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Monday, April 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 59.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


A Book A Week: The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Oh Rosy Thornton, where is your sharp edge? What happened to your astute observations, your subtle wit, your understated skewering of all things pompous? I loved your last book, Hearts and Minds, but The Tapestry of Love kind of left me cold. >More
 A Book A Week: Voice of America by E.C. Osondu

An editor at Harper sent me a review copy of E.C. Osondu's Voice of America. I'd never heard of Osondu, though the first story in this collection, "Waiting," won the 2009 Caine Prize, a literary prize for the best original short story by an African who is writing in English. >More
 A Book A Week: How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is mind-bending. It didn't help that in the same weekend that I read this, I also watched the movie Inception and several episodes of Season 5 of Lost. I was lucky I could find my own kitchen, given all the time travel/dream-within-a-dream/bright flashes of light that were going on in my own personal entertainment universe. >More
 A Book A Week: The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross

I love how honest Gwendolen Gross' The Other Mother is. It reminded me a lot of Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk, though those mothers are less sympathetic. >More
 Westfield Comics offers tips for graphic novel gift giving

Christmas is fast-approaching and you still have presents to buy. For the comic book geek on your gift list, try Westfield Comics. Bob Moreau says that graphic novels aren't just all about superheroes and bad guys (also known as Capes and Cowls) anymore. >More
 The best Wisconsin books of 2010

Although I'm seeing more people reading on Nooks and Kindles, 2010 was a great year for Wisconsin-related books that you might physically want to hold in your hands. Two of my favorites, Wisconsin's Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes and H.H. Bennett, feature remarkable photographs that might look okay on a portable reading device but benefited from careful printing on high-quality paper stock. Carpe diem on that score. Here's a romp through my other picks from the year. >More
 A Book A Week: Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

I have been struggling to capture the subtleties of Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness. Leah Hager Cohen, writing in the New York Times, does a better job than I can. >More
 A Book A Week: Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides

In Hampton Sides' Hellhound on His Trail, the titular hellhound is James Earl Ray. This book is the story of the assassination of Martin Luther King, and it reads like a thriller. The book follows Ray from his escape from prison in 1967, through the assassination and its aftermath, to Ray's capture in London in 1968. >More
 A Book A Week: A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by Paul Theroux

Doesn't Paul Theroux's A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta sound like it's a mystery novel? Look at the cover: scary! But no, bait and switch. >More
 A Book A Week: The Privileges by Jonathan Dee

I picked Jonathan Dee's The Privileges randomly off the new-book shelf at the library. The cover looked like a Vanity Fair magazine photo and for some reason I thought the story might be like the articles in that magazine: stylish but not shallow. Ah, the effect of a good cover! >More
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