Book Signing: Tom Mattson
Saturday February 29 | 12:00PM - 2:00PM
Meet Tom Mattson, who will be at Zenith Bookstore signing copies of his new book The Other Worlds, which takes the reader on journeys from Cuba to China, from Finland to the Tip of South America, and from the author’s birthplace on Minnesota’s Iron Range to his tin-roofed shack in Guatemala’s mountains of the Maya people.
Mattson crawls through an underground silver mine high in the Andes Mountains. He searches for a private island and a private sauna in Guatemala. He rides his Harley motorcycle across half of Canada and back through Montana and the Great Plains. Sooner or later, the author gets lost in a pitch-black barn with a pig in China, gets tossed into a notorious jail on a raucous Saturday night in Tijuana, follows the footsteps of novice monks in Laos, and runs into Bob Dylan in a Greenwich Village bar the summer of Woodstock.
Tom Mattson is a native of Biwabik, Minnesota. He started traveling at age seven when his parents packed the family and a tent into an old black car and journeyed over the Canadian border in search of cousins. Today, he drifts in his kayak on Lost Lake editing stories that floated into his head upon crossing borders to the other worlds.
Zenith Reads Book Club
Tuesday March 03 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Zenith Reads Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month, 6-7 pm. Great discussion! All are invited! Book club attendees get 15% off the price of their book. March reading: The Leavers by Lisa Ko.
Paper Bag Princess Day
Saturday March 07 | 11:00AM - 11:30AM
Zenith Bookstore is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Robert Munsch's classic, The Paper Bag Princess. This fantastic picture book is about a princess named Elizabeth who goes head to head with a fierce dragon in order to save a rather snooty prince. Join us for a special story time and activities!
Poetry Book Club
Wednesday March 11 | 5:30PM - 7:00PM
The Poetry Book Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month. Each month, we feature a book of poetry. The book club is facilitated by former Duluth Poet Laureate Sheila Packa. At the meetings, we talk about metaphors, sound patterns, and anything else that might happen to come up in conversation about poems. Maybe you're a writer or maybe just curious. This book club is for everybody who loves to read poetry. Purchase your book with Zenith Bookstore for 15% discount.
This month's reading: A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib
Margi Preus Book Launch
Thursday March 26 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Zenith Bookstore is thrilled to host best-selling children's author Margi Preus for a double-header evening as she launches her two new books "The Littlest Voyageur" and "Village of Scoundrels."
In The Littlest Voyageur, the year is 1792, and unbeknownst to a group of voyageurs traveling from Montreal to Grand Portage, an intrepid squirrel, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, sneaks onto their canoe. Le Rouge is soon discovered because he can't contain his excitement--mon dieu he is so enthusiastic. The smells! The vistas! The comradery!
The voyageurs are not particularly happy to have him, especially because Le Rouge rides, but he does not paddle. He eats, but he does not cook. He doesn't even carry anything on portages--sometimes it is he who has to be carried. He also has a terrible singing voice. What kind of voyageur is that?
When they finally arrive at the trading post Le Rouge is in for a terrible shock--the voyageurs have traveled all those miles to collect beaver pelts. With the help of Monique, a smart and sweet flying squirrel, Le Rouge organizes his fur-bearing friends of the forest to ambush the men and try and convince them to quit being voyageurs.
The book is geared for young readers and includes over 20 black-and-white illustrations by artist and public school art teacher Cheryl Pilgrim.
In Village of Scoundrels, Preus tells the incredible true story of a group of French teenage villagers in WWII who saved thousands of Jewish people. The novel tells how a group of young teenagers stood up for what is right. Among them is a young Jewish boy who learns to forge documents to save his mother and later goes on to save hundreds of lives with his forgery skills. There is also a girl who overcomes her fear to carry messages for the Resistance. And a boy who smuggles people into Switzerland. But there is always the threat that they will be caught: A policeman is sent to keep an eye on them, German soldiers reside in a local hotel, and eventually the Gestapo arrives, armed with guns and a list of names. As the knot tightens, the young people must race against time to bring their friends to safety.
Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai and other books for young readers, including the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon, and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award book The Clue in the Trees, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
Her books have won multiple awards, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into many languages. When not writing, Margi enjoys traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world.
Authors Event to Support CJMM 2020 Commemoration
Sunday March 29 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
One hundred years ago – in June 1920 – Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie were falsely accused, taken by force from the old city jail, and lynched in front of a cheering mob on the streets of Duluth, at the intersection where the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial now stands. That horrific event, for many years ignored and forgotten, will be marked by a series of events, including a centennial Day of Remembrance at the Memorial on June 15, which organizers hope will be an opportunity to “bring our community together to remember, reflect, and transform.”
Two authors who have written powerful works describing those events will be at Zenith Bookstore for a panel discussion. They will be joined by a member of CJMM, Inc., who will provide event details for the 2020 Commemoration.
Michael Fedo’s “The Lynchings in Duluth” recounts the story of how a mob of over 10,000 convened upon the Duluth police station, inflamed by the rumor that Black circus workers had raped a white teenage girl – charges that would later be proven false. According to the Los Angeles Times, Fedo’s work is “a chilling reconstruction” of the 1920 events. “Combining hour-by-hour, day-by-day narrative with expert scholarship based on interviews, suppressed documents and news reports, Fedo skillfully portrays Northern prejudice and violence. . . . He makes readers firsthand witnesses.”
A Duluth native, Michael Fedo is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and taught 10th and 11th grade English at Denfeld High School. During his more than five-decade writing career, he has published hundreds of articles and essays in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. He is the author of several books, including Zenith City: Stories from Duluth and Don’t Quit Your Day Job.
