July 2010 - Vol 4, Issue 12
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The summer reading season is in high gear at Magers & Quinn. This month's newsletter has lots of news you can use.

  • Find the best new vacation books
  • Hear David Herlihy talk cycling history in Midtown
  • Meet Vendela Vida at M&Q on July 27
  • Will there be a fourth book from Steig "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Larsson?
Read on and find out.

Please note that we'll be closing at 7:00pm.on July 4--instead of our usual 10:00pm. We'll see you at the fireworks.

Looking for a good book to read on the porch or at the beach? Look no further than M&Q. Here are just a few of the fantastic summer reads waiting for you.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

In the store: $23.40
Online: $19.00 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $26.00
Available Now
The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the "high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island" that is the Japanese Empire's single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancée back in Holland. But Jacob's original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, "Who ain't a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?"

The Passage by Justin Cronin

In the store: $23.99
Online: $20.25 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $27.00
Available Now
"Every so often a novel-reader's novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination. Summer is the perfect time for such books, and this year readers can enjoy the gift of Justin Cronin's The Passage. Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears."--Stephen King

Silencing Sam Julie Kramer

In the store: $21.59
Online: $17.99 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $23.99
Available Now
"Kramer is a Minnesota Agatha Christie."--Rochester Post Bulletin

When a widely despised gossip columnist is found shot to death, Riley Spartz must secretly investigate a case in which she becomes the prime suspect. In the wake of the brutal murder, our heroine discovers that news and gossip have more in common than she ever imagined. Trouble begins when Riley publicly clashes with newspaper gossip writer Sam Pierce, throwing a drink in his face after he implies in his popular column that she cheated on her husband. When clues to the homicide lead to her, Riley is charged with the crime. The police seem unwilling to look any further for perpetrators, although numerous local news-makers have reason for revenge--even a motive for killing. Meanwhile, competition in the Channel 3 newsroom is just as murderous. While Riley struggles to interest her boss in a story about rural wind farm bombings and dead bats, a new reporter spikes the station ratings with exclusive stories about the headless homicide of an unknown woman whose decapitated body is found in a city park. Maybe murder isn't such a bad idea after all? Riley must fight to stay out of jail, ahead in the ratings, and even alive in a killer showdown not fit for television audiences.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

In the store: $23.35
Online: $19.46 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $25.95
Available Now
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother-her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother-tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

"Rose's nuanced responses to food mirror the emotional intensity of growing up in a Los Angeles family with its share of troublesome quirks. Bender has created, in Rose and her family-her fragile and trapped mother; her dutiful and strange father, who is so phobic about hospitals he awaited the birth of his children on the sidewalk outside; her brother, Joseph, perceived by his mother and early teachers as a science genius, whose weirdness Rose senses will gradually overwhelm his intellectual gifts - a set of characters who could be modern-day descendants of J.D. Salinger's Glass family. "--National Public Radio

This Is Not the Story You Think It Is... : A Season of Unlikely Happiness by Laura Munson

In the store: $22.45
Online: $18.21 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $24.95
Available Now
"This Is Not the Story You Think It Is is true to its title. The book took me by surprise. I read it in one sitting and loved Munson's tone, wit, wisdom and writing."--Anita Shreve

In this poignant, wise, and often funny memoir, Munson recounts what happened when her husband of more than twenty years told her he wasn't sure he loved her anymore and wanted to move out. And while you might think you know where this story is going, this isn't the story you think it is. Laura's response to her husband: I don't buy it. This Is Not The Story You Think It Is... chronicles a woman coming to terms with the myths we tell ourselves about our lives and realizing that ultimately happiness is completely within our control.

Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson and James Kwak

In the store: $23.99
Online: $20.21 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $26.95
Available Now
Simon Johnson--one of the most prominent economists in America (former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and professor of entrepreneurship at MIT) and James Kwak examine not only how Wall Street's ideology, wealth, and political power among policy makers in Washington led to the financial debacle of 2008, but also what the lessons learned portend for the future. To restore health and balance to our economy, they argue, we must confront the political force of big finance and reverse the inside-the-Beltway consensus that what is good for Wall Street is good for Main Street.

These are just a few of the great books at Magers & Quinn right now. Stop by to browse the full selection.

