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Staff Picks: Read the Book, Meet the Author: A2 Community Bookfest

by emjane

What’s better than reading a great book? Reading a great book and then getting to see the author IN REAL LIFE!! 

Lucky for all of us, we’ve got a wonderful slate of authors coming as part of the A2 Community Bookfest on Sunday, September 10. Read one of these books in anticipation of the event or take advantage of the chance to pick up a signed copy in September!

Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev | Request Now | Hear Sonali Speak

Lies and Other Love LanguagesSonali Dev may be best known for her charming Jane Austen-inspired romances, but with her latest, Lies and Other Love Languages, Dev takes a step into more deeply exploring family secrets (but don’t worry, romance-lovers…there are still some swoon-worthy moments). Mallika and her mother Vandy have a beautiful, openly communicative relationship – or so they both think. But when it becomes clear that they are each keeping something from each other, not only does their relationship take a hit, but their senses of self do as well. Throw in flashback chapters told from the perspective of Vandy’s childhood friend Rani (who is mysteriously missing from the present-time narrative), Lies and Other Love Languages leaves the reader unraveling the secrets a few steps ahead of the characters. The real narrative intrigue rests not in the content of the secrets, but in watching how they are discovered and revealed to the characters – and how those characters choose to react.

This book isn’t published until September 26 (I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Readers Copy), but I have it on good authority that there will be copies available for purchase on 9/10! What a score!

Poplandia by Andre Peltier | Request Now | Join Andre for a Poetry Workshop

PoplandiaAs indicated by the title, this latest collection of poetry by Andre Peltier is interwoven with reference to pop culture – some references clear on the surface, some leaving the reader with the feeling of “easter egg discovery” – the if you know, you know. That being said, Peltier’s sense of the rhythm of language means that even readers not familiar with the references can still get meaning and worth from these poems – particularly when they are read aloud. 

Have the chance to hear Andre read from Poplandia and then learn directly from him, as he’s following a mini-reading with a poetry workshop as part of Bookfest!




August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones | Request Now | Hear Stephen Speak

August SnowEx-Detroit cop August Snow, due to a wrongful termination lawsuit, is both without a job and with a new 12-million dollars. August finds satisfaction helping to rebuild his Mexicantown neighborhood in Detroit, but when there’s a suspicious death among a family he’s worked with before, he can’t help but be drawn in…deep. August has a classic masculinity about him, one that sometimes closed me off to the character, particularly in his physical description of female characters. However, just as I found myself fed up with the guy, he’d show a tenderness that would win me over again. Folks well-versed with Detroit will enjoy hearing familiar places and references, and Jones keeps up the pace and intrigue throughout the whole book!



The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal | Request Now | Hear J. Ryan Speak

The Lager Queen of MinnesotaIt’s impossible for me to pick a favorite among J. Ryan Stradal’s three books. I’ve already raved about Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and his latest, Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, is equally marvelous. However, today, I’ll gush about the delight that is Lager Queen. Jumping between timelines and perspectives, Lager Queen generally centers on the stories of three resilient women: estranged sisters Edith and Helen, and Edith’s granddaughter Diana. At the story’s outset, Edith is endlessly working to eke out a living for her family, Diana is trying to figure out her place in the world, and Helen, seemingly, is doing “just fine thank you very much” with a successful beer empire. As these women reach crossroads, they are forced to address their family challenges. This sounds heavy, but Lager Queens is imbued with humor, spot-on Midwestern descriptions and dialogue, and amazingly fascinating minutia about the art of brewing beer that balance out the hefty family drama. 


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