This is the weekend of the 19th annual Minnesota Book Awards. Last night I went to one of the preliminary events, at which nine finalists in the fiction and creative nonfiction categories read from their respective works and had signings. Each was quite excellent and I wanted to buy every single title presented. Cash flow issues limited my purchase to only one book, however, which one I won't identify lest you think somehow that the unchosen were deficient in some sense.
Here was the line-up:
Caroline Burau, Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat
Patti Frazee, Cirkus
Matthew Sanford, Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence
Roger Stelljes, The St. Paul Conspiracy
Alicia L. Conroy, Lives of Mapmakers
Mary Rose O'Reilly, The Love of Impermanent Things
Maureen Millea Smith, When Charlotte Comes Home
Diane Wilson, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past
Brian Freeman, Stripped
For all but O'Reilly and Freeman, these are first books. Impressive.