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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

BOOKS

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
 Bite-sized science in The Why Files

For the past 13 years, the folks at The Why Files, an online magazine based here in Madison, have been answering questions about science in a way that regular folks can understand and even enjoy. On April 28, The Why Files makes the leap to the printed page with a new book from Penguin. >More
 A Book a Week: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up in extreme poverty with an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother. Why is her story unique? Because Walls escaped from her toxic environment and against all odds got a Barnard education and a good job as a journalist in New York City. >More
 A conversation with physicist Michio Kaku

Physicist Michio Kaku of the City University of New York studies string field theory at his day job. He's also written a series of books aimed at a general audience that aim to explain the real mind-blowing aspects of physics -- worm holes, parallel universes, hyperspace. In his latest, Physics of the Impossible he explores the physics behind all the neat sci-fi stuff that's normally dismissed as impossible, like invisibility, UFOs, psychokinesis, and time travel. >More
 Laura Rider's Masterpiece shows a new side of Jane Hamilton

Wisconsin writer Jane Hamilton has an admitted penchant for doom-and-gloom subjects: the drowning of a child, adultery and traumatic brain injury have all been major plot points in her novels. Yet Hamilton also possesses a sharp wit, which she allows free rein in her sixth book, Laura Rider's Masterpiece, out this week from Grand Central Publishing. >More
 A Book a Week: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

Early versions of crime and mystery stories were appearing in Scotland and England in the late 1840s, and Edgar Allan Poe created the first fictional detective, Auguste Dupin, in 1841 in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. But it was England's national obsession with the Road Hill House murder that really got the ball rolling. >More
 UW Press sells quality as the publishing industry changes

The e is italic and lower-case. It hovers over the shallow vee of an open book, as if floating up off the middle pages. Smaller than a thumbnail, this icon appears with 19 titles in the spring 2009 University of Wisconsin Press catalog. It represents the availability of a title in digital ebook format. It also signifies the opportunities the UW Press is pursuing amid the contractions and growing complexities confronting the book-publishing industry. >More
 A Book a Week: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

I have a crush on Kate Atkinson. Her books are so clever, so original, so unexpected. They crackle with wit and sparkle with insight. Her characters live on in your head, continuing to make their mordant observations for months after you have finished reading about them. I just can't get enough of them, and like a good relationship, the longer I have known Atkinson, the better she gets. >More
 Agate Nesaule writes a first novel

"Anna had always insisted that her students make distinctions between author and character, life and books, truth and lies," writes Madison author Agate Nesaule in her debut novel, In Love With Jerzy Kosinski, just released from the Terrace Books imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press. >More
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