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The Daily

BOOKS

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
 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
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