books

Mitch Teich

The rise of actor Rainn Wilson to prominence should provide some comfort to awkward adolescents everywhere.  Wilson was a bassoonist, Dungeon-and-Dragons playing nerdy kid in Seattle before being nerdy was cool.

A move to the Chicago area in high school allowed him to break out of his earlier mold and pursue theater ( though he kept up with the bassoon).  While it didn’t happen overnight, Wilson connected with acting, and with comedy, and the most visible result was his character, the intense Dwight Schrute, on the long-running NBC comedy, “The Office.”

Curbside Splendor Publishing

Mental illness can take on many forms and create unique challenges for those who suffer from it, and for those who take care of the afflicted.

A new book by Milwaukee writer Dasha Kelly follows the journey of a young girl named CeCe as she cares for her chronically depressed mother while also caring for herself as she grows up.

Bonnie North

For the past 40 years, the University of Milwaukee’s literary journal, Cream City Review, has been publishing stories, essays, poems, reviews and artwork from around the world. The journal is run by volunteers and receives almost 4,000 submissions a year.

Thomas Cizauskas / Flickr

The Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books runs Friday and Saturday in Waukesha. Eighty authors and presenters will be part of the event at UW-Waukesha.  And among them are a number of cookbook authors who will talk and demonstrate from the cookbook stage.

That includes a couple of frequent contributors to Lake Effect – beer writer Lucy Saunders and cheese writer Jeanette Hurt who are teaming up their expertise along with beer and cheese.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society

Many journalists aren’t afraid to ask hard questions, but not all of them are willing to put themselves in a perilous situation.

War correspondents tell an important story to the world by bringing words and pictures of the people whose lives are risked in battle. And in doing that, they put their own lives at risk. The deaths of reporters such a Marquette graduate James Foley and others in the Middle East drive that point home.

Dave Reid, flickr

Milwaukee's food history is diverse and shows no signs of slowing down.

From brews and brats to a formidable farm-to-table market, food writer Lori Fredrich's new book, Milwaukee Food: A History of Cream City Cuisine, explores the city's past and present food developments, restaurants and chefs.

Macmillan Publishers

Katherine Applegate won one of the biggest honors in children’s literature - the Newbery Medal - for her 2012 novel, The One and Only IvanThe book, written in the first person perspective of a gorilla, made readers think about how we treat animals.

Applegate raises some equally complex questions in her latest novel.

Andrew Langdal / Flickr

Detroit was once the industrial heart of America, the giant of the world’s auto industry, and the driving beat of Motown.  As the city narrative goes, those days have passed and the city sits like a veritable ghost town on the left bank of the Detroit River.

monikakorra.org

Monika Kørra, of Norway, was a student at Southern Methodist University in Texas a few years ago. She competed as an elite-level track athlete, but her life took a major turn when she was kidnapped leaving a party and brutally gang raped.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 74% of rapes are never reported and 15 out of 16 rapists never go to jail. Fortunately in Kørra's case, all three men were found and arrested within a week of her attack.

Writer Jojo Moyes has a name that lacks gravitas. To be honest, I even feel a bit silly saying her name when I recommend her novels to people — which I do, often and energetically. It's hard to imagine a "Jojo" ever winning the Nobel Prize for Literature; but Moyes has already won a pretty good consolation prize — that is, the kind of staunch, adoring readership that will follow her novels anywhere they go.

kathleenernst.com / Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Even with a warm couple of days this week, fall is unquestionably in the air in Wisconsin. You’ve probably been able to turn off the air conditioner, the leaves will soon begin to turn, and it’s time to finish picking tomatoes and start getting the sweaters and sweatshirts out of storage.

indianasapplepie.com

Of the many world cuisines that Americans have adopted or developed a taste for, Indian is perhaps one that can scare home cooks the most. The country is large and understanding the regional differences and achieving the complex flavors can be intimidating.

Anupy Singla wants to change that.  The Chicago-based author and journalist has written a number of cookbooks, maintains a website, teaches classes at a variety of stores, and runs a food and housewares company called Indian as Apple Pie.  

jaimeehills.wordpress.com / Waywiser Press

One published collection into her career, Milwaukee poet Jaimee Hills is an award-winner.

Hills’s new book is called How to Avoid Speaking, and it’s the recipient of the 10th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.  The poems have a little something for everyone, in terms of style, tone, form, and subject matter. 

Oneterry Aka Terry Kearney / Flickr

Milwaukee author Lauren Fox’s latest novel that came out over the summer is called Days of Awe, which she told Lake Effect about in a recent interview (included in audio below).

Macmillan Publishers

Regardless of your personal history, most people can agree that sixth, seventh and eighth grades are a pivotal period in a child’s life – the middle grades between adolescence and young adulthood. And the new middle grade novel by Milwaukee area native Jane Kelley has that complicated transition at its heart.

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