Best-Selling Author Visits Brainerd Public Library
New York Times best-selling author J. Ryan Stradal provided a day of laughs and entertainment at the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library Brown Bag Lunch event. This is the 20th year of the Brown Bag Lunch Author series, which has come a long way.
“Originally we thought, ‘could we get an author to come here, for an author visit?’ We’ve just had wonderful success with our author series,” said Friends of the Brainerd Public Library Program Chair Dawn Stattine.
Stradal currently resides in Los Angeles, California, but Minnesota and more specifically the library is his true home.
“Growing up, I was a library kid in Hastings, Minnesota, the library was my lifeline, so it’s so cool to come up here to northern Minnesota, to other small towns and smaller cities in Minnesota, and visit the libraries and speak at the libraries,” said best-selling author J. Ryan Stradal.
Stradal’s recent hit “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” was just published in July and was the topic of discussion at today’s event.
“‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ is a family drama set within the world of beer; you don’t have to go too far in Minnesota these days to run into a brewery,” said Stradal.
“It’s a great book, but he’s really a funny guy, I think that’s part of what makes it such a good book,” said Stattine.
What makes Stradal’s recent best-seller so intriguing to locals is the connection it makes to Midwestern culture.
“It was really important for me to put a lot of Minnesota culture and heritage in both of my books, I just wasn’t seeing it represented as much as I like in the bookshelves and libraries of America,” said Stradal.
“I don’t think you can really get that unless you grow up in Minnesota and the small towns of Minnesota,” said Stattine.
For Stradal, it’s an amazing feeling to be able to tour around the country and meet his fans.
“It makes me feel tremendously blessed and grateful when people actually do read it, when I come to a reading and it’s not just family members or high school friends, but a lot of strangers in the audience and people I don’t know have picked up my book and read it, it’s mind-blowing, and it never quits being mind-blowing,” said Stradal.
Returning to Stradal’s roots and the foundation of ‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ made today’s visit just a bit more special than others.