Wednesday, April 25th
Mystery to Me Book Club


Himself by Jess Kidd

Thursday, April 26th
Davie Fletcher reads "Blacktooth"

Reception: 6:30 pm

Book Reading: 7 pm

Blacktooth is the kind-of-true tale explaining why people are afraid of pirates, pirates are afraid of dentists, and dentists have treasure chests. Come along as Barnacle Bill tells Lizzie the story of Blacktooth, the most feared pirate who ever lived. Find out why boarding the boat of a dentist changed Blacktooth's life - and the lives of all pirates. By the end of Blacktooth's tale, you'll agree that you can't judge a pirate by his eyepatch. With strong characters and beautiful artwork, Blacktooth features the grossest pirate mouth ever to sail the Seven Seas, and explains the real reason dentists have pirate chests.

Saturday, April 28th
Independent Bookstore Day!

Open 10 am to 8:30 pm

(open late for an event with our special guest, author Chloe Benjamin - see below)

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April. Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. Be sure to stop by Mystery to Me for lots of fun and surprises! 

This year Independent Bookstore Day exclusives include: 

 “Fight the Power” utility pouch featuring a quote from Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad

 Salt, Fat, Acid Heat signed print

 Ungrateful Mammals by Dave Eggers (Signed Edition with a a unique cover hand drawn by Dave)

 “Bad Citizen” graffiti stencil featuring a quote from Margaret Atwood

 The Book Club Journal

Literary Tea Towels

 A Literary Map of the Universe

….and more!

Saturday, April 28th
Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Chloe Benjamin!

7 pm

RSVP's for this event are appreciated! Click here for a link to Eventbrite. 

About the Book

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

About the Author

Chloe Benjamin is an author from San Francisco, CA. Her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2014), received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was long listed for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her second novel, The Immortalists (Putnam/Penguin Random House, 2018). The Immortalists will be published in over twenty-three languages, and TV/film rights have sold to the Jackal Group.

A graduate of Vassar College and of the M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chloe also teaches workshops on the business of publishing, from writing a novel to finding a literary agent. She lives with her husband in Madison, WI.


Wednesday, May 02nd
Illustrator Lauren Eldridge presents "Sleep Train"

5 - 8pm

Madison Children's Museum (family night event: free admission)


Part bedtime story, part counting book, part children’s fantasy, Sleep Train is a magical ride to dreamland... A little boy climbs into bed with a book and starts counting the train cars in it, between the engine and caboose. "Ten sleepy cars going clickety-clack," reads the refrain. But as the boy counts cars and gets sleepier and sleepier, his room looks more and more like one of the train cars from his book--the sleeping car, of course! 

Rhythmically told by the author of the Froggy books, Sleep Train is also stunning to look at. 3D illustrator, Lauren Eldridge, has sculpted an entire train full of intricate details. Lauren earned her BA of Environmental Design in Landscape Architecture from University of Minnesota, her MA in Early Childhood Exceptional Education with a focus on Culturally Responsive Literacy Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and taught in special education classrooms for five years. She employs materials like shredded tires, clay, aluminum, doll eyes, cardboard, wire, mud, acrylic paint, paper, glass, cloth, wood and ink to achieve her visual creations. She is also the illustrator of CLAYMATES, written by Dev Petty (I Don’t Want to Be a Frog).

Thursday, May 03rd
Madison Writers' Studio

6 pm

Palliative care students read from their most recent work - public welcome

Sunday, May 06th
History's Mysteries Book Club

12:30 pm

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn


Sunday, May 13th
Closed for Mother's Day

Closed all day for Mother's Day. We'll re-open on Tuesday, May 15th at 9 am!

