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Fireside Reading Series at Hamline Midway Library

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American, Event, Fiction, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies

Fireside Reading SeriesTomorrow night begins the eighteenth annual Fireside Reading Series hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library at the Hamline Midway Library. The series features six weeks of readings by acclaimed Minnesota authors.

The events kick off with historian Larry Millet and the latest in his renowned mystery series, The Magic Bullet: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes, and conclude on February 18 with Diane Wilson, author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.

History e-book sale!

Posted byAlison Aten on 29 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: African American, History, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies

Was there an e-reader under your tree this week? Amazon announced that over 4 million Kindles were sold in December, and analysts predicted high sales of the iPad 2 over the holidays. Whether you’re a brand-new or veteran e-reader, we have a deal to help you load up your device and get reading.

We are offering 10 of our popular history e-books for just $4.99 from now until the end of January!

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Newly updated iPhone App for Family Fun in the Twin Cities

Posted byAlison Aten on 20 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, MHS press, Nature/Enviroment, Travel

Dad's Eye View iPhone app Home ScreenDad's Eye View Activities iPhone App Page

Twin Cities iPhone App

 After the presents have all been opened, the cookies are gone, and the tree needles start to fall, what are you going to do with the kids for the whole week?!

Check out our newly updated iPhone app, Dad’s Eye View: 52 Family Adventures in the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities digital dad Michael Hartford added twenty-four new family venues to the app this month. This past May we released the print edition of the book Dad’s Eye View with an accompanying free iPhone app that allows readers and users to discover the most affordable, educational, and, yes, fun things to do and see throughout the year in the Twin Cities.

Some of the updated venues for kids with cabin fever include Edinborough Park, Maple Maze, Memory Lanes, The Landing, and Elm Creek Park Reserve.

The app has a number of convenient features for busy dads and caregivers, giving users a fun new way to explore and share your experiences:

* Search all locations by season, venue (indoor/outdoor), and price
* Read a short description of this digital dad’s experience at the location
* Contact any location with the touch of a finger
* Locate your destination on a map
* Rate and share your outing on Facebook and Twitter or on the Dad’s Eye View Facebook page and @Dads_Eye_View!

St. Paul Gangster Haunts on Travel Channel

Posted byAlison Aten on 08 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, History, MHS Author in the News, MHS press, True Crime, Videos

Today’s post is by Paul Maccabee, author of John Dillinger Slept Here, which inspired a recent episode of Off Limits on the Travel Channel.

Paul Maccabee and Travel Channel TV host Don Wildman

Explorer and history buff Don Wildman had braved an underground Titan II nuclear missile silo in Arizona, prison cells inside San Quentin, and a former Nazi military compound for his Off Limits TV show on the Travel Channel. But would Wildman survive a visit to the St. Paul gangster haunts frequented by such Public Enemies as John Dillinger, Alvin “Creepy’ Karpis, and Babyface Nelson?

As the author of the MHS Press book John Dillinger Slept Here: A Crooks’ Tour of Crime and Corruption in St. Paul, I got to serve as Wildman’s on-camera guide to the Minnesota underworld for a segment that was shot in July and began airing on November 17.

Easily our grisliest adventure was filmed in the basement of the downtown St. Paul Police Department.  The TV crew secured a rare view of the bullet hole-filled hat last worn by John Dillinger’s machine-gunner Homer Van Meter–a hat autographed by the four police officers who shot Homer to death on August 23, 1934, just outside the Minnesota State Capital off University Avenue. Van Meter’s hat, which had vanished and was missing for more than three decades, was rediscovered in time for display during the show. Members of the St. Paul Police Historical Society also unearthed artifacts from the 1928 gangland assassination of St. Paul’s Irish Godfather Danny Hogan, who had guided the underworld from his Green Lantern bar. Wildman was enchanted by these artifacts from St. Paul’s dark past, perhaps most by the bullet holes, blood, and cerebral matter that were still visible inside Van Meter’s unlucky straw hat.  Here’s an outtake from that creepy moment.

Appropriately, the Travel Channel’s TV crew lunched at Cosetta’s on West 7th Street, where I regaled them with tales of Minnesota mobster Rocky Lupino and other homegrown Mafioso over bites of ravioli and meatballs.

Then, Wildman toured the courtrooms of the Old Federal Courts Building (now Landmark Center), where members of the Dillinger and Barker-Karpis Gang were tried for kidnapping and other federal crimes. We retraced the steps of Dillinger’s comely girlfriend, Evelyn “Billie” Frechette, who attempted to escape from federal authorities on the third floor, and slipped inside the detention room where FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had chained Alvin “Creepy” Karpis before dragging him into court.  But Off Limits is dedicated to bringing its camera to places where the public cannot go, so we also climbed to Landmark Center’s guano-spattered roof for a panoramic view that included the 1920s Bucket of Blood brothel area once presided over by madame Nina Clifford (now the site of the Science Museum), landmarks associated with the 1933-34 kidnappings of millionaires Ed Bremer and William Hamm, the gangland caves along the Mississippi River where bootleggers kept their illicit liquor, and hotels that were frequented by mobsters Bugsy Seigel and Al Capone. Catch it on reruns, or pick up a copy of John Dillinger Slept Here and take your own personal gangland tour.

