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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The flight from abundance to extinction

 The passenger pigeon was abundant in early America but, astonishingly, was extinct by the first years of the 20th century. These broadly muscled birds lived in massive flocks and could be seen covering the skies. Sadly, hunting and habitation loss led to their demise and by 1914, the last
Sunday, March 9, 2014

Joanne Fluke’s latest Hannah Swensen mystery

 A Minnesota mystery unfolds on the pages of Joanne Fluke’s suspenseful new book Blackberry Pie Murder. The next installment in the Hannah Swensen series, Blackberry Pie Murder reunites readers with Hannah just as things appear to be dying down in Lake Eden, Minn.—meaning that
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paris is the setting for Cara Black's new crime thriller

 It is the summer of 1998 and Aimée Leduc has escaped to Paris for a little rest and relaxation, but before she can help it, she finds herself investigating a mysterious string of serial rapes involving teenage girls that are occurring in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Paul Geenen recalls the strife in new book

 The Civil Rights Movement is usually synonymous with the American South, but Milwaukee had its own racial struggles in the middle years of the 20th century. Milwaukee historian and community activist Paul Geenen dramatically captures this discriminatory strife in Civil Rights Activism in
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

Len Vlahos brings 'The Scar Boys' to Boswell

 Life is defined by moments, and for Harbinger (Harry) Jones, the main character in Len Vlahos’ tender debut novel The Scar Boys, a few momentous occurrences—permeated with tragedy, terror and ultimately redemption—have shaped him into the fledgling adult he has become
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

Sue Monk Kidd’s novel of slavery in the old South

 Deeply entangled relationships are woven throughout Sue Monk Kidd’s new historical novel The Invention of Wings. In this absorbing tale, readers are transported to the slaveholding South. They meet Sarah Grimké on her eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of a 10-year-old slave
Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Best-selling author on how we can win against the odds

 Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, the inspiring writer behind The Tipping Point, Outliers and Blink, returns to the pages with a powerful new book that proves that life’s seemingly unbearable setbacks and hardships are merely part of the beauty of this world
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

Magical realism from novelist Patrick Ness

 The Crane Wife is a magically complex contemporary novel by Patrick Ness based upon a traditional Japanese folktale. Protagonist George Duncan is a middle-aged, divorced American living in London struggling toward an understanding of fulfillment and love. One night he is awoken
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

Jobs, freedom and MLK’s March on Washington

 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the celebrated March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. This historic event has been covered extensively over the last half-century, yet a robust new book by a UW-Madison professor delivers a