|Press release style details for our upcoming events are below. You can find a line listing of other confirmed author appearances at the bottom of the page. Tickets for events will be linked when they become available (generally the 1st of the month prior to the month of the event).
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Find Waldo Local 2014 Scavenger Hunt and Wrap-Up Party
Through the month of July
During the month of July, Boswell Book Company is encouraging kids in surrounding communities to Find Waldo Local! Playing is easy and fun!!
On July 1, 2014, Waldo-spotters will set off on a hunt to find the elusive character hidden around dozens of local businesses across Milwaukee. On July 1st, stop by Boswell to pick up your Find Waldo Local 2014 Passport, which lists participating local businesses where you’ll go in and find Waldo! When you find him, let the employees know so they can stamp your passport. When you’ve collected 15 stamps, bring your passport back to Boswell for a prize, coupon, and a raffle ticket automatically entering you to win one of our fantastic prizes drawn at the Find Waldo Local 2014 Wrap-Up Party from 3:00 to 5:00 PM on Thursday, July 31st at Boswell Book Company, where kids will be served refreshments and participate in Waldo-themed activities.
This event is sold out.
A Ticketed Event with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things, in conversation with WUWM Lake Effect’s Bonnie North
Wednesday July 9, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company and Milwaukee Public Radio are proud to welcome award-winning author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, for a ticketed event to discuss her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, with WUWM Lake Effect's Bonnie North. Tickets are available on the Brown Paper Tickets website. Tickets are $18; this price includes all taxes and fees, admission for one, and an autographed copy of The Signature of All Things. A $12 gift card is available in lieu of the book on the night of the event only. Thank you for waiting until everyone has had their books signed for your photograph.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s first novel in twelve years, The Signature of All Things has earned her rave reviews as "the most ambitious and purely imagined work of her twenty-year career" (Wall Street Journal) and "The novel of a lifetime" (O Magazine), and an "unhurried, sympathetic, intelligent novel by an author confident in her material and her form" (Publisher’s Weekly). Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
"Gilbert, in supreme command of her material, effortlessly invokes the questing spirit of the nineteenth century, when amateur explorers, naturalists, and enthusiasts were making major contributions to progress. Beautifully written and imbued with a reverence for science and for learning, this is a must-read." —Booklist
About the Author: Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Her short story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her novel, Stern Men, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her 2002 book, The Last American Man, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which has been published in more than thirty languages. Her most recent book, the memoir Committed: A Love Story, appeared in 2010. In 2008, Time magazine named Gilbert one of the most influential people in the world. She lives in Frenchtown, New Jersey, where she and her husband (more widely known as "That Brazilian Guy From Eat, Pray, Love") run a large and delightful imports store called Two Buttons.
A Ticketed Event with Kate Southwood, author of Falling to Earth as part of the Women’s Speaker Series at the Lynden Sculpture Garden,
Tuesday July 8, at 7:00 pm
The Lynden Sculpture Garden is located at 2145 W. Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee.
Margy Stratton, founder and producer of Milwaukee Reads, continues her series featuring writers of particular interest to women. This month, we're happy to welcome Kate Southwood, author of Falling to Earth. The series is co-sponsored by Bronze Optical and MKELocaliciou. Tickets are $22 for non-members and $18 for members, include refreshments and a signed copy of Falling to Earth, and can be purchased online at this link. This event begins at 7 pm with a social half-hour, then a presentation and reading followed by Q&A, and then a book signing.
March 18, 1925. The day begins as any other rainy spring day in the small town of Marah, Illinois. But the town lies directly in the path of the worst tornado in US history, which will descend without warning midday and leave it in ruins. By nightfall, hundreds will be homeless and hundreds more will lie dead or injured in the streets. Only one man, Paul Graves, will still have everything he started the day with –– his family, his home, and his business all miraculously intact. Based on the historic Tri-State Tornado, Falling to Earth follows Paul Graves and his young family in the year after the storm as they struggle to comprehend their own fate and the fate of the devastated town around them, as they watch the town resurrect itself from the ruins, and as they miscalculate the growing resentment and hostility around them with tragic results. Beginning with its electrifying opening pages, Falling to Earth is at once an arresting portrayal of survivor’s guilt and disorientation following upon disaster, a meditation on family, and a striking depiction of Midwestern life in the 1920s.
About the Author: Kate Southwood received an M.A. in French Medieval Art from the University of Illinois, and an M.F.A. in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts Program for Poets and Writers. Born and raised in Chicago, she now lives in Oslo, Norway with her husband and their two daughters. Falling to Earth is her first novel.
A Franklin Public Library Event with Maggie Stiefvater, author of Sinner,
Tuesday July 8, at 6:30 pm
The Franklin Public Libray is located at 9151 W. Loomis Road in Franklin.
Boswell Book Company and the Franklin Public Library are excited to welcome bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater who will discuss and sign copies of her latest novel, Sinner, featuring Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpeper from the Shiver trilogy. Great for ages 14 and up, join us as we learn what drew Stiefvater back to the world of rockstar/werewolf Cole and his love interest, the emotional assassin Isabel in what Bookpage calls the "perfect indulgence for readers of all ages."
"I am a werewolf in L.A." This is the first sentence of Maggie Stiefvater’s latest young adult novel featuring rockstar/werewolf Cole St. Clair and emotional assassin Isabel Culpeper from the Shiver trilogy, Sinner. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret—his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls Sinner: "A lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love" that is both "interesting and original."
About the Author: Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, and Forever. Her novel The Scorpio Races was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, while Publishers Weekly selected Maggie's The Raven Boys as a Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of Lament and Ballad. Maggie lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.
