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Indie Bookstore Day: Where to go, what to read

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Minnesota bookstores: How many have you visited?
Minnesota bookstores: How many have you visited?
Courtesy of stores

A bookstore is calling your name.

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, which is celebrated at shops around the country.

Many Minnesota stores are marking the day with readings, author signings, children's activities and discounts.

In the Twin Cities, Rain Taxi is bringing back the Indie Bookstore passport, which features 18 metro-area bookstores. There are prizes available for road-tripping readers who manage to hit five, 10 or all 18 shops. Full details are available from Rain Taxi.

Because the thing we love best about bookstores is getting book recommendations, we asked stores around the state to share their favorites with us. Their recommendations are below, along with details on how they are ringing in Indie Bookstore Day.

Addendum Books | St. Paul

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Addendum's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Crazy About Cats" by Owen Davey

A stunningly illustrated nonfiction book packed full of information about all the different cat species in the world.

•  "The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora" by Pablo Cartaya

A heart-warming story of family, community and the power of protest.

•  "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman

A beautifully written, moving novel about a socially inept outsider and her search for love.  Perfect for adults as well as teens interested in reading adult books.  

Addendum is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. There will be additional sales and promotions, as well as coffee, tea and treats while supplies last.

Beagle and Wolf Books & Binder | Park Rapids, Minn

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Beagle and Wolf's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

•  "Stray City" by Chelsey Johnson

"Stray City" is a coming-of-age story set in Portland in the '90s, although the last portion takes place in Bemidji, Minn. The book, which is beautifully written, explores the ways in which we create family. Chelsey Johnson has a long history with our store — her mother founded it in 2001, and we're looking forward to welcoming her back. We'll host the hometown launch on Indie Bookstore Day at 1 p.m.

•  "Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie" by Eric Bergeson

Although we thought winter would never end, spring finally seems to be arriving. It's a great time to pick up Eric Bergeson's latest book, to help you plan your garden.

•  "Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story" by Elisa Korenne

This has been one of our best-selling books over the last year. It's a memoir, recounting her move from New York City to New York Mills for love. It has really struck a chord with our customers. 

All of the above authors will be at Beagle and Wolf on Indie Bookstore. The store has a full listing of their events in their newsletter.

Birchbark Books & Native Arts | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Birchbark's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

•  "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles

This is the perfect book to read while stranded in an airport, ill, bored, on vacation, or really, this is the book to read immediately because it's guaranteed to bring pleasure and intrigue into your life. I loved it. —Louise Erdrich

•  "Heart Berries: A Memoir" by Terese Marie Mailhot

To call this mere memoir would be a disservice to the author. This prose is poetry, this is poetry as prose. This is a writer inviting you into a personal unraveling with beautifully woven lyric. You're not just reading about these moments in her life, you are there with her, in her head, in her home, in her wounded heart. A stunning work. I couldn't put it down. —Anthony Ceballos

•  "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah

Sometimes a day belongs to a book. You don't know it when you wake up, but you pick up the book and eventually it becomes obvious that you aren't going to do ANYTHING but read it to its conclusion. Eat, maybe, but that's it. You will lose yourself in this one. —Prudence Johnson

•  "Standard Deviation" by Katherine Heiny

P.G. Wodehouse, step aside for a moment to make way for this comedic genius. The writing doesn't falter and of course the truth is its object and ingredient for utter success. Hard to read through the streaming tears and giggling belly. —Martha Meyer-VonBlon

Birchbark is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. At 2 p.m., author Kelly Barnhill will be signing copies of her new short story collection, "Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories." A full list of activities is available on the store's website.

Boneshaker Books | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Boneshaker's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

•  "Emergent Strategy" by adrienne maree brown

Despite only being a year old, "Emergent Strategy" is one of the top-selling titles in the history of Boneshaker Books. The book is self-help for activists, weaving in spirituality, philosophy, science and science fiction to create a powerful tool for organizers.

•  "Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado

Throughout this collection of short stories, Carmen Maria Machado is able to braid the familiar with the surprising in beautiful and horrific ways. Just when you think you understand her style, you're thrust into a story composed of alternative episode summaries for 272 episodes of "Law and Order: SVU" — and that is far from the biggest surprise the book offers.

