By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 27, 2013 at 5:06 AM

While we were busy enjoying all that sizzling hot Wisconsin had to offer last summer, a bevvy of authors was likely working hard on the new crop of books about Wisconsin that has landed in area bookshops.

My favorite of the season so far is "Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State," a collection of essays edited by Thomas Purnell, Eric Raimy and Joseph Salmons, and published in paperback by the University of Wisconsin Press.

The book is the first in a projected series called "Languages and Folklore of the Upper Midwest," and was created in concert with UW-Madison’s Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures.

We all love to joke about the quirks of the Wisconsin dialects – "bubbler," "throw me down the stairs my shoes," "start with me first," etc. – but these 10 essays dig deeper to understand both the broad diversity of dialects in the state and how they developed.

Unsurprisingly, those dialects grew in large part from the accents and languages that Wisconsin’s immigrants brought with them over the decades.

Felecia Lucht explores older immigrant languages and Antje Petty looks at the history of German schools in the state. Karen Washinawatok and Monica Macaulay describe the Native languages of Wisconsin, while Susan Meredith Burt and Catherine Stafford talk about Hmong and Spanish, respectively, in the world of Badger State chatter.

Some other great Wisconsin reads:

Also from the UW Press comes "Sister: An African American Life in Search of Justice," published in hardcover. Along with Jody LePage, Sylvia Bell White tells her own story, which couldn’t help but focus in large part on her brother who was killed by a Milwaukee police officer in 1958.

Born in the South, White came north with the dream of becoming a nurse. What followed was a long struggle against discrimination – and the death of her brother, which set her and her siblings on a course for justice for her brother Daniel.

White’s story, which spans from the era of her slave grandparents to the era of the first African American president, is a powerful and moving one told in the voice of the remarkable woman who lived it.

Former newspaperman and now gallery owner Dean Jensen spins a dazzling and touching yarn in "Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love & Tragedy at the Circus," which tells the story of circus superstar Lillian Leitzel.

Leitzel – whose brother Alfred Pelikan spent decades in Milwaukee running the art department at Milwaukee Public Schools and also as director of the Milwaukee Art Institute – was a star of mega proportions in the first decades of the 20th century and her story is as astonishing as her act was reputed to be. I’m not telling you more because I don’t want to spoil it, but, seriously, don’t miss this bit of pop culture history.

Two new books are centered around Eagle’s Old World Wisconsin.

John D. Krugler’s "Creating Old World Wisconsin" (UW Press paperback) recounts the struggle to build an outdoor history museum of ethnic architecture. Krugler explains the massive effort, fueled by a handful of visionaries, required to save and transport dozens of historic buildings from around the state to the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

I especially enjoyed the photos showing the actual transport and restoration of some of the buildings that are now part of Old World Wisconsin.

Thanks to those efforts, we can better explore and understand the history of the 19th century pioneers in Wisconsin. Thanks to Krugler, we can better understand the history of Old World Wisconsin.

Even more tantalizing is the new printing of Marjorie L. McLellan’s "Six Generations Here: A Farm Family Remembers," published in paperback by Wisconsin Historical Society Press, which traces the history of the Krueger family from its arrival from Germany in 1851 to today.

Luckily for us, in 1899 Alexander Krueger found himself a new hobby: photography. Thanks to that passion, there is a remarkable historical archive of family photographs, which are part of the collection at Old World Wisconsin.

It’s amazing to follow a regular, hard-working immigrant family from arrival in Wisconsin – and before, too, in fact – through now. German or not, the Kruegers’ story is our story.

If you want to get out and get closer to the kind of place that the Kruegers’ found when they arrived more than 150 years ago, pitch a tent out in the wilds of Wisconsin. Before you go, check out "Best Tent Camping Wisconsin," now in its third edition from Menasha Ridge Press. Authors Kevin Revolinski and Johnny Molloy dish up the dirt on 50 of the best campsites in the state and add on some helpful how-to’s and what’s what’s to make it all go smoothly.

Finally, not strictly speaking a Wisconsin book, Marie Porter’s "Sweet Corn Spectacular," published in paperback by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, will definitely feel right at home in any Wisconsin kitchen.

Porter offers tips on selecting, handling, storing and preparing corn in a number of ways. But that’s all an intro to the dozens of tantalizing recipes, from bacon-wrapped corn on the cob to roasted corn and pepper salsa to sweet corn creme liqueur and creamy sweet corn popsicles.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.