Last night was the Minnesota Book Awards. I had the good fortune to be seated at Marlon James’ table. Marlon won in fiction for his book, The Book of Night Women.

About half-way through the two-hour ceremony the visting Irish poet Theo Dorgan spoke and read a few poems. It seemed to fit right in with the rest of the ceremony. There was champagne, book-signings, desert, and a great sense of celebration for Minnesota’s authors and readers!

Before the book awards I stopped by Garrison Keilor’s store in St. Paul, Common Good Books. I was pleased to see books by Oregon authors on the shelves, including two copies of Andrew Michael Roberts‘ book, something has to happen next.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, and yesterday I took some pictures of the house he was born in. He lived in quite a few different houses in St. Paul – when he was growing up and after he married Zelda.

This afternoon I will be attending a Club Book event featuring Neil Gaiman, at Stillwater Junior High, which is very close to the Wisconsin border.

In another “small world” experience, I sat next to a woman at the book awards last night who used to work as a waitress with Oregon author Cheryl Strayed.