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Saturday, December 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

BOOKS

A Book A Week: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

I heard Daniyal Mueenuddin interviewed on NPR recently and that made me check out In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. I see now that it's getting a lot of press, which it deserves. >More
 A Book A Week: Consequences by Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively is interested in the consequences of our behavior and of our choices. In fact, she has examined this theme at least three times in three different books: in Making It Up, in The Photograph, and now in Consequences. >More
 Isthmus Reads: Steam & Cinders: The Advent of Railroads in Wisconsin, Cannery Row

If Steam & Cinders were a train, it would be one mighty locomotive -- a beautiful piece of intricate machinery chugging slowly but steadily through Wisconsin to drag its boxcars bulging with research to the promised destination. >More
 Touchless Automatic Wonder dwells on commonplace texts

In his introduction to Touchless Automatic Wonder: Found Text from the Real World, Lewis Koch writes that he often thinks of photographs as his paper memory. A repository, he elaborates during a phone conversation. Like a diary. What a journal. >More
 A Book A Week: An American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld's An American Wife is another fact/fiction mash-up. Is that all anybody is writing these days? >More
 A Book A Week: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

When I heard that Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, had won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year I thought, "Oh, finally, they are giving that award to someone I like." I hadn't read the book yet but I was very optimistic. >More
 Rainbow Bookstore celebrates 20 years in Madison

You can understand the impulse to celebrate Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative's 20th anniversary. If it is not the most venerable book shop in a city dotted with small independent booksellers, it is, in chronological human terms, almost legal. >More
 A Book A Week: Daphne by Justine Picardie

Finally, another book to add to my "2009 Favorites" list, though I can't say Justine Picardie's Daphne will appeal to everyone. Did you read Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, when you were younger? Or, like my friend Nora, did you read it last week? Just be sure to do so before you begin Daphne or much of the depth and significance will escape you. >More
 Eric Dregni learns to Never Trust a Thin Cook in Italy

Despite its title, Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons from Italy's Culinary Capital, by Eric Dregni is not just about food. It's not even just about Italian food. It's a series of short essays, or dispatches, by Concordia University professor Dregni, reflecting on the culture of Italy and how it differs from the U.S. -- specifically the Midwest. >More
 A Book a Week: Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indriason

Arnaldur Indriason's Icelandic mysteries continue to be my favorites. As usual, Indridason delivers a simple mystery with a straightforward solution, but it's the accompanying journey through Iceland's modern social issues that makes his books so interesting. >More
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