Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book-Related Stories in the Milwaukee Media This Week.

Our email newsletter featuring events for the first half of September went out today. If you don't get our email newsletter, you can read it here. Why not sign up? We certainly don't oversend.

It's time to wrap up Milwaukee's week in book. In the Shepherd Express this week, the featured review is for A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law During the Great War, from Isabel Hull. Critic David Luhrssen writes that "A Scrap of Paper is a luminous account of war and international law with implications for recent and ongoing world conflicts."

Guest critic "Anthony Steven Lubetski" tackles Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad (FSG), a brand-new book from Brian Catlos. The review notes that "rather than follow the path of previous historians, Catlos points to an issue that is still relevant in politics today: the constant struggle for power and self-interest, regardless of religion, as the root of conflict in the Mediterranean."

David Luhrssen also reviews Valentio Di'Buondelmonte: A Tragedy in Five Acts, by Haig Khatchadourian. Luhrssen acts the question "Why write an Elizabethan tragedy in the 21st century—and accompany it with your own translation into contemporary English?" and UWM philosophy professor emeritus tries to answer it in this Firenze tragedy set on the cusp of the Renaissance.

Thanks to the Shepherd for giving a shout out to our Politics in Fact and Fiction event on Tuesday, featuring Kathleen Rooney and Julia Azari. The featured Book Preview event is a Woodland Pattern evening of poetry tonight (Saturday), August 30. CM Burroughs, Tony Trigilio and Soham Patel are featured.

Monday's Lake Effect, on WUWM, offers an appropriately back-to-school-inspired interview between Mitch Teich and Sarah Carr, who had a big success with her book, Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America's Children. Carr notes: ""Even though a lot of these changes occurred much quicker and at a much more wholesale rate in New Orleans than in other places, it really is illustrative of the kinds of debates and tensions being felt across urban America."

Here's a reprise of the interview with Jim Landwehr, author of Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir. The book is on a print-on-demand publishing platform, meaning it's short discount and nonreturnable. I know the author has probably placed at Martha Merrill in Waukesha, so if you like printed books in traditional bookstore, you should get Dirty Shirt there. We can also order a copy for you--I should note it's pre-purchase, nonreturnable, just to make things particularly complicated.

James Magruder came to Outwords in Milwaukee for his short story collection, Let me See it, and knowing his theater background, he made a good match for Lake Effect's Bonnie North. He comments: "I think fiction is much harder, at least for me, because there’s certain things that theater takes care of that you the writer don’t have to. So I don’t have to say, in a play, her narrow face was framed by chestnut curls. The actress, whoever you cast, does that."

Over in Wisconsin Public Radio, Kathleen Dunn interviewed Martha Ackmann, who wrote Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone the First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League. While the book came out four years ago, the topic is still timely. From WPR: "The number of African-American players in Major League Baseball is declining, and the excitement around Mo'ne Davis as a young woman pitching in the Little League World Series highlights the gender barrier that exists as well. Kathleen Dunn investigates why that is, and learns about women and African-Americans who have overcome the obstacles."

Wednesday's guest was Dr. Jan Pol, author of Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet, and starring in the fourth season of The Incredible Dr. Pol, which airs on the Nat Geo Wild channel. The show follows the rural veterinarian and his family on the daily duties of his clinic and on nearby farms. I would have picked this as a Larry Meiller guest. You WPR hosts never fail to surprise me.

Mike Rose is one of Thursday's guests. The featured book is 2004's The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker, but the author has also penned 2014's Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us. The show's promotional copy argues that "testimonials to the American worker often celebrate the physical labor, dignity, economic and moral value, but rarely the intellect."

Monday's Larry Meiller show featured recent Boswell visitor June Melby, whose My Family and Other Hazards chronicles the family's Waupaca mini-golf course. Larry talks about playing mini golf with his daughter all over the country. He really liked the book!

Wednesday's show features another Boswell favorite, Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes for their Increase Wisconsin, Studying Wisconsin. From the WPR site: "Increase Lapham was Wisconsin's Renaissance man. Larry Meiller visits with the authors of a comprehensive biography of the man considered to be Wisconsin's first great scientist and the Father of the U.S Weather Service."

Thursday's guest is Jay Ford Thurston, whose Spring Creek Reward chronicles a life of wild trout fishing. Boy, a lot of books that get press in Milwaukee on print on demand!

Yet another textbook for Joy Cardin's guest on Thursday. Robert Lichter discusses his book, Politics Is a Joke!: How TV Comedians Are Remaking Political Life. Lichter "discusses the effects that David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and others have had on political institutions, politicians, and the behavior on the voting public."

On Central Time, A Baraboo-area writing instructor involved in the the second community-penned novel, Dr. Vertigo’s Circus Spectacular, talks about the book, and the process and challenges of having multiple writers all working on the same novel.

Robb Ferrett talks to Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine at the , who notes that books and reading are a vital part of children's health. He's also an occasional children's librarian! His program is called "Reach out and read."

Here's Rob Weiner, who takes about the best fictional places in literature.

In the Thursday Journal Sentinel, Patricia Sheridan talked to Gayle Forman, the author of If I Stay, now a "major motion picture." This interview originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Also interviewed in the Journal Sentinel is William Kent Krueger, who talks to Laurie Hertzel. This profile originally appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Windigo Island is the 14th Cork O'Connor novel. A young Ojibwe girl's body washes up on the shores of Lake Superior, and that leads to the discovery that her friend has also disappeared.

Monday's Morning Blend featured a talk with Stacy Springob, whose CreateSpace book published last April is called What I learned from Never having a Boyfriend. The show writes: "Stacey Springob was eating lunch with her friend during her freshman year of college. Her friend was complaining about her boyfriend, and said to Stacey, 'You have it made, because everything you do doesn’t have to be given the OK by a guy; everything I do has to be cleared by my boyfriend.'" And so the book was born.

Here's a story to get you in the mood for Banned Book Week. WTMJ4 reports on Waukesha West High School's decision to not pull two books from the library that a group of parents considered too racy. The two titles? Chris Crutcher's Chinese Handcuffs and Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. A group previously tried to ban John Green's Looking for Alaska.

And finally, Jim Cryns' novel Bite Me, a Milwaukee-based Vampire novel that David Luhrssen compares to the work of Quentin Tarantino, was also featured in the Shepherd Express. He's reading at the Cedarburg Library and the Anodyne in Walkers Point. The book is also published on Amazon's CreateSpace platform, and was published last March.

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