Books

photo courtesy Cathleen Burnham

Kids and animals make for a good mix. Whether you are a parent who thwarts the constant question of "can we get a puppy?" or you see the fascination on children's faces when you go to the zoo, it's obvious that kids have and seek a connection with all kinds of animals.

"I think we're born with this love of animals," says author Cathleen Burnham. "For some reason, whether it's because we live kind of pushing nature away from us, we lose contact with that."

Michael Perry

    

Michael Perry has been known  for his non-fiction work about his life in rural Western Wisconsin. He has accumulated a mass of fans around the world drawn to stories touching on topics from raising poultry to parenting.

After writing his first children's book, Perry is making his first attempt at a novel geared towards adults with his latest book, The Jesus Cow.

The corruption in Illinois politics is often seen as such a farce that if you pitched an Illinois political scandal as the plot for a book, no one would buy it.

But Illinois politics have inspired plenty of books and movies – and probably no one has done it more convincingly in recent times than mystery writer Michael Harvey.

The name Svetlana Alliluyeva should ring a bell to those who know their 1960's history.

She was probably the most famous defector to the United States from the Soviet Union. She was especially famous because she was the daughter of Joseph Stalin, the hard-line Soviet Leader from 1924 to 1953. 

Boswell Books

For those wanting to learn more about our planet and those surrounding us, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago has been a go-to spot. The Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee is a great place to go when it’s not dark enough to see the night sky, or if you’d like to learn more about what you’re seeing.

But it’s not the only planetarium in Wisconsin.  In the tiny town of Monico there’s a unique planetarium created by a unique man. It’s the Kovac Planetarium and it is the creation of  Frank Kovac, Junior.

teakrulos.com

Milwaukee writer Tea Krulos isn’t holding any ordinary launch event for his new book.  Instead, he’s holding a conference - and it’s definitely not any ordinary conference.

Joe Parks

When it comes to intelligent animals, there are a handful that get a lot of attention.

Chimpanzees and other primates are thought to do a lot of things like human beings.  Dogs are considered man's best friend, capable of doing a multitude of jobs.  And in the sea, dolphins and whales are thought of as having keen intelligence.  When you think of intelligent animals, you probably don’t think of the octopus. 

Publishing's big week is almost over. The industry's annual convention, BookExpo America, ends Friday in New York, and on Saturday the publishing world opens its doors to the public with BookCon, where avid readers will get the chance to mix and mingle with their favorite authors.

If the book is dead, nobody bothered to tell the folks at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C. Books of every size, shape and genre occupy each square inch of the converted row house — including the bathroom — all arranged in an order discernible only to the mind of Jim Toole, the store's endearingly grouchy owner.

eloisajames.com

You could look at Mary Bly in two ways.

An academic with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a master’s from Oxford and a Ph. D from Yale. She is a Shakespearean scholar who is a tenured professor at Fordham University.

Many folks aren't inclined to choose horror as their favorite film genre, and fewer will actually admit it.

When we think of movies in the theaters now, the likes of romance, action and comedy come to the forefront. But the horror genre should not be pushed to the side. It is a billion dollar industry.

Courtesy of Tim Decker & Vince Prantil / Morgan & Claypool Publishers

Generations of college students have learned from textbooks that are often large, text-heavy, expensive paperweights that can make your eyes glaze over.

But cartoonist Tim Decker and MSOE mechanical engineering professor Vince Prantil have created a unique physics book that engages students through visual learning.

kathiegiorgio.org

The term “rape culture” has been used to describe recent stories of fraternity scandals and the assault allegations against celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Jian Gomeshi, football player Ray Rice and others.

Now, a story that Wisconsin author Kathie Giorgio originally started two decades ago has been published as a response to the increased attention to rape and the attitudes towards its victims.

University Press of Mississippi

Singer and actress Madeline Kahn is often remembered for her roles in Blazing Saddles, Paper Moon and in the Mel Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein. To this day, the late Kahn is thought of as both a comedic genius and something of a pioneer.

But 15 years after her death, new generations of film, musical theater and comedy enthusiasts are still discovering and learning from her work. 

"It's a measure of her gift...of her legacy that you don't have to have grown up on her to take delight in what she did," says biographer William V. Madison.

If hooked early, kids can become voracious readers.

It’s a sentiment that authors Faith Harkey and Marcia Wells agree with.

"Most readers want to connect with the protagonist," Harkey says. "Effective literature, whether its for children or adults, is effective partly because of that universality - that there is something accessible in that character that we can all connect with."

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