• "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" by Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is one of those writers who seems like he can write about anything compellingly and with heart. This collection seamlessly mixes short essays about music with cultural critique and personal essays, about everything from police brutality to Carly Rae Jepsen. 

Boneshaker is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport.

The Book House in Dinkytown | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
The Book House's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Devil on the Cross" by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

A political prisoner in his native land, Ngugi wrote "Devil on the Cross" on the rough toilet paper his jailers intended as punishment. Though a novel, it is also a damning indictment of the neo-colonial order in Africa. (It also has a love story!) Highly recommended for anyone interested in African culture, post-colonial studies, gender dynamics, or how we define beauty as a society. A great story with themes and ideas that will stick with you years after reading — think "Wretched of the Earth" but as a novel.

• "Walkaway" by Cory Doctorow

In the near future, a group of young friends decide to "walkaway." After all, what's keeping them in their soul-sucking jobs and consumer routine now that they can design and assemble anything they need to live on their own from raw materials? If they need a house, it will make itself.  Need some food, clothing, or even medicine? Machines will make it happen.  As those who would choose to live on the edge walkaway from the pressures of their wage-slave jobs to their own tailor-made communities, they must face ever more complex challenges. 

The Book House will have a storewide sale on Indie Bookstore Day.

Chapter 2 Books | Hudson, Wis.

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Chapter 2's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "1920: The Year of Six Presidents" by David Pietrusza

If you think today's political times are crazy, read this. —Brian

• "For Every One" by Jason Reynolds

Please read any and all books by Jason Reynolds. This particular one is going straight in to our display of books for graduates. Jason did a school visit at the school our daughter teaches at in North Minneapolis, and he made a very personal connection with her students that will last them a lifetime. We can't thank him enough. —Sue

• "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones

Took my breath away, loved every single character for better or worse. —Sue

Chapter 2 is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store will also have free posters, buttons, bookmarks and treats.

Common Good Books | St. Paul

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Common Good's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce" by Morgan Parker

Parker explores multiple layers of identity as a black woman in present-day America. In her detail-oriented and unapologetic poems, she addresses solitude, sex, pop culture, and struggle in quite an intimate manner. —Milan

• "The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne

"Just read the first page," I tell customers, "and you'll be hooked." Often that's all it takes. Boyne's best novel yet, it's the story of Cyril Avery, a gay man, from his birth in Ireland in 1945 to an unwed mother, over 70 years of his life. Gripping and heart-rending and also seriously funny in places. Hands down my fave of 2017. —Jean

• "The Nakano Thrift Shop" by Hiromi Kawakami

This slice-of-life novel set in Japan is the perfect antidote to screen fatigue and that empty feeling of disconnection that is modern life. A reminder to live in the moment and enjoy those you interact with! —Aaron

Common Good is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport.

Content | Northfield

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Content's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Glaciers" by Alexis M. Smith

Utterly unique, "Glaciers" presents one day in the life of Isobel, a 20-something book mender. Through her internal reflections her life history is revealed — her Alaskan childhood, her love of books. Spare and delicate prose make this a hypnotic, evocative read. —Tripp

• "Ongoingness: The End of a Diary"  by Sarah Manguso

In elegant, spare, fearlessly introspective prose, Sarah Manguso describes the transition to parenthood — the quotidian challenges, but even more so, her sense of self, her place in the world, her relationship to time and mortality. Great for fans of Proust, motherhood memoirs, and anyone who appreciates a perfect essay. Bonus: this book is small enough to read one handed while holding a sleeping baby. —Jessica

• "Kill or Be Killed: Vol. 1" by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser

Still think "comics are for kids"? After a suicide attempt he immediately regrets, Dylan is 'rescued' by a demon with an offer: kill or be killed. He now wants desperately to live, but can he kill monstrous people without becoming one? Especially if, maybe, there's nothing supernatural going on at all. Crime/thriller/horror at its best! —David

Content will unveil their new Gumball Poetry Machine on Indie Bookstore Day. A full list of events is available on the store's website.

Daybreak Press Global Bookshop | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Daybreak's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Sisters are Alright" by Tamara Winfrey Harris

• "One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter" by Scaachi Koul

• "Sufi Comics: Rumi" by Mohammed Ali Vakil

Daybreak is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store will host a children's reading hour at 2 p.m. 

