Review: Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

underUnderground Airlines by Ben Winters (Mulholland Books, 336 pages)

Recommended for: Readers or fans of alternate history, historical fiction, or spy/crime/adventure stories. 

Underground Airlines is an intriguing, suspenseful alternate history novel which asks the question of What if the Civil War had never happened and slavery still existed? The reader is placed alongside an escaped slave named Victor in the “free” north where segregation is still grossly perpetuated in a United States where slavery is still practiced in the “Hard Four” states. He’s been captured under the Fugitive Persons Law by the government and made to be a “soul catcher,” finding escaped slaves and returning them to slavery.

Victor at first seems cold and unfeeling before one realizes he has his own ways of coping: “I was not a person but a manifestation of will. I was a mechanism—a device.” He is sent to capture his over-200th escaped slave while investing the modern representation of the Underground Railroad, hence the title. Almost immediately, the reader is reading a redemption tale—but will it be enough to justify the horrifying idea that slavery was never abolished?

“Freedman Town’s purpose is for the rest of the world. The world that sits, like Martha, with dark glasses on, staring from a distance, scared but safe. Create a pen like that, give people no choice but to live like animals, and then people get to point at them and say ‘Will you look at those animals? That’s what kind of people those people are.’ And that idea drifts up and out of Freedman Town like chimney smoke, black gets to mean poor and poor to mean dangerous and all the words get murked together and become one dark idea, a cloud of smoke, the smokestack fumes drifting like filthy air across the rest of the nation.”

Though some have deemed the world building Winters executes here a triumph, I found it hard to follow and a bit too fantastic at times, specifically his references to pop culture and black celebrities (Michael Jackson, James Brown). I would hope that in a world so different from ours, things would be more different and much worse. The writing was too often dry as well, and I didn’t care about the characters as much as I thought I would, probably because it takes way too long for Victor to explain why he’s so troubled by his situation. I also had a problem with the way women are represented in the novel, but that’s a discussion for another day. In all, despite the intriguing premise of the book, there wasn’t that much there to make it different from other novels covering stories of slavery except that the main character is working for the wrong side.

I am not a long-time fan of Ben Winters like many of the readers flocking to this book. I heard about it first on IndieNext and thought well, if indie booksellers like this one, then I’ll give it a go. I should have first remembered that books about slavery are so hard to read (I recently read Homegoing and with The Underground Railroad yet to review, I’m afraid of the timing). I’m not saying I want to shield myself and as a white person forget it happened, but my heart is so heavy given the events of July and these past few months. Much too late did I realize the horror of what I was reading: a book considering that slavery never ended when it did, written by a white man. While he was going for an eye opener, and something to reveal how this terrible occurrence isn’t really that far from the racism of our day, the more I read, the more disturbed I felt that this book was even written and a publisher jumped on it. I just couldn’t escape that. In all, to me it wasn’t that redeeming of a narrative, and so I fear the publisher accepted the work based solely on the alternate-history plot device. 3.5 stars.

That being said, a lot of people have loved this book, so if you’re at all curious, check it out here.  

For some, this book is going to be a brain churner, which is great. Book clubs who want to create a discussion on racism in America would probably like this book, as I’m sure there are many different opinions on its execution.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

help make Milkweed Books happen!

open-book-inthenews
(photo from http://www.openbookmn.org)

I haven’t yet written about Milkweed Editions‘ new bookstore opening in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis called Milkweed Books! This store is particularly exciting because 1) any new independent bookstore is worth celebrating, and 2) it will be rather unique even among indie bookstores.

Originally the store planned to open in late June but now the grand opening will be on September 20th. The store will be located in the Open Book building in Minneapolis, shared by The Loft Literary Center: one of the biggest nonprofit literary centers in the United States, which also houses the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Imagine all of these businesses in one building! There’s a small coffee shop/cafe inside as well as the MN Center for Book Arts’ retail store, meaning that if you like books or writing at ALL, you’ll be pretty happy hanging out there for hours on end. The Milkweed Books store will be open before that but the grand opening is scheduled for the 20th.

You can read more about the bookstore here, where there’s a Kickstarter raising money (their goal is $25,000) to help make the bookstore happen. You can pledge as little as $5, just the price of one fancy Starbucks coffee, to help make a difference. As of my writing this, they’re almost to $15,000 in just a few days since its launch.