A Milwaukee Public Library Event with Michael Edmonds, editor of Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader,
Saturday July 12, at 2:00 pm
Please join us for a talk and signing in the Rare Books Room on the second floor of the Milwaukee Public Library, located at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, as we welcome Michael Edmonds, editor of Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader. This groundbreaking work documents the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, when SNCC and CORE workers and volunteers arrived in the Deep South to register voters and teach non-violence, and more than 60,000 black Mississippians risked everything to overturn a system that had brutally exploited them. Please register for this event at (414) 286-3011.
In the 44 original documents in Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader, you'll read SNCC and CORE workers and volunteers’ letters, eavesdrop on their meetings, shudder at their suffering, and admire their courage. You'll witness the final hours of three workers murdered on the project's first day, hear testimony by black residents who bravely stood up to police torture and Klan firebombs, and watch the liberal establishment betray them. These vivid primary sources, collected by the Wisconsin Historical Society, provide both first-hand accounts of this astounding grassroots struggle as well as a broader understanding of the Civil Rights movement. The selected documents are among the 25,000 pages about the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Most have never been published before.
"A wonderful and long overdue book, Risking Everything vividly recalls the hope and fear, sweat and blood of Freedom Summer. From insider memos to position papers, from Klan screeds to heartfelt letters to ‘Mom and Dad’ here are the words of those who risked everything to make America a democracy, and those who risked decency to stop them." —Bruce Watson, author of Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy.
About the Editor: Michael Edmonds is Deputy Director of the Library-Archives at the Wisconsin Historical Society and curator of its online collection of more than 25,000 pages documenting Freedom Summer. A 1976 graduate of Harvard University, he earned an MS degree at Simmons College in 1979 and taught part-time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The author of several articles and books, Edmonds has won national awards from the American Folklore Society and the American Association for State and Local History.
It’s Story Time, with Boswellian Jannis!
Sunday July 13, at 11:00 am
Fly on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Froodle by Antoinette Portis, and a few more stories on the theme of birds. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, spread your wings with this month’s Story Time!
Michael Mair, co-author of Kaiten: Japan’s Secret Manned Suicide Submarine and the First American Ship It Sank in WWII
Monday July 14, at 7:00 pm
In November 1944, the U.S. Navy fleet lay at anchor in Ulithi Harbor, deep in the Pacific Ocean, when the oiler USS Mississinewa erupted in a ball of flames. Japan’s secret weapon, the Kaiten—a manned suicide submarine—had succeeded in its first mission. Please join us for a talk and signing with Michael Mair, son of a USS Mississinewa survivor, and co-author of Kaiten: Japan’s Secret Manned Suicide Submarine and the First American Ship It Sank in WWII.
The Kaiten was so secret that even Japanese naval commanders didn’t know of its existence. And the Americans kept it secret as well. Embarrassed by the shocking surprise attack, the U.S. Navy refused to salvage or inspect the sunken Mighty Miss. Only decades later would the survivors understand what really happened at Ulithi, when a diving team located the wreck in 2001. In Kaiten, Michael Mair and Joy Waldron tell the full story from both sides, from the strategic importance of the USS Mississinewa to newly revealed secrets of the Kaiten development and training schools. U.S. Navy survivors recount their gripping experiences in the wake of the attack, as well as the harrowing recovery efforts that came later. Japanese pilots reveal their terrifying experiences training to die for their country and Emperor, never knowing when their moment of doom would come.
About the Co-author: A businessman and historian, Michael Mair is the son of a USS Mississinewa survivor. He began research for this book in 1995, including extensive interviews with other survivors and naval personnel stationed in the Pacific at the crucial time in 1944. He has appeared on various History Channel programs, served as a consultant for the Canadian television program Sea Hunters, and contributed to Naval History magazine. He lives in Platteville, Wisconsin.
Local Author Paul Salsini, debuts A Piazza for Sant’Antonio: Five Novellas of 1980s Tuscany
Tuesday July 15, at 7:00 pm
Award-winning local author Paul Salsini returns to Boswell for a reading and signing of his latest collection A Piazza for Sant’Antonio: Five Novellas of 1980s Tuscany. From the Monster of Florence to the return of Father Lorenzo to the search for a haunted village buried under a lake, in A Piazza for Sant’Antonio, Salsini shares the breadth and depth of his knowledge about Italian history in five novellas crafted by someone who has seen the sights of which he writes and whose passion for Tuscany is unrivaled.
About the Author: The son of Italian immigrants, Paul Salsini was a writer, editor, and writing coach at The Milwaukee Journal for many years and has taught journalism at Marquette University. He is the author of the Tuscan Trilogy and The Temptation of Father Lorenzo. His travel articles about Italy have appeared in The New York Times and elsewhere. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and four grandchildren and live in Milwaukee with their cat, Bella.
Presenting The Minimalists, authors of Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists,
Wednesday July 16, at 7:00 pm
The Minimalists—best friends and former executives Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus—are coming to Boswell to share their secrets on how to live a meaningful life with less stuff by discussing and signing copies of their latest, Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists.
Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Joshua Fields Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism…and everything started to change. That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career. So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book but a why-to book, Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately. Heartrending, uplifting, and deeply personal, this engrossing memoir is peppered with insightful (and often hilarious) interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, Millburn’s best friend of twenty years.
"Like Henry David Thoreau, but with Wi-Fi." –The Boston Globe
About the Authors: In 2011, spurred by lingering discontent, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their corporate careers at age 30 to become full-time authors and speakers. After publishing their bestselling book, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, they embarked on an international book tour and eventually began contributing to people through their online writing classes and private mentoring sessions, covering topics from simple living and pursuing passion, to writing, publishing, entrepreneurship, health, relationships, personal growth, and contribution. Their work has been featured on CBS, BBC, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Toronto Star. The Minimalists live in Montana by way of Dayton, Ohio.
