PAST EVENT: Tuesday, September 20 at 7 PM, Roseville Public Library, Roseville
Mystery favorite Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer behind the popular Aimée Leduc private investigator series. Set in and around Paris, Leduc’s adventures span fifteen installments to date. Black boasts an international following, with more than 400,000 books in print in eight different languages. She is also a two-time finalist for the Anthony Award, a high honor in the crime fiction genre. Her newest novel, Murder on the Quai, hit shelves in June. In an exciting departure from the norm, Black takes us back in time to explore how a college-aged Aimée Leduc first came to take the reins of her family’s detective agency. Her first caseload is an exciting one, involving a hunt for Nazi gold and much more. Booklist raves: “Finally we have the prequel we’ve been craving… A treat for series fans.”
PAST EVENT: Monday, September 26 at 7 PM, Rum River Library, Anoka
Lucie Amundsen is a self-described ‘reluctant farmer’ and co-owner, with her husband Jason, of Locally Laid Egg Company, a ranch enterprise in Duluth that supplies pasture-raised eggs to markets in Minnesota, Iowa, and Indiana. Amundsen holds an MFA from Hamline University and is a past contributor to the Star Tribune and Reader’s Digest Association. When this plucky couple – with no real agricultural experience between them – decided to leave their professions to start up a mid-sized chicken farm, Amundsen applied her considerable writing talents to a part-memoir, part-exposé about the experience. Kirkus Reviews recommends Locally Laid highly, stating: “The author’s skepticism and her husband’s optimism collide to create a laughable tale.” Behind the humor, however, Amundsen reveals some alarming truths about today’s egg and poultry industry, along with insights on what we can all do to turn the situation around.
PAST EVENT: Wednesday, September 28 at 6:30PM, PChanhassen Public Library, Chanhassen
Architect-turned-author Charlotte Rogan made waves on the literary scene with the publication of The Lifeboat, a tense and haunting survival story set at sea at the outset of World War I. Stranded on an overcrowded lifeboat with few provisions and little chance of immediate rescue, survivors of the mysterious sinking of an ocean liner grapple with life-and-death decisions. Rogan’s debut hit numerous bestseller lists and put Rogan in contention for several major literary awards. The Lifeboat has been translated into more than 25 languages, and is currently being adapted into a major motion picture produced by and starring Anne Hathaway. Rogan’s second novel, Now and Again, hit shelves in April. Hailed by The Huffington Post as “just as harrowing, and even more complex,” it centers on an unassuming secretary who stumbles across proof of a massive corporate conspiracy.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
PAST EVENT: Wednesday, October 12 at 7 PM, Prior Lake Public Library, Prior Lake
American Book Award winner Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a master of many different genres. Her hit novels to date include The Mistress of Spices (1997), Sister of My Heart (1999), One Amazing Thing (2010), and Oleander Girl (2013). Studios have optioned many of Divakaruni’s works for films or television, including a big screen adaptation of The Mistress of Spices in 2005. She is also an accomplished poet, playwright, and an award-winning author of short stories and teen literature. Divakaruni’s short fiction and essays have appeared in more than 50 publications. Her newest novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, is set in India and Texas – two places she has lived in and knows intimately. It explores the bounds of multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, twinned themes that have become the author’s hallmark. It charted high on bestseller lists in both the United States and India.
PAST EVENT: Monday, October 17 at 7 PM, Southdale Library, Edina
Candice Millard is a New York Times bestselling historian widely acclaimed for producing “crisp, concise and revealing history” (The Washington Post). She began her distinguished career as a writer and editor for National Geographic, before turning her attention to book-length projects. Millard’s 2005 debut, The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, explored a little-known chapter in the life of our twenty-sixth president. Her 2011 follow-up, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President, chronicled the life and assassination of President James Garfield. Both charted extremely well and garnered Millard numerous honors. Millard’s newest title, debuting in September, focuses on the larger-than-life character of Winston Churchill – prior to his time as Prime Minister. Hero of the Empire recounts the story of Churchill’s capture and harrowing escape from a POW camp in colonial South Africa during the Boer Wars.
PAST EVENT: Wednesday, November 2 at 6:30 PM, R.H. Stafford Library, Woodbury
Internationally renowned naturalist, author, documentarian and media commentator Sy Montgomery is sometimes described as “part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson” (Boston Globe). A distinguished career in animal behavior research has taken Montgomery to far-flung locations including Costa Rica, the Congo, Mongolia’s deserts, and many points in between. Her impressive written corpus spans ten books for adults and another ten geared toward children. Bestsellers include the perennial favorite The Good Pig (2007), a personal memoir about her family’s 750-pound pet pig, and Birdology (2011). Her latest New York Times bestseller, The Soul of an Octopus (2015), was shortlisted for a National Book Award. In it, she explores the psyche of this extraordinary species, including their remarkable ability to forge personal connections with humans.
PAST EVENT: Monday, November 14 at 7 PM, Galaxie Library, Apple Valley
Minneapolis native R.T. Rybak served as mayor of Minnesota’s largest city from 2002 to 2014, before stepping down from the post at the end of a third term. His post-mayoral career is proving to be an eventful one. Rybak currently serves as CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation, one of the region’s most prominent philanthropies, and is active at the helm of Generation Next, a public–private coalition aiming to improve academic outcomes for underserved children. Between commitments, he has found time to pen a well-received memoir that is equal parts political coming-of-age story and behind-the-scenes look at the running of a major American city. With refreshing candor, Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis chronicles Rybak’s experiences with and thoughts on defining events of the past decade, including the I-35 bridge collapse and the fight over marriage equality.