• Lake Superior Writers is accepting entries for its annual writing contest. Categories: Poetry (1 to 3 poems), short-short fiction (1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words), short fiction (a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words), and creative nonfiction (a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words). First place winner in each category will receive $200 and publication on the LSW website. Runner-up in each category will receive $50. The theme is “lockdown.” Writers may interpret this theme as broadly as they wish. You might write about the tension found in everyday experiences or the profound struggles faced by people, resulting in a feeling of being in “lockdown” or actually being in lockdown. The LSW Writing Contest is open to adults age 18 and older. Entry is free for LSW members; $35 for non-members, which includes membership in LSW. Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited. Deadline: April 12. For more information, go to


Sam’s Club presents celebrated and best-selling authors reading from their books in honor of Black History Month. The readings will be over Zoom. Signup now via the links below.

  • Malcolm Mitchell, "My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World," a children’s title, 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. Click here to register.
  • Vashti Harrison, "Little Leaders Series," children’s title, 10 a.m. Feb. 20. Click here to register.
  • Meena Harris, "Ambitious Girl," children’s title, at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 20. Click here to register.
  • Linsey Davis, "Stay This Way Forever," children’s title, 10 a.m. Feb. 27. Click here to register.
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Sam’s Club also offers a Culture and Kindness book collection in every club and online. This collection features more than 30 titles to encourage open mindedness and allow kids and grownups to celebrate differences, learn empathy and increase understanding while also helping start conversations with peers and children of every age.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced finalists in all nine categories for the 2021 Minnesota Book Awards, presented this year by sponsor Education Minnesota. The finalists for each category are:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:

  • "Bee Love (Can Be Hard)" by Alan Page and Kamie Page, illustrated by David Geister (Page Education Foundation)
  • "Big Papa and the Time Machine" by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Shane Evans (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • "A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story" by Caren Stelson, illustrated by Akira Kusaka (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)
  • "The Most Beautiful Thing" by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Khoa Le (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)

General Nonfiction:

  • "100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More" by Sarah Kieffer (Chronicle Books)
  • "How the Streets Were Made: Housing Segregation and Black Life in America" by Yelena Bailey (University of North Carolina Press)
  • "The Language Warrior’s Manifesto: How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds" by Anton Treuer (Minnesota Historical Society Press*)
  • "Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl" by Jonathan C. Slaght (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan Publishers)

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College:

  • "The Deep, Deep Snow" by Brian Freeman (Blackstone Publishing)
  • "From the Grave: A McKenzie Novel" by David Housewright (Minotaur Books/Macmillan Publishers)
  • "Get Idiota" by Nate Granzow (Self-published)

  • "Things We Didn't Say" by Amy Lynn Green (Bethany House Publishers)

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction:

  • "Somewhere in the Unknown World" by Kao Kalia Yang (Metropolitan Books/ Macmillan Publishers)
  • "Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Essays" by Carolyn Holbrook (University of Minnesota Press)

  • "Unglued: A Bipolar Love Story" by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Boyle & Dalton)

  • "The War Requiem" by Kaia Solveig Preus (Essay Press)

Middle Grade Literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota:

  • "CatStronauts: Digital Disaster" by Drew Brockington (Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group)
  • "The Littlest Voyageur" by Margi Preus, illustrated by Cheryl Pilgrim (Margaret Ferguson Books/ Penguin Random House)

  • "Lukezilla Beats the Game" by Kurtis Scaletta, illustrated by David Sossella (Capstone Editions)

  • "What if a Fish" by Anika Fajardo (Simon & Schuster)

Emilie Buchwald Award for Minnesota Nonfiction:

  • "Daybreak Woman: An Anglo-Dakota Life" by Jane Lamm Carroll (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • "Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture" by Jane King Hession (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "Minnesota's Geologist: The Life of Newton Horace Winchell" by Sue Leaf (University of Minnesota Press)

  • "A Woman's War, Too: Women at Work During World War II" by Virginia Wright-Peterson (Minnesota Historical Society Press)

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University:

  • "Bliss" by Fredrick Soukup (Regal House Publishing)
  • "The Night Watchman" by Louise Erdrich (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers)

  • "Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel" by Kawai Strong Washburn (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan Publishers)

  • "The Things You Left" by Raki Kopernik (Unsolicited Press)

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:

  • "Catrachos" by Roy G. Guzmán (Graywolf Press)
  • "Feel Puma: Poems" by Ray Gonzalez (University of New Mexico Press)
  • "Homie: Poems" by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)
  • "Wound from the Mouth of a Wound" by torrin a. greathouse (Milkweed Editions)

Young Adult Literature, sponsored by United Educators Credit Union:

  • "My Eyes Are Up Here" by Laura Zimmermann (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)
  • "Unscripted" by Nicole Kronzer (Amulet Books/Abrams)

  • "Where We Are" by Alison McGhee (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster)

  • "The Whitsun Daughters" by Carrie Mesrobian (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)

Award winners will be announced at the 2021 Minnesota Book Awards virtual ceremony on April 29. The annual Kay Sexton Award, sponsored by St. Catherine University, will also be presented that evening. The online event is free; registration is required and is available at The Preface Reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m. The official hashtag for social media is #mnbookawards.


Title: "The Wheels of Friend: A Three Year Around the World Bicycle Journey"

Author: Eric Norland

Synopsis: This book is one man's attempt to make peace with a world that was on the brink of mutually agreed upon destruction. He chose a bicycle as his medium of expression and named it Friend. His intent was to go from California and head east until going to The Soviet Union. He wanted to meet Soviets and show others that they were alright. He made it as far as East Germany but was not allowed to travel any farther east. From there the traveling cyclist heads for the Mediterranean and the Middle East. And then onward around the world. He ran out of money after one year of traveling. He traveled across large continents like Australia and China and circumvented the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. In all he comes away with a world experience and a new way of looking at the planet.

Publisher: iUniverse

Cost: $36.95, $3.99 Kindle

Contact info: