News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist
by Laurie Hertzel
University of Minnesota Press
I thought journalists’ lives - aside from the stories we write about others - were ho-hum affairs. That was before I read Laurie Hertzel’s honest, engaging and witty memoir about working at her hometown newspaper in Duluth.
Laurie, now books editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, started as a news clerk in the mid-1970s, when news was still banged out on typewriters and the Duluth News Tribune newsroom was a mainly male domain.
There are interesting portraits of people about whom Laurie wrote over the years, as well as colleagues who influenced her and colorful coworkers like gruff waterfront reporter Richard L. Pomeroy. He quit and moved to the Superior Evening Telegram after an editor told him it’s a conflict of interest to work on the docks in November and write about them the rest of the year.
Her adventure visiting Soviet Russia in 1986 to cover the Duluth sister-city story for the newspaper is a page-turner. She meets people who knew of Duluth and the Aerial Lift Bridge, and learns their stories. It turns out these Finnish Americans had been born in places including Superior, Wisconsin, and on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and their families moved to Russia in the 1930s.
Laurie returns to Duluth to launch her book at 7 p.m. September 16 at Spirit of the North Theater in Fitger’s. It’s a chance to meet the author of this book that’s filled with heart, personality and wonderful storytelling.
- Bob Berg
Picture Duluth: Photographs of the Zenith City
by Dennis O’Hara
Frequent readers of Lake Superior Magazine have no doubt seen - and enjoyed - Dennis O’Hara’s work. In this book, Dennis takes on a daunting task - to photographically capture all of Duluth, and through his lens we get an eclectic sampler of the city.
I especially appreciated images of historic homes with information on where they are and who first built them. The book is organized east to west and jumps, randomly so it seems, among scenery and seasons, activity and architecture. This mix may distract some who prefer a more structured pace. But Duluth is not a city just of historic buildings, just of wild spaces or just of freighters, and this book delivers the city’s many faces and facets.
Naked in the Stream: Isle Royale Stories
by Vic Foerster
Sharing a passion for a place can be the best reason to write a book and Vic Foerster has carried on a 30-year-love affair with Isle Royale that comes through on these pages. Just as with any romance, there are times witty and wonderful, humorous and dangerous, but always well told adventures. Lake lovers will embrace Vic’s enthusiasm for this special place.
- Konnie LeMay