Previous Books

2015

Waukesha Reads – The Big Read 2015 will feature A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. A Wizard of Earthsea is a classic coming-of-age novel and arguably the most widely admired American fantasy novel of the past fifty years. Originally published as a young-adult novel in 1968, Le Guin’s adventure tale is so …

2016

To Kill a Mockingbird Waukesha Reads – NEA Big Read 2016 will feature To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird is the rare American novel that can be discovered with excitement in adolescence and reread into adulthood without fear of disappointment. Few novels so appealingly evoke the daily world of childhood …

2014

Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe It’s time to say the obvious. No author stays internationally popular for 150 years by accident. Poe is one of the classic authors of American literature—a master of the short story, a magician of the short poem, and a critic of brilliance and …

2013

The Big Read in Waukesha will focus on Into the Beautiful Northby Luis Alberto Urrea. Activities will take place September 27- November 3. In the book, nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on …

2012

1984 by George Orwell Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such …

Hound of the Baskervilles cover

2011

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of master mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most accomplished stories. Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson confront one of their most difficult cases ever: is there truly a curse on the old Baskerville estate? Is there …

2010

My Ántonia by Willa Cather A beloved American classic, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia (1918) is best summarized by its epigraph-“the best days are the first to flee.” In it, the adult narrator, Jim Burden, remembers his childhood through the memory of his friend, Ántonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant. As Cather herself did, ten-year-old Jim has …

2009

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway’s third novel, A Farewell to Arms (1929), was crafted from his earliest experience with war. As a teenager just out of high school, Hemingway volunteered to fight in the First World War but was rejected because of poor eyesight. Instead, he drove a Red Cross ambulance …

2008

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby may be the most popular classic in modern American fiction. Since its publication in 1925, Fitzgerald’s masterpiece has become a touchstone for generations of readers and writers, many of whom reread it every few years as a ritual of imaginative renewal. The story of Jay …

2007

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury When did science fiction first cross over from genre writing to the mainstream of American literature? Almost certainly it happened on October 19, 1953, when a young Californian named Ray Bradbury published a novel with the odd title of Fahrenheit 451. In a gripping story at once disturbing and poetic, …