Category: Review

  • Review: ‘My Own Words’

    My Own Words By Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 400 pages, Simon & Schuster, 2016 Review by Carolyn Kane The amazing Ruth Bader Ginsburg has inspired a variety of Halloween costumes, T-shirts, and action figures; two coloring books; a song cycle; a play; a movie; and an opera. The praying mantis Ilomantis ginsburgae is named in her […]

  • New Standalone Romance from Local Author

    Door County resident Katherine Hastings released her new book, A War Within, on Nov. 7. The historical romance novel is the second released for Hastings in 2018, preceded by her first novel, In the Assassin’s Arms. A War Within is a historical romance novel set in France during World War I. Unlike her first book, […]

  • Review: The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

    Your future was laid out before. It’s all set. You have plans and a method to execute them. Each step of your journey will progress in order, just as it’s meant to be, and any bumps in the road will be dealt with accordingly. As in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White, […]

  • Wade in the Water: Review

    Many people think of a “poet” as a writer who searches for inspiration by wandering through the woods or walking beside the sea, notebook in hand. Perhaps Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” comes to mind. But Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate of the United […]

  • Review – Black Klansman: A Memoir

    by Terri Schlichenmeyer   You want no part of that. In fact, the farther away you are from whatever-it-is, the happier you’ll be. Nope, some things are not your friend. Some things are not good for you at all. And as you’ll see in the new book Black Klansman: A Memoir by Ron Stallworth, some […]

  • A Review? Infinite Jest

    In the weeks since I finished David Foster Wallace’s canonized Infinite Jest, other books I read feel as though they’ve been run through a thesaurus machine with the dial turned way down. Perhaps that is why I asked our editorial team if I could write something about my experience reading the 1,000-page text. But even […]

  • Review: Cold As Thunder

    For anyone who is weary of novels and movies about teenagers saving the world, Jerry Apps’ new book Cold as Thunder will come as a refreshing change. It is a dystopian novel in which almost all of the heroes are past the age of sixty, and they belong to a club known as the Crystal […]

  • Review: ‘The Language of Kindness’

    The Language of Kindness Christie Watson/336 pages, Tim Duggan Books, 2018   There was a time in your life when you tried everything. Full-time, part-time, gig-worker, entrepreneurship, you changed jobs like most people change clothes. It’s exhausting and disheartening and author Christie Watson had the same experience:  café worker, milk deliverer, video shop clerk, she […]

  • Review: ‘Death Rides the Ferry’

    Death Rides the Ferry Patricia Skalka/208 pages, University of Wisconsin Press, 2018   For readers with a logical turn of mind, it is bliss is to sit by the fireside and read a well-written mystery novel – a book with a valiant hero or heroine, a mysterious murder, the theft of a priceless object, a […]

  • Book Review: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

    The word “dystopia” – meaning a negative utopia – is a relatively new but useful addition to the English language. A dystopia is typically a work of fiction set in the midst of a utopian project that has gone horribly wrong. One of the most enduring dystopian novels is George Orwell’s 1984 (published in 1949); […]

  • Book Review: Michael Perry’s ‘Montaigne in Barn Boots’

    In the first sentence of his new book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, Michael Perry attempts to test an electrified pig fencer by seizing it with both hands. Two chapters later, while packing his van for a book-and-performance tour, Perry keeps reminding himself not to forget the cash box. He jumps into his van, heads down […]

  • Book Review: ‘The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir’

    When Kao Kalia Yang was very young, her father explained to her how children come into the world. “Before babies are born,” he said, “they live in the sky where they race along with the clouds and can see everything – the beauty of the mountains, the courses of streams, the dirt of the paths that […]

  • Book Review: ‘Out the Door!’ by M.L. Collins

    According to promotional material, M. L. Collins’ new book Out the Door! is a satirical novel about “geology, sex, politics, the environment, prairie voles, cheese curds, casinos, aphrodisiacs, sturgeon, trilobites, herring gulls, Hat Island, a bit of mystery and more!” A critic might reasonably wonder whether Ms. Collins or any other writer could handle all […]

  • Review: ‘The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For’

    David McCullough’s new book The American Spirit will come as welcome relief to people who are so beaten down by the constant reports of bad or bizarre news that they are in no mood to give thanks or be merry during the forthcoming holidays. The American Spirit is small enough to fit into a Christmas […]

  • Review: ‘The Summer Before the War’

    Helen Simonson followed the bestseller success of her 2010 debut novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand with a second book, The Summer Before the War. The British author had spent her teenage years in the East Sussex village of Rye, the setting for her novel which begins in 1914 during the summer before the beginning of […]

  • Review: ‘My Baking Bloopers’ by Charlene Berg

    Charlene Berg is a familiar figure in the Gills Rock area. On summer mornings her sleepy customers gather at the Gills Rock Coffee Shop to sample Charlene’s cherry turnovers, cinnamon rolls, and fresh-baked quiche. A businesswoman of considerable ability, Charlene is also the author of a recently published autobiography, My Baking Bloopers & Other Amusing […]

  • ‘The Weirding Storm’: A Dragon Epic For Our Time

    In the sea of time long past, many mighty creatures have risen to prominence only to be swallowed up by the unending cycle of death and renewal. Some fought valiantly for their survival; others were wiped out quickly and mercilessly. A tale of one of these moments in time is found in the pages of […]

  • Review: ‘Hag-Seed’ by Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood, Canadian author of more than 40 books of fiction, has just brought out her latest novel, Hag-Seed, the title taken from one of the disparaging epithets slung at the monstrous Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. However, the much-maligned character fares better in Atwood’s fictional treatment of the play. Felix Phillips, Atwood’s protagonist, has […]

  • Review: ‘Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories’

    “The children of Milwaukee are the reason I wrote this book,” Jennifer Morales explained. “Their struggles, discoveries and resilience in this difficult place compelled me to try to pin some of Milwaukee’s voices down, to listen and maybe sound out something about how this city came to be the way it is.” Morales’ collection of […]

  • Review: ‘Two If by Sea’

    Frank Mercy, the hero of Jacquelyn Mitchard’s latest novel, is the most star-crossed fictional character since Romeo and his Juliet. At the end of the four-page first chapter of Two If by Sea, Frank’s life has already been destroyed twice, and more wreckage is certainly on the way. Jacquelyn Mitchard, a long-time resident of Madison, […]