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March 2014

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Minnesota Book Awards
Minnesota Book Award booksWe’re often asked for reading lists, and here’s a dandy! The books listed below have all been short-listed for the Minnesota Book Awards, which will be announced on April 5.  (Read more about the Minnesota Book Awards at

General Non-fiction
Evil Men by James Daby
Harriman vs Hill by Larry Haeg
The Nazi and the Psychiatrist by Jack El-Hai
Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition
    by Rae Katherine Eighmey

Genre Fiction
The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart
The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freeman
Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger
Wolves by Cary J. Griffith

Memoir and Creative Non-fiction
The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo:
A Child, an Elder and the Light from an Ancient Sky

    by Kent Nerburn
Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert
Thunder of Freedom:
Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi

    by Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner
    with Cheryl Reitan
We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down:
Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter

    by Rachael Hanel

A Love Affair with Birds:
The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts

    by Sue Leaf
Minneapolis Madams:
The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront

    by Penny A. Petersen
Modern Spirit:
The Art of George Morrison

    by W. Jackson Rushing III
    and Kristin Makholm
Survival Schools:
The American Indian Movement and Community Education in the Twin Cities

    by Julie L. Davis

Novel and Short Story
Let the Dark Flower Blossom
    by Norah Labiner
Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman
The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories
    by Ethan Rutherford
Vacationland by Sarah Stonich

Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen
The First Flag by Sarah Fox
It Becomes You by Dobby Gibson
Slip by Cullen Bailey Burns

Nominees for children and young adult literature are in Youth Yak.

How Martha Saved her Parents from Green BeansSoda ShopJust for fun: the first person to correctly name the authors listed above who visited Beagle and Sister Wolf in the last year (March 2013 to February 2014) will win a copy of Soda Shop or How Martha Saved her Parents from Green Beans (your choice.) E-mail us at with your answer. Here’s a hint to get you started: one author visited both stores.

BestSellers in February

Beagle Books

book   book   book
The New Midwestern Table
by Amy Thielen

  Soup & Bread Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas


Ornament of the World
by Maria Rosa Menocal

Constellation of Vital Phenomena
by Anthony Marra
  Little Wolves
by Thomas Maltman

Hannah EkrenNotes from Hannah

A New Publishing Adventure

When I got back to work after the New Year, it became clear it was time to move on. I started to reach out and search for opportunities, focusing on moving to a job where I could work with children’s books. In the midst of my search, a friend informed me she’d heard of an open position at a literary scouting agency. When she asked if I wanted her to send my resume, I kind of shrugged and said, “Why not?”
I didn’t think too much of it until I was contacted by the agency and then I had to learn what scouting is. There aren’t a lot of scouts and it seems to be the kind of job that you don’t actually understand you’re doing it. But the basic idea is that literary scouts work with international publishing companies—the scout is the eyes and ears in New York and serves to advise and be the connector between US and international publishers.

The farther I got in the interview process, the more excited I got about the prospect of it all. When I was offered the assistant/junior scout position, I paused for a beat to let go of the idea of what my career path would look like, but I’m so happy to tell you that I accepted the offer. I’m anxious about the change and a little nervous about learning a new job. But I couldn’t be more thrilled to take off in a new publishing direction!

Hannah was a bookseller at both Beagle and Sister Wolf and is now making her way in the publishing world in New York City.

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Midwest Connections for March
Books or authors of particular interest to our region

Marketplace of the MarvelousShotgun Lovesongs
a novel by Nickolas Butler

Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town—Little Wing—and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One of them never left, still farming the land that’s been tilled by his family for generations. Others went farther afield to make good, with varying degrees of success; as a rock star, commodities trader, rodeo stud.  And seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them—both then and now—fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of lovesongs and rivalries.
       Now all four are home, in hopes of finding what could be real purchase in the world. The result is a shared memory only half-recreated, riddled with culture clashes between people who desperately wish to see themselves as the unified tribe they remember, but who are confronted with how things have changed.  See Staff Picks for Alli’s review of this book.

The VanishingStillwater
a novel by Nicole Helget

Fraternal twins, separated at birth, are raised in the same small town, where they struggle for freedom from their families, their destinies, and, sometimes, each other—all with the underground railroad as a haunting presence in their lives.
      Stillwater reveals the hardscrabble lives of pioneers, nuns, squaws, fur trappers, loggers, runaway slaves and freedmen, outlaws and people of conscience, all seeking a better, freer, more prosperous future. It is a novel about mothers, about siblings, about the ways in which we must take care of one another and let go of one another. And it’s brought to us in Nicole Helget’s winning, gorgeous prose. See Staff Picks for Jen’s review of this book.

Locally BrewedInappropriate Behavior
stories by Murray Farish

“What is your ‘inappropriate behavior’ of choice? Debut author Murray Farish, in this hip collection of stories, exposes an America living on the edge-the edge of the law, the edge of grief, the edge of society. Portraying characters who appear as real as a next-door neighbor, each unique story will make you wonder just what is happening behind closed doors. Highly original and focused on the unusual, Inappropriate Behavior is an auspicious beginning for the talented new voice of Murray Farish.” 
Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, Iowa

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