Dairylandia: Dispatches from a State of Mind

Univ. of Wisconsin. Oct. 2019. 248p. photos. ISBN 9780299324506. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780299324582. TRAV
Milwaukee Journal reporter Hannah, who spent many years as the CEO of the satirical newspaper the Onion, takes a homespun approach to life in Wisconsin through a series of vignettes. Quoting his mother, the author reminds us that “Nothing is more interesting than a person’s story, and you don’t have to travel to Timbuktu to find it.” This point is driven home time and again in the book as the East Coast transplant draws stories from all corners of his adopted state. Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, others humorous. There are brief mentions of cheese curds, Fond du Lac’s “Miracle Mile,” and other “Wisconsinisms,” but these anecdotes are relatable to anyone anywhere in the country. Stories include “Love Is Still Love, Even When It’s Frozen,” “Big Brats, Tiny Trophies,” “Nearly Naked, Seeking Snow,” and “You Can’t Tattoo a Soap Bubble.”
VERDICT This breezy read can be picked up and put down or started in the middle. A perfect “popcorn” book for high school to adult users who enjoy stories that highlight the Midwest with its individual quirks and its universality.

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