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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 13.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

BOOKS

All things SCTV with Jeff Robbins

In television comedy, few shows have been more influential than SCTV. So says Jeff Robbins, and he would know. The Cottage Grove resident is the author of Second City Television: A History and Episode Guide, a new, exhaustive handbook to the Canadian sketch-comedy show that ran, in various formats, from 1976 to 1984. The book features summaries and analysis for each of the 135 episodes of SCTV, which spawned comedy luminaries John Candy, Martin Short and Eugene Levy, among others. >More
 Read all about it

This marks a year in which two Madisonians cracked the national bestseller lists -- Jackie Mitchard with her novel Still Summer and Kevin Henkes with his picture book A Good Day. Jennifer Chiaverini published her 15th quilt-related book, The New Year's Quilt, in November. Lodi resident James Campbell attracted good notice with The Ghost Mountain Boys, the nonfiction story of a nearly forgotten World War II battle. >More
 Too much coffee, man? Heck no!

Jeff Hagen has plenty of time to talk about his new book, Brewed Awakenings: An Illustrated Journey to Coffeehouses in Wisconsin (and Beyond) from Blue Mounds'Itchy Cat Press. He's recuperating from a recent surgery. Unfortunately, it's a recovery period during which he's allowed only one cup of coffee per day. "Down from two or three," Hagen says. "It's my black gold." >More
 Enter, Roth

Has Philip Roth finally said goodbye to Nathan Zuckerman? Over the course of three decades and nine novels, Zuckerman has been Roth's fictional alter ego -- once the literary hell-raiser and now, in Roth's new book Exit Ghost, an infirm writer in decline. >More
 Reliving the 2007 Wisconsin Book Festival

You can't see it all. This may be the biggest problem confronting the Wisconsin Book Festival -- or the Wisconsin Film Festival for that matter, or any other comparable, intensive, full-immersion, elongated-weekend celebration of one medium or another. >More
 "It's a phenomenon": The 2007 Wisconsin Book Festival concludes

Luis Alberto Urrea said something revelatory toward the end of his appearance with Ana Castillo on Sunday at the Wisconsin Book Festival. The author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and 10 other books was discussing The Devil's Highway, his 2005 account of 26 men who tried to cross from Mexico into the U.S. but were abandoned in the desert by the human traffickers who were leading them into this country. >More
 Peace and war on Saturday at the Wisconsin Book Festival

One of the greatest attributes of the Wisconsin Book Festival is the way it excites the imagination. No book on this year's schedule was more inspiring in this regard than The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. The veteran journalist's nonfiction best-seller posits the sudden disappearance of our species due to possibilities ranging from instantaneous extinction to the rapture to mass evacuation by space aliens. >More
 Literary riches at Wisconsin Book Festival on Friday

The 2007 Wisconsin Book Festival was in full swing by Friday evening, with enough words leaping off the page through authors' readings that some federal agency somewhere might have been justified in issuing a Literary Advisory. >More
 Michael Perry gives thanks to Madison fans

I've got anecdotal evidence that what Robert Burns wrote about the best-laid plans of mice and men going astray holds true for a middle-aged Wisconsin Book Festival enthusiast such as meself. >More
 A smoke break with Christopher Hitchens at Ancora

When it comes to people-watching in downtown Madison, the view from the Isthmus offices just off the Square is tough to beat. This is particularly the case when it comes to Ancora Coffee Roasters on King Street, a rich vein of wheeling and dealing when it comes to the business of government and media in the city. >More
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