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The Daily


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
 An irreverent interview with animal rights activist Karen Dawn

Isthmus recently quizzed author and animal rights activist Karen Dawn on her book Thanking the Monkey and her cause. >More
 Words + Pictures

It's a difficult task to guess your friends' and relatives' taste in books. You can hedge your bets by giving a book with pictures; that's why the "coffee table book" has long been a staple of holiday presents. Still, a book without much text can become the victim of a quick flip-through, never to be revisited. >More

The End of the Straight and Narrow (Southern Methodist University Press) is the debut collection of short fiction from Appleton writer David McGlynn. In these nine stories, the characters find their faith slammed up against the worst life can throw at them - wildfires, landslides, divorce, the premature death of a spouse. >More
 Terry Tempest Williams: Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Terry Tempest Williams has established herself in that vanguard of North American environmental essayists and socio-cultural critics alongside such esteemed predecessors as Edward Abbey and Aldo Leopold. In an email interview in anticipation of her appearance in Madison, she addresses the genesis of her new book, its central mosaic metaphor, Barack Obama's potential as a transformative figure, the significance of prairie dogs and the importance of knowing the names of the flora and fauna where you live >More
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