Books

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

Local Music Writer Jim Walsh Talks Concert Memories, Prince, and Beauty in Many Forms

Jim Walsh is an artist who wears many creative hats. He’s a freelance journalist, author, songwriter, musician, husband, and father—and in the last few months, he’s released two new books, Bar Yarns and Manic-Depressive Mixtapes: Jim Walsh on Music From Minneapolis to the Outer Limits (November 2016) and Gold Experience: Following Prince in the ’90s (January 2017). Published by University of Minnesota Press, the books collect many of the columns, articles, and features he’s written as a Twin Cities...

The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories Are All Smoke and No Fire

I need to start this review with a confession: I am not an aficionado of the short-story format. That being said, I’ve seen my share of well curated anthologies. A good collection, to my mind, is bound together not simply by a single characteristic but by a larger uniting theme. Every piece in The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories—edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, and including stories by local favorite Neil Gaiman and 2016 CONvergence guest...

Eat Street Recipes for Everyone

Just about any Twin Cities native knows exactly what Eat Street is. This lovely stretch of Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis is a foodie’s dream, with a wide range of restaurants in not only type of food but also size and “spendyness.” Lucky for us, local company Zeus Jones agrees that it is an amazing part of our metro and endeavored to bring us a cookbook with a collection of recipes from a few of these great restaurants. That cookbook,...

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...
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