February 13 at 7 PM

Saint Anthony Park Library
2245 Como Avenue, Saint Paul

Egyptian-Canadian novelist Omar El Akkad is the pen behind 2017’s breakout fiction debut, American War. Set in a future America laid waste by climate change, plague, and civil war, El Akkad’s dystopian future offers uncanny and uncomfortable parallels to our present. El Akkad’s “unsparing war reporting style” (The New York Times) is informed by his background as a journalist. He cut his teeth reporting for The Globe and Mail, where he covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, and the Arab Spring in Egypt. Critics and readers alike compare American War favorably to Cormac McCarthy’s seminal The Road. Indeed, The New York Times commends it as the perfect dystopian read for the divided, divisive America of today. “Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, or an allegory of past conflicts… the only comfort this story offers is that it’s a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway.” Vintage rereleased the bestseller in paperback in January.

 

A podcast of Akkad’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Feb
26
Mon
Peter Geye @ Rum River Library
Feb 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monday, February 26 at 7 PM

Rum River Library
4201 6th Avenue, Anoka

Minnesota native Peter Geye is the author behind three bestselling novels set around the fictional – yet authentic – North Shore town of Gunflint. The Star Tribune praised his 2010 debut, Safe from the Sea, as “a rich, satisfying novel about family members who make amends after a lifetime of estrangement.” Captivating family dynamics are a through line in Geye’s work. His sophomore novel, The Lighthouse Road, centers around mother and son Norwegian immigrants as they contend with a hardscrabble lifestyle and impossible choices. Unsurprisingly, both titles won Geye the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. His latest, Wintering, may be the most compelling yet. Elderly, demented Gunflint patriarch Harry Eide vanishes mysteriously in the night – leaving behind a grown son scarred by vivid memories of the last time his father went on the lam. Booklist lauds Wintering, noting that “this relatively small and enclosed community [of Gunflint] is Geye’s perfect laboratory for exploring human nature.” Among other honors, it won Geye the 2017 Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story.

 

A podcast of Geye’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

Mar
1
Thu
William Kent Krueger @ Chanhassen Public Library
Mar 1 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 PM

Chanhassen Public Library
7711 Kerber Blvd, Chanhassen

Minnesota boasts more than its share of homegrown mystery novelists, and William Kent Krueger ranks near the top of that list for many. He is best known for his sixteen-book Cork O’Connor series, set in the state’s forested and isolated Arrowhead Region. O’Connor, a cop turned sheriff and private investigator, burst onto the scene in Iron Lake (1998). This debut won Krueger a rare honor: both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. Subsequent installments have won too many honors to name, including five Minnesota Book Awards. Moreover, Krueger has penned two acclaimed standalone novels: The Devil’s Bed (2001) and Ordinary Grace (2013). O’Connor’s sixteenth and latest adventure, Sulfur Springs, offers a departure from the verdant Northwoods setting readers associate with the series. After receiving a cryptic voicemail from his stepson, Krueger’s dogged protagonist travels to Arizona – and finds himself embroiled with the area’s dangerous drug cartels. The Star Tribune lauds it as “a blistering Wild West mystery.”

A podcast of Krueger’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

Mar
14
Wed
Laura Lippman @ Thompson County Park - Dakota Lodge
Mar 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday, March 14 at 7 PM

Thompson County Park – Dakota Lodge
1200 Stassen Lane, West Saint Paul

Laura Lippman is author of the chart-topping Tess Monaghan series. Plucky, resourceful Baltimore private eye Tess Monaghan is a consistent New York Times bestseller, and the dozen installments so far have garnered Lippman an international following. She has also published ten standalone books, including the acclaimed Every Secret Thing (2004) and After I’m Gone (2014), and an intertwined anthology called Hardly Knew Her (2006). Lippman’s mysteries have won her a staggering number of industry honors, including the Shamus Award, Edgar Award, and seven Anthony Awards. Her latest departure from Tess Monaghan, Sunburn, is a psychological thriller about a pair of lovers with dark secrets and darker intentions. In a starred review, Booklist lauds Sunburn as “an homage to classic noir, showcasing a writer at the height of her powers.” Library Journal concurs, promising “it will delight old-movie lovers, and reward Lippman’s legion of fans.” It hits shelves in late February.

A podcast of Lippman’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

Apr
16
Mon
Ariel Lawhon @ Golden Valley Library
Apr 16 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Monday, April 16 at 6:30 PM

Golden Valley Library
830 Winnetka Avenue N, Golden Valley

Ariel Lawhon is a rising star in the realm of historical fiction. Her first forays into the popular genre include The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress (2014), which explores one of the most mysterious missing persons cases of the twentieth century as told from the perspectives of the three women who knew the victim best. The New York Times Book Review praised Lawhon’s woven narrative as “more meticulously choreographed than a chorus line.” Her 2016 follow-up, Flight of Dreams, breathes new life into the famous Hindenburg and the deadly 1937 air disaster that claimed 36 lives in rural New Jersey. Lawhon’s greatly anticipated 2018 release, I Was Anastasia, follows the life of Anna Anderson, an enigmatic woman who spent half a century battling to be recognized as the lost Russian princess Anastasia Romanov. Notes publisher Doubleday: “Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory: the nature of identity itself.” I Was Anastasia hits shelves in March.

