Books

Ali Eminov

Since 2009, Little Free Libraries have grown from one in the front yard of a house in Wisconsin to over 25,000 little libraries in over 80 countries.

Todd Bol, from Hudson, built the first one six years ago as a memorial to his mother. Today, their popularity has soared far beyond the borders of Wisconsin. There are Little Free Libraries around the world.

boswell.indiebound.com

At 32 years old, Milwaukeean Phil DiMeo was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa – an inherited, degenerative eye disease that leads to severe vision impairment, and often complete blindness.

But for 14 years, DiMeo hid the diagnosis from all but a handful of people, and continued to work and live his life as though there was nothing wrong with his sight.

gregtrine.com/stevenarntson.com

As anyone who’s spent time in a bookstore knows, there’s no such thing as just a “children’s book.” There are board books for the youngest readers, picture books, chapter books, young adult novels – and there’s middle-grade fiction.

In some ways, that last category is the hardest to define, because middle-graders themselves change so much in such a short period of time.

Workman Publishing

The English language is usually a pretty useful tool. Most of us don't have too much trouble finding a word to describe what we're talking about.

But it's a rapidly changing world in which we live, and ideas often come along that defy easy explanation. Like, say, the use of microscopic components to build machines, it's a concept called nanorobotics.

A new book by Lizzie  Skurnick is about neologisms, names for things that didn't have names before.

markwisniewski.net

The breakout novel by Milwaukee native Mark Wisniewski is told from the point of view of two characters.

Arkansas native Jan hopes to break into a career as a horse racing jockey and Deesh is a young African-American man fleeing a crime he was a party to in New York City. You wouldn't expect their lives to intersect.

andrealochen.com

  Fiction draws on the imagination of its author. But even within that very basic idea, Wisconsin writer Andrea Lochen had to tap into the imaginary in a major way for her new novel.

There was her own imagination in crafting the story, which centers on a small-town Wisconsin woman coming to terms with her toddler's imaginary friends.

www.thanhhalai.com

In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War, this country’s relationship with Vietnam has changed a lot.  The two countries have strong economic ties now, but perhaps more importantly, more Americans are traveling there as tourists – including many Americans who once fought there as soldiers.

Select Books, Inc.

What happens to us after we die is a question we have wrestled with since humans became self-aware. Some of us believe in a heaven, some in karma and reincarnation, others in the great void, and many of us prefer not think about it at all.

Vivian Probst has thought about it – and written about it in her debut novel Death By Roses. Her protagonist, Mae Rose, experiences an unusual, and funny, death – and a life of sorts after it.

liamcallanan.com

The oral history and public radio series, StoryCorps, frequently makes the point that “listening is an act of love.”  It is probably not a stretch to imagine that the fictional characters who drive writer Liam Callanan’s new book might buy into that idea.

catwarren.com

A common sight in tragedies such as this week’s Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps is working dogs, helping their human handlers search for human remains. Dogs are also used for bomb detection, rescuing disaster survivors, and sniffing out illegal contraband and other professional tasks. The work of these dogs is seen as equally heroic as the human effort.

paukrus / Flickr

This spring is the 100th anniversary of one of the most notorious maritime tragedies in history – but there is probably a lot you didn’t know about the sinking of the Lusitania.

antoniamurphy.com

In the modern day rat race of our constant and busy lives, few people actually act on the common thought of leaving the city behind and heading out in search of a simpler lifestyle.

Antonia Murphy was brave enough to actually do it. Murphy is an American whose primary experience with farm life came from an ill-fated effort to care for her father's chicken.

Milwaukee Police / Riemann

From Ferguson to New York to Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park, a lot has happened during the past year that's caused the relationship between the police and citizens to erode.

emilygraytedrowe.com / St. Martin's Press

In the days since the Vietnam War, our society has gotten better, if not perfect, at recognizing the challenges faced by veterans returning home from combat.  Their stories have been told more frequently, and more organizations exist to help them readjust.

But a new novel by a Midwestern writer focuses on a lesser-told story – that of the families of wounded veterans, and the issues they face trying to nurture their loved ones back to health. 

James Adnerson didn't set out to write a mystery novel, but he couldn't avoid it either.

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