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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


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
 Artist and author Jeff Hagen will read at Fitchburg Community Center

Madison favorite Jeff Hagen, the artist and author who has memorialized Wisconsin fish fries (Fry Me to the Moon and Codfather 2) Midwestern burger joints (Searching for the Holy Grill) and coffeehouses (Brewed Awakenings) will appear in an event in conjunction with the Fitchburg Public library tomorrow evening. >More
 A Book A Week: Do Not Deny Me by Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson flies under the radar. I had never heard of her until Do Not Deny Me, a recent collection of short stories that did make a splash, at least in literary circles. But apparently she's been around for a while, writing high-quality short fiction and a few novels. >More
 Dane County's effigy mounds are a world wonder

Robert Birmingham was touring Ireland when he had "a sort of epiphany." He was visiting megaliths -- large, ancient stone structures exemplified by England's Stonehenge. "It occurred to me," he recalls, "that there was a connection between megaliths and the mounds here," in Dane County. >More
 A Book A Week: Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh

Pennsylvania coal mining country isn't a glamorous setting for a novel. In Jennifer Haigh's Baker Towers, the eponymous Baker towers are two huge piles of coal mining waste that dominate the town of Bakerton. >More
 A Book A Week: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I avoided Kathryn Stockett's The Help for a while. I was afraid it was going to be exploitative, opportunistic, manipulative, a cheap bid for attention. In some ways it is those things, but not in the ways I expected. >More
 A Book A Week: Restless by William Boyd

Don't you love a good spy thriller? I do, except not the Cold War-era ones. I also love William Boyd. I read Brazzaville Beach years ago but hadn't gotten around to anything else by him until now. >More
 A Book A Week: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Nancy Horan's Loving Frank is such a beautiful book, very moving, very sad. It's one of those novels that are based on fact, about the affair between the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney. These two met and started a relationship around 1907 when Mamah (pronounced "may-ma") and her husband, Edwin, hired Wright to design a house for them in Oak Park, Ill. >More
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