Past Events

September

Tuesday, September 27th
Mystery To Me and The Cap Times Present Pete Souza: The West Wing And Beyond: What I Saw Inside The Presidency

Time: Doors at 6:00p, Event at 7:00p

Location: The Orpheum, 216 State St, Madison, WI 53703

Ticketing information: Buy tickets here

THE WEST WING AND BEYOND: WHAT I SAW INSIDE THE PRESIDENCY

Saturday, September 24th
Monroe Street Festival

Join us at the Monroe Street Festival

Monroe Street Festival

Thursday, September 22nd
Virtual Event: Anika Fajardo

Time: 7:00p

Where: Livestreaming on Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover for Meet Me Halfway

 

About the book

When new classmates Mattie and Mercedes meet and realize they have the same Colombian dad, the two team up in a Parent Trap–inspired misadventure to meet him for the first time in this sharp and poignant middle grade novel about the bonds that make a family.

Mattie Gomez feels directionless after being uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and forced to move in with her new stepfamily in California. So when she meets a girl at her new middle school who looks exactly like her, she’s not sure what to make of it.

But her doppelganger, the popular Mercedes Miller, doesn’t like it one bit.

Mercedes is used to getting what she wants, when she wants; Mattie would rather be invisible and blend into the background. Mercedes lives in a big empty house with her nanny; Mattie’s new home is packed-to-the-gills, twenty-four/seven chaos. Mercedes has a short fuse; Mattie is a planner. Though they may look alike, the two of them couldn’t be more different.

Soon enough, however, Mattie and Mercedes learn that they have at least one thing in common: a dad from Colombia that neither of them has ever met. Determined to meet the father they’ve never known, these polar opposites suddenly have to work together to fake sleepovers, evade their friends, and plot daring escapes from school field trips in an effort to track down him down.

If only they could stop bickering long enough to get the show on the road.

 

Anika Fajardo

About the author

Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota and is the author of a book about that experience: Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family. Her books for middle-grade readers include the award-winning What If a Fish, Meet Me Halfway, and the Disney tie-in novel Encanto: A Tale of Three Sisters. She lives with her family in Minneapolis, where she teaches creative writing at Augsburg University.

Wednesday, September 21st
Live @ MTM: Maggie Ginsberg in Conversation with Doug Moe - a Special Pre-Launch Event!

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

This is a special pre-launch event for Maggie Ginsberg's book "Still True" which comes out September 27th.

Cover of Still True

 

About the book

One summer evening, Lib Hanson is confronted by her painful past when Matt Marlow, the forty-year-old son she abandoned as an infant, shows up on her porch. Fiercely independent, Lib has never revealed her son’s existence—or her previous marriage—to her husband, Jack. Married nearly three decades but living in separate houses (to the confusion but acceptance of their neighbors), they enjoy an ease and comfort together in small-town Anthem, Wisconsin. But Jack is a stickler for honesty, and Lib’s long-dormant secret threatens to unravel their lives.

When ten-year-old Charlie Taylor arrives at Jack’s workshop shortly thereafter, he’s not the first kid in town to need help with a flat tire, and Jack gladly makes the repair to his bike. The Taylors are new to Anthem, and Jack soon discovers that Charlie and his mom, Claire, are struggling to fit in, even as Charlie’s dad, Dan, is thriving in his new job. Extending friendship and kindness, as well as introductions around the local café, Jack assumes a grandfatherly role. What he doesn’t see is the drinking that Claire hides from everyone, or the secret son that Lib has allowed to move into her house and the growing attraction between Claire and Matt. When the terrible events of a fateful evening threaten everyone’s carefully crafted lives, Jack, Lib, and their new friends must each determine the value of truth for the ones they love.

  

Maggie Ginsberg

About the author

Maggie Ginsberg is an editor at Madison Magazine and a freelance writer for city, regional, and national magazines. Still True is her debut novel.

Tuesday, September 20th
David Maraniss with Patty Loew

Time: 7:00p

Where: First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Dr.

Tickets: Tickets are not required but can be reserved here.

Livestreaming on YouTube

The Cap Times Authors Live: David Maraniss moderated by Patty Loew

 

Admission is free. The program will start at 7 p.m. with doors open at 6:30. The moderator will be Patty Loew, director for the center of Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University and a professor in the Medill School of Journalism.

Cover for Path Lit By Lightning

About the book

A riveting new biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete by the bestselling author of the classic biography When Pride Still Mattered.

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.

But despite his colossal skills, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk. At Carlisle, he dealt with the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor league baseball. His later life was troubled by alcohol, broken marriages, and financial distress. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, but even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. But for all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

Friday, September 16th
Live @ MTM: William Kent Krueger

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Seats are limited! Register for the event »

Cover of Fox Creek

About the book

The latest in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor Mystery Series from the “master storyteller” (Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author) follows Cork in a race against time to save his wife, a mysterious stranger, and an Ojibwe healer from bloodthirsty mercenaries.

The ancient Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux has had a vision of his death. As he walks the Northwoods in solitude, he tries to prepare himself peacefully for the end of his long life. But peace is destined to elude him as hunters fill the woods seeking a woman named Dolores Morriseau, a stranger who had come to the healer for shelter and the gift of his wisdom.

Meloux guides this stranger and his great niece, Cork O’Connor’s wife, to safety deep into the Boundary Waters, his home for more than a century. On the last journey he may ever take into this beloved land, Meloux must do his best to outwit the deadly mercenaries who follow.

Meanwhile, in Aurora, Cork works feverishly to identify the hunters and the reason for their relentless pursuit, but he has little to go on. Desperate, Cork begins tracking the killers but his own skills as a hunter are severely tested by nightfall and a late season snowstorm. He knows only too well that with each passing hour time is running out. But his fiercest enemy in this deadly game of cat and mouse may well be his own deep self-doubt about his ability to save those he loves.

William Kent Krueger

About the author

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger ( he goes by Kent) briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at free-lance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series, which is set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist, Corcoran O’Connor, is the former sheriff of the fictional Tamarack County, and also a man of mixed heritage—part Irish-American and part Ojibwe. Krueger’s work has received a number of awards, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. He does all his writing in a couple of wonderfully funky St. Paul coffee shops.

This Tender Land, the companion novel to his Edgar Award-winning Ordinary Grace, spent six months among the top ten on the New York Times bestseller list. His newest novel, Fox Creek, #19 in his Cork O’Connor series, releases in August.

Seats are limited! Register for the event »

Thursday, September 15th
Live @ MTM: Richard Vargas, Oscar Mireles & Dana Maya

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover of How a Civilization Begins

 

About How a Civilization Begins

How a Civilization Begins is a poetry collection that “blends current events and personal anecdotes with memory and the secret knowledge that is evident when we are able to access the intersections of experience and cultural clarity,” writes Margaret Randall.

How a Civilization Begins is “about being human and aware at a time when, collectively, we march willingly or are being dragged kicking to the brink. I no longer idealistically/naively think my poems can “change the world.” Each one is a mirror I hold up for you to gaze into. You may

like what you see. Others will not. I can only suggest you plug yourself in before it’s too late,” says Vargas.

Richard Vargas

About Richard Vargas

Richard Vargas earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978- 1980, and twelve issues of The Más Tequila Review from 2010-2015. Vargas received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico, 2010. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers' Conference Hispanic Writer Award. He was on the faculties of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference and the 2015 Taos Summer Writers' Conference. Published collections: McLife, 2005; American Jesus, 2009; and Guernica, revisited, 2014. He currently resides in Wisconsin, near the lake where Otis Redding's plane crashed. www.richardvargaspoet.com

Oscar Mireles 

About Oscar Mireles

Oscar Mireles is a published poet, editor, and a long standing community leader.