–Follow Paul Maccabee @maccabeepr

Shop Local, and With a Cause!

Posted byAlison Aten on 30 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, Event, Literary, MHS press, Nonprofit

Santa (from Magers & Quinn website)What could be better than visiting with Santa at a bookstore? Magers & Quinn has teamed up with Way to Grow, one of the preeminent early childhood learning programs in the Twin Cities, for an evening of refreshments and Sharing with Santa this Saturday, December 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. David LaRochelle, author of Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet, will be at the store with Santa to share his books. Do your shopping and 10 percent of your sale will benefit Way to Grow.

On Sunday, December 4, at 2:00 p.m., Red Balloon Bookshop is hosting an event to celebrate Libraries in Minnesota with photographer Doug Ohman and contributors to the book, including some of Minnesota’s best-known writers of books for children and young adults: Will Weaver, Pete Hautman, John Coy, Nancy Carlson, Marsha Wilson Chall, and David LaRochelle. The authors will sign copies of their books, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Libraries of Minnesota during the event will be donated to the Minnesota Library Foundation.

And here at the Minnesota History Center Stores during Minnesota Historical Society Member Double Discount Days,  Kim Heikkila, author of Sisterhood of War, will be signing Friday, December 2, at 11:00 a.m, and Brett Laidlaw, author of Trout Caviar, will sign on Sunday, December 4, at 2:00 p.m.

Congrats to the store for making the USA Today list of best museum shops!

Minnesota\'s Hidden Alphabet Libraries of Minnesota Sisterhood of War Laidlaw

North Star Cocktails

Posted byAlison Aten on 08 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Cooking, Event, Interview, MHS Author in the News, MHS press, Videos

North Star CocktailsJohnny MichaelsRecognized as one of the Twin Cities’ best drink makers, Johnny Michaels is the cocktail connoisseur’s answer to a gourmet chef. His home base is the James Beard award–winning La Belle Vie, but he’s designed the cocktail menus for several of its sister restaurants and other top metro eateries. Together with premiere bartenders such as Pip Hanson, Nick Kosevich, Jesse Held, Thea Sheffert, and others in the North Star Bartenders’ Guild, Michaels shares nearly 200 original, crafted cocktail recipes utilizing fresh fruits and vegetables, tips on barkeep techniques and tools, and guides to artisanal liquors and bitters.

Join us Thursday evening at the Mill City Museum to sample craft cocktails and meet Johnny Michaels and members of the North Star Bartenders’ Guild to celebrate the publication of North Star Cocktails.  Johnny Michaels and five other members of the guild will be on hand to mix their cocktail recipes featured in the book. Participants will receive a voucher for three half-size cocktails with paid admission and can purchase vouchers for additional cocktails. Pip Hanson of Marvel Bar will conduct a demonstration of hand ice chipping. Nick Kosevich of Bittercube will deliver a tutorial on the art of handcrafting artisanal bitters. (See today’s feature on The Heavy Table for more on Bittercube.) Dean Phillips will have a memorabilia display highlighting the history of Phillips Distilling Company and its deep Minnesota roots. Complimentary light hors d’oeuvres will be served. North Star Bartenders’ Guild members will sign copies of the book, which will be for sale in the museum store. All author royalties earned from the sale of the book will be donated to SPCA International, an organization committed to advancing the safety and well-being of animals.

For more insider tips, check out the Star Tribune and City Pages interviews with Johnny or the School of Drinks series with MplsStPaul magazine.

Minneapolis Indie Xpo Nov. 5-6

Posted byAlison Aten on 01 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: Arts, Authors, Event, Fairs, MHS press

Minneapolis Indie Xpo 2011Superheroes, Strip Artists, & TalkingThe second-annual Minneapolis Indie Xpo takes place this weekend at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. Festival founders Sarah Morean and Andy Krueger created the event to celebrate independent comics and midwestern cartoonists. They explain: “Minneapolis is a great place for comics. As one of the most literate cities in the nation, Minneapolis supports several large book and comics festivals each year. The Minneapolis Indie Xpo is proud to call it home.  The Twin Cities metro area is home to at least 11 different comic shops, including a few Will Eisner Spirit of Retail Award winners.  The Minneapolis Indie Xpo welcomes independent cartoonists and publishers, the people whose sweat and cash directly support their creative habits. Admission is free. ”

Check out their lineup of exhibitors, including Danno Klonowski, Zander and Kevin Cannon, Reynold Kissling, Bob Lipski, Brittney Sabo, Barbara Schulz, Tim Sievert, Andy Singer, and Steven Stwalley, a few of the many talented artists featured in Superheroes, Strip Artists, & Talking Animals by Britt Aamodt.  Chris Monroe, illustrator of the new children’s book by Kevin Kling, Big Little Brother, will also be there, displaying her Violet Days comic. Check out an interview with Chris over on the Minnesota Reads blog to find out what fictional character she had a crush on and her favorite book as a kid.

