Green Bay's Largest Independent Bookstore.
Twelve Thousand New & Used Books.
Imagine Infinitely. Shop Locally.

The Girl Who Slept With God

Tuesday, September 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Girl Who Slept With God

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

“Fine, carefully wrought . . . reading this novel [is] a heartening experience.” —The New York Times Book Review

For Fans of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, an entrancing literary debut about religion, science, secrets, and the power and burden of family from recent Wallace Stegner Fellow Val Brelinski

Set in Arco, Idaho, in 1970, Val Brelinski’s powerfully affecting first novel tells the story of three sisters: young Frances, gregarious and strong-willed Jory, and moral-minded Grace. Their father, Oren, is a respected member of the community and science professor at the local college. Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family, whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with—she believes—the child of God.

Distraught, Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at the edge of the town. There, they prepare for the much-awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck.

The Girl Who Slept with God is a literary achievement about a family’s desperate need for truth, love, purity, and redemption.

James Botsford & Gregory Galbraith

Thursday, September 14 - 5:30
James Botsford & Gregory Galbraith

James Botsford & Gregory Galbraith at The Reader's Loft

James Botsford started writing poetry in the basement of the family home in North Dakota in the 1960s when he discovered the Beats and the Taoists. He is the author of a book about the history of tribal courts of Wisconsin, a book of stories called "You Should Write that Down" and a book of poetry titled "Them Apples." The latter two books are available at Janke's Bookstore (the oldest independent bookstore in Wisconsin).

James was an Indian rights attorney for thirty years and has travelled extensively. He currently lives with his wife Krista on the banks of Big Sandy Creek east of Wausau and is at work on a book of rants.

After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Dairy Science in 1981, Greg Galbraith bought a farm in Eastern Marathon County where his ancestors began farming in 1890. He is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and has been published in their annual calendar, along with Nerve Cowboy small press lit magazine, and MUSH a publication of  UW- Marathon County. Most recently, he had three poems and two images published in the March 2017 issue of Midwest Review.  He exhibits paintings and photography throughout Wisconsin, including a permanent exhibit in a health care clinic in Colfax, Wisconsin. His first full length book of Poetry, Germinations, will be available in April of 2017.

Annette Langlois Grunseth

Thursday, September 28
5:30 PM at The Reader's Loft

Annette Langlois Grunseth

Becoming Trans-Parent: One Family’s Journey of Gender Transition

"The poems in Annette Grunseth’s chapbook, Becoming Trans-ParentOne Family’s Journey of Gender Transition, are frank, informative, full of feeling and love. From the family’s time-stopped shock to mother and daughter sharing clothes, a mother’s fierce defense of her daughter to those who exclude her, and advocacy for all in her daughter’s situation, Grunseth underscores the need for the family to make the journey too:

Truth is, 41 percent of transgender people lose hope, and  attempt to end their lives

unless they get love (the unconditional kind), she says in “Gender Dysphoria.” These are fine poems that every one of us can learn from."

–Robin Chapman, Professor emerita of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, and poet, author of Six True Things.

"Annette Grunseth’s book of poems, Becoming Trans-Parent, is a guidebook for the heart…at once exquisitely personal and tenderly universal.  The questions are clear, the answers are not so transparent, regarding pronouns, restrooms, dress, dignity, health issues and social justice.  These poems are about transformation and love and love and transformation.  Thank you, Annette, I am a better person for having read Becoming Trans-Parent."

–Bruce Dethlefsen, Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2011-2012)


"Annette Grunseth is an advocate, a poet, and a mother. The advocate in her conveys information: what words mean – words like safety, and dignity. The poet in her asks us to consider the milkweed pod, the Monarch, chrysalis & transformation. As a mother, she wants us to know her daughter is her inspiration, editor and reader. And as human beings, with our own loves & stories & shared bonds, how can we not listen?