The updated second edition of The Lynchings in Duluth includes a new preface by the author, additional research and notes, and suggestions for further reading.
Warren Read, who lives in Washington state, was a fourth-grade teacher, devoted partner, and father to three boys, when, some 20 years ago, he plugged his mother's maiden name into a computer search engine, then clicked on a link to a newspaper article that would forever alter his understanding of himself. He learned that Louis Dondino, his beloved great-grandfather, had incited this deadly riot on the streets of Duluth decades before.
In his poignant memoir, “The Lyncher In Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History,” Read explores the perspectives of both the victims and the perpetrators of this heinous crime. He investigates the impact – the denial and anger – that the long-held secrets had on his family. Through this examination of the generations affected by one horrific night, he discovers that we must each take responsibility for "our deep-seated fears that lead us to emotional, social, or physical violence."
All profits from book sales on Sunday will go to support the work of the CJM Commemoration 100 Year Committee.
For more information on the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial and the 2020 CJM Commemoration events, including the June 15, 2020 Day of Remembrance, see https://claytonjacksonmcghie.org/2020 .
Abby Jimenez Presents The Happy Ever After Playlist
Tuesday April 14 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Zenith Bookstore is thrilled to welcome Abby Jimenez for the Duluth release of her new romantic comedy The Happy Ever After Playlist.
Abby Jimenez is a Food Network champion, motivational speaker, and author of the USA Today bestseller, The Friend Zone. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to open multiple locations in two states, won numerous Food Network competitions and amassed an international cult following. Abby has since turned her talents to penning novels. She loves a good book, coffee, and doglets, especially Stuntman Mike. For more on Abby, visit www.authorabbyjimenez.com.
About the Book:
Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?
And one final morsel: Some scenes in The Happy Ever After Playlist are set in Duluth!
Grant Snider at Zenith Bookstore
Tuesday April 28 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
Join beloved New York Times illustrator Grant Snider for a look at the culture and fanaticism of book lovers as he presents his new book "I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf."
It’s no secret that people are judged by their bookshelves, shedding beloved childhood books for new reads that reflect evolving tastes, personalities, and beliefs. But some readers surround themselves with books, taking their love of the written word to another level. They collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat books as sacred objects. "I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf" is a lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, in which writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, building on the beloved literary comics featured regularly in the New York Times Book Review and on his website, Incidental Comics.
Grant Snider is an orthodontist by day and an artist by night. His comics have been featured in the Kansas City Star, the New York Times, and the New Yorker, as well as the anthology The Best American Comics. He is the creator of Incidental Comics and the author/illustrator of The Shape of Ideas, The Shape of Ideas Sketchbook, and the picture book What Color Is Night? Snider lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife and four children. Visit him online at incidentalcomics.com and @grantdraws on Instagram.
Sarah Stonich and Peter Geye
Thursday May 14 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
We are thrilled to welcome authors Sarah Stonich and Peter Geye to Zenith Bookstore. The two best-selling Minnesota writers will read from their newly released novels and then join in discussion with Claire Kirch, Midwest correspondent for Publisher's Weekly.
Fishing!, by Sarah Stonich, is a hilarious saga of fishing, family, and three generations of tough, independent women — the first in a trilogy. The work was first published in 2015 under a pseudonym. The book unspools with the gentle wit and irresistible charm that readers of Sarah Stonich have come to expect. Fishing! eases us into unsuspected depths as it approaches the essential question . . . when should life be steered by the heart, not the rules?
Sarah Stonich is the best-selling author of Vacationland, the first book in her Northern Trilogy, followed by Laurentian Divide, winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Fiction. She has also written These Granite Islands, which has been translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus; and a memoir, Shelter: Off the Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North. She lives in Minneapolis.
Northernmost, by Peter Geye, is a thrilling ode to the spirit of adventure and the vagaries of loss and love. Braiding together two remarkable stories of love and survival, Northernmost wades into the darkest recesses of the human heart and celebrates the remarkable ability of humans to endure nearly unimaginable trials.
Peter Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. Geye is the author of the award winning novels Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering, winner of the Minnesota Book Award. He currently teaches the year-long Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he continues to live there with his family.
Author Event: Sue Leaf Presents Minnesota's Geologist
Thursday June 25 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Zenith Bookstore and Cafe Scientifique Twin Ports are excited to host Sue Leaf who will present her new book Minnesota's Geologist: The Life of Newton Horace Winchell.
This is the story of the scientist who first mapped Minnesota’s geology, set against the backdrop of early scientific inquiry in the state. Tracing Newton Horace Winchell’s path to becoming a leading light of an emerging scientific field, Minnesota’s Geologist recreates the early days of scientific inquiry in Minnesota, when one man’s passion for learning could unlock secrets of the state’s distant past and present landscape. This first telling of Winchell’s life story is set against a backdrop of Minnesota’s geological complexity and splendor.
Sue Leaf is author of The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake; A Love Affair with Birds: The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts; and Portage: A Family, a Canoe, and the Search for the Good Life, all published by Minnesota. She also wrote Potato City: Nature, History, and Community in the Age of Sprawl. Trained as a zoologist, she writes on environmental topics and is editor of the newsletter of the Wild River Audubon Society of east-central Minnesota.
"Sue Leaf has done a great service for the people of Minnesota and beyond by telling the story of Newton Horace Winchell so thoughtfully and beautifully. Readers of Minnesota's Geologist will be rewarded with new insights into why the world around us functions as it does. This is a book that I've been hoping for."
— Harvey Thorleifson, director, Minnesota Geological Survey
This meeting is co-sponsored with Cafe Scientifique Twin Ports, a volunteer-run community organization whose mission is to create greater access to science and the scientists within our community. For more information, see https://cafescitwinports.org/