Nine upcoming nonfiction books from Minnesota authors

Last week we browsed through spring fiction. Today we look at nonfiction, from skiing to fishing, baseball to what happened to us in the 1990s.

“Rise: My Story” by Lindsey Vonn (Dey St., available now)

First memoir from the Minnesota native who is the most decorated female skier of all time, an Olympic gold medal-winning alpine ski racer who holds four overall World Cup titles and one of only six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing. Now retired, Vonn writes about skiing Buck Hill in Minnesota and towering Colorado mountains, her focus on pushing her body past its breaking point, and her battle with physical injuries as well as mental troubles, including decades-long depressions and lack of self-confidence . Vonn’s frank revelations have earned praise from some of the nation’s prominent athletes, including Wayne Gretzky, Billie Jean King and Tom Brady.

“Circling Toward Home: Grassroots Baseball, Prose, Meditations, and Images” by Bill Meissner (Finishing Line Press, February)

On the heels of his well-received short story collection “Light at the Edge of the Field,” Meissner offers 100 photographs of small-town, amateur baseball fields accompanied by short prose. A retired teacher in the St. Cloud State University creative writing program, Meissner is also a photographer. He’s taken pictures of fields in Minnesota from Sartell’s Champion Field to Cold Spring’s 1910 ballpark to the home of the Miesville Mudhens. He introduces readers to the remote Henry J. Meyer hand-constructed field hidden away in rural Stearns County, and an abandoned, overgrown field in Orrock. His text from him goes beyond baseball to musings about the way the game becomes a metaphor for our lives. One prose piece is a tribute to the great Hank Aaron’s early struggles against discrimination. For information go to: facebook.com/wjmeissner/.

“From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the Romantic Comedy” by Scott Meslow (HarperCollins, February)

From Hollywood with Love book coverMeslow grew up in White Bear Lake, and after stints in New York and Los Angeles, recently relocated back to Minneapolis. He describes his debut book as “history and cultural analysis of the modern romantic comedy — drawn from dozens of new interviews and many, many dozens of hours of research — starting with “When Harry Met Sally,” covering movies like “Pretty Woman,” and “Knocked Up” … and concluding with the rise of Netflix rom-com franchises like “To All the Boys” and “The Kissing Booth.” His book by him got positive reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

“A Natural Curiosity: The Story of the Bell Museum” by Lansing Shepard, Don Luce, Barbara Coffin and Gwen Schagrin (University of Minnesota Press, March)

Happy birthday to the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of natural history, celebrating its 150th year. Its new home at Larpenteur and Cleveland in St. Paul is the museum’s fifth. The Bell’s journey, which began in 1872 as a one-room cabinet of curiosities, includes discoveries, moments and personalities that have made the museum what it is today and includes ornithologists, botanists, tycoons, and conservationists. “From its conception as part of a state-mandated geological and natural history survey, to its most recent ventures into technology, environmental science, and DNA sequencing, the Bell Museum has informed, explained, and expanded our relationship to the natural world,” the publisher writes. The oversized format allows for plenty of interesting pictures of folks through the years working on programs that fit with the profound changes undergone by society, science, and the natural landscape over the museum’s lifetime. And for those who love the museum’s dioramas created by artist Francis Lee Jaques, there are pictures of all of them, from beavers to wolves, fish to birds. (Look for a story about events and exhibits celebrating the Bell’s 150th year in the Jan. 16 Sunday Life.)

“The Nineties: A Book” by Chuck Klosterman (Penguin Books, February)

Klosterman, born in 1972, is an author and journalist who grew up on a farm in Wyndmere, ND, so we’ll consider him an honorary Minnesotan. He’s the author of eight nonfiction books, including “Killing Yourself to Live.” In his new book he recounts what happened in the decade in which, he believes, there was the greatest shift in human consciousness of any decade in American History. From the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Twin Towers attack to the end of landlines and beginnings of cell phones’ popularity, Klosterman ponders the rise of the internet, pre-9/11 politics, and the idea that it was the last era that held to the idea of ​​a true, hegemonic mainstream before media fractured into numerous platforms.

“Stands Before His People: Emmegahbowh and the Ojibwe” by Verne Pickering and Stephen Schaitberger (Beaver’s Pond Press, available now)

As white people are finally beginning to listen to the voices of indigenous people, there are a growing number of accessible books about Native Americans whose names are unfamiliar to most of us. That’s the case with Emmegahbowh, the first Ojibwe Episcopalian priest during the turbulent 1800s, when the US government was making treaties that would be broken and moving indigenous people away from their homelands. This coffee table-sized book, with interesting illustrations and attractive layout, tells the story of this extraordinary man’s life from 1813 to 1901. He spoke Ojibwe and English, lived among the Ojibwe and participated in the politics of relations and treaties between the Ojibwe, the US government, and settlers who desired Indian land to log and farm. Emmegahbowh left a written record of his work, much of which is presented in this book, including insights into Ojibwe culture and beliefs.

Looking ahead to June (you remember that month when it’s warm, don’t you?) University of Minnesota Press will launch three interesting books.

Strike twenty days in 1970 book cover“Strike! Twenty Days in 1970 When Minneapolis Teachers Broke the Law” is by award-winner William D. Green, author and vice-president of the Minnesota Historical Society. His book by him tells the complex and dramatic history of an illegal strike that forever altered labor relations and Minnesota politics.

“Seven Aunts” by Staci Lola Drouillard is part memoir, part cultural history in memories of seven aunts holding home and family together, telling a crucial, often overlooked story of women of the 20th century who were “German and English, Anishinaabe and French, born in the north woods and Midwestern farm country. They moved again and again, and they fought for each other when their men turned mean, when money ran out, when babies — and there were so many — added more trouble but even more love.”

Walleye: A Beautiful Fish of the Dark by Paul J. Radomski is about the holy grail of game fish, about catching them, understanding their biology and history, and ensuring their survival.

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