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Middleton Public Library
Address: 7425 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562
Phone: 608-831-5564     Email: info@midlibrary.org


Tuesday January 14
LITTLE FAITH by NICKOLAS BUTLER -- a family is ripped apart and nearly destroyed when one of its own gets involved with a radical church. Set in a gorgeously rendered rural Wisconsin, the story unfolds over the course of a year, as 65-year-old Lyle and his wife, Peg, grow increasingly uneasy as they watch their once estranged adopted daughter, Shiloh, fall under the influence of—and eventually get engaged to—Steven, a charlatan disguised as a devout pastor and founder of the cultlike Coulee Lands Covenant. Their worry intensifies when Steven convinces Shiloh that Isaac, her six-year-old son from a previous relationship, is a faith healer and he uses Isaac’s “gift” to attract new parishioners and solicit donations for the church(Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 4).
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Thursday January 16
LITTLE FAITH by NICKOLAS BUTLER -- a family is ripped apart and nearly destroyed when one of its own gets involved with a radical church. Set in a gorgeously rendered rural Wisconsin, the story unfolds over the course of a year, as 65-year-old Lyle and his wife, Peg, grow increasingly uneasy as they watch their once estranged adopted daughter, Shiloh, fall under the influence of—and eventually get engaged to—Steven, a charlatan disguised as a devout pastor and founder of the cultlike Coulee Lands Covenant. Their worry intensifies when Steven convinces Shiloh that Isaac, her six-year-old son from a previous relationship, is a faith healer and he uses Isaac’s “gift” to attract new parishioners and solicit donations for the church(Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 4).
 more info...


Monday January 27
Join us at Grape Water Wine Bar (7466 Hubbard Ave) to discuss Susan Choi's novel "Trust Exercise." A limited number of copies are available for checkout at the library's reference desk. Please RSVP if you plan to join the discussion. In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarefied bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed―or untoyed with―by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls―until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true―though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place―revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence. As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.
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Tuesday February 18
NOMADLAND by JESSICA BRUDER -- What do you do when your mortgage is underwater, when a divorce or medical catastrophe depletes your savings, or when your anticipated retirement becomes financially impossible? A growing number of Americans address these crushing challenges by taking to the road, with an RV, van, or even a small car as their permanent home. Journalist Bruder joined these contemporary nomads, known as van-dwellers or "workampers." She closely follows Linda, in her mid-60s and traveling between jobs at an Amazon warehouse and a park campground. Linda and her growing "vanily" (van-dweller family) run the gamut of ages and backstories, though there is a preponderance of older people who are unable to retire and work physically strenuous, low-wage jobs to get by. Bruder touches on the deep social stigma of homelessness (van-dwellers fiercely reject that description), the surprisingly short history of the concept of retirement, the rarity of van-dwellers of color, and strategies for docking in plain sight in urban areas and finding a safe haven in rural areas (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 12, p92).
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Thursday February 20
NOMADLAND by JESSICA BRUDER -- What do you do when your mortgage is underwater, when a divorce or medical catastrophe depletes your savings, or when your anticipated retirement becomes financially impossible? A growing number of Americans address these crushing challenges by taking to the road, with an RV, van, or even a small car as their permanent home. Journalist Bruder joined these contemporary nomads, known as van-dwellers or "workampers." She closely follows Linda, in her mid-60s and traveling between jobs at an Amazon warehouse and a park campground. Linda and her growing "vanily" (van-dweller family) run the gamut of ages and backstories, though there is a preponderance of older people who are unable to retire and work physically strenuous, low-wage jobs to get by. Bruder touches on the deep social stigma of homelessness (van-dwellers fiercely reject that description), the surprisingly short history of the concept of retirement, the rarity of van-dwellers of color, and strategies for docking in plain sight in urban areas and finding a safe haven in rural areas (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 12, p92).
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Tuesday March 17
THE HONEY BUS by MEREDITH MAY -- In her first book, journalist and fifth-generation beekeeper May, winner of the PEN America Literary Award for Journalism and short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize, writes of her childhood, learning about life and bees from her beekeeper grandfather. After her parents' divorce, five-year-old May, her younger brother, and her mother move from the east coast to her grandparents' house in California. Once there, her mother abdicates her parental responsibilities, refusing to get out of bed, believing life is treating her unfairly. May's grandmother enables her daughter and is critical of her grandchildren, seeing them only as an obligation. The one bright spot in this dysfunctional household is May's grandfather, a beekeeper who shares his love of his charges with the lonely May, who longs for a family. As she learns about bees and their lives, May comes to admire their cooperation, loyalty, hard work, and bravery, taking those lessons with her as she moves forward, attending college and becoming a writer (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 5, p143).
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Thursday March 19
fifth-generation beekeeper May, winner of the PEN America Literary Award for Journalism and short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize, writes of her childhood, learning about life and bees from her beekeeper grandfather. After her parents' divorce, five-year-old May, her younger brother, and her mother move from the east coast to her grandparents' house in California. Once there, her mother abdicates her parental responsibilities, refusing to get out of bed, believing life is treating her unfairly. May's grandmother enables her daughter and is critical of her grandchildren, seeing them only as an obligation. The one bright spot in this dysfunctional household is May's grandfather, a beekeeper who shares his love of his charges with the lonely May, who longs for a family. As she learns about bees and their lives, May comes to admire their cooperation, loyalty, hard work, and bravery, taking those lessons with her as she moves forward, attending college and becoming a writer (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 5, p143).
 more info...


