Rain Taxi, a nonprofit literary organization, has announced that its twentieth annual Twin Cities Book Festival will be held virtually. Renowned for its annual one-day gathering at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, this year the nonprofit is designing an innovative platform to embrace the leap to cyberspace, and will be presenting a three-day, virtual festival in October. This brand-new version will be more accessible than ever and will include a digital book fair, a variety of online author events, and unique web content commemorating this special 20th year of the TCBF. Valuing community means keeping everyone safe and connected, and this fun, fresh take on the Festival will do just that. Rain Taxi is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and will publish its 100th print issue this December. Info: twincitiesbookfestival.com.
Spaghetti Dinner and Book Fair at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Columbia Heights. All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner, $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 students. Friday, Jan. 24, 4-7 pm. To go meals available. Scholastic Book Fair in the school auditorium, Jan. 24-31. Call or check website for hours. Info: 4030 Jackson St. NE, ICCSonline.org, 763-788-9065.
Local author Steve Atkinson will read from his recently published book, “In Liberating Strife: A Memoir of the Vietnam Years,” on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2 pm at the Hennepin History Museum, 2303 Third Ave. S. The book is an account of his days as a student at the University of Minnesota during the escalation of the US intervention in the war, followed by his service as a soldier in the US Army in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. In addition to his own experiences, he devotes particular attention to local events during the height of the antiwar days. The second half of the program will be an open forum for discussing that era and reflecting on its impact on our nation today. Any and all recollections and opinions are welcome. The book is available from the Hennepin County Library, Amazon or by order from your local bookseller. It will also be available for purchase at the event. This is one of several events in August at the museum focusing on the experiences of Minnesota veterans. Info, see the museum’s Facebook page or call 612-870-1329.
Jim Studer, a retired St. Anthony Village High School English and speech teacher, had his second book published. This one is fiction, a collection of short stories: “The Mystery of Tony the Goat and Other Tales.” He will be at the Bru House in New Brighton, 1431 Silver Lake Rd. NW, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 am-2 pm.
The stories are a reflection of growing up, teaching and traveling. Many of the stories are set in Central Minnesota; they are drawn from local history and folklore. Some of the stories are set in the classroom. Others take place in South America, including one featuring the Falkland Islands. Stop in for coffee and leave with a collection of tales to share with friends.
“It’s Never Going To Work,” a new literary work by Minneapolis author and arts advocate Jamie Schumacher, shines a spotlight on the Northeast Arts community, community nonprofits, and Altered Esthetics gallery. The book features origins of Altered Esthetics gallery, founded in 2004, and its role in the growing Twin Cities art scene. Schumacher candidly shares the struggles and triumphs of starting a nonprofit in a new city, maintaining sustainability, and transitioning away from a healthy organization as it continues to thrive. The book is as much a love letter to Minneapolis as it is a compendium of encouragement to anyone who’s ever been told, It’s Never Going to Work. This light-hearted memoir offers real-life insights on founding a collaborative art space, and provides critical resources to those engaged in, and struggling with, grassroots development. Vignette-style chapters energize the story, and reflect Schumacher’s own infectious optimism and drive. The book also features illustrations by Minneapolis-based artist Athena Currier.
The release event will be held at Eat My Words Bookstore, 214 13th Ave. NE, on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7-8 pm, including a curated pop-up exhibit featuring past Altered Esthetics artists. Both author and illustrator will be present. Info: jamie-schumacher.com.
Share the magic of books with a child who might not otherwise receive a book during the holidays. Columbia Heights Library will be accepting books as part of Anoka County’s Project Bookshelf during the month of November. Donated books are distributed to children and young adults in need through the SACA Food Shelf. To participate, bring new, unwrapped books for children and young adults to Columbia Heights Library, 3939 Central Ave. NE, through Dec. 10. This project is co-sponsored by the Friends of Columbia Heights Library.