Lager Queen the "Book of the Week" in People

I never expected to open a copy of People and see my face. Certainly no one’s ever going to buy a 13-month wall calendar of J. Ryan Stradal. And I did not wear anything better than anyone else, ever. But here I am, in the August 5th 2019 issue.


Lager Queen Gets Rave Reviews in the Washington Post, Time, and USA Today

Lager Queen Gets Rave Reviews in the Washington Post, Time, and USA Today

The Washington Post writes: “This generous spirit makes ‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ a pleasure to read and the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day.”

TIME Magazine has a review in their July 29th issue, saying “In Stradal’s follow-up to his best-selling debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, the Minnesota native’s energetic prose once again captures the optimism of the heartland.”

USA Today writes: “Stradal, who also wrote 2015's well-received "Kitchens of the Great Midwest," is an understated storyteller whose American voice and quaint, ambling prose reads like it would feel at home in "A Prairie Home Companion" or "A River Runs Through It." Raised in Minnesota and now living in Los Angeles, Stradal clearly knows Midwestern women, and his sensitively crafted portrayals read authentic and come from the heart.”

Interview on NPR's "All Things Considered" and more Lager Queen press

Interview on NPR's "All Things Considered" and more Lager Queen press

This Tuesday, NPR aired my interview with Ari Shapiro on “All Things Considered.” He’s a fellow native Midwesterner, and I feel extremely fortunate that he’s a fan of the book.

In the last week, I’ve also been lucky enough to have insightful, excellent interviews with Bradley Sides for The Millions and with Jason Diamond for Inside Hook. Each one was a total pleasure, tackling different aspects of the book and the writing experience that no one has yet.

On Tuesday, I also had a wonderful launch party for my book tour at Lake Monster Brewery, sponsored by Valley Booksellers. Beth Dooley, Peter Geye, Lorna Landvik, and Sarah Stonich — Minnesota literary royalty, all — joined me onstage to help read excerpts. The audience included family, high school and college friends, grade school teachers, high school teachers, and folks I hadn’t met yet who were fans of my first novel. It was an emotional, unforgettable night.

2019 tour dates all in one place!

Penguin/Random House made a nice graphic of all the tour dates that were official by the end of last week. Forty-two total dates — thirty-three indie bookstores, six libraries, and three various other locations!

#indiesfirst #shopindies


Third novel sold to Pamela Dorman Books / Viking

This has been in the works for a while, and at last, I can announce it — I’m over to moon to be working with Pamela Dorman and Viking Books, again, on my third novel. I feel like the luckiest person alive.


Interview at WGBH with Under The Radar's Callie Crosley

Interview at WGBH with Under The Radar's Callie Crosley

Callie Crosley is one of the best interviewers I’ve had in a long time. She did such a thorough and thoughtful read of Lager Queen, and asked excellent questions I truly wasn’t prepared to answer — and I think that’s a good thing. Hear the full interview here on the WGBH site.

Lager Queen makes summer reading lists, starred review in Booklist

The Lager Queen of Minnesota has received a starred review in Booklist, which reads, “Imbued with Midwestern references and the importance of a “can-do” attitude, this warm, witty novel will appeal to fans of Curtis Sittenfeld and Meg Wolitzer.” Wildly, wildly honored.

The new novel has also made some new summer reading lists published by Apple, Book Riot, Family Circle, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Fast Company, Kirkus Reviews,, the Napa Valley Register, the Grand Island Independent, Dandelion Chandelier, Inside Hook, and the Daily Waffle, among other places.

Extremely grateful for all of this, and currently trying to enjoy the calm before the tour.


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