“Milkweed Books will showcase and sell titles primarily published by independent presses, nonprofit presses, and other publishers working to bring the most exciting literary art to the marketplace. If you want to find the best new poetry, or creative nonfiction, or short stories, or translations, this bookstore is for you.”

The manager is Hans Weyandt, who edited a book with Coffee House Press called Read This! Handpicked Favorites From America’s Indie BookstoresI loved this book when I picked it up before National Indie Bookstore Day this year, and I especially love knowing the book recommendations come from experienced booksellers who have waded the vast pool of literature before me. I’ve said this before: the hardest part about being a bookseller myself is the ever-growing, endless TBR (to-be-read) list I create by talking with coworkers and customers!

Consider pledging to this fantastic new bookstore and supporting one of the coolest centers for books in the States. For more information, check this article by the American Booksellers Association. Hope to see you at the grand opening!

get these September events on your calendar!

I know I’ve skipped… well, way too many months. Summer IS much slower for literary events compared to the spring and fall. Are you ready for fall things like leaves changing and cider? I know, too soon, too soon.

Ever read Jonathan Safran Soer, Emily St. John Mandel, or Liane Moriarty? They, among many other great writers, are coming to MN!

Here’s a rundown of things to get on your radar for September. Again, I know I’m not super consistent with posting the same events every time (if they’re monthly or recurring) but just shoot me a line to include what I missed! I’ve tried to be more inclusive by focusing on each bookstore and linking to all their upcoming events after featuring just one on here.

As always, in the “Events” tab above you’ll find the Rain Taxi official literary calendar and other resources to help with finding book readings  and lit events in the Twin Cities area.

  • Thursday, September 8th: Graywolf Literary Salon: A World of Voices
    • Featuring authors Anuradha Roy, Solmaz Sharif, and Monica Youn in conversation with Graywolf publisher Fiona McCrae and executive editor Jeff Shotts about fiction, poetry, and twenty-first century ideas. With musical performances by cellists Jacqueline Ultan and Michelle Kinney, and percussionist Gary Waryan.
    • This event does require tickets, and they’re on the higher end, but consider it a donation to a FANTASTIC independent press.
    • It’s going to be so great.
  • Wednesday, September 14th: Sky Blue Water Book Launch hosted by Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers, the release of short story collection that celebrates Minnesota’s vibrant storytelling tradition, edited by Jay D. Peterson and Collette A. Morgan.
    • This event is offsite, but only a block from Wild Rumpus and they will be selling books for signing.
    • For a list of all events at Wild Rumpus, check out their Facebook events here!
  • Thursday, September 15th: Eric Dregni presents Let’s Go Fishing
    • Looking for the perfect Minnesotan coffee table book for dad for Christmas? This is your best bet! But shhhh (my dad doesn’t read this blog… I don’t think.)
    • For a list of all events at Subtext: A Bookstore, check out their Facebook events here, or visit their website! They have a monthly book club, too!

If you can, I encourage you to check one or two of these great events out and perhaps discover some new awesome reads along the way! Let me know in the comments if there are any others you’re excited about this month! 

 

the Harry Potter midnight excitement is contagious

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Are you excited for the new book? What are you doing this evening?

911Xmhn9+rLThe context: As you probably know, the most anticipated book (er, play) of the summer, the screenplay Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be released into the hands of fans at bookstores tonight at midnight or (like in my store’s case, at 10 am Sunday). This book is the only sequel to the beloved series and comes out the same day the play is premiered in the UK.

The audience: Are you, like me, almost exactly the same age as Harry? Did you, unlike me, grow up reading each one, attending book release parties and midnight screenings of the movies?

I unfortunately grew up in a conservative community who sort of shunned Harry Potter (I say unfortunate because I wish we hadn’t and that I had been allowed to read it, since I’ll always feel like I missed out) but when I was 19 I happily started reading the books and watching the movies with my friends. That was the summer the last movie was released, which I also didn’t watch until I had read all the books. (It’s already been 5 years!)

The happenings: So naturally I had to post about this because it’s exciting and fun. I’m not sure I’ll be attending any parties due to having to work 3-10 today, but if you live here or I’m sure anywhere as lots of B&Ns are having parties, you should join in the fun if you want. I love how a beloved storyline and characters can reveal a community of people who simply love fun, magic, and the values of love shown in the series. They truly are amazing books.

