Minnesota has produced an abundance of authors in a variety of genres. We'll choose a Minnesota-authored book each month to read at leisure, then come together in an online ZOOM meeting for an evening of guided discussion and shared opinions. Beverages and snacks optional, but recommended!
Books will be available to check out from local libraries or can be purchased in hardcover, paperback or e-reader from your favorite bookstore or Amazon. A ZOOM link and instructions will be emailed to you a few days prior to the meeting.
Upcoming Titles are:
April: The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang was born in 1980 in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand. Her people had fought alongside the Americans in the Vietnam War, but in the tumult that followed, they spent years without a real home. Though her grandmother was reluctant to journey even farther from her birthplace than they already had, the family convinced her that America was their best option. Landing first in California, they eventually settled in St. Paul, Minnesota. Like so many other immigrants, the adults worked long hours, sacrificing in order to give their children opportunities to succeed and reflect well on their community. But the Hmong faced unique challenges, coming from a rain forest as a little-known ethnic group that did not have a written language of its own. Yet, Yange would eventually grow up to write this memoir -- "a narrative packed with the stuff of life" (Entertainment Weekly) that would become a winner of the Minnesota Book Award, a finalist for a PEN Award, and one of the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read selections.
May: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum, it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder. Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family, which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and a wise-beyond-his-years kid brother, he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years. Told from Frank's perspective, forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace, is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.