Gov. Walz’ Book Club: Local Authors to Add to Your Reading List

Here are some Minnesotan perspectives we’ve been reading at home

We can’t go out. So, Gov. Tim Walz said, let’s start “the state’s largest book club” instead:

Here are some Minnesota authors we’ve been reading, to add to your reading list:

“Brave Enough,” by Jessie Diggins

Courtesy of University of Minnesota Press

Brave Enough by Jessie Diggins

Read our interview with Jessie Diggins about her frank memoir detailing personal struggles as an athlete in the spotlight.

Fishing! by Sarah Stonich

In this work of fiction, RayAnne Dahl unexpectedly finds herself hosting the first all-women talk show about fishing on public television. At the same time, she has an unruly rescue dog, a house-in-progress, an unstable father, a demanding life-coach mother, and an ailing grandmother to deal with. Grounding her is a simple statement of affirmation: “I’m a woman, I fish. Deal with it.”

Hijinx and Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota’s Pop Life by Martin Keller

The ’80s were nigh, new-wave was devouring disco, and a couple Twin Cities journalists took it upon themselves to document the comings and goings of musicians, comedians, and other big-name talents. Minnesota-tethered stars like Prince, Bob Dylan, Hüsker Dü, Louie Anderson, and Lizz Winstead join a parade of Paul McCartney, William S. Burroughs, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Marley, James Brown, and so many others.

Homie by Danez Smith

In Minneapolis poet Danez Smith’s acclaimed third collection, the National Book Award finalist gets lyrical, expansive, and luminous, leaping from the strange chemistry of friendship to righteous anger to the joyful power of imagination versus noxious national conversations. Smith opens us up and reveals who we are.

Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened by Emily Blejwas

This work of middle-grade fiction (to be released April 14) follows a boy in flux: After the mysterious death of his father, Justin is piecing his life back together, and people are staring at him at school, and his mom is suddenly super into church, and the North Stars might not make the playoffs. Blejwas relates a formative, coming-of-age period with heart and humor.

The Lost Brothers by Jack El-Hai

In 1951, three brothers went to a park in North Minneapolis—and never came home. Investigators closed the case, declaring that the boys had drowned. Sixty years later, new information surfaced, the case reopened, and the FBI got involved. It’s one of the oldest known active missing-child cases, and author Jack El-Hai is the writer whose article in 1998 revived interest. His book covers the suspects and evidence, captures the fear and anxiety, and provides a gripping local example of long-form journalism.

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

For her latest work, legendary Minnesota author Louise Erdrich tracked through the life of her grandfather, who worked as a night watchman and went all the way to the top fighting against government-stamped termination of Native communities. Meanwhile, a young woman leaves the reservation and travels to Minneapolis in search of her big sister, only to face new forms of violence along the way.

Who else is on your reading list?

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