Covid can’t keep the Minnesota literary community down. Some of the nation’s most popular and bestselling authors will appear virtually this fall, presented by Twin Cities reading series that would draw us to various venues if the virus wasn’t around.
OPUS & OLIVES
Opus & Olives is a fundraiser for Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and Pioneer Press literacy programs. The Oct. 11 event will feature Mo Rocca as emcee, with Quan Barry, Alex Guarnaschelli and Sue Monk Kidd.
Rocca is an award-winning correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” television show and a frequent panelist on National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” show. He created and hosted Cooking Channel’s “Grandmother’s Ravioli.” Besides appearing on Broadway, he is a Tony Award-winning writer as well as author of the books “All the President’s Pets” and “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving,” based on his hit podcast.
Quan Berry’s “We Ride Upon Sticks” is set in Danvers, Mass., where the accusations began that led to the 1692 witch trials. The 1989 Danvers High School Falcons girls’ hockey team will do anything to make it to the state finals — even if it means tapping into devilish powers.
Food Network icon Alex Guarnaschelli’s “Cook with Me” is a tribute to food that defines family with 150 decadent and smart recipes that explore the relationships that shaped her as a chef and home cook.
Sue Monk Kidd takes on a risky subject in her bestselling novel “The Book of Longings,” the story of a young woman who marries Jesus before his ministry begins.
Tickets are $50-$200. For information go to thefriends.org
This series, a program of Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), brings authors to metro area libraries.
Morgan Jerkins — 6:30 p.m. Sept 14. Author of the bestselling essay collection “This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America” presents her follow-up, “Wandering in Strange Lands,” subtitled “A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots.”
Nancy Pearl — 7 p.m. Sept. 21. “America’s Librarian” creator of the “community read” idea, is author of the bestselling Book Lust series.
Dahr Jamail — 7 p.m. Sept. 30. Acclaimed journalist and climate advocate wrote “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption.”
Laila Lalami — 7 p.m. Oct. 6. Moroccan American novelist uses fiction as a vehicle to showcase overlooked North African stories and experiences, including “The Moor’s Account,” winner of the American Book Award. Her follow-up, “The Other Americans,” centers on the mysterious death of a Moroccan immigrant in California.
David Treuer — 7 p.m. Oct. 20. A member of the Minnesota Leech Lake band of Ojibwe and one of the foremost chroniclers of the rich and diverse Native American experience has won three Minnesota Book Awards, the most recent for “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.”
Megha Majumdar — 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21. Author of “A Burning,” one of the most anticipated and best-reviewed fiction debuts of 2020, set in modern day India exploring the lives of three characters on the margins of society.
The programs are free and registration is not necessary. To access hit “like” and follow facebook.com/ClubBook where the events will be streamed in real time. For those unable to “attend,” recordings will be available after the programs via YouTube.
Presented by Friends of the Hennepin County Library in its 24th season.
Colum McCann — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. International bestseller and National Book Award-winner for “Let the Great World Spin.”
Nikki Giovanni — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Award-winning poet and activist, author of 27 books.
Susan Choi — May 6-7. National Book Award-winner, author of “Trust Exercise.”
Erik Larson — May 24-25. Bestselling author of “The Devil in the White City.”
McCann and Giovanni are virtual events; the others are in-person with virtual backup. Season subscription tickets are available at $150. Individual tickets at $45-$55 will go on sale at a later date. Subscribe by calling 612-543-8112 or download an order form at supporthclib.org/pen-pals.
Presented by Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune in its 21st season
Yaa Gyasi — 7 p.m. Sept. 17. Gyasi’s follow-up to her acclaimed national bestseller “Homegoing” is “Transcendent Kingdom,” a novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.
Claudia Rankine — 7 p.m. Sept. 22. Discusses her essay collection “Just us: An American Conversation.”
Helen Macdonald — 7 p.m. Sept. 30. Bestselling author of “H is for Hawk” introduces “Vesper Flights,” essays about time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.
Sarah H. Broom — 7 p.m. Oct. 6. Author of “The Yellow House,” winner of the 2019 National Book Award, a memoir about the pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.
To reserve a spot for each program, via Zoom, go to mprevents.org.
MINNESOTA CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL
Anderson Center at Tower View in in Red Wing is holding its 21st annual Minnesota Children’s Book Festival via online video readings and presentations of new books by eight of the state’s most acclaimed children’s and young adult authors and illustrators. It culminates in a live event for families at Tower View.
Professionally recorded on-site at Tower View, the multi-camera videos feature original images and artifacts, as well as each author’s words and stories. Videos are being published at noon daily Sept. 12-19 on the Center’s website, andersoncenter.org/bookfest, as well as YouTube and Facebook.
Featured authors are Daniel Bernstrom, V.T. Bidania, H.M. Bouwman, Cori Doerrfeld, Bao Phi, Caren Stelson, Lauren Stringer and Kao Kalia Yang.
The free, physically distanced family activities will be from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at Tower View. In addition to on-site scavenger hunts, a family activity booklet will expand on themes and topics covered in the authors’ presentations. All ages are welcome and masks are encouraged for those older than 5.
TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL
Presented by Rain Taxi Review, TCBF usually draws more than 1,000 people to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for a day of listening to readings by authors from all over the country, panel discussions, keynote addresses and interviews about books in all genres and for all ages. This year, its 20th, the virtual festival will be Oct. 15-17, with attendees able to watch and interact with events. The popular exhibitors’ portion will include publishers, magazines, writers and resources. All this will happen via the festival’s new website, still to be announced. Watch for more info coming soon