Will I be reading the screenplay? Well seeing as I don’t have more money for books right now, I checked the library, and there are OVER NINE HUNDRED HOLDS FOR OVER 100 COPIES OF THE PLAY.

So I’ll think it’ll be a while for me 😉 I’m also hesitant because it’s a play, but since I’m not a hardcore dedicated, grew-up-with-Harry fan, I’m not gonna write you a “this is why I’m not reading the Cursed Child” speech.

Here are some of the midnight release parties happening in the Twin Cities this weekend: (I started making this list but then found the rest over at the Pioneer Press)

 

Northgate Brewing: 783 Harding St. N.E., Minneapolis. Family-friendly activities beginning at 4 p.m. (This looks super fun. This is where I’d be if not working. Harry Potter and beer/cider!?!? Yes please!)

SubText Books: 6 W. Fifth St., St. Paul. 9 to 11 p.m. costume contest and drinks (for families) at Tin Whiskers Brewing Company, 125 E. Ninth St., St. Paul, followed by midnight-release party at the store with birthday cake and birthday party games.

Red Balloon Bookshop: 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Party begins at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by Wee Wizard Brunch at 12:30 p.m. Sunday with breakfast in the Great Hall and wizarding crafts.

Barnes & Noble: In Roseville, Edina, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Blaine, Minnetonka, Maple Grove and Mall of America.

Half Price Books: St. Louis Park and Coon Rapids

Valley Bookseller: 217 N. Main St., Stillwater. Opening at 8 a.m. Sunday to celebrate Harry Potter Day.

So to celebrate I may just be making butterbeer for my friends and I. Are you celebrating?

 

my 2016 reads so far

It’s June! Can you believe it? It means we only have 6 more months of reading left in 2016! For those of whom have reading goals on Goodreads or otherwise, it can either be an encouragement or a source of fear.

As you may know if you follow my Goodreads, my goal for the year is to read one book for every week totaling 52 books. I’m probably going to surpass that, especially since I consider reading a job now (the books I get in exchange for reviews). As of today I’ve read 40 books of the 52, which is 17 books ahead of schedule!

(At this point, do you think I should nearly double my goal and try to read 100 books? I’m still not so sure. I would hate to not reach it! Maybe 75 is a more realistic number.)

Here’s a small selection of what I’ve been reading lately, along with whether it fits into my summer reading goals or not:

homegoing

This morning I finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, a heart-wrenching debut about two half sisters in Ghana, following their descendants both in Ghana and America. It’s pub day was this last Tuesday, so you can definitely find yourself a copy in bookstores today! This fits into my goal of readings more books by authors of color (and one of my 5 ARCS, along with another I just finished) and making sure they get represented equally in bookstores! I think M&Q does a good job of recommending literature of all backgrounds.

Currently finishing up Dark Sparklera poetry collection by Amber Tamblyn that I got signed when I met her earlier this year. These darkpoems about dead actresses are raw, gorgeous, haunting, and poignant. I’ve been taking it slow because I don’t want to be finished yet! I also Google quite frequently while reading, which is what Amber wants her readers to do. This is my May book of poetry goal! So yes, I already failed at reading a new one in June, ahh! But it’s so good!!

ongoingnessI recently started reading Ongoingness: the End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso from Graywolf Press and am loving it so far! I’ve also started to keep a journal again and opted for a 5-year one where I only have to record a few lines every day. It’s nice because now I can look back and remember each day, but I don’t have to be so steeped in recording the details, as Manguso stresses she was. “I wanted to remember what I could bear to remember and convince myself it was all there was.” It’s truly beautiful guys, and short, so you should check it out (: This counts as a book of essays, albeit short ones, for my summer goal.

On audiobook for my car rides, I listened to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain because I big magicdecided non-fiction would work better for stressful Minneapolis driving. Next, I’m starting Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. We’ll see how this goes, since I never finished Eat, Pray, Love, and I suspect this book is a lot of fluff. But I like knowing I’m getting reading done even while driving though! This is my second non-fiction book of the summer.

itTo fulfill my horror genre goal, I’ve started a classic: It by Stephen King, to a lot of peoples’ horror (haha, I know I’m terrible). It’s so long! Definitely feels like a summer book to me. I blew through 200 pages at the cabin a few weekends ago and feel like I’ve made zero progress when normally that’s at least half a book! But I really like it so far. I just can’t read it when my cat’s in one of his moods because he’ll scare me out of nowhere, it’s absolutely terrifying. This fits my summer goal of reading a horror novel.

