Readers relax and refresh! Popular reviews, awards and stacks of soul-less bestsellers are no measure of a reading culture. Turn to the indies – the publishers and the booksellers – who know a good read when they read one and who make sure the words and ideas of creative writers reach the reading public.
This weekend presents an awesome opportunity when Rain Taxi opens the doors to the Twin Cities Book Festival, their annual reader-magnet bonanza! It’s Saturday, October 12 (that’s actually tomorrow!) at the Progress Center on the Fairgrounds.
Check their website (http://www.raintaxi.com/bookfest/) for all the details, including a guide to a robust agenda for the children’s pavilion. Admission and parking are free with options for ticketed events set for Friday evening.
If your faith in the power of independent presses needs more of a boost, check the reviews of a couple of Minnesota’s finest, in Jason Diamond’s piece on “25 Independent Presses That Prove This is the Golden Age of Indie Publishing.” In an October 1 article published in Shelf Awareness Diamond writes that “no matter what the latest doomsday prognostication about the future of big publishing happens to be, this is an exciting time to be a fan of literature.”
Among the presses Diamond lauds are Minnesota’s own: About Graywolf he writes: “We almost feel silly saying this, but this Minnesota nonprofit press gets better with age. Their last few years have featured a killer streak of releases from Joshua Cohen, Thomas Sayers Ellis, a stunning new translation of Dante’s Inferno, Stephen Elliott, Benjamin Percy, Fiona Maazel, and many other books that should be on your TBR pile.”
Describing Coffee House Press, the pride of Northeast Minneapolis, Diamond writes: “Growing from a 1970’s poetry magazine into one of the most well respected indie presses is no small feat., but this nonprofit press that’s housed in Minneapolis’ historic Grain Belt Bottling House has published more than its share of award-winning writers (Stephen Dixon, Anne Waldman, Frank Chin) and continues to be one of the presses that all other indies – and even big publishers – look to for inspiration.”
One way to show your support for the work of the indies is to join forces with other avid readers who are supporting the indie booksellers’ Indies First project set for November 30. More on that in an earlier post or check one of the several websites that cover the events of the day, e.g. Bookweb (http://www.bookweb.org/news/sherman-alexie-spearheads-indies-first).