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Saturday, April 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

BOOKS

A Book A Week: The Sisters From Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen

Beverly Jensen wrote The Sisters From Hardscrabble Bay in the 1990s, but died of cancer before she could publish it. In fact it's not entirely clear whether she meant for it to be published, though she had been working with a writing group and taking writing classes. >More
 A Book A Week: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Is it just me? Why do I dislike books that so many other people love? This is going to turn into one of those deals where everyone asks me if I liked such-and-such a book, and I have to say "nooooo..." and then justify my response to their astonished looks. Like Atonement. Like The Corrections. And now, The Marriage Plot. >More
 A Book A Week: The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern

Rabbi Eliezer, a great sage, is accidentally frozen in a block of ice in Russia in 1889. He remains thusly preserved for over a hundred years until he is inadvertently thawed out and reanimated during a power surge in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1999. His unwitting rescuer is Bernie Karp, an overweight, socially awkward Jewish teenager who has found the frozen rabbi in his parents' basement chest freezer. >More
 Madison Central Library sells out

Since moving to a temporary location last year in advance of renovations to its home on West Mifflin, frequent visitors to the Madison Central Library have no doubt felt a piece of their lives missing, be it in the form of a favorite door handle or metal shelf. But for a limited time, those who wish to reclaim a portion of the library for themselves can do so through a public sale of the building's various accessories and materials. >More
 A Book A Week: Faith by Jennifer Haigh

Faith is the book I've been waiting for Mary Gordon or Alice McDermott to write. These women are leading writers of Irish-American fiction, but neither has taken on the subject of the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church. Jennifer Haigh has done it instead, and done it well. >More
 A Book A Week: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad is just the kind of book I like, so my year is off to a good start. It's clever and original, complicated but not difficult to read. It's funny and a bit sad at the same time. >More
 A Book A Week: The Oriental Wife by Evelyn Toynton

I swore I wasn't going to do this: pick up random books at the library. This was what got me into trouble last year; most of the books I found this way proved dull or annoying, and I wasted several days on each one. However, I can't seem to resist the habit, and this time it paid off. >More
 A Book A Week: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

In the Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris, Ernest Hemingway talks in clichés as he tosses his lovely hair out of his eyes. In The Paris Wife Hemingway also speaks in clichés, but whereas in the movie you know it's all a joke, in the book it's supposed to be serious dialogue. >More
 A Book A Week: Nemesis by Philip Roth

Leah Hager Cohen, writing in The New York Times, says she always thought Philip Roth's books were "for boys." Then she goes on to say how much she liked Nemesis. Why? It's just as boy-centric as all the others. >More
 Jacquelyn Mitchard says farewell to Madison with an extremely candid reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival

On Thursday, Jacquelyn Mitchard read with Mary Gordon and Diana Abu-Jaber at the Wisconsin Book Festival, but it was hard to focus on the other two. While they were dressed drably in black, our bestselling local author (The Deep End of the Ocean) was colorful in silver and purple. While they were low-key, Mitchard was funny, brazen and, at times, maybe a tad inappropriate. >More
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