It is summer. Since it is the last day of June that probably isn’t much of a shock, however, for the first time in a long time it feels like summer. Or the way it should feel.
The sun is shining and the only clouds around are the fluffy kinds where you look for interesting shapes, not the ones that bring thunderstorms and tornados. Humidity is way down and light breezes tickle leaves. In my neck of the woods that amounts to a Mary Poppins day—it is practically perfect in every way.
Now you can be active types and seize the day going biking, hiking, strolling, running, flying a kite, or swinging on swings. All good options. However, for those of us more inclined to move at a slower pace, this is a great day for finding a comfy place to sit and enjoying a book outside. And on a day like today when it seems as if the great state of Minnesota is making amends for the recent humidity, rain, thunder, and tornados, it seems like a good day to read one of our own authors. So, here are a few homegrown authors, some more well-known than others, you may enjoy when you are feeling Minnesota in the best possible way.
- Laura Childs. Currently writing three different mystery series (a scrapbook series, a teashop series, and a diner series), Childs does book signings in teashops throughout the Twin Cities. Her most recent book is The Teaberry Strangler.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald. His book The Great Gatsby is always on the recommended summer reading lists, but he also wrote This Side of Paradise and numerous short stories.
- Joanne Fluke. Fluke’s protagonist in her mystery series, Hannah Swensen, bakes up a storm while solving mysteries in a small Minnesota town.
- Vince Flynn. Author of a numerous political thrillers featuring Mitch Rapp, Flynn started writing novels when he was a bartender working in St. Paul.
- Margaret Frazer. Frazer takes reader back to medieval Europe in two different series, one featuring Dame Frevisse, a nun, and another featuring traveling player Joliffe.
- Jon Hassler. The late Writer-in-Residence at St. John’s University, wrote novels about academics, small towns, and Catholic folks in Minnesota.
- Tami Hoag. Hoag is best known for her books in the thriller genre but actually started out writing romances.
- Garrison Keillor. Voice of A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor also writes about his fictional hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota and all the folks who live there.
- William Kent Krueger. Award-winning author of crime fiction featuring the protagonist Cork O’Connor, Krueger used to rise early in the morning and write at the St. Clair Broiler before heading to work at his day job.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder. Author of the beloved Little House books based on her pioneer childhood, the books were written in collaboration with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane.
- John Sandford. Probably best known for his Prey thriller series featuring Lucas Davenport, Sandford won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for a feature he wrote at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
This is hardly an exhaustive list of Minnesota authors, but it is a sampling of options for buying local in your summer reading.