Oscar has been writing poetry for the past 45 years and has been published in over 50 different publications. Mr. Mireles was selected as the 6th Poet Laureate of the City of Madison (and first Latino Poet Laureate) for 2016-2020.

The numerous awards and recognition Oscar has received include State of Wisconsin Outstanding Educator Award, Wisconsin Hispanic Man of the Year, and 15 Most Influential Leaders in Dane County. He was selected as a national recipient of the NY Life "Love in Action' award in 2020 and his organization received a $50,00 grant.

Oscar has also been the Executive Director of Omega School for the past 28 years, which provides GED preparation and adult basic education services for young adults in Dane County.  During his tenure, he has personally assisted over thousands of students with earning a high school credential.

Dana Maya 

About Dana Maya

Poet, essayist, and educator Dana Maya was born and lives in what Américo Paredes called "Greater Mexico"—a space crossing national, cultural, linguistic, & creative borders. She was educated at Vassar College & the University of Texas at Austin, with an orientation in Chicanx literature & culture, Queer Studies, & Race Studies. She has taught literature & writing at UT Austin, Madison College, public schools, & community organizations, collaborates with artists on projects for social change, & is a member of the Spontaneous Writing Booth Collective. Her poems and essays have garnered awards and appear in anthologies, journals, buses, stages, museums, memorial sites, and other public spaces. In 2022-2023, she will be a writer-in-residence in the Madison public schools as part of an initiative of the Arts +Literature Laboratory and the Greater Madison Writing Project.

Wednesday, September 14th
MTM Book Club: The Eyre Affair

6:00p @ Garth's

This month we will be reading and discussing
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Cover of The Eyre Affair

About the book

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend 

Jasper Fforde’s beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England—from the author of The Constant Rabbit

Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it’s a bibliophile’s dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy—enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel—unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.

Tuesday, September 13th
Virtual Event: Deanna Raybourn in conversation with Liberty Hardy

Time: 7:00p

Where: Livestreaming on Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover of Killers of a Certain Age

 

About the Book

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.

They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they're sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.

Deanna Raybourn

 

About Deanna Raybourn

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation Texan with a degree in English and history from UTSA. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including the Edgar, RT Reviewers' Choice, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, and the Last Laugh. She launched a Victorian mystery series featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter Veronica Speedwell in 2015. This Edgar-nominated series is ongoing. Her first contemporary thriller, KILLERS OF A CERTAIN AGE, chronicles the adventures of four female assassins who must band together against the organization that would rather see them dead than let them retire.

 

Liberty Hardy 

About Liberty Hardy

Liberty Hardy is a senior contributing editor for Book Riot and host of the popular All the Books! podcast. She lives in the great state of Maine, where she reads over 600 books a year and hangs out with her three cats, who hate to read.

Thursday, September 08th
Live @ MTM: Robert Fromberg

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Seats are limited! Register for the event here »

Cover of How to Walk with Steve

About the book

How to Walk with Steve is a memoir of a boy’s connection with his autistic brother in a family defined by alcoholism, art, and death in a post-industrial Midwestern city.

With exposed-nerve scenes, Robert Fromberg immerses us in an early childhood made relentlessly unpredictable by autism and addiction; teenage years alone in 1970s New York City; and young adulthood as guardian of his brother after the death of their parents.

“Over time, the writer grows beyond merely accepting responsibility for his brother; he comes to cherish him and the irreducible bond the brothers share when all else is stripped away. In refusing easy consolations, Fromberg has created a memoir that shines like polished bone.” Patricia Eakins, author of The Hungry Girls and Other Stories

“Fragmented yet unified, direct yet elusive, How to Walk with Steve is a vivid memoir about family and geography, obligation and freedom. Fromberg has a remarkable ability to inject meaning into silence, into the cracks between sections, into all the things that remain unsaid.” Brett Biebel, author of 48 Blitz

Robert Fromberg

 

About the author

Robert Fromberg is author of How to Walk with Steve (Latah Books), a memoir of Fromberg’s life with his autistic brother, which won the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the memoir category. He is also author of the new essay collection Friends and Fiends, Pulp Stars and Pop Stars (Alien Buddha Press). He has published prose in Indiana Review, Colorado Review, Bellingham Review, and many other journals, and is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. He has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize, and he taught writing at Northwestern University for 17 years. Fromberg lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Sheryl Lilke, who is a psychotherapist and painter.

Tuesday, September 06th
Live @ MTM: Mike Duncan

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me

Livestream: Crowdcast

 

Seats are limited! Register for the event! » 

Book cover for Hero of Two Worlds

About Hero of Two Worlds

From the bestselling author of The Storm Before the Storm and host of the Revolutions podcast comes the thrilling story of the Marquis de Lafayette’s lifelong quest to defend the principles of liberty and equality

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A #1 ABA INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE BESTSELLER 

Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist.

As a teenager, Lafayette ran away from France to join the American Revolution. Returning home a national hero, he helped launch the French Revolution, eventually spending five years locked in dungeon prisons. After his release, Lafayette sparred with Napoleon, joined an underground conspiracy to overthrow King Louis XVIII, and became an international symbol of liberty. Finally, as a revered elder statesman, he was instrumental in the overthrow of the Bourbon Dynasty in the Revolution of 1830.

From enthusiastic youth to world-weary old age, from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair, Lafayette never stopped fighting for the rights of all mankind. His remarkable life is the story of where we come from, and an inspiration to defend the ideals he held dear.

Seats are limited! Register for the event! » 

Friday, September 02nd
First Friday Event: Tom Griffith

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Register for the event »

Cover of Faces of the Great Masters

About the book

This book on the Golden Age of Art explores the methods and materials used by the great masters from both the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It focuses on the most difficult subject on earth to paint, the human face. These pages are the accumulation of knowledge gained through observation and countless visits to art museums and hundreds of books on the subject in a quest to find the secrets of successfully painting the human face in the style of the great masters. Without the benefit of any formal education in art, I have spent my last forty years on a mission to answer the question “How did they do that?” What is represented here is what I wish I could have read before I picked up my first brush.

 

About the author

Born in Racine, WI. BBA from UW-Oshkosh in Marketing. One decade in medical sales and 3 decades in printing sales. Self-taught artist with not so much as a single art class. Traveled the world in search for the secrets of the old masters. Exclusive focus on artists from the Golden Age of Art [17th century Dutch/Flemish] with particular emphasis on Johannes Vermeer. After many trips to both the Netherlands and Italy, came to the conclusion that just four colors could be used to paint any face: titanium white, Naples yellow, alizarin crimson and olive green. Every painting I ever painted used only those four colors. My fascination was the way that light creates defined shadows on the human face. After countless hours of applying those four colors on wooden panels, as opposed to canvas, I believe I have finally achieved a 'method' for success.

 

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August

Wednesday, August 31st
Virtual Event: Anna Lee Huber

Time: 6:00p

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover of A Certain Darkness

About the book

March 1920: Life has turned unsettlingly quiet for former British Intelligence agent Verity Kent and her husband, Sidney. But even that false calm is about to end. As threats remain, the French authorities soon request Sidney’s help with a suspect who claims to have proof of treason—shortly before she is assassinated. And Verity, too, is called to investigate a mystery . . .

 

The murder of a Belgian lawyer aboard a train seems at first to be a simple case of revenge. But the victim was connected to British Intelligence, and possessed papers detailing the sinking of a gold-laden German ship during the war.

 

As Verity and Sidney dig deeper, they discover their cases are intertwined—and a lethal adversary persists. Officially, the Great War may be over, but this is a battle of nerves and wits they cannot afford to lose . . .

