Minnesota Book Award Finalists & Winners 2017

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Winners for the 29th Annual Minnesota Book Awards were announced on Saturday, April 8. Finalists for the Minnesota Book Awards were announced earlier this year.


Sarah Ahiers
Description: Seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana, a trained assassin, falls in love with Val Da Vias, a boy from a rival clan, until tragedy intervenes and sets her on a course of revenge against the Da Vias family.
Call Number: YA FIC Ahi
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Mark Neuzil, Norman Sims, John McPhee
Call Number: 623.829 Neu
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Thomas Fisher
Description: "Envisioning what we need, when it doesn't yet exist: this, Thomas Fisher tells us, is what design does. And if what we need now is a better world--functioning schools, working infrastructure, thriving cities--why not design one? Fisher shows how the principles of design apply to services and systems that seem to evolve naturally, systems whose failures sometimes seem as arbitrary and inevitable as the weather. But the "invisible" systems we depend on for our daily lives (in education, politics, economics, and public health) are designed every bit as much as the products we buy and the environments we inhabit--and are just as susceptible to creative reimagining. Designing Our Way to a Better World challenges the assumptions that have led to so much poor performance in the public and private realms: that our schools cannot teach creativity, that our governments cannot predict the disasters that befall us, that our health system will protect us from pandemics, that our politics will remain polarized, that our economy cannot avoid inequality, and that our industry cannot help but pollute the environment. Targeting these assumptions, Fisher's approach reveals the power of design to synthesize our knowledge about the world into greater wholes. In doing so,this book opens up possible futures--and better futures--than the unsustainable and inequitable one we now face."Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 745.4 Fis
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Kathleen Novak
Description: "As a young man, Gigi Paulo arrives in New York and is immediately drawn to a girl he sees in a bar near Penn Station. Before he can approach her, she is gone. He returns to the bar for weeks, hoping to see her again, dreams of her at night and searches the crowds for her face. Quiet and careful, he is not the type to become obsessed by a stranger. But obsessed he is. Two years later he meets her at a party. Her name is Corrine. She seems to like his cooking and the blues albums he collects, but she never stays with him for long. As he discovers the secrets and violence of her life, Gigi finds himself unable to rescue her and barely able to save himself. He flees New York, but his obsession with Corrine follows him, even when he returns to his home in northern Minnesota, where he marries, has a daughter, and fishes the deep, quiet lakes he knows so well. After he dies, his daughter uncovers her father's desire for this unknown woman, leaving her to question the inherent perils of his life as well as her own" -- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: FIC Nov
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Michelle Leon
Call Number: 781.66 Leo
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Louise Erdrich
Description: North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence - but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition - the sweat lodge - for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them.
Call Number: LP FIC Erd
Format: Large Print
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Description: Presents a history of the long struggles of LGBT atheletes to gain recognition and acceptance, describing some of the famous athletes from the past who were unable to reveal their genders and how social practices have changed and benefited current LGBT athletes.
Call Number: YA 796.08 Cro
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Marion Dane Bauer, Jennifer (Jennifer A.) Bell
Description: A little cat named Patches manages to push out a window screen and leave her house, chasing a falling leaf, and sets out to find a special place to call her own.
Call Number: J FIC Bau
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Gretchen Marquette
Call Number: 811 Mar
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, E. Eero Johnson
Description: "Frankie Neumann's an introvert, and he's always been the outsider in his family of performers, but all that's about to change once he finds an outlet for his artistic talents"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: YA FIC Cro
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Richard Lack, Gary B. Christensen, Stephen Gjertson, Gabriel P. Weisberg
Call Number: 759.176 Lac
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
James Stitt
Description: "Post reformation, yet on the cusp of the Scientific Revolution, modernity sits like a hazy island far in the distance. Full dominance of the land, of the seas, remains unrealized. Formal religion pervades life, yet, ancient beliefs, a simple reverence for the seasons, the harvest, the tides, remain buried within humanity. Journeying across the Atlantic to where trees grow to Herculean heights and the earth has yet to yield to the plow, a religious congregation seeks to establish a colony in the new world. Congruently, in the 21st century, humankind leads a sterilized existence, science and technology have provided many a cozy, insulated life but one devoid of connection to deeper belief or the supernatural world. Into both scenes, step three orphan children who for hundreds of years, have resided in the gray space between emerging humanity and nature. By a strange shepherd named Brigu, these orphans are placed with this Calvinist congregation traveling to the new world and form an unique bond with a fire haired young woman, Abigail Fielding. Together, they begin to understand their collective purpose." -- back cover.
