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What We’re Reading: MN Publishers Summer Round Up

2015 June 11

What We're ReadingIt’s time again for me to make a list of the books I’ve had piling up that I want to add to my cabin dock-reading list, porch-reading list, park-reading list, anything summery-sounding list — you name it. Sometimes when creating these lists, I get overwhelmed with all the possibilities. This time, I’m focusing on (relatively) recent releases from some of my favorite local Minnesota publishers and/or authors.

my feelingsMy Feelings: Poems by Nick Flynn (June 2015, Graywolf Press)
This fourth book of poems from Flynn is said to be an intimate and tumbling look into the poet’s psyche. Personal, contemporary, and clear, Flynn manages to write striking poems across a spectrum of emotions that reflect the self. Marie Howe says in her blurb about My Feelings, “Here he is again, writing as if his life depends on it, using every trick he can find to carve the tunnel through the mountain. Words are what he uses; silence is the sound they make. […] I read Nick Flynn’s poetry to feel alive.”


sins of our fathersSins of Our Fathers by Shawn Lawrence Otto (November 2014, Milkweed Editions)
Otto is the acclaimed screenwriter of Oscar nominated film The House of Sand and Fog. He puts his experienced chops to work with Sins of Our Fathers, a novel that is sure to keep you turning the pages with race, greed, morals, and money all at the center of the plot. It chronicles the questionable ethics of small-town banker JW as he deals with depression, gambling, and his complicated relationship with a Native American banker.


birchwood cookbookThe Birchwood Cafe Cookbook by Tracy Singleton and Marshall Paulsen, with Beth Dooley, Photography by Mette Nielsen (2015, Minnesota Press)
Don’t know ’bout choo, but I get my cook on in the summer! Fresh herbs from my garden, veggies from the farmer’s market, and grilling weather have me jazzed up to test out this new cookbook from local Birchwood Cafe. The cookbook is organized by season, making us think about where our food comes from, and when. The book’s blurbs talk about how the cookbook echoes the restaurant’s innovative approach to food, keeping things fresh and delectable. Excuse me now while I flip to the summer section…


best to laughBest to Laugh by Lorna Landvik (2015, Minnesota Press)
Best to Laugh is something a little lighter for your summer reads (but don’t mistake that for fluff: Landvik has literary merit fo’ sho’) that will go well with a glass of sauv blanc in hand. Main character Candy moves from our good ol’ land of 10,000 lakes to Hollywood to make her break as a comedian. Hilarity and life lessons ensue. Landvik is queen of wit and charm with her storytelling, and I’m sure this one will keep me (and you) chuckling.


What books are on your summer reading list (Minnesota-based or otherwise)?