 

Anna Lee Huber

About the author

Anna Lee Huber is the USA Today bestselling and Daphne award-winning author of the Lady Darby Mysteries, the Verity Kent Mysteries, and the Gothic Myths series, as well as the anthology The Deadly Hours. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on her next novel. Visit her online at www.annaleehuber.com.

Tuesday, August 30th
Live @ MTM: John Galligan
Time: 6:00p
Where: Mystery to Me
Livestream: Crowdcast
 

Seats are limited! Register for the event »

Cover of Bad Day Breaking

About the book

Wild Wild Country and Longmire meet in the latest in the "gritty, brash, and totally gripping" (The Real Book Spy) Bad Axe County series, as Sheriff Heidi Kick struggles to prevent a radical religious sect from turning her county into the next Jonestown, all while a dark secret from her past puts her life in danger.

A strange religious sect has arrived in Bad Axe County, Wisconsin. Armed with guns, an enigmatic spiritual leader and his followers set up their compound in an abandoned storage lot. It's not long before rumors start to spread of sadistic rituals and a planned takeover of the local government. But when one of the followers is found dead in the river, that's when full-on panic sets in.

Sheriff Heidi Kick may not be a fan of the new group, but she is also dismayed by the hostile reaction of the Bad Axe community. With a murder investigation on her hands, the situation becomes more complicated when Sheriff Kick finds out an ex-boyfriend from her youth is out on parole early and looking to hunt her down. With a tumultuous snowstorm on the horizon, the cult members are on the verge of freezing, Bad Axe is on the edge of violence, and Sheriff Kick is just one false step away from losing her family, her town, and her very life.

By a writer at the height of his powers, Bad Day Breaking is a thrilling mystery that explores the price paid for following false leaders and the power we each have to triumph over trauma.

John Galligan

About the author

John Galligan is the author of Bad Moon Rising (Atria, 2021), Dead Man Dancing (Atria, 2020), Bad Axe County (2019) and five other novels: Red Sky, Red Dragonfly; The Nail Knot; The Blood Knot; The Clinch Knot; and The Wind Knot.

In addition to being a novelist, he has worked as a newspaper writer, feature-film screenwriter, house painter, au pair, ESL teacher, cab driver, and freezer boy in a salmon cannery. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and teaches writing at Madison College, where his experience is enriched by students from every corner of the local and world communities. He was an award-winning feature journalist, sports journalist, and short story writer before settling on a career as a novelist.

Seats are limited! Register for the event »

Wednesday, August 24th
Live @ MTM: Larry F. Sommers in conversation with Doug Moe

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me

Livestream: Crowdcast

Seats are limited! Register for the event » 


Cover of Price of Passage by Larry Sommers


It’s 1853. ANDERS, the law at his heels, sails from Norway to seek a life of honor and respect in America. MARIA, a boat builder’s daughter also seeking a new start, knows that she is just what Anders needs.

DANIEL, a young plantation runaway, flees northward to “free soil.” Newlyweds Anders and Maria find him in their barnyard, hiding from slave catchers who can legally capture and return him to his master. Daniel’s plight draws Anders, and drags Maria, into the conflict that is tearing the country apart.

Price of Passage is a tale of three pioneers whose lives depend on one another. The coming of civil war puts one in the Navy, one in the Army, and one at home, where she strives to save her farm and herself from a merciless creditor and finds a unique solution. 

Their harrowing journeys—filled with death and despair, love and hope—take Anders, Maria, and Daniel from New Orleans up the Mississippi River, into America’s wild heartland.

 

Larry Sommers

 

Larry F. Sommers is a Wisconsin writer of historical fiction, seeking fresh meanings in our common past.

He is the author of Price of Passage–A Tale of Immigration and Liberation, scheduled for publication 23 August 2022. He won Honorable Mention in The Saturday Evening Post’s 2018 Great American Story Contest for “The Lion’s Den,” a tale of childhood in the 1950s, and has published other, similar stories in the online version of The Saturday Evening Post.

He served as editor of The Congregationalist, a national church-related quarterly magazine, from 2009 to 2016 and previously worked 23 years in the Public Affairs Office of the Wisconsin National Guard/Wisconsin Emergency Management as a writer, editor, photographer, writing coach, and public affairs consultant in a fast-paced environment punctuated by crisis communication events.

A Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he is active in church work and is a member of the Sons of Norway and two local writers’ critique groups.

He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and dog.

Seats are limited! Register for the event » 

Tuesday, August 23rd
Live @ MTM: Rob Zaleski in conversation with Doug Moe

Time: 6:00p

Where: Mystery to Me (Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Seats are limited! 

Register for the event here » 

Cover of David Couper book

About the book

When he stepped down in 1993 after 21 contentious, but highly successful years as the police chief in ultra-liberal Madison, Wisconsin, David Couper was widely regarded as one of the most influential law enforcement officials in Wisconsin's history. But little was known about his private life or what motivated him to transform a paramilitary-type department into one that emphasized community relations; or his decision to hire a large number of women and people of color, dramatically changing the complexion of the department. In 2020 -- nearly three decades after his shocking decision to resign and become an Episcopal priest -- the former Marine met with award-winning columnist Rob Zaleski for a series of lively and provocative interviews that lift the veil on his tumultuous private life and explain for the first time the reasons behind his many controversial decisions. "David Couper ... Beyond the Badge; Reflections of an Ex-cop'' is a fascinating look at one of Wisconsin's most inspiring human rights activists.

Rob Zaleski

About the author

Rob Zaleski is a freelance writer and award-winning columnist. He spent 26 years at The Capital Times in Madison and often wrote about David Couper when he was police chief. Prior to that, Rob was a reporter/sportswriter at United Press International's Madison bureau. He also worked at the Milwaukee Journal, the Waukesha Freeman, the Fort Myers News-Press in Florida, the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello and the Green Bay Daily News. He has authored the novel, "Searching for Sal," and a nonfiction book, "Ed Garvey: Unvarnished." His work has appeared in Madison Magazine and Isthmus.

Seats are limited! 

Register for the event here » 

Thursday, August 11th
Live @ MTM: G.D. Brown in conversation with Doug Moe

6:00p

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

 

About the Book

Sixteen-year-old Jenn is struggling to cope with her best friend’s disappearance and the deadly trailer fire that preceded it. When Jenn's only other close companion is thrust into the adult world without her, Jenn begins her own investigation into the strange happenings plaguing her small Oklahoma town. She crosses paths with Sheriff Douglas Taylor, a lawman trying to hush murmurs of a church deacon-turned-meth dealer motivated by ecstatic visions and a hunger for material power. Before long, mysterious threats force the sheriff to weigh his own reputation as a hero against his ideas of security, as the deacon’s wife, Charlotte, seeks solace in novelty and considers the ways the old man will haunt the county and consume its working poor. Charlotte, Sheriff Taylor, and Jenn each find themselves then beneath a flood of shadow in the autumn months of 1998, and it is only there that they begin to make sense of their changing worlds.

 

About the Author

G.D. Brown has worked as a literary editor and as an award-winning newswriter. His debut novel, Sinners Plunged Beneath That Flood, is due out in August 2022 through Leftover Books. His other literary work has appeared in or is set to appear in The Woven Tale Press, COUNTERCLOCK, Abandon, Full Stop, Oyster River Pages, The Champagne Room, Jokes Review, Westview, PopMatters, Oracle Fine Arts Review, The Tulsa Voice, and elsewhere. He is a Goddard College MFA graduate and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, August 10th
MTM Book Club

6:00 p @ Garth's Brew Bar

This month we'll be reading and discussing 
Death At Greenway by Lori Rader-Day

 

About the book:

Bridey Kelly has come to Greenway House--the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie--in disgrace. A terrible mistake at St. Prisca's Hospital in London has led to her dismissal as a nurse trainee, and her only chance for redemption is a position in the countryside caring for children evacuated to safety from the Blitz.

