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Monday, July 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

BOOKS

A Book A Week: Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

I wasn't trying to read two books in a row about nuns, but I did: Danielle Trussoni's Angelology followed by Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts. In Sacred Hearts, the sisters can't summon angels, but they do have power, in their own limited (but more realistic) way. >More
 A Book A Week: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

I like books where fantasy and reality intermingle. Where you can pretend that maybe there really is a race of angels (called Nephilim) who live secretly among us, descended from the biblical union of heavenly angels and human women (the "sons of God and the daughters of men") as described in Genesis. Except wait, maybe not, because these guys are seriously scary and not very nice in Danielle Trussoni's Angelology. >More
 A Book A Week: The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

I thought Jennifer Haigh's The Condition was unremarkable. Janet Maslin, writing in the New York Times, did not agree. I wish I had enjoyed it as much as she did. >More
 A Book A Week: This One Is Mine by Maria Semple

Semple avoids the worst of the Hollywood-novel clichés. This One Is Mine is a character-driven story, and the shopping and real estate are pretty peripheral, if not completely absent. >More
 Isthmus Reads: King of the Queen City: The Story of King Records, The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections, A Gate at the Stairs

It seems somewhat hard to believe there's never been a lengthy attempt to tell the story behind legendary independent record label King and its various associated imprints. But finally, more than 40 years after the death of label founder Sydney Nathan, King is getting some love in print. >More
 A Book A Week: The World to Come by Dara Horn

Like a noisy crowded party, it can sometimes get annoying, and not all the guests fit in as well as others do, but it's a lot of fun. And at the end it turns into some kind of drunken hallucination where you can't figure out what is real and what is not, just like some parties do. >More
 A Book A Week: A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert

Every day Dorothy takes photographs of the C-17 transport planes as they land at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, full of dead soldiers from the Iraq War. For this she is repeatedly arrested. The security guards who arrest her, the policemen who process her, even her own daughter think she is just a batty old lady. >More
 A Book A Week: Property by Valerie Martin

Property is dark, violent and unflinching in its look at what slavery does to slaves and to slave owners. It is told from the point of view of Manon, a white woman who is almost as much the property of her autocratic husband as the slaves are. >More
 A Book A Week: The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine writes psychological fiction. Or more correctly, Ruth Rendell, creator of the Wexford crime novels, writes psychological fiction under the name Barbara Vine. In The Blood Doctor, Vine/Rendell examines the psychology of heredity, with varying success. >More
 A Book A Week: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

I had heard Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger was really scary, but it isn't. It is dark and creepy in places, but never so much that I had to stop reading, and I am easily frightened. Instead it's the story of living ghosts -- characters who have outlived their era and who are so unable to adjust to their new reality that they might as well be dead. >More
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