The Keillor Reader — 2014

Original Publish Date: May 1, 2013

Read the book’s introduction →

Browse a few reviews and press mentions of the book →


From the Publisher:
When, at sixteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer, and so he has done—a storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet. Now a single volume brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns. With an extensive introduction and headnotes, photographs, and memorabilia, The Keillor Reader also presents pieces never before published, including the essays “Cheerfulness” and “What We Have Learned So Far.”


Purchase from Common Good Books →
Download for iBooks →
Download for Kindle →


At the book launch event, Garrison discussed his early days in radio and described the origins of Lake Wobegon:

Writing

Books

A complete lists of works, including sample excerpts

Columns

From the New York Times, Time magazine, and the complete Chicago Tribune syndicated columns

Prose

Stories from The New Yorker and other magazines and a few lectures

Sonnets

Sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, and some street sonnets

Verse

Poems on topics both serious and not-so-serious

Video

Videos from readings, interviews, solo shows and more

Radio

Albums

A complete list of radio and audiobook collections, with audio samples

Audio

Speeches, interviews, readings and other audio clips

Songs

Audio and lyrics for songs featured on A Prairie Home Companion.

The News from Lake Wobegon

The latest news and views from the little town where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average"

A Prairie Home Companion Solo The Gratitude Tour

January 27, 2016

Wednesday

7:30 p.m.

Houston, TX

Houston, TX

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at Jones Hall

January 28, 2016

Thursday

8:00 p.m.

Richardson, TX

Richardson, TX

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the Charles W. Eisemann Center

January 31, 2016

Sunday

7:00 p.m.

Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

February 1, 2016

Monday

8:00 p.m.

New York City, NY

New York City, NY

A live performance at the 92nd Street Y

February 14, 2016

Sunday

3:00 p.m.

Omaha, NE

Omaha, NE

A live performance with Richard Dworsky at the Holland Performing Arts Center

Read the book’s introduction →

Browse a few reviews and press mentions of the book →


From the Publisher:
When, at sixteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer, and so he has done—a storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet. Now a single volume brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns. With an extensive introduction and headnotes, photographs, and memorabilia, The Keillor Reader also presents pieces never before published, including the essays “Cheerfulness” and “What We Have Learned So Far.”


Purchase from Common Good Books →
Download for iBooks →
Download for Kindle →


At the book launch event, Garrison discussed his early days in radio and described the origins of Lake Wobegon:

Writing

What Mark Twain killed, Donald Trump has revived

The Constitution does not allow 13-year-olds to become president and after last week we can see why. The Boy President proudly holding his latest executive order up for the cameras, to show that he knows right-side-up from upside-down. Bringing his Supreme Court nominee onstage (“So was that a surprise? Was it?”) Hanging up on the prime minister of Australia. His homage to Frederick Douglass (“someone who’s done an amazing job”) for Black History Month. Twittering about the “so-called judge” who stopped the Muslim travel ban. Pictured in full smirk at the National Prayer Breakfast, preening, bloviating (“In towns all across our land, it’s plain to see what we easily forget — so easily we forget this, that the quality of our lives is not defined by our material success, but by our spiritual success”) on a scale of bloviation equal to Warren G. Harding and the great gasbags of the 19th century. You think, let the man be president but please don’t put him in charge of the Weather Service or Amtrak or the TSA.

Read More

Republicans, the nation looks to you

What we know so far is that the man is who he is. There is no larger, finer man inside him trying to get out. Everyone who is paying attention knows this. Flags flying at the Capitol, the U.S. Marine Band, gray eminences in black coats, and He Who Is Smarter than Those With Intelligence delivers 16 minutes of hooey and horse hockey about corrupt politicians betraying the people, and American carnage, and patriotism healing our divisions, though the division is mainly about Himself and love of country does not necessarily make people stupid.

Read More

Trump has me searching for a new religion

And so the Boy President heads for Washington to be sworn into office, pumping his fist, mooning the media, giving the stinky finger to whomever irks him, doing his end-zone dance, promising to build the wall, cut taxes, create jobs, provide great health insurance for EVERYONE and send his son-in-law to the Middle East to solve that little problem, and the rest of us will sit in a barn and keep ourselves warm and hide our heads under our wings, poor things. Discouraging.

Read More

Hanging out down South

I’ve been down in South Carolina and Georgia, an old Northern liberal in red states, enjoying a climate like April in January and the hospitality of gracious, soft-spoken people, many of whom voted for He Who Does Not Need Intelligence, but they didn’t bring it up, so neither did I.

