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Locally written books in Madison

Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by local authors in Madison.

A copy of I Know What You Did at A Room of One's Own bookstore.JPG

“I Know What You Did” is but one of many new books written by locals. | Photo by 608today

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor. Grab your favorite cup of tea or coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Madison.


  • I Could Live Here Forever,” by Hanna Halperin | Release date: Apr. 11, 2023 | The novel follows Leah Kempler, a UW-Madison student who falls in love with a recovering heroin addict.
  • Summer of Rain, Summer of Fire” by Bill Meissner | Release date: Nov. 22, 2022 | A coming-of-age novel with its roots in a true but little-known incident involving the aerial bombing of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Baraboo.
  • “I Know What You Did” by Cayce Osborne | Release date: July 18, 2023 | When a bestselling novel fictionalizes the death of her childhood best friend and accuses her of murder, Petal Woznewski must figure out who wrote it and why.

For the family

  • Auction” by Quan Barry | Release date: Sept. 26, 2023 | The Vietnamese-born poet, novelist, and playwright explores the existential nature of experience.
  • Canary Girls” by Jennifer Chiaverini | Release date: Aug. 8, 2023 | The prolific Chiaverini returns with a novel about the “munitionettes,” women who built bombs in Britain’s arsenals during World War I.
  • Surely You Can’t Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane!” by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker | Release date: Oct. 3, 2023 | Considered one of the greatest comedy movies of all time, the creators let readers go behind-the-scenes.

Learn something new

  • Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook” by Terese Allen | Release date: July 8, 2023 | Dane County’s beloved farmer’s market now has a beloved cookbook to go along with it, with dishes using daikon radishes to black currants, garlic to green beans.
  • Queer Forms” by Ramzi Fawaz | Release date: Sept. 9, 2022 | Fawaz explores how the central values of the 1970s movements for women’s and gay liberation were translated into a range of American popular culture forms.
  • “Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe” by David Maraniss | Release date: June 6, 2023 | The Pulitzer Prize winner writes about, arguably, the greatest all-around athlete who ever lived.

Part of a series

  • American Intellectual History: A Very Short Introduction” by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen | Release date: Oct. 1, 2021 | A UW-Madisoin Professor of History offers an accessible intro into some of our nation’s most prized thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Betty Friedan.
  • You Are a Star, Malala Yousafzai” by Dean Robbins and Maithili Joshi | Release date: Jan. 2, 2024 | A picture book, and part of the “You Are a Star” nonfiction series, the book focuses on Malala’s lifelong mission to bring educational equality and justice to all, especially young girls.
  • Death in the Dark Woods” by Annelise Ryan | Release date: Dec. 12, 2023 | There have been Bigfoot-type sightings in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest area in Wisconsin. A man’s been found dead in the forest. Who did it?

Personal stories

  • From Hardship to Hope: Crossing the great divides of age, race, wealth, equity, and health” by Judith Gwinn Adrian and Jaylin M. Stueber | Release date: Oct. 8, 2023 | Autobiographical for both authors, fictionally woven together, it’s the story of two women (an older white woman and a young Black teenager) who end up living together during the pandemic.
  • Six Minutes in Eternity” by Philip Hasheider | Release date: Aug. 7, 2023 | Hasheider was medically dead for six minutes. But, then, he came back to life. What happened in those six minutes is discussed in his new memoir.
  • Common Threads: Delivering Hope and Meaning Through Sewing Machines” by Margaret John Jankowski | Release date: Apr. 17, 2023 | The unique story about how The Sewing Machine Project came to fruition. The nonprofit’s mission is to offer sewing tools and education to those who may contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.

Need more recommendations? Stop by Mystery to Me, A Room of One’s Own, and Kismet Books to get expert advice from 608’s local booksellers.

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