Event Schedule

Kiss My Glass

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Kiss my Glass logo
11
Oct
High Noon Saloon

Big Ideas + Nerd Nite = One great night of nerdiness in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival! Join us at the High Noon Saloon for prizes, fluorescent cocktails & guest host Maynard Okereke, the HipHop MD.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. No cover. For adults only.

7 p.m. – Big Ideas for Busy People
Flash talks on glass from some of UW-Madison’s biggest brains.

Friends of UW-Madison Libraries Book Sale

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Book sale
12
Oct
Room 116

This semiannual sale is organized by the Friends to help to support public events and lectures, priorities identified by the Vice Provost, special purchases and preservation of library materials, and grants for the visiting scholar program. We accept donations for upcoming sales on a continual basis. The sale is free (except the preview sale) and open to the public. More than 80 community volunteers participate in this event that draws students, faculty, and visitors from around the Midwest. Books for the sale are donated by University of Wisconsin faculty, staff, students, and Madison-area residents.

 

  • Wednesday, October 12

Preview Sale:  4:00-8:00 p.m. ($5 entry)

  • Thursday and Friday, October 13 and 14

Regular Sale: 10:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (no entry fee)

  • Saturday, October 15

Bag Sale: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ($5 per bag)

Bring your own grocery bag or purchase one for $1

From 1:05-2:00 p.m. the remaining books & items are free

Bending Granite

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Bending Granite book cover
13
Oct
Community Room 302

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.

Sinister Graves

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Hardcover of Sinister Graves
13
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

"Marcie Rendon is writing an addictive and authentically Native crime series propelled by the irresistible Cash Blackbear—a warm, sad, sharp, funny and intuitive young Ojibwe woman. I want a shelf of Cash Blackbear novels! To my delight I have a feeling that Rendon is only getting started."
—Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Night Watchman
 
Set in 1970s Minnesota on the White Earth Reservation, Pinckley Prize–winner Marcie R. Rendon’s gripping new mystery follows Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman, as she attempts to discover the truth about the disappearances of Native girls and their newborns.

Reading for Our Lives

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Photo of book, Reading for Our Lives
13
Oct
Community Room 301

Reading for Our Lives is a timely, necessary tool as U.S. literacy hits critical levels. Currently, there are 43 million Americans between ages 16 to 65 who can’t read well enough to complete a job application, follow a bus schedule, understand a rental agreement or parse choices at the ballot box. Low-income kids and children of color suffer the most. READING FOR OUR LIVES offers parents from all walks a life hope and a lifeline. Smart encourages and motivates caregivers to use whatever they have of their most valuable resource – time – to set their children on the road for success.

This is What it Sounds Like

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Photo of This is What it Sounds Like
13
Oct
DeLuca Forum

This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it’s also a story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in Los Angeles to became Prince’s chief engineer for Purple Rain, and then create other No. 1 hits as one of the most successful female record producers of all time.

Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Susan Rogers leads readers to musical self-awareness. She explains that we each possess a unique “listener profile” based on our brain’s natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music “above the neck” (intellectually stimulating), or “below the neck” (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one's own unique taste. Like most of us, Rogers is not a musician, but she shows that all of us can be musical—simply by being an active, passionate listener.

The Violence Project

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Photo of book, The Violence Project
13
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

Using data from the writers’ groundbreaking research on mass shooters, including first-person accounts from the perpetrators themselves, The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic charts new pathways to prevention and innovative ways to stop the social contagion of violence. Frustrated by reactionary policy conversations that never seemed to convert into meaningful action, special investigator and psychologist Jillian Peterson and sociologist James Densley built The Violence Project, the first comprehensive database of mass shooters. Their goal was to establish the root causes of mass shootings and figure out how to stop them by examining hundreds of data points in the life histories of more than 170 mass shooters—from their childhood and adolescence to their mental health and motives. They’ve also interviewed the living perpetrators of mass shootings and people who knew them, shooting survivors, victims’ families, first responders, and leading experts to gain a comprehensive firsthand understanding of the real stories behind them, rather than the sensationalized media narratives that too often prevail.