Greenway is a beautiful home full of riddles: wondrous curios not to be touched, restrictions on rooms not to be entered, and a generous library, filled with books about murder. The biggest mystery might be the other nurse, Gigi, who is like no one Bridey has ever met. Chasing ten young children through the winding paths of the estate grounds might have soothed Bridey's anxieties and grief--if Greenway were not situated so near the English Channel and the rising aggressions of the war.

When a body washes ashore near the estate, Bridey is horrified to realize this is not a victim of war, but of a brutal killing. As the local villagers look among themselves, Bridey and Gigi discover they each harbor dangerous secrets about what has led them to Greenway. With a mystery writer's home as their unsettling backdrop, the young women must unravel the truth before their safe haven becomes a place of death . . .

Saturday, August 06th
NOW VIRTUAL: Eugenia Viti with Emily Balsley

Time: 1:00p

Livestream: Crowdcast

Register for the event »

Be Pregnant book cover 

About Be Pregnant

Full of vibrant illustrations, annotated diagrams, and first-hand accounts, Be Pregnant is a fun and comforting companion for this exciting (and highly anticipatory!) time in a pregnant person’s life. Eugenia Viti’s charming mix of insider info and humor provide a much-needed laugh about:

Strangers trying to touch your belly.

Feelings of inadequacy about stroller prices.

The all-powerful birth plan.

With quirky yet universal anecdotes, personal "Something That May Happen . . ." sections, and an inclusive illustration program welcoming all moms, Be Pregnant is the perfect gift for an expecting friend or baby shower.

 

About Eugenia Viti

Eugenia Viti is a writer, illustrator, comic artist, and cartoonist who lives in Chicago with her husband and toddler. She’s a regular contributor to The New Yorker; her comics and cartoons also appear in the American Bystander, The Nib, McSweeney’s, Physics World Adbusters, and others.

 

About Emily Balsley

Emily Balsley is an illustrator and muralist living in Madison, Wisconsin with her sweet, creative daughter and loving husband. She is active in the creative community, participating in arts events, gallery shows, panel discussions, and occasionally leading workshops and camps. When she’s not drawing, she loves biking, hiking and hanging out with her friends and family.

Register for the event »

Thursday, August 04th
YA Book Club: Our Crooked Hearts

Book Club meets at 6:00p @ Barriques on Monroe Street

This month we will be reading:

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

 

Cover of Our Crooked Hearts

About the Book

Secrets. Lies. Super-bad choices. Witchcraft. This is Our Crooked Hearts, a darkly gripping contemporary fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

The suburbs, right now . . .

Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known—that there's more to her mother than meets the eye.

The city, back then . . .

Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana's shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with.

July

Thursday, July 28th
Live @ MTM: Patricia Skalka with Doug Moe

6:00p

This is a ticketed event! Reserve your ticket on Eventbrite!

Watch the livestream on Crowdcast!

Death Casts a Shadow by Patricia Skalka, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

About the Book

With Door County caught in the grip of a fierce winter storm, Sheriff Dave Cubiak agrees to do a simple favor for a friend of his wife: he stops by to check in on an affluent widow with a questionable new suitor. His initial disquiet is easily dismissed—until she is found dead the next morning in her home. Lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs, clutching a valuable bronze sculpture, she points her outstretched hand in the direction of a nearby, nondescript ring.

The scene bears all the characteristics of an accidental fall, not unheard of for a person of her age, but something is not adding up. Later that week, an explosion in an ice fishing shack on the frozen bay leads to the discovery of another body, burned beyond recognition. Was this the widow’s missing handyman? Could the two deaths be related? With what has become a hallmark for books in the series, past and present collide as Cubiak’s search for answers uncovers the sad legacy of loneliness and the disquieting links between wealth and poverty on the peninsula.

About the Author

Patricia Skalka is the author of the award-winning Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. Currently there are six books in the series: Death Stalks Door County, Death at Gills Rock, Death in Cold Water, Death Rides the Ferry, Death by the Bay, and Death Washes Ashore. 

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 past-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 Milwaukee and Door County, WI.

Saturday, July 23rd
Monroe Street Sidewalk Sale

Join us for Monroe Street's Sidewalk Sale. We'll have $1 Wrapped Books and other surprises!

Saturday, July 23rd
Virtual Storytime with Van G. Garrett: Kicks

Time: 10:00a

Where: Livesteraming on Crowdcast

Cover of Kicks by Van G. Garrett

“A brilliantly written and illustrated ode to sneakers and sneakerheads, young and old. A gift to us all.” —Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times best-selling author

A fun, lyrical debut picture book, Kicks is an essential read for sneaker fans of all ages, from award-winning poet Van G. Garrett and New York Times bestselling illustrator Reggie Brown.

This is a love letter to sneakers. But not just any sneakers. Only the flyest, floatiest, you-est kicks you can get—the ones that let you soar!

This colorful, rhythmic adventure has something to offer anyone who prizes a great pair of shoes and any reader who loves to play with words.

 

 

Van G. Garrett

About the author 

Van G. Garrett is the winner of The Poetry Question National Chapbook Contest for his book Scrap. He is also the winner of the Best Book of African American Poetry for his book 49: Wings and Prayers, as announced by the Texas Association of Authors. He writes poetry, picture books, and fiction, and (in his spare time) he is also a musician and a visual artist. 

Tuesday, July 19th
Mystery to Me presents: Jennifer Chiaverini!

6:00p book talk at Mystery to Me

UPDATE: the entirety of the event will be held at Mystery to Me


You can reserve your seat on Eventbrite!

 

About the Book

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a bold, revelatory novel about one of the great untold stories of World War I—the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, who broke down gender barriers in the military, validated women as essential workers, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

In June 1917, General John Pershing arrived in France to establish American forces in Europe, but communications with Allied commanders and troops in the field were perilously unreliable. Pershing needed telephone operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and provide the absolute secrecy required for conveying classified military information. At the time, nearly all American telephone operators were women—but women were not permitted to enlist, or even to vote in most states. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army Signal Corps promptly began recruiting them.

About the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-two novels, including critically acclaimed historical fiction and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series.

Her works of nonfiction include seven collections of quilt patterns and original designs featured in Country Woman, Quiltmaker, Quilt, and other magazines. She has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Writer’s Digest, Quilter’s Newsletter, and numerous online publications.

In 2020, Chiaverini was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association for her novel Resistance Women.

Her most recent novel, Switchboard Soldiers, has earned starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist. Publishers Weekly praised the novel as “Enchanting,” adding, “Chiaverini brings her singular characters to life, including real historical figures, as they become united in the quest to serve their country. Fans of historical fiction will be captivated.” About her historical novels, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, “In addition to simply being fascinating stories, these novels go a long way in capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years.”

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you are joining us from afar or from home, you can tune in to the Crowdcast livestream here!

Wednesday, July 13th
Virtual Event: Barbara Graham in conversation with Dale M. Kushner

Time: 7:00p

Where: Livesteraming on Crowdcast

Register for the event here » 

What Jonah Knew cover

About "What Jonah Knew"

A seven-year-old boy inexplicably recalls the memories of a missing 22-year-old musician in this psychological thriller about the fierce love between mothers and sons across lifetimes, a work of gripping suspense with a supernatural twist that will mesmerize fans of Chloe Benjamin and Lisa Jewell.

Helen Bird will stop at nothing to find Henry, her musician son who has mysteriously disappeared in upstate New York. Though the cops believe Henry's absence is voluntary, Helen knows better.

