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The Daily


The self-publishing explosion

I had the misfortune to finish writing a novel in 2008. That was the year the economy collapsed, taking a good chunk of the publishing industry down with it. In the glow of completing the work I felt ready to share with the world, I followed advice from seasoned novelists of my acquaintance, and also from some of the many tomes available on the subject of selling a book. >More
 Russ Feingold bemoans our foreign policy ignorance

When I heard former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold was writing a book, I assumed it would be about domestic policy and politics. After all, his signature accomplishment was the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation, and he spent a career as an outsider fighting special interests. But even if While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era (Crown, $26) is not the book I expected, I'm not disappointed. >More
 As chain bookselling contracts, independents see an opening

Long before Borders closed its doors last summer, the accepted wisdom was that bookstores -- and even the printed book -- were well on their way to extinction. Bricks-and-mortar booksellers couldn't compete amid online discounting, the rise of e-books and the economic downturn, the thinking went. There was also a widely touted belief that an increasingly distracted populace no longer takes the time to read books. >More
 A messy mix: This American Life's Ira Glass reinvents radio onstage

Here's the thing about Ira Glass: The host of public radio's This American Life seems to be exactly the same in real life (inasmuch as a phone interview constitutes real life) as he is on his show. During our 25-minute conversation, Glass is friendly, talkative but also inquisitive, somehow simultaneously relaxed and manic, peppering his speech with plenty of "I mean"s and "like"s. He's funny and self-deprecating, but also so sincere it would be almost absurd, if you didn't know this is just the way he does it. >More
 Acclaimed author Nathan Englander makes a home in Madison

Nathan Englander is not yet the household name that the short story writer Raymond Carver became during his lifetime, but Carver -- and one of his best-known stories, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" -- may be the boost that pushes Englander to that level. Englander's just-released collection of short stories is entitled What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. >More
 Dairyland between the covers

What with one thing and another, 2011 has been a time to ponder what Wisconsin stands for as a state. Where do we come from and where are we going? What is being a Wisconsinite all about? In one way or another, this crop of 2011 Wisconsin-centric books illuminates these questions. >More
 Not all local poems deserve Willy Street immortality

Contemporary poetry is often printed in journals that few people see. But the Poetry in Sidewalks public art project on Williamson Street gives four local poets a shot at a mass audience, not to mention immortality. >More
 Lorine Niedecker is a solid portrait of the Wisconsin poet

Lorine Niedecker wrote small poems packed with the power of nature, poems that appear made to sit nicely on the shelf but harbor a life's worth of emotions. The work is usually filed under "Objectivism," an early 20th-century style that grew out of Imagism and focused tightly on imagery. Niedecker's poems can seem fragmentary, like reading Sappho, as if portions are lost from the original. >More
 A woman gets a new face in Second Nature: A Love Story by Jacquelyn Mitchard

In Jacquelyn Mitchard's novels, no matter how rare or fantastical the premise, the worlds she creates feel more intensely real than in any number of memoirs out there. Even when I'm a bit skeptical about a particular plot turn, I still feel as if I know these characters from somewhere in my life. >More
 Wisconsin Book Festival 2011: Monsters of Poetry take over Overture

Emerging from the depths of Madison's literary scene, the Monsters of Poetry reading series has hosted events displaying the talents of up-and-coming writers from around the Midwest for two yearts. Created from a handful of University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Iowa grads, the series has developed a dedicated following and emerged as a venue for both readers and writers to come together, usually at the Project Lodge, to enjoy a night of poetry and fiction. >More
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