father forgive me

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Photo of book, father forgive me
13
Oct
Community Room 301

A moving and memorable debut collection of poetry by Milwaukee native Deshawn McKinney, “father forgive me” is an exploration of how generational trauma is passed and lives long beyond the precipitating events. The collection is a study of becoming, rooted in the need to context oneself and find peace within the self. At times genealogy, coming of age story, and psychological study, this is a collection that fiercely grapples with forgiveness and explores how to move forward with a life that may not discover it. Described as “an acerbic hip hop hymnal” filled with “fearless, wounding and tender” poems. “father forgive me” is a rich introduction to a prodigious poet from whom readers can expect to hear and learn much more in the years to come.

Painting Beyond Walls

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Photo of book, Painting Beyond Walls
13
Oct
Community Room 302

*** Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Wisconsin Book Festival's event featuring David Rhodes for PAINTING BEYOND WALLS has been canceled. If it is possible, we will work to reschedule this event in the future. In celebration of David and what his work has meant to the Festival and to Wisconsin readers for so many years, the Festival will be giving away free copies of his latest novel throughout the weekend while supplies last. We look forward to seeing you at our 20th Anniversary Celebration.***

It is 2027. August Helm is thirty years old. A biochemist working in a lab at the University of Chicago, he is swept off his feet by the beautiful and entirely self-assured Amanda Clark. Animated by August’s consuming desire, their relationship quickly becomes intimate. But when he stumbles across a liaison between the director of his lab and a much younger student, his position is eliminated and his world upended.

Crossroads of Ideas

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Pop Art image of someone whispering in another person's ear
13
Oct
DeLuca Forum

For Radiolab co-host Latif Nasser, the best part of journalism is that it turns the world into a scavenger hunt. Instead of Easter eggs, journalists look for true stories. But how do you find them, especially ones that haven’t already been covered to death? And once you do land one, how do you tell it in a way that keeps your listener holding their breath to hear more?

For the first part of this event, Latif will share a few of his best tricks to ferret out original and surprising stories that others look right past. From there, he’ll be joined on stage by his friend Soren Wheeler, executive editor at Radiolab; together they will chat about their decade of telling stories together, their biggest triumphs, their biggest mistakes, their hardest-won lessons.

It promises to be an evening of swashbuckling nerdery!

Bronze Drum

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Papercopy of Bronze Drum
14
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

In 40 CE, in the Au Lac region of ancient Vietnam, two daughters of a Vietnamese Lord fill their days training, studying, and trying to stay true to Vietnamese traditions. While Trung Trac is disciplined and wise, always excelling in her duty, Trung Nhi is fierce and free spirited, more concerned with spending time in the gardens and with lovers.

But these sister's lives—and the lives of their people—are shadowed by the oppressive rule of the Han Chinese. They are forced to adopt Confucian teachings, secure marriages, and pay ever‑increasing taxes. As the peoples' frustration boils over, the country comes ever closer to the edge of war.

When Trung Trac and Trung Nhi's father is executed, their world comes crashing down around them. With no men to save them against the Han's encroaching regime, they must rise and unite the women of Vietnam into an army. Solidifying their status as champions of women and Vietnam, they usher in a period of freedom and independence for their people.

Rainbow Rainbow

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Photo of book, Rainbow Rainbow
14
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

In this delightful collection of prize-winning stories, queer, gender-nonconforming, and trans characters
struggle to find love and forgiveness, despite their sometimes comic, sometimes tragic mistakes. In one, a
young lesbian tries to have a baby with her lover using an unprofessional sperm donor and a high-powered,
rainbow-colored cocktail. In another, a fifth-grader explores gender identity by dressing as an ox—instead of
a matriarch—for a class Oregon Trail reenactment. Meanwhile a nonbinary person on the eve of top surgery
dangerously experiments with an open relationship during the height of the COVID crisis. With insight and compassion, debut author Conklin takes their readers to a meeting of a queer feminist book club and to a convention for trans teenagers, revealing both the dark and lovable sides of their characters and resulting in stories that make you laugh and wince, sometimes at the same time.