Still working on my classic on my phone during random times of tesswaiting: Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Unfortunately, I think it’s boring even though I’m sure it’s actually lovely. Maybe e-readers aren’t conducive to classics, like, at all. There’s a huge disconnect for me when I’m using an e-reader, almost as if I’m dreaming I’m reading the book but not actually. I like the physical experience of holding the book and having that relationship with it (hence, why I’m a good fit for being a bookseller! Yay!). This doesn’t count towards my summer goal of reading 3 classics, unfortunately, since I started it a while back.

That’s it for me, for now. I’ll probably start a new book today. I know some people think I read too many at a time, but I can’t just plow through a book like It without breaks to read something non-fiction or beautiful 😉

What are you reading? Making progress towards your summer or yearly goals? Tell me in the comments! 

Updated event: Max Porter on June 23

briefOriginally I posted about a reading at Magers & Quinn on Thursday, June 23 that I am SUPER excited for: Max Porter reading from his debut from Graywolf Press, Grief is the Thing With Feathers.

BUT let me tell you, I just found out that Man Booker Prize winner and author of A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James will be joining him (and reading from his own book)!

WHAT. Oh my gosh I’m excited. I saw Marlon James at Friends of the Hennepin County Library last year even though I didn’t get to personally meet and he is incredible. You don’t want to miss this, guys.

Excerpt from the M&Q event page41xE70s+S8L._SY344_

“One of the only accurate representations of grief I have ever found in literature. [Porter] combines verse, narrative, essay, myth, drama, jokes, bad dreams, and the language of therapy in a way that seems magical, permanent, utterly integrated, as impossible to distill to its components as it would be impossible to remove or isolate grief from love, or from life itself. Says Crow of grief, ‘It is everything. It is the fabric of selfhood.’” —Sarah Manguso

P.S. Sarah Manguso also happens to be a Graywolf author, and I am reading her book Ongoingness: The End of a Diary, and it is beautiful. Just sayin’.

get these June events on your calendar!

june events post graphic

You guys, June is seriously rocking it with well known and esteemed authors coming to town. It’s like, each day gets better and better. SERIOUSLY, I was blown away! I regret to say that I already have to miss many of these, but I hope you don’t have to. Here is your rundown of awesome June events coming to a Twin City near you:

(Each month, I will be posting a “looking ahead” post of events coming up that month to stay tuned for! These are events that are on my radar, either via Facebook or events I am personally interested in going to or have knowledge of the author/book. As always, in the “Events” tab above you’ll find the Rain Taxi official literary calendar and other resources to help with finding book readings in the Twin Cities area. If I’ve missed any that you think need more media attention and marketing, let me know!

  • Also that day: The June meeting of the MN Publishing Tweet Up from 5-7pm!
    • I REALLY HOPE TO BE THERE this time, so please come! We could go to Natalie Goldberg together afterwards (: Also, it’s at the Community Keg House which is wonderful place where you get to pour your own beer or cider! So yummy.
  • Tuesday, June 21: Rebecca Kanner at Common Good Books, 7pm

If you can, I encourage you to check one or two of these great events out and perhaps discover some new awesome reads along the way! Let me know in the comments if there are any others you’re excited about this month! 

get these May events on your calendar!

3. common good3

Each month, I will be posting a “looking ahead” post of events coming up that month to stay tuned for! These are events that are on my radar, either via Facebook or events I am personally interested in going to. As always, in the “Events” tab above you’ll find the Rain Taxi official literary calendar and other resources to help with finding book readings in the Twin Cities area.

