Sunday news and reviews

Holy Hannah! Today is a book lover's dream come true. The Minnesota Book Award finalists have been announced, MaryAnn Grossman has a great profile of local bookstores, and the Star Tribune offers up its weekly round of book reviews.

Plus, Colin Covert continues to mine the Sundance Festival for some great stories... Enjoy!


Judges winnow Minnesota Book Awards to shortlist

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All four finalists in fiction -- John Reimringer, Matt Burgess, Paul Kilgore and Peter Bognanni -- were nominated for debut books.

- Star Tribune

Finalists for Minnesota Book Awards announced

Nominees for the 23rd annual Minnesota Book Awards were announced Saturday by Friends of the St. Paul Public Library in consortium with the St. Paul Public Library and the city of St. Paul.

- Pioneer Press

Inside 'I Hotel' Carleton grad's book is a finalist for the National Book Award

Karen Yamashita was a student at Carleton College in Northfield when protesters in San Francisco fought the eviction of elderly men from the International Hotel in the 1970s.

- Mary Ann Grossmann, Pioneer Press

Local independent booksellers are still fighting the good fight -- and winning

They want book lovers to know their stores are alive and well and were not affected by year-end closings of three used-book stores in Minneapolis and Anoka. They're also fighting the misconceptions that brick-and-mortar independent bookstores are dead and print books are doomed.

- Mary Ann Grossmann, Pioneer Press

Authors rewrite the book on self-publishing

It's more popular than ever, but success depends on more than writing. marketing.

- KIM ODE, Star Tribune

A messy life

A woman returns from Minnesota to confront her hoarding mother.

- LAURIE HERTZEL, Star Tribune

Battleground Alaska

In a sequel, of sorts, to his biography of Theodore Roosevelt, Douglas Brinkley tells the story of the battles to save Alaska's wilderness and wildlife.

- GLENN C. ALTSCHULER, Special to the Star Tribune

The quiet, intense wars of women

Intense and delicately crafted stories about the lives of women.

- BRIGITTE FRASE, Star Tribune

Brothers lost and gained

A boy who lost his brothers in a flood tries to find happiness.


'History' is a strong, courageous novel

A Holocaust guide cannot remember her own trauma.


A quiet Afghan nightmare

An Afghan man is rescued by a mysterious young woman.

- EMILY CARTER, Star Tribune


Sundance fest is a woman's work

Unlike Hollywood, this film festival was dominated by the impressive work of female directors.

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Oscar nominee John Hawkes, a Minnesota native, is an underdog -- and that's OKIt should be easy to spot Alexandria, Minn., native John Hawkes at tonight's Screen Actors Guild awards and next month's Oscars: He'll be the guy with the "What am I doing here?" look on his face.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press


A life in violin: Meet the concertmaster

Steve Copes of the SPCO talks about famous teachers, desert-isle music and the ups and downs of being a concertmaster.


In search of rock 'n' roll history

Two young film producers, Sevan Garabedian, 34, of Montreal and Jim McCool, 36, of Madison, Wis., have become passionate storytellers, trying to preserve little-known details and find long-forgotten photos from [Buddy Holly's] grueling ill-fated Midwestern tour and the Day the Music Died.

- PAMELA HUEY, Star Tribune


Putting a king on the couch

For director Jonathan Munby, "The Winter's Tale" is not a "problem play," but a study in morbid jealousy.

- ROHAN PRESTON, Star Tribune

The fun -- and the talent -- begin in the second half of 'The Marvelous Wonderettes'You get exactly what you might expect from the title in "The Marvelous Wonderettes" -- plenty of oldies music with kitschy dance moves and a wispy storyline that slaps together several soap opera plots from popular 1950s and '60s songs into one ridiculous but often entertaining show.

- Renee Valois, Pioneer Press

Local teacher's one-woman show uses humor to highlight serious education issues

Minneapolis teacher Michele Campbell was taking a writing class for her Master of Fine Arts degree and discovered she had a lot to say about the challenges of the teaching profession.

- Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review