While she searches for him--joined finally by police--Jonah is born to Lucie and Matt Pressman of Manhattan. Lucie does all she can to be the kind of loving, attentive mother she never had, but can't stop Jonah's night terrors or his obsession with the imaginary "other mom and dog" he insists are real.

Whether Jonah's anxiety is caused by nature or nurture--or something else entirely--is the propulsive mystery at the heart of the novel.

All hell breaks loose when the Pressmans rent a summer cottage in Aurora Falls, where Helen lives. How does Jonah, at seven, know so much about Henry, Helen's still-missing son? Is it just a bizarre coincidence? An expression of Jung's collective unconscious? Or could Jonah be the reincarnation of Henry?

Faced with more questions than answers, Helen and Lucie set out to make sense of the insensible, a heart-stopping quest that forces them to redefine not just what it is to be a mother or a human being, but the very nature of life--and death--because of what Jonah knows.

About the Author

Barbara Graham is an author, essayist, and playwright. Her pieces have appeared in many magazines and websites, including Glamour, O, the Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Psychotherapy Networker, Redbook, Self, Time, Utne Reader, Vogue, and npr.org, in addition to being collected in numerous anthologies. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Eye of My Heart, the national bestseller Women Who Run with the Poodles, and Camp Paradox, a memoir. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in New York and at theaters around the country. For more about Barbara Graham and her writing, visit: https://barbaragrahamauthor.com.

Register for the event here » 

Wednesday, July 13th
MTM Book Club!

6:00p @ Garth's Brew Bar

This month we'll be reading 

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman!

About the Book

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested--the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something--secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option--because it isn't just Irene's reputation at stake, it's the nature of reality itself...

June

Thursday, June 30th
Live @ MTM: Dr. Sagashus Levingston!

6:00p

This event is ticketed. You can reserve your spot on Eventbrite!

About the Event

Dr. Sagashus Levingston (founder of Infamous Mothers, LLC) will be here to talk with us about her new book Covet - the "Disrespectful" Health and Wellness Journal - Volume One. 

Covet invites you to unapologetically bring sass, attitude, and edge to the world of personal reflection. If the cover and title haven’t yet convinced you that this series is untraditional and meant to expand the face and voice of health and wellness, the content will. It is a robust, guided, three-month journal that invites you to check in with your entire self—self-confidence, self-value, goals, habits, and more. Created for women by women. We just scheduled this yesterday, so visit our website tomorrow for details about signing up for the event.

About the Author

Sagashus T. Levingston was born in Chicago and raised in the area now known as Bronzeville, but known before gentrification as the Low End. She holds a bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There she earned a master’s in Afro-American Studies and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of English. Her dissertation is titled Infamous Mothers: Bad Moms Doing Extraordinary Things. While her research focuses primarily on literature, it is informed by theory and criticism from rhetoric, motherhood studies and black feminism. Her coffee table book, simply titled Infamous Mothers, is inspired by this work and so is Infamous Mothers, LLC, a social enterprise where Sagashus offers personal and professional development training meant to empower women who mother from the margins of our society. She also delivers programming to the organizations and professionals that make an impact on these women's lives. Sagashus is a proud button-wearing member of the Doyenne Group, Inc. located in Madison, WI. She also sits on the WWBIC South Central Ambassadorial Advisory Committee. As the proud mother of six children—three boys and three girls, and partner of Tosumba, she and her family lives in Madison, WI.

If you are joining us from afar or from home, you can join us via the Crowdcast livestream!

Wednesday, June 29th
Pat Zietlow Miller Gallery Night!

6:00p - 7:00p

Beloved local (and New York Times best-selling) author, Pat Zietlow Miller, celebrates an all-star year of publication at Mystery to Me!


This event is "gallery-style", which means guests may come and go as they please! Pat will be in the shop to mingle and sign any and all of her books--most especially the five titles she'll have published this year alone! Come enjoy refreshments and our local kid lit star!

You do not need to pre-register to attend!

Tuesday, June 28th
YA Book Club!

6:00p @ Barriques on Monroe St!

 

This month we'll be reading and discussing 

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson!

Readers of all ages are encourged to join our club!

About the Book

Last summer, Alice Ogilvie's basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She's not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve's girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice's ex-best friend. And it doesn't look like Brooke will be coming back. . .

Enter Iris Adams, Alice's tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn't have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke's grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter's whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn't so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.

In order to get the reward and prove Steve's innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need--the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there's anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it's the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they're about to walk into.

Thursday, June 23rd
Virtual Event: Amber Boudreau with Alex Bledsoe

7:00p CT

Register for the event on Crowdcast!

Livestreaming on Crowdcast

Cover of Second Nature by Amber Boudreau

About Second Nature

Mavis Corvid can't remember. Not who she is, not where she came from, nothing. It's been six months. Now she's back on her feet and settling into a new life. She has an apartment, friends, a job working at a garage for a grumpy boss, and an insatiable curiosity about werewolves.

No one knows why the wolves disclosed their existence to the world. As the first anniversary of their reveal approaches, a fight brews between two alphas that could threaten the rest of humanity unless Mavis can remember who she was. She knows she's not a werewolf, but she is something else. 

When pushed from a balcony, Mavis' second nature asserts itself. She shifts to save her skin. Now she'll have to harness her strange abilities as she investigates her disappearance and what happened to the Aldwulf, the alpha of all alphas. However, the past is gone, and Mavis is not the same person she used to be.


Amber Boudreau

About the Author

Amber Boudreau has a background in Geology (yea, science, and facts!) and enjoys reading (mostly fantasy, but anything really), sewing (quilting and piecing), attending conferences, and traveling, but doesn’t mind sticking close to home. She is a lover of all things Terry Pratchett and dragons.

Amber lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband of many years (most of them spent together), her delightful and sometimes imperious children, and a menagerie of pets.

Tuesday, June 21st
Make Music Madison on Monroe Street
Thursday, June 16th
Live @ MTM: Dale M. Kushner with Mare Chapman

6:00p CT

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

 

About the Collection

Dale M. Kushner’s new collection M testifies to the heroic dimensions of women’s lives. The urgent voices in these poems, including Mary Magdalene, Eve, the Virgin Mary, and women experiencing violence across centuries and continents, are bearers of the sacred into the profane world of history—of men and war. Addressing both personal and collective struggles through a series of dramatic monologues, the speakers explore both radical and tender moments that break through the myths perpetuated in the name of the feminine. Ultimately, these poems become an enduring map of how resilience is forged from suffering and how desire, loss, and struggle are the spiritual path to transformation.

About the Poet

Dale M. Kushner grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey on a street that was once an orchard and has never lost her affection for trees and other natural wonders. Her novels, poetry, and essays bear witness to the “unspoken” and “unsayable” in our lives, to the silenced voices of women, and the aching questions of identity, belonging, and vulnerability. She views literature as a bridge to empathy that explores the dimensionality of what it means to be human and to endure love and loss.

Her study abroad at the C. G. Jung Institute in Switzerland and depth psychology inform her writing, including Transcending the Past her popular monthly online column for Psychology Today. M is Ms. Kushner’s debut collection of poetry. Her first novel The Conditions of Love was published by Grand Central (2013) and was nominated for the Texas Library Association’s Lariat Award for Outstanding Adult Fiction. She recently completed her second novel with the working title The Lie of Forgetting.

Dale has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, received the Wisconsin Arts Board Grant in the Literary Arts, and has been honored by fellowships to the Wurlitzer Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute. Dale was a finalist for the May Swenson Poetry Award, The Prairie Schooner Book Competition and the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press among others.