Drury Lane | Grand Marais

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Drury Lane's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Women in the Castle" by Jessica Shattuck

Another beautifully written World War II novel, this one is set in Germany and gives voice to diverse German perspectives (and so much hardship and courage) during the war. I learned a lot and keep thinking about this book.

• "One North Star" by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen and Beckie Prange

The entire Betsy Bowen canon is worth having in your library, for the wonderful art and focus on Northwoods ecology and culture. Her most recent collaboration with Phyllis Root is a counting book that introduces a wide range of Minnesota flora and fauna. There is a lot to learn in this book, so it will grow with your children.

• "Gunflint Burning: Fire in the Boundary Waters" by Cary J. Griffith

A journalistic, extensively researched, nail-biting recount of the 2007 Ham Lake Fire that ravaged the Gunflint Trail and Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. This book made me tear up in the first five minutes, and I finished it with a full picture of this historic fire and its aftermath. Griffith will speak at Drury Lane on May 19.

Drury Lane Books will celebrate Indie Bookstore Day with a children's story hour at 11 a.m., and a free surprise book with every purchase.

Eat My Words | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Eat My Words' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Bad Taste" by Carl Wilson

Wilson, a self-proclaimed old punk, sets out in this book to figure out how on earth so many people love Celine Dion. He uncovers how our taste is developed, the beauty of Celine and pop music, and he ultimately decides that maybe being a snob isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

• "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name" by Audre Lorde

Through detailed portraits of the women of her life, Audre Lorde tells the story of her life through growing up in a black West Indian family in the '30s and '40s in Harlem to becoming a queer ex-pat in Mexico.

• "Bloodchild" by Octavia Butler

All of Butler's work is prolific and innovative, but I find myself thinking about her short story "Bloodchild" regularly. It depicts the relationship between humans living on an insect-like alien planet. The story revolves around one of the aliens and the small child she uses, as is custom, as a host for her eggs. Things take a huge ethical turn as this relationship is challenged.

Eat My Words will host a scavenger hunt at the store on Indie Bookstore Day.

Excelsior Bay Books | Excelsior

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Excelsior Bay's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne

The arc of an Irishman's life from the '40s to today.  Funny, heartbreaking, wise.  This novel has everything you want in a book, and then some.

• "Celine" by Peter Heller

An unconventional private eye caper.  Celine is old enough to be your granny and tough enough to take you down.  Smart, top-notch writing.

• "The Inquisitor's Tale"  by Adam Gidwitz

The king of France is hunting their child saints and their holy greyhound in this Chaucer-like medieval tale of religious intolerance.  It is wise and hopeful, timely and wonderful.  Plus, there's a farting dragon.

Excelsior Bay Books is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport.

The Bookstore at Fitger's | Duluth

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Fitger's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• Any book by Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman is a local author out of the Twin Cities and most of his books star (the fictional) Duluth Police Department Detective Jonathan Stride. Freeman's latest, "Alter Ego," finds Stride drawn in to a crime that happens while a movie is being filmed in Duluth in January. It brings back memories of a crime that was long ago solved — or was it? Freeman will be at Fitger's on May 1, talking about his new book. 

• "Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Caroline Fraser

"Prairie Fires" is a recent Pulitzer Prize winner. It's the true biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but it also looks at the history of the Midwest and Minnesota that helped shape her life and her books. It's an excellent book for any "Little House on the Prairie" fan. 

• "Every Note Played" by Lisa Genova

This is the latest from Lisa Genova, the neurologist who wrote "Still Alice" about early-onset Alzheimer's. 

Lake Country Booksellers | White Bear Lake

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Lake Country's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Red Notebook" by Antoine Laurain

An absolutely delightful read. A young woman living is Paris has her purse stolen. A bookseller finds the purse and sets out to solve the mystery of whose purse it is. We have sold so many copies of this book and all have loved it. 

• "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann

The remarkable true story of the murders of dozens of Osage people in Oklahoma and the birth of the FBI. Well-researched and very readable.

• "Educated" by Tara Westover

Raised "off the grid" in rural Idaho, the author shares her childhood story and her departure from the family home to earn a college degree and eventually a Ph.D. If you Liked "The Glass Castle," you will enjoy this.

Lake Country Booksellers is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store is also offering discounts, treats and advance reader copies for customers who purchase hardcover bookers.

