Events

February

Thursday, February 21st
Bill Stokes: "Margaret's War"

7 pm

with Doug Moe

warMargaret’s War uses 15-year-old narrator Billy to juggle the broken heart, the trampled soul, and the fragile sanity of a beautiful young woman when male egos grab and grope at her with the absurd hands of war.

The isolated small town where Billy and Margaret live is suddenly thrust into the brutal reality of World War II when German POWs are brought in to help with crop harvesting. The face-to-face contact with the killers of their sons is not only beyond the capacities of Gold Star mothers, but twists the thinking of everyone, including Margaret, who is determined to challenge fate. That challenge gets Margaret, Billy, and his outrageous older friend and mentor Cy immersed in a women-empowering scheme to turn war on its historical head.

The forces of Nature and the contrariness of human nature conspire to bury their efforts in a merciless avalanche of such depravity that their very survival is threatened.

The issues of war veterans as stooges, the fall of racist innocence, and God’s role in war are among the things that Margaret, Billy, and Cy must step around as they go for broke with a plan that tries to enlist the help of Eleanor Roosevelt.

What finally happens is as unpredictable as to where Billy’s beloved dog Toby will next mark his territory.

Find out more about author Bill Stokes via this link.

Tuesday, February 26th
Muriel Simms, author of "Settlin': Stories of Madison's Early African American Families" -- at the Sun Prairie Library

6  pm

At the Sun Prairie Library

Only a fraction of what is known about Madison's earliest African American settlers and the vibrant and cohesive communities they formed has been preserved in traditional sources. The rest is contained in the hearts and minds of their descendants. Seeing a pressing need to preserve these experiences, lifelong Madison resident Muriel Simms collected the stories of twenty-five African Americans whose families arrived, survived, and thrived here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While some struggled to find work, housing, and acceptance, they describe a supportive and enterprising community that formed churches, businesses, and social clubs--and frequently came together in the face of adversity and conflict. A brief history of African American settlement in Madison begins the book to set the stage for the oral histories.

 

About the Author

Muriel Simms is a lifelong Madison resident and longtime educator in the Madison Metropolitan School District. She received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Edgewood College. 

Wednesday, February 27th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

Thursday, February 28th
Annelise Ryan: "Dead of Winter"

6:30 pm

Dead of Winter is the 10th book in the Winston series...surely reason for celebration! Join us to hear more from Annelise Ryan (aka Beth Amos, aka Allyson K. Abbott).

About the Book

Winters in Sorenson, Wisconsin, can be unforgiving. But it’s murder that keeps Mattie and her family from settling into their new home . . .
A new home, a new marriage, a new family. It’s a lot to sort out. But before medicolegal death investigator Mattie can smooth out the unexpected chaos of her new life, duty calls. At the local ER, a battered and bruised teenage girl has been brought in by a mysterious man who claimed she’d fallen out of a car. The staff is suspicious, but while they attend to the teenager, the unidentified man slips out. Then the girl dies, but not before informing social worker Hildy Schneider that the man had her little sister as well. 
Mattie’s exam reveals forensic evidence of long-term IV drug use and physical abuse, findings consistent with Hildy’s suspicion that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. They are able to confirm her identity as a teen who went missing six months ago, along with her sister—facts that are deeply unsettling to Mattie who now shares a home with her husband’s teenaged daughter. 
Working closely with Hildy and Sorenson homicide detectives, including her husband Steve Hurley, Mattie must delve into a dark underworld to stop the ruthless trafficking of human lives—before it's too late for another young girl..

Find out more about one of our favorite local authors Annelise Ryan on the Mattie Winston website

March

Sunday, March 03rd
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson 

Wednesday, March 06th
Danish Culinary Event with Carol "Orange" Schroeder

6 pm at HotelRED

Carol “Orange” Schroeder has a BA in Danish Studies from Tufts University, including a year abroad at the University of Copenhagen, and an MA in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition to running the award-winning gift and gourmet shop Orange Tree Imports for over forty years, she is the co-author of Eat Smart in Denmark with her daughter Katrina Schroeder Smith. Orange compiled the book-length bibliography "Danish Literature in English Translation," and has translated several books about handcrafts from Danish to English.


