at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, 612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com
Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m. — Catherine Friend reads from Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet — Discover the advantages of having sheep as the planet’s “self-propelled lawn mowers” and the scary truth behind “wrinkle free” clothing as Catherine Friend reveals what it really means to be sheepish — and why it might not be such a bad thing after all. What do you do when you love your farm…but it doesn’t love you? After 15 years of farming, Catherine Friend is tired. After all, while shepherding is one of the oldest professions, it’s not getting any easier. The number of sheep in America has fallen by 90 percent in the last ninety years. But just as Catherine thinks it’s time to hang up her shepherd’s crook, she discovers that sheep might be too valuable to give up. What ensues is a funny, thoughtful romp through the history of our woolly friends, why small farms are important, and how each one of us — and the planet — would benefit from being very sheepish, indeed. Catherine Friend is the author of Hit by a Farm and The Compassionate Carnivore, as well as seven children’s books and three novels. She farms in Minnesota with her partner of 27 years.
Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m. — Six authors from Wising Up Press discuss their writing about health, wellness, love, and spirituality — Wendy Brown-Baez, Patricia Barone, Emilio De Grazia, Benjamin Doty, Jane Levin and Mary Kay Rummel will discuss:
- Double Lives, Reinvention & Those We Leave Behind — We frown upon double lives, but laud reinvention as the perpetual rebirth of our best self. But are these two states so very different for us as we live them?
- Families: The Frontline of Pluralism — The difficulties of living up close and personal with diversity — of sensibility, race, culture, class, or religion — is the subject of the stories, memoirs, and poetry in this anthology.
- Illness & Grace, Terror & Transformation — In this anthology of personal memoirs, stories, and poetry contemporary writers explore themes of illness and trauma and the wide variety of ways in which we respond to them.
- Love After 70 — What is love, in all its forms, like after 70? If you didn’t know most of these writers were over 70, you would not think so as you listen to their most personal of voices.
- View from the Bed, View from the Bedside — Thirty-eight contemporary writers explore with memoir, story, and poetry the different ways we talk about, to — and through — each other at the doctor’s office, hospital or sickbed.
Wednesday, May 18, 7:30 p.m. — Gen Kelsang Drubwang discusses Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom (by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso) — Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book Modern Buddhism is a dynamic and comprehensive presentation of Buddha’s teachings, including practical explanations on how to attain lasting happiness and freedom from problems for ourselves and others. With clear and accessible language, Gyatso guides the reader from the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation and philosophy and offers practical advice to solve daily problems. His inspiring handbook for daily practice is designed for those seeking solutions within Buddhism to the problems of everyday life, as well as to encourage people of all faiths to deepen their understanding and enjoyment of the spiritual paths. Gen Kelsang Drubwang is a resident teacher at the Akanishta Buddhist Center in Madison, WI.
Thursday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. — Rebecca Rasmussen reads from her debut novel The Bird Sisters — The inspiration for The Bird Sisters came to Rebecca Rasmussen while reading her grandmother Kit’s journals. Kit lost both her parents at age 17, just after a crisis revealed the failings in their marriage. As she grew older, she grew away from her only sister, Virginia. This novel is Rasmussen’s imaginings of what could have been, had Kit and Virginia learned to cling to each other rather than turn away. Milly and Twiss weren’t always two old spinsters known to everyone in Spring Green, WI,Â as the Bird Sisters. There was a time when people called Milly “Goldilocks” because of her beautiful hair, and Twiss played Lewis and Clark on the course with her golf-pro father. Rebecca Rasmussen’s masterfully written debut novel, The Bird Sisters, takes readers though the routines of a single day in the lives of these elderly sisters, from waking up in their childhood beds to sharing a glass of ice tea on the porch of the wind-worn house they grew up in.Â Their minds are fixed on the summer of 1947, the summer their Cousin Bett came down from Deadwater, MN, to stay and nothing was ever the same again.Â The two narratives twist and turn like the Wisconsin River, ultimately revealing how the sisters’ hearts came to be broken and why they have spent their lives healing birds and sometimes people. Rebecca Rasmussen teaches creative writing and literature at Fontbonne University. Her stories have appeared in Triquarterly magazine and the Mid-American Review. She was a finalist in both Narrative magazine’s 30 Below Contest for writers under the age of thirty and Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest. She lives with her husband and daughter in St. Louis.
Sunday, May 22, 4 p.m. — Martin Kihn reads from Bad Dog (A Love Story) — All dogs are allowed when Martin Kihn reads from his comic novel Bad Dog (A Love Story). Hola is a nightmare, but it’s not her fault if she tackles strangers and chews on furniture, or if she runs after buses and fried chicken containers and drug dealers. No one ever told her not to. Hola may be the most beautiful Bernese mountain dog in the world, but she’s never been trained. At least not by anyone who knew what he was doing. Hola’s supposed master, Marty, is a high-functioning alcoholic. A TV writer turned management consultant, Marty’s in debt and out of shape; he’s about to lose his job, and one day he emerges from a haze of peach-flavored vodka to find he’s on the verge of losing his wife, Gloria, too, if he can’t get his life — and his dog — under control. Martin Kihn is a writer, digital marketer, dog lover, balletomane and spiritual athlete. He was born in Zambia, grew up in suburban Michigan, has degrees from Yale and Columbia Business School. His articles have appeared in New York, the New York Times, GQ, Us, Details, Cosmopolitan, and Forbes, among many others, and he was on the staff of Spy, Forbes, New York, and Vibe. More information is available at www.martinkihn.com.