Poets name things – it’s what we do. In one of my favorite poems in the collection, Grunseth asks us to consider naming. Her daughter selects her new name, “derived from your mother-roots” and this gift, the power of this choice is palpable in the poem; but the poet doesn’t let the reader off here (or herself). In this poem, titled “Naming My Grief,” the poet admits, “yet the day you told us the court approved your female name, / I cried that night in bed.” Moving from one identity to another, whatever the context, requires some loss, some grief. A loving parent, whatever the context, grieves this moment, and celebrates the child’s casting off of the past self & moving on to the future. Over and over and over in Becoming Trans-Parent we are reminded what it means to love, to learn, to be honest with ourselves, to be human."


–C.Kubasta, author of Of Covenants and All Beautiful & Useless

Barbara Joosse & Miranda Paul

Saturday, September 30
11:00 AM at The Reader's Loft

Barbara Joosse & Miranda Paul

It’s a MEGA Launch Party!

Join us for a fantastically grand morning with picture book greats

Barbara Joosse and Miranda Paul!

Barbara Joosse has been writing for children for over thirty years & has published nearly fifty picture and chapter books along the way. Her books have been translated into twenty eight different languages and have allowed her to tour worldwide. She aspires to find the similarities in us all through her storytelling. Please join us as we celebrate her latest picture book, Better Together: A Family Story that she co-wrote with her daughter.

Better Together: A Family Story

A sweet, informative ode to families, both animal and human. Each spread starts with a single animal, all alone. Then a gatefold opens to reveal that the single animal is actually one of many, working together to solve a problem, from hunger to safety, to feeling lonely. At the end, we see how human families come together in similar ways to care for their little ones. 

Miranda Paul is Green Bay's children's book darling and we are so thrilled to welcome her back to the store for the release of her sixth picture book, Are We Pears Yet? Miranda has written everything from articles on gardening to poems about the life cycle of a butterfly. She lives a short drive from the shoreline in Green Bay with her husband, children, and two friendly cats who love taking baths. When Miranda is not sharing her stories in classrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums and libraries across the globe, you can find her cooking up a new tale in her Underground Lair, also known as her basement home office.

Are We Pears Yet?

Two seeds can't wait to be pears, but growing takes time and patience in this funny and informative picture book.

"When will we be pears?"
—"After we find soil."
"Hooray! We are going to be pears! Are we pears yet?"
—"No! Just be patient and wait."

Written entirely in dialogue and staged as a play, Are We Pears Yet? is a clever and hilarious informational picture book that will make you look at growth cycles and fruit trees in a whole new way. Carin Berger's artfully composed collaged stage sets will delight and amaze you.

Delicious treats, fun stories and two great authors!

A Study in Charlotte

Tuesday, October 10
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

A Study in Charlotte

A Readers's Loft Book Club Meeting

The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Thursday, October 19 - 5:30 PM
Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg & Cristina Norcross

Christine Swanberg’s books include TONIGHT ON THIS LATE ROAD (Erie St., 1984), INVISIBLE STRING (Erie St., 1990), BREAD UPON THE WATERS (UW:Whitewater, 1990), SLOW MIRACLE (Lake Shore, 1992), THE TENDERNESS OF MEMORY (Plainview Press, 1995), THE RED LACQUER ROOM (Chiron Press, 2001) and WHO WALKS AMONG THE TREES WITH CHARITY(Wind Publications, KY, 2005) and THE ALLELUIA TREE (Puddin’head Press, IL). 

Hundreds of her poems have appeared in many journals such as SPOON RIVER, THE AVOCET, WIND, LOUISVILLE and many others. Recently GARDEN BLESSINGS, BACK TO JOY,  GRATITUDE PRAYERS AND POEMS, and EARTH BLESSINGS (June Cotner Anthologies) have included Christine’s poems as well as SOUNDINGS: POETRY OF DOOR COUNTY. An interview appears in POET’S MARKET 2008.  Christine is a writing teacher for museums, churches, arts councils, and women’s organizations. Recent essays appear in WOMEN ON POETRY and WRITING AFTER RETIREMENT. In Rockford she has won the Mayor’s Art (Lawrence Gloyd) Award for Education,  a YWCA Leader Luncheon Award for the Arts, and the Womanspirit Award at Womanspace.