As a Mother's Day Fift, consider a Mystery to Me gift card (order online here!), a beautiful book about birds, or perhaps the first book in a thrilling new series (ask us in the store)!

mothers day

Friday, May 18th
Patricia Skalka discusses "Death Rides the Ferry"

7 pm 

About the Book -- the 4th in the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries

It’s a sparkling August day on Washington Island and the resonant notes of early classical music float on the breeze toward the sailboats and ferries that ply the waters of Death’s Door strait. After a forty-year absence, the Viola da Gamba Music Festival has returned to the picturesque isle on the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. Sheriff Dave Cubiak enjoys a rare day off as tourists and a documentary film crew hover around the musicians.
The jubilant mood sours when an unidentified passenger is found dead on a ferry. Longtime residents recall with dismay the disastrous festival decades earlier, when another woman died and a valuable sixteenth-century instrument—the fabled yellow viol—vanished, never to be found.
Cubiak follows a trail of murder, kidnapping, and false identity that leads back to the calamitous night of the twin tragedies. With the lives of those he holds most dear in peril, the sheriff pursues a ruthless killer into the stormy northern reaches of Lake Michigan.

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 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. See also Skalka's website.

Saturday, May 19th
Walk for Dyslexia at Brittingham Park

Join us for th 9th Annual Walk! 

Click here for registration information.

Saturday, May 19th
"If You Had a Jet Pack" with author Lisl Detlefson!

2 pm 

A fun and creative answer to the question "what would YOU do if you had a jetpack?" perfect for fans of Boy and Bot and How to Train a Train.

Join one inventive little rabbit as he and his brother put their new jetpack to good use!

Having a jetpack is fun--if you know what to do with one. 
If you had a jetpack, you could:
  *  Teach your brother how to build one too.
  *  Demonstrate its usefulness at Show and Share Time at school.
  *  Give your principal a ride home.
  *  Fly south to visit your nana.
  *  Visit the astronauts on the space station and help with anything that needed fixing.

"An energetic, crowd-pleasing read-aloud that can be revisited again and again."--SLJ
"This vivid picture book will leave kids longing for jetpacks, while taking off on their own flights of fancy."--Booklist


Lisl H. Detlefsen lives on a cranberry marsh near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, with her husband and two sons. She writes while she watches wildlife wander past her office window.  Her favorite part of the year is when it's time for harvest.

Saturday, May 19th
Dane Buy Local Spring Celebration

all day!

Buy a Spring Celebration Passport and have it stamped at all participating locations to redeem a giveaway item (we have one waiting for you at the store!). Find more information via the Dane Buy Local Facebook event.

Wednesday, May 23rd
Madeline Uraneck discusses "How to Make a Life"

7 pm

Middleton Public Library


How to Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family and the Midwestern Woman

When Madeline Uraneck said hello to the Tibetan woman cleaning her office cubicle, she never imagined the moment would change her life. After learning that Tenzin Kalsang had left her husband and four children behind in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India to try to forge a better life for them, Madeline took on the task of helping her apply for US visas. When the family reunited in their new Midwestern home, Madeline became swept up in their lives, from homework and soccer games to family dinners and shared holiday traditions. By reaching out, she found more than she bargained for—a family who welcomed her as their own and taught her more than she offered them.

An evocative blend of immersion journalism and memoir, How to Make a Life shares the immigration story of a Tibetan refugee family who crossed real and cultural bridges to make a life in Madison, Wisconsin, with the assistance of the Midwestern woman they befriended. From tales of escaping Tibet over the Himalayas, to striking a balance between old traditions with new, to bridging divides one friendly gesture at a time, readers will expand their understanding of family, culture, and belonging.

About the Author

Madeline Uraneck: "I didn’t travel out of the U.S. until my early 20s, when I dropped out of grad school to attend a workshop in Cuernavaca, Mexico, by radical educators Paulo Friere and Ivan Illich. I was definitely one of the so-called lefties who drifted back-to-the-land in the early 1970s, weaving and cycling in the valleys of Wisconsin’s Iowa County. At Folklore Village Farm near Ridgeway, a small folk-arts center, I fell under the spell of gnome-like gardener, festival planner, folk dancer, rustic-roads romantic Jane Farwell, who became my mentor. Her passions pushed me toward a summer of folk dance in Poland, then a full year of dance and village exploration in Dalarna, the folk heart of Sweden.

Professionally, I found always-interesting jobs, a “lateral jumper” to positions in schools, media, and state government, each one leading to wider-ranging paths of travel. I think many colleagues in the state education office where I worked at the time gasped as I took off suddenly, at age 59, for a late-in-life Peace Corps assignment to a country in southern Africa – Lesotho – that few, including me, had ever heard of. Lesotho was only one of many less-visited countries that awaited me after that..."

