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Friday, October 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 60.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

BOOKS

A Book A Week: Kraken by China Miéville

China Miéville's Kraken is an unreadable mess -- a fascinating, memorable, unreadable mess. It's got much of what I look for in fiction: a clever, original plot, complex characters, challenging language. >More
 A Book A Week: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Egad I am picky. A lot of people liked Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and there is much that is great about it, but I have a big problem with it that I can't ignore. >More
 A Book A Week: Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman

Alexandra Jacobs, who reviewed Ayelet Waldman's Red Hook Road in the New York Times, described it as "Victorian in tone," and I agree. >More
 A Book A Week: Ape House by Sara Gruen

A lot of people liked Sara Gruen's last book, Water for Elephants, but I didn't have much success with it. I did better with Ape House and enjoyed it for the most part, though I do have a few quibbles. >More
 A Book A Week: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

How do you make a familiar story fresh? How do you shine a new light on a familiar landscape? Do what Dave Eggers has done in Zeitoun -- tell a story that most of us know, but tell it from a totally unexpected point of view. >More
 Arts Beat: UW Press earns unprecedented honor for LGBT books

In New York City on May 26, the University of Wisconsin Press received its second Publisher's Service Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation, which honors achievements in LGBT literature. It's the only publisher to win two Lambda awards, or Lammys, in the foundation's history. >More
 A Book A Week: Room by Emma Donoghue

Inspired by real-life events, Room is the story of a mother and son who are imprisoned in a garden shed by the mother's rapist. It's also the story of their rescue and reintegration into society. The narrator is the son Jack, who was born in the shed, and is 5 years old when the story begins. >More
 A Book A Week: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

I know a lot of people who read young adult (YA) fiction. Most are mothers of middle and high school girls who started reading it because they wanted to share the reading experience with their daughters. But I know this isn't the full story; YA is too popular among adults to be only the province of a certain group of women. >More
 A Book A Week: Korean Deli: Risking it all for a Convenience Store by Ben Ryder Howe

Ben Ryder Howe is the sweetest man on Earth. Or at least he comes across that way in his memoir My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store, the story of his family's attempt to purchase and operate a deli/convenience store in Brooklyn. He must be sweet -- he goes along with this plan to please his mother-in-law! What a nice boy. >More
 A Book A Week: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

In recent years, many mystery novels have become platforms for social analysis. There is something about the form that lends itself to the task, whether it's the requirement that all mysteries contain some form of good vs. evil, or the close character studies afforded by the tradition. >More
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