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The Daily

BOOKS

A dozen well-versed poets at Wisconsin Book Festival 2010

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 one focusing on poetry. There's no shortage of prose at the fest, but if verse is your thing, this is for you. >More
 25 years, one book: Watchdog by Bill Lueders

In the preface to his new book, a collection of writing from the last quarter-century, Isthmus news editor Bill Lueders grapples with the question of "Why now?" "I don't mean to date myself," he writes. "I think I have a few years of living and writing left. But for various reasons, this feels like a good time to bring together some of the work that I've already done, in book form. I hope it finds a way into your homes and hearts." >More
 Two 'word nerds' find adventure in Across America by Bicycle

Through the wind-blasted Columbia River Gorge. Past Mount Hood and a cheap plastic chaise lounge in the middle of nowhere. Over mountains. Across vast northern plains and along Great Lakes. From Oregon's Pacific shores to Maine's Atlantic Coast, Madison's Alice Honeywell and Ohio's Bobbi Montgomery traversed the U.S. by bicycle, riding 3,600 miles over the course of a summer. >More
 Atoms & Eden balances science, religion

"Don't believe everything you think," says a bumper sticker I've seen around town. That sentiment underlies Steve Paulson's new book, Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science. Whether you're a devout believer, a firm atheist or somewhere in between, Paulson's book will both resonate with your worldview and jiggle it off kilter. >More
 A Book A Week: The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen

I usually avoid coming-of-age stories. I had my own coming-of-age, and as a mother I've been intimately involved in the comings-of-age of other people too. Enough is enough, thank you very much. The only reason I read Thisbe Nissen's The Good People of New York is that I thought it was a story of married life in New York City -- the familiar domestic fiction landscape I like to inhabit. >More
 A Book A Week: Black Seconds by Karin Fossum

Black Seconds is about a child disappearance, but it isn't typical. There are no evil serial killers, only a few troubled young men and some bad decisions. >More
 The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen recalls hazy counterculture days

There are plenty of stories about the counterculture in Madison's past -- some of which remains, since we Madisonians still exist at least part of the time in a cheerful parallel reality. But you don't hear so many stories about comic art. Looking at The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen (Dark Horse Books) is not quite like smoking a joint discovered accidentally in the back of a drawer. Perhaps, on some pages, it just feels that way. >More
 A Book A Week: Lima Nights by Marie Arana

Years ago I read Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa. I don't remember much of the story but I do remember the setting: Lima, Peru, in the 1950s. I remember the atmosphere of elegance and faded glory in the grand European-style apartment buildings and along the boulevards, the mix of haves and have-nots, and also my total unfamiliarity with the topography. >More
 A Book A Week: Red Bones by Ann Cleeves

I love Ann Cleeves' mystery series set in the Shetland Isles. I love the cold wet climate, the isolation, the sheep. Weird, I know. But even if this setting sounds awful to you, if you are mystery fan, you will enjoy Red Bones. >More
 A Book A Week: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

I am conflicted about Lisa See. I think she excels in writing about places and time periods but isn't so good at creating original characters. The sisters in Shanghai Girls have a relationship that is clichéd and predictable. The dialogue is almost painfully banal. Yet the settings (1930s Shanghai, 1940s and '50s Los Angeles) are great, very evocative and filled with detail. >More
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