Monday March 23
Join us at Grape Water Wine Bar (7466 Hubbard Ave) to discuss Tara Westover's memoir "Educated." A limited number of copies are available for checkout at the library's reference desk. Please RSVP if you plan to join the discussion. An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
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Tuesday April 14
THE LIBRARY BOOK by SUSAN ORLEAN -- New Yorker staff writer Orlean (Rin Tin Tin) doubles as an investigative reporter and an institutional historian in this sprawling account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Public Library . On April 29, 1986, just before 11 a.m., a fire broke out in the stacks of the main branch and burned for seven hours, destroying 400,000 books and damaging hundreds of thousands more. Harry Peak, the man police believed started the fire, was arrested but never charged. Orlean ’s investigation into the fire—Was it arson? Why would Peak, a struggling actor and frequent patron of the library , want to burn it down?—leads her down the library ’s aisles of history, as she seeks out books on the flawed science of arson forensics along with titles from California serial killer Richard Ramirez’s reading list to better understand the minds of psychopaths. Along the way, she introduces readers to California Public Library system staffers, among them Arin Kasparian, on the circulation desk; Kren Malone, director of the main branch; and Glen Creason, a senior librarian whose tenure spans “the fire the AIDS crisis, which killed 11 librarians.” Midway through, Orlean reveals her own motivation for her return to long-form journalism: her mother’s dementia has made her acutely aware of how memories are doomed to be forgotten unless they’re recorded (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 28).
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Thursday April 16
THE LIBRARY BOOK by SUSAN ORLEAN -- New Yorker staff writer Orlean (Rin Tin Tin) doubles as an investigative reporter and an institutional historian in this sprawling account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Public Library . On April 29, 1986, just before 11 a.m., a fire broke out in the stacks of the main branch and burned for seven hours, destroying 400,000 books and damaging hundreds of thousands more. Harry Peak, the man police believed started the fire, was arrested but never charged. Orlean ’s investigation into the fire—Was it arson? Why would Peak, a struggling actor and frequent patron of the library , want to burn it down?—leads her down the library ’s aisles of history, as she seeks out books on the flawed science of arson forensics along with titles from California serial killer Richard Ramirez’s reading list to better understand the minds of psychopaths. Along the way, she introduces readers to California Public Library system staffers, among them Arin Kasparian, on the circulation desk; Kren Malone, director of the main branch; and Glen Creason, a senior librarian whose tenure spans “the fire the AIDS crisis, which killed 11 librarians.” Midway through, Orlean reveals her own motivation for her return to long-form journalism: her mother’s dementia has made her acutely aware of how memories are doomed to be forgotten unless they’re recorded (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 28).
 more info...


Monday May 11
Join us at Grape Water Wine Bar (7466 Hubbard Ave) to discuss Ocean Vuong's book "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous." A limited number of copies are available for checkout at the library's reference desk. Please RSVP if you plan to join the discussion. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
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Tuesday May 19
THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA by J. RYAN STRADAL -- Edith Magnusson never thought she’d be figuring out how to translate the flavors of her award-winning pies into beer, but she’s had plenty of practice being adaptable. Ever since her father left the family farm to her sister, Helen, Edith has learned to make do on her own. She and her husband raised their children comfortably, but not extravagantly, and no job was ever too small for Edith. When her granddaughter, Diana, turns a severance package into ownership of a fledgling craft brewery, she’s surprised to find that brewing is in the family bloodline. A chance to mend decades-old resentment resurfaces, and Edith, Helen, and Diana have to decide how to best navigate the tricky waters of reconciliation (Booklist, vol 115, number 19, p35).
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Thursday May 21
THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA by J. RYAN STRADAL -- Edith Magnusson never thought she’d be figuring out how to translate the flavors of her award-winning pies into beer, but she’s had plenty of practice being adaptable. Ever since her father left the family farm to her sister, Helen, Edith has learned to make do on her own. She and her husband raised their children comfortably, but not extravagantly, and no job was ever too small for Edith. When her granddaughter, Diana, turns a severance package into ownership of a fledgling craft brewery, she’s surprised to find that brewing is in the family bloodline. A chance to mend decades-old resentment resurfaces, and Edith, Helen, and Diana have to decide how to best navigate the tricky waters of reconciliation (Booklist, vol 115, number 19, p35).
 more info...






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