The Lager Queen of Minnesota in Entertainment Weekly

Unspeakably floored. Who is that guy? Who took his hat?

Much gratitude to everyone I grew up with in Minnesota — and since — who believed in and supported me. It should be a picture of all of you.


The Lager Queen of Minnesota makes summer reading lists (and inspires a brewer to make Grandma Edith's beer!)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota makes summer reading lists (and inspires a brewer to make Grandma Edith's beer!)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota is fortunate enough to be on some summer reading lists: It’s one of USA Today’s “20 Hottest New Books”, Thrillist’s “33 Books We Can’t Wait To Read This Summer”, New York Post’s “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019”, and Entertainment Weekly’s “35 hottest reads.”

Also, on Tuesday, May 14th, Over Town Brewery hosted a party for The Lager Queen of Minnesota for local booksellers and librarians, and amazingly, brewed an excellent batch of Grandma Edith’s Rhubarb Pie in a Bottle Ale. It feels like just yesterday I wrote the scene where Edith brews that beer. To hold a bottle of it in my hands had me at a complete loss for words.

East coast pre-pub promo tour complete!

I’m very lucky to have hit the road last week with three wonderful authors to promote our upcoming books. We stopped in DC, NYC, and Boston, and I’m looking forward to returning to each city this summer after THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA comes out July 23rd.

Huge thanks to our extraordinary publicist Shannon Twomey, our local sales reps Trudi, Justin, Karl and Megan, my editor Pam Dorman, and all of the booksellers and media (including my high school friend Ellen) who came out on cold, snowy nights to meet a bunch of writers. Hope to see everyone again when it’s a little warmer.



Heads up. If you're a Kindle, Nook, Apple, Google Play, or Kobo user, you can download a free short excerpt of The Lager Queen of Minnesota (and many other upcoming books) through this  #BuzzBooks2019  promotion. More information here.


The Lager Queen of Minnesota, coming July 23rd, 2019

My second novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, about a family split over an unfairly divided inheritance, set against the backdrop of Minnesota beer culture from the 1950s to today, is out on Pamela Dorman Books/Viking this July 23rd.

Check back here for updates regarding the tour schedule and other non-tour events in 2019 and beyond.

Lager Queen Galleys.jpg

Reading at Beyond Baroque's 50th Anniversary in Venice, CA

Reading at Beyond Baroque's 50th Anniversary in Venice, CA

Beyond Baroque was a literary staple of my years living in Venice Beach. I’m honored to return there on Saturday, December 8th to help them celebrate their 50th anniversary.

From Beyond Baroque’s website:

Each installment of the NEW Series features original work commissioned from authors on a single theme.

The changes Beyond Baroque has undergone over a half-century have brought us to reflect on our past and our present. That's why we chose  Innocence and Experience  as the theme for the final installment of the NEW Series. Join us as acclaimed writers Harryette Mullen and J. Ryan Stradal read wholly original work that has never been published or presented elsewhere. Other guests to be announced soon!

This program is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

For more info, and advance tickets, visit here.

Books by the bay in Olympia, Washington

I’m grateful to be a part of the South Sound Reading Foundation's summer event.  From their website:

A fantastic summer evening with authors Nancy Pearl  &   J. Ryan Stradal, live music by Pinniped, champagne, delicious food, silent auction, Raise the Paddle for the South Sound Reading Foundation and a few delightful literary diversions!

Friday, August 3, 2018   6:00-9:30pm

Terrace on the Green Restaurant at the Olympia Country & Golf Club, Olympia, WA


Author's Lunch in Marina Del Rey, May 19th

Author's Lunch in Marina Del Rey, May 19th

Join us for lunch with four accomplished authors to hear first-hand about their experiences in the publishing world.  Craig Tomashoff (MSJ '85),   J. Ryan Stradal (Northwestern '98),  Toni Gallagher (Northwestern '87)  and Thomas Greanias (BSJ/MSJ '87) will discuss their most recent works and offer advice to aspiring writers.

Seating is limited. Admission includes a buffet lunch.  More information and advance tickets here.

Sponsored by the Medill Club of Southern California. 

New short story in CNET

My three-part short story "Time in a Bottle," about a young woman whose life is changed at the intersection of legendary wine and unspeakable grief, is up in full on the CNET website, as the final installation of their "Technically Literate" series.

Read the full story here.

826LA Holiday Lit Mart

826LA Holiday Lit Mart

I'm honored to appear with authors Cecil Castellucci, Rico Gagliano, Meg Howrey, Lilliam Rivera, and Chris Terry on Saturday, December 9th at 826LA's Holiday Lit Mart. Come on by, listen to some stories, and enjoy a festive Saturday afternoon with us! 


This week in South Dakota

Two events coming up this week in western South Dakota:

A reading & signing with a traditional Lakota meal at 5:00 pm on Wednesday 9/20 at Racing Magpie.

The One Book South Dakota keynote address  at 11:00 am on Saturday 9/25 as part of the South Dakota Festival of Books.

If you're local or in the area for the festival, I hope you can swing by.

It's been a hell of a year and all of the events so far in South Dakota have been wonderful. Huge thanks to the South Dakota Humanities Council and the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau for their support.




Sumarr Reading Series at The Pop-Hop

This Sunday, August 20th, I'm joining this lineup for an afternoon of readings & music at The Pop-Hop bookstore in Highland Park.

Readings from:


Music from:

For more information, and to RSVP, check out the Sumarr Reading Series  FB event page , or visit the Pop-Hop site.

Los Angeles Reading

This Thursday, I'm reading with Why There Are Words Los Angeles (and four amazing local writers) at Kaffebarren in downtown LA. If you're here in southern California, I hope you can come by.

Library event in Fishers, Indiana

If you're in the Indianapolis area this weekend, I hope you can join me this Saturday at my first ever book-related stop in Indiana, at the Hamilton East Public Library  in Fishers. I'll be talking, reading a little bit, answering as many questions as possible, and signing books. 

More info and advance ticket sales here.

South Dakota Tour News

The South Dakota Humanities Council, as part of selecting Kitchens of the Great Midwest for their One Book South Dakota program, is sponsoring three food & reading events with me this month, in Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Pierre. Here's information on all the events, and advance tickets .  

There's also a  brand new interview   with me about "Kitchens" and my personal love for South Dakota, by Ryan Woodard of the South Dakota Humanities Council.

If you're in or close to eastern and central South Dakota, I hope to see you next week -- until then, thank you, as always , for the support!