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Interesting reads while we wait for new books, including book of limericks by Garrison Keillor

During this in-between season we’re waiting for books of the new year, but there’s plenty of interesting reading available now.

“Living with Limericks” by Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Publications, $17.99) — The former host of public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” gives us a preview of the memoir he’s working on in this collection of limericks, interspersed with anecdotes about his early days in radio, leaving St. Paul to settle in Minneapolis, and what it means to grow old and lose interest in being in the limelight. Also, Unitarian and anti-public radio jokes and limericks.

Lest anyone accuse me of ignoring the past, Minnesota Public Radio cut ties with Keillor after he’d been on the air for 40 years, following allegations of sexual misconduct. In December, author and podcast host Nora McInerny quit Mpls.St.Paul magazine because Keillor was the subject of a cover story. Keillor, at 77, has defenders and detractors. Some argue that allegations of inappropriate behavior should forever erase his work as a writer. (MPR scrubbed all his shows.) The question of how to separate a writer’s personal life from his/her work will be debated for decades, but the bottom line here is that “Living with Limericks” is a funny book that gives us peeks into Keillor’s thoughts, and people should know exists however they feel about the author.


Keillor’s love of limericks was born when he was a skinny, bookish, nearsighted, tongue-tied kid for whom limericks were an escape from self-consciousness.

Growing up in a fundamentalist family, he didn’t know anything about limericks until he found an unexpurgated collection in the library. He “sat snorting and whinnying, and then the one that killed me … the young man of Madras whose balls were made of brass.” That one was “a

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