Articles Written By: Melissa Slachetka

This author has written 49 articles

Answered upon reading

Otherwise Elsewhere. . . The title is like reading an implied question. Filled with unwavering eyes, the cover art is abstract enough that you want to open it, if only because it feels like you are being stared at and are not sure what to expect. Or maybe because after…

Cringe-Worthy Fun

The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death is absurd and hilarious. This is the kind of book you will want to read aloud to a friend while giggling spontaneously and ultimately loosing the narrative, but enjoying it so much that the other person laughs along at the image…
Elements in Combat

Elements in Combat

Repetition, alliteration, personification, and a certain amount of attention deficit disorder flow through Steve Healey's newest book of poems 10 Mississippi. And like the uncertain river that flows through our Twin Cities, Healey's poems don't even contemplate being lulling and smooth. They are a jumpy, choppy, force of words. Elements…
A Good Slice of Home Life

A Good Slice of Home Life

Some books of short stories are held together by a theme, but John Jodzio’s new book, If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home, is held together by style. Darkly humorous and filled with unsettling symbolism, Jodzio offers us a glimpse through the keyhole into another life. “I get paid…

A journey into the past

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee is a novel of epic proportions. The book is set in the present tense, but very much of it takes place through remembering life during war. June and Hector are the two main characters and they met during the Korean War. June was a young…

The Color Violet

Romantic chick-lit crossed with Japanese illustrated Manga is a fusion too good to pass up. Like exotic bubble tea that keeps popping up in local tea shops, you just have to try it, whether or not you will like it can be determined after the first sip. Response, written by…

Racing and Reincarnation

It seems like a recipe for failure to have your storyline told by a family pet, expound on the sport of racecar driving, and top it off with the idea of reincarnation. The fact that this novel works is a testament to Garth Stein's skill as an author. The plot…

Sometimes it is the Destination

Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder is a new novel by Travis Nichols, with the title taken from a popular World War II bomber song. The story is told through a group of letters written to Luddie, a Polish woman, who hid the main character's grandfather from Nazi's…

Girls Who Rock

Laurie Lindeen (who answered MN Reads 6 questions last year) sets us up for a solid rock-n-roll road-trip in Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story. With its sassy pink cover, this memoir will do its best to surprise you with brutal honesty and boundless energy. Lindeen and her…

The weight on her shoulders

Bonnie Rough expertly straddles the fine line of too much information in her new book Carrier, Untangling the Danger in my DNA. Reality and memoir fill in the pieces to Rough's past as she writes about her genetic abnormality ? an inherited DNA trait ? that she could likely pass…

All Sauced Up

Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving is the best Martin Millar book since Good Fairies of New York. It is uncouth, dirty, and a lot of fun. Millar taps into confused youths brave denial of any proper society, by pushing sexual boundaries and creating a punk-rock playground. The writing is…

Genocide and tears

Shocking and powerful: Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa is a history of heartache that will turn on the water-works. It is an intimate portrait of true loves' deep scars and generations of families that get brought together and pulled apart so many times, that it's like ripping a band-aid…