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04/19/2015 12:00 pm
Garrison Keillor will announce the winners of our third annual poetry contest
Winners will be announced Sunday, April 19 at a celebration of poetry to be held at noon in the chapel at Macalester College. Winning poets will join Garrison Keillor--some in person, some on the phone--to read their work.
04/23/2015 7:00 pm
Celebrate what makes each child special and unique in this wonderful hardcover children’s book by Alan Page and his daughter Kamie Page, with artwork by Dave Geister.
The goal of our new children’s book, The Invisible You, is to nurture a conversation celebrating the things that make people different and unique and the common things we share. Co-authored by Justice Alan Page and Kamie Page, a second grade teacher, and illustrated by Minneapolis artist David Geister, The Invisible You focuses on a young boy, Howard, and a hard first day at a new school in a new neighborhood.
The Invisible You is a simple, yet important concept, delivered in a story that’s easy for all children to understand... And adults too. The Invisible You is what makes you, you. It’s who you are deep down, not the color of your skin or where you come from. It is your passions, your achievements, your dreams.
Alan Page spent fifteen years in the NFL, becoming the first defensive player in the league’s history to receive an MVP award. While playing football, he became a full-time law student, earning his Juris Doctor in 1978. He was appointed to be a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1993. In 1988, Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation, which provides financial and mentoring assistance to students of color in exchange for volunteer service in the community.
Cathy Wurzer discusses "We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying." This event is cosponsored by Amherst H Wilder Foundation.
04/26/2015 4:00 pm
“In this exquisite book, Bruce H. Kramer finds adventure the most unlikely of places: the death sentence that is ALS. We Know How This Ends is a moving tale that teaches us more about living well than any self-help book ever can.”--Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
A floppy foot and leg weakness led to a shattering diagnosis: Bruce H. Kramer had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS is a cruel, unrelenting neurodegenerative disease in which the body’s muscles slowly weaken, including those used to move, swallow, talk, and ultimately breathe. There is no cure: ALS is a death sentence.
Rather than wallowing in sadness and bitterness, anger and denial, Kramer accepted the crushing diagnosis. The educator and musician recognized that if he wanted a meaningful life, then embracing his imminent death was his only viable option. His decision was the foundation for profound, personal reflection and growth, even as his body weakened, and inspired him to share the lessons he was learning from ALS about how to live as fully as possible, even in the midst of devastating grief.
At the time Kramer was diagnosed, broadcast journalist Cathy Wurzer was struggling with her own losses, especially her father’s slow descent into the bewildering world of dementia. Mutual friends put this unlikely pair--journalist and educator--together, and the serendipitous result has been a series of remarkable broadcast conversations, a deep friendship, and now this book.
Written with wisdom, genuine humor, and down-to-earth observations, We Know How This Ends is far more than a memoir. It is a dignified, courageous, and unflinching look at how acceptance of loss and inevitable death can lead us all to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps children, families and older adults in the greater Saint Paul area through direct service programs, research, leadership development and community building. Established in 1906, the mission of the Wilder Foundation is to promote the social welfare of persons in the greater Saint Paul metropolitan area without regard to nationality, sex, color, religion, or prejudice. For more information about the Wilder Foundation, visit www.wilder.org.
Bruce H. Kramer is former dean of the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the creator of The Dis Ease Diary (http://diseasediary.wordpress.com), a popular blog about life with ALS, and coauthor of Leading Ethically in Schools and Other Organizations, a realistic look at leadership ethics.
The host of Minnesota Public Radio’s flagship news program Morning Edition, Cathy Wurzer has been broadcasting conversations with Bruce H. Kramer about his ALS experiences since 2011. She is also the cohost of Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television, the longest-running weekly public affairs program in the nation.
04/21/2015 7:00 pm
“Readers will find that they’re in the hands of a master whose quiet, unforgettable voice leaves you yearning to hear more.”--The Boston Globe
Laurie Hertzel, books editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the author of the memoir News to Me, will discuss I Refuse and Per Petterson’s other books with him. Per Petterson is the author of five previous novels, which have established him as one of Norway's best fiction writers. Petterson worked as a manual laborer, spent twelve years as a bookseller, and was a translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. His novel Out Stealing Horses won the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was named one of the best books of 2007 by the New York Times Book Review and Time.
Per Petterson’s hotly anticipated new novel, I Refuse, is the work of an internationally acclaimed novelist at the height of his powers. In Norway the book has been a huge best seller, and rights have already been sold to sixteen countries.
In his signature spare style, I Refuse weaves a tale of two men whose accidental meeting one morning recalls their boyhood thirty-five years ago. Back then, Tommy was separated from his sisters after he stood up to their abusive father. Jim was by Tommy’s side through it all. But one winter night, a chance event on a frozen lake forever changes the balance of their friendship. Now, Jim fishes alone on a bridge as Tommy drives by in a new Mercedes, and it’s clear their fortunes have reversed. Over the course of the day, the lives of each man will be irrevocably altered. I Refuse is a powerful, unforgettable novel, and its publication is an event to be celebrated.
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
"Writing did give me a means to grieve publicly, to make others aware of my loss, in a way that wouldn’t have gone over so well if I had just randomly stood up in the middle of a cafe once a month and proclaimed, 'hello, strangers, allow me to tell you about my dead father and how sad I am about it!'"
Sean Bishop talks about life, death, and Carson Daly. Bishop reads from The Night We’re Not Sleeping In on Friday, November 21, with poets Su Smallen and Kara Condito. Click here for more information. Click here for the complete interview.
Common Good Books is pleased to unveil the first in a series of limited edition t-shirts, not available wherever books are sold.
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