Wednesday, May 23rd
Mystery To Me Book Club

6 pm

Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

Thursday, May 24th
Scott Spoolman on "Wisconsin State Parks"

7 pm

Moderated by Doug Moe

After a very successful event on April 12, author Scott Spoolman returns for another event!

spoolmanIn Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History, author and former DNR journalist Scott Spoolman takes readers with him to twenty-eight parks, forests, and natural areas where evidence of the state’s striking geologic and natural history are on display. In an accessible storytelling style, Spoolman sheds light on the volcanoes that poured deep layers of lava rock over a vast area in the northwest, the glacial masses that flattened and molded the landscape of northern and eastern Wisconsin, mountain ranges that rose up and wore away over hundreds of millions of years, and many other bedrock-shaping phenomena. These stories connect geologic processes to the current landscape, as well as to the evolution of flora and fauna and development of human settlement and activities, for a deeper understanding of our state’s natural history.

The book includes a selection of detailed trail guides for each park, which hikers can take with them on the trail to view evidence of Wisconsin’s geologic and natural history for themselves.

About the Author

Scott Spoolman is a science writer who has focused on the environmental sciences, especially those stories of natural science and the environment related to Wisconsin and surrounding states. After earning a master's degree from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, he worked for several years as an editor in the publishing industry, specializing in textbooks and other educational materials. Since 1996, he has worked as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of outlets and has coauthored several editions of a series of environmental science textbooks.

Saturday, May 26th
An Acoustic Evening with author and musician Robert Hunter

Doors open 6.30 event starts 7 pm

at Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe (next door to Mystery to Me) 

Relapse and Revival Tour

Robert Hunter is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and author of the highly anticipated novel Relapse. Known best for his unique brand of lyrical alt-country-rock, Robert’s first two Eps Afterglow and Outta my Mind were celebrated critically and described as “magnetic.” The third studio effort Revival was largely inspired by his wife, Becky, who insisted upon its release – as well as the publication of Relapse, in spite of her battle with an aggressive form of cancer. Now Becky is in remission. And with a trio of potent EP’s under their belt, along with a new novel, the pair are embarking on a nationwide tour to celebrate life, love, and the madness of it all!

Saturday, May 26th
(Picture) Book Time with Lora Hyler!

11 am

About the Book

mightyA Multi-cultural group of superheroes are entering middle school. They’re excited to work on the new CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology in their advanced science classroom, and share a love of spy-gadgets.

Twelve-year old Marty grapples with adolescence and superpowers inherited from his maternal grandmother. Christopher, Marty’s buddy since kindergarten realizes his friend has been keeping a secret. Marty’s antics in their Advanced Science classroom and swim practice can’t be explained away, and his grandmother is getting suspicious. She advises him not to use his superpowers until she says he’s ready. Her powers helped Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

Soon, Marty is testing his superpowers, and creating robot soldiers who follow his every command. He learns international goons are working with the school bully to steal valuable CRISPR-Cas9 data stored at their beloved International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

In the nation’s capital, Marty’s hard-pressed to keep his promise to his Granny. His superpowers and spy gadget expertise are tested in ways he never could have imagined. The goons will stop at nothing to get the prized CRISPR-Cas9 secrets onto the private jet destined for their home country. Who will win?


About the Author

Lora Hyler (author page): "My sense of adventure began when I discovered the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren loraand Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Who doesn’t want to win a golden ticket and spend the rest of their life running a chocolate factory? My adventure-writing often began with real life travel adventures to children museums and distant lands.

I carried my love of reading and writing into a radio news career as a reporter for NPR affiliate, WUWM and ABC affiliate, WISN, both in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I also worked for a media and an energy company managing writing, editing and strategic communications. In 2001, I started my public relations and marketing company, Hyler Communications, and worked with companies in many industries. Among them: Northwestern Mutual and Marquette University. I also worked in television, as a live guest commentator for two years on Today’s TMJ4 television station.

I’ve written hundreds of articles, several screenplays, short stories, and a novel. Now, I’m excited to write children books. I joined the 22,000 member international organization, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and have a mutually supportive relationship with my fellow authors. The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes is the first in a planned three-part series.

