Books

While some might have dreams of breaking earth-shaking news at a magazine like The New Yorker, Mary Norris’s aspirations were different.

Norris initially wanted to be a writer at the iconic literary news and culture magazine, but her first job there was in the archives. It was from there that she saw her dream job across the office on the copy desk, a place where she has remained ever since.

Norris has been with The New Yorker since 1978, the last 22 years as a query proofreader.

Organizers of the Shorewood Reads program hoped the city-wide shared reading event might help shape the community.

Nickolas Butler’s book, Shotgun Lovesongs, was selected for the community reading program.

Not only did the book impact the community, but also the author.

Workman Publishing

Illustrator Jessica Hagy thinks the well-known book on war strategy is a metaphor for just about everything.

Chinese general Sun Tzu's The Art of War is thought of as a classic of its time, covering various aspects of military strategy and philosophy. But while it is ostensibly about fighting a war, the text has been influential among people in other arenas, from sports to business to personal relationships.

tofuttibreak, flickr

From The Botany of Desire to The Joy of Cooking to Kitchen Confidential, books about food fill our bookshelves - if not literally our stomachs.

Recently, a sharp increase in violence has galvanized Milwaukee communities to look for solutions. Another perennial hot button topic in the city is racism, and the segregation it often causes.

It’s a topic Jennifer Morales knows well. Morales lived in Milwaukee for more than 20 years. It is where she raised her family, and where she was the first Hispanic to serve on the Milwaukee School Board.

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.

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