Coffee and dessert will be served after the presentation.
Please RSVP via Meetup
 
Sponsored by Orange Tree Imports and Mystery to Me bookstore.
Wednesday, March 13th
Judy Gwinn Adrian discusses "Tera's Tale"

7 pm

About the Book
Through her fiercely independent yet childlike eyes, Tera allows us to enter the recesses of her guarded world. Her Aussie sister, Beth, walks with us, compassionately guiding and explaining.
Tera’s life? A world of secrets. A place of shame. A lifetime of expanding mental illness. Tera moves from collector to hoarder, progressively tipped by the compulsion into a perilous world of rats and disease. 
As Tera repeatedly expressed through words, actions and even rage, she did not live like other people. And yet, living an ordinary life of home and family was her greatest desire. 
It would never be.
 
About the Author
Judith Gwinn Adrian lives in Wisconsin. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in adult fiction from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Adrian has been a self-published author since her retirement from Edgewood College, where she has worked for 25 years. Tera's Tale is her third book.
Thursday, March 14th
Author Jeff Nania discusses "Figure Eight -- a Northern Lakes Mystery"

7 pm

About the book

While on routine patrol, John Cabrelli, a decorated law  enforcement officer, is dispatched to a disturbance call. The tense situation requires all of his skill and experience get things under control. Then tragedy strikes, an innocent victim dies, and many lives are forever changed….

About the author

Jeff Nania was born and raised in Wisconsin. His family were residents of the storied Madison Greenbush neighborhood. His first career was in law enforcement serving in many roles. He was a decorated officer and found great value in serving the community.

Friday, March 15th
Andy Kutler: "The Batter's Box"

7 pm

Local journalist Doug Moe will be interviewing Andy Kutler about his new book, The Batter's Box.

battersboxAbout the Book

In 1946, a returning World War II veteran is determined to reclaim his place among professional baseball’s upper echelon and win back the woman he once fell for. Two months into the new season, at the top of his game, he abandons his team, casting aside his fame and riches and vanishing forever from the public eye. What drives a man to walk away from everything he cherishes, never to be heard from again?

Praise for The Batter's Box

“Andy Kutler has the eyes and ears of combat soldiers and the heart of those who love them. The horror, courage, and camaraderie of battle rivals the grit of Once an Eagle, while the poignant authenticity of Will Jamison’s struggles with his hidden wounds highlight that, for many, the impact of war lingers far past the last shots of battle. The Batter’s Box is a superb work of historical fiction that carries important lessons for today.”  - William E. Rapp, Major General, U.S. Army (ret.)

Find more information about Andy Kutler on his author website.

Sunday, March 17th
Sarah J. Carlson: "All the Walls of Belfast"

2 pm

with Doug Moe

BelfastAbout the Book

Fiona and Danny were born in the same hospital. Fiona’s mom fled with her to the United States when she was two, but fourteen years after the Troubles ended, a forty-foot-tall peace wall still separates her dad’s Catholic neighborhood from Danny’s Protestant neighborhood.

After chance brings Fiona and Danny together, their love of the band Fading Stars, big dreams, and desire to run away from their families unites them. Danny and Fiona must help one another overcome the burden of their parents’ pasts. But one ugly truth might shatter what they have.



About the Author

carlson

Sarah J. Carlson writes contemporary YA that delves into complex, real world problems. Professionally, she is a school psychologist who works primarily with a diverse, mostly low income population. Her professional focus is around supporting the success of children with behavioral and mental health needs and helping to promote resilience in children who have been exposed to trauma or toxic stress. Sarah lives outside Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children, and two energetic terriers.

Thursday, March 21st
Jim Leary: "Folksongs From Another America"

7 pm

At the Middleton Public Library
7425 Hubbard Ave, Middleton

Please sign up for this event via the library website.

