Monday, October 15 at 7 PM
Scott County Library – Prior Lake
16210 Eagle Creek Avenue SE, Prior Lake
National Book Award winner Julia Glass won one of fiction’s highest honors with her debut novel. That breakout, Three Junes (2002), follows the lives and loves of a Scottish family over the course of a full decade. Upon its release, The New York Times Book Review gushed: “Three Junes brilliantly rescues, then refurbishes, the traditional plot-driven novel.” Subsequent bestsellers to Glass’s credit include The Whole World Over (2007), I See You Everywhere (2008), The Widower’s Tale (2010), and And the Dark Sacred Night (2014). This last revisits several of the characters and settings from Three Junes. Glass is also a prize-winning short fiction writer and a frequent anthology collaborator. Glass’s new full-length novel, A House Among the Trees, centers around the childhood secrets and shocking last will and testament of a world-renowned children’s book author. The National Book Review calls it: “Enthralling… Glass is a master at withholding information until just the right moment.”
Thursday, October 25 at 6:30 PM
Carver County Library – Chanhassen
7711 Kerber Boulevard, Chanhassen
Outside of the United States, the city of Duluth is best known by many as the primary setting for the mysteries of prolific, internationally bestselling novelist Brian Freeman. He is the author behind the acclaimed Jonathan Stride detective series. Stride’s 2006 debut, Immoral, won the Macavity Award and was a finalist for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony and Barry awards for best first novel. Freeman introduced a second popular protagonist, eccentric Florida investigator Cab Bolton, in The Bone House (2011). Freeman’s titles have been printed in 22 different languages and sold in 46 countries to date. His latest, Alter Ego, is the ninth installment in the Jonathan Stride series. In this memorable case, Duluth’s famous son finds himself investigating a mercurial Hollywood actor starring in a film about none other than Stride himself! The Star Tribune called Alter Ego “a practically perfect summer read… Brian Freeman’s latest explores the cult of celebrity and the sociopaths that it sometimes shelters.”
Tuesday, October 30 at 6:30 PM
Saint Paul Public Library – Rondo
461 Dale Street N, Saint Paul
African American historian Wil Haygood made waves in 2008 with the publication of a feature in The Washington Post titled “A Butler Well Served by This Election.” It profiled the life and service of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who worked under eight presidents over the course of 34 years. It is the inspiration behind the Lee Daniels movie of the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey and Forrest Whitaker. In 2013, as a tie-in to the Hollywood film, Haygood fleshed out Allen’s story into a New York Times bestselling biography, The Butler: A Witness to History. Haygood has also penned biographers of African American luminaries including musician Sammy Davis Jr., boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, and Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall. Haygood’s new book, Tigerland, tells the remarkable untold story of baseball and basketball teams at a poor, black, segregated high school in Ohio. The Tigers both won high-profile state championships (and made national headlines) in 1968-1969 against the backdrop of escalating racial tensions.
Tuesday, November 13 at 7 PM
Hennepin County Library – Southdale
7001 York Avenue S, Edina
David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His gripping debut, The Lost City of Z (2009), follows the life and mysterious disappearance of Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett. It is the basis for the 2016 movie of the same name, starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson. Grann’s follow-up, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes (2010), is a twelve-essay anthology. Each entry focuses on someone with an all-consuming passion in life that leads them into decidedly unusual (and sometimes deadly) situations. Grann solidified his reputation in 2017 with Killers of the Flower Moon, a shocking exposé that documents one of the most sinister racial injustices in American history – and the founding of the modern FBI. In his newest release, The White Darkness, Grann returns to the world of intrepid explorers. This lavishly illustrated book follows the story of Henry Worsley, a special forces veteran eager to retrace the steps of famed adventurer Ernest Shackleton – and to do the legend one better, by traversing the full length of the Antarctic on foot. The White Darkness hits shelves in October.
Wednesday, November 14 at 7 PM
Dakota Public Library – Galaxie
14955 Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley
Bestselling author Deborah Blum is one of America’s foremost science writers, and one of only a handful to find publishing success writing about the history of science. Blum’s debut, The Monkey Wars (1994), grew out of a Pulitzer Prize winning series she wrote for the Sacramento Bee about the ethical implications of primate research. Blum’s follow-ups demonstrate her research range: Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences between Men and Woman (1998), and Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life after Death (2007). Blum’s popularity grew still further in 2010, with The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. One review lauded The Poisoner’s Handbook as “a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madam Curie.” Plum’s newest book, The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, follows in a similar vein. It tells the surprising – sometimes stomach-churning – story of the unsung heroes we have to thank for today’s food industry safety protocols.
