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10/19/2014 4:00 pm
"Kseniya Melnik's beautiful Snow in May is an education in how history is routed, refracted, and reconciled inside the human heart.”--Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Kseniya Melnik's Snow in May introduces a cast of characters bound by their relationship to the port town of Magadan in Russia's Far East, a former gateway for prisoners assigned to Stalin's forced-labor camps. Comprised of a surprising mix of newly minted professionals, ex-prisoners, intellectuals, musicians, and faithful Party workers, the community is vibrant and resilient and life in Magadan thrives even under the cover of near-perpetual snow
Blending history and fable, each of Melnik's stories transports us somewhere completely new: a married Magadan woman considers a proposition from an Italian footballer in '70s Moscow; an ailing young girl visits a witch doctor's house where nothing is as it seems; a middle-aged dance teacher is entranced by a new student's raw talent; a former Soviet boss tells his granddaughter the story of a thorny friendship; and a woman in 1958 jumps into a marriage with an army officer far too soon.
Snow in May is an inventive, gorgeously rendered, and touching portrait of lives lived on the periphery where, despite their isolation--and perhaps because of it--the most seemingly insignificant moments can be beautiful, haunting, and effervescent.
Kseniya Melnik's debut book is the linked story collection Snow in May, which was published in May in the US and the UK. Born in Magadan, Russia, she moved to Alaska in 1998, at the age of 15. She received her MFA from NYU. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Epoch, Virginia Quarterly Review, Prospect (UK), and was selected for Granta's New Voices series. She currently lives in El Paso, Texas.
Snow in May was recently named to the shortlist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize.
10/10/2014 7:00 pm
Saint Paul Public Library presents
An Evening with
Friday, October 10, 7 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seats available to ticket holders until 6:50 p.m.
Sandford introduces his new Virgil Flowers book, Deadline.
Books will be available for purchase and John Sandford will personalize copies of any books purchased at this event.
This is a ticketed event. Tickets are limited and we cannot reserve them. Tickets are available at these library locations beginning September 26: Dayton’s Bluff, George Latimer Central, Hamline Midway, Merriam Park, Saint Anthony Park, Rondo and on the Bookmobile. Present your library card for a free ticket, limited 2 per household.
Tickets must be presented at the door. After 6:50 p.m., unclaimed seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
To arrange entrance without stairs call 651.266.7400 by Friday, October 3.
10/20/2014 7:00 pm
“Allen Eskens delivers a mesmerizing debut, unfolding decades of secrets in a rewarding tale of redemption.”--Julie Kramer, Minnesota Book Award winner and author of Delivering Death
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Iverson is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.
Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl's conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it's too late to escape the fallout?
Allen Eskens has been a criminal defense attorney for twenty years. He honed his creative writing skills through the MFA program at Minnesota State University as well as classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He is a member of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime. He is currently working on a follow-up novel to The Life We Bury.
10/13/2014 7:00 pm
Hampton Sides is one of the best known – and bestselling – American historians of the past decade. Sides first made a name for himself with 2001’s Ghost Soldiers, a World War II narrative chronicling the greatest rescue mission in the history of our Armed Forces. The debut received the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction and also became the basis for documentaries on the History Channel and PBS. His gripping follow-ups, Blood and Thunder and Hellhound on his Trail (focused on key chapters of America’s westward expansion and civil rights movement, respectively) also saw successful small-screen adaptations. His newest, In the Kingdom of Ice, is “a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival” (Random House).
Club Book brings best-selling and award-winning national and regional authors to library communities throughout the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan region. A program of Metropolitan Library Service Agency and coordinated by Library Strategies, Club Book is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Learn more at www.clubbook.org.
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There's no shortage of sequels in the summertime. In fact, a few of our staff's favorite novels are soon to pick up right where they left off...
Enon (Now in Paperback), Paul Harding's follow-up novel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers, explores the grief of protagonist Charlie Crosby (grandson of Tinkers character George Crosby) over the loss of his daughter. Peter Recommends
10:04 (Available 9/2), a meta-sequel to Ben Lerner's breakout debut (winner of the 2012 Believer Book Award) Leaving the Atocha Station, finds our unnamed author/narrator under contract with a major publisher, but no more certain how to face the future and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater. Colin Recommends
Lila (Available 10/7), the last of three novels by Marilynne Robinson set in the fictional plains town of Gilead, Iowa, tells the hardscrabble story of Lila, wife of minister John Ames. Robinson's preceding novels Gilead (2004) and Home (2008) received the Pulitzer and Orange Prizes, respectively. Jean Recommends
Stephan Eirik Clark’s novel Sweetness #9 is a sweet blend of dark satire and light humor. Where does he get his inspiration? Click here to read a few of Clark’s own addictively good book recommendations.
“I have always felt that a lyric poem that claims an 'I'—that this isn’t fiction. It might be exaggeration or imagination, and it might be flat-out LIES."
The National Book Critics Circle Award winning author of Space, in Chains talks to Common Good Books about her latest collection The Infinitesimals.
Common Good Books is pleased to unveil the first in a series of limited edition t-shirts, not available wherever books are sold.
Looking for that special gift?
Common Good Books has signed and personalized editions of Garrison Keillor's new poetry anthology, Good Poems, American Places. This collection is a splendid road trip across the USA with the perfect guide riding shotgun and a welcome addition to anyone's library.
To order a personalized copy, simply place the order as usual. Once completed, please go to "Order comments" under your order summary and click "Add an order comment" and enter the desired personal message. We will confirm your order and message via email.
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