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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Preview

Those of you who were courageous enough to attend the Locust Street Festival on a stormy June 8 had your hardiness rewarded with a performance by The Trusty Knife, a local band whose eclectic sound betrays a clear affinity for ’70s-inspired rock ’n’ roll with a somewhat glammy edge. When he’s not strumming . . .
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

(Backbeat), by Josh Alan Friedman

During a long career as a music writer, studio gopher and musician, Josh Alan Friedman came to know some prominent singers, songwriters and musicians. Their colorful recollections and insights are collected in Tell the Truth Until They Bleed. Especially interesting are the stories told by Dr. John, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller . . .
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The band that made Minneapolis rock

Jim Walsh’s The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting—An Oral History (Voyageur Press), published to coincide with Rhino Records’ first installment of Replacements reissues, wisely lets those who were there tell the tale. History, by its nature, allows the winner to write the story, and rock ’n’ roll mythmaking is as much about refraction as it is reflection. Walsh’s anecdotal style depicts a Minneapolis music scene built around a few record stores and clubs hip enough to evolve into the post-disco era. Guitarist Bob Stinson, his 14-year-old brother bassist Tommy and drummer Chris Mars were jamming in the basement to Yes’ “Roundabout” when songwriter Paul Westerberg talked his way into the group. As midwived by Peter Jesperson and his girlfriend . . .
Monday, June 9, 2008

Book Preview

If there’s a single tenacious thread uniting both sides of the political spectrum, it’s the use of populist rhetoric to lather the American public into a foaming frenzy. The medium of choice might be civil liberties, health-care costs or loudly disseminated threats to national security, but the agenda is usually the same . . .
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tonight @ the Downer Avenue Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

Best-selling author Jim Crace stops by the Downer Avenue Schwartz Bookshop location tonight at 7 p.m. to read from his latest novel, The Pesthouse, which is now available in paperback. The story is Crace’s most epic yet: In a vaguely post-apocalyptic American future, where much of society has crumbled . . .
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Woodland Pattern’s founding philosophy

Tucked in the basement at Woodland Pattern Book Center, amidst cluttered staff desks and carefully maintained overstock, exists a remarkably complete archive of the organization’s history. Every newsletter, flyer and check the bookstore has ever written is here, along with audio recordings documenting almost 30 years of readings and musical performances. That’s a lot of stuff. Woodland Pattern, both when it opened and today, stands firmly as the state’s foremost center for contemporary literature and art in the broadest . . .
Monday, June 2, 2008

Furst delivers next chapter of international intrigue

Alan Furst is closing in on Upton Sinclair. Between 1940 and 1953, Sinclair, acclaimed author of The Jungle, created a series of 11 “World’s End” novels that captured much of the Western world’s political history in the first half of the 20th century. For 20 years now, Furst has been turning out his own series of novels filled with international intrigue. Furst’s books are set in Europe before and during World War II, and his latest effort, The Spies of Warsaw (Random House), is the 10th novel in the series. Like its predecessors, Spies of Warsaw is highly enjoyable, particularly in the author’s remarkable ability to evoke a vanished era.
Monday, June 2, 2008

Tonight @ the Downer Avenue Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

Retracing the voyage of French explorers Marquette and Joliet around Wisconsin’s waterways isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time—especially when the journey requires long stretches of hungrily wandering through the dark—but for local writer Steven Faulkner and his teenage son, it’s their text-book definition of good . . .
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Book Preview

Racial tensions between the white and Hmong communities came to light in Wisconsin’s 2004 hunting season. And the recent discussions surrounding the hunting of wolves, which were removed from the federal endangered species list just this year, have sharpened conflicts between those who feel hunting is an . . .
Monday, May 26, 2008

The women behind the rise of America

More than two centuries after the birth of America, our nation’s founders still transfix us, says broadcaster and author Cokie Roberts. “They are so much part of our fabric as a people that I was dying to know more about them,” says Roberts, who was named one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television. The results are found in Ladies of Liberty (Morrow), the follow-up to Roberts’ best-selling book, Founding Mothers (2004), in which she examines the lives and times of some of the women who helped shape America. The author says that even though women were central to the survival of the country, female contributions have been overshadowed by the Founding Fathers.

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