Books

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. E ven today, people in other parts of the world sometimes stereotype American attitudes and personalities by using the metaphor of the cowboy. Milwaukee writer Larry Watson ’s latest novel focuses...

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. This discovery launched Alden into a journey into the past. She set aside her career teaching elementary school in...

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. Miller recently took a break from her usual freelance article format to take on her own story in a witty and candid account of her lifelong relationship with running. Running: A Love Story explores the...

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. The story is told from the point of view of two narrators, following the trend of Kubica's use of multiple perspectives in...

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. Though the subject of loss is central to the story, the insights gained is what author Lauren Fox focuses on, in ways that are both heartbreaking and darkly funny. “I didn’t want...

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? Dan Vyleta ’s newest novel, Smoke , is set in an alternate reality Victorian England, where emotions are that discoverable. Anger, passion, lust, greed – they show up on characters' bodies and clothes as smoke – a fine dust that permeates everything and is very hard to erase once it appears. So of course, people go to great lengths to...

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...

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. T he 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. New York City leaders this week announced the site of the bar, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, has been...

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. But if you ask Sidney Blumenthal, the chief executive he is most obsessed with is not the 42nd president, but rather the 16th. "I've always been interested in (Abraham) Lincoln, having grown up in Illinois. Lincoln's always...

Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf.

Family, survival and small town values are all on display in Peter Geye ’s latest novel, Wintering . The book continues the story of the Eides, a family first introduced in Geye's earlier novel, The Lighthouse Road . One of the central characters, Harry Eide, is first seen as a baby in Lighthouse , but by Wintering, he has become an old man. Harry is swept back into the wilderness, seemingly by his own dementia, and we learn about another trip he took with his son, Gus. A complex web of...

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. Salsini approached The Cielo initially as a one-off project. "I had never written a novel...

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. One method was to travel to Malta to see the place for himself. But the English...

Macmillan Publishers

Many novels begin by setting the protagonist in a brand new world. Something fundamental changes in their lives and everything that character once knew is suddenly ripped away. It happens in real life too. In 1758, 15-year-old Mary Jemison was living in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. She and her family were captured by a band of Shawnee and French warriors. Her family was killed and she was traded to the Seneca tribe and taken in by two sisters. She was renamed and learned a...

Al / Flickr

Many of us have dreams of someday moving out of the city or the suburbs and settling down in a quiet place. The simplicity of rural America and small-town life is an appealing thought. But, as anyone who has actually lived in one of those places knows well, there's a difference between spending a week in a small town and actually living there. "People are very friendly in small towns, but there is a dynamic in life in the small towns that is best understood from an outsider's perspective,"...

Lynne Bergschultz

Author Cari Taylor-Carlson really knows the meaning of “faking it till’ you make it.” The former suburban housewife turned wilderness guide, spent a lot of time smiling through the fear as she started her outdoor touring business, Venture West. Although locally, Taylor-Carlson may be more well-known as a food critic and travel guide, in her new memoir, Life on the Loose: My Journey From Suburban Housewife to Outdoor Guide , she shares a new side of herself. The book is a candid look at her...

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