Call Number: FIC Sti
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Caren Barzelay Stelson
Description: Tells the story of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki through the eyes of Sachiko Yasui, who was six when the devastation was wrought, describing her experiences in the aftermath of the attack as well as her long journey to find peace.
Call Number: YA 940.5425 Ste
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
David Housewright
Description: Since becoming an unlikely millionaire and quitting the St. Paul Police Department, Rushmore McKenzie has been working as an unlicensed private investigator, basically doing favors for friends and people in need. But even for him, this latest job is unusual. He's been asked to find a stolen Stradivarius, known as the Countess Borromeo, that only the violinist seems to want him to find. Stolen from a locked room in a B&B in the violinist's former hometown of Bayfield, Wisconsin, the violin is valued at $4 million and is virtually irreplaceable. But the foundation that owns it and their insurance company refuses to think about buying it back from the thief (or thieves.) However, the violinist who has played it for the past twelve years is desperate to get it back and will pay out of his own pocket to get it back. Though it's not his usual sort of case, McKenzie is intrigued and decides to try and help, which means going against the local police, the insurance company, the FBI's Art Crime division, and his own lawyer's advice. And, as he quickly learns, there's a lot more going on than the mere theft of a priceless instrument.
Call Number: FIC Hou
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Abby Cooper
Description: Twelve-year-old Elyse has a rare genetic disorder makes the words other people say about her appear on her body.
Call Number: J FIC Coo
Format: Book
Date Added: Aug 11, 2016
Alison McGhee, Eliza Wheeler
Description: A father tells his young son the story behind each of his tattoos.
Call Number: E McG
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Stephanie Wilbur Ash
Description: Tall, trusted Tandy Caide, CPA, is a long-time patron of the arts in her town, which is why you will find her sitting in the front row of the high school's annual musical production. This year is an Annie year, and it would be no different than other years were it not for the high school's hiring of a new vocational agriculture (Vo-Ag) teacher. With his beguiling ponytail and decorative beaded belt, Kenny catches Tandy's eye immediately. Ignoring the fact of her slovenly husband who takes most of his meals in their hot tub, Tandy decides to entertain Kenny's advances. Trusted community pillar that she is, Tandy's affair has instant repercussions. People are talking and her husband's subsequent breakdown and check-in to a mental institution doesn't help. At her regular meeting with the Order of the Pessimists, comprised of her deceased father's disgruntled and drunken best friends, she is asked to step down as treasurer. Not only that, but her old lover is keeping a secret somehow connected to the Vo-Ag teacher. And meth labs, fueled by the abundance of fertilizer present in the region, keep blowing up. Somehow, it is all connected to Tandy's ex-bestfriend's daughter, the star of this year's Annie. As Tandy pieces together the puzzle that has become her life, it becomes clear she must embark on a journey of self-discovery that might even include leaving town for good.
Call Number: FIC Ash
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Cheri Register
Description: "An environmental history of Freeborn County, Minnesota's Big Marsh, which was tilled and drained 130 years ago at public expense for agricultural purposes. Told from a personal point of view, this story shows the enduring value of wild places and the importance of the fight to preserve them, both then and now"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 333.918 Reg
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Robert Spande
Description: A teacher is murdered in the small town of Copeland, a community secluded by its surrounding forest, and her students, Johnny, who loved her, and his sister, Cot, pursue the killer. Spande’s expansive and genre-bending novel looks deep into the perspectives and lives of the residents of Copeland, a place which holds many more mysteries to be unearthed. --author's website
Call Number: FIC Spa
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Brian McMahon
Description: In 1903, before the Ford Motor Company was even incorporated, Stephen Tenvoorde signed a contract to sell "Fordmobiles" at his bicycle shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Four generations later, the Tenvoorde family still operates what is now the oldest Ford dealership in the world. Brian McMahon chronicles how the fortunes of the company and the state became intertwined during that century. Ford assembled Model T cars in the world's tallest automobile plant in Minneapolis and a three-story structure in St. Paul--both still standing. These factories quickly became functionally obsolete after the development of the moveable assembly line. The hunt for a new site to build a modern, single-story plant stirred intense rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Henry Ford took a rare personal interest in the search and selected a 125-acre parcel in St. Paul overlooking the recently built High Dam on the Mississippi River, which allowed for navigation and hydroelectric power. The Twin Cities Assembly Plant would go on to manufacture millions of cars, trucks, tractors, and military vehicles until its closure in 2011.
Call Number: 338.7629 McM
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Allen Eskens, R. C Bray, David Colacci, Amy McFadden (Narrator), Tantor Media
Description: Detective Max Rupert and attorney Boady Sanden's friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons. Max is still struggling with the death of his wife four years earlier, and the Pruitt case stirs up old memories. Boady hasn't taken on a defense case since the death of an innocent client, a man Boady believes he could have saved but didn't. Now he is back in court, with student Lila Nash at his side, and he's determined to redeem himself for having failed in the past.
