This marks a year in which two Madisonians cracked the national bestseller lists - Jackie Mitchard with her novel Still Summer and Kevin Henkes with his picture book A Good Day. Jennifer Chiaverini published her 15th quilt-related book, The New Year's Quilt, in November. Lodi resident James Campbell attracted good notice with The Ghost Mountain Boys, the nonfiction story of a nearly forgotten World War II battle.
James DeVita published The Silenced, a novel for young adults. Kashmira Sheth published two - a picture book, My Dadima Wears a Sari, and a young-adult novel, Keeping Corner. UW prof Jeremy Suri scored big with Henry Kissinger and the American Century; colleague Caroline Levine provoked discussion with Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts.
UW Press acquisitions editor Raphael Kadushin reports that one of the highlights of his year was when Rigoberto Gonzalez's Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa won an American Book Award. The book, part of the Press' "Living in Latinidad" series, was also a runner-up for the Randy Shilts Awards for Gay Nonfiction, given by the Publishing Triangle organization. Other successes for the press this year include Jean Feraca's memoir I Hear Voices, Jennifer Anne Moses' Bagels and Grits: A Jew on the Bayou, and Brian Bouldrey's travel memoir Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica.
Joan Strasbaugh, publisher of Jones Books, cites the selection of Six Spices: A Simple Concept of Indian Cooking by Neeta Saluja for inclusion in the New York Times Book Review's summer reading issue as a highlight for 2007. She also notes its entirely Madison-based production team - editor Laura Kearney, designer Janet Trembley, photographer Martha Busse and food designer David Bacco.
Eva Solcová, publisher of Trails Books and Prairie Oak Press, says the acquisition of these imprints by Big Earth Publishing was a big plus. She was able to add an editorial position and increased the number of titles published per year from eight to 20. Strange Wisconsin: More Badger State Weirdness by Linda Godfrey has been a success, cataloguing everything from the state's outsider artists to UFO sightings. Other strong titles were No Bed of Roses by Chris Kennedy, about the Badger football team going to the Rose Bowl under Barry Alvarez, and Potluck, recipes from Wisconsin's community cookbooks compiled by Toni Streckert.
The highlight of 2007 for Alison Jones Chaim, director of the Wisconsin Book Festival, was an email exchange with Edwidge Danticat about her memoir Brother, I'm Dying, although Danticat ultimately was not able to appear at the festival. Chaim also mentions appearances by Simon Winchester, Kevin Kling, Connie Porter, Ana Castillo, and Luis Alberto Urrea as among her favorites; plus driving Michael Cunningham to the airport, arranging "a very slippery display of well-oiled books while also trying to talk with cell phone under chin at an impossible angle, and yelling into the window to contribute to the discussion at the Walter Benn Michaels event at Rainbow." As for Danticat appearing at next year's festival, Chaim says, "My fingers are crossed that she'll make it back to Madison very soon."