The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 12, 2013

Need the not-so-perfect gift for someone on your list? Try the Free Press Free Gift giveaway.

Try the Free Press Free Gift giveaway

By Tanner Kent
Free Press Features Editor

---- — The second annual Free Press Free Gift program begins today — and I'm counting on you to help.

Each day, your friendly, neighborhood Currents editor sinks a little deeper into the morass of review materials on his desk.

Individually, these materials are harmless enough. Visitors to the newsroom have yet to be maimed or molested by Lori Borgman's humorous memoir or the latest musical release by Mankato musical goodfellows The Divers. Taken cumulatively, however, this ever-heightening mound poses significant long-term risk — both of toppling over into one of the hapless cubicle-dwellers below and of suffering a long, torturous demise in the newsroom filing cabinet.

There, in The Free Press' version of the La Brea Tar Pits — where dog-eared reporter's files, folders of humorous newspaper clippings kept by now-retired Free Press reporter Brian Ojanpa, outdated township plats, expired phone directories and dozens of books of all shapes and sizes congregate in moribund equality — nothing ever escapes.

Such an ignominious end seems far below the proper station for the Larry McDonough Quartet's holiday jazz CD, Minnesota State University instructor Geoff Herbach's award-winning young adult novel or the most recent effort by area rockers Good Night, Gold Dust.

Please, help me.

For the small investment of four minutes at your home computer, you can save a treasured artistic creation from the filing cabinet while also saving a loved one from a predictable and un-surprising holiday.

Go ahead. The time is now to email me the name and address of someone who needs a gift this year. Maybe it's someone with a great sense of humor who might enjoy a Christmas curveball. Maybe it's a friend who is down on their luck. Maybe it's an unrequited love interest or the office Grinch. Either way, send me a sentence or two about the individual. In return, I'll mail them a partly-personalized-but-mostly-random something from my literary heap.

I can make no guarantees for stock and selection — but I can say that I will fill orders on a first-come-first-served basis until materials run out. After all, with such delightful selections as "The Underground Guide to the SAT" and Teresa Strasser's "Exploiting My Baby: A Memoir of Pregnancy and Childbirth," supplies won't last long.

Tanner Kent can be reached at tkent@mankatofreepress.com and 507-344-6354.