My screenplays have not yet become movies, but I’ve had a lot of fun so far on the journey. I’ve met Hollywood producers and attended the Emmy awards!"

Sunday, May 27th
Agatha Christie Book Club

3:30 pm

Thursday, May 31st
Jerry Apps on "Cold as Thunder"

7 pm

-with Bill Lueders

Middleton Public Library

ColdasThunderAbout "Cold As Thunder"

Since the Eagle Party took power in the United States, all schools and public utilities have been privatized, churches and libraries closed, and independent news media shut down. Drones buzz overhead in constant surveillance of the populace, and the open internet has been replaced by the network of the New Society Corporation. Environmental degradation and unchecked climate change have brought raging wildfires to the Western states and disastrous flooding to Eastern coastal regions.

In the Midwest, a massive storm sends Lake Michigan surging over the Door County peninsula, and thousands of refugees flee inland. In the midst of this apocalypse, a resourceful band of Wisconsin sixty-somethings calling themselves the Oldsters lays secret plans to fight the ruling regime's propaganda and show people how to think for themselves...

About the Author

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author JerryAppsof more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. Jerry is a former publications editor for UW-Extension, an acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and editor of a national professional journal. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Science, was named a Fellow by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters in 2012, and was named to the Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2016, Jerry won the White Cedar Outstanding Teaching Award from The Clearing.


Friday, June 01st
Bill C. Malone: Book and Music at Common Ground in Middleton

Music at 6 - 6.45 pm and 8 - 9 pm

Book signing and reading at 7 - 8 pm

Bill C. Malone will talk about his new book Country Music, U.S.A.: 50th Anniversary Edition and play at new Middlteton diner meets cafe Common Ground, during Common Ground's Friday Fish Fry specials that last from 5 - 9 pm.

country music usa

About the Book

The essential companion to the 2019 Ken Burns documentary on country music, in which Bill Malone appears as a featured historian, this fiftieth-anniversary edition of Country Music USA traces the music from the early days of radio into the new millennium.

About the Author

Bill C. Malone (born August 25, 1934) is an American musician, author and historian specializing in country music and other forms of traditional American music. He is the author of the 1968 book Country Music, U.S.A., the first definitive academic history of country music. Malone is Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University and now resides in Madison, Wisconsin. See also his Facebook page.

Saturday, June 02nd
Stephen Robert Stein - "The Oath"

2 pm


The Oath tracks the intertwined lives of Dr. Katz and SS Doktor Bloch, who both survive Auschwitz and the war to practice medicine in the United States, never losing the stains upon their souls. Katz, a respected Jewish French surgeon captured by the Nazis, volunteers to serve at Auschwitz, believing he can protect his wife and children from the gas chambers by helping Joseph Mengele and other SS physicians with their human studies. There he meets Tamara Lissner, a Czech teenager who miraculously survives death in the chambers, but when he hides her in his lab, she becomes witness to the medical torture Katz is forced to impose upon fellow Jews as he assists Doktor Bloch in his cold immersion experiments. After the war, Doktor Bloch avoids criminal prosecution through "Operation Paperclip," a clandestine government program that welcomed German scientists to America (including Werner von Braun), ignoring Nazi ties and their participation in the war. Years later, Tamara reenters Dr. Katz's life, helping him deal with the shame and guilt of his actions at Auschwitz. But just when Katz is coming to terms with his past, he receives a call from former Auschwitz inmate Martin Brosky, who has devoted his life to bringing painful retribution to Nazi criminals who have evaded capture. Martin insists that Michel help him kill Bloch, and Michel must now weigh the risks of defying Martin against the sweetness of revenge, knowing well that his own sordid complicity at Auschwitz could be revealed.

