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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 51.0° F  Fair
The Daily


A Book A Week: The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

Where has Amitav Ghosh been all my life? To my chagrin, I discover that he's been writing since the early 1990s, garnering praise, winning literary prizes, all right under my nose but heretofore undetected by me. I hate when this happens. >More
 A Book A Week: Drifting House by Krys Lee

Regular readers know that I like fiction about the immigrant experience. Books like Away, by Amy Bloom (Eastern European Jewish immigrants); Brooklyn, by ColmToibin (Irish); Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See (Chinese); and Voice of America, by E. C. Osondu (Nigerian), offer insight into how people deal with loss and change and how they survive (and with any luck, thrive) in new situations. >More
 A Book A Week: Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan

Emily, Alone is the story of several months in the life of Emily Maxwell, an 80-year-old widow in Pittsburgh. On the surface this is a simple story of the day-to-day activities of an elderly woman and a rare glimpse into a phase of life that is usually ignored in fiction (and popular culture in general). >More
 UW's Dictionary of American Regional English documents a changing America

After 50 years, the Dictionary of American Regional English is finally complete. The University of Wisconsin-Madison project has been called "one of the glories of contemporary American scholarship" by The New York Times. The dictionary collects more than 60,000 little-known regionalisms. >More
 A Book A Week: A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

Charles Todd's A Test of Wills is so boring I can barely summon the energy to write about it. I really wanted it to be good because I am craving a good mystery. I was also in the mood to read more about Britain in the World War I era, having just finished watching Downton Abbey on TV. >More
 A Book A Week: The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

I love to read about food in fiction. Apparently so do other people, and some people even try to cook the food that they read about: witness the successful blog Inn at the Crossroads, which re-creates recipes from the George R. R. Martin fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and whose bloggers are now published cookbook authors with the release of A Feast of Ice and Fire, coming out in April from Random House. >More
 A Book A Week: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

I have a love/hate relationship with Barbara Kingsolver. No, wait, that's too strong. It's more of a "this is good"/"this is surprisingly dull" kind of split. Poisonwood Bible? Loved it. Prodigal Summer? B-O-R-I-N-G. Luckily The Lacuna falls into the "good" basket. >More
 A Book A Week: The Old Romantic by Louise Dean

I often complain about books where I dislike all the characters. Sometimes I can't even finish them. When I first met the characters in The Old Romantic, I hated them all, but I pushed on and I am very glad I did. >More
 Madison bookstores prepare for brisk sales of Russ Feingold's While America Sleeps

The publicists at Crown must not know just how gaga Badger progressives are over former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold. How the tears flowed when he lost to political newcomer and tea party favorite Ron Johnson in 2010. How his supporters have begged him, in vain, to run against Gov. Scott Walker in an all but certain recall election. >More
 A Book A Week: The Sisters From Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen

Beverly Jensen wrote The Sisters From Hardscrabble Bay in the 1990s, but died of cancer before she could publish it. In fact it's not entirely clear whether she meant for it to be published, though she had been working with a writing group and taking writing classes. >More
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