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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


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
 A Book a Week: Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer by Jane Brocket

Did you ever think up a good idea but do nothing with it, only to discover later that someone else not only had that same idea, but acted on it, thereby making some money and getting some attention in the bargain? How maddening! That is what happened to me with Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer by Jane Brocket. >More
 A conversation with Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg burst onto the nascent creativity scene in 1986 with her book Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, which exhorted would-be writers to banish destructive self-editing processes and just get writing. >More
 Kevin Henkes collaborates with wife Laura Dronzek on picture book Birds

"I wrote it, I guess, as a gift for her," says Kevin Henkes, the award-winning and prolific local author of children's picture books and young-adult novels. Her being his wife, Laura Dronzek, and it being Birds, the couple's new collaboration. >More
 Madison atheist Dan Barker writes a definitive refutation of religion in Godless

Though I haven't read all the recent tomes on the subject (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, etc.), I doubt there's ever been a more devastating critique of religion in general and Christianity in particular than Godless, a new book by Madison resident Dan Barker. Why is it, then, that I feel there's something fundamentally (pun intended) sad about this book? And why has my own concept of God survived intact? >More
 Isthmus Reads: Terrorist, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle , Tulips and Chimneys

An occasionally updated list of what Isthmus staffers are reading. >More
 Wisconsin Book Festival Poetry Contest 2009 showers Madison poets with iambs

In announcing the winners of the 2009 Wisconsin Book Festival Poetry Contest, Wisconsin People & Ideas has all but composed an ode to Madison's tribe of poets. The quarterly journal for the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters lists poets from Appleton, Bailey's Harbor and Slinger in first, second and third place. But the names of six Madison poets dominate the ranks of runners-up in this year's contest. >More
 Deepak Chopra to connect spirituality and science in a Madison appearance

It was just a normal day for a journalist: I got the assignment to interview Deepak Chopra, the author-doctor-philosopher who's speaking at the Masonic Center on Monday. When I called Chopra, he agreed to talk for 10 minutes while huffing and puffing on his exercise bike. As I said, a normal day for a journalist. But the interview turned out to be among the most intense 10 minutes I've ever spent. >More
 The Wrong Guys takes on wrongful murder convictions of Norfolk Four

If I had three wishes, I'd use two of them to get Richard Niess and Noble Wray to read The Wrong Guys, a new book about the Norfolk Four. It drives home a point that everyone in law enforcement, especially judges like Niess and police chiefs like Wray, ought never forget: Getting an innocent person to confess can be as easy as finding an innocent person to lean on. >More
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