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A book of short essays serves as a quick introduction to his work.

After writing about Northern Wisconsin through his volunteer-firefighter lens, Michael Perry has released a new collection of essays, Roughneck Grace (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), that culls from his life on a Fall Creek farmstead, chicken coops and all. Derived from his Wisconsin State Journal column, his essays inspire a lot of collective nodding – like the first time he saw the Packers on a flat-screen – and also many laughs. You can’t help but chuckle when he describes a yoga studio that caters to farmers or misses a deer while hunting because he’s reading Poets & Writers. “Writing is a privilege,” Perry says, and he uses his column “as a mirror to see how I’m measuring up.” Our only grievance: These two-page stories will leave you wanting more. – Kristine Hansen

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