What Are You Reading?

Cap Times special contributor Kevin Murphy asks, "What are you reading?"


‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy

By E.L. James

“I didn’t think it was all the rage that it was made out to be. I thought it was redundant and could have been done in one book. It’s a series of three books that only had enough material for one book. I’m on the third one now, trying to see what ultimately happens, but I’m ready for it to be done.

The trilogy involves S&M (sadism and masochism) and if it’s a person’s first exposure to S&M, I’ll say I don’t think everybody involved with S&M is hurt and messed up from their past. I think healthy people can be into S&M and people shouldn’t get the idea that only unhealthy people are into dominant and submissive roles. The main character in this had a very tough childhood and was into pain because of his past. I didn’t feel that was very accurate.”

Julie Mentzer

certified nursing

assistant, Madison


‘Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West’

By Cormac McCarthy

“He also wrote ‘The Road’ and ‘No Country for Old Men’. ‘Blood Meridian’ is like ‘No Country’ in that the main character is a murderer who is a fugitive from the law. There’s no protagonist per se, which also is typical for McCarthy. It’s pretty violent, but it’s so well written that you’re able to get past the violent parts of the story.”

Linda Sterling-Murray

caregiver, Fitchburg


‘Cranberry Red’

By Jerry Apps

“I’m reading the four novels by Jerry Apps. He’s a Wisconsin writer who writes historical fiction (as well as books in other genres) about rural Wisconsin. ‘Cranberry Red’ ... takes place in Ames County, a fictional county in central Wisconsin, which is where Apps grew up, and it’s about a big agribusiness that comes up with a new formula for a cranberry that amplifies the amount of anti-oxidants in them, but they also discover there are strange things happening in the water to the fish and later to people as this new cranberry affects the habitat.

The county extension agent’s position is cut so the agent goes to work for the agribusiness, but he becomes conflicted in his work because he needs the job to provide for his family … he knows the harm the company’s new product poses for everyone.”

Brett Perkins

teacher, Madison


‘Wool-Omnibus Edition’

By Hugh Howey

“I’m in the middle of ‘Wool-Omnibus Edition’ It’s about post-apocalypse life. The story is very exciting, the characters are very richly done and I’m really enjoying it. I haven’t discovered what wool has to do with the apocalypse, other than that one of the characters knits. I’m just discovering how they live; they live in a huge silo so I’m not sure what’s happened outside except that it’s dangerous and wasted. The characters are dealing with their claustrophobic feelings, which happen when you’re confined and trapped like that.”

Lisa Bagchi

mother, Madison


‘The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms’

By N.K. Jemisin

“It’s part of The Inheritance Trilogy. It’s a story about a kingdom, gods and a heroine who is a strong, female lead. She gets confronted with everything. There’s swords and sorcery; it’s a love story and just stays so engaging. The author is one that I’d highly recommend. She is writing a trilogy … and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”

Evelyn Mikul

care provider,

Mount Horeb


‘One for the Money’

By Janet Evanovich

“One of my favorite series is the Janet Evanovich series, which starts with ‘One for the Money,’ which they’ve made into a movie. ‘Two for the Dough’ is the next one. They’re mysteries but they’re also funny. Stephanie Plum is the main character through the series. She’s a bounty hunter and is trying to track down these people, but is mostly broke. People go after her and try to kill her. There’s suspense and humor, which makes reading them very enjoyable.”

Tricia Wersal

teacher, Madison