books

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.

Susan Bence

Plenty of people like nothing more than experiencing nature. Shorewood native and author Pete Fromm realized he was one of those people.

Fromm's, who lives in Montana, love for nature has resulted in five Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards.

He says his parents planted that seed - perhaps unknowingly - through family camping trips.

In a time when the political climate is anything but pastoral, sometimes what we need is a chance to retreat to the countryside for a relaxing dose of…drama, an illicit love affair and a violent murder. 

Even if you are entirely happy with the state of world affairs circa 2017, the idea of disappearing can be alluring - especially in the midst of a Wisconsin winter. But the disappearance at the heart of novelist Idra Novey’s new book extends beyond that romantic notion of disappearing for a while.

The name T Bone Burnett is almost synonymous with the word legendary. You could also use the words innovative, brilliant and visionary.

Burnett catapulted into the public consciousness with the soundtrack from the Coen Brother’s film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but writer Lloyd Sachs says Burnett had been hugely influential years before that movie came out - both as a producer and as a singer / songwriter in his own right.

Milwaukee writer Lesley Kagen has been a regular guest on Lake Effect ever since her first novel, Whistling in the Dark, was published a decade ago. In these past 10 years, Kagen has published another 7 novels, most set in Wisconsin and Milwaukee.

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