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Meet author Tim Cullen on Oct. 19

Book World welcomes local author and former state Sen. Tim Cullen for a book-signing event from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Cullen will sign copies of his new book “Disassembled: A Native Son of Janesville and General Motors – a Story of Grit, Race, Gender, and Wishful Thinking and What It Means For America.”

About the book

Tim Cullen - Disassembled cover

There have been many articles and even books written on what happened after General Motors closed its plant in Janesville, Wisconsin in 2008 after some 90 years of operation. Here, for the first time, former Wisconsin state senator — and Janesville native — Tim Cullen tells the inside story of how and why it happened, and what it means for the future not only of Janesville, but cities across America.

Cullen, who co-chaired the governor’s task force that tried to save the Janesville plant, provides a sweeping history of the plant from its boom years to the abyss, while noting the struggles African Americans and women faced in getting hired and treated fairly. Along the way he finds some heroes, including an early African American GM employee; a woman who insisted on gender equity in the plant; and Walter Reuther, the legendary labor leader.

Perhaps no one is better qualified than Tim Cullen to tell this important story. Tim worked in the Janesville GM plant as a college student and
he was there, decades on, when presidential candidate Barack Obama told a hopeful gathering of GM employees and other stakeholders he
would do what he could to ensure its success. Less than a year later, the plant closed. In Disassembled, Tim Cullen reveals what happened.

About the author

Tim Cullen
Tim Cullen

Tim Cullen was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin. He graduated from UW-Whitewater with a Major in Political Science with a minor in History.

He is the third generation of his family to work at General Motors. He worked there for four summers in the 1960s to pay his way through college. He also was involved in helping GM and the UAW as a state senator representing Janesville. Governor Jim Doyle appointed him to co-chair a task force in 2008 to try to save the plant. He has had a lifetime of connections with the “plant.”

The first election Cullen won was to the Janesville City Council in 1970. Four years later he was elected to the State Senate at the age of 30. He went on to become Senate Majority Leader and in 1987 he became Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services under Governor Tommy Thompson.

In 1988 Cullen took a job with Blue Cross and worked with them for the next 20 years. In 2010 he decided to run for his old Senate seat. He was elected and served until 2015. Today Cullen still lives in Janesville and spends his time working with the three foundations he started. He is also the chair of the board of Common Cause-Wisconsin.

Meet author Linda Romblom on March 9

Book World welcomes local author Linda Romblom for a book-signing event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. Romblom will sign copies of
her new book “Missing Pots Mystery.” It is her second book and the continuation of her first story.

About the book

Missing Pots Mystery

These tales began years ago as bedtime stories for a little girl who plays the lead role. The Adventures of Princess Isabella—the Leprechaun, a picture storybook, was published in 2017 when Isabella was seven years old. Missing Pots Mystery, a longer chapter book for more mature readers, continues the story.

Isabella is joined by cousins Ava and Ella and her Grammie Linda to help Patrick Dennis Michael O’Shaun figure out how and why pots used for gold at rainbow’s end are missing. With a history of problems from big guns, greedy for leprechaun gold, it took time to earn the trust of the wee folk.

Readers will trill to the beauty of the caves, be challenged by the mystery, and be encouraged by the teamwork it took to piece together all the bits of information and come up with possible theories of what happened. They learn from the leprechaun how not to miss the magic of the moment, whether it be entering through a too small door or catching the twinkle in a loved one’s eye.

Valuable wisdom is gained about how we see and know things. Children will gain insights into what life was like living long ago in a land far away. History and local culture come alive as they participate in an autumn festival and royal ball. The best part is actually doing some of the things the children in the story did.

The appendices at the back of the book include directions and photographs of the real children who inspired the characters of the story, showing how to do a variety of recipes, crafts, and activities. There are also discussion questions and lyrics to a theme song that can be heard online.

About the author

This is the second book to be published by this grandmother, granddaughter duo. It has been a wonderful experience of learning and growing together.

Linda Romblom, is the primary author, with Isabella editing to be sure things are said in a way that her friends will understand. Isabella Walker is the primary illustrator with Grammie Linda helping as they have fun creating together.

Linda has a masters degree in education and over 20 years experience in the classroom. Prior to her recent retirement, she taught Consumer Science to high school students including classes in Child Development.

Her books use foundational principles that enhance cognitive development and creativity in children. More importantly, according to her, “I want these books to be tools that can be used to enhance relationships between children and adults. Children being entertained by technology is fine sometimes, but human interaction is needed, listening and talking and doing together. Kids need role models.”