The first 2019 lecture in the Middleton Library Scholar'd for Life series. Professor Emeritus Jim Leary presents a multi-media lecture on the vibrant yet largely neglected folk/ethnic/roots music of diverse peoples in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest and what that tradition tells us about the American experience.

Jim Leary is a public folklorist who was born and raised in Rice Lake in northwestern Wisconsin. He earned a B.A. in English Literature, Notre Dame; an M.A. in Folklore, University of North Carolina; and a Ph.D. in Folklore and American Studies, Indiana University. Since the early 1970s his research has focused on the traditional songs, stories, customary practices, and handwork of indigenous and immigrant peoples and their mostly rural and working class descendants in America's Upper Midwest, resulting in numerous museum exhibits, folklife festivals, public radio programs, documentary sound recordings, films, essays, and books. Director of UW's Folklore Program from 1999-2009, Leary co-founded and currently directs the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, a populist public humanities center devoted to research, the development of archival collections, and public programs regarding the languages and folklore of the region's diverse peoples.
 
Copies of his latest book, Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946 will be available for purchase, and the evening will conclude with a book signing.

Saturday, March 23rd
Pat Zietlow Miller & Eliza Wheeler -- "When You Are Brave"

1:30 pm       

What does it mean to be brave? When should you try?

New York Times best-selling author of Be Kind -- Pat Zietlow Miller will be at the store with illustrator Eliza Wheeler for their new book When You Are Brave -- An inspiring picture book affirmation about having courage even in difficult times, because some days, when everything around you seems scary, you have to be brave. 

About the Author

Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine. Now, she writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night. Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


About the Illustrator

illustratorEliza Wheeler grew up in Northern Wisconsin in a family of teachers, musicians, and artists. Drawing was her favorite form of play as a child, her emotional outlet as a teen, and her passion as an adult. Some of the strongest influences on her creativity have been the wild Wisconsin seasons, canoeing the Brule River, picking blueberries with her Grandmother, and digging through the snow with her brothers.

 

Wednesday, March 27th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm 

Book TBA

April

Tuesday, April 02nd
Michael Stevens - The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin

7 pm

pioneerAbout the Book

Stevens provides an intimate glimpse into pioneer life through stories told by those who were settling in Wisconsin between the mid-1830s and the 1850s. Excerpts from pioneer letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other documents give readers a first-hand account of what it felt like to be an immigrant on a packed ship crossing the ocean, a 16-year-old riding in a wagon heading west, or a mother living in the Lake Superior region grieving the loss of her child. 

In their own words, these early settlers reveal their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in a new place. Woven together with context provided by Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers. At its heart, "The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin" is about people dreaming of, searching for, and creating new homes in a new land. These are the stories of immigrant pioneers who settled, adapted, and built a new life in the Upper Midwest. 

 

About the Author stevens

Michael E. Stevens is the Wisconsin State Historian Emeritus and author of 13 books and nearly 30 articles. He has won the Gambrinus Prize for the best book on Milwaukee history and the Association for Documentary Editing’s Lyman Butterfield Award for career contributions in historical research, teaching, and documentary editing. Stevens earned his Ph.D. in American history from UW–Madison and held varying roles at the Wisconsin Historical Society, including archivist, state historian, and state historic preservation officer. 

 

Thursday, April 04th
Dr. Joshua Mezrich discusses his book "When Death Becomes Life" -- at the McFarland Public Library

6:30 pm

McFarland Public Library

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Joshua Mezrich creates life from loss, transplanting organs from one body to another. In this intimate, profoundly moving work, he illuminates the extraordinary field of transplantation that enables this kind of miracle to happen every day. When Death Becomes Life is a thrilling look at how science advances on a grand scale to improve human lives

Friday, April 05th
Doug Walsh discusses "Tailwinds Past Florence"

7 pm

About the Book

Their love spans centuries. Will it survive a journey around the world?
After getting blacklisted from the venture capital industry, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Vaughan will do anything to avoid telling his wife what happened. Even if it means agreeing to her dream of bicycling around the world. Kara, tired of being married to a workaholic, was readying for a divorce. Now, she’s packing bags of a different kind. Together, they pedal away from Seattle, headed east on the open road across America, Europe, and beyond.