Magers & Quinn | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Magers & Quinn's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Rich People Problems" by Kevin Kwan

The charming third installment in Kwan's saga about the most fabulously wealthy families of Singapore, Hong Kong, and beyond. This time, the Young family matriarch Su Yi has fallen ill, so her scattered family returns to Tyersall Park to be by her side. But it wouldn't be a "Crazy Rich Asians" novel without a heavy dose of drama, behind-the-scenes machinations and hidden histories. Fun, clever, silly, addictive and just absolutely perfect summer reading (if that particular season ever arrives). 

• "You All Grow Up and Leave Me" by Piper Weiss

In the 90s, 14-year old Piper took tennis lessons with Gary Wilensky, who became notorious after his attempt to kidnap a former student revealed his disturbing obsession with his teenage pupils. But surrounding the account of Wilensky's crimes, and Piper's peripheral involvement in them, is a deeply felt tale of want, need, insecurity, fear, and loneliness. In sentences that lull with their beauty, then crackle with blunt feeling, Weiss has created a strange miracle of a memoir that is as moving as it is disturbing. 

• "Empty Set" by Veronica Gerber Bicecci

A young woman named Veronica grapples with the absences that mark her life — her mother's disappearance, her boyfriend's abandonment, a dead woman whose items she is hired to organize — through theories of time, sets and visual language. Her world mixes the surreal, the theoretical and the achingly mundane. Sprinkled throughout with diagrams representing Veronica's relationship to the people and universe around her, "Empty Set" is a hypnotic portrait of a young woman adrift, but always searching for a new way to express her reality. 

Magers & Quinn is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. Events at the store include 8th-graders filling in as booksellers to give recommendations, and an open mic event for people to share their most brilliant (or embarrassing) childhood writing.

Mayday Books | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Mayday's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner" by Daniel Ellsberg

Yeah, it was worse than you imagined: U.S. nuclear policy in the 1960s.

• "Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions" by Johann Hari

A very different understanding of depression and anxiety — and a prescription for how, together, we can end this epidemic.

• "On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War" by Kim Moody

Analyzing global economics from the lens of the working class and its potential as a force for resistance.

Midway Used & Rare Bookstore | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Midway's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Elementals" by Michael McDowell

The book emulates a hot suffocating day that must be endured. For fans of Southern Gothic horror, this story follows two families who spend their torrid summers in two Victorian houses on a sandy coast in Alabama. The third house next door bears dark secrets, and as it slowly fills with sand, the families must quicken their pace to uncover them.

• "The Night Birds" by Thomas Maltman 

An amazing novel and beautifully written. It takes place in Minnesota during the 1860s and 70s. Well-researched and a very fun read.

• "One Foot in Eden" by Ron Rash

Unable to set this book down. It's a narrative in four different voices from four different perspectives involving the mysterious disappearance of a young man. I love this writer. Tough voices, but oh so human. 

Midway will offer discounts and cookies on Indie Bookstore Day.

Milkweed Books | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Milkweed's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Mrs. Caliban" by Rachel Ingalls

A riveting, pitch-perfect novel about loneliness and sexy amphibious outlaws. There is no way to avoid making this book sound wacky, but it's written totally straight, in beautifully crisp sentences. A brilliant heartbreaker in under 150 pages. 

• "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" by Hanif Abdurraqib

These stunning essays range from Fleetwood Mac, an Atmosphere concert, and the author's first frightening encounter with the police, to an elegiac piece about Marvin Gaye singing at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game that runs through the collection. Abdurraqib is both a published poet and experienced critic, so each essay expands far beyond what seems possible in a few pages.

• "In the Distance" by by Hernan Diaz

A surprising anti-Western Western interrogating the archetype of rugged anti-hero, and the way we tell stories about America. Diaz constructs a piercing and highly original depiction of our history's weird resonances.

Milkweed is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport.

Moon Palace Books | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Moon Palace's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime" by Chaun Webster

• "Red Clocks" by Leni Zumas

• "M Archive" by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Moon Palace is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store is also hosting the Great Twin Cities Poetry Read from 6 to 9 p.m. The bookstore's new cafe is also open, with deals throughout the day including free coffee in the morning to kick off your bookstore run.

Once Upon a Crime | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Once Upon a Crime's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Murder on the Red River" by Marcie R. Rendon

This story is deeply rooted in time and place. You can feel the wind in the trees and smell the Budweiser spilled on the bar floor. But even more than that you feel Cash's anger that drives her to solve a murder and her hope for a better future.

