Fox Cities Book Festival – Author John Hildebrand

This weekend I volunteered at the Fox Cities Book Festival, a week long book festival around the Fox Valley. I was at the Menasha Public Library (Elisha D. Smith Public Library) – a very lovely library if you haven’t been there. It was my first time in Menasha or Neenah (the twin cities of Wisconsin) so it was my first time at that library.

I assisted for three different authors and I was so impressed by all three, that I bought each of their books – well, my mother bought one of them for me – the sweet thing that she is 🙂

I am going to introduce you to each author is separate posts.

The first author was John Hildebrand.

This is his bio: John Hildebrand is the author of four books—The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac, A Northern Front: New & Selected Essays, Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family, and Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon—that often explore the relationships between a particular place and the people who live there. His work has appeared in such magazines as Harper’s, Audubon, Sports Illustrated and Outside. He is the recipient of the Norbert Blei/August Derleth Award for Nonfiction from the Council of Wisconsin Writers, a Minnesota Book Award, the BANTA Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and the Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award from UW-Whitewater as well as fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference. He received an MFA from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and, except for brief stints in England and Alaska, spent his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. His favorite mode of travel is canoe, and he is currently at work on a book about Wisconsin rivers.

This is the book he read from:

The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac  Blurb: (from Goodreads) In this remarkable book of days, John Hildebrand charts the overlapping rings–home, town, countryside–of life in the Midwest. Like E. B. White, Hildebrand locates the humor and drama in ordinary life: church suppers, Friday night football, outdoor weddings, garden compost, family reunions, roadside memorials, camouflage clothing. In these wry, sharply observed essays, the Midwest isn’t The Land Time Forgot but a more complicated (and vastly more interesting) place where the good life awaits once we figure exactly out what it means. From his home range in northwestern Wisconsin, Hildebrand attempts to do just that by boiling down a calendar year to its rich marrow of weather, animals, family, home–in other words, all the things that matter.

I was impressed by his prose and really enjoyed listening to him talk about his exploits, his love of Wisconsin and small towns. I’ll let you know how I liked the book after I’ve read it, but from the snippets he read, I think I’ll really enjoy it.



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