About Author Stephen Robert Stein

Stephen Stein is a retired orthopedic surgeon who now lives in Batesville, Indiana with his wife Rebecca and two children. Growing up in Studio City California, he earned a BA at UCLA and an MD at University of Wisconsin, Madison. He served as a medical officer in the US Army for four years during the Vietnam War. Dr. Stein practiced orthopaedic surgery in Phoenix Arizona for 30 years. Along with his teaching activities, he took orthopaedic residents on clinics throughout the Navajo reservation during his time in practice. In addition, he was appointed to the Medical Board of Arizona where physicians’ patient care and conduct was monitored. After moving to Indiana, Dr. Stein began serving as a Trustee of the Batesville School Board and as a Director of the Ivy Tech Community College Foundation of Indiana. Dr. Stein began writing following his experience on the Medical Board where he became witness to the wide variety of behavior and unusual histories prevalent among the medical doctor population. To better understand the history of the Holocaust, he has traveled extensively throughout Europe visiting most all of the places mentioned in “The Oath”.

Sunday, June 03rd
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye

Friday, June 08th
J.F. Riordan on "Robert's Rules"

7 pm


Robert’s Rules is Book Three in the award-winning North of the Tension Line series, set on a remote island in the Great Lakes. Called a modern-day Jane Austen, author J.F. Riordan creates wry, engaging tales and vivid characters that celebrate the well-lived life of the ordinary man and woman. 

As the new Chairman of the Town Board, Fiona Campbell finds that life has become a series of petty squabbles, dull meetings, and papers everywhere, all complicated by her guardianship of the as yet unidentified screaming goat. In desperation, she hires an unknown newcomer, the compulsively orderly Oliver Robert, to run her office and keep her organized. Roger’s fame as an idiosyncratic yoga practitioner continues to spread, and he and Elisabeth are looking for a new location to accommodate the growing crowds at their tiny coffee shop. Ferry Captain and poet Pali has an offer to leave the Island, and wonders whether it is time to introduce his son, Ben, to the larger world. Meanwhile, the Fire Chief is threatening to quit, and Fiona finds herself faced with an Island controversy and an unwanted set of new responsibilities. As Pete Landry prepares to leave for one of his regular journeys, Fiona begins to suspect that his life may be more than it seems. His secrecy raises doubts in her mind about whether he can be trusted, and their breakup plunges her into grief.  The reliable Jim, always nearby, is all too ready to offer comfort.

About the Author

J.F. Riordan was born in New Jersey and first moved to Michigan, then Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, and at 16 went to the University of New Mexico to study voice. She continued her music studies in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest, finished her college degree, and became certified to teach high school. Riordan currently lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs. 

Saturday, June 09th
"A Stone to Carry Home" Poetry (and coffee!) by Andrea Potos

11 am

Andrea Potos will read from her new book "A Stone to Carry Home" - and a Greek barista will provide the public with exquisite coffee!

AndreaPotosIn her new collection, Andrea Potos exults in images of luminous earthly beauty -- a blue scarf lake, Greek bread that tastes of heaven and salt, cobbled streets shining like jet in the rain -- that also hint at the inevitability of loss. In these poems, Potos prepares to watch her daughter leave home and then takes us with her and the daughter on her journey to Greece and into the mountains of her ancestors, where eventually they arrive to the ruin that was once the home of her beloved grandfather. There is a sense of resilience in the talismans she evokes -- cut fresh lemons and olive oil, stars in the sky that light up the stones at night, and of course, the stones themselves -- that image by image bring past and the present together to offer a deep and expansive sense of home.

Friday, June 15th


Sunday, June 17th
Closed all day for Father's Day

Looking for a great Father's Day gift? How about Scott Spoolman's book Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History, a gift card for the store (purchase now online!), or a Moleskin notebook (browse our selection in the store)!?


Monday, June 18th
Signing and Reading! Chloe Benjamin on "The Immortalists"

6.30 pm

at E.D. Locke Public Library in McFarland

immortalistsAbout the Book

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

About the Authorbenjamin

Chloe Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Immortalists, a #1 Indie Next Pick, #1 Library Reads pick, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, Amazon Best Book of the Month, and an iBooks Favorite.

Her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was long listed for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Her work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. Originally from San Francisco, CA, Chloe is a graduate of Vassar College and the M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Wisconsin. She lives with her husband in Madison, WI.

Friday, June 22nd
Michael Bell Reads from "City of the Good"

7 pm

About the BookBell

People have long looked to nature and the divine as paths to the good. In this panoramic meditation on the harmonious life, Michael Mayerfeld Bell traces how these two paths came to be seen as separate from human ways, and how many of today’s conflicts can be traced back thousands of years to this ancient divide.

