Books and Bars: John Jodzio and “If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home”

Last night, Twin Cities book group Books and Bars held its first event at the Aster Cafe, a discussion of John Jodzio’s short-story collection If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home, published by local Replacement Press. Previously held on 2nd Tuesdays at the Bryant Lake Bowl, Books and Bars is trying for twice a month meetings, with 4th Tuesdays at the Aster. It was a warm spot on a blustery night, and the food and service are both good, plus beer and cheese were at happy hour prices.

First was a discussion. Folks mostly said positive things, though whether this was because Jodzio’s mother and in laws were there, I’m not sure. Some felt the stories ended too soon, others, like me, appreciated their light touch, empathy, and lurking hopefulness, so often missing in current short stories, often intent on portraits of misery.

After the discussion, Jodzio arrived and read three stories he’s been working on. If you have a chance to see him live, do so. He’s funny and a good reader of his own work. He also, as in his stories, knows the benefit of keeping things short.

I look forward to reading the stories again to see what details might surface, and this collection inspired me to reconsider my slight aversion to short stories, and give them a second chance, particularly ones by Amy Hempel, Denis Johnson, and Lorrie Moore.

If you’re a Twin City dweller, consider checking out Books and Bars if you haven’t. Upcoming selections are:

Date: Tuesday, November 9th

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird / Author: Harper Lee

Location: Bryant-Lake Bowl / Doors: 6:00 pm / Discussion: 7:00 pm


Date: Tuesday, November 23rd

Books: The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay / Author: Suzanne Collins

Location: Aster Cafe / Doors: 6:00 pm / Discussion: 7:00 pm

Call Aster Cafe for table reservations: 612-379-3138


Date: Tuesday, December 14th

Book: Await Your Reply / Author: Dan Chaon

Location: Bryant-Lake Bowl / Doors: 6:00 pm / Discussion: 7:00 pm

One Response to “Books and Bars: John Jodzio and “If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home””

  1. Amy Says:

    I fell in the camp of feeling that many stories ended before they were truly done. But he is a good writer, so I’d look for his next book.