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


A Book A Week: Mission to Paris by Alan Furst

Have you noticed that all the World War II espionage books by Alan Furst have similar titles? Dark Something, Night Something, Mission to Somewhere, Spies of This or That. >More
 A Book A Week: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

I'm getting a little bored with books where nothing happens. It's not like I need explosions or car chases, but really, something has to happen or else I just... drift off. And so I drifted off a lot while reading Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters, a story about three sisters in their 20s and 30s who return to their Ohio town to care for their sick mother. >More
 Jojo Moyes' novel The Girl You Left Behind tells the story of a mysterious painting

In novel The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, fictional French artist Edouard Lefevre paints a haunting portrait of his wife, Sophie, before he leaves to join his regiment at the outbreak of World War I. Sophie returns home to her family's hotel in the village of St. Peronne, where she hangs the painting on the wall. >More
 Wisconsin Talk is a smart, amusing look at our state's linguistic quirks

Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State (University of Wisconsin Press) sports a whimsical cover, whose colorful speech bubbles contain "uff da," "ainna" and other phrases a non-Wisconsinite might confuse with candy brand names. Nevertheless, the book is a serious exploration of our state's linguistic history. >More
 Kate Atkinson's Life After Life treats its heroine to multiple existences

Each chapter of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life is a do-over. In the first chapter, which begins in England in 1910, main character Ursula dies at birth; the next chapter retells Ursula's birth, but she lives and thrives. >More
 A Book A Week: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

I never describe books as "beach reads" because I'll read anything on a beach. But I have to say, if I were on a beach, Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins would be a very satisfying choice. On a beach in Italy would be even better. Oh well. >More
 A taste of the life with the Madison Writers' Studio

Budding writers have a chance to learn from Susanna Daniel and fellow Madisonian Michelle Wildgen (author of You're Not You, But Not for Long and the forthcoming Bread and Butter) through their new joint venture, the Madison Writers' Studio. Classes begin this fall at both authors' homes and will include narrative nonfiction and two levels of fiction writing. >More
 Locavore lit: Summer brings novels to savor by Madison authors Susanna Daniel and Kelly Harms

One of the pleasures of living in Wisconsin is its bounty of delights for locavores, from hoppy microbrews to rich cheeses and brilliantly colored produce at farmers' markets. But why limit yourself to just eating locally? It's rewarding to be a literary locavore, too. There's a fresh crop of books by Madison authors out this summer, including new titles by Susanna Daniel and Kelly Harms. >More
 A Book A Week: Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh writes huge, sprawling historical novels about India and South Asia. I read The Glass Palace last year and loved it. Sea of Poppies is the first volume of a trilogy set in India in the early 19th century, during the First Opium War. >More
 A Book A Week: The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

Reading Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins is like having a long gossip with your nosy cousin. Get some coffee and some cheesecake, pull up a chair, and settle in. You'll hear about everyone in the Middlestein family (Edie and Richard, their adult children and their grandchildren), but mostly you will hear about Edie, Edie and her weight, Edie and her secret eating, Edie and her diabetes, Edie and Richard's impending divorce. >More
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