July's Events
Thursday, July 8 Scott Sigler reads from Ancestor, 7:30pm

Tuesday, July 13 Books & Bars discusses The Magicians at Bryant-Lake Bowl; doors open at 6:00pm, discussion begins at 7:00pm

Thursday, July 17 David Herlihy discusses The Lost Cyclist at Midtown Bike Center, 2834 10th Ave S, Minneapolis, 5:00pm

Tuesday, July 27 The Big Bang Book Club discusses Plastic Fantastic, 7:00pm at duplex, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, 7:00pm

Tuesday, July 27 Vendela Vida reads from The Lovers, 7:30pm

Sunday, August 1 Michelle Hoover reads from The Quickening, 4:00pm

Wednesday, August 4 Ira Sukrungruang reads from Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy; Kao Kalia Yang reads from The Latehomecomer, 7:30pm

Visit our events page

for full details.

All events are at Magers & Quinn unless noted otherwise.
Thursday, July 8, 7:30pm--Scott Sigler reads from Ancestor

In the store: $22.49
Online: $18.74 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $24.99
Available Now
Ancestor, the latest thriller from Scott Sigler, is a chilling a tale of genetic experimentation gone awry. On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, PJ Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine--life-saving transplant organs at almost no cost. By reverse-engineering the genomes of thousands of mammals, Colding's team has dialed back the evolutionary clock to re-create humankind's common ancestor. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, and with no chance of transplant rejection. There's just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals that Colding's team envisioned. Instead, Colding's work has given birth to something big, something evil.

"Michael Crichton may be gone, but he has a worthy successor in Scott. This book takes thriller and science fiction conventions and slams them together to make something new and fascinating."--Simon R. Green, author of The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny and Agents of Light and Darkness

Wednesday, July 21, 7:30pm--Emily Gray Tedrowe reads from Commuters

In the store: $12.60
Online: $10.49 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $13.99
Available Now
Emily Gray Tedrowe's debut novel Commuters is a tale of love, family, and money. After losing her husband of many years, upstate New Yorker Winnie Easton has finally found love again with Jerry Trevis, a wealthy businessman. But their decision to buy one of the town's biggest houses ignites an outburst from Jerry's family--particularly from his daughter, Annette, who goes so far as to freeze Jerry's assets. Meanwhile, Winnie's daughter Rachel is secretly humiliated by her mother's newfound love and money--all the more as Jerry begins lending her money. And Avery's twenty-year-old chef grandson Trevis has just moved to Manhattan, looking to start his own restaurant--with none other than Jerry's friendship, advice, and money to back him up.

"In her wonderful and original novel Commuters, Emily Tedrowe explores the reconfigurations of a family and the strange alliances that can occur between young and old, love and work. And she writes brilliantly about money. ...A deeply satisfying debut."--Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street

Tuesday, July 27, 7:30pm--Vendela Vida reads from The Lovers

In the store: $21.65
Online: $17.99 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $23.99
Available Now
Vendela Vida, author of the 2007 New York Times Notable Book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name comes to Magers & Quinn Booksellers to read from her new novel about the love between husbands and wives, mothers and children.

"Stunning. A masterful meditation on grief and love. The Lovers is a sensational novel from one of our finest writers at the height of her craft."--Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries

Yvonne is a widow, her twin children grown. Hoping to immerse herself in memories of a happier time, Yvonne returns to he beautiful coastal village of Datça, Turkey, where she and her husband Peter honeymooned twenty-eight years before. But instead of comforting her, Yvonne's memories begin to trouble her.

"An elegant consideration of how death and distance tightens human connections--a big theme that Vida addresses with sure-footedness and charm."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Overwhelmed by the past and unexpectedly dislocated by the environment, Yvonne clings to a newfound friendship with Ahmet, a local boy who makes his living as a shell collector. With Ahmet as her guide, Yvonne gains new insight into the lives of her own adult children, and she finally begins to enjoy the shimmering sea and relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But a devastating accident upends her delicate peace and throws her life into chaos--and her sense of self into turmoil.

"A brilliant, topsy-turvy, twenty-first-century variation on E. M. Forster's A Passage to India..."--Booklist

Vendela Vida is the author of the critically acclaimed novels And Now You Can Go and Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, as well as Girls on the Verge, a journalistic exploration of female coming-of-age rituals. She is a founding coeditor of The Believer magazine.

Sunday, August 1, 4:00pm--Michelle Hoover reads from The Quickening

In the store: $13.45
Online: $11.21 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $14.95
Available Now
Years ago, Michelle Hoover discovered fifteen poorly-typed pages. Written during the last year of her great-grandmother's life, they preserved the story of seventy years of hardship and loss on her family's Iowa farm. The account eventually formed the basis of Hoover's first novel, The Quickening. "I consider the novel a restoration--a successful pursuit of what otherwise might have vanished," she says.