Call Number: FIC Esk
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Lara Avery
Description: When a rare genetic disorder steals away her memories and then her health, teenaged Sammie records notes in a journal to her future self, documenting moments great and small.
Call Number: YA FIC Ave
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Brian Farrey
Description: A princess and a peasant girl, who hides a sorrow in a town where everyone lives with unending joy, embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a centuries-old warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy.
Call Number: J FIC Far
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Kao Kalia Yang, HighBridge Audio (Firm)
Description: A memoir of a father, a Hmong song poet who sacrificed his gift for his children's future in America. In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses; extemporizing or drawing on folk tales, he keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships, births, weddings, and wishes. Kao Kalia Yang retells the life of her father Bee Yang, the song poet, a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by American's Secret War. Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on the factory floor until, with the death of Bee's mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnished their grim reality so that they might shine. The Song Poet is a love story--of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost
Call Number: B Yan
Format: Audiobook
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Clyde H. (Clyde Howard) Bellecourt, Jon Lurie
Description: "Activist and cofounder of the American Indian Movement (AIM) presents a no-holds-barred memoir in which he tells the unvarnished truth about the AIM as he lived it, revealing what motivated him to confront injustice and help others gain a sense of pride by knowing their culture,"--NoveList.
Call Number: B Bel
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Shawn Lawrence Otto
Call Number: 303.483 Ott
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
David LaRochelle, Mike Wohnoutka, illustrator
Description: A mouse teacher teaches her mice students how to identify a cat.
Call Number: E LaR
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 6, 2017
Zeke Caligiuri
Description: Prison is where Zeke Caligiuri is. Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis, dubbed "Murderapolis" the year he turned eighteen, is where he comes from. It was the same neighborhood his father grew up in but had changed dramatically by the early 1990s. Yet in Zeke's family, father and mother and grandmother kept things together while all around them the houses decayed and once-safe streets gave way to the crush of poverty and crime. This Is Where I Am is Zeke Caligiuri's clear-eyed account of how he got from there to here, how a boy who had every hope went from dreaming of freedom to losing it, along with nearly everything and everyone he loved. Tenderhearted in its reflections on his lost childhood, brutally candid in its description of a life of hanging and hustling, Zeke's memoir recreates a world of tagging and goofing gone awry, of moving from smoking pot to unsuccessful attempts at dealing crack, of watching his father weep at the funeral of a seventeen-year-old boy, of going to jail: first strike. This is Zeke's story, every sharp detail and sobering word, with the natural grace of a gifted writer and the hard-won wisdom of hindsight.
Call Number: 365.6 Cal
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Benjamin Percy
Description: "In fifteen essays that challenge the notion that literary and genre fiction are mutually exclusive, the author turns to Cormac McCarthy, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen King, and others to discover how contemporary writers engage plot, character, dialogue, and suspense"--Page [4] of cover.
Call Number: 808.3 Per
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Chris Santiago
Description: "Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for "poem." Prismatic, startling, rich with meaning yet sparely composed, Chris Santiago's debut collection of poems begins with one word and transforms it, in a dazzling sleight of hand, into a multivalent symbol for the immigrant experience. Tula: Santiago reveals to readers a distant land devastated by war. Tula: its music beckons in rhythms, time signatures, and lullabies. Tula: can the poem, he seems to ask, build an imaginative bridge back to a family lost to geography, history, and a forgotten language? Inspired by the experiences of the "blood stranger"-the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents-Tula paints the portrait of a mythic homeland that is part ghostly underworld, part unknowable paradise. Language splinters. Impossible islands form an archipelago across its landscape. A mother sings lullabies and a father works the graveyard shift in St. Paul--while in the Philippines, two dissident uncles and a grandfather send messages and telegrams from the afterlife. Deeply ambitious, a collection that examines the shortcomings and possibilities of both language and poetry themselves, Tula announces the arrival of a major new literary talent"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 811 San
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Sun Yung Shin
Description: "Sun Yung Shin moves ideas--of identity (Korean, American, adoptee, mother, Catholic, Buddhist) and interest (mythology, science fiction, Sophocles)-- around like building blocks, forming and reforming new constructions of what it means to be at home. What is a cyborg but a hybrid creature of excess? A thing that exceeds the sum of its parts. A thing that has extended its powers, enhanced, even superpowered--From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 811 Shi
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Peter Geye
Description: The two principal stories at play in Wintering are bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding, northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota - instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He'd done this once before, more than 30 years earlier in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his 18-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme - winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters - as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs' journeys of discovery. It's certainly something Gus has never forgotten, nor the Devil's Maw of a river, a variety of beloved (possibly fantastical) maps, the ice floes and waterfalls (neither especially appealing from a canoe), a magnificent bear, the endless portages, a magical abandoned shack, Thanksgiving and Christmas improvised at the far end of the earth, the brutal cold and sheer beauty of it all.
