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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.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Interview with Sandy Tolan

Ten years ago, when Israel was celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, Milwaukee-born journalist Sandy Tolan set out for Israel and the West Bank too seek out the human side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. What he discovered was a literal embodiment of the common ground between the two sides:
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

by Sherry Strub

From North Avenue to the South Side, from Shorewood to Brookfield, the Milwaukee area has ghosts—or so says Sherry Strub in Milwaukee Ghosts. Strub takes the reader from place to place—homes, cemeteries, historic sites and even the hallowed Pfister Hotel—in a trek around the area. The interviews and stories are interesting, but they lack a sense of authority and spookiness. Accounts of people saying, “I had this
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tonight @ the Shorewood Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

It’s gardening season again, so plenty of authors are making the rounds offering their routine gardening tips and suggestions. Wendy Johnson isn’t one of them. In her new book, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, she writes not of ways for us to make our plants better, but of the ways plants make us better. Through . . .
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Review

Muhammad may have been the prophet of one of the world’s great religions, but little-known developments after his death set the direction for human events even today. “The future history of much of the world was decided by the actions of a small number of men arguing and debating in the city of Medina,” writes Hugh Kennedy. In The Great Arab Conquests, the British historian investigates how the disunified Arab tribes and towns . . .
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Discovering gazpacho

Many young girls dream of being the most popular, adored girl in school. But the truth is, only a tiny fraction of them end up as the cool and popular ones, while the rest of us are left to find a different way in the social ranks, a way to define who we truly are inside. In the deliciously twisted memoir Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love and Spain (Atria), Lori L. Tharps, a native Milwaukeean now living in Philadelphia, takes readers down the winding roads of her journey of love and self-discovery across the Iberian Peninsula and back again.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Local author’s canine hero

Dogs can bring great joy to their owners, but can they change lives? They do in storybooks, especially the canine chronicle called Sandy & Garbo. According to Milwaukee author Chuck Hajinian, Sandy, the literate and well-spoken yellow Labrador of the title, is an imaginative re-creation of his own dog.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tonight @ the Shorewood Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

Don’t worry, carnivores; Catherine Friend isn’t going to tell you not to eat meat. She eats it herself. But in her acclaimed new book The Compassionate Carnivore, the author and sustainable farmer lays out some simple guidelines for eating humane, healthy meat, mostly by focusing on where the meat was purchased and . . .
Monday, May 5, 2008

Book Review

Lavinia, a princess in Virgil’s The Aeneid, was merely a walk-on character in the historical epic. She is transformed into the reluctant protagonist of her own story in Ursula Le Guin’s novel. An acclaimed author of science fiction and fantasy, Le Guin turns to the past for an imaginative reconstruction of Italy in the days . . .
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Book Preview

It’s no coincidence that some of the most controversial and widely discussed books of the last century have been coming-of-age novels. Evidently there’s something about a young person’s path through the minefield of adolescence that can capture the anxieties of an epoch. Milwaukee native Paul McComas’ new novel, Planet of the Dates, offers readers a glimpse into the shifting political and cultural climate of the late-1970s and ’80s through the eyes of an ardent youth. It speaks of an era when the public’s anxiety . . .