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


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).
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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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