Call Number: FIC Gey
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Virginia M. Wright-Peterson
Description: The story of Mayo Clinic begins on the Minnesota prairie following a devastating tornado in 1883. It also begins with the women who joined the growing practice as physicians, as laboratory researchers, as developers of radium theory and cancer treatments, and as innovators in virtually all aspects of patient care, education, and research. In tracing the perspectives of more than forty of these women, this book introduces a new perspective on the history of both Mayo Clinic and women in medicine.--From publisher's description.
Call Number: 610.82 Wri
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
J. J Austrian, Mike Curato
Description: Two worms in love decide to get married, and with help from Cricket, Beetle, Spider, and the Bees they have everything they need and more, but which one will be the bride and which the groom?
Call Number: E Aus
Format: Book
Date Added: Apr 10, 2017
Lauren Stringer
Description: "A lyrical ode to that magical time in autumn when the leaves turn yellow"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: E Str
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Amy Munson
Description: Poems that explore relationships between carnal and spiritual experience, reflecting awareness of sexuality, mortality, divinity, and joy.-- Provided by publisher
Call Number: 811 Mun
Format: Book
Date Added: Feb 23, 2017
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: Minnesota Book Award Finalists & Winners 2017
Assassin's Heart
Sarah Ahiers
YA FIC Ahi
The Born And The Made
Robert Spande
FIC Spa
Canoes : A Natural History In North America
Mark Neuzil, Norman Sims, John McPhee
623.829 Neu
The Ford Century In Minnesota
Brian McMahon
338.7629 McM
Designing Our Way To A Better World
Thomas Fisher
745.4 Fis
The Heavens May Fall [Audiobook]
Allen Eskens, R. C Bray, David Colacci, Amy McFadden (Narrator), Tantor Media
FIC Esk
Do Not Find Me
Kathleen Novak
FIC Nov
The Memory Book
Lara Avery
YA FIC Ave
I Live Inside : Memoirs Of A Babe In Toyland
Michelle Leon
781.66 Leo
The Secret Of Dreadwillow Carse
Brian Farrey
J FIC Far
LaRose [Large Print]
Louise Erdrich
LP FIC Erd
The Song Poet : A Memoir Of My Father [Audiobook]
Kao Kalia Yang, HighBridge Audio (Firm)
B Yan
LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim The Field : Striving For Equality
Kirstin Cronn-Mills
YA 796.08 Cro
The Thunder Before The Storm : The Autobiography Of Clyde Bellecourt
Clyde H. (Clyde Howard) Bellecourt, Jon Lurie
B Bel
Little Cat's Luck
Marion Dane Bauer, Jennifer (Jennifer A.) Bell
J FIC Bau
The War On Science : Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It
Shawn Lawrence Otto
303.483 Ott
May Day : Poems
Gretchen Marquette
811 Mar
This Is Not A Cat!
David LaRochelle, Mike Wohnoutka, illustrator
E LaR
Original Fake
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, E. Eero Johnson
YA FIC Cro
This Is Where I Am : A Memoir
Zeke Caligiuri
365.6 Cal
Richard F. Lack, Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1998
Richard Lack, Gary B. Christensen, Stephen Gjertson, Gabriel P. Weisberg
759.176 Lac
Thrill Me : Essays On Fiction
Benjamin Percy
808.3 Per
Rise Of The Spring Tide
James Stitt
FIC Sti
Tula : Poems
Chris Santiago
811 San
Sachiko : A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
Caren Barzelay Stelson
YA 940.5425 Ste
Unbearable Splendor
Sun Yung Shin
811 Shi
Stealing The Countess
David Housewright
FIC Hou
Wintering
Peter Geye
FIC Gey
Sticks & Stones
Abby Cooper
J FIC Coo
Women Of Mayo Clinic : The Founding Generation
Virginia M. Wright-Peterson
610.82 Wri
Tell Me A Tattoo Story
Alison McGhee, Eliza Wheeler
E McG
Worm Loves Worm
J. J Austrian, Mike Curato
E Aus
The Annie Year : A Novel
Stephanie Wilbur Ash
FIC Ash
Yellow Time
Lauren Stringer
E Str
The Big Marsh : The Story Of A Lost Landscape
Cheri Register
333.918 Reg
Yes Thorn
Amy Munson
811 Mun