Staff Picks

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

I am interested in reading books with a Wisconsin connection—either the author is from Wisconsin or the setting is Wisconsin. In this case both the author and the setting have a Wisconsin connection. Chad Harbach grew up in Racine and has set his debut novel The Art of Fielding in Wisconsin at a fictional college called Westish which is somewhere north of Milwaukee and south of Door County.

Back to School and Back to Non-Fiction

The first hints of fall are here: the chill in the early morning air, a few yellow leaves on trees in Lakeside Park, and kids heading back to school. While the kiddos may be dreading the end of summer break and the return to class, I love this time of year. I find myself reading more non-fiction as the days get longer and the leaves turn. Hints of fall just make me want to learn something new! Libraries often are called places of “lifelong learning.” What does that even mean?

A Book for People Who Liked Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

While reading The Informationist by Taylor Stevens I was struck by how this thriller has some of the same aspects of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I think people who enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would also enjoy The Informationist.

Dystopias and You

Dystopian novels are all the rage in YA lit right now—from The Hunger Games, Matched, and Scott Westerfield's

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  • Mischief Managed.

    The last Harry Potter movie is being released today and I find myself feeling strangely sad. As someone who doesn’t even particularly love the movies, this is a pretty odd sensation.

    I started reading Harry Potter in 1999. I was almost the same age as the characters and it all felt so deliciously real. I devoured the first book and immediately demanded the second. Luckily, it had just come out, and in a matter of a day or two, I had finished that one too. Then came the waiting for the publication of the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    A Grown-up Book for People Who Like Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia

    The final Harry Potter movie is coming out this month. If you liked reading the Harry Potter series and the Chronicles of Narnia series, try reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This is a book about magic with dark overtones. The main character, Quentin, is a high school senior who has always loved the “Chronicles of Fillory” and feels disconnected with his world. He goes for a college interview only to find the interviewer dead and a strange paramedic there who gives him an envelope that leads him to Brakebills, a college for magicians.

    Allison Hewitt Is Trapped by Madeleine Roux. Published 2010

    This book is a little different from what I usually read, but I like to read books that have a Wisconsin connection. The author Madeleine Roux went to Beloit College and started a fiction blog which is the basis for this book. The main character Allison is a graduate student in Madison and working at a bookstore when the zombie apocalypse breaks out. She is able to connect to the Snet—a secret military emergency Internet—when she can find electricity to recharge her laptop computer and write her blog.

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