Book Series

Billy Donachio is a baseball coach who's been losing since 1969. Billy was in the Chicago Cubs farm system then, playing second base and drinking whiskey with shortstop Nick Glouser. These fictional characters have a lackluster season in contrast to the Major League Cubs who stay in first place for 155 games -- until the New York Mets pass them by in September.

Nick offered a toast so we could drink with purpose. "To the Mets," he said. "May their plane crash and burn before they play in the World Series."

Not long ago, the waters off Door County, Wis., had a reputation for danger. Door County gets its name from Porte des Mortes -- French for "door of the dead" -- and for good reason; there are dozens of shipwrecks along the peninsula.

The most recent wreck occurred in 1928.

When a poet writes a novel, it's natural to expect the story to include a poem or some reference to poetry. For her debut novel, poet Marydale Stewart uses a 10th Century verse, "The Wanderer," as a symbol for one of her main characters.

Stewart's book, The Wanderers, is our Read With Me selection for December.

David W. Berner's latest book is about a song he wrote for his children and his journey to perform it for the first time in public.

Berner's composition, a finalist in a national contest, is the star of October Song: A Memoir of Music and the Journey of Time. His book is our Read With Me selection for November.

An episode of the 1960s sitcom Bewitched perfectly describes the author-character relationship, according to Linda H. Heuring.

"Samantha the witch is writing a play, and her characters come alive and she couldn't get rid of them," Heuring said. "They were in her living room, and they wouldn't go away because she conjured them out of her subconscious. That's kind of how characters come to me."

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