She has given readings and workshops throughout the USA, most recently Palm Beach Community Center, FL;  Sedona, AZ;  Poetry Rendezvous in Taos, NM;  Door Country, Dickenson Series; The Clearing, Door Country, WI; and many others. Recently two of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes by CHIRON.

Hummingbird Whisperer

Glory be to the fierce little warriors

who return to my garden every year.

Come, enjoy, drink the various nectars,

tiny bold ones. You without any fear.

Teach me to cultivate fervor and focus.  

Stay in our shared secret sanctuary

created for you with bergamot and phlox, 

fuchsia and the feeder hung on the tree

you visit each morning. Hello! Goodbye! 

Who could be freer? Fast as a torpedo

when I'm digging, spading, you catch my eye.

Graceful as the wind--glanced from my window.

You share delight with your earthbound sister. 

You've made me a hummingbird whisperer.

Cristina M. R. Norcross lives in Wisconsin with her husband, their 2 sons, and a cat who loves to sleep on her warm, humming computer.  She is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review, and the author of 7 poetry collections.  Her most recent books include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016), and Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016).  Her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in: The Toronto Quarterly, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, Right Hand Pointing, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Cristina’s work also appears in numerous anthologies.  She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day.  Find out more about this poet at:  www.cristinanorcross.com

The Last Party

(for Josie)

It all begins to fade

in the land of forget-me-not years.

One moment I am dropping a slice of lemon into my tea –

the next moment

the back of my bed raises

with the click of a magic button.

Crosswords are my saving grace.

All of the clues –

a familiar comfort.

I wonder who keeps filling them in?

She should be more considerate and use a pencil.

There is a woman who comes and points

to pictures on my dresser.

Sometimes I am good at the guessing game –

sometimes not.

She is kind though and brings me a new nightgown

with each visit.

In times of joyful suspension,

the room is filled

with people I have not seen in years.

Gertrude’s fur wrap was always too showy,

but it looks good on her now.

Bill is busy serving cocktails,

while they set up another Canasta game.

It is a party of laughter and noise.

You should come –

before it all disappears.

Jon Kerstetter

Saturday, October 21
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Jon Kerstetter

The Crossing: A Doctor-Soldier's Story

Every juncture in Jon Kerstetter's life has been marked by a crossing from one world into another: from civilian to doctor to soldier; between healing and waging war; and between compassion and hatred of the enemy. When an injury led to a stroke that ended his careers as a doctor and a soldier, he faced the most difficult crossing of all, a recovery that proved as shattering as war itself.

Crossings is a memoir of an improbable, powerfully drawn life, one that began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin but grew by force of will to encompass a remarkable medical practice. Trained as an emergency physician, Kerstetter's thirst for intensity led him to volunteer in war-torn Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia, and to join the Army National Guard. His three tours in the Iraq War marked the height of the American struggle there. The story of his work in theater, which involved everything from saving soldiers' lives to organizing the joint U.S.-Iraqi forensics team tasked with identifying the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons, is a bracing, unprecedented evocation of a doctor's life at war.
But war was only the start of Kerstetter's struggle. The stroke he suffered upon returning from Iraq led to serious cognitive and physical disabilities. His years-long recovery, impeded by near-unbearable pain and complicated by PTSD, meant overcoming the perceived limits of his body and mind and re-- imagining his own capacity for renewal and change. It led him not only to writing as a vocation but to a deeper understanding of how healing means accepting a new identity, and how that acceptance must be fought for with as much tenacity as any battlefield victory.

Jon Kerstetter received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He practiced emergency medicine and military medicine, serving as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the US Army National Guard and completing three combat tours in Iraq. He has also taught disaster relief and practiced emergency medicine in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Honduras.