"Michelle Hoover's fine debut novel recreates for us a way of life and a set of personalities that have vanished from our current scene, and she does so with a solidity of detail that will impress these people and these places forever on your memory."--Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

Based on her great-grandmother's account and family oral histories, Michelle Hoover's novel The Quickening tells the epic story of a bitter feud between two Iowa farming families--a feud lasting forty years, through two World Wars and the Great Depression. It is a story of survival and hardship, violence and betrayal, and the discovery and loss of lifelong love.

"I grew up among Iowa farm women, and Michelle Hoover has perfectly captured their voices and stories with great wisdom, tenderness, and beauty."--Ted Kooser, U. S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006

Wednesday, August 4, 7:30pm--Ira Sukrungruang and Kao Kalia Yang discuss their work

In the store: $22.45
Online: $18.71 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $24.95
Available Now
Two authors discuss their recent work and the larger question of what it means to be Asian in America.

Ira Sukrungruang's book Talk Thai is the story of a first generation Thai-American growing up in a Thai family, and his constant attempts to reconcile cultural and familial expectations. It is a first-generation Asian American story, a mama's boy story, a Chi-town Southsider story, a child of the 80s story, a child of a broken home story. In this book we meet a mother who started packing for her return to Thailand the moment she arrived in this country, whose dreams of a normal Thai son, of a normal Thai family, slowly erode; that mother's best friend, the narrator's second mother, who lives with and cooks for the family; and a wayward father whose dreams never quite come to fruition. Yet despite the cultural conflict that manifests in the home, in the community, and in Sukrungruang's mind, this book is written with humor and playfulness, by a writer not afraid to make a little fun of himself nor to expose the moments of poignancy in his life. A vital addition to Asian American literature, this book is also, quintessentially, American literature--ranging from the X-Men to temple, from "karate" lessons in a friend's back yard to the unique spices of Thai food.

In the store: $13.45
Online: $11.21 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $14.95
When she was six years old, Kao Kalia Yang's family immigrated to America.Her memoir The Latehomecomer evocatively captures the challenges of adapting to a new place and a new language. Through her words, the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by the entire Homng community have finally found a voice. The Latehomecomer won the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards Readers' Choice Award.

Join these two authors for a fascinating discussion about literature and life in these United States.

But wait, there's more... We've got lots of great events coming up this summer and fall. Mark your calendars now, so you don't forget.
  • Wednesday, August 18--Andrew Bacevich
  • Sunday, August 22--Jon Lauck
  • Monday, September 13--Laurie Hertzel
  • Tuesday, September 21--Gary Shteyngart
  • Thursday, September 23--Steve Brezenoff
  • Sunday, September 26--Joshua Ferris
  • Monday, September 27--TR Reid
Visit www.magersandquinn.com for more details.

It's not over. Two short stories by the late author/phenomenon Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) have been discovered in the Swedish National Library.

Will the stories be published? Well, they have a lot of strikes against them:
  • They're short stories, not novels.
  • They're science fiction.
  • They were written when Larsson was only 17.
  • They were rejected by the Swedish magazine Jules Verne.
The final decision as to whether or not to publish the stories rests with Larsson's estate, but there's really no question that they will make their way to bookstores eventually. Details are here.

More news from the world of books is always available on the M&Q blog.

The Big Bang Book Club is a science book club for non-scientists. Our next meeting will be 7:00pm, Tuesday, July 22, at a new location--duplex restaurant.bar, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, in Minneapolis.

In the store: $15.25
Online: $12.75 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $17.00
Available Now
July's book is Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World. Science journalist Eugenie Samuel Reich recounts the case of wunderkind physicist Jan Hendrik Schön, who faked the discovery of a new superconductor at the world famous Bell Laboratories. Many of the world's top scientific journals and experts, including Nobel Prize-Winners, supported Schön, only to learn that they were the victims of the biggest fraud in science. What drove Schön, by all accounts a mild-mannered, modest, and obliging young man, to tell such outrageous lies? Reich dives into the riveting world of science to examine how fraud perpetuates itself today. Schön's rise and fall will be an essential and fascinating account of the missteps of the scientific community for years to come.