Meet author Arno Michaelis on Feb. 16

Book World welcomes author Arno Michaelis for a presentation and book-signing event from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. Michaelis will sign copies of his 2018 book, “Gift of our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate.”

About the book

The powerful story of a friendship between two men―one Sikh and one skinhead―that resulted in an outpouring of love and a mission to fight against hate.

One Sikh. One former Skinhead. Together, an unusual friendship emerged out of a desire to make a difference.

When white supremacist Wade Michael Page murdered six people and wounded four in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, Pardeep Kaleka was devastated. The temple leader, now dead, was his father. His family, who had immigrated to the U.S. from India when Pardeep was young, had done everything right. Why was this happening to him?

Meanwhile, Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead and founder of one of the largest racist skinhead organizations in the world, had spent years of his life committing terrible acts in the name of white power. When he heard about the attack, waves of guilt washing over him, he knew he had to take action and fight against the very crimes he used to commit.

After the Oak Creek tragedy, Arno and Pardeep worked together to start an organization called Serve 2 Unite, which works with students to create inclusive, compassionate and nonviolent climates in their schools and communities. Their story is one of triumph of love over hate, and of two men who breached a great divide to find compassion and forgiveness.

With New York Times bestseller Robin Gaby Fisher telling Arno and Pardeep’s story, The Gift of Our Wounds is a timely reminder of the strength of the human spirit, and the courage and compassion that reside within us all.

About the author

Arno Michaelis

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Arno Michaelis was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the hate-metal band Centurion. But single parenthood, love for his daughter, and the forgiveness shown by people he once hated all helped to turn Arno’s life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life.

After spending over a decade as a successful information technology consultant and entrepreneur, Arno is now a speaker, author of My Life After Hate, a counter-violent extremism consultant, and very fortunate to be able to share his ongoing process of character development as an educator working with Serve 2 Unite (S2U). S2U engages students in creative service learning with a global network of peacemakers and mentors in partnership with Against Violent Extremism, The Forgiveness Project, and Not In Our Town.

The story of Arno’s involvement with Serve 2 Unite and his amazing friendship with Pardeep Kaleka, who lost his father Satwant Singh Kaleka in the August 5th, 2012 Sikh Temple shooting, is the subject of a forthcoming book from St. Martin’s Press, co-authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Robin Gaby Fisher.

Arno has been a professional public speaker since 2010, and has captivated audiences throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. His customizable keynotes and workshops leverage noble qualities of compassion, curiosity, and kindness to engage all human beings, building foundations for diversity appreciation and cultural agility.

Arno also enjoys spending time with his daughter, art, music, and all forms of fearless creative expression, along with climbing things, being underwater, and the wonderful natural beauty of our planet Earth.

Meet author Ron Berger on Dec. 8

"Children, Save Yourselves" by Ron BergerBook World welcomes Wisconsin-based author Ron Berger to the store for a book signing from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Berger, a retired UW-Whitewater professor, will be signing copies of his book, “Children, Save Yourselves! One Family’s Story of Holocaust Survival.” The book chronicles his Jewish family’s story in Europe during World War II and the Holocaust, is published by Little Creek Press.

About the book

Children, Save Yourselves! is a compelling true story of two Jewish brothers who survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland. One brother, the author’s father, endured several concentration camps, including the infamous camp at Auschwitz, as well as a horrific winter death march. The other brother, the author’s uncle, survived outside of the camps by passing as a Catholic among anti-Semitic Poles, including a group of anti-Nazi Polish partisans, eventually becoming an officer in the Soviet Army. The book traces the defining prewar, wartime, and postwar events that marked their extraordinary lives.

About the author

Ron BergerRonald J. Berger is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has published numerous books and articles on topics that include crime and criminal justice, disability, and the Holocaust. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, he currently lives in McFarland, Wisconsin.


Meet local author Pat Hall on Nov. 6

Book World welcomes local author Pat Hall to the store for a book signing event from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Hall will be signing copies of her newest book, “Secret of Santa’s Naughty-Nice List.” In addition, her previous titles will also be available that evening.

Learn more about Hall, a Janesville resident, in this 2017 interview with the Janesville Gazette (subscription may be required).

About ‘Secret of Santa’s Naughty-Nice List’

It’s Christmas Eve and Santa and half the reindeer are sick! Now it’s up to the elves to deliver all the presents, but Santa’s list is unusable. How will the elves figure out which presents to leave? Through a series of zany misadventures, the elves discover the true secret of giving.

A contemporary take on the classic, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with a diverse crew of elves who employ modern-day technology to help navigate a series of zany misadventures that lead them to discovering the true secret of giving.