"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 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
"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
"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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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
""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
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
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by TJ Stiles
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.
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:
We'll be back next month with more great book news.
Magers and Quinn Booksellers
Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us: 612/822-4611
Or visit our website: http://www.magersandquinn.com