 

About the Author

Doug Walsh was born in New Jersey and now writes from the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington state. A longtime author of video game strategy guides for Brady Games, Tailwinds Past Florence marks his debut into fiction. The novel was inspired by his round-the-world bicycle travels.

Saturday, April 06th
Coffee and chats with Libby Hellman on "High Crimes" … and more!

10:30 am

Meet author Libby Hellman over this informal coffee event, where she will be signing her books, including her newest, High Crimes!

About the Author

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago over 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they'll take her out of the Windy City feet first. 
She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony and three times for Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and has won the IPPY and the Readers Choice Award multiple times. Libby hosts both a TV interview show and conducts writing workshops at libraries and other venues. She was the national president of Sisters In Crime, a 3500-member organization dedicated to the advancement of female crime fiction authors. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese.

Libby was interviewed by Sonali Dev on High Crimes - please see here for the interview.

hellmanAbout the Book

How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects?

That’s the task facing Chicago PI Georgia Davis, hired to hunt down those behind the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election. The gunman, on a nearby hotel rooftop, dies within minutes of the shooting.  As Georgia sifts through Dena’s 42,000 Facebook followers, she discovers that unknown enemies hiding behind fake profiles have infiltrated the group. She finds others who will do whatever it takes—including murder—to shield right-wing, wealthy elites. Threats and bruises have never frightened Georgia, but she’s side-swiped by the sudden reappearance of her mother, who abandoned her when she was a child. Can she survive a family crisis at the same time she pursues killers whose only goal is to protect themselves?

Sunday, April 07th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm 

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah 

Wednesday, April 10th
National Library Week

Event at Monona Library

1000 Nichols Rd, Madison

Link to library

 

More information to follow

Wednesday, April 10th
Parker Palmer, author of "Courage to Teach", "Let Your Life Speak," and "On the Brink of Everything" at the McFarland Public Library

6:30 pm

McFarland Public Library

 

More information to follow

Thursday, April 11th
Poetry with Bent Paddle Press

7 pm

Bent Paddle Press invites all to come and hear poetry from four authors. The four poets (and their Bent Paddle books) are: Jeanie Tomasko, The Collect of the Day and Dove TailRon Czerwien, a little rain, a little moreRonnie Hess, Canoeing a River with No NameRichard Merelman, Sensorium.

Find out more about the authors and their work at Bent Paddle Press

Friday, April 12th
David Benjamin discusses his new novels - A Celebration of Last Kid Books!

7 pm

David Benjamin's "Last Kid Books"  ...A Lifetime of stories to tell! 

Join us for a wonderful evening full of laughter and storytelling!

 

killed

latinDavid Benjamin has a lifetime of stories to tell.

Last Kid Books is his way — before it’s all over — to get those stories where they belong, into the hands of people who can read and enjoy them.

David Benjamin is the author of The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked (Random House, 2002), SUMO: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Japan’s National Sport (Tuttle Publishing, 1990), Three’s a Crowd (Event Horizon Press, 2013), and A Sunday Kind of Love (Event Horizon Press, 2014). 

With the death of his agent in 2012, David Benjamin lost his lifeline to America’s publishing hub in New York City. After six years of trying to cajole his way back into the book trade’s inner circle, Benjamin took stock of himself and decided he couldn’t wait any longer to be “discovered.” He recalled the words of his Grandma Annie: “If you want something done right, you’d better do it your own damn self, sweetie.”

Last Kid Bsummerooks is David Benjamin, doing it by his own sweet self.

To punctuate the arrival of Last Kid Books, and to distinguish himself from authors who “have one good book” in them, David Benjamin is launching Last Kid Books with three volumes at once: an essay collection appropriately called Almost Killed by a Train of Thought, and two novels, Summer of ’68 and Skulduggery in the Latin Quarter.