A podcast of Lawhon’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

May
3
Thu
Patricia Hampl @ Prior Lake Library
May 3 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, May 3 at 7 PM

Prior Lake Library
16210 Eagle Creek Ave SE, Prior Lake

Patricia Hampl is one of those rare authors who holds perennial appeal with general audiences, but is also beloved by writers everywhere: “lyric, cerebral, and a boon companion at any stage of the writing journey” (Ploughshares). In her debut memoir and travelogue, A Romantic Education (1981), Hampl explores her Czech heritage. Her equally poignant follow-up, Virgin Time (1992), turns the spotlight to her Roman Catholic upbringing and the author’s quest for spiritual fulfillment beyond religious dogma. The Florist’s Daughter (2007) focuses on “the relentlessly modest life” of her hard-working parents. Hampl, a three-time Minnesota Book Award winner and professor at the University of Minnesota, is back in 2018 with The Art of a Wasted Day. Like her other masterworks, The Art of a Wasted Day is difficult to pigeonhole as simple memoir. It is part travelogue, and part spirited defense of leisure time in the face of our ever-more busy and stressful modern lifestyle. It debuts in April.

A podcast of Hampl’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

May
7
Mon
Emily Fridlund @ Roseville Public Library
May 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monday, May 7 at 7 PM

Roseville Public Library
2180 Hamline Avenue N, Roseville

Emily Fridlund’s opus History of Wolves straddles the line between thriller and coming-of-age novel. Fridlund’s teenage protagonist, Linda, is an outsider in her close-knit Northwoods community. She finally finds a sense of belonging babysitting for the eccentric Gardner family, but the role comes with expectations and secrets she is ill equipped to handle. History of Wolves shortlisted Fridlund for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Before and after its release, the book won a host of other honors besides: it is a #1 Indie Next Pick, Barnes & Noble Discovers Great New Writers Selection, New York Times Editors Choice, and a USA Today Notable Book. National Public Radio notes: “Fridlund does a remarkable job transcending genres without sacrificing the suspense that builds steadily in the book… It is as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it’s set, and with her first book, Fridlund has already proven herself to be a singular talent.”

A podcast of Fridlund’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

May
9
Wed
Samantha Irby @ Brooklyn Park Library
May 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday, May 9 at 7 PM

Hennepin County Library – Brooklyn Park
8500 W Broadway Avenue, Brooklyn Park

Samantha Irby is a comedienne and memoirist, and a decidedly unique voice in contemporary African American literature. Her fresh, honest brand of humor first came to the attention of readers through her immensely popular blog Bitches Gotta Eat. Irby’s bestselling essay collection, Meaty (2013), adapts and expands her most popular blog entries – and adds some new ones, to boot. Topics truly run the gamut, from personal reflections on the author’s failed relationships and on being black in America, to a ribald take on her struggles with Crohn’s disease, to an ode to tacos. Cable network FX recently optioned Meaty for a half-hour comedy series. Irby’s follow-up, the New York Times– bestselling We Are Never Meeting In Real Life (2017), continues in that tradition. Twenty new, sidesplitting essays – including “The Real Housewife of Kalamazoo” and “I’m in Love and It’s Boring” – reaffirm Irby’s deserved reputation as a “breathtakingly honest and, best of all, imminently relatable humorist” (Chicago Tribune).

A podcast of Irby’s Club Book discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

Aug
28
Tue
Karin Slaughter @ Washington County Library – R.H. Stafford
Aug 28 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Tuesday, August 28 at 6:30 PM

Washington County Library – R.H. Stafford
8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury

Chart-topping mystery phenom Karin Slaughter is the author behind nearly twenty thrillers to date. Collectively, her books have sold a staggering 35 million copies across more than 120 countries. She is best known for the nine-book Grant County series, set in rural Georgia, which launched her writing career in 2001. It centers around small town pediatrician and part-time coroner Dr. Sara Linton and her husband, the local chief of police. Slaughter also writes the so-called Atlanta series, which follows special agents at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Unsurprisingly, her two worlds have collided a number of times, beginning with the bestselling novel Undone (2009). Karin Slaughter has also written several well received standalones. Three of these – Cop Town (2014), The Good Daughter (2017), and Pieces of Her (2018) – are currently in development for film or television adaptations. Pieces of Her debuts in August. In a starred review, Booklist promises: “Readers will find themselves totally immersed in Slaughter’s suspenseful, alternating story lines, and won’t want either of them to end.”

A podcast of Slaughter’s discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location

Sep
17
Mon
Abdi Nor Iftin @ Augsburg University – Foss Lobeck Miles Center
Sep 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monday, September 17 at 7 PM

Augsburg University – Foss Lobeck Miles Center
623 22nd Avenue S, Minneapolis

Somali expat and debut author Abdi Nor Iftin is the pen behind one of the most anticipated – and most timely – nonfiction releases of 2018. Abdi’s long and harrowing journey to America, as part of the U.S. Government’s embattled Diversity Visa Program, came to the attention of audiences around the world through a viral BBC Radio mini-series. Abdi’s larger-than-life immigration story begins in war-torn Mogadishu, where he risked his life chronicling the rise of Islamic extremism in Somalia as an underground NPR correspondent. He narrowly escaped to a refugee camp in Kenya, where against long odds he received an invitation from the U.S. Embassy to interview for a visa in 2014. Chart-topping radio show and podcast This American Life packaged Abdi’s nightly interviews with BBC journalist Leo Hornak into a popular episode in 2015 (“Abdi and the Golden Ticket”). He is now living in Portland, Maine, where he works as an English interpreter for other Somali immigrants and recently collected his stories into a book. Call Me American debuted in June.

A podcast of Abdi Nor Iftin’s discussion will be available a few days after the event!

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Event Location