Monday, March 11 at 6:30 PM
Dakota County Library – Wentworth
199 E Wentworth Ave, West St. Paul
Peabody Award- winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz is one of the nation’s foremost commentators on urban violence and community perseverance. He is best known for the seminal but haunting There Are No Children Here, the real-life story of 9- and 11-year old brothers in Chicago’s most crime-ridden public housing complex. (Oprah Winfrey produced and starred in a film version of There Are No Children Here in 1993.) His 2007 follow-up, The Other Side of the River, shines a light on two towns in southern Michigan as a microcosm for the racial divides still prevalent in America. In addition to numerous journalism plaudits, Kotlowitz won an Emmy Award as producer of the 2011 documentary The Interrupters (based on a gripping New York Times Magazine article researched by the author). Kotlowitz returns to Chicago in his newest exposé, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. In it, he shares heart-wrenching vignettes of residents who lived through Chicago’s most violent summer on record, and paints a fresh, honest portrait of a city in turmoil. It hits shelves March 5.
Thursday, March 14 at 7 PM
Ramsey County Library – Roseville
2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville
Tennessee native Emily Bernard is intimately familiar with, and endlessly fascinated by, the “complexities and paradoxes” of growing up as a person of color in the American South. She captures her insights and takeaways in the much anticipated essay anthology Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine. In an advance review for the intertwining, twelve-essay collection, Publisher’s Weekly lauds: “The author’s wisdom and compassion radiate throughout.” While her struggles and themes will strike a chord with many, Bernard’s life story is singular and her authorial voice fresh. She holds a PhD from Yale, and is now on the faculty of a university in the whitest state of America. She is also the mother of two daughters adopted from Ethiopia. Prior to her memoir, Bernard penned significant scholarship on Harlem Renaissance luminaries Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, and co-authored Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (2009). Her essays have appeared in a host of journals and anthologies, including The American Scholar and Best African American Essays.
Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 PM
Washington County Library – R.H. Stafford
8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury
Internationally renowned thriller novelist Don Winslow is the mind behind “The Godfather trilogy of our time” – this according to sources as varied as The New York Times, Esquire magazine, and writer Stephen King. Over the past three decades, Winslow has published more than twenty books total. Early highlights include The Death and Life of Bobby Z, basis for a 2007 film of the same name starring Laurence Fishburne and Paul Walker, and Savages, which was adapted for the big screen by Oliver Stone in 2012. Winslow reached still further heights with The Power of the Dog, the first of a trilogy about DEA agent Art Keller’s decades-long war with a Mexican drug kingpin. Based on the U.S. Government’s very real War on Drugs (and six years of research by Winslow), The Power of the Dog and its 2015 sequel The Cartel replicate “the pace and feel of an explosive documentary” (NPR). The trilogy’s much-anticipated conclusion, The Border, debuts February 26. It finds protagonist Keller pulled from retirement to combat a domestic heroine epidemic and new enemies where he least expected to find them: in his own government.
Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 PM
Carver County Library – Chanhassen
7711 Kerber Blvd, Chanhassen
Chart-topping novelist Leif Enger burst onto the literary scene in 2001 with Peace Like a River – one of this century’s few fiction debuts to sell a million copies. Set in northern Minnesota in the 1960s, audiences fell in love with Peace Like a River’s arcadian small town setting and 12-year-old protagonist Reuben ‘Rube’ Land – a young narrator every bit as memorable as Huck Finn or ‘Scout’ Finch. Enger’s follow-ups to date include So Brave, Young and Handsome, a classic Western with a Minnesota spin. Along with older brother Lin (and under the apropos pen name L.L. Enger), he also penned an Edgar Award nominated mystery series about a retired baseball all-star and his less-than-restful retirement in the Northwoods. Enger’s newest, Virgil Wander, centers on a small industrial town past its prime, and the band of residents who love it fiercely. The Wall Street Journal raved: “Virgil Wander brings out the charm and downright strangeness of the defiantly normal.” Since its publication in October 2018, this newest addition to the Enger corpus has garnered a host of honors, including being named a #1 Indie Next List Pick.
Monday, April 8 at 7 PM
Anoka County Library – Northtown
700 County Rd 10 NE, Blaine
Award-winning novelist and poet Linda LeGarde Grover is a poignant chronicler of the modern Native American experience. A member of the Bois Forte Band of the Chippewa Tribe – and long-time professor of American Indian studies at UMN Duluth – Grover first made waves in the literary world with her 2010 short story collection The Dance Boots. This debut garnered Grover the prestigious Flannery O’Connor Award. Recent releases include essay collection Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year (2017), winner of the 2018 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir & Creative Nonfiction. Grover’s first novel, The Road Back to Sweetgrass (2014), followed the diverging paths of three Ojibwe women. In a rave review, the Pioneer Press notes: “At heart, [Sweetgrass] is a story about longing for home, with traditions of pow-wows and wild ricing… and of coming of age when the Anishinaabe struggled to preserve their culture in a changing world.” In her much anticipated follow up, In the Night of Memory, the author returns to northern Minnesota and weaves a moving tale of family loss and redemption. It hits shelves on April 2.