• "The Broken Girls" by Simone St. James

Part-ghost story, part-crime novel, all completely wonderful.

• "The Dry" by Jane Harper

Hands down favorite book of 2017. 

Once Upon a Crime is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport.

Paperbacks and Pieces | Winona

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Paperback and Pieces' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff and "Tweak" by Nic Sheff

These two autobiographies are by father and son and they run parallel to each other. It is the story of meth addiction and how one young man's epic up-and-down struggle with addiction can destroy a family, as well as friends, loved ones, and neighbors. Two timely reads, due to our nation's opioid epidemic. —Shelley Olsen

• "Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow" by Jessica Townsend

I loved this young adult novel for its imaginative magic! It starts with a curse that means you're blamed for everything going wrong around you (and what child hasn't felt that way).A delight! —Kathryn Sullivan

Paperbacks and Pieces is hosting a film screening of "Anne Pellowski, Storyteller to the World" at 10:30 a.m.

Red Balloon Bookshop | St. Paul

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Red Balloon's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Dread Nation" by Justina Ireland

So much more than a zombie story, this book is bold and brilliant and has a kind heart hidden beneath a hard exterior, just like its main character. Required reading for the times we're living in (and for anyone who likes a good story). —Lily

• "All the Animals Where I Live" by Philip C. Stead

Stead's captivating illustrations show us life in the country, and the story itself is emotional and joyful. I would recommend this for everyone. —Julie

• "Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth" by Sheila O'Connor

A growing friendship, between a young girl and an old man, told through a series of letters, which also let us see her growing awareness of the difficulties — and rewards — of pursuing peace. —Joan

Red Balloon is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store will also have games, activities — and plenty of balloons — all day long. The full list of activities is available from the store's website.

Scout & Morgan Books | Cambridge

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Scout & Morgan's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Fascism: A Warning" by Madeline Albright

Serves as a reminder that we are destined to make the same mistakes if we do not know our history. Listen up!

• "Sharp: The Women Who Made An Art of Having an Opinion" by Michelle Dean

Portraits of 10 women who have left their mark on the cultural and intellectual history of the United States. They used their words and opinions to claim their power at a time when they were told they had none.

• "The Big Umbrella" by Amy June Bates

Beautifully illustrated with a hopeful message that everyone is welcome no matter what, including our four-legged friends.

Scout & Morgan will have a storewide sale, as well as drawings and prizes throughout the day. 

Sixth Chamber | St. Paul

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Sixth Chamber's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson

A terrific novella following the life of Robert Granier, a common working man living in the American West at the beginning of the 20th century.

• "Sleepless Nights" by Elizabeth Hardwick

Co-founder of The New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Hardwick was a powerful force in American literary criticism.  "Sleepless Nights" is a blend of fact and fiction, made up of reminiscences, character sketches, letters, etc.  

• "The Hour of the Star" by Clarice Lispector

An amazing book written shortly before the author's death. The short novel follows the life of Macabea, a poor woman living in the slums of Rio, who bears a life with all the outward marks of tragedy, but, somehow, is still free.

Subtext Books | St. Paul

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Subtext's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" by Hanif Abdurraqib

With the powerful language of an esteemed poet, and the strong wit of a cultural critic, Hanif Abdurraqib has accomplished something excellent in this collection of essays. Using music as an entrance into conversations on grief, hope, and love, through Springsteen, Future, Atmosphere, and Chance the Rapper, we are introduced to a a powerful new voice. 

• "I'll Be Gone In the Dark" by Michelle McNamara

True crime fans will recognize this creepy about the Golden State Killer (who was never caught) but it is the author's self-awareness about her obsession with this criminal that hooks you. Her letter to the killer at the close is chilling.

• "Not Here" by Hieu Minh Nguyen

The poems in "Not Here" are hard with trauma and bright with triumph. They surprise by looking so closely that we begin to see ourselves differently through them. There's pain in these pages, sure, but also tenderness and wit. 

Subtext is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. Author Nora McInerny will be on hand as a guest bookseller from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The store will also have coffee, beer, snacks and discounts throughout the day.

Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore & Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Uncle Hugo's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Collapsing Empire" by John Scalzi

The start of a new science fiction series by the creator of the Old Man's War series.