The Big Bang Book Club mixes arts and science into a heady brew. It is sponsored by

Several recent bestsellers are out now in paperback. They're perfect for reading in a hammock or on the beach.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

In the store: $13.50
Online: $11.25 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $15.00
Available Now
Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old sisters with an intense attachment to each other. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. Their English aunt Elspeth Noblin has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions for this inheritance: that they live in the flat for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the girls' aunt Elspeth and their mother, Edie.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Stella Gibbons, and other luminaries are buried. Julia and Valentina become involved with their living neighbors: Martin, a composer of crossword puzzles who suffers from crippling OCD, and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. They also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including perhaps their aunt.

What He's Poised to Do by Ben Greenman

In the store: $12.60
Online: $10.49 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $13.99
Available Now
From a portrait of an unfaithful man contemplating his own free will to the saga of a young Cuban man's quixotic devotion to a woman he may never have met; and from a nineteenth-century weapons inventor's letter to his young daughter to an aging man's wistful memory of a summer love affair in a law office--each of these short stories demonstrates Greenman's maturity as a chronicler of romantic angst both contemporary and timeless, and as an explorer of the ways our yearning for connection informs our selves and our souls.

""This book is like a strobe light--in short, sharp bursts, Ben Greenman renders the world we know into something startling, hypnotizing, and downright trippy."--Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)

Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman

In the store: $13.45
Online: $11.25 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $15.00
Available July 6
Q: What is this book about?

Chuck Klosterman:
Well, that's difficult to say. I haven't read it yet--I've just picked it up and casually glanced at the back cover. There clearly isn't a plot. I've heard there's a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don't laugh when they're inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and college football and Mad Men. Supposedly there's a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I'm misinformed.

Q: Is there a larger theme?

CK: Oh, something about reality. "What is reality," maybe? No, that's not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened. Also, Lady Gaga.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

In the store: $12.55
Online: $10.50 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $14.00
Available Now
From the bestselling author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle comes an intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect. Equal parts travelogue and literary reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Haruki Murakami's intertwined obsession with running and writing and his preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. From Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him, Murakami creates a vivid tapestry of memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory.

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by TJ Stiles

In the store: $17.95
Online: $14.96 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $19.95
Available Now
Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire. Lincoln consulted him on steamship strategy during the Civil War; Jay Gould was first his uneasy ally and then sworn enemy; and Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, was his spiritual counselor. We see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation--in fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today.

In the store: $23.35
Online: $19.00 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $26.00
Available Now
In the late 1880s, Frank Lenz of Pittsburgh, a renowned high-wheel racer and long-distance tourist, dreamed of cycling around the world. He finally got his chance by recasting himself as a champion of the downsized "safety-bicycle" with inflatable tires, the forerunner of the modern road bike that was about to become wildly popular. In the spring of 1892 he quit his accounting job and gamely set out west to cover twenty thousand miles over three continents as a correspondent for Outing magazine. Two years later, after having survived countless near disasters and unimaginable hardships, he approached Europe for the final leg. He never made it.

David Herlihy, author of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, will be at Freewheel Midtown Bike Center (2834 10th Avenue S, Minneapolis; 612/339-2223) to tell the rest of the story--6:00pm, Thursday, July 15. Don't miss your chance to hear a great tale from bike history.

Be sure to bring your own "pneumatic safety" and join us on the casual ride following the presentation. We'll be heading to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to partake in Bike Night to enjoy the music, bike-related films, and bike art galore.

For updates and more details visit www.freewheelbike.com.

The Poetry Foundation has released its own iPhone application. Called, logically enough, POETRY, the program lets you find poems based on their subject or mood--or shake your phone to read a random new poem. William Shakespeare, César Vallejo, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Lucille Clifton, and Emily Dickinson are all represented. And best of all POETRY is free.

You can download POETRY here.

Books & Bars--the Twin Cities' most unusual and interesting book club--meets Tuesday, July 13 at Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake Street, in Minneapolis. Doors open at 6:00pm; the discussion begins at 7:00pm.

In the store: $14.40
Online: $12.00 (plus S/H)
Publisher's price: $16.00
Available Now
July's book is The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

Books & Bars is not your typical book club. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and drinks. You're welcome even if you haven't read the book.

Mark your calendars now for this summer's meetings:

Books & Bars is sponsored by Bryant-Lake Bowl, The Onion, mnartists.org, Surly Brewing Co., and Magers & Quinn Booksellers. Visit booksandbars.com for details and to talk to fellow members!

Magers & Quinn is the largest independent bookstore in the Twin Cities. Stop in today or check our inventory on our website any time.

We'll be back next month with more great book news.

Until then,

David Enyeart
Magers and Quinn Booksellers

Call us: 612/822-4611
Or visit our website: http://www.magersandquinn.com
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