Lynn Wiese Sneyd, co-author of The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs,
Thursday July 17, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome an evening signing and discussion at Boswell with writer and literary publicist Lynn Wiese Sneyd, co-author of The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs, a lively report of cowboy Alan Day’s four years of tending 1,500 unadoptable wild mustangs.
He already owned and managed two ranches and needed a third about as much as he needed a permanent migraine: that's what Alan Day said every time his friend pestered him about an old ranch in South Dakota. But in short order, he proudly owned 35,000 pristine grassy acres. The opportunity then dropped into his lap to establish a sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses previously warehoused by the Bureau of Land Management. After Day successfully lobbied Congress, those acres became Mustang Meadows Ranch, the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary established in the United States. The Horse Lover is Day's personal history of the sanctuary's vast enterprise, with its surprises and pleasures and its plentiful dangers, frustrations, and heartbreak. Day's deep connection with the animals in his care is clear from the outset, as is his maverick philosophy of horse-whispering, with which he trained fifteen hundred wild horses. The Horse Lover weaves together Day's recollections of his cowboying adventures astride some of his best horses, all of which taught him indispensable lessons about loyalty, perseverance, and hope. This heartfelt memoir reveals the Herculean task of balancing the requirements of the government with the needs of wild horses.
"A great American story, and an inspiring tale of vision, courage, and hard-won wisdom. It’s told with humor and grace and without pretension. And every reader is sure to find a horse to fall in love with in these pages." –Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948
About the Author: Lynn Wiese Sneyd co-authored The Horse Lover with Alan Day. The owner of LWS Literary Services, Lynn specializes in ghostwriting, editing, book proposals, and book publicity. Lynn is the author of Holistic Parenting: Raising Children to a New Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being, and co-author of Healthy Solutions: A Guide to Simple Healing and Healthy Wisdom, which received the Arizona Book Award for best health/nutrition/wellness book. Her articles, essays, and poetry have appeared in various publications around the country. She and her husband live in Tucson. Instead of a horse, they opted for two cats and a small dog.
Andrew Mozina, author of Quality Snacks
Friday July 18, at 7:00 pm
Join us for an evening with Kalamazoo College English Professor and author Andrew Mozina as he reads from and signs copies of his latest collection,Quality Snacks, which Ellen Loughran of Booklist says "will appeal to readers of Adam Langer, George Saunders, and anyone who appreciates good writing."
In a wide range of forms and tones, the fifteen stories in Andy Mozina’s new collection, Quality Snacks, center on high-stakes performances by characters trying to gratify both deep and superficial needs, often with unexpected consequences. Driven by strange ambitions, bungled love, and a taste for—or abject fear of—physical danger, the collection’s characters enact the paradox in the concept of a quality snack: the dream of transmuting the mundane into something extraordinary. Two teenage boys play chicken on a Milwaukee freeway. A man experiencing a career crisis watches a seventy-four-year-old great grandmother perform an aerial acrobatics routine at the top of a swaying 110-foot pole. Desperate to find a full-time job, a pizza delivery man is fooled into a humiliating sexual demonstration by a couple at a Midway Motor Lodge. A troubled young man tries to end his father’s verbal harassment by successfully hunting a polar bear. After an elf civil war destroys his Christmas operation, Santa Claus reinvents himself as a one-man baseball team and ends up desperate to win a single game. And in the title story, a flavor engineer at Frito-Lay tries to win his boss’s heart with a new strategy for Doritos that aims to reposition the brand from snack food to main course.
"Andy Mozina’s dark comic midwestern genius thrills and troubles me, and I want more of it. Each of these stories is a philosophical puzzle, and each is a strange adventure to the foreign land that is another person’s mind. Through his plainspoken narrators, Mozina takes us farther than we meant to go—to the edge of the Arctic Ocean, to Elvis’s bedroom, to the terrible confusion at the heart of every human relationship. I love this collection." —Bonnie Jo Campbell, bestselling author of Once Upon a River
"It’s a powerful effect, to wedge the sad into the funny, the strange into the normal in order to split a character (or world) apart, and it’s one that I’m fond of. The oddness and commitment to the internal logic of these stories cements it: Mozina’s creating his own worlds, in the same circles, maybe, as George Saunders’ or Brock Clarke’s, but distinctly his own." —Ander Monson, editor of the literary magazine DIAGRAM and author of Vanishing Point
About the Author: Andy Mozina is the author of the story collection The Women Were Leaving the Men, which won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, including Tin House, Ecotone, Fence, The Southern Review, and The Missouri Review, and has received special citations in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the Midwest. Mozina is professor of English at Kalamazoo College.
A Local Launch with Michael Zummo, author of D’Mok Revival: Retribution
Saturday July 19, at 7:00 pm
Milwaukee-based developer and programmer Michael Zummo takes a departure from his present world of interactive storytelling and web-based game creation for that of classic science fiction. Please join us for the launch of the second book in Michael Zummo’s D’Mok Revival series, Retribution.
Awakening is the first book of The Invasion Trilogy, the beginning of the D’mok Revival series of novels by Michael Zummo.
Awakening Plot: Millennia ago, the warmongering Nukari eradicated the ancient, space-exploring D’mar. Not even the greatest of their warriors, D’mok, gifted with super-human abilities, could stop the total annihilation of his people.
Now, the fledgling human Coalition lies in the Nukari's sights. The first attack left a space station destroyed and one man, Rhysus Mencari, the sole survivor. But in that man awakened D'mok-like powers, sparking the revival of the only force that could oppose this powerful enemy.
Still distraught over the loss of his family, Mencari teams up with Osuto, the last known D’mar alive. Can Mencari overcome the shadow of his past in time to master his new found abilities, gather a new team of D’mok warriors, and hunt down the Nukari before the next onslaught?
About the Author: Michael Zummo was captivated by Sierra On-line adventure games, which inspired his sense of exploration in strange lands, and fostered his love of interactive storytelling. In high school he created his first game, The Great Beyond, which combined a science fiction narrative with adventure gaming concepts. He has developed web-based games for children, and has designed computer interfaces for computers, mobile devices, and websites. He is the author of D’Mok Revival: Awakening.
June Melby, author of My Family and Other Hazards: A Memoir,
Tuesday July 22, at 7:00 pm
Our opening reader for this event will be Mel Miskimen, who will be reading from her forthcoming memoir, The Seamus Sessions: Dog Training for the Bereaved.
At the start of My Family and Other Hazards, award-winning poet, stand-up comedian, middle child, and former mini golf concession stand operator June Melby is now an adult living in Hollywood, having flown the Midwest long ago. However, when she hears her parents will be selling Tom Thumb (the mini golf course in the small Wisconsin town where they vacationed every summer), she is shocked by her own panicked reaction and flies back to Wisconsin before the sale goes through, wondering if she should stop it. As the clock ticks on her last summer at the course, Melby reflects on what it meant to her both as a child and an adult, the simpler era that it represents, and the particular growing pains of losing your childhood home.
Here’s what Boswellian Daniel had to say about My Family and Other Hazards: "Growing up spending summers at the Tom Thumb Miniature golf course in Waupaca, you had to learn some special skills, like how to keep the greens clean, and how to get balls that were stuck in the hazards. You had to learn how to make a good snow cone and the secret to crowd-pleasing cotton candy—the grape may taste better but everyone wants the pink stuff. Over the course of 18 holes, June Melby tells the story of her family’s thirty year adventure, with each hazard representing some aspect of life, with the wishing well representing dreams and the rotating barrels the jumping off point for rules. My Family and Other Hazards is a funny and wise story, filled with all the emotions I associate with miniature golf—anticipation, joy, frustration, nostalgia, and yes, a bit of regret too." —Daniel Goldin
About the Author: Mel Miskimen is an award-winning humorist and writer. Her first memoir, Cop’s Kid, was published by University of Wisconsin Press. She lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband and their dog, Seamus.
About the Author: June Melby's work has appeared in McSweeney’s, LA Weekly, and National Lampoon Magazine, among other places. In 2011 she was a Writing Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in 2003 received the International Artist Award and residency from the City of Hamburg Kulturbehorde (Cultural Affairs Department). In 2002 she was the winner of the Children’s Poetry Award at the Edinburgh International Poetry Festival. She lives in Decorah, Iowa.
Rebecca Rasmussen, author of Evergreen,
Wednesday July 23, at 7:00 pm
Join us for an exciting reading and signing with the author of The Bird Sisters, Rebecca Rasmussen, as she presents her latest, Evergreen, which Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train calls "a large-hearted story of resilience, hope and forgiveness deep in the wilds of Minnesota."
From the celebrated author of The Bird Sisters, a gorgeously rendered and emotionally charged novel that spans generations, telling the story of two siblings, raised apart, attempting to share a life. It is 1938 when Eveline, a young bride, follows her husband into the wilderness of Minnesota. Though their cabin is rundown, they have a river full of fish, a garden out back, and a new baby boy named Hux. But when Emil leaves to take care of his sick father, the unthinkable happens: a stranger arrives, and Eveline becomes pregnant. She gives the child away, and while Hux grows up hunting and fishing in the woods with his parents, his sister, Naamah, is raised an orphan. Years later, haunted by the knowledge of this forsaken girl, Hux decides to find his sister and bring her home to the cabin. But Naamah, even wilder than the wilderness that surrounds them, may make it impossible for Hux to ever tame her, to ever make up for all that she, and they, have lost. Set before a backdrop of vanishing forest, this is a luminous novel of love, regret, and hope.
"Rasmussen has been steadily crafting a unique brand of Midwestern literature that combines offbeat characters and timeless rhythms reminiscent of folk tales with touching story lines about the pain and hard-won joys of real life…She shows her strong affection for the picturesque rural setting of yesteryear…In this character-driven saga of friendship and the thorny bonds of family, Rasmussen writes with wisdom and compassion about the people and places that shape us, for better or worse." —Sarah Johnson, Booklist
About the Author: Rebecca Rasmussen is the author of the novel The Bird Sisters. Her stories have appeared in or won prizes from TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, Glimmer Train, The Mid-American Review, among other journals. She was born and raised in the Midwest. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and teaches English part-time at UCLA.
An Outwords Books Event with James Magruder, author of Let Me See It
Wednesday July 23, at 7:00 pm
Outwords Books and Boswell Book Company are proud to present James Magruder, author of Sugarless, who will read from and sign copies of his latest collection of short stories that follows a pair of gay cousins through the Midwest from adolescence in the 1970s to adulthood in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Let Me See It, at Outwords Books, located 2710 N. Murray Avenue in Milwaukee.
Magruder’s collection of linked short stories, Let Me See It, explores the lives of two gay cousins, Elliott and Tom, from preadolescence to adulthood in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s. The geography of their lives takes them to college (Elliott to Cornell, Tom to Purdue), back home to Kansas, and then—more exotically—to New York and Paris. In stories that alternate between their points of view, we see them fall in and out of love (and lust), meet for the first time when they’re 25, become close, and, in the eighties, confront the specter of AIDS. Elliott, always the bolder of the two, tells his cousin, "The point of sex is danger…I just happen to believe that every intimate encounter should make room for the edge," a notion that will take him to that very edge and then, perhaps, over. In the meantime, the more conservative Tom finds himself wondering if love is the only thing that matters in the end. These sometimes melancholy, character-driven stories invite reflection as they examine the intersection of love and sex in a gay milieu rooted in the time and place of their well-realized settings. James Magruder’s writing in Let Me See It is at once elegiac and humorous, and will appeal to a wide range of readers.
"These sometimes melancholy, character-driven stories invite reflection as they examine the intersection of love and sex in a gay milieu rooted in the time and place of their well-realized settings." —Booklist
"In this witty, elegiac collection of linked stories, Magruder (Sugarless) traces the paths of two gay cousins, Tom Amelio and Elliott Biddler, as they grow up in the Midwest and eventually become wised-up, crisis-addled adults…this collection—especially its final, tragic entry—will leave readers
moved…." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author: After fifteen years in show business as a playwright and dramaturg, James Magruder turned to fiction in 2002. The author of Sugarless, his stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, Bloom, Subtropics, and the anthology Boy Crazy. His writing has been supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the New Harmony Project, The MacDowell Colony, where he was named a Thornton Wilder Fellow, the Ucross Foundation, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Jerome Foundation. He teaches fiction at the University of Baltimore and dramaturgy at Swarthmore College. He lives in Baltimore with his partner Stephen Bolton.
Brian Benson, author of Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America
Thursday July 24, at 7:00 pm
Brian Benson has a fill-in-the-blank liberal-arts degree, a million vague life plans, and zero sense of direction. So he sets off on a grandly imagined, poorly planned Latin American backpacking trip, during which he meets and falls for Rachel, a self-possessed Oregonian living and working in western Guatemala. When Rachel mentions that she's always dreamed of bicycling across the U.S., Brian asks to come along for the ride. Going Somewhere is witty, thoughtful, sincere and relatable. Brian invites bike enthusiasts, the young and young-at-heart, avid and armchair travelers alike to join him and Rachel as they learn, mile by mile, how to move forward.
Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America is Brian’s affecting, adventurous account of he and Rachel’s two-wheeled odyssey from northern Wisconsin to Somewhere West. The pair push off from the lush Northwoods, infatuated with the promise of adventure and each other, but as they progress into the bleak western plains, Brian and Rachel begin to discover the messy realities of life on the road. Mile by mile, they contend with merciless winds and vivid characters, broken bikes and bodies—and the looming question of what comes next.
"Brian Benson’s memoir about riding from the hinterlands of Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon on his bicycle is as poignant as it is gripping, as hilarious as it is wise. Going Somewhere is a tender, sexy, take-it-with-you-everywhere-you-go-until-you’ve-read-the-last-page beauty of a book." –Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
About the Author: Brian Benson grew up in northern Wisconsin, just across the road from a lake shaped like a heart, and just outside a town with three bars and no stoplights. Much of his youth was spent biking back roads, chasing soccer balls, and variously injuring himself in the bountiful woods and water. At eighteen, Brian headed to UW-Madison, where he pursued two lib-arts degrees and took zero creative writing classes, and after a few years of bouncing around the Americas on bus and bike, he ended up in Portland, Oregon, where he spends his days talking about how much he misses Wisconsin.
A Milwaukee Public Library Event with Local Author Sandra Ackerman, discussing the revised and updated Milwaukee: Then & Now
Tuesday July 29, at 6:00 pm
Please join us in the Rare Books Room on the second floor of the Milwaukee Public Library for a fascinating talk with local author Sandra Ackerman, as she discusses and signs copies of the newly revised and updated edition of her gorgeous photography book Milwaukee: Then & Now, which contains a host of local landmarks as they once looked alongside the same viewpoint photographed today including City Hall, Pfister Hotel, Layton Art Gallery, Blatz Brewery, Milwaukee Railroad Depot, Pabst Brewery and Mansion, and the Nunnemacher Grand Opera House. The Milwaukee Public Library is located 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.
About the Author: Sandra Ackerman has served as the executive director of Historic Milwaukee, Inc. (HMI), since 1995. HMI is devoted to preserving the architectural and historic heritage of Milwaukee. She also serves on the City of Milwaukee Historic Preservation Commission and Milwaukee County Landmarks Commission. She lives in Milwaukee.
Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer
Wednesday July 30, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for a fascinating talk and signing with award-winning poet Matthew Gavin Frank as he presents his latest creative nonfiction book, Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer in which memory, mythology, and obsession collide in a strikingly original and enigmatic account of the first man to photograph a giant squid.
Moses Harvey was the eccentric Newfoundland reverend and amateur naturalist who first photographed the near-mythic giant squid in 1874, draping it over a shower curtain rod to display its magnitude. In Preparing the Ghost, what begins as Moses's story becomes much more, as fellow squid-enthusiast Matthew Gavin Frank boldly winds his narrative tentacles around history, creative nonfiction, science, memoir, and meditations about the interrelated nature of them all. In a full-hearted, lyrical style reminiscent of Geoff Dyer, Frank weaves in playful forays about his research trip to Moses's Newfoundland home, Frank's own childhood and family history, and a catalog of bizarre facts and lists that recall Melville's story of obsession with another deep-sea dwelling leviathan. Though Frank is armed with impressive research, what he can't know about Harvey he fictionalizes, quite explicitly, as a way of both illuminating the scene and exploring his central theme: the big, beautiful human impulse to obsess.
"Fans of Federico Fellini and, most especially, of Georges Perec, will adore Mr. Frank's infuriatingly baroque, charmingly eccentric, and utterly unforgettable book. And with hand on heart I can truly say that I also loved every word of it." – Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman and The Men Who United the States
About the Author: Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books Pot Farm, Barolo, and Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, and the poetry collections The Morrow Plots, Warranty in Zulu, and Sagittarius Agitprop, and two chapbooks. He currently teaches Creative Writing in the MFA Program at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction Editor of Passages North. This winter, he prepared his first batch of fried trout ice cream.
Edan Lepucki, author of California
Friday August 1, at 7:00 pm
The singular Sherman Alexie handsold Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, on The Colbert Report. Now you can meet Edan Lepucki at Boswell where she will discuss, read from, and sign copies of that very book Alexie swears by—and the book the Colbert Nation is working to make the "Book of the Summer"—California.
The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant. Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust. A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.
"In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities." —Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
"California is a vivid and terrifying exploration of a richly imagined world that is both unrecognizable and deeply, eerily familiar to our own. Lepucki’s talent on display here is a balance of speculation and grounded emotional truth, livened with a deft touch of humor that shows itself in unexpected moments. An entertaining and stimulating debut, and I’m already looking forward to her next." —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
About the Author: Edan Lepucki is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a staff writer for The Millions. Her short fiction has been published in McSweeney's and Narrative magazine, among other publications, and she is the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles. California is her first novel.
Deborah Harkness, author of The Book of Life
Monday August 4, at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we welcome Deborah Harkness who will discuss and sign copies of the much-anticipated conclusion of her All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life. Here’s what Boswellian Jen has to say about this eagerly anticipated conclusion: "Witches and Vampires and Daemons! Oh my! This book is fantastic! The moment of truth has arrived—the past the present and the future for all creatures. Once you sit down to start it, you will not want to stop. Sink your teeth into the final book of the All Souls Trilogy." As always, Boswell will close to late arrivals if we reach capacity. The store will reopen for the signing portion—as people leave the store, we’ll admit that number to the signing line.
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting All Souls series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
"Harkness works her own form of literary alchemy by deftly blending fantasy, romance, history, and horror into one completely bewitching book." —Chicago Tribune
"Packed with gorgeous historical detail, with a gutsy, brainy heroine to match." — Entertainment Weekly
About the Author: Deborah Harkness is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. A history professor at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. She lives in Los Angeles.
Mary Kubica, author of The Good Girl, with Heather Gudenkauf, author of Little Mercies
Tuesday August 6, at 7:00 pm
If you’re looking for a thrilling summer event, we have just the thing for you! Boswell is excited to welcome two writers—Mary Kubica, author of The Good Girl, and Heather Gudenkauf, author of Little Mercies—who will read from and sign copies of their latest suspense novels perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Jodi Picoult.
Already hailed by bestselling author Lisa Gardner as "a twisty, roller-coaster ride of a debut" ideal for "fans of Gone Girl," Mary Kubica’s debut The Good Girl is a sweaty-palm-inducing read made for the summer season. Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life. Drawing comparisons to Gone Girl and Defending Jacob, The Good Girl "builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what's really going on until the final pages" (Booklist) in a novel that is both "compulsively readable and highly recommended for anyone who loves a mystery, a suspense tale, or a psychological puzzle" (Library Journal).
Heather Gudenkauf’s Little Mercies is a powerful, emotionally charged story about motherhood and justice that Publisher’s Weekly calls "compelling…gripping," and Library Journal recommends to "those looking for a quick read with lots to discuss," calling it "ideal for book groups." Little Mercies finds a good woman searching for redemption after a small mistake threatens to change her life forever. This thought-provoking novel illuminates the harrowing world of social workers as they tackle complex family and relationship issues in what Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl calls a "deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical…powerhouse of a novel."
Mary Kubica Bio: Mary Kubica holds a BA in History and American Literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a local shelter. The Good Girl is her first novel.
Heather Gudenkauf Bio: Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of These Things Hidden and The Weight of Silence. She lives in Iowa with her husband and children. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.
Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House, with Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans
Wednesday August 6, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for a special evening with two authors whose novels raise questions about the contemporary American Dream. Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House, and Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans.
Rebecca Makkai's new novel The Hundred-Year House is an original and well-crafted novel about family, fate, and the incredible surprises life can offer. Set in Chicago’s wealthy North Shore, near where Makkai herself grew up baby-sitting for the families of the elite, The Hundred-Year House is simultaneously a love story and a ghost story, as well as a meditation on the power of art to bring people together by breaking down boundaries and even the most well-guarded of family secrets. In starred reviews, Booklist calls The Hundred-Year House "charmingly clever and mischievously funny…[with] a dazzling plot spiked with secrets," and Publishers Weekly said it’s "a lively and clever story...exceptionally well-constructed, with engaging characters...and delightful twists that surprise and satisfy."
Cristina Henríquez’s latest, The Book of Unknown Americans, is a novel that incorporates the stories of 11 different characters whose journeys to the United States from all over Central and Latin America, have led them to the same apartment building in Delaware. At the center of these characters are two families—the Riveras from Mexico and the Toros from Panama. How their lives and destinies will come together will both break your heart and make it soar. Rachel Bertsche of Chicago Magazine calls The Book of Unknown Americans: "gut-wrenching" and "Henríquez's best yet," and Publishers Weekly says "Henríquez delivers a moving account of those who will do anything to build a future for their children-even if it means confronting the fear and alienation lurking behind the American dream."
Rebecca Makkai Bio: Rebecca Makkai’s first book, The Borrower, is a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an O Magazine selection, and one of Chicago Magazine’s choices for best fiction of 2011. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Selected Shorts and This American Life, and have appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, and New England Review. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Cristina Henríquez Bio: Cristina Henríquez is the author of The World In Half and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Glimmer Train, and the anthology This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Oxford American, and Preservation as well as in the anthologies State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Women Writers Reflect on the Candidate and What Her Campaign Meant. She was featured in Virginia Quarterly Review as one of "Fiction’s New Luminaries," has been a guest on National Public Radio, and lives in Chicago.
Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist: Essays
Friday August 8, at 7:00 pm
We’re eagerly anticipating the return of An Untamed State author, Roxane Gay, for a discussion and signing of her latest collection of essays, Bad Feminist, a sharp, spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms. Time magazine declares (and we wholeheartedly agree!): "Let this be the year of Roxane Gay."
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django Unchained) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation: Roxane Gay.