Dale’s widely regarded writings on the divine feminine, creativity, and intergenerational trauma are published in anthologies and collected works. Her essay on Mary Magdalene appears in the anthology Strange Attractors: Lives Changed by Chance, edited by Edie Meidav and Emmalie Dropkin, University of Massachusetts Press. Her in-depth article on Carl Jung, “In Extremis: Jung’s Descent into the Language of the Self” appears in Jung’s Red Book For Our Time: Searching for Soul Under Postmodern Conditions, Volume 4 (2020) edited by Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt, Chiron Publications. She teaches workshops that reflect her scholarship in Buddhism, depth psychology, spirituality, and the creative process.

About the Moderator

Mare Chapman, M.A., is a mindfulness-based feminist therapist, mindfulness teacher, consultant, and author.  Building on forty years of clinical experience and thirty years of studying and practicing mindfulness, she is devoted to understanding how cultural conditioning trains women to disconnect from their authenticity, thereby losing their voice and power, and how mindfulness can be applied to transform these habits so women can live fully empowered, vibrant, and healthy lives. Her recently published book, "Unshakeable Confidence, the Freedom to be Our Authentic Selves: Mindfulness for Women", is based on the class she’s been teaching to women in Madison, Wisconsin for over 20 years. Her audio podcasts and guided meditations are available at her website:  www.marechapman.com  

Saturday, June 11th
Virtual Author Panel: Dark Academia

10:00a CT

This event will be livestreamed and recorded on Crowdcast.
Register for the event here!

Authors Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Ace of Spades), Siena Sterling (Tell Us No Secrets), and Ashley Winstead (In My Dreams I Hold a Knife) discuss the rising trend of dark academic thrillers. Joining us from the UK and here in the US, this is sure to be a creepy, delightful conversation!

About the Authors

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a writer from South London who has dreamt of writing books about black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. She is an avid tea drinker, and a collector of strange mugs. Faridah currently studies English Literature at a university in the Scottish Highlands. She is the author of Ace of Spades.

Siena Sterling is an American living in London. Before moving to England, she worked at Doubleday bookstore in New York, in political campaigns, and for the Federal Railroad Administration. TELL US NO SECRETS is her debut thriller.

Ashley Winstead holds a Ph.D. in contemporary American literature from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. in English and Art History from Vanderbilt University. She lives in Houston, TX, where she drinks red wine and dreams up novels. Her debut thriller, IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE, is out now and THE LAST HOUSEWIFE will publish in August.

Saturday, June 11th
Book Signing: Matt Goldman

12:00p

Wednesday, June 08th
MTM Book Club!

6:00p @ Garth's Brew Bar

This month we'll be reading and discussing 

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams!

About the Book

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, an Oxford garden shed in which her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Young Esme's place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word bondmaid flutters beneath the table. She rescues the slip and, learning that the word means "slave girl," begins to collect other words that have been discarded or neglected by the dictionary men.

As she grows up, Esme realizes that words and meanings relating to women's and common folks' experiences often go unrecorded. And so she begins in earnest to search out words for her own dictionary: the Dictionary of Lost Words. To do so she must leave the sheltered world of the university and venture out to meet the people whose words will fill those pages.

Set during the height of the women's suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.

Saturday, June 04th
Live @ MTM: Mark Ceilley

10:00a

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale: Ceilley, Mark, Smoka-Richardson,  Rachel, Laberis, Stephanie: 9780762499595: Amazon.com: Books

About the Book

Cinderelliot is stuck at home taking care of his ungrateful stepsister and stepbrother. When Prince Samuel announces a kingdom-wide competition to join the royal staff as his baker, the stepsiblings insist that Cinderelliot bake their entries, leaving no time for he, himself, to compete. Fairy Godfather Ludwig appears and magically helps Cinderelliot bake his best chocolate cake, clean up, and get to the competition via limo. At the bake-off, Prince Samuel falls in love with Cinderelliot's cake, but our hero has to run off as the clock strikes midnight, leaving behind his chef hat. The next day, Prince Samuel searches the kingdom for the owner of the hat and finds that it fits perfectly on Cinderelliot's head. The prince is delighted to find not only his new baker but also the man of his dreams, and Cinderelliot creates a magnificent wedding cake--and the two live scrumptiously ever after.

About the Author

Mark Ceilley has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second grades and is currently a Reading Interventionist. He holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.

In his free time, Mark loves cooking, trying new recipes, reading, watching movies, and attending theater productions and orchestra concerts. He also enjoys traveling and hiking in state parks, yoga, and going to bookstores.

If you're joining from afar or from home, you can tune into the Crowdcast livestream!

Friday, June 03rd
First Friday on Monroe Street and we're celebrating our birthday! Open 'til 8pm

Come celebrate with us!  Cake...

Between 5pm and 8pm you'll get 10% off everything in the store (excluding special orders and gift certificates). See you soon! 

May

Thursday, May 26th
Live @ Mystery to Me: Bending Granite with Maury Cotter, Tom Mosgaller, and Kathleen Paris

6:00p

Seats are limited. Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

If you're not in the Madison area, or you'd rather join us from home, tune into the Crowdcast livestream!

Bending Granite (Hardcover) - ACTA Publications

About the Book

Bending granite defies the laws of physics but not the limits of our imagination. Granite is rock — hard, solid, tough, resistant to change. Like granite, many of our most durable institutions today — government agencies, schools, businesses, healthcare facilities, community organizations — are designed not to bend easily but rather to do the same things over and over in predictable and orderly ways. They can become impervious to change, however, inflexible in the face of opportunities, better at creating floors, walls, and ceilings of policies, protocols, and standards than adapting to rapidly changing times and abandoning things that no longer work.

The stories in Bending Granite are by difference makers who were passionate about their organizations and persistently and patiently nudged them forward day by day, one improvement at a time. No big bang, no instant pudding, no quick fixes here. Only through tending to purpose, processes, and people were they able to shape but not break the organizations they loved. Theirs are stories of change and continuous improvement.

With humility, humor, and honesty, the contributors describe their first-hand experiences—learned from trial and error and from one another—in a broad range of organizations including manufacturing, education, health, banking, insurance, service industries, military, construction, families, and government.

Zooming out from one medium-sized city in Wisconsin and building on over fifty years of the international momentum for improving quality, Bending Granite takes you behind the curtain to reveal not only the “why” but the “how, who, when, and where” of leading change.

About the Co-editors

Maury Cotter led the University of Wisconsin-Madison's strategy and improvement efforts for twenty-five years. Maury and her office created the capacity for UW-Madison to develop and implement progressive change at the campus level and throughout the institution. Maury has helped build similar internal consulting offices at UC-Berkeley and the OECD in Paris.  Maury co-founded and led the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI), an international network for change among universities. She continues to consult and write.

Tom Mosgaller is past president of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Madison Area Quality Improvement Network (MAQIN). Tom’s work experience includes being Director of the Office of Organizational Development and Quality for the City of Madison, VP of HR and Organizational Development for the Marshall Erdman Company, and Director of Change Management for the UW-Madison College of Engineering.  A change agent by nature and a lifelong community organizer, Tom guides people to take charge and address the inequities around them.

Kathleen A. Paris, Ph.D., author, consultant, and facilitator, assists organizations to plan for new realities and improve their systems. Her current focus is on learning and support for leaders at all levels. Kathleen has consulted internationally and is the author of Bringing Your Strategic Plan to Life: A Guide for Nonprofits and Public Agencies.

Wednesday, May 25th
Live @ Mystery to Me: Jim Berkenstadt in conversation with Doug Moe

6:00p

Seats are limited. Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

If you're not in the Madison area, or you'd rather join us from home, tune into the Crowdcast livestream!

