The big reads in book news in 2014

AP National Writer
Monday, 22 December 2014 19:58

Like a serial for the digital age, the book world’s most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time.

A dispute about e-book revenues between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon’s removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from J.K. Rowling’s latest detective thriller to J.D. Salinger’s “Nine Stories.” The battle lasted for months. Hachette author Stephen Colbert flipped the bird to Amazon, right on camera. Amazon suggested that frustrated customers might try buying books elsewhere.

Cumberbatch shines as wartime codebreaker

Written by Jocelyn Noveck,
AP national writer
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:33

‘Tis clearly the season for Oscar-worthy performances by British actors playing mathematical geniuses facing daunting personal odds.

Sound overly specific? Consider: A few weeks ago we had “The Theory of Everything,” starring Eddie Redmayne as the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking. And now we have Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game” as Alan Turing, the man chiefly responsible for cracking the vaunted Enigma code used by the Germans in World War II.

Pot-dining in Colorado pits chefs against law

Written by Kristen Wyatt,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 17:49

Acclaimed chef Chris Lanter is talking a crowd of eager foodies through a demo on cooking with marijuana. As he prepares steak au poivre, he describes how to deglaze the pan with pot-infused brandy. How to pair marijuana with fine foods. How to make marijuana’s skunky tang work for a dish, not ruin it.

The Get Down brings New Year’s grooves back to Turner Hall Ballroom

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:24

The Get Down on New Year's Eve. — PHOTO: Courtesy

On New Year’s Eve, Milwaukee musician Andy Noble will be doing what he loves best: introducing fans old and new to his collection of classic soul and funk 45 rpm records at The Get Down, Turner Hall Ballroom’s traditional end-of-the-year dance party.

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 22 December 2014 12:39

Here are the 25 films selected in 2014 by the Library of Congress to be preserved as part of the National Film Registry:

• “13 Lakes” (2004)

From vintage to city chic: Holiday decorating trends

Written by KIM COOK,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:24

For those who love to decorate, there’s no time like the holidays for adding fun, festive touches to our living spaces. This year, there’s something for many tastes and styles.

A look at the trends you’ll see at stores:

The ‘hair of the dog’ won’t cure a hangover, but other methods help

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 12:47

When you wake up on Jan. 1 after partying hearty on New Year’s Eve, what kind of shape will you be in? 

Take art home for the holidays

Written by Kat Murrell,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 22:08

Tiny Art at Tiny Prices at Art Bar. — Photo: Kat Murrell

Shopping for the people who are special in our lives can be a pleasure. When you’re shopping for the person who seems to have everything, it can also be excruciatingly difficult. 

A female Thor and a Muslim Ms. Marvel? Comic books embrace diversity

Written by Jesse J. Holland,
AP writer
Friday, 19 December 2014 10:20

This Thor is a woman now. -PHOTO: Marvel Comics

For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society.

Sam Smith tops MTV's 2014 'best artist ' list

Written by AP Tuesday, 16 December 2014 13:04

This year’s breakthrough new singer, Sam Smith, went from an artist to watch to MTV’s best artist of 2014 and beat out megastars like Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

MMoCA, Chazen offer gift of art

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 00:11

Narayan Mahon’s Store, Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh. — Photo: Courtesy

If the weather outside is frightful, the art inside is delightful. So if you’ve no place to go, two of Madison’s best art venues have a show, and a show, and another show.

French vs. American wines? Vive la différence!

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 21:52

In 1976, a handful of California winemakers entered a wine competition in Paris hoping to gain attention from the elites who governed the European wine trade. No one was more shocked than the French judges themselves when the series of blind tastings resulted in overwhelming wins for American viticulture.