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June Melby discusses "My Family and Other Hazards", and Jeff Miller discusses "Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop"
07/30/2014 7:00 pm
Celebrate smalltown Wisconsin at Common Good Books. There will be ice cream.
My Family and Other Hazards
When June Melby was ten years old, her parents decided on a whim to buy the miniature golf course in the small Wisconsin town where they vacationed every summer. Without any business experience or outside employees, the family sets out to open Tom Thumb Miniature Golf to the public. Naturally, there are bumps along the way. In My Family and Other Hazards, Melby recreates all the squabbling, confusion, and ultimately triumph, of one family’s quest to build something together, and brings to life the joys of one of America’s favorite pastimes. In sharp, funny prose, we get the hazards that taunted players at each hole, and the dedication and hard work that went into each one’s creation. All the familiar delights of summer are here—snowcones and popcorn and long days spent with people you love.
Melby’s relationship with the course is love-hate from the beginning, given the summer’s freedom it robs her of, but when her parents decide to sell the course years later, her panicked reaction surprises even her. Now an adult living in Hollywood, having flown the Midwest long ago, she flies back to the course to help run it before the sale goes through, wondering if she should try to stop it. As the clock ticks, she reflects on what the course meant to her both as a child and an adult, the simpler era that it represents, and the particular pains of losing your childhood home, even years after you’ve left it.
June Melby's work has appeared in McSweeney's, LA Weekly, and National Lampoon Magazine, among other places. She lives in Decorah, Iowa.
Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop
Minnesota-born lawyer, Jeff Miller, and his partner, Dean, enjoyed a successful and fashionable life in London. They shopped at Harvey Nichols, walked their dogs in Kensington Gardens, and vacationed in France and Tibet. Yet, they dreamed of a new life. In January, Jeff was promoted to a coveted position at his bank; in March, he resigned. Jeff and Dean sold their house, packed the dogs, and moved to the sleepy resort town of Hayward, Wisconsin, where they acquired a nostalgic ice cream shop and rundown Victorian mansion.
Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop is the chronicle of Jeff and Dean's first year in Hayward--how they are welcomed by a collection of colorful characters and how they are humbled by the challenges of operating both the ice cream shop and a bed and breakfast. It is also a story of Hayward and how the traditions and the stories of those who built the town helped our entrepreneurs adjust to the rhythm of life in their new home.
Jeff Miller was born in Browerville, Minnesota. He spent years as an international lawyer in New York, Hong Kong, and London. Since 2005 he has lived in Hayward, Wisconsin, where he operates West's Hayward Dairy and McCormick House Inn.
LIT UP LATE: Get your copy of "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage" at Common Good Books
08/11/2014 11:30 pm
08/12/2014 12:30 am
“Lit Up Late” gives you three good reasons to stay up and read--Murakami, Mitchell, and Darnielle.
Can’t wait to get your hands on three of this fall’s most-anticipated books? Common Good Books, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, and Moon Palace Books are staying up late so that you don’t have to wait another second. Get three great books as soon as they become available--no delivery hassles, no waiting list, nothing but pure reading pleasure.
Lit Up Late is a mini-series of three late-night literary events in August and September. Mingle with your fellow book lovers, enjoy some music and food, and get your books while the rest of the world is asleep at the switch.
Punches and prizes
Each late night event will feature fun and frivolity, but the truly dedicated have a shot at a very grand prize. Get your Lit Up Late punch card at any of the three participating bookstores. When you buy the featured book at midnight, you get a punch. Attend all three events and buy all three books, and you’re eligible to win our grand prize. One lucky winner will receive a free night at the St Paul Hotel, to get away from it all and read in luxury. (Winners must be present at Moon Palace to win.)
About the books
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami--a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan. It tells the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.
David Mitchell is the author of Cloud Atlas and one of the leading literary voices of his generation. His hypnotic new novel, The Bone Clocks, is a kaleidoscopic novel that begs to be taken apart and put back together by a writer the Washington Post calls “the novelist who's been showing us the future of fiction.”
John Darnielle is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats; he is widely considered one of the best lyricists of his generation. His audacious and gripping debut novel Wolf in White Van is a marvel of storytelling brio and genuine literary delicacy. Daniel Handler calls it “quiet, mysterious, menacing, taking you places you will never, never get out of your head”
About the bookstores
Common Good Books (38 S Snelling Ave, St Paul MN 55105; 651/225-8989) is the largest independent bookstore in St Paul. They offer a full selection of books and magazine as well as a full program of readings and author events. Please visit www.commongoodbooks.com for details.
Magers and Quinn Booksellers (3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55408; 612/822-4611) is an independently owned new and used bookseller located in the heart of Uptown in Minneapolis, near the lakes for which the city is famous. Their collection covers all subjects and features many unusual and hard-to-find editions, as well as thousands of new releases. Find more information at www.magersandquinn.com.
Moon Palace Books (2820 E 33rd St, Minneapolis MN 55406; 612/454-1505) is an independent bookstore located in the Longfellow neighborhood at Minnehaha Ave and East 33rdst right behind Peace Coffee Wonderland Park and the Trylon microcinema. They've got used books. They've got new books. They’ve got your book. www.moonpalacebooks.com
“I have always felt that a lyric poem that claims an 'I'—that this isn’t fiction. It might be exaggeration or imagination, and it might be flat-out LIES."
The National Book Critics Circle Award winning author of Space, in Chains talks to Common Good Books about her latest collection The Infinitesimals.
07/27/2014 5:00 pm
New date! Sunday, July 27
“One of the most engaged reads I’ve had in years.”–Alice Sebold
In the aftermath of Charles Taylor's fallen regime, a young Liberian woman named Jacqueline has fled to the Aegean island of Santorini. She lives in a cave accessible only at low tide. During the day, she offers massages to tourists, battling her hunger one or two euros at a time. Her pressing physical needs provide a deeper relief, obliterating her memories of unspeakable violence. But slowly, the specters of her former life resurface: her adoring younger sister; her unshakably proper mother; her father, who believed in his president; her journalist lover, who knew that Taylor would be overthrown. Now Jacqueline must face the ghosts that haunt her--or tip into full-blown madness. Hypnotic in its depiction of physical and spiritual hungers, this is a novel about ruin, faith, and the devastating memories can destroy and redeem us.
You bring the opinions, we’ll supply the wine and cheese. RSVP to Colin[at]commongoodbooks.com
“Who was expecting an album of jazz standards from 73-year-old Dylan?”
Common Good Books talks to the author of The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob Dylan. Meet David Kinney at Common Good Books on Thursday, May 22nd. Read on.
Common Good Books is pleased to unveil the first in a series of limited edition t-shirts, not available wherever books are sold.
Looking for that special gift?
Common Good Books has signed and personalized editions of Garrison Keillor's new poetry anthology, Good Poems, American Places. This collection is a splendid road trip across the USA with the perfect guide riding shotgun and a welcome addition to anyone's library.
To order a personalized copy, simply place the order as usual. Once completed, please go to "Order comments" under your order summary and click "Add an order comment" and enter the desired personal message. We will confirm your order and message via email.
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