Indie First Day/Small Business Saturday, November 29

Reading is such a personal thing to me, I’d much rather give someone a
gift certificate to a bookstore, and let that person choose his or her own books.
-Writer & journalist, Erik Larson

A gift suggestion to consider as you work your way down this season’s holiday shopping list. A best path to the perfect book – - or the gift certificate — starts with a visit to a favorite indie bookstores on Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014 – a day now known to bibliophiles as Indies First day!

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Lao American students and why social capital is important

Lao parents play a significant role in students’ academic success, even if they feel they don’t have a lot to contribute because they didn’t attend U.S. schools, speak fluent English, or fully understand American higher education systems. -Dr. Krissyvan Khamvongsa Truong

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Women in prison: Visiting author imagines options, honors work of local volunteers

“Imagining a world beyond incarceration” is the theme of Maya Schenwar’s new book, a critique on the nation’s prisons entitled Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. Schenwar will read from her book and help readers imagine a world beyond incarceration on Saturday, November 22. The reading and discussion, set for 3:00 p.m. at Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Avenue South in Minneapolis, is free and open. Schenwar’s reading is sponsored by the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) which is housed at Boneshaker.

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100-year history of Franklin Library reflects community, U.S. and world events

This year the Franklin Library celebrates its 100th year serving a large area now called Phillips Community and Elliot Park, Whittier, Corcoran, and Powderhorn Park Neighborhoods. Exploring this history through research into the library’s annual reports and other documents from 1914 to 2014 has revealed a fascinating and intimate bond between a community and its library.

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Chef Marcus Samuelsson: Lessons in food, culture, and charisma

Before everyone and their mother had a blog, before we all photographed every plate we encountered, before google and the Food Network guided every edible decision we made, I attended a cookbook signing at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

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Late Night Library welcomes nocturnal bibliophiles

Somehow long chilly evenings elicit the yearn for a good read– or then again it could be a good listen – in the wee hours. Think Late Night Library, the ever-expanding virtual library of podcasts and more, treasures to nourish the nocturnal need to know.

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Chick flick

I have to be the least likely writer anyone would peg as the author of a chick-flick novel. But, Black & Singles Blues (Indie Gypsy Press) is, cross my heart and hope to eat a dead frog, that very thing.

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Meet Daniel Olson and his art

(Photo by Matt Grimley) Daniel Olson at FallCon, the most recent comic convention. Twitter @DanielJayOlson.

The story is drawn in simple black-and-white panels. They run cinematically through the main character Neil Wilson’s life. A faraway glance at the outside of a church or a restaurant gives you the place. Wordlessly, the characters glance at one another. Silence says more. One of the more spectacularly drawn pages occurs with older Neil and his former love interest Julie. They meet after many years and when they realize they have so much to discuss, they drive on the snowy, Minneapolitan highways. A dark two-page spread follows: the city’s skyscrapers loom in the night. Spaghetti-like turns of wintry roads loop and wind. There is Neil, old and more husky, looking upwards, helpless. There is Neil, young, looking downtrodden, for guidance.

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Libraries transform to meet the needs of community – to promote community

I was watching the following video with my 10 year old. “What are you watching?” she asked, “The future of libraries.” “Oh did they get more books?” Aargh!

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Clearing the land, planning for Webber library

Outside the shop building at 45th and Humboldt, that at one time was a gas station, according to county officials. (Photos by Margo Ashmore)

What’s new with the Webber Library plan?

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