Books

Harper Collins Publishers

Wisconsin native Danielle Trussoni wrote a memoir ten years ago that focused on her childhood in La Crosse. It explored how she came to terms with her dad, who had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his service as a so-called “tunnel rat” during the Vietnam War. 

That book helped launch Trussoni’s literary career. She turned to fiction and wrote two novels that straddle the line between thriller and supernatural. Those were written while Trussoni was married to a Bulgarian man who was brilliant, but also enigmatic and disturbing.

Mitch Teich

When Milwaukee writer Mel Miskimen's mother died, somewhat unexpectedly, a few years ago, it shook the foundation of her family.

At 57, Miskimen had not had to deal closely with the death of a loved one before. The loss left her, and her father, rudderless.

Enter: Seamus, Miskimen's cheerful Labrador retriever. Over the next year, Seamus played a key role in bringing father and daughter together, and getting each of them through their grief.

Courtesy of Algonquin Books

 *Originally aired in June 2016

Of the many archetypes that exist in popular culture, the cowboy may be considered the most American.

From Hollywood movies to dimestore novels and the Marlboro Man, for many of us the image of the cowboy conjures up nostalgic ideas of old world charm and masculinity. Even today, people in other parts of the world sometimes stereotype American attitudes and personalities by using the metaphor of the cowboy.

Wisconsin LGBT History Project

For decades, LGBT culture was – out of necessity - hidden and unspoken of in daylight. But three-quarters of a century has brought a lot of social change in America.

For a smaller industrial city with German roots, you may not have expected Milwaukee to be a spot for gay and lesbian culture to thrive; but it did.

Photo courtesy of Ellen Alden

Before one fateful trip to her attic, writer Ellen Alden knew next-to-nothing about the life of her ancestors, save for the fact that her red hair was a throwback to her family's life in Ireland. 

However things changed rapidly after Alden found nineteen old letters in a leather box written by her great-great-grandfather Florence Burke to his family during the Civil War.

runningalovestory.com

New Jersey freelance writer Jen Miller last appeared on Lake Effect in a Fit For You segment tackling the myth of the “runner’s body.” Her New York Times article, Crossing the Finish Line 25 Pounds Lighter, addressed Miller’s journey through weight gain and loss while competing in marathons. 

marykubica.com

Illinois writer Mary Kubica attracted fans and received plenty of critical praise for her first two suspense novels, The Good Girl and Pretty Baby. And those fans haven’t been disappointed by her latest, either.

Don’t You Cry is the story of a Chicago woman’s sudden disappearance and the unexpected revelations her roommate learns in the search to find out what happened. 

Lauren Fox / laurenfoxwriter.com

Lauren Fox's third novel, Days of Awe, is a first person narrative that sends it's protagonist, Isabel, on a very difficult journey.

Throughout the course of a year, the character loses her best friend and her marriage. Isabel also metaphorically loses her daughter, a fairly typical teenager with the mood swings.

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/250258/smoke-by-dan-vyleta/

What would our world be like if every emotion we had was visible on our bodies? If our triumphs, but also our indiscretions, were revealed to the naked eye?

Harper Collins/Katherine Tegen Books

Of all the classic literary detectives, the ones that are still alive and most vibrant in our collective consciousness are the obsessively deductive Sherlock Holmes – and his stalwart friend, biographer and quasi-assistant, John Watson.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote four novels and more than 50 short stories featuring the analytical Holmes, more than a century ago. But Doyle’s version was only the beginning. Holmes and Watson have been adapted for every time and nearly every place in the years since.

While today marks a major victory for gay rights in the U.S., the anniversary of a major moment in gay rights history is this weekend. The infamous Stonewall Inn was the site of a police raid 46 years ago. 

The raid on the bar with a mainly gay and lesbian clientele sparked a riot, which is itself seen as a landmark moment in the history of the LGBT civil rights movement.

Simon & Schuster

Journalist Sidney Blumenthal’s name is most often associated with one president of the recent past.  Blumenthal is a longtime friend, associate and advisor to President Bill Clinton.  He was also an advisor to Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign eight years ago. 

Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf.

Family, survival and small town values are all on display in Peter Geye’s latest novel, Wintering.

Image courtesy of Paul Salsini

It’s been twelve years since a visit to Tuscany inspired Milwaukee writer and journalist Paul Salsini to start writing fiction.

The visit was to a restored farmhouse, where his grandfather lived a century before. During that trip, Salsini heard stories of relatives who had fought in the Italian resistance during World War II.

Those stories became the basis for the novel The Cielo, and then a trilogy.

courtesy Chris Cleave/Simon & Schuster

When novelist Chris Cleave starts a new project - before he writes a word - he tries to immerse himself in the world his characters will inhabit.

Four years ago, that meant learning to track bicycles for his novel, Gold, about two Olympic-caliber cyclists.  But it was a more complex prospect for his latest novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, which is set in World War II London and Malta.  But Cleave found a way.

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