Books

Reviews of both new release and older books from many different genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and nonfiction.

A Minnesota Music-Industry Vet Revisits 1979 Rock Culture and the New Barbarians

In 1977, Keith Richards was busted for drugs in Toronto, and the incident changed the trajectory of the Rolling Stones for the rest of the decade. What no one at the time knew is that the mess in Canada would help spawn the short-lived band the New Barbarians in 1979, a pivotal piece of rock lore that fits neatly into the 50-year history of the Rolling Stones. New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers, and Guitars (Voyageur Press) is a sleek 200-page...

The Moonborn Is a Minnesota Author’s Moby-Dick Space Adventure Debut

Classic literature confession: I have never read Moby-Dick. In my English classes, I read Frankenstein (my personal favorite), Jane Eyre, and Oedipus, but Moby-Dick wasn’t included, and I never took the initiative to read it on my own. But if Moby-Dick took place in space, and instead of a whale there were robots, I probably would have. Minneapolis author D. F. Lovett has appealed to my nerdy classic literature fantasy by doing just that in his first novel, The Moonborn. Before I delve into my thoughts on the story, I...

Daniel Corrigan Brings 35 Years of Minneapolis Music to Life with Heyday

The Minneapolis music scene has exploded over the last 35 years, and renowned photographer Daniel Corrigan has had the privilege of capturing some of the city’s most important and iconic music-related moments with his camera. Now, with the help of his friend and journalist Danny Sigelman, Corrigan’s story unfolds in Heyday, a 10×10, 224-page coffee-table compilation that anyone interested in music or photography should pick up. Featuring nearly 500 photographs that span from 1981 to 2016, the book pulls...

Reviewing the Indie Author: Identity

Welcome to Reviewing the Indie Author, where we look at books by self-published and independent-press authors. Identity is the sequel and conclusion to the book Illusion that was written last year. Classified as sci-fi, this novel follows not only the first character Daith but her friend Torrak, who is on the hunt to rescue her. It starts shortly after the end of Illusion as we follow Daith. Her powers are manifesting, however her control over them is gone now. Grief...

Kubrick’s Game Is Missing a Few Pieces

In the world of Kubrick’s Game, auteur filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has left a puzzle woven throughout his films to be deciphered as part of a game with an uncertain prize. Shawn Hagan, a first-year UCLA film student, is brought into this game at the suggestion of his would-be mentor, Professor Mascaro. He brings along his film school buddies Wilson (a former child television star) and Sami (the only other filmmaker Shawn respects at UCLA) to begin the game. They...

Celebrate National Beer Lovers Day with These Literary Beer Pairings

September 7 is National Beer Lovers Day! Minnesota is a great place for brewing and drinking, and to celebrate, we’re combining beer with something else this state is known for: books. Here are four pairings for your reading and imbibing pleasure! 1. Harry Potter New Belgium Pumpkick This pairing can work with any of the first four books in the Harry Potter series. (After that, a darker beer would work better, in my opinion—maybe something with some toasty notes...

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Feels More Like Fanfiction Than Canon

Harry Potter is my gateway fandom. It’s the first fandom that snowballed me into distinguishing myself as a geek. My dad would read the stories to me before I went to bed, and when he passed away from cancer, those books were a link to his memory and how much he meant to me. I mention my story first because it tells you how much this series has impacted my life. When I read online that the Harry Potter...

Shadows of the Dark Crystal Is a Fitting Continuation of Jim Henson’s World

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was The Dark Crystal. It was this beautiful world filled with creepy creatures, with things presented in a very matter-of-fact kind of style. The film didn’t talk down to me to explain things, just presented the world as it was and let me keep up on my own: Of course she can fly—she’s a girl. Gelfling girls have wings. As it was said to the main character as if...

Essential Convention Reading: Geek Culture by Kate Norlander

Convention season is in full swing, and CONvergence is quickly approaching. For many, this is their first or second time. Others of us are seasoned congoers. But no matter who you are, this book is for you. Kate Norlander has written a coffee-table book called Geek Culture that looks back on CONvergence 2013, “British Invasion.” It features beautiful photos taken by Emmerlee Sherman and covers every facet of CONvergence, from the long ticket lines to early-morning yoga with YogaQuest....

Brian Evenson’s Literary Horror Brings Your Nightmares to Life

Author Brian Evenson’s work is notable for consisting mostly of short stories. In honor of his latest collection, A Collapse of Horses, Minneapolis’s Coffee House Press has combined it with three of his past novels into a single volume. Brian Evenson, New and Reissued puts Horses together with Father of Lies, The Open Curtain, and Last Days, which together span almost 20 years of the author’s career. With introductions by authors like Bram Stoker Award winner Peter Straub, you...
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