 

About the Book

Mysteries in the Music: Case Closed examines the secrets, myths, legends, hoaxes, conspiracies, and the wildly inexplicable events that are such an intriguing part of rock and roll history. Jim Berkenstadt, aka The Rock And Roll Detective®, has spent decades researching the players behind these famous soundtracks and the mysteries hidden within the music itself.

Travel back to the 1950s to uncover “Who Really Discovered Elvis Presley?” Revisit a time in the 1960s when a famous folk troubadour tried to form a supergroup with members of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Learn the origin behind big name artists using pseudonyms to mask their true identities. Go behind the scenes of CIA intrigue in Jamaica 1976 to discover whether the spy agency tried to influence an election and arrange for the assassination of reggae superstar Bob Marley. Discover whether The Beach Boys actually stole a song and the copyright from psychotic cult leader Charles Manson, and kept all of the royalties. Finally, uncover the secrets in the making of Nirvana’s Nevermind album, considered by many to be the most influential rock album of the 1990s.

These mysteries have intrigued rock and roll fans for so long because no one has ever asked eyewitnesses the tough questions or dug through the primary sources and documentary evidence left behind... until now. After many decades, the back stories of pop and rock music lore are finally unearthed—and the truth is revealed in Mysteries in Music: Case Closed.

About the Author

Jim Berkenstadt is the Rock And Roll Detective®. A true musical Sherlock Holmes, Berkenstadt uncovers the lost history and mysteries hidden within decades of popular music. He currently serves as Co-Executive Producer and Script Consultant for the Ecosse Studios feature film based upon his Bestseller, The Beatle Who Vanished.

An international authority on Rock And Roll, he served as historical consultant to Olivia Harrison's HBO Emmy winning film, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese, and as historical consultant to The Beatles’ company Apple Corps Ltd., and the Estate of George Harrison.

In addition to The Beatle Who Vanished, Berkenstadt has authored Black Market Beatles and Classic Rock Albums: Nirvana - Nevermind. All three books have been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives. He also appears as an expert on the Reelz Channel TV series Celebrity Legacies and Celebrity Damage Control.

Thursday, May 12th
YA Book Club

6:00p @ Barriques on Monroe Street

 

Join us to discuss our May Book Club pick: GIRL OVERBOARD!

And a special treat: the author, Sandra Block, will be joining us virtually!!

Girl Overboard by Sandra Block: 9780593483466 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

Wednesday, May 11th
Live @ MTM! Madison Writers' Studio presents the UW Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellows

6:00p

Seats for this event are limited! Reserve yours here!

Joining from afar? Tune into the Crowcdcast livestream!

Wednesday, May 11th
Mystery to Me Book Club

6:00p @ Garth's Brew Bar!

What we're reading:

DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD by Olga Tokaczuk

Amazon.com: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel:  9780525541332: Tokarczuk, Olga, Lloyd-Jones, Antonia: Books

About the Book

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice?

Tuesday, May 10th
Live @ MTM: Jerry McGinley with Doug Moe!

6:00p

Seats are limited. Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

If you're not in the Madison area or would like to attend from home, you can tune into the Crowdcast livestream!

A Driftless Murder: McGinley, Jerry: 9780299332846: Amazon.com: Books

About the Book

As he finishes a cup of his morning coffee, retired cop and former detective Pat Donegal gets a curious call from the Kickapoo County Chief Deputy Hennie Duggan. A gruesome discovery of human remains on a ridge portends grisly possibilities that neither man wants to consider. Donegal, physically and emotionally hungover from a rough break-up, is known for his unorthodox methods and a tendency to bend the rules. Even though Duggan chafes at his style, he knows he needs a skilled investigator like Donegal to have his back.

As strange details continue to emerge, the detectives enlist the help of city cop and data expert Shea Sommers. As the team crisscrosses the state to chase a few promising leads, their search expands beyond local guides and neighbors to members of a sinister, secret hunting society. When Duggan mysteriously disappears-and becomes a suspect himself-Donegal must take over the investigation. He soon realizes the case might not only be unsolvable but could land him in prison-or an early grave.


About the Author

Born in the driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, Jerry McGinley has been publishing poetry and fiction for many years. His most recent book is A DRIFTLESS MURDER (published by University of Wisconsin Press), a mystery set primarily in fictional Kickapoo County. Jim Guhl, author of ELEVEN MILES TO OSHKOSH and SOUTH OF LUCK describes the story this way: “A crime remains unsolved in bucolic Kickapoo County and the public demands answers. Desperation sets in until a pair of mismatched city cops are brought in to work the case. The nonstop action bounces between bluff country and the gritty streets of Milwaukee.” For over thirty years, McGinley taught in Wisconsin at the high school and college level. He founded and edited three creative writing magazines: Yahara Prairie Review, Lake City Lights, and Yahara Prairie Lights. He currently lives in Waunakee with his wife Gail.

April

Saturday, April 30th
Independent Bookstore Day 2022!

10:00a - 5:00p

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Mystery to Me!

Every year on the last Saturday in April, the American Booksellers Association and all its participating members celebrates Independent Bookstore Day! Come visit us and all your other favorite indies! On this very special day, we're celebrating you just as much as we're celebrating being your bookstore. Bookstores are vibrant ecosystems for and by the communities they serve. Come say hello and join us for our many, many special events happening on this day!

Thursday, April 28th
YA Book Club: Good Luck Girls

6:00p at Barriques on Monroe Street!

Join us to discuss our April Book Club pick,
GOOD LUCK GIRLS by Charlotte Nicole Davis!

Wednesday, April 27th
Live at MTM: Libby Fischer Hellman with Michelle Cox

6:00p

This event is live and in-person at Mystery to Me!

Seats are limited. Reserve yours here!


About the Books

Double Blind

With little work during the pandemic, Chicago PI Georgia Davis agrees to help the best friend of fellow sleuth, Ellie Foreman. Susan Siler's aunt died suddenly after her Covid booster, and Susan's distraught mother wants the death investigated.

However, Georgia's investigation is interrupted by a family trip to Nauvoo, Illinois, the one-time Mormon heartland. It's there that her life unexpectedly intersects with the runaway spouse of a Mormon Fundamentalist.

Back in Evanston, after Georgia is almost killed by a hit and run driver, she discovers that she and the escaped woman look remarkably alike. Is someone trying to kill Georgia because of her death investigation? Or is it a case of mistaken identity? And how can Georgia find her doppelganger before whoever wants them both dead tries again?

A Bend in the River

Two sisters, whose family and Mekong River village are destroyed by American forces during the Vietnam War, flee to Saigon where they become estranged because of their divergent values and ideology. Will they reunite after the war? Or is their relationship too fractured?

About the Author

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago a long time ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. She soon began writing historical fiction as well. Sixteen 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 four times for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and she won the The Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year in 2021. In the past she has won the IPPY, Foreword Magazine’s Indie Awards, and the Readers Choice Award multiple times.

Her novels include DOUBLEBLIND, the 6th Georgia Davis thriller. She has also written the six-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 6-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and five other stand-alone historical thrillers set during the Vietnam War, Revolutionary Iran, Cuba, the Sixties, and WW2. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. All her books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats. Libby also hosts Second Sunday Books, a monthly podcast where she interviews bestselling and emerging authors. In 2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 4000 member organization committed to the advancement of female crime fiction authors.

 

About the Moderator

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents.  She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there.

Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something.  Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music.  Also marmalade.

Tuesday, April 26th
Live @ MTM: Emily Guy Birken and Joe Saul-Sehy

6:00p CT

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!


About the Book

From the money nerds behind the award-winning Stacking Benjamins podcast, a new kind of personal finance book to get your house in order.

Rich. Wealthy. Well-heeled. Moneyed. Affluent. Not bad--but why not get Stacked instead? If you've ever dreamed of a basic philosophy of money that'll help you live bigger, be bolder, and laugh harder, you need this book.