The Curious Charm of Arthur Pepper

Tuesday, November 14
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Curious Charm of Arthur Pepper

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

"Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming, and wise…The Curious Charms is not just for those who are mourning over love or the past. This book will illuminate your heart." — Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop

Don’t miss this curiously charming debut! In this hauntingly beautiful story of love, loneliness and self-discovery, an endearing widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a joyous celebration of life’s infinite possibilities.

Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Thursday, November 16 - 5:30 PM
Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Mark Falcone & Nathan Reid

Mark is a South Philadelphian, born and raised in Little Italy there. He has a B.A in Philosophy, an M.A. in Education, and Doctor’s degree in Music Composition. He was a teacher of theology, psychology and music on both a secondary and collegiate level and was a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society. He is published in numerous anthologies. “Fiery Mouthed Dragon” by Dorrance & Co., Philadelphia, and self-published his second book, “Experience: The doorway to Life" by

Marcon Music Publishing.

Mark has put some poetry of his own and that of Emily Dickenson to music. He is retired and devotes his time to composing music, writing poetry, updating his knowledge of science, spirituality and theology.

He has had companion parrots for the past 45 years and given presentations on parrot intelligence for numerous organizations in Green Bay, Baltimore, Delaware and Philadelphia.

Fate does not belong to the gods.

Pray not faithfully

to the gods of fate,

for fame and

 good fortune.

Bend back the

eternal fleeing

moment of reality

to view

your total self.

The prayer was answered,

before it was begun.

Open your hands


there will be found

the content

of your prayers,


Within your own


does your fate

gently rest.

-- Mark Falcone

Nathan J. Reid is a poet and spoken word artist whose work has appeared in several journals, including the Penguin Review, Fox Cry Review, and Binnacle. He has a background in theatre and regularly performs his poetry at art events throughout Wisconsin. His chapbook, Thoughts on Tonight, was published this year by Finishing Line Press. He currently lives in Madison with his partner, Ashley, and their endless supply of books.  


From a small-town blizzard

are born two angels in the snow

whose powdery irises

bear young witness

to a truth such as this:

Paradise melts at the touch.

Every breath drawn in this town

flies shackled-wing flight

under Sheriff John's throne,

his icy yardstick

bending with command

to score another feathered pair

to force another tasty angel down.

And there is no sound

as snow pushes out

another clipped love.

There is no sound

as two angels watch crystal clumps

paint dying dreams

that keep their brilliant purity

their untouched white

even though pollution

has begun to stain their wings.

When You Wake 

you hear distant rumors about what it will be like

to go to sleep and never wake up

about a time when all vibrations cash in their casino chips, take the red-eye home

when the biggest number is again smaller than the smallest number

when your mind is a wilting flower

and an hour yet pending returns you to the realm that fed you into birth

you hear these things happening someday

but today you breathe fire and music as if fire and music, like yourself,

were somehow separate from this collapsing dream of time trying to remember light

you have always been light

light is the reality beneath the dream

as you are breath you are the nothingness

a photon knows not its own existence

so why fear the wilted flower?

if the color has gone pallid

the leaves too brittle to touch

then cheer the fragrance

it is still so incredible and lovely

From Thoughts on Tonight; Finishing Line Press, 2017

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

Tuesday, December 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.”

When her picture-perfect marriage goes sour, Khadra flees to Syria and learns how to pray again. On returning to America she works in an eastern state — taking care to stay away from Indiana, where the murder of her friend Tayiba’s sister by Klan violence years before still haunts her. But when her job sends her to cover a national Islamic conference in Indianapolis, she’s back on familiar ground: Attending a concert by her brother’s interfaith band The Clash of Civilizations, dodging questions from the “aunties” and “uncles,” and running into the recently divorced Hakim everywhere.

Beautifully written and featuring an exuberant cast of characters, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America, from five daily prayers to the Indy 500 car race. It is a riveting debut from an important new voice.

The Other Einstein

Tuesday, January 9
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

The Other Einstein

A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting 

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.


Tuesday, February 13
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore


A Reader's Loft Book Club Meeting

The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

 Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.