Literary calendar for week of May 15: ‘Democracy Under Fire’ and ‘What? I’m a DOG?’ And more

LAWRENCE R. JACOBS: Founder/director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance and Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Jacobs signs copies of his book “Democracy Under Fire: Donald Trump and the Breaking of American History.” Jacobs argues that Trump’s presidency offered Americans a dire warning regarding the vulnerabilities in their democracy, but the threat is broader and deeper — and looms still. Noon-1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul.

MARY LOCKMAN: Signs copies of her books “They’re Always With You,” “It Starts With a Lie,” and her most recent, “What? I’m a DOG?” 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, Chickadee Boutique, 207 St. Marie St., Shoreview.

SARAH NELSON: Hosts Storytime in the Garden, reading her children’s picture books “A Park Connects Us” and “Frogness.” 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21, Children’s Reading Garden, Ramsey County Library, 2180 N. Hamline Ave., Roseville.

READINGS BY WRITERS: Hosts poets Athena Kildegaard, whose most recent collection is “Prairie Maiden”; Ibe Kaba, award-winning spoken-word poet born and raised in Sierra Leone and Guinea; and David McElroy, smokejumper, fisherman and taxi driver who has four books of poems to his credit, including “Water the Rocks Make.” He lives in Anchorage, Alaska. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, University Club, 420 Summit Ave., St. Paul.

EMILY BERGSLIEN/KAT WEAVER: Present “Uncommon Charm.” 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19. In-person. Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.

TOM WEBER: Introduces the third edition of “100 Things to Do in the Twin Cities Before You Die,” first published in 2015 and updated to incorporate life during and after COVID.  7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at 612Brew, 945 Broadway St. N.E., Mpls.; 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, May 23, Thompson Park Activity Center, 1200 Stassen Lane, West St. Paul. Register at 651-403-8300.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON

Five award-winning authors, including John Irving, will headline the fall/winter season of Pen Pals, presented by Friends of the Hennepin County Library. Each writer does a 7:30 p.m. presentation and another at 11 a.m. the following day. Season subscriptions (starting at $200) go on sale Tuesday, May 17.

Here is the schedule.

Michelle Zauner, Bestselling memoirist and Grammy nominee, “Crying in H Mart” — Sept. 20-21
Maggie O’Farrell, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist (“Hamnet”), introducing her most recent, “The Marriage Portrait,” to be published in September — Oct. 13-14
Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, “The Hemingses of Monticello,” “On Juneteenth” — Dec. 1-2
John Irving, National Book Award-winner for “The World According to Garp” published 40 years ago this year, introduces his first novel in seven years, “The Last Chairlift,” to be published in October — March 23-24
Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of “The Nightingale” and “The Four Winds” — May 4-5.

Authors will be in person at Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, with a virtual option for subscribers. Call  612-543-8112 or supporthclib.org/pen-pals. Individual tickets ($55-$45) will go on sale at a later date.

“The Legend of Jet the Gerbil,” a children’s book written by Minneapolis-based CEO Michael Keller and illustrated by Patrizia Donaera, won five awards in as many months. The story of a boy and his pet gerbil won gold for best new voice children/young adult and silver for best new children’s book (4-7) in the Benjamin Franklin awards presented by Independent Book Publishers Association. Midwest Book Awards, given by Midwest Independent Publishers Association, honored the book with silver medals for best children’s picture book and best illustration, and Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, dedicated to exemplary children’s books worldwide, gave it a bronze in the animals/pets fiction category.

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