I already posted just yesterday, but I know it’s a little late in May already, so here is your rundown of awesome May events coming to a Twin City near you:

  • Wed, May 11: MN Publishing Tweet Up from 5-7pm
    • These happy hour socializing events for publishing and book industry people are run by the MN Publishing Tweet Up group. I haven’t been to one since January, but it’s a great place to meet people in the industry. The “pitch” event I went to was a different format and authors came to pitch their manuscripts to publishing professionals.
  • Mon, May 16: Milkweed and the Loft’s “Taking the Risk to Change Your Life for Art,” a discussion with Ada Limón (poet with Milkweed!) and Joan Vorderbruggen, moderated by Kathryn Savage, with a reading & book signing from Ada Limón to follow at the Loft Literary Center at 6:30pm.
    • Free to the public, but RSVP requested.
  • Tues, May 17: Sun Yung Shin presents A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota at Magers & Quinn at 7pm.
    •  This book! I am so excited to read this book. I think it’s such an important topic that unfortunately needs more attention than it’s getting. Consider coming to hear from the editor the following contributors: Kao Kalia Yang, Ibé, David Mura, Venessa Fuetes, and Diane Wilson. 
    • I will be working in the store this evening, and sadly won’t be able to sit down and listen, but you can always come chat with me before and afterwards too! Extra incentive (:
  • Sat, May 21: Little Free Library Festival at Minnehaha Park from 10am-4pm.
    • Free and open to the public! From the Facebook page: “The Little Free Library Festival is an opportunity to spend an afternoon celebrating the joys of sharing books and reading.”
    • OMG I am so sad I have to miss this (in a wedding).
  • Thurs, May 26: Story Club Minneapolis at Bryant Lake Bowl, 7pm.
    • Usually they have two featured performers read/perform and then open up the stage to others, but in May this will happen: “this month we are delighted to give our stage to a memoir writing class from residents of Redeemer Health and Rehab. We will be glad to share more details about the performers and their work as the month goes on.”
    • “As always, Story Club features both an open mic segment and a curated selection of stories from invited performers. Our stage showcases stories, like a slam, but with a more welcoming structure – no judges, no scores.” (from the Facebook link above)

And that’s it! Did I miss anything, anyone? I’m SURE I missed many, but as I said, these are the ones that have been on my radar. I really encourage you to check one or two of these great events out and perhaps discover some new awesome reads along the way! Let me know in the comments if there are any others you’re excited about this month! 

 

where I went in April

Alright, so since there’s a TON of events going on and my poor fingers can’t keep up with typing up each one after I attend, I thought I would do monthly recaps of the awesome ones I went to. This way, you get a look at the bigger picture of what’s going on in the Twin Cities every month!

I will also be doing monthly looking ahead event posts so I can highlight some of the awesome things coming up in the near future! These will be posting towards the beginning of each month. (But bear with me as I form these blogging trends on this baby blog!) I’m working on a post to give you SOON because there’s some great ones coming up just this week!

April Event Recap

As you know, the last day of April included the second annual Independent Bookstore Day 2016, which you can read about here (part 1) and here (part 2).

milkweedOn April 29, my husband and I attended Milkweed Editions’ and Motionpoems’ National Poetry Month + Reading Party at Milkweed Editions and the Loft Literary Center in the Open Book building. I wasn’t able to attend the pre-party, but the reading was BOMB. So. Good. First, Adam Clay read from his new poetry book, then Mary Austin Speaker, and lastly Anders Nilsen.

And let me tell you, I was blown away by all three. Anders brought a fantastic twist to the reading by showing us his drawings as he read his poetry/stories, and I was floored. Definitely so thankful I attended this. download

On April 21, as I talked about here, Andy and I were able to attend Coffee House Press’ Bowling & Books Happy Hour event at Bryant Lake Bowl. It was so fun to get to know some of their staff on a more informal level while bowling, and now I am way more excited to read more of their books that I now have to explore!

helen macdonald

April 14 marks the day I met Helen Macdonald at the Loft. I think it’s safe to call it an understatement how EXCITING THIS WAS. She was just lovely—so very personable, relatable, and down to earth. I loved hearing her stories about what raising her hawk Mabel taught her. Seriously, I wish I could grab tea with this woman. So much wisdom, ugh! I have yet to locate the picture that was taken of us at the Loft by their photographer, but when I track it down it WILL be on social media, haha. This event was also fairly bittersweet because it was my last official event I worked for Magers & Quinn. I am now just part time a bookseller in the store and occasionally help out with in-store events only now. This event was extra special as I was able to take care of selling books while also hearing the talk on the big screen in the overflow room. It was so wonderful. I wish I had the time to read her book NOW.

h is for hawk

our book table at the Helen Macdonald event! 

