Becky Holmes

From favorites Jane Hamilton and Jennifer Chiaverini to festival newbies, the Wisconsin Book Festival puts women authors center stage. more

Oct 13, 2016 5:00 AM Books


Brittainy Lauback

A sister searches for a disappeared brother in “The Sleeping World,” a debut novel from Madison native Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes set in 1970s Spain. more

Sep 8, 2016 5:00 AM Books


Beowulf Sheehan

Now she’s an Emmy-winning journalist. But in her new memoir, “White Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters,” Beaver Dam native Mary Pflum Peterson looks back at a difficult Midwestern childhood. more

Mar 24, 2016 5:00 AM Books


Amanda Crim

Rita Mae Reese’s prize-winning book of poetry, “The Book of Hulga,” explores the life and work of Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor. more

Mar 17, 2016 5:00 AM Books


Robert Reich: Svetlana Cvetko, Adam Benforado: Joe Craig, William Bostwick: T. Ford Bostwick

Isthmus book critics Becky Holmes and Michael Popke preview some of their favorite author events at the 2015 Wisconsin Book Festival, beginning Oct. 22. more

Oct 15, 2015 11:05 AM , Books

In “The Beauty of What Remains,” author Susan Johnson Hadler explores her own family’s hidden history. more

Oct 5, 2015 10:00 AM Books


Karen Meisner

“Future Perfect,” Jen Larsen’s young adult novel, speaks to teens about body image and self-acceptance. The author appears at A Room of One's Own on Oct. 9. more

Oct 2, 2015 12:00 PM Books

"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

Dec 18, 2014 12:00 AM Books

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

Dec 5, 2014 12:00 AM Books

"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

Nov 23, 2014 12:00 AM Books

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

Oct 31, 2014 11:00 PM Books

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

Oct 8, 2014 11:00 PM Books


Philip Ashby

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

Oct 2, 2014 1:00 PM , , , Books

"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

Sep 30, 2014 11:00 PM Books

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

Sep 22, 2014 11:00 PM Books

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

Sep 8, 2014 11:00 PM Books

"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

Aug 21, 2014 11:00 PM Books

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

Aug 8, 2014 7:33 PM Books

"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

Aug 6, 2014 11:00 PM Books

"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

Jul 17, 2014 2:00 PM Books