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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.

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. 

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.

Ron Wimmer Photography

Author Kathie Giorgio will be the first to tell you that her new book of short stories are not fairytales.

The compilation, called Oddities and Endings,  includes 40 stories about unusual characters wrestling with life's difficulties. The collection is the result of work that she's published over the years in various literary magazines. 

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.

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.

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.  

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.

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Most of us live our lives based on some assumptions. We think we know where we came from, and we believe that says something about who we are. But what happens when you find your life is based on a lie? What do you do, and who do you become?

Albert Lichtblau

Update: The paperback edition of "Born Survivors" has recently been published, and Wendy Holden will speak Monday (5/16/16) evening in Madison, along with Wisconsin physician Mark Olsky, one of the people her book profiles. 

Seventy years ago, three babies were born into desperate circumstances. Their mothers had been sent to almost certain death at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in German-occupied Austria. Against unlikely odds, they were born and survived the camps along with their mothers.

Bancroft Press

The Kennedy family is one of America’s great dynasties. They are famous for their wealth, their political power and influence, their scandals and, for what some considered an intentionally hidden secret, the fate of Rosemary Kennedy. She's the mentally fragile sister of President John, Attorney General Bobby and Senator Ted.

Ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome may seem completely different from penis theft, also known as koro, but they actually have a lot in common. All three can be classified as "culture-bound syndromes," perceived maladies informed by the cultures where they appear. 

JohnPickenPhoto / Flickr

When catastrophes happen, we tend to look at them as stunning events that shock the places they hit and the world at large. Think of the collapse of the housing bubble, or the massive outbreak of Ebola in West African nations. But writer Michele Wucker says that there are far fewer complete surprises that we might think, and in many cases, catastrophe is something that can be foreseen and acted upon before it happens.

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