2013 Summer Book Series

Rock 'n roll author Joe Bonomo has written books about AC/DC, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Fleshtones. His latest book, however, is a collection of essays about his childhood in Wheaton, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. This Must Be Where My Obsession With Infinity Began is not a traditional memoir, but it is about memory. In particular, it's about how one creates a personal narrative. "There is always a great tension," Bonomo says, "between what we might call calendar truth or historic...

"If you're from a small town," Chris Fink says, "one of the things that's required of you is that you have an opinion about that town." Fink's debut novel, Farmer's Almanac , is full of characters who criticize or defend the Wisconsin villages of Bergamot Pond and Shady Valley -- fictional communities that struggle with the very real challenge of low milk prices. The strongest, most pervasive opinions in the novel come from lifelong resident Frank Fetters, editor of The Bergamot Weekly...

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But how many of us write down the words inspired by an iconic photograph, such as this one of Billy the Kid? NIU poet John Bradley is familiar with this photo, the only authenticated image of the Wild West outlaw. "I've studied that many times," Bradley said. "I think it's just one of the things a writer needs to feed the imagination." Bradley borrowed details from the photo ("Blue eyes," "buck teeth") and from his letters ("Beautiful handwriting," ...

450 miles. That's the distance Marnie Mamminga's family traveled every summer from suburban Chicago to their cabin in northwest Wisconsin. Mamminga recalls the cabin, and the long journey it took to get there, in her latest book Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts . In the 1950s, America's Interstate highways weren't completed, so Illinois families headed "Up North" drove rural roads for much of the trip. For a young Marnie Mamminga, that meant nine hours...