books

Image courtesy of Mary Dowell

Mary Dowell is a well-known figure in the Milwaukee business community. She played a central role at Johnson Controls Inc. for nearly twenty years. Before retiring from the company in 2015, Dowell was vice president of foundation affairs and global community relations. 

Cartoonist Keith Knight juggles a lot of deadlines. He’s the creator of not one, not two, but three different comic strips: The Knight Life, Th(ink) and The K Chronicles. They all straddle the line between what we’d consider mainstream and underground comics.

Penguin Random House

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the official entry of the United States into the First World War. The US had been fighting wars along the Mexico border and in Cuba before it entered the European conflict in 1917.  But it took WWI to turn the United States into the global military power it has become.

Hachette Book Group

For centuries, the constellations have provided a roadmap of the night sky, helping sailors and other voyagers navigate, well before the existence of GPS technology.  Even today, astronomers use constellations to describe the location of stars, comets and other heavenly bodies.

Algonquin Young Readers

In the 1980s and early ‘90s, Andrew McCarthy’s face was instantly recognizable for his acting work in movies such as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire. You can’t mention his name without invoking the term “Brat Pack."

McCarthy was in many other films, as well as director on such high-profile projects as Orange is the New Black and Grace and Frankie. He is also an award-winning travel writer and is editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler.

Maksim Pasko / Fotolia

Does the headline sound too good to be true? Stacy Tornio, author of Plants You Can’t Kill, assures that it’s not. In her new book, Tornio highlights different types of hardy plants for beginner gardeners.

"You basically need to know whether you're putting it in sun or shade, and you know, anyone can figure that out," says Tornio. "But you don't need a lot of like, fancy knowledge or background in gardening. This is truly: pick it up, randomly turn to a plant, and try it." 

Howard Chandler Christy / Wikimedia

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 is one of the most important events in the history of the United States. After four months of painstaking deliberation, the founding fathers emerged with a document that continues to inform how we interpret the laws of the land.

Michelle Brafman

Places like Washington D.C. and New York City get a lot of attention as urban centers. So much so that their suburban surroundings are often overlooked or derided. The late New York City mayor Ed Koch queried, “Have you ever lived in the suburbs? … It’s sterile. It’s nothing. It’s wasting your life.”

Natalie Krug

John Hallis is probably not the first guy you’d expect to write a children’s book with magical butterflies at its heart. Hallis owns and operates a machine shop in Baraboo. But he’s a dad, too. And when his daughter was born, he suddenly found himself taking on the role of a storyteller. 

Halfpoint / Fotolia

Lake Effect has invited some notable authors for younger readers in the studio in the recent past, from national names like Kwame Alexander, to local authors such as Sandy Brehl and Deanna Singh.

Harper Collins Publishers

Humans are not perfect.  We all know that very well by the time we get to be adults.  But part of the pain of adolescence is coming to terms with the fact that our parents, whom we might have idolized in our young childhood, are as imperfect as anyone.

Photo courtesy of David Howell

 

It takes a special relationship with biking - and yourself - to embark on a solo bike tour from Seattle, Washington all the way to Milwaukee. That’s exactly what Milwaukee native David Howell did, and his journaling during that experience spawned a book, The Descent Into Happiness: A Bicycling Journey over the Cascades and Rockies and across the Great Plains.

Mitch Teich

Writer Kwame Alexander has penned more than a dozen books for young readers. His novel-in-verse, The Crossover, won the Newbery Medal in 2015. It tells the story of two basketball playing twin brothers, and was followed up by another novel-in-verse, Booked, which has a soccer theme. 

Michael / Fotolia

The issues facing the Great Lakes are often referred to in chronological terms. From the cryptosporidium outbreak that affected Milwaukee water in 1993 to the suffocating invasions of - first, zebra mussels, then quagga mussels. Plus the decline of the lake trout and perch population, and the fall in water levels are key problems we face today.

In 2014, Time magazine faced public outcry for including the word feminist in its Worst Words Poll, which asked readers what word they felt should be banned in 2015. The magazine apologized for the “execution” of the poll, but the controversy speaks to the many, mixed emotions that the word often elicits.

Pages