Sunday Reads: Celebrating last month’s big book issue

In case you missed it, Madison Magazine is sharing our introduction to the last month's edition of our monthly 'Sunday Reads' newsletter.
Red striped banner for Sunday Reads newsletter with illustrations of a cat sitting on a stack of books next to a plant.

This article originally appeared as the introduction to the January edition of Madison Magazine’s monthly “Sunday Reads” newsletter, curated by Associate Editor Maggie Ginsberg. The rest of the monthly newsletter includes links to other articles within and outside of the magazine, plus book coverage and other literary news around town. Sign up for future newsletters here. The next newsletter will be emailed on Sunday, Feb. 27.

There’s no way for me to play it cool this month — THE FEBRUARY ISSUE OF MADISON MAGAZINE IS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE. Okay, I fully realize that, if you know me at all, you’ve heard me say this before. But how could I not love this 74-page literary valentine the most?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you must hold this beauty to fully appreciate it in all its glossy pink and red, booktastic glory. I plan to frame the cover, a whimsical blend of a Nikki Hansen photo featuring eight local reads and two illustrated characters lounging on the stacks of giant-to-them books (yes this is my dream). If you look closely, you’ll spot two books by Wisconsin authors in their tiny hands.

Inside, the cover story package lists more than 40 Wisconsin-connected recently published reads, plus a roundup of our indie bookshops and five profiles of local authors who have new releases. But the literary coverage doesn’t stop there. We commissioned a love poem from a UW–Madison Creative Writing Institute Fellowship alum (and wrote a profile on her as well), hired an award-winning photographer to create a stunning image blending an archival photo with his new one inside the Wisconsin Historical Society’s library reading room, published a guest essay by the leader of a local Black Voices book group, and I featured a local independent book publisher in my Innovation column. Even Andrea Behling’s Editor’s Note has the headline of my dreams: “Maggie Loves Books,” sealing this valentine with the ultimate proverbial kiss.

If I have any complaints at all, it’s that even with our expanded coverage, it was impossible to feature all of the amazing authors in our state. Page count restraints and production schedules (and even ignorance of all that’s out there) dictate that our list will fall short despite our best efforts. Look for ongoing literary coverage online with my monthly web exclusive author Q&As, the latest of which is always linked at the end of this newsletter. More importantly, stay connected with the indie booksellers that reliably and consistently support local authors through events, newsletters and staff picks. They’re the real MVPs. XOXO, Maggie

This article originally appeared as the introduction to the December edition of Madison Magazine’s monthly “Sunday Reads” newsletter, which is curated by Associate Editor Maggie Ginsberg and includes a rundown on current the print issue, links to print stories you might have missed, web exclusive content like the Doug Moe’s Madison blog, highlighted articles from other journalists that caught our attention, author Q&As and other literary coverage around town. To sign up for the monthly newsletter, enter your email address below. The next newsletter will be emailed on Sunday, Feb. 27.

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