PAST EVENT: Monday, August 11, 2014, 7 PM, Roseville Library, Roseville
Lev Grossman is the author of the bestselling Magicians trilogy, lauded by the Washington Post as a “masterful… fresh and compelling” addition to the corpus of coming-of-age fantasy literature popularized by Harry Potter. The much anticipated third and final installment, The Magician’s Land, debuts in August, and the full series is already being adapted as a television drama by NBC/Universal. Grossman is also the author of two stand-alone novels, Warp and Codex, and he is currently lead book critic and technology writer for Time Magazine. His nonfiction work has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired. He is also a regular guest on NPR.
PAST EVENT: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 7 PM, Galaxie Library, Apple Valley
Amy Bloom is among the elite set of contemporary American storytellers to see international success as a novelist, short story author, and screenwriter. Bloom’s short fiction has been nominated for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and appeared in popular anthologies including The Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prize Stories. A psychotherapist by training, Bloom also created, wrote, and produced the Lifetime psychiatry drama “State of Mind.” She brings all this talent and experience to bear in her third full-length novel, Lucky Us, described by Kirkus Reviews as “a multilayered, historical tale about different kinds of love and family.”
PAST EVENT: Saturday, August 30, 2014, 2 PM, Prior Lake Library, Prior Lake
Canadian mystery phenom Louise Penny is the author behind the wildly popular Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, set in Quebec but sold around the world in twenty different languages. She published Still Life, the first of that set, to great acclaim in 2005. Between the ten installments to date, Penny has won or been in contention for nearly every major prize awarded in the mystery genre: five Agatha Awards, four Anthony Awards, two Barry Awards, two Macavity Awards, and an Edgar Award. In addition to her writing, Penny also executive-produced the 2013 film adaptation of Still Life. The tenth Gamache novel, The Long Way Home, came out in August.
PAST EVENT: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:30 PM, Chanhassen Library, Chanhassen
Jennifer McMahon’s unique brand of suspense straddles the line between conventional mystery and supernatural thriller. Her novels have been staples on The New York Times bestseller list since her 2009 breakout, Promise Not to Tell. McMahon’s latest, The Winter People, boasts “a consistently eerie atmosphere, and some of its darker supernatural flights are reminiscent of Stephen King,” according to USA Today. It was an Indie Next pick, Library Reads selection, and Amazon Best Book of the Month (Mystery) in February, its debut month. McMahon is also the author of My Tiki Girl, a well-received GLBT young adult novel included on ALA’s Rainbow List for 2009.
PAST EVENT: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:30 PM, Central Park Amphitheater, Woodbury
Sue Miller is the author of nearly a dozen bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Her first two hits, The Good Mother and Inventing the Abbotts, saw successful big screen adaptations in 1988 and 1997. Her third, Family Pictures, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and her sixth, While I Was Gone, became a popular Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Over the course of her distinguished career, Miller has earned a number of fellowships and other honors, including the Carl Sandburg Award and Kate Chopin Literary Award. Her newest, The Arsonist, is a “suspenseful and romantic novel” that “explores the tensions between the ‘summer people’ and locals in a small New Hampshire town” according to Booklist.
PAST EVENT: Monday October 13, 2014, 7 PM, Southdale Library, Edina
Hampton Sides is one of the best known – and bestselling – American historians of the past decade. Sides first made a name for himself with 2001’s Ghost Soldiers, a World War II narrative chronicling the greatest rescue mission in the history of our Armed Forces. The debut received the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction and also became the basis for documentaries on the History Channel and PBS. His gripping follow-ups, Blood and Thunder and Hellhound on his Trail (focused on key chapters of America’s westward expansion and civil rights movement, respectively) also saw successful small-screen adaptations. His newest, In the Kingdom of Ice, is “a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival” (Random House).
PAST EVENT: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 7 PM, Rum River Library, Anoka
Julie Klassen is Minnesota’s answer to Jane Austen. Her romances, set in Regency-era England, have a strong and growing national following. Two of these, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse, have the rare distinction of receiving both a Midwest Book Award and the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her third hit, The Silent Governess, also earned a Christy Award, and was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award and the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. The Dancing Master, her latest book, shines the spotlight on the unsung professionals responsible for teaching young ladies the social graces necessary for a public life in high society.
PAST EVENT: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7 PM, Stillwater Public Library, Stillwater
Literary fiction writer Rebecca Rasmussen garnered accolades in 2011 for The Bird Sisters, an “achingly authentic, almost completely character driven” novel chronicling the remarkable lives of two spinster sisters in rural Wisconsin according to Publisher’s Weekly. Rasmussen also pens short fiction; her stories have appeared in or won prizes from notable journals including The Mid-American Review, Narrative Magazine, and TriQuarterly. Rasmussen currently resides in California, where she teaches writing at UCLA, but her creative interests remain in her native Midwest. Her newest book, Evergreen, also centers around siblings, and plays out against the picturesque backdrop of Minnesota’s verdant northwoods.
PAST EVENT: Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7 PM, Arlington Hills Community Center, Saint Paul
Over a prolific career spanning five decades, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni has penned nearly twenty popular poetry collections including, more recently, Acolytes (2007), Bicycles: Love Poems (2009), and Chasing Utopia (2013). She is also the author or co-author of ten children’s books, including several profiling seminal moments from black history. Prominent among other awards and accolades, Giovanni is a five-time NAACP Image Award winner, holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, and is the first-ever recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award. She is currently serving as a Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech.