2016 Schedule

To view the schedule for the 2016 Fox Cities Book Festival, click here.


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Fox Cities Reads

Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015

Book Festival Archive Post.

2011 Book Festival Author
William Brehm

Author Biography

William “Bill” Brehm was born in Neenah, Wisconsin, just before the end of World War II. His mother and her parents descended from pioneer Neenah and Menasha families. His father grew up in a small town in Arizona.  His parents met at the University of Arizona and were married in 1944. He was born while his father was away at war, and his mother lived at home with her parents. After the war, his father graduated from the Harvard Business School and took a job with Kimberly-Clark where he was the corporate economist at the time of his retirement. Bill grew up in Neenah and attended Washington Elementary School, Kimberly Jr. High, and Neenah High School (which is now Shattuck Middle School). After graduation from high school he attended Lawrence University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Architectural History. He is particularly proud of the three summers he spent working at the Gilbert Paper Company mill in Menasha, a mill built by his great-grandfather William M. Gilbert. After Lawrence, he attended Michigan State University where he received a Masters degree in Urban Planning.

Bill returned to Wisconsin in 1976 when he was hired as the City of Appleton’s director of planning and development.  He started his own planning consulting firm in Appleton in 1990 and provided advice and plans to all the communities which make up the Fox Cities, including the surrounding townships.  Bill served for 12 years on the Outagamie County Board of Supervisors, and on various local boards including serving as chairman of board of the Outagamie Historical Society. He has been a member of the Wisconsin State Historical Society for over 50 years, and is a member of the Neenah Historical Society. He is the author or co-author of three history books including The Kimberlys: A glimpse at one family’s years in North America (1989),  The Civil War Journal of Samuel Henry Brehm (2005),  and  Furs, Fir and Fourdrinier: A Story of Wisconsin Paper Families (2010) .  He is also the author of My Hard Copy (2010), a book of Canadian photos, and Brehm: The Works of William Brehm – Watercolors and Oils – 1960-2010 (2010) a review of his art career .

Bill’s home is now in Hamilton, Ontario, where he moved after retiring in 2001. However, he visits Neenah regularly since his mother Kate Brehm, and sister Jane Lang and her family live there.


Thank You

Atlas Coffee Mill

Big thanks go to Atlas Coffee Mill for hosting monthly meetings for the Fox Cities Book Festival Board! We appreciate your support of the Festival and just can't thank you enough for providing a welcoming meeting space for us to plan and dream.