Working with book designer Kristin Mitchell of Little Creek Press and with Park Printing in Verona, Wisconsin, along with many talented friends — like illustrators Greg Holfeld and Junko Yoshida, and copy editor Diana Scheben — Benjamin intends to publish at least three Last Kid Books every year ’til the pile of manuscripts starts to shrink a little.

Wednesday, April 24th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

May

Sunday, May 05th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Munich by Robert Harris

Tuesday, May 14th
Doug Moe interviews author Patricia Skalka discusses her newest Door County mystery: "Death By the Bay"

7 pm

Join us for a rousing evening with local journalist Doug Moe interviewing author Patricia Skalka bout her newest Door County Mystery! 

About the Book

Is a mysterious medical institute pursuing a miracle cure—or covering up a heartless con?

“A touching and original story. Sheriff Cubiak is the kind of man you would always want to handle such personal and painful matters. All the characters spring off the pages.”—Maureen Jennings, author of the Murdoch Mysteries

The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries pit a former troubled Chicago cop against a roster of clever killers on the Door County Peninsula in the heart of the Midwest. Set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty, the series kicks off with Death Stalks Door County and continues with Death at Gills Rock and Death In Cold Water. Death by the Bay is the fourth book in the series. 

About the Author

Skalka turned to fiction following a successful career in nonfiction. Her many credits include: Staff Writer for Reader’s Digest, freelancer, ghost writer, writing instructor, and book reviewer. 

Skalka is president of the Sisters in Crime Chicagoland Chapter and a member of several professional organizations, including The Authors Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Midland Authors. She lives in Chicago and Door County WI.

Sunday, May 19th
Children's Author Lisl Detlefsen reads "Right This Very Minute" and "1,2,3 Jump!"

3 pm

Right This Very Minute

What's that you say? You're hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer. You have the stories of so many right here on your table! 



1, 2, 3 Jump!

From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), 3, 2, 1 Jump! covers the what if’s and how to’s of getting in the pool for the first time.

 

 

 

 

Lisl Detlefsen is a Wisconsin author of a growing number of award-winning picture books including If You Had a Jetpack and Time for Cranberries.

Wednesday, May 22nd
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

Thursday, May 23rd
Dr. Joshua Mezrich discusses his book "When Death Becomes Life" -- at the Sun Prairie Public Library

6 :30 pm

Sun Prairie Public Library

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Joshua Mezrich creates life from loss, transplanting organs from one body to another. In this intimate, profoundly moving work, he illuminates the extraordinary field of transplantation that enables this kind of miracle to happen every day. When Death Becomes Life is a thrilling look at how science advances on a grand scale to improve human lives.

June

Sunday, June 02nd
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian 

Friday, June 21st
John DeDakis - Confessions of a CNN Journalist

7 pm

In addition to discussing his mystery series, John will share with us his "Confessions of a CNN Journalist" and give us a bit of a preview into his forthcoming book Fake.

His mystery novels Troubled Water and Bullet in the Chamber will be for sale. 

 

johnAbout the Author

John DeDakis (find his author page via this link) grew up in La Crosse and is a former White House Correspondent, former Senior Copy Editor for CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," and author of four mystery suspense-novels featuring a strong female protagonist. During his award-winning career in journalism (25 years at CNN), he interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He taught journalism at The University of Maryland - College Park, and regularly leads writing workshops at Politics and Prose and nationwide.

Wednesday, June 26th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

July

Sunday, July 07th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

The Scribe by Matthew Guinn 

Wednesday, July 24th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

August

Sunday, August 04th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows by Nick Drake 

Wednesday, August 28th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm 

Book TBA

September

Sunday, September 08th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

(moved one week for Labor Day)

12:30 pm

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catronia McPherson 

Wednesday, September 25th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

October

Sunday, October 06th
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin 

Wednesday, October 23rd
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

November

Sunday, November 03rd
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths 

Wednesday, November 27th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

December

Sunday, December 01st
History’s Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

NB Meeting location change: ask group lead Catherine Streiffer for new location.

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Wednesday, December 25th
No Mystery to Me Book Club

Closed for the Holidays