MN Reads

Join us Thursday mornings at 8:20 for Minnesota Reads on Northland Morning,  featuring Minnesota authors talking about their work.

Funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Growing up in Milwaukee, Derek Nicholas wasn't really plugged into either his cultural heritage or the great outdoors.

But when he arrived in rural west-central Minnesota to study at the University of Minnesota-Morris, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa member found two new passions: sustainable food systems and his Anishinaabeg culture.

Writer, radio personality, podcaster and guy-with-depression John Moe talks about finding what works for you in addition to meds and therapy (dogs, being in a band, Bigfoot videos on YouTube), getting rid of the word "stigma" (when what we mean is "discrimination"), and depression as a super-power, especially in these times.

The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe is published by St. Martin's Press.

Jeffrey Briggs is a big fan of waterfronts. From the frigid waters of Puget Sound to the frigid waters of Lake Superior's North Shore, he's written the second installment of his Waterfront Mystery series, and this one is set right here in the Northland.

Within a Shadowed Forest is published by Water's End Publishing.

Kao Kalia Yang's book The Shared Room begins as what she calls "a love letter" to the 6-year-old who drowned three years ago at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, the little girl she'd gotten to know and who told the author, "When I grow up I want to be a writer. Not just any writer, but one like you."

Carolyn Holbrook’s life is peopled with ghosts—of the girl she was, the selves she shed and those who have caught up to her, the wounded and kind and malevolent spirits she’s encountered, and also the beloved souls she’s lost and those she never knew who beg to have their stories told. “Now don’t you go stirring things up,” one ghostly aunt counsels. Another smiles encouragingly: “Don’t hold back, child. Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.”

Author Sue Leaf on how her writing group keeps her honest, on the unexpected appearance of John Beargrease Sr. in her story (he was a mail carrier, too) and why she may never go back to "in-person" book launches (as opposed to online ones) again.

Forty percent of people who developed bowel obstructions died of them, up until the 1960s.

Now it's less than four percent.

Dr. Henry Buchwald's new book chronicles his work with the pioneering young surgeon at the University of Minnesota's Medical School who developed that surgery, as well as ground-breaking techniques for opeh heart surgery, transplant surgery, bariatric surgery and more.

But of all Dr. Owen Wangensteen's advances in medicine, Buchwald points to his mentor's emphasis on research as one of the most significant.

"You can't be what you don't see."

That's why Anthony Scott and Dr. Chaunda Scott are so dedicated to continuing their father's work. Walter Scott produced a series of books profiling the African-American community of the times (The Scott Collection: Minnesota's Black Community in the '50s, '60s, and '70s) and his children, already working with a non-profit called Minnesota's Black Community Project, released their new book this month.

If you knew a professional "fisherwoman" ("fisherperson") who became an accidental host of a fishing show on public television, had a fixer-upper house and a clingy rescue dog, would you want to stay in touch?

Turns out, even authors develop relationships with characters that they can't let go of the way they thought they could.

Fishing is published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Scott Carpenter teaches French literature, literary theory, and cross-cultural studies at Carleton College in Northfield.

So when it came time for him to take a sabbatical, he thought, why not pack up my wife and teenage daughter and go live in Paris for a while?

"My guiding principle," says Carpenter, "was just to throw myself into situations that required meto do difficult things; things I didn't understand or predict how they'd end up."

When Tom and Elizabeth Peacock started Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing, one of their goals was to create Native children's books for all audiences, written and illustrated by Native writers and artists.

What started last year as a 100-day challenge and then a way to reach out to friends on social media has become physician-turned-shamanic-healer Sarah Bamford Seidelmann's new book.

Although her creative process - spending some quality time with her spirit animal, Alice the Elephant, and asking for messages to share - is admittedly unconventional, the ebullient Seidelmann would have it no other way.

Deborah Appleman loves the quote from Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy: “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

Without capital punishment in Minnesota, says Appleman, who teaching college-level language and literature courses at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater, "we keep (inmates) alive - now how can we keep them human?"

Chuck Dayton has been taking pictures of loon families on his little lake near Ely for many of the 63 years he's been spending summers there.

So when he says "this is where my soul lives," you can see that reflected in every photograph of Secrets of the Loon.

  Secrets of the Loon is published by the University of Minnesota Historical Society Press