"She had me at Sweet Valley High. Gay playfully crosses the borders between pop culture consumer and critic, between serious academic and lighthearted sister-girl, between despair and optimism, between good and bad. Gay gives us permission to take up the sword of feminism while laying down the shield of policed authenticity. As a result, we complete this book both more powerful and more vulnerable, just like Gay herself. How can you help but love her?" —Melissa Harris-Perry, Wake Forest Professor and MSNBC host
"Smart readers cannot afford to miss these essays, which range from socially significant art (Girls, Django Unchained) and feminist issues (abortion) to politics (Chris Brown) and why Gay likes pink." —Library Journal
About the Author: Roxane Gay's writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Best Sex Writing 2012, Salon, and many others. Her first book, Ayiti, was a collection of poetry and short stories. She is the coeditor of PANK and she teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University.
It’s Story Time, with Boswellian Jannis!
Sunday August 10, at 11:00 am
Boogie on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, and a few more stories on the themes of music and dancing. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, get your summer groove on with this month’s Story Time!
J. A. Jance, author of Remains of Innocence: A Brady Novel of Suspense, appearing in the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall’s Loos Room
Tuesday August 12, at 6:30 pm
Boswell Book Company is proud to co-sponsor as the bookseller of record an upcoming reading, discussion, and signing with Remains of Innocence author, J. A. Jance, appearing in the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall’s Loos Room, located 733 N. Eighth Street in Milwaukee.
Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense, Remains of Innocence, which brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery. An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner. Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.
"Any story by Jance is a joy." —Chattanooga Times
" In the elite company of Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwell...J.A. Jance has really hit her stride with the Joanna Brady series." —Flint Journal
About the Author: J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and four interrelated thrillers about the Walker Family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.
A Conversation between WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich and Jeff Miller, author of Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop at Purple Door Ice Cream
Tuesday August 12, at 7:00 pm
This event is co-sponsored by WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and Purple Door Ice Cream.
Please join us at Purple Door Ice Cream (located at 205 South Second Street in Milwaukee) for a fascinating conversation between WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich and Jeff Miller, author of Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop. There will be ice cream!!
Minnesota-born lawyer Jeff and his partner, Dean, enjoyed a successful and fashionable life in London. They shopped at Harvey Nichols, walked their dogs in Kensington Gardens, and vacationed in France and Tibet. Yet, they dreamed of a new life. In January, Jeff was promoted to a coveted position at his bank; in March, he resigned. Jeff and Dean sold their house, packed the dogs, and moved to the sleepy resort town of Hayward, Wisconsin, where they acquired a nostalgic ice cream shop and a rundown Victorian mansion. Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop is the chronicle of Jeff and Dean’s first year in Hayward—how they are welcomed by a collection of colorful characters and how they are humbled by the challenges of operating both the ice cream shop and a bed and breakfast. It is also a story of Hayward and how the traditions and the stories of those who built the town helped our entrepreneurs adjust to the rhythm of life in their new home.
"Could two successful London businessmen, one with Minnesota roots, solve a midlife crisis by moving to Hayward, Wisconsin, a small town in the north woods near a chain of pristine lakes? Could they really rejuvenate an aging ice-cream parlor and also turn a dilapidated Victorian mansion into a luxurious B&B? Jeff Miller’s charming, affectionate, and very realistic story describes how he and his partner did just that. Miller has a wonderful grasp of detail, from telling how to make ice cream (and invent unusual new flavors) to finding valued friends among the often idiosyncratic, determined, and hardy townspeople who live in this sometimes harsh, but also stunningly beautiful, environment. Miller is humorous but never patronizing, and the ending is startlingly poignant." —Susan Allen Toth, author of Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood and Leaning into the Wind
"Jeff Miller is a modern-day explorer, leaving urbane London to run a dairy and B&B in Hayward, Wisconsin. The big-hearted story he tells is about being brave enough to embrace change—even when it involves Muskie Festival parades, lawn mower races, and learning how to make ice cream that’s ‘Almost Sinful.’" —Lorna Landvik, author of Oh My Stars and The View from Mount Joy
About the Author: Jeff Miller was born in Browerville, Minnesota. He spent years as an international lawyer in New York, Hong Kong, and London. Since 2005 he has lived in Hayward, Wisconsin, where he operates West's Hayward Dairy and McCormick House Inn.
A Conversation between WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich and Dan Epstein, author of Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ‘76
Monday August 18, at 7:00 pm
This event is co-sponsored by WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.
Boswell and WUWM welcome you to Boswell for a spirited conversation between WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich and Dan Epstein, author of Stars and Strikes: Baseball and American in the Bicentennial Summer of ‘76. Just as baseball season heats up, join us for a once-and-a-lifetime talk about a fun and funky chronicle from the noted authority on ‘70s baseball and pop culture: Dan Epstein.
America, 1976: colorful, complex, and combustible, a place of Bicentennial celebrations and busing riots, Olympic glory and Legionnaire’s Disease, Presidential turn-over and hi-fi turntables. And as the nation saluted the 200th anniversary of its independence in a spectacle of festivities, Major League Baseball players waged a war for their own liberties, demanding free agency. For both the nation and its national pastime, the year would become revolutionary, indeed. On the diamond, the 1976 season witnessed the crowning of the Cincinnati "Big Red Machine" dynasty, George Steinbrenner's first World Series with the Yankees, and the heroics of Mike Schmidt, Mark Fidrych, and George Brett. American pop culture was never more fun than in this red-white-and-blue year of Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, CB radios, The Bad News Bears, Rocky, Taxi Driver, the Ramones, Hotel California, and Frampton Comes Alive!—it all came alive in ‘76. Stars and Strikes tracks the tumultuous year from White House to shorts-wearing White Sox, chronicling a time on the eve of the disco era, after which the sport and the nation would never be the same.
