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Club Book to feature Bram Stoker’s great-grand-nephew and the author of a ‘Doctor Zhivago’ thriller

What a wonderful mix of authors Club Book will bring us this fall. As always in this series from the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), they will be scattered throughout the metro area, with each author appearing at a different library in the system. Sooner or later, one will show up near you. All are free, and if you miss one or want to revisit an event, you can listen later to the podcast.

Nora McInerny
Nora McInerny
Sept. 17 at Chanhassen Public Library: Nora McInerny (“It’s Okay to Laugh: Crying Is Cool Too”) turned a series of personal tragedies – a miscarriage and the deaths of her father and husband – into books, a blog and a podcast that help others deal with grief.

Sept. 26 at Plymouth Library: A leading voice in Indian American literature, Mumbai-born Thrity Umrigar is the author of “The Space Between Us” and its sequel, “The Secrets Between Us.”

Dacre Stoker
Dacre Stoker
Oct. 8 at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury: American Mystery Award-winning author J.A. Jance writes four blockbuster series; she’ll be here with her latest Beaumont adventure.

Oct. 10 at Northtown Library in Blaine: The great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, manager of his famous ancestor’s estate and an expert on all things Dracula, Dacre Stoker is the author of “Dracula: The Undead,” the sequel, and now “Dracul,” the prequel.

Oct. 17 at the Roseville Library: Bestselling YA author and National Book Award finalist Nicola Yoon has seen her first two books, “Everything, Everything” and “The Sun Is Also a Star,” become bestsellers and feature films.

Oct. 23 at Wentworth Library in West St. Paul: Born in Escobar-era Colombia, Rojas Contreras is author of “Fruit of the Drunken Tree,” one of 2018’s breakout fiction debuts.


Oct. 24 at Prior Lake Library: A National Book Award finalist and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Brandon Hobson is the author of four novels, including “Where the Dead Sit Talking,” a coming-of-age story.

Nov. 12 at St. Anthony Park Library: Lara Prescott’s first novel, “The Secrets We Kept,” tells the story of the CIA plot to smuggle Boris Pasternak’s banned “Doctor Zhivago” out of the USSR. It netted Prescott a $2 million book deal, was optioned for film before it hit shelves (the movie is already in the works) and will be published in 28 languages. Did you catch that her first name is Lara?

Club Book is coordinated by Library Strategies, the nonprofit consulting group of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. It is supported in part by Legacy funds. FMI.

The picks

Now at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre 3: “Honeyland.” Beautifully filmed, with a powerful message, this big Sundance winner has been extended another week. Here’s our review. FMI including trailer, times and tickets.

Tasha Baron and Liz Draper
Courtesy of Ice House
Tasha Baron and Liz Draper will draw on their shared love of Monk, Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy.
Tonight (Friday, Aug. 23) at Icehouse: Liz Draper and Tasha Baron. We can stay home and cry about the systemic under-representation of women in jazz, or we can go out and see women jazz artists when they perform. Both Liz Draper (upright bass) and Tasha Baron (piano) move between genres often and with ease, but tonight they’ll draw on their shared love of Monk, Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy. 6:30 p.m. No cover.

Friday and Saturday in Virginia, Minnesota, and West St. Paul: Free Chamber Music Concerts. Presented by the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. Talented students from this summer’s Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute will wrap things up with a pair of free public concerts. See how they sound after 10 days in the Boundary Waters studying with Young-Nam Kim and other world-renowned musicians. 7 p.m. Friday at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Virginia, 7 p.m. Saturday at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul. Here’s the program.

Carl Nanoff, Carnival, watercolor screenprint, 2019
Courtesy of the Highpoint Center for Printmaking
Carl Nanoff, Carnival, watercolor screenprint, 2019
Saturday at Highpoint Center for Printmaking: Hot Off the Press 2019. Highpoint’s 35th cooperative exhibition features work by members of its artists’ studio cooperative. More than 80 pieces by 39 printmakers include lithographs, reliefs, intaglios, screen prints, monotypes and polymergravures. It’s a mini-immersion in types of prints and artists on our local scene. 12 noon-4 p.m. Also Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and next Saturday again from 12 noon to 4. These are the final days of an exhibition that closes Aug. 31. Free.

Saturday and Sunday at Norway House: Impossible Salt: “Peer Gynt.” Henrik Ibsen’s original play runs about seven hours. In 1957, Ingmar Bergman produced a five-hour stage version. The annual production at the Peer Gynt Festival in Norway is three hours, and the production those players brought to New York in 2006 was two hours and change. (You see where we’re headed with this.) The musical storytellers of Impossible Salt have squeezed “Peer Gynt” into just one hour, including trolls. Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. These will be the final performances of a show that opened Aug. 10. FMI and tickets (start at $20, with a pay-what-you-can option). Performances will take place in the Norway House gallery. Arrive early and see Judy Olausen’s “Mother” photography exhibition, which will be free to enter after 12 p.m.

Tuesday at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre 3: “Water Lilies by Monet – The Magic of Water and Light.” The Great Art on Screen series continues with a look at Impressionism’s founder, with stops at the Musée Marmatton Monet, the Musée d’Orsay, L’Orangerie and Giverny. 7 p.m. FMI including trailer and tickets ($15/10).

Plan ahead

In 2017, Christie’s New York sold the “Salvator Mundi” to a Saudi prince for $450 million, making it the world’s priciest painting ever sold at auction. Carmen Bambach, curator of Italian and Spanish drawings at the Met and a da Vinci expert, has said, “In my opinion, it was not a good investment.” The painting is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci; Bambach believes it was painted by his assistant, with “small retouchings” by the master. This won’t be her topic when she speaks at Mia on Thursday, Sept. 5, but it’s interesting to know going in. Yale University Press recently published Bambach’s monumental four-volume work “Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered.” (Mia’s library has a copy available for viewing.) The title of her talk: “Leonardo da Vinci and His Unfinished Work.” 6:30 p.m. in the Pillsbury Auditorium. FMI and tickets ($10, $5 My Mia members, free for members of the Prints & Drawings Affinity Group).

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