Boo!

Posted byAlison Aten on 25 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Event, Fiction, History, MHS press

phpSd8czNTis the season for ghosts and goblins, and our fair state has no shortage of boogeymen.

MinnPost’s Max Sparber ponders the ghosts of the Washington Avenue Bridge and the “Supernatural Minnesota” series by Thomas M. Disch, recently reprinted by the University of Minnesota Press. The Businessman is the first book in the series.

Michael Norman, author of five nationally popular collections of ghost tales, interviewed local storytellers and combed newspapers to document legends involving supernatural and strange occurrences. Following old and fresh leads, he gathered stories from all over the state in The Nearly Departed: Minnesota Ghost Stories & Legends. (Check out our excerpts on the MIA and The Lutefisk Ghost.)

The Minnesota Road Guide to Haunted Locations by Chad Lewis offers info on where to sleep in a haunted bed-and-breakfast or have a drink in a haunted pub.

You can explore more of Minnesota’s haunted history this week at a variety of spooky events hosted by the Minnesota Historical Society:

Tonight and tomorrow at the Mill City Museum’s The Minneapolis Horror: Tales from the Night Shift you can learn about the horrific disasters that have befallen the mill and its workers over the years.

Shadows and Spirits of the State Capitol, Thursday through Saturday, offers visitors a chance to see historical “spirits” who tell stories of the capitol’s early history.

Step inside the rustic barn at the Oliver Kelley Farm on Saturday for a Reader’s Theatre performance of Washington Irving’s horror classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Or listen to dramatic readings of Victorian Ghost Stories in the dimly lit James J. Hill House parlor on Sunday night.

Happy Haunting!

iPad App for Big Little Brother by Kevin Kling & Chris Monroe

Posted byAlison Aten on 20 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, Event, Kevin Kling, MHS press

phpgfJyaSWe are so happy to present our iPad app for Big Little Brother, the debut children’s book by beloved storyteller and popular commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered Kevin Kling, illustrated by Chris Monroe of Monkey with a Toolbelt fame!

This charming interactive storybook app for kids ages 3 to 7 traces a familiar arc from sibling rivalry to brotherly love. Being an older brother has its benefits, of that there’s little doubt. But how would you feel if your little brother grew to be bigger than you? And what if he insisted on touching all your things and following you everywhere you went? It’s enough to frustrate the most even-keeled of kids.

The narrator of Big Little Brother wants nothing more than to escape his brother’s sticky fingers. Then an encounter at the Old Woman in the Shoe play area involving a bully, a plastic turkey, and his big, little brother teaches him that a pesky younger sibling can actually be a pal.

The Big Little Brother app features audio by storyteller Kevin Kling, described as “one of our great national treasures” by public radio personality Krista Tippett. Many of the intricate illustrations by Chris Monroe hold extra dialogue and audio, available at a touch: spin the Tinkertoy wheel, put the turkey in the oven, turn out the lights. Hundreds of interactive details will surprise children (and adults) through many readings of Big Little Brother.

Don’t worry, you can also enjoy a hardcover edition of the book as well! Come meet Kevin and Chris at the following events:

Book Launch!
Saturday, November 19, 1:00 pm
Wild Rumpus Bookstore, Minneapolis, MN

Friday, November 25th, 3-4 pm
Birchbark Books, Minneapolis, MN  (Signing with Kevin, only)

Sunday, November 27, 2:00 pm
Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Sunday, December 4, 12:00 to 2:00 pm
The Bookstore at Fitger’s, Duluth, MN

Signing only with Kevin and Chris
Saturday, December 17, 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN

Transforming Trauma

Posted byAlison Aten on 11 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: Authors, History, Interview, MHS press, Native American, Videos

Diane Wilson, author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, shares how and why she came to write about overcoming the unrelenting trauma resulting from the colonization and assimilation of  the Dakota community. Her book profiles several contemporary Dakota people who are sustained by rich traditions, ceremonies, advocacy, and education and are transforming the legacy of colonization into a better way of life for their children.

Videos of Clifford Canku and Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan, two of the people featured in Beloved Child, are also available online. Video footage is from the book launch hosted by Birchbark Books and held at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.

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