Local book options for holiday gift lists
Looking for gift ideas for the many people on your list this year? One idea is to buy books penned by local authors; choose a title that fits the recipient and will support work produced in the area. Here's a round-up of titles recently released, which are available online unless otherwise noted.
For the young reader
"Twelve Days of Christmas in North Dakota"
Author and Forum columnist Roxane Salonen has published her third children's book. This story features a girl named Piper who visits her cousin in North Dakota for the first time and enjoys a variety of activities like seeing historical forts and theaters, eating local foods and seeing a Lakota powwow. Order at roxanesalonen.com.
"Curious McCarthy's Power of Observation"
Curious McCarthy decides to become a scientist and hypothesizes that her younger brother will get noticed before her oldest sister. The book details her observations during school and at home with a big family to bring science to life for the reader. Available at Zandbroz Variety in Fargo.
For the local history buff
"Hidden History of Fargo"
The Forum's features editor Danielle Teigen published a non-fiction anthology of little-known stories about Fargo and the Red River Valley, ranging from a successful African American brothel owner to Alanson "Major" Edwards and his newspaper empire to the battle of bonanzas between Oliver Dalrymple and the Chaffee family. Available at Zandbroz Variety and Barnes & Noble.
"They Sang for Norway: Olaf Oleson's Immigrant Choir"
This story focuses on two Norwegian brothers separated during their country's struggle for independence with the narrative following the brother who left for America. He establishes a church and other businesses and forms a choir, which takes him on tour across the country, singing songs of his home nation.
For the romantic
Paul Campbell is a Fargo lawyer who recently completed his debut novel based on the true story of how his parents fell in love. The setting of the book is a fictional lake town in Minnesota, but the actual events happened in North Dakota. Available at pryancampbell.com.
Rodney Nelson's latest poetry edition published in October and focuses again on landscapes but goes deeper into how the components might change if people were no longer present.
For the hobbyist
"Growing Up Rural: You Smell Barn"
Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson have published a follow-up to their "Growing Up Lutheran" book. This book will take the reader back to the 1950s and '60s with lots of humor to bring the memories of that time alive. Available at local Scandinavian stores.
"Got To Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound"
From the 1950s to the 1980s, funk and soul music took Minneapolis by storm. Artists and groups like Prince and the Big Ms helped to shape the musical movement known as the Minneapolis Sound. The book chronicles the journey of African American artists in Minnesota as they push through racial and political barriers, giving readers a glimpse of how the Minneapolis Sound came to be.
"North Dakota Beer: A Heady History"
Author Alicia Underlee Nelson describes the rich history of brewing in North Dakota, starting with the state's early days in the Union when it was dry. Once Prohibition ended, farmers became leaders in malting barley production, but local breweries didn't fare well until the 1990s when brewpubs debuted. Available at Zandbroz Variety.
For the fiction lover
In the small town of Pierz, Minn., Jon Frederick dealt with a tough childhood, but everything changes when he meets the lovely Mandy Baker. The two keep their relationship hidden from everyone, until Frederick decides to break it off. After the breakup, Baker mysteriously disappears. Ten years later, Frederick is named an investigator for the town's detective agency and reopens the murder book for Mandy Baker, determined to find out who killed her. As the investigation continues, Frederick soon realizes he has met Baker's killer in the past.
"Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery"
One call from her great-aunts transports 17-year-old Francie from her home in New York to an isolated lake in the northern woods of Minnesota. There her aunt's neighbors are victims of strange, fatal accidents. As more clues are discovered, the mysterious accidents continue — poisonous hotdish, scary noises in the bog, "enchanted" treasure and an odd confession — leading the reluctantly sleuthing Francie to more secrets about her life than she ever realized.
MSUM students and Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism apprentices Tanner Robinson and Emma Vatnsdal contributed to this article.
If none of these titles make sense for your gift list, Zandbroz Variety is hosting an event to celebrate local and regional authors and their work.
What: Writer Wonderland
When: 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7
Where: Zandbroz Variety, 420 Broadway N., Fargo
Info: The event is free, with books available for purchase and author signing at the event. Featured authors include Steven Bolduc, Tracy Briggs, Tory Christie, Marc DeCelle, Jeff Kolpack, Troy Larson, Alicia Underlee Nelson, Amy Phillips, Danielle Teigen and Amy Thielen.