Read More

Idealists can’t win

Back when I was 16 and an idealist, I decided that our church youth group — I was president — should sit and listen to Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” and have a spiritual experience, so I brought my LP and sat everyone down in a circle and talked about how wonderful it was and set the needle down on the vinyl.

Read More

The decline of small talk and common experiences

A man says to me, “How do you like that car?”
I’m standing by a little green Kia.
“It’s not mine, it’s a rental,” I say.
I’m in the town of Okeechobee, Fla., parked on the main drag in front of Nutmeg’s Cafe.
“Where you from?” he says.
“Minnesota.”
“I hear they just got more snow up there.”

Read More

Christmas lives on

It is hard to believe that the Creator of our universe with its billions of galaxies could have sent Himself to this little blue blip not so long ago in the form of an infant born to a virgin, to be first worshiped by illiterate shepherds where He lay in a feed trough, livestock peering down at Him, Eastern potentates following a star to the site. But here we are again, singing those songs, so we shall see.

Read More

What will be Trump’s legacy? Who cares.

Was Donald J. Trump a recruit in
The Russians’ quest for a route in-
To the Oval Office
By way of a novice?
Trump pooh-poohs it: pooh-Putin.

Read More

The damage that 80,000 Trump voters in three states can do

He promised the swamp would be drained,
Was elected, said “Rain!” and it rained
And the old crocodiles
Wore flesh-eating smiles
And the turtles were well entertained.

Read More

Making America profane again

So many Trumpists have written in since the election, and I am grateful for their interest and also impressed by the sheer variety of their profanity. I never learned to swear that well because by the time my mother died, at 97, it was too late for me to learn. I gather from the letters that their lives were devastated by the advent of gay marriage, political correctness, the threat of gun control, the arrogance of liberals, and now a champion rises from Fifth Avenue & 56th Street and God forbid that any dog should bark when he speaks or any pigeon drop white matter on his limousine.

Read More
Radio
The News from Lake Wobegon for January 14, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for January 14, 2017

“We got a little snow — a little snow Monday night. What a beautiful snowfall it was, and not all that cold out.” The recent warm weather puts those who suffer from “Pump Handle Phobia” at ease. Plus, Mr. Hansen lends a hand around the neighborhood while his wife visits her sister in Florida, and reveals an unusual secret, a monologue from January 2012.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for January 7, 2017

The News from Lake Wobegon for January 7, 2017

“Our beautiful fall has come to an end. We got a frost here on Monday night. People were talking about it down at the Chatterbox Cafe.” Eloise Krebsbach runs for mayor, the Lutheran Church updates its directory, Carl Krebsbach does a few odd jobs around town, and the Hedlunds dig up a Lake Wobegon ghost story, a monologue from October 2013.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for December 31, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for December 31, 2016

“The gospel message this morning at the Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church, in case you missed the service, actually the epistle, was the verse from the Colossians in which it says to put on the clothes of compassion and kindness and to forgive each other as God has forgiven us.” A few thoughts on making the transition to a new year, in a brief monologue from December 2006.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for December 24, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for December 24, 2016

“It’s been much too warm out there. It’s been raining. It looks dreary — it doesn’t look like the festival of lights whatsoever.” A series of misunderstandings draws a crowd to Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility, the Tolleruds reluctantly accept a gift from a NYC relative, Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church celebrates St. Lucia Day, and the high school choir goes caroling, in a monologue from December 2011.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for December 17, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for December 17, 2016

“It’s been warm. It’s been in the 40s now, so we’re having to face up to the prospect of a brown Christmas but we just have to deal with it, that’s all.” The Tolleruds retrieve and care for their escaped bull, Pastor Liz attempts to increase membership in the men’s and women’s bible study groups, and Darlene flirts with Nelson Tollefson, a monologue from December 2015.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for December 10, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for December 10, 2016

“You’ve come to that long, cold, dark time of the year. Not much can be said about that, except that if you have not spent December in the north of Norway, then you don’t know what ‘cold and dark’ is.” Pastor Inqvist considers writing a book about Lake Wobegon, Dorothy second-guesses a sentence in her Christmas letter, and Betty Ingebretsen accompanies the 4th and 5th grade carolers at the Good Shepherd Home, in a monologue from December 2014.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for December 3, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for December 3, 2016

