Saunas, journalism, and the making of Minnesota: Meet our MN Book Award winners

From left: Aaron W. Hautala, photographer, The Opposite of Cold; Todd Orjala, UMP’s Senior Acquisitions Editor in Regional Studies; Michael Nordskog, author, The Opposite of Cold; and Mary Lethert Wingerd, author, North Country: The Making of Minnesota.

UMP is excited to introduce four significant persons and three books that received Minnesota Book Awards on Saturday night:

Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune books editor and author of News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist, was the recipient of the much-anticipated and competitive Readers’ Choice Award, sponsored by Pioneer Press and (according to the Star Tribune, a whopping 2,000 votes were tallied for this one). In the vast sea of congratulations, we were, unfortunately, unable to round Laurie up for the above group photo, but you can check out a very nice close-up of the award and leave a comment on her Facebook page. We also recommend visiting her book trailer, which features photos from Laurie’s early adventures in journalism.

Mary Lethert Wingerd, associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University and author of North Country: The Making of Minnesota, received the Award for Minnesota (sponsored by Xcel Energy). For more info, listen to her segment on MPR, in which she discusses the 200 years before Minnesota’s statehood, here.

Michael Nordskog, an attorney, writer and editor who lives in Viroqua, Wisconsin, is author of The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition, which took home the Award for General Nonfiction (sponsored by the Minnesota AFL-CIO).

Aaron W. Hautala, creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia in Brainerd, Minnesota, is the photographer for The Opposite of Cold. You can check out Hautala and Nordskog in conversation about their experiences traveling for the book—as well as catch a preview of some of the book’s gorgeous photographs—in this series of videos produced by UMP.

Find a full list of the Minnesota Book Awards nominations and winners here.

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