Taking readers on a spellbinding journey through history and across the globe, Bell begins with the pagan view, which sees nature and the divine as entangled with the human—and not necessarily good. But the emergence of urban societies gave rise to new moral concerns about the political character of human life. Wealth and inequality grew, and urban people sought to justify their passions. In the face of such concerns, nature and the divine came to be partitioned from the human, and therefore seen to be good—but they also became absolute and divisive.

Bell charts the unfolding of this new moral imagination in the rise of Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Jainism, and many other traditions that emerged with bourgeois life. He follows developments in moral thought, from the religions of the ancient Sumerians, Greeks, and Hebrews to the science and environmentalism of today, along the way visiting with contemporary indigenous people in South Africa, Costa Rica, and the United States. City of the Good: Nature, Religion and the Ancient Search for What is Right urges us to embrace the plurality of our traditions—from the pagan to the bourgeois—and to guard against absolutism and remain open to difference and its endless creativity.


Bell2About the Author
Michael Mayerfeld Bell is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is also a faculty associate in religious studies, environmental studies, and agroecology. His many books include the award-winning Childerley: Nature and Morality in a Country Village and Farming for Us All: Practical Agriculture and the Cultivation of Sustainability.
Monday, June 25th
Cara Black on "Murder on the Left Bank"

7 pm

Yes! We're open (on a Monday!) for this event

About Murder on the Left Bank


This is the eighteenth mystery in the New York Times bestselling Parisian detective series! 

A dying man drags his oxygen machine into the office of Éric Besson, a lawyer in Paris’s 13th arrondissement. The old man, an accountant, is carrying a dilapidated notebook full of meticulous investment records. For decades, he has been helping a cadre of dirty cops launder stolen money. The notebook contains his full confession—he’s waited 50 years to make it, and now it can’t wait another day. He is adamant that Besson get the notebook into the hands of La Proc, Paris’s chief prosecuting attorney, so the corruption can finally be brought to light. But en route to La Proc, Besson’s courier—his assistant and nephew—is murdered, and the notebook disappears.

Grief-stricken Éric Besson tries to hire private investigator Aimée Leduc to find the notebook, but she is reluctant to get involved. Her father was a cop and was murdered by the same dirty syndicate the notebook implicates. She’s not sure which she’s more afraid of, the dangerous men who would kill for the notebook or the idea that her father’s name might be among the dirty cops listed within it. Ultimately that’s the reason she must take the case, which leads her across the Left Bank, from the Cambodian enclave of Khmer Rouge refugees to the ancient royal tapestry factories to the modern art galleries.

About the Author

Cara was born in Chicago but has lived in California’s Bay Area since she was five years old. Before turning to writing full-time, she tried her hand at a number of jobs: she was a barista in the Basel train station café in Switzerland, taught English in Japan, studied Buddhism in Dharamsala in Northern India, and worked as a bar girl in Bangkok (only pouring drinks!). After studying Chinese history at Sophia University in Tokyo—where she met her husband, Jun, a bookseller, potter, and amateur chef—she obtained her teaching credential at San Francisco State College, and went on to work as a preschool director and then as an agent of the federally funded Head Start program, which sent her into San Francisco’s Chinatown to help families there—often sweatshop workers—secure early care and early education for their children. Each of these jobs was amazing and educational in a different way, and the Aimée Leduc books are covered in fingerprints of Cara’s various experiences. More on Cara Black's personal website.


Tuesday, June 26th
Jason Fletcher Reads "The Genome Factor"

7 pm

Middleton Public Library

About the BookGenome Factor

For a century, social scientists have avoided genetics like the plague. But the nature-nurture wars are over. In the past decade, a small but intrepid group of economists, political scientists, and sociologists have harnessed the genomics revolution to paint a more complete picture of human social life than ever before. The Genome Factor describes the latest astonishing discoveries being made at the scientific frontier where genomics and the social sciences intersect.

