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Saturday, February 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 14.0° F  A Few Clouds


A Book A Week: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation is the first book in The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. It tells the story of the 12th expedition to Area X, the (fictional) site of a mysterious ecological disaster, located somewhere in the southern U.S. >More
 A Book A Week: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

To describe The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani is to make it sound awful and off-putting. As Michiko Kakutani pointed out in The New York Times, it's kind of a Young Adult/Historical Romance mashup. >More
 A Book A Week: The Liar's Wife by Mary Gordon

The Liar's Wife is a collection of four novellas by Mary Gordon. The novellas are thematically linked in that in each one someone revisits an important past relationship. >More
 A Book A Week: Alena by Rachel Pastan

Rachel Pastan is a former Madisonian who used to write for Isthmus. She is the author of two previous novels and now lives in Pennsylvania. Her new novel Alena is a contemporary retelling of the classic Daphne DuMaurier book Rebecca. >More
 A Book A Week: The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

Historical fiction comes in two basic flavors: the kind that teaches you about history as you read it (e.g., The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 1008 pages about building a 12th century cathedral), and the kind that is more opaque, where the history, while important, is not so spelled out. >More
 Wisconsin Book Festival 2014 is a celebration of authors, libraries and bold ideas

Madison Public Library and its foundation have transformed the Wisconsin Book Festival into a yearlong feast of stellar storytelling and intriguing ideas. With many events at the Central Library, the main portion of the fest (Oct. 16-19) is also a chance for attendees to enjoy the new building's art, gathering spaces and, of course, books. Here are some of the events we're most excited about. >More
 A Book A Week: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm is J.K. Rowling's second mystery novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and featuring the curmudgeonly detective Cormoran Strike and his clever assistant Robin Ellacott. Strike is hired to find Owen Quine, a missing novelist, and find him he does. >More
 A Book A Week: The Abundance by Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar's The Abundance held my interest while I was reading it, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. >More
 A Book A Week: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I've come to regard books by Jojo Moyes as little treasures, to be indulged in when I need a special treat. When I get a new one I hang on to it for a while before reading it, enjoying the anticipation. >More
 A Book A Week: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things is a big, sprawling book that reads like classic literature. In fact, maybe someday it will be classic literature. >More
 MADmatches pairs local readers with the books of their dreams

MADmatches sounds like an online dating service, and it is, in a way. But instead of matching people with one another, it helps local readers find the books of their dreams. >More
 A Book A Week: Wake by Anna Hope

Wake tells several stories at once, some very personal and some public. Set in England in the years immediately following World War I, it follows several characters whose worlds intersect, and uses a real-life event as an anchoring device to bring the stories together. >More
 A doctor heals herself in Ann Garvin's The Dog Year

The Dog Year, by Wisconsin author Ann Garvin, is a very funny book about sadness and loss. It's also only a little bit about dogs and a lot about the ways in which relationships can help you heal. >More
 Madison Central Library's bold new Media Lab has free tools for budding artists, animators and videogame designers

If you've visited the new Central Library, you might have noticed a mysterious room near the teen section that resembles a TV studio, complete with computers, cameras and a green screen. It looks like some kind of secret workshop where the staff makes library propaganda. >More
 A Book A Week: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Longbourn is a down-at-the-heels understaffed house in 19th century England, where you are more likely to get pigshit on your shoes than to meet a nobleman. The fact that Longbourn is the home of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice is hardly mentioned in Jo Baker's Longbourn, and the few Bennet family members who do appear in the novel do so peripherally and mostly unsympathetically. >More
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