March Midwest Connections

  • Posted on: 1 March 2018
  • By: Sarah Krammen


Bookseller selected, Midwest approved! Indie booksellers throughout the Midwest have hand-selected these titles based on their discoverability and regional value. From small towns to bustling cities, many of the most celebrated writers have roots in the middle of the country and explore this distinctly American landscape and experience. Discover your next great read and explore a whole region of amazing literature.


Prefer audiobooks? We are now partnered with to bring you an incredible selection of audiobooks, including these Midwest Connections titles!


What Are We Doing Here?: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374282219
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 20th, 2018

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? will appeal to fans of Robinson's previous books; readers of philosophy and theology; readers interested in unity and changing our political and cultural climates; and fans of Anne Fadiman, Annie Dillard, Christian Wiman, Alice McDermott, Zadie Smith.

Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels. In What Are We Doing Here?, her peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display in this new collection of essays on theological, political, and contemporary themes. This collection is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life. Marilynne Robinson trains her incisive mind on our current political moment, offering fresh wisdom in an era of rampant political and cultural pessimism.

“[Robinson’s] eloquent work stands up for a compassionate faith, the value of education, and a sense of decency.”
--Publisher’s Weekly

Midwest Connection: Marilynne Robinson teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616207977
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - February 20th, 2018

Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell. DREADFUL YOUNG LADIES will appeal to anyone who enjoys bold, imaginative stories, lyrical prose and indelible imagery. Reality-bending fantasy is underscored by rich universal themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope.

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling-author Kelly Barnhill weaves a stunning collection of short fictions, teeming with uncanny characters whose stories unfold in worlds at once strikingly human and eerily original. Barnhill’s stories draw their power from startling metaphors, unforeseeable twists, and universal themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope.

“Haunting and beautifully told . . . Each story is written in intensely poetic language that can exult or disturb, sometimes within the same sentence, and evokes a dreamlike, enchanted mood that lingers in the reader’s mind. These tales are made to be reread and savored.” 
--Publishers Weekly, starred review 

Midwest Connection: Kelly Barnhill lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.

The Undertaker's Daughter (The Family Secrets series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455541119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - February 6th, 2018

Fans of Mystery and Suspense, readers with strong Danish heritage and an affinity for Wisconsin, and lovers of strong female protagonists, quirky characters, and dark settings​ will enjoy THE UNDERTAKER'S DAUGHTER

Widow Ilka Nichols Jensen’s life in Copenhagen is rocked with the unexpected news that her estranged father has died in America. Furthermore, he’s left her something in his will: his funeral home in Racine, Wisconsin. Hoping for closure and to settle her father’s affairs, Ilka flies to Wisconsin. But once there, she stumbles upon an unsolved murder—and a killer who’s very much alive.

"Sara Blaedel is a force to be reckoned with. She's a remarkable crime writer who time and again delivers a solid, engaging story that any reader in the world can enjoy." 
--Karin Slaughter

Midwest Connection: The novel’s setting is a funeral home in Racine, Wisconsin. Racine is known for its large Danish population. Sara Blaedel is Denmark’s most popular novelist.

A Problematic Paradox Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524738457
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 23rd, 2018

For kids ages 10 and up, and kids of all ages who are lovers of sci-fi, humor, and boarding school adventures, A PROBLEMATIC PARADOX will be a hit.

When Nikola Kross’s inventor father is kidnapped by evil extraterrestrials, she’s suddenly transported to a secret boarding school for scientific geniuses, a place where classes like Practical Quantum Mechanics are the norm, students commute via wormholes to class, and the student body isn’t entirely human.​

“Absolute outlandishness, an endless parade of jokes (both sly and knee-slapping), incredibly wacky worldbuilding and characters, and a savvy, refreshing irreverence for the genre. Readers will clamor for more. A glorious cacophony of wildly inventive gadgets, gags, and action.”
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Midwest Connection: The book is set almost entirely within the state of Iowa at a school for humanoid aliens and human geniuses, which is very loosely based on a certain college town in eastern Iowa. The author was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and currently lives in southwestern Missouri.