Check It Out - January 22, 2016

Check It Out

Friday, January 22, 2016

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Paula McLain Headlines Lunch for Libraries

BMO Harris presents New York Times and international best-selling historical fiction writer Paula McLain, who will headline Madison Public Library Foundation’s fifth annual Lunch for Libraries fundraiser on Thursday, March 17, at Overture Center for the Arts.

McLain has found her niche in female-focused historical fiction, through which she imaginatively relives the lives of notable women from the past. Circling the Sun, released in July, is a fictionalized account of glamorous aviator Beryl Markham’s life in Kenya in the 1920s. At age 18, Markham was the first woman to earn a professional racehorse trainer license. In 1936, in the face of fierce storms and wind, she was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America.  Circling the Sun was preceded by McLain’s 2011 bestseller The Paris Wife, which offers a glimpse of what life may have been like for Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley.

The event begins at noon. Individual tickets are limited and will be $125 each, including a signed hardcover copy of Circling the Sun. Purchase tickets online at the Madison Public Library Foundation web site.  As part of the Wisconsin Book Festival, Ms. McLain will also give a free public book talk at Central Library on the evening of Thursday, March 17, at 7 pm.

Lunch for Libraries proceeds support the Wisconsin Book Festival. For opportunities to sponsor the event or to purchase/host a table of eight, call 608.266.6318 or email


Check Out Voting: A Voter Education Event at Your Public Library

Your vote is your voice, so make sure that you'll be heard in 2016 by learning about the new voter ID laws and by registering to vote at drop in sessions at all Madison Public Libraries (as well as Oregon, Stoughton, and Verona Public Libraries) on Saturday, January 23, from noon-4pm.

You must bring proof of address to register to vote.

This event is presented in cooperation with the Madison City Clerk, Dane County Voter ID Coalition, and Dane County Public libraries. Find more information and RSVP (optional) at or call 608-729-7720.


More Library Events


Stories from the Library

On January 19, Madison Public Library Director Greg Mickells joined more than 90 library directors, elected and appointed local leaders, and school superintendents and staff in Washington D.C. to face the challenges of education head on and explore ways to improve education outcomes for all children. The White House convening, called the ConnectED Library Challenge: Answering the Call, was a celebration for communities that accepted President Obama's challenge last spring - to get a library card in the hand of every school age child.

President Obama launched the first ConnectED Library Challenge in April 2015. The Challenge recognizes the critical role that libraries play as trusted community anchors that support learning and connectivity at all times and the notion that improving education for all children requires key local leaders to collaborate in new and powerful ways. In Wisconsin, Madison and Milwaukee Public Libraries have accepted the challenge and are working with local school districts and other community partners.

The event was carried out jointly by Urban Libraries Council, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), American Library Association (ALA) and the White House.

Learn more about the ConnectED Library Challenge or view pictures of the event. Photo courtesy of Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Library Book Sales

Support your favorite library and one of many Friends' groups by selecting great deals at one of six upcoming book sales hosted by Libary Friends' groups before the end of the year.

  • Friends of Sequoya Library Book Sale - Saturday, February 6, 9am-4pm at Westgate Mall (422 Westgate Mall, Madison 53711)
    Thousands of books for sale each month. Most books are donations, some library withdrawls also for sale. Nonfiction titles are sorted by category for easy browsing. Fiction titles for all ages! CD and DVD selections as well. Bag sale (on selected items) starts at 2 pm.
  • Friends of Madison Public Library Book Sale - Thursday, February 11 - Saturday, February 13 at the Central Library (201 W. Mifflin St.)
    Stop by the Central Library Friends shop and various sale outposts throughout the building in this three-day sale of gently used books, DVDs and other materials.  Hours: Thursday 9 am-9 pm; Friday 9 am-6 pm; Saturday 9 am - 5 pm.
  • Friends of Pinney Library Spring Book and Bake Sale - 204 Cottage Grove Road
    Thursday, February 11, 12-8:30pm - Members only presale
    Friday, February 12, 9am-8:30 pm
    Saturday, February 13, 9am-4:30 pm
    Sunday, February 14, 1-4pm - Bag sale
    Bake Sale: Thursday, 3-6pm; Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-2pm

For more sales, visit the library's Book Sales page.


Book Reviews

The Clarinet Whale
by Kimberly Sailor

"When you get to a certain age it often feels like when you read a book it begins to remind you of similar plot done by another author. I just finished a book that was completely unique and well written. Clarinet Whale by local writer Kimberly Sailor came out earlier this year and was part of a list I am reading for the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards and I can’t quit talking about it with my co-workers."

Read the full MADreads review HERE.

The Drowning Ground
by James Marrison

"Mystery is not usually my thing, but I was gratified to enjoy this British whodunnit (similar in setting and mood to the Broadchurch series) spanning many years and six unexplained murders. Marrison scaffolds the plot carefully, providing enough information to piece clues together along the way, but not so many as to provide the reader a premature solution."

Read the full MADreads review HERE.