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Sunday, March 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


A Book a Week: Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson

I loved Diane Johnson's three earlier books about American expatriates in France: Le Divorce, Le Mariage and L'Affaire. All three were funny, original, compelling and delivered laser-like critiques of both French and American culture. Johnson writes with a distinctive breezy style that belies her sharp observations and subtle characterizations. >More
 Isthmus Reads: Revolutionary Road, Interzone, American Woman, Into the Woods, Why We Suck, Seven Days in the Art World

One of my perverse pleasures is movie tie-in editions, so I picked up Vintage Contemporary's new mass-market paperback of Revolutionary Roadwith Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet canoodling on the cover. >More
 A Book a Week: In Love With Jerzy Kosinski by Agate Nesaule

In the book In Love With Jerzy Kosinski we go inside Agate Nesaule's head because that is where all the action is. Or rather, we go inside the head of Anna, Nesaule's fictional alter ego, a woman who has a lot in common with her creator. >More
 Pedaling Revolution takes a bike-centric look at U.S. cities

GM just went bust. The Highway "Trust" Fund went bust a few months ago. The repo man is busy, busy, busy. No better time than today to introduce a great book that celebrates a better way: Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, by Jeff Mapes. >More
 A Book a Week: Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thornton

Academic fiction is a sub-genre of literary fiction. Academic fiction set at a women's college must then be a sub-sub-genre. The small number of books that fit the bill may explain why Rosy Thornton's publishers have packaged this book as chick lit or romance; they didn't know what to do with it. >More
 A Book a Week: The Irish Game by Matthew Hart

I like to read about art theft. There's something so Robin Hood-ish about stealing paintings from rich folks. Of course I do know it's wrong to steal. Art in museums belongs to everyone; I don't want anyone to steal my stuff, whether that stuff is in my living room or in the Smithsonian. >More
 A Book a Week: Who Do You Think You Are by Alyse Myers

Who Do You Think You Are by Alyse Myers is a sad and depressing book. Alyse Myers tells the story of her unhappy childhood in Queens in the 1960s, her turbulent relationship with her mother, and her struggle to be a better mother to her own daughter. >More
 A Book a Week: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Yesterday I finished listening to The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson on a device called a Playaway. Have you heard of these? >More
 A Book a Week: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was recently a movie starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. I finished reading the book more than a week ago but I put off writing about it hoping to see the movie first. I kept thinking it was going to come any day but then I discovered that someone in my family had hijacked the Netflix queue and High School Musical 3 arrived instead. >More
 A Book a Week: Peony in Love by Lisa See

Lisa See's books have such lovely covers! And her titles: Peony in Love, Snow Flower and The Secret Fan. Don't they sound delightful? I think I have been avoiding them for these very reasons; I suspected they might not measure up to their marketing. And it's true that Peony in Love was not what I expected, but in a good way, to my surprise. >More
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