The Genome Factor reveals that there are real genetic differences by racial ancestry—but ones that don't conform to what we call black, white, or Latino. Genes explain a significant share of who gets ahead in society and who does not, but instead of giving rise to a genotocracy, genes often act as engines of mobility that counter social disadvantage. An increasing number of us are marrying partners with similar education levels as ourselves, but genetically speaking, humans are mixing it up more than ever before with respect to mating and reproduction. These are just a few of the many findings presented in this illuminating and entertaining book, which also tackles controversial topics such as genetically personalized education and the future of reproduction in a world where more and more of us are taking advantage of cheap genotyping services like 23andMe to find out what our genes may hold in store for ourselves and our children.

The Genome Factor shows how genomics is transforming the social sciences—and how social scientists are integrating both nature and nurture into a unified, comprehensive understanding of human behavior at both the individual and society-wide levels.


About the Authors

Dalton Conley is the Henry Putnam University Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His many books include Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask. He lives in New York City. Jason Fletcher is Professor of Public Affairs, Sociology, Agricultural and Applied Economics, and Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He lives in Madison.

Wednesday, June 27th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

Thursday, June 28th
"We Rise to Resist" Book Reading

6 pm

at First Unitarian Society Church

About We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action:resist

“There are more seasons to come and there is more work to do" Hillary Clinton told her supporters following her surprising defeat in the 2016 presidential election.  Taking these words to heart, on January 21, 2017 millions of women (and men) across America - opposing a president-elect, many considered a misogynist - marched in protest.  This was the first mass action of an emerging women’s political resistance movement.  This book, written in the unique voices of 36 political resisters who are participating in a growing, women-led, effort to face down assaults on a wide range of issues affecting the political and cultural environment now and going forward.

Speaking truth to power on widely diverse topics, essayists and interviewees include a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice; an award-winning feminist theologian; a New Mexico assistant Attorney General; a naturalized Muslim-American; warhorse activists who previously fought for reproductive, civil and immigrant rights; first time protesters; and ordinary women of good will who, frightened about the political environment their daughters and granddaughters will inherit, decided to take action. Their voices echo the sisterhood of determined women, and men, everywhere who love America and stand in solidarity over their concerns.

Edited by Paula vW. Dáil* (Lead Editor) and Betty L. Wells

Find out more via


Sunday, July 01st
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

Roman Games: A Plinius Secundus Mystery by Bruce McBain

Wednesday, July 04th
Closed all Day for Independence Day

We'll reopen on Thursday morning, July 5, at 9 am!


Sunday, July 22nd
Agatha Christie Book Club

3 pm

Tuesday, July 24th
Patricia Sutton introduces "Capsized!" - with Doug Moe

7 pm

capsizedAbout the book: On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, filled to capacity with 2,500 passengers and crew, capsized in the Chicago River while still moored to the pier. Happy picnic-goers headed for an employee outing across Lake Michigan suddenly found themselves in a struggle for their lives. Trapped belowdecks, crushed by the crowds attempting to escape the rising waters, or hurled into the river from the upper deck of the ship, roughly one-third of the passengers, mostly women and children, perished that day. 

     The Eastland disaster took more passenger lives than the Titanic and stands today as the greatest loss of life on the Great Lakes. Capsized! details the events leading up to the fateful day and provides a nail-biting, minute-by-minute account of the ship's capsizing. From the courage of the survivors to the despair of families who lost loved ones, author Patricia Sutton brings to light the stories of ordinary working people enduring the unthinkable.
     Capsized! also raises critical-thinking questions for young readers: Why do we know so much about the Titanic's sinking yet so little about the Eastland disaster? What causes a tragedy to be forgotten and left out of society's collective memory? And what lessons from this disaster might we be able to apply today?

Author Patricia Sutton (author page): "From the time I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. I’d make flashcards with words suttonand pictures, to teach my “class” of stuffed animals and dolls how to read. Many years later, I became a real teacher and I loved my work. I really enjoyed teaching about the Oregon Trail, the Chicago Fire, archaeology and immigration.

I think that’s why I’m a nonfiction writer for kids. I still do all the research, like I did as a teacher. But instead of standing in front of a classroom, I write it down in books. I enjoy finding little-known stories and shining a light on them. 

Of course to be an author, you need to know how to write. That’s why I went back to school. In January, 2018, I graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Did you know you could enroll in a college program that’s all about writing for kids?