In these uncertain times, the basics matter more than ever. But for most of us, concepts such as investing, budgeting, and getting out of debt just don't float our boats (or 150-foot yachts)--and so we put them off longer than we should. Joe Saul-Sehy and Emily Guy Birken are here to tell you that personal finance can be a lot more fun than you think. (No haberdashery, maritime knowledge, or specialized flatware required.)

Learn about everything from side hustles, to hiring a legit financial adviser, to planning for emergencies, to what's new and exciting--and actually worth your time--in financial apps and software. If you're looking for the same old get-rich-quick clichés, avocado toast shaming, or alphabet soup of incomprehensible financial terms, you won't find them here. Instead, Saul-Sehy and Birken take you step by step along the way to financial success, with their signature blend of shrewd financial information and wacky humor.

 

About the Authors

EMILY GUY BIRKEN is a former educator, lifelong money nerd, and a Plutus Award-winning freelance writer who specializes in the scientific research behind irrational money behaviors. Her background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson.

 Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Kiplinger's, MSN Money, and The Washington Post online. She is the author of several books, including The 5 Years Before You Retire, End Financial Stress Now, and the brand new book Stacked: Your Super Serious Guide to Modern MoneyManagement, written with Joe Saul-Sehy.

Emily lives in Milwaukee with her family.


JOE SAUL-SEHY is the creator and co-host of the Stacking Benjamins podcast and co-author of STACKED: Your Super-Serious Guide To Modern Money Management.

Current board member at large of The Plutus Foundation.

Former board president and Board Member of Partnership For The Pathway.

While Joe’s “money expert story” includes being a former financial advisor (16 years) and representing American Express and Ameriprise in the media, his real story is how he was a money disaster in his early life, pulled his financial house into order, and left his business at age 40 to pursue an entirely different path.

Joe was the “Money Man” at Detroit television WXYZ-TV, appearing twice weekly. His advice has appeared in Bride, Best Life, and Child magazines, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit News and Baltimore Sun newspapers. He’s also appeared online in more than 200 different places, including CNBC.com and WSJ.com.

The Stacking Benjamins Show was called the “Best Personal Finance Podcast” by Kiplinger. Lifehacker listed the show as one of the top 10 of 2021. Joe and the SB team have won five Plutus Awards and the Academy of Podcasters “Best Business Podcast” award (beating well-known shows like The Tim Ferriss Show, How I Built This, and Gimlet’s StartUp).

The Stacking Benjamins Show is created in Joe’s mom’s basement in Texarkana, Texas, where Joe lives with his spouse Cheryl and their cat Cooper.

Thursday, April 21st
Live @ MTM: Rubén Medina with Iván Vergara

6:00p

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

Este evento será en español, ingles, y spanglish
This event will be in Spanish, English, and Spanglish


Sobre la colección / About the Collection

Los Perdidos / The Lost Ones es una selección de viejos y nuevos poemas escritos en español, inglés y spanglish durante las últimas tres décadas que abordan la experiencia de la migración, la pertenencia, las identidades transicionales, el transnacionalismo, la reconstrucción de comunidades y el cruzar/invadir/ navegando nuevas geografías, múltiples idiomas, epistemologías y culturas.

Los Perdidos / The Lost Ones is a selection of old and new poems written in Spanish, English and Spanglish during the last three decades that deal with the experience of migration, belonging, transitional identities, transnationalism, remaking of communities, and crossing/invading/navigating new geographies, multiple languages, epistemologies, and cultures.


About the Author

Rubén Medina is a poet, translator, and scholar. Originally from Mexico City, he lives in the US since 1978, and since 1991 is Professor of Latin American literature at the UW-Madison. In poetry he has published Báilame este viento, Mariana (1980), Amor de lejos…Fools’ Love (Arte Publico 1986), four editions of Nomadic Nation / Nación nómada, Aquel Quetzalcoalt se fue pal’ norte (2018), and recently Los perdidos /The Lost Ones. He received a NEA Fellowship in poetry (1981). His scholarly books include: Autor, autoridad y autorización: escritura y poética de Octavio Paz (1999), Genealogías del presente y del pasado: Literatura y cine meXicanos (2010), a critical edition of Consejos de 1 discípulo de Marx a 1 fanático de Heidegger by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro (2016). In translation: Memorias de una beatnik by Diane Di Prima, and in collaboration with John Burns, he translated a major anthology of beat poetry: Una pandilla de salvajes improvisando a las puertas del infierno (2012). In 2014 he edited Perros habitados por las voces del desierto. Poesía infrarrealista entre dos siglos (Mexico: Aldus), an anthology also published in Perú and Chile. 

About the Editor

Iván Vergara is a poet, musician, editor, and cultural promoter, currently living in Madrid, Spain. He has created a Transatlantic project linking artists, musicians, and poets from Spain, Latin America, and the United States through PLACA (Platform of Chilango and Andaluces Artists), and as editor of Ultramarina C&D, which publish bilingual poetry books in English and Spanish. For almost two decades he has become a leading Transatlantic cultural figure and promoter of alternative art and literature by connecting Latin American, United States and Spain. In each of the areas of his expertise, whether as editor, publishing books in various formats, poet, creating musical projects in which he combines the visual and the aural, given talks and workshops on cartonera books in schools and universities, or promoting Latina/o writers in the U.S. with his project #PoetryOnTheRoad, he has achieved ample notoriety. He is the authored of the poetry collection, Era hombre era mito era bestia.

Thursday, April 21st
YA Book Club

POSTPONED until April 28th!

6:00p at Barriques on Monroe Street

April's Book is...
Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis!

About the Book

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls--they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen. When Clementine accidentally kills a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

When you order the book from Mystery to Me, remember to say you're in the YA Book Club for a10% discount!

Wednesday, April 20th
Live at MTM: Doug Moe with Jane Burns

6:00p CT

Seats are limited! Reserve yours on Eventbrite!

 

About the Book

This is an extraordinary and well-researched book that outlines more than a generation of hopes and dreams and accomplishments of UW-Madison women athletes and the person who made it all possible—Kit Saunders-Nordeen. —Tamara Flarup, longtime UW-Women’s Sports Information Director and member of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame

Published in the 50th anniversary year of the landmark Title IX gender equity legislation becoming law, The Right Thing to Do is both a chronicle of the rise of women’s intercollegiate athletics in the United States and a biography of one of the movement’s leaders, Kit Saunders-Nordeen, the first director of women’s athletics at the University of Wisconsin.

When Kit arrived on the Madison campus for graduate school in 1964, competitive athletics for women was actively discouraged.

Kit established a vibrant non-varsity women’s sports program at UW. The passage of Title IX in 1972 provided a boost. Kit was named the UW’s first director of women’s intercollegiate athletics in 1974, signaling varsity status for women. Yet in 1979, the UW women’s crew famously changed clothes outside the men’s athletic director’s office – they still didn’t have a locker room.

Against this backdrop of administrative struggle, the young women athletes shined. Stars emerged, national championships were won. The public took notice. In 1990, a women’s volleyball match in Madison drew nearly 11,000 fans.

The story of Kit Saunders-Nordeen and the rise of women’s intercollegiate athletics will stir any reader who cares about sports and fair play – on and off the field.

 

About the Author

Doug Moe is the award-winning author of numerous critically-acclaimed non-fiction books, as well as thousands of newspaper columns and magazine articles. In addition to his books and journalism, he writes corporate, foundation and personal histories, all with a signature storytelling style that has earned him a devoted following across more than four decades.

About the Moderator

A native of Mount Horeb, Jane is a local journalist and former sports writer.