Bestseller Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal is a good novel for foodies and for people who are familiar with the Twin Cities. If you like food—church basement suppers, high-end locally sourced gourmet ingredients, or county fair bake-off bars—this is a tasty treat. If you are familiar with the Twin Cities you will enjoy references to St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market, First Avenue, Loring Park, and Seward Co-op.
Last Bus to Wisdom is a charming, funny, heartwarming, and autobiographical novel set mainly in Montana and briefly in Manitowoc. Donal is an eleven-year-old orphan living in Montana with his grandmother who is a cook on the Double W ranch. In the summer of 1951, his grandmother needs surgery, and Donal is sent on the Greyhound Bus (which he calls the dog bus) to Manitowoc to stay with his Great Aunt Kate and Great Uncle Herman.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a famous author, or maybe even written a few things of your own that was not quite bestseller material? Don't be discouraged. Writing takes work and we all have to start somewhere. Journalist and Editor Julia Scott put together a book appropriately titled Drivel in which dozens of respected, professional writers share the worst thing they have ever written. If you think your favorite author simply woke up one day and wrote a bestseller, think again.
The summer reading program is in full swing at the Fond du Lac Public Library. The theme this year is Behold! The Power of Reading. You can sign up for the program online at www.fdlpl.org, or at any of the library service desks. Anyone can participate, and it only takes a minute to sign up. It is so easy - simply mark off a circle on your reading card for every 30 minutes of reading you do. It can be reading together as a family, or reading to others. Any format of reading qualifies, even listening to audiobooks.
After publishing nonfiction books (Population 485, Coop, Visiting Tom), Wisconsin author Michael Perry has published his first novel, Jesus Cow, which just may leave you laughing out loud. His new novel is much like his previous books—full of humor, quirky characters, and some food for thought. Main character Harley Jackson is just trying to hold on to the last few acres of farmland that belonged to his family.
Have you "herd" about the new book by actor David Duchovny? If you are in the mood for some silliness, Holy Cow, Duchovny's debut novel, approaches some serious real world issues in a highly humorous manner. There's nothing overly special about the book. It is a very whimsical story about farm animals that become friends and are looking to escape the inevitability of their lives. It is light, easy, entertaining, fast paced and, at times, just plain silly.
Two senior citizens find love and danger in the driftless area around Soldiers Grove and Viroqua in Paul Zimmer’s novel The Mysteries of Soldiers Grove. This is a quick read with some humor, some serious points about growing old, and a happy ending. Told in alternate chapters by Cyril and Louise who both live at the assisted living center in Soldiers Grove. Cyril is alone in the world. He had a hard childhood with drunken parents and sought comfort in reading biographies in the encyclopedia.
Take it from me - you just can't read Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan without getting hungry...and laughing out loud. In this, his latest book, bestselling author and successful comedian Jim Gaffigan gives us an absolutely hysterical view of how important food is to him. Much of Gaffigan's success, in both writing and comedy, is due to his ability to make fun of food culture and his own obsession with eating. No wonder his shows sell out theatres around the world.
Wisconsin author Lesley Kagen, who wrote the popular books Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces, has 2 new books with Milwaukee area settings. The first is a novella, The Undertaking of Tess, and the second is a novel, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing. The Undertaking of Tess is set in Milwaukee in August 1959.
Jan Karon continues her Mitford series, set in a fictional small North Carolina mountain town, with Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. This is classic Christian fiction by Jan Karon—heartwarming, character-driven, and hopeful. Retired Episcopal priest Tim Kavanagh returns to Mitford with his wife Cynthia after journeys to his Mississippi hometown and a trip to Ireland. There is an upheaval at his old parish, and Father Tim is asked to fill in for the current priest who is leaving.