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Friday, July 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 71.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


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
 A Book A Week: Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

I imagine if you are fan of Jasper Fforde, creator of oddball alternate-universe mysteries like the Thursday Next series, you might like his Shades of Grey. >More
 Barbara Slate will talk graphic novels with teens and teachers at Wisconsin Book Fest 2010

Teenagers will have the opportunity to create their own graphic novel at a workshop on Saturday, as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Barbara Slate, a graphic novel author and illustrator, will show participants how to take their ideas and turn them into readable works of art. >More
 A Book A Week: Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross

Ilana Stanger-Ross' Sima's Undergarments for Women is the story of Sima, a 60-ish woman who owns a lingerie shop in Brooklyn in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Her shop is a gathering place for neighborhood women who are making transitions, because, if you think about it, female transitions are often accompanied by the need for new underwear: adolescence, a wedding, pregnancy, divorce, weight gain or loss. >More
 A Book A Week: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden is a good, sprawling read, something for a rainy weekend or a cottage vacation. It's long and has lots of characters; also fairy tales, abandoned children, long voyages, literary puzzles, locked gardens, evil stepmothers and mysterious inheritances. I really liked it, except for a few small complaints. >More
 Six Wisconsin Book Festival 2010 events that think outside the book

Wisconsin Book Festival 2010 runs from Wednesday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 3, and Isthmus is previewing the annual literary celebration in its next issue. The article features a bunch of lists highlighting different elements of the schedule, so here, to whet your appetite, is another. At most festival events, authors promote their new books. These are a little different. >More
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