"Dan Epstein and baseball in the ‘70s go together like Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon." —Wall Street Journal
"Epstein’s book waves its freak flag high." —The Onion A.V. Club
About the Author: Dan Epstein is an award winning journalist, popculture historian, and avid baseball fan who has written for Rolling Stone, SPIN, Men’s Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, MOJO, Guitar World, Revolver, LA Weekly, and more. He is the author of Big Hair and Plastic Grass. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Back to School! with Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members
Tuesday August 26, at 7:00 pm
We highly recommend an evening of back-to-school-hilarity at Boswell with author Julie Schumacher, professor and author of Dear Committee Members, a comic grenade launched right into the heart of the MFA industrial complex that puts the "pissed" in "epistolary."
Dear Committee Members is a comic satire composed entirely of letters of recommendation. Their author, Jay Fitger, is a disgruntled faculty member at Payne University in the upper Midwest. Once a promising novelist in his own right, Jay has—over the past twenty years—watched his literary career slowly trend toward failure. As a result of personal disappointments as well as frustration regarding the increasingly tangled bureaucracy at "Payne U," Fitger has become a bitter, cantankerous man, and his letters on behalf of students and colleagues are—to put it mildly—unorthodox and inappropriate.
Here’s what a cadre of Boswellians have to say about Dear Committee Members:
"You or any reader will be fortunate to place a copy of Dear Committee Members on your bookshelf…" —Daniel Goldin
"Jason Fitger, professor of creative writing at Payne University, is the go-to guy if you want honest, snarky, passive-aggressive letters of recommendation…Dear Committee Members had me laughing out loud, the perfect companion for an afternoon of reading." —Jen Steele
"Dear Committee Members is the A. J. Fikry of the Ivory Tower. I am eager to send copies to my tenured friends, accompanied by an overlong letter of recommendation (of course!)." —Mel Morrow
About the Author: Julie Schumacher grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award. Her other books include a short story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and five books for younger readers including The Book of One Hundred Truths and The Chain Letter. She lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.
Local Author Nick Weber, author of Shakespeare with Hearing Aids: Some Old-timers Revisit the Bard
Wednesday August 27, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to welcome back teacher-of-all-trades, Jesuit priest, and local author, Nick Weber, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest book about his adventures with the Bard, Shakespeare with Hearing Aids: Some Old-timers Revisit the Bard. You won’t want to miss this fun, original event!
Shakespeare with Hearing Aids: Some Old-timers Revisit the Bard is an old guy’s story about an adventure he is having with some other old-timers. More accurately, it’s about many senior adventures as, together, these retirees read a bunch of dramas written four centuries ago by some whippersnapper called Shakespeare. The story is charged by a range of elder skills and issues as well as by the dynamics of plot, language, characters, and outright playwriting technique. And because so many personal hard-won stories are recognizable inside of the famous playwright’s, he increasingly becomes a trusted stranger; they allow whoever Shakespeare is to illuminate whoever they are.
" ‘The book might just be a dare,’ Weber writes, a sly line for a spry book that is daring in every good way, particularly in its extraordinary celebration of close reading, which in these pages means two beautifully complementary things: smart textual analysis informed by a born performer’s eye (and ear); and smart performers, who grow close to Weber, each other and Shakespeare while reading the plays. I dare you not to be moved." —Liam Callanan, author of All Saints and The Cloud Atlas
About the Author: After years of teaching English literature and theater arts, then graduate work in theology and theater, Nick Weber was ordained a Jesuit priest. In 1971 he founded a poetic theatrical hybrid, "The Royal Lichtenstein Circus" which he toured as his official Jesuit ministry for twenty-two years. Returning to the lay state, he continued touring and eventually developed a one-man performance piece "Shakespeare, Just for Fun!" It was this project that led him into a love affair with the Bard. In 2008, retired from yet more teaching in theater arts and English literature, Nick began reading the works of Shakespeare with groups of retirees in Milwaukee. The title of his earlier show evolved into "Shakespeare Just for Fun! Seniors Sharing Shakespeare." It is the five year history of that project that Shakespeare with Hearing Aids celebrates.
Other Confirmed Author Appearances
Tuesday, September 2, 7:00 pm - Political Fact/Political Fiction featuring Kathleen Rooney, author of O, Democracy!, with Marquette Professor Julia Azari, author of Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate
Wednesday, September 3, 7:00 pm - Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of Revealed, Missing #7, with Lisa McMann, author of Island of Legends, Unwanteds #4, great for ages 8 and up!
Friday, September 5, 7:00 pm - Local Author Julia Mary Gibson, author of Copper Magic, fun for ages 10 and up!
Tuesday, September 9, 7:00 pm - Mary Gordon, author of The Liar’s Wife: Four Novellas
Wednesday, September 10, 7:00 pm - Stuart Rojstaczer, author of The Mathematician’s Shiva, co-sponsored by the UWM Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies
Tuesday, September 16, 7:00 pm - Chelsea Cain, author of One Kick
Friday, September 19, 7:00 pm - United We Read, featuring students and faculty from the UWM Creative Writing Department
Monday, September 22, 7:00 pm - Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
Saturday, September 27, 7:00 pm - Chloe Benjamin, author of The Anatomy of Dreams
Saturday, October 4, 7:00 pm - Garth Stein, author of A Sudden Light
Monday, October 10, 7:00 pm - Steven Pinker, author of The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Sunday, October 12, 3:00 pm - Jennifer Holland, author of Unlikely Heroes, with an introduction by Anne Reed and co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Humane Society
Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 pm - Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett, authors of Sam and David Dig a Hole, great for ages 4 and up!
Friday, November 7, probably around 6:30 pm - Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, ticket information to follow
Thursday, November 13, 7:00 pm - Colonel Chris Hadfield, author of You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station
Friday, November 14, 7:00 pm - Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This
Wednesday, March 11, 7:00 pm - Joseph Kanon, author of Leaving Berlin
Thursday, March 12, 7:00 pm - Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library