• "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart

A novel of ancient China where the gods meddle in the lives of the humans; winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy of 1984.

• "What Makes This Book So Great" by Jo Walton

Jo Walton is a science fiction writer, a reader of an enormous number of books within the field and outside the field, and a chronic re-reader of books. This is a collection of over 130 short essays primarily about her favorite science fiction and fantasy books to re-read, but also essays like "Better to have loved and lost?  Series that go downhill" and "I'd love this book if I didn't loath the protagonist."

Valley Bookseller | Stillwater

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Valley Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah

Engrossing story of a family that drops everything to move to and tame their piece of the Alaskan wilderness in the 1970s. Teenage daughter, Leni, narrates the story as her family struggles to survive in the harsh landscape and deal with the PTSD her dad suffers from after returning from the war in Vietnam.

• "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann

Carefully researched narrative non-fiction, Killers of the Flower Moon revisits a terrible time in American History as author David Grann tells the story of greed and betrayal surrounding the brutal murders of members of the Osage Nation for their oil rights. An important piece of work...if you like Erik Larson's writing, this is for you.

• "Into the Beautiful North" by Luis Alberto Urrea

The NEA Big Read selection for the St. Croix Valley, this story follows the quest of Nayeli as she and a group of friends cross the border from Mexico into the United States to bring back the men (including her father) who have left in order to save their small town from outside threats.

Valley Bookseller is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. The store will also have drawings, a bookstore selfie contest and treats.

Wild Rumpus | Minneapolis

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Wild Rumpus' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories" by Sergio Ruzzier

Told in a comic panel style, these warm and slyly humorous tales highlight the unlikely friendship between a fox and a chick. (Good thing for chick that fox doesn't like to eat small animals!) 

• "Be Prepared" by Vera Brosgol

Eager to fit in and tired of being the only one left in her neighborhood during vacation, Vera finagles a trip for herself to Russian summer camp. Though the Russian language and rituals are familiar and somewhat comforting, the "cool kid" drama is hard to navigate, and living outdoors is definitely not what she expected. Drawing from her own childhood camp experience, Brosgol perfectly captures every comically cringe-y moment of a summer that can't end too soon.

• "The Prince and the Dressmaker" by Jen Wang

At the dawn of Paris' modern age, dressmaker Frances dreams of joining the high-fashion scene, and her new client, Prince Sebastian, might help her get there. But when Sebastian fears being outed as his alter ego, "Lady Crystallia," her future and their budding friendship are in danger. A true fairy tale, Frances and Sebastian do get their happy ending, in a don't-miss-it, totally modern style. 

• "The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir" by Thi Bui

Local readers may recognize Bui as the illustrator of Minnesota poet Bao Phi's brillant picture book, "A Different Pond." Here she tells the powerful story of her family's escape from South Vietnam and search to build a better future in the United States. 

Wild Rumpus is participating in the Indie Bookstore Day passport. Also, Dog Man — everyone's favorite crime-biting hero, will be on hand in the afternoon. And at 1 p.m., the store's animal mascots will get their annual Vet Visit. 

Zenith Bookstore | Duluth

Booksellers' picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Zenith's picks for Indie Bookstore Day
Courtesy of publishers

• "The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo

A compelling, humorous and heart-wrenching young adult novel from debut author and slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. Written in verse, "The Poet X" captures the strength, spirit and struggles of Xiomara Batista, a young Dominican-American woman used to being seen for her body but never heard for her words.  —Nikki

• "Love Medicine" by Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich stands to be my favorite storyteller, and "Love Medicine" was the beginning of this love. Holding very deep literary characters whose stories interweave to tell one beautiful and poetic tale, this book of healing continues to stay with me.  —Beth

• "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

Set in occupied France during World War II, the story is, in part, (i) a high-paced thriller that follows the Nazi pursuit of a rare diamond held by the French Museum of Natural History, (ii) a remarkable study of the complexities of children's lives in war, (iii) a wealth of fascinating observations about radio and technology (a reference to the title), and  (iv) a profound love story between a devoted father and his blind daughter. This Pulitzer Prize winner was an absolute joy to read. —Bob

Zenith Bookstore will have local authors on hand to sign books and give recommendations.

Booksellers' recommendations were edited and condensed for clarity.

Map: Plot your Independent Bookstore Day adventures