The Viral Underclass

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Photo of book, The Viral Underclass
14
Oct
Community Room 302

From preeminent LGBTQ scholar, social critic, and journalist Steven W. Thrasher comes a powerful and crucial exploration of one of the most pressing issues of our times: how viruses expose the fault lines of society.

Having spent a ground-breaking career studying the racialization, policing, and criminalization of HIV, Dr. Thrasher has come to understand a deeper truth at the heart of our society: that there are vast inequalities in who is able to survive viruses and that the ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone.

Told through the heart-rending stories of friends, activists, and teachers navigating the novel coronavirus, HIV, and other viruses, Dr. Thrasher brings the reader with him as he delves into the viral underclass and lays bare its inner workings. In the tradition of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, The Viral Underclass helps us understand the world more deeply by showing the fraught relationship between privilege and survival.

Switchboard Soldiers

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Photo of book, Switchboard Soldiers
14
Oct
Community Room 301

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, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, 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. He immediately found himself unable to communicate with troops in the field. Pershing needed operators who could swiftly and accurately connect multiple calls, speak fluent French and English, remain steady under fire, and be utterly discreet, since the calls often conveyed classified information.

At the time, nearly all well-trained 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.

The Family Chao

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Hardcover copy of The Family Chao
14
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

The residents of Haven, Wisconsin have dined on the Fine Chao restaurant’s delicious Americanized Chinese food for thirty-five years, happy to ignore any unsavory whispers about the family owners. But when brash, charismatic, and tyrannical patriarch Leo Chao is found dead—presumed murdered—his sons find they’ve drawn the exacting gaze of the entire town. The ensuing trial brings to light potential motives for all three brothers: Dagou, the restaurant’s reckless head chef; Ming, financially successful but personally tortured; and the youngest, gentle but lost college student James. As the spotlight on the brothers tightens—and the family dog meets an unexpected fate—Dagou, Ming, and James must reckon with the legacy of their father’s outsized appetites and their own future survival.

Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chao offers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.

Project Hail Mary

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Paperback cover of Project Hail Mary
14
Oct
Community Rooms 301 & 302

From the author of The Martian, a lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this cinematic thriller full of suspense, humor, and fascinating science.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

Nerd

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Photo of book, Nerd
14
Oct
Community Room 302

In the vein of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and Black Nerd Problems, this witty, incisive essay collection from New York Times critic at large Maya Phillips explores race, religion, sexuality, and more through the lens of her favorite pop culture fandoms.

From the moment Maya Phillips saw the opening scroll of Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, her childhood changed forever. Her formative years were spent loving not just the Star Wars saga, but superhero cartoons, anime, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Tolkien, and Doctor Who—to name just a few.

As a critic at large at The New York Times, Phillips has written extensively on theater, poetry, and the latest blockbusters—with her love of some of the most popular and nerdy fandoms informing her career. Now, she analyzes the mark these beloved intellectual properties leave on young and adult minds, and what they teach us about race, gender expression, religion, and more—especially as fandom becomes more and more mainstream.

Illuminations

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Photo of book, Illuminations
15
Oct
Also screening in Community Room 302

From New York Times bestselling author Alan Moore-one of the most influential writers in the history of comics-"a wonderful collection, brilliant and often moving" (Neil Gaiman) which takes us to the fantastical underside of reality. Alan Moore will appear on Crowdcast to discuss Illuminations in conversation with Matt Bell. Join the event at: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/wbf-illuminations. Before the event begins, you will see a countdown and the event image.

Here on Lake Hallie

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Photo of book, Here on Lake Hallie
15
Oct

In these humorous and heartfelt essays, Patti See celebrates small-town life in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley. Featuring childhood memories of supper clubs, thrift sales, and cribbage games, as well as the midlife concerns that accompany having a son in the military, a parent with Alzheimer’s, and a private onsite septic system, See’s writing praises the quirky charm of her hometown and its people.

Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s as the youngest of eight children, Patti never imagined she’d stay in Chippewa Falls as an adult. Now, living on rural Lake Hallie just five miles from her childhood home, she has a new appreciation for all that comes with country living, from ice fishing and eagle sightings to pontoon rides and tavern dice. These brief essays—many of which were originally published in the Sawdust Stories column of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram—establish that, above all else, it’s friends, family, and other folks in our hometown who provide us with a sense of belonging.

Demystifying the Publishing Industry

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Demystifying the Publishing Industry
15
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

Join Rachel Werner, Ari Tison, and Ty Chapman for a conversation about their experiences in the publishing industry from before they were published through today. The authors will discuss various aspects of their journey to publication, including (but certainly not limited to) finding an agent, securing a book contract, navigating gatekeepers, pitching books in multiple genres, and collaborating with editors. This event will be a true discussion with audience questions and participation a vital and encouraged part of the program. 

Ripple Effects

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Photo of book, Ripple Effect
15
Oct

Lakes are among the Upper Midwest’s greatest treasures and most valuable natural resources. The Great Lakes define the region, and thousands of smaller lakes offer peace, joy, and recreation to millions. And yet, in large part because of the numbers of people who enjoy the local waterways, the lakes of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota face numerous challenges. Invasive species, pollution, defective septic systems, inadequate shoreland zoning laws, and climate change are present and increasingly existential threats. We are, quite possibly, loving our lakes to death.

In his engaging and conversational style, Ted J. Rulseh details each of these challenges and proposes achievable solutions. He draws on personal experience, interviews, academic research, and government reports to describe the state of the lakes, the stresses they are under, and avenues to successful lakeside living for a sustainable future. Ripple Effects will be a go-to source for all who love lakes and who advocate for their protection. Its driving question is summed up by one of Rulseh’s interviewees: “We love this lake. What can we do to keep it healthy?”

Calling for a Blanket Dance

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Photo of book, Calling for a Blanket Dance
15
Oct
Lower Level Program Room

Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face myriad obstacles. His father’s injury at the hands of corrupt police, his mother's struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband, the constant resettlement of the family, and the legacy of centuries of injustice all intensify Ever’s bottled-up rage. Meanwhile, all of Ever’s relatives have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother urges the family to move across Oklahoma to find security; his grandfather hopes to reunite him with his heritage through traditional gourd dances; his Kiowa cousin reminds him that he’s connected to an ancestral past. And once an adult, Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself but also the next generation of family.

Meet Me By the Fountain

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Hardcover of Meet Me By the Fountain
15
Oct
Community Room 301

A portrait—by turns celebratory, skeptical, and surprisingly moving—of one of America’s most iconic institutions, from an author who “might be the most influential design critic writing now” (LARB). Few places have been as nostalgized, or as maligned, as malls. Since their birth in the 1950s, they have loomed large as temples of commerce, the agora of the suburbs. In their prime, they proved a powerful draw for creative thinkers such as Joan Didion, Ray Bradbury, and George Romero, who understood the mall’s appeal as both critics and consumers. Yet today, amid the aftershocks of financial crises and a global pandemic, as well as the rise of online retail, the dystopian husk of an abandoned shopping center has become one of our era’s defining images. Conventional wisdom holds that the mall is dead. But what was the mall, really? And have rumors of its demise been greatly exaggerated?

Meme Wars

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Hardcover copy of Meme Wars
15
Oct
Community Room 302

A groundbreaking investigation into the digital underworld, where far-right operatives wage wars against mainstream America, from a masterful trio of experts in media and tech.

Memes have long been dismissed as inside jokes with no political importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Memes are bedrock to the strategy of conspiracists such as Alex Jones, provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos, white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, and tacticians like Roger Stone. While the media and most politicians struggle to harness the organizing power of the internet, the “redpill right” weaponizes memes, pushing conspiracy theories and disinformation into the mainstream to drag people down the rabbit hole. These meme wars stir strong emotions, deepen partisanship, and get people off their keyboards and into the streets--and the steps of the US Capitol.