 

Even though it feels like such a short month for me with only 4 literary events that I attended, that’s still hitting my goal of one every week! I actually looked back at it like this yet and it feels so good to be closer to accomplishing all my professional goals. Of course, there were many great ones that I know I missed. I’d love to hear about them from you!

Did you attend any awesome literary events in April, or listening to any readings on NPR even? Please share in the comments! 

independent bookstore day 2016 adventures: Part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of my Saturday #IBD2016 adventures!

6. dreamhaven3

6. DreamHaven Books & Comics, Minneapolis 

DreamHaven is a fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and comics lovers’ dream! (pun intended) I enjoyed the eclectic feel of books literally pouring out of the floor and walls—boxes of books were on the ground, the aisles were thin, and they used every bit of space for other neat features like collectibles and even old movie posters. I laughed at the picture because it states “Official Star Wars Book Center” and below was almost entirely Star Trek books so I’m not sure how much that angers the true fans of either, haha. It even smelled old. Very different even from Moon Palace since it was mostly used books, but I loved it.

7. paperbackexchange

7. Paperback Exchange: Used & New Books, Minneapolis

Unfortunately I don’t have my Minneapolis neighborhoods down yet, so I couldn’t tell you exactly where this is, but on the map we followed a complete semi-circle from St. Paul to Uptown Minneapolis. I do remember crossing 55/Hiawatha and suddenly I was in beautiful neighborhoods and envious of everyone’s house!

This was a very small, very cute bookstore. The aisles are MINUSCULE. Like, if you get claustrophobic, don’t go on a busy day like last Saturday! Also, it seems like it extends endlessly into the back, with paperbacks lining every inch of the walls. So fun. I made a young friend almost immediately who made me follow her around the store. She showed me the exclusively romance section and each of her favorite stools.

8. wild rumpus

8. Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis (Lake Harriet)

8. wild rumpus2

The only awake cat couldn’t stop playing with the party decorations!

Tada! Though it isn’t my favorite bookstore anymore since I am very very partial to Magers & Quinn for a plethora of reasons, I LOVED this bookstore when I discovered it as a teenager. They have 3 adorable cats, parrots, 2 chinchillas, a rat (or mouse?), aaaaaand I can’t even remember what other animals. So. Very. Whimsical. But I was pleased to see that they have an, albeit small, section of adult/upper YA level books in addition to so many fun children’s books. I also have always loved that they have a reading chair in one corner, and a small shack in the middle of the back room that has scary Halloween-themed books inside. Definitely a treat!

 

9. birchbark books

9. Birchbark Books & Native Gifts, Minneapolis

Owned by acclaimed local author Louise Erdrich, who I definitely saw for a few minutes when we first arrived, this bookstore is so unique. They have a tiny cat section, a big display for new books and bestsellers, small, but wonderful, genre sections, and many many “staff picks” notes strewn about the shelves. What I wouldn’t give to write a book and have Louise herself write a staff pick note that sticks underneath it for years to come (some were yellowing!). There was even a beautiful birchbark-shelved display of native Minnesotan foods like wild rice, and local honey and maple syrup. Something for everyone here!

File_000

10. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Uptown Minneapolis

10. magersandquinn2While I will spare you my schpeel about how much I love M&Q and why, this was the end of our journey so that we would 1) have time to chat with friends, 2) feel at home upon completing the quest and 3) it made sense! We were pleased to walk into an impromptu Shakespeare scene being performed by talented theater grads, and the store was hopping. So many people!

Here we got the final stamp on our passport and also applied some of those Alice in Wonderland lithograph tattoos!

10. magersandquinn

In conclusion, I would argue that every one of those 37 miles was worth it. Not simply for the gift cards and wonderful reasons to go back to each store, but for the experience itself. My goal this summer is to visit every bookstore in the Twin Cities metro area, and I knocked out 10 in one day! 5 stores in which I had never been to before. So I would say that is a success and good use of my Saturday. I even got to close M&Q and stamp some passports myself, so participating in both sides was very rewarding.

Cheers to independent bookstores! May you all live long and prosper.

IMG_2599

Tell me about your Indepdendent Bookstore Day experiences! Leave a comment below or find me on social media!