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Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 16.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


A Book A Week: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad is just the kind of book I like, so my year is off to a good start. It's clever and original, complicated but not difficult to read. It's funny and a bit sad at the same time. >More
 A Book A Week: The Oriental Wife by Evelyn Toynton

I swore I wasn't going to do this: pick up random books at the library. This was what got me into trouble last year; most of the books I found this way proved dull or annoying, and I wasted several days on each one. However, I can't seem to resist the habit, and this time it paid off. >More
 A Book A Week: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

In the Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris, Ernest Hemingway talks in clichés as he tosses his lovely hair out of his eyes. In The Paris Wife Hemingway also speaks in clichés, but whereas in the movie you know it's all a joke, in the book it's supposed to be serious dialogue. >More
 A Book A Week: Nemesis by Philip Roth

Leah Hager Cohen, writing in The New York Times, says she always thought Philip Roth's books were "for boys." Then she goes on to say how much she liked Nemesis. Why? It's just as boy-centric as all the others. >More
 Jacquelyn Mitchard says farewell to Madison with an extremely candid reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival

On Thursday, Jacquelyn Mitchard read with Mary Gordon and Diana Abu-Jaber at the Wisconsin Book Festival, but it was hard to focus on the other two. While they were dressed drably in black, our bestselling local author (The Deep End of the Ocean) was colorful in silver and purple. While they were low-key, Mitchard was funny, brazen and, at times, maybe a tad inappropriate. >More
 The 2011 Wisconsin Book Festival: Five highlights

The Wisconsin Book Festival has way too many things to see between Oct. 19 and 23. Here are five good places to start. >More
 Back to the Wisconsin Book Festival: An interview with author and former book fest honcho Dean Bakopoulos

While living in Madison, Bakopoulos served for many years as director of both the Wisconsin Book Festival and the Wisconsin Humanities Council. Drawing heavily from his personal experiences, his newest novel My American Unhappiness takes place in Madison during the second Bush Administration. Before arriving in Madison for his appearances at the Wisconsin Book Festival, Bakopoulos took some time to talk about his newest book and how it was informed by his experiences living in Madison. >More
 A Book A Week: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

As a girl I was obsessed with books about Anne Boleyn and her daughter Elizabeth I (and indeed about all the queens and princesses of England). My favorites were by authors like Margaret Campbell Barnes (whose 1944 classic Brief Gaudy Hour is still in print) and Jean Plaidy, whose Tudor Saga and Stuart Saga kept me occupied for an entire summer when I was about 12. >More
 A Book A Week: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

Louisa Young's My Dear I Wanted to Tell You starts out so gently: It's the story of Riley, a sensitive working-class boy in pre-World War I London. He's taken in by an aristocratic (but nonconformist) family, educated beyond his station, treated with kindness and encouragement until he embarks on a "thing" with the family's daughter Nadine, at which point he is banished; turns out they are only so liberal after all. >More
 A Book A Week: Eden by Yael Hedaya

Eden was written in Hebrew by contemporary Israeli writer Yael Hedaya and translated into English. I thought it sounded like something really different from my usual fare and my book club was reading it, so I dove right in. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. >More
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