“We finally got our decent snowfall here on Wednesday night and now Minnesota can look Buffalo and the Yukon in the eye. We need not be ashamed any longer.” Mr. Berge enlists shoveling help after the season’s first big snowfall, Corrine Tollerud breaks up with her boyfriend, thoughts on modern child rearing, and memories of harrowing school bus rides, in a December 2013 monologue.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for November 26, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for November 26, 2016

“It’s been chilly, but then we expected it would be. It’s been clear sunny days, cold, clear nights. You can look up and see the stars up there.” Lake Wobegon celebrates Thanksgiving by sharing a few stories from years past, the Tollefsons prepare a turkey using their grandmother’s recipe, and Pastor Liz’s boyfriend attends a service at the Lutheran Church, in a monologue from November 2013.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for November 19, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for November 19, 2016

“We got some more snow here this last week and it’s been a little bit cold–no big deal. People are cheerful out there. Furnaces are on now.” The town prepares for ice fishing season, Solveig returns from California to make lutefisk, and the exiles begin to trickle back home for Thanksgiving, in a monologue from November 2014.

Read More
The News from Lake Wobegon for November 12, 2016

The News from Lake Wobegon for November 12, 2016

“It’s gotten cold up there, just genuinely cold, and we can tell it’s cold because the teenagers are now putting on jackets and scarves and mittens and hats and so forth.” Fred contemplates giving up furnace repair and moving to Texas, Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church prepares for its lutefisk dinner, Myron has knee replacement surgery, and Pastor Liz receives a strange call for help in the middle of the night, a monologue from November 2013.

Read More
A Prairie Home Companion Solo The Gratitude Tour
Schedule

February 20, 2017

Monday

7:00 p.m.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

A live performance at the Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College

February 28, 2017

Tuesday

7:30 p.m.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA — A Mardi Gras Celebration

A live performance at the Nourse Theater

March 9, 2017

Thursday

8:00 p.m.

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

A live performance at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

March 10, 2017

Friday

7:00 p.m.

Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

A live performance at the Orpheum Theatre

March 12, 2017

Sunday

7:00 p.m.

Toledo, OH

Toledo, OH

A live performance at the Stranahan Theater

March 13, 2017

Monday

7:30 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Wilkes-Barre, PA

A live performance at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

April 4, 2017

Tuesday

7:30 p.m.

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

A live performance at the University of Montana’s Dennison Theatre

April 5, 2017

Wednesday

7:30 p.m.

Pocatello, ID

Pocatello, ID

A live performance at the Idaho State University’s Jensen Concert Hall

April 6, 2017

Thursday

7:30 p.m.

Billings, MT

Billings, MT

A live performance at the Alberta Bair Theater

April 7, 2017

Friday

7:00 p.m.

Laramie, WY

Laramie, WY

A live performance at the University of Wyoming’s A&S Auditorium

Press/Clips
Press photo #2

Press photo #2

Download a photo for press or media use

Read More
Press photo #1

Press photo #1

Download a photo for press or media use

Read More
CBS Sunday Morning — Garrison Keillor signs off — June 26, 2016

CBS Sunday Morning — Garrison Keillor signs off — June 26, 2016

A profile of Garrison as he prepares to retire from A Prairie Home Companion

Read More

Poems of Gratitude: The Fourth Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest

Garrison and Common Good Books are sponsoring a poetry contest! Pour your love onto the page, shape it well, and mail your love letter to Common Good Books before April 15 — fame and fortune could be yours.

Read More
Blank on Blank — Garrison Keillor on Humor — December 15, 2015

Blank on Blank — Garrison Keillor on Humor — December 15, 2015

An animated short taken from Garrison’s 1994 interview with George Plimpton

Read More
The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

The National Press Club — 5/22/2015

Garrison spoke at the National Press Club on May 22, 2015

Read More
The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

The Late Late Show — 6/4/2014

Garrison visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to discuss The Keillor Reader

Read More
C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

C-SPAN: 1999 Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

Garrison talks about civility in an address to the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington D.C.

Read More
CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

CBS This Morning: 40 years of A Prairie Home Companion: Behind Garrison Keillor’s success

Garrison chats with CBS This Morning about A Prairie Home Companion‘s 40th anniversary and his book The Keillor Reader

Read More
AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

AP: Keillor to celebrate 40 years on Lake Wobegon

Garrison discusses the 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion in an interview with the Associated Press

Read More
Get In Touch
Send Message