 I lived in Schaumburg, Illinois for twenty years and spent most of that time teaching at Lincoln Prairie School, in Hoffman Estates. My husband Dan and I moved to Madison, Wisconsin a few years ago, where we can be closer to my children and grandsons."

Wednesday, July 25th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA


Sunday, August 05th
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

The Harper's Quine by Pat McIntosh

Wednesday, August 08th
Book(s) Launch! David Krugler & Lori Rader-Day

7 pm

Lori Rader-Day, author of The Day I Died, The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things, is the recipient of the 2016 Simon and loriSchuster Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she is the immediate-past president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter and on the board of Sisters in Crime Chicagoland. Under a Dark Sky is her fourth novel.

About Under a Dark Sky

underSince her husband died, Eden Wallace's life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn't work, has given up on her love of photography, and is so plagued by night terrors that she can't sleep without the lights on. Everyone, including her family, has grown weary of her grief. So when she finds paperwork in her husband's effects indicating that he reserved a week at a dark sky park, she goes. She's ready to shed her fear and return to the living, even if it means facing her paralyzing phobia of the dark.



David Krugler grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He left his home state to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. kruglerAfter graduating with degrees in English and history, he earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He moved back to Wisconsin in 1997 to teach at the University of Wisconsin—Platteville, where he’s now Professor of History. More about David Krugler can be found on his author page.



About Rip the Angels From Heaven

Intelligence officer Ellis Voigt fights to prevent the Soviets from infiltrating the Manhattan Project while running from enemies on both sides, in the thrilling sequel to The Dead Don't Bleed. Desperate to keep the secrets that threaten his life, Lieutenant Ellis Voigt of the Office of Naval Intelligence can't escape a web of double-agents and undercover spies who follow his every move. The FBI suspects he's the communist who murdered a Naval officer in a Washington back alley. The Soviets believe he's holding back information from their contacts, and they're willing to use any means necessary to extract it.



Wednesday, August 22nd
Mystery to Me Book Club

6 pm

Book TBA

Friday, August 24th
New book in Cork O'Conner Series: William Kent Kruger on "Desolation Mountain"

7 pm



About Desolation Mountain

To Stephen O’Connor, Hamlet’s dour observation is more than just words. All his life, he has had visions of tragedies to come. When he experiences the vision of a great bird shot from the sky, he knows something terrible is about to happen. The crash of a private plane on Desolation Mountain in a remote part of the Iron Lake Reservation, which kills a United States senator and most of her family, confirms Stephen’s worst fears. Stephen joins his father, Cork O’Connor and a few Ojibwe men from the nearby Iron Lake reservation to sift through the smoldering wreckage when the FBI arrives and quickly assumes control of the situation. What seems like the end of the O’Connors’ involvement is, however, only the beginning of a harrowing journey to understand the truth behind the Senator’s death. In that far north Minnesota County, which is overrun with agents of the FBI, NTSB, DoD, and even members of a rightwing militia, all of whom have their own agendas, Cork, Stephen, and Bo attempt to navigate a perilous course. Roadblocked by lies from the highest levels of government, uncertain who to trust, and facing growing threats the deeper they dig for answers, the three men finally understand that to get to the truth, they will have to face the great menace, a beast of true evil lurking in the woods—a beast with a murderous intent of unimaginable scale.

About the Author

William Kent Krueger is an American novelist and crime writer, best known for his series of novels featuring Cork O'Connor, which are set mainly in Minnesota. In 2005 and 2006, he won back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel. In 2014, his stand-alone book Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2013. Krueger has said that he wanted to be a writer from the third grade, when his story "The Walking Dictionary" was praised by his teacher and parents. He attended Stanford University, but his academic path was cut short when he came into conflict with the university's administration during student protests of spring 1970. Throughout his early life, he supported himself by logging timber, digging ditches, working in construction, and being published as a freelance journalist; he never stopped writing. Krueger is married and has two children. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Sunday, September 09th
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

The Good Knight by Sarah Woodbury


Sunday, October 07th
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen


Sunday, November 04th
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell


Sunday, December 02nd
History's Mysteries Book Club

12.30 pm

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters