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).
For more fun information like links to reviews, trailers, or other related work by visiting authors, consider subscribing to Daniel's daily blog, Boswell and Books, or our twice-monthly e-mail newsletter (see sign-up box on righthand side of this page).
Want to help promote an event that you're excited about? Consider sharing events via Facebook, or e-mail Mel if you're interested in posting an event sign at your place of business or leisure.
And, you can always pre-order or reserve a signed copy of your favorite author's new title if you can't make an event.
Women’s Speaker Series at the Lynden Sculpture Garden with Ann Peters, author of House Hold: A Memoir of Place
Wednesday April 23, at 7:00 pm
The Lynden Sculpture Garden is located at 2145 W. Brown Deer Rd., in Milwaukee.
Margy Stratton, founder and producer of Milwaukee Reads, continues her series featuring writers of particular interest to women. The series is co-sponsored by Bronze Optical and Milwaukee Reads, and treats are provided by MKELocalicious. Tickets are $30/$25 members, include refreshments and a signed copy of House Hold, and can be purchased online here. The event begins at 7 pm with a half-hour social reception, the presentation and reading begin around 7:30 pm, which is followed by the Q&A and book signing.
Like the house built by Ann Peters’s father on a hill in eastern Wisconsin, House Hold offers many views: cornfields and glacial lakes, fast food parking lots and rural highways, Manhattan apartments and Brooklyn brownstones. Peters revisits the modern split-level where she grew up in Wisconsin, remembering her architect father. Against the background of this formative space, she charts her roaming story through two decades of New York City apartments, before traveling to a cabin in the mountains of Colorado and finally purchasing an old farmhouse in upstate New York.
More than a memoir of remembered landscapes, House Hold is also an expansive contemplation of America, a meditation on place and property, and an exploration of how literature shapes our thinking about the places we live. A gifted prose stylist, Peters seamlessly combines her love of buildings with her love of books. She wanders through the rooms of her past but also through what Henry James called "the house of fiction," interweaving personal narrative with musings on James, Willa Cather, William Dean Howells, Paule Marshall, William Maxwell, and others. Peters reflects on the romance of pastoral retreat, the hazards of nostalgia, America’s history of expansion and land ownership, and the conflicted desires to put down roots and to hit the road. Throughout House Hold, she asks how places make us who we are.
"House Hold has the makings of an American classic: a perceptive and deeply affecting book about belonging to a place and yet never quite belonging." —Alice Kaplan, Yale University
About the Author: Ann Peters is associate professor of English at Stern College, Yeshiva University, and the recipient of the 2012 McGinnis Ritchie Award for Nonfiction. She lives in Brooklyn and in upstate New York.
Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings
Thursday April 24, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome Meg Wolitzer for the paperback release of her wildly successful New York Times bestselling novel The Interestings. Meg Wolitzer has been called a "genius" (The Chicago Tribune), "wonderful" (Vanity Fair), "ambitious" (San Francisco Chronicle), and The Interestings has been lauded as a "page-turner" (Cosmopolitan) that The New York Times Book Review places "among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot."
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge in what Boswellian Sharon calls: "A very intense novel that explores the meaning of success as well as friendship." Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
About the Author: Meg Wolitzer's novels include The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. She is also the author of a novel for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, and her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. In September 2013, along with singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, she will be a guest artist in the Princeton Atelier program at Princeton University.
Boswell Book Company's Fifth Anniversary Celebration of Boswell Book Company featuring Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Monday April 28, at 7:00 pm
As part of our Fifth Anniversary Celebration, we will have refreshments, hear a State of the Store Talk from owner Daniel Goldin, and hear the multifaceted and supremely talented Gabrielle Zevin as she reads from and sign copies of her latest novel and the #1 Indie Next pick for April, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. An enchanting love letter to the world of books and booksellers that changes our lives by giving us stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds, Library Journal says in a starred review of Zevin’s The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: "[f]unny, tender, and moving, [this book] reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love."
Here’s what Boswellian Daniel has to say about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in his #1 Indie Next List recommendation: "Fikry is a bookseller with a small shop in a sleepy resort island town off the coast of Massachusetts. He’s a bit cantankerous, but with good reason; his wife, the people person of the relationship, has just died and his prize possession, a rare copy of Tamerlane, has gone missing. Despite all those losses, there’s one strange addition, a baby girl left on his doorstep, with an explicit request for Fikry to take her in. Zevin’s novel is one of death and rebirth, held together by the spirit of the bookstore. It’s a romantic comedy, a spiritual journey, and if you include the chapter openings, a collection of short story criticism too. In short, it’s a celebration of books and the people who read them, write them, and sell them."
As per Daniel, Boswell Book Company had a soft opening on April 3rd and our grand opening was May 7th (?), so any time in between is fair game for an anniversary/birthday celebration!
About the Author: Of all her books, Gabrielle Zevin is probably best known for the young adult novel Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, which was nominated for a Quill Award, and received the Borders Original Voices Award. She is the screenwriter of "Conversations with Other Women" (Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. Zevin is a graduate of Harvard University. After many years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, she recently moved to Silver Lake, Los Angeles.
A Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum Event with Tim Corrigan, author of An Invitation to Château Du Grand-Lucé: Decorating a Great French Country House
Monday April 28, at 7:00 pm
The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is located at 2220 N. Terrace Avenue in Milwaukee; admission to the event is $5 and tickets can be purchased at the museum on the night of the event.
An Invitation to Château du Grand-Lucé: Decorating a Great French Country House is the story of a passionate love affair between a man—award-winning interior designer Timothy Corrigan—and a gorgeous wreck of a house, set in the magnificent French countryside. Though the house was an empty, gently crumbling shell of its former 18th century self, Corrigan immediately appreciated its excellent bones on his first visit in 2002. What followed is a true odyssey, starting with a year and a half during which Corrigan vigorously campaigned the French government for the right to buy the house and return it to its original use as a private residence. Though he was in competition with people—Frenchmen, all—who wanted to turn it into a hotel, a spa, or a restaurant, all of which would have financially benefitted the tiny Loire valley town in which the chateau stood, Les Architectes des Bâtiments de France—the equivalent of the Landmarks Commission—appreciated Corrigan’s vision and determination to restore this architecturally significant structure to its former glory. Against all odds, the Commission decided in favor of the plan which would keep the château intact, and, in 2004, Timothy Corrigan was the new owner of Château du Grand-Lucé.
"The American designer acquired a storied French country estate in the Loire Valley And decorated it to the nines, leaving out only the snobbery. It's a lovely story by someone living and sharing his dream." —The New York Times
About the Author: Hailed in Architectural Digest as "Today’s Tastemaker," Timothy Corrigan’s work has been featured on television and in publications including Elle Décor, The New York Times, Town & Country, Vanity Fair, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. Corrigan has been named one of the world’s top 100 architects and designers by Architectural Digest for the past eight years, one of the World’s Top 40 Interior Designers by The Robb Report, and included in Luxe Interiors + Design’s Gold List. Corrigan has offices in Paris and L.A., as well as an eponymous home product line. In addition, he is introducing several new tabletop collections for the legendary Royal Limoges, and will be designing the first fully integrated line of fabrics, trims, furniture and floor covering for F. Schumacher, to be introduced in spring 2014. Prior to forming his design firm in 1998, Timothy Corrigan had a successful career in advertising where he headed up Bates Worldwide’s international operations.
Floyd Skloot, author of Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir
Tuesday April 29, at 7:00 pm
Named by Poets & Writers as one of "50 of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World," award-winning essayist, memoirist, novelist, and poet Floyd Skloot shares in his latest, Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir what author Ron Slate calls: "[a] sophisticated yet highly entertaining example of how memoir should serve us."
One March morning, writer Floyd Skloot was inexplicably struck by an attack of unrelenting vertigo that ended 138 days later as suddenly as it had begun. With body and world askew, everything familiar had transformed. Nothing was ever still. Revertigo is Skloot’s account of that unceasingly vertiginous period, told in an inspired and appropriately off-kilter form. This intimate memoir—tenuous, shifting, sometimes humorous—demonstrates Skloot’s considerable literary skill honed as an award-winning essayist, memoirist, novelist, and poet. His recollections of a strange, spinning world prompt further musings on the forces of uncertainty, change, and displacement that have shaped him from childhood to late middle age, repeatedly knocking him awry, realigning his hopes and plans, even his perceptions. From the volatile forces of his mercurial, shape-shifting early years to his obsession with reading, acting, and writing, from the attack of vertigo to a trio of postvertigo (but nevertheless dizzying) journeys to Spain and England, and even to a place known only in his mother’s unhinged fantasies, Skloot makes sense of a life’s phantasmagoric unpredictability.
"A beautifully written, moving account. Who would have imagined that a memoir exploring months of extreme vertigo and decades of neurological turbulence would be filled with so much joy and optimism? This gentle, wise, and perceptive memoir never fails to surprise." —Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire
About the Author: Floyd Skloot is a creative nonfiction writer, essayist, poet, and novelist who lives in Portland, Oregon, and Chicago, Illinois. He is the recipient of many awards, including three Pushcart Prizes and the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction. His writing has appeared in such distinguished magazines as the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Poetry, and American Scholar, and his eighteen books include The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life. In 2010, Poets & Writers named him among "50 of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World."
A Pizza Party with The Gentleman’s Tour, featuring John Corey Whaley, author of Noggin, with Brendan Kiely, author of The Gospel of Winter, and Jason Reynolds, author of When I Was the Greatest
Wednesday April 30, at 7:00 pm
We’re having a pizza party!!! Local pizzeria, Ian’s Pizza, is dishing up three specialty pizzas for three special guests—John Corey Whaley, Brendan Kiely, and Jason Reynolds—as The Gentleman’s Tour wows kids from ages 14 to 84 with excerpts from their latest novels and answers to life’s most profound questions. Did we mention we’ll have pizza?! Please register in advance for this event on our Facebook event page. Thank you!!
From John Corey Whaley, the author of the award-winning Where Things Come Back, comes Noggin, a touching and hilarious coming-of-age story that will blow readers’ minds—or their heads. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis Coates can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. According to Kirkus Reviews, "Whaley’s signature cadence and mad storytelling skillz are worth every page… [Noggin is a] satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity." John Corey Whaley grew up in Louisiana. His debut novel, Where Things Come Back, was the 2012 winner of the Michael L. Printz and the William C. Morris Awards.
I’ll have a slice of the John Corey Whaley, please!: that’s BBQ chicken with BBQ sauce and asiago cheese to feed your belly and your Noggin’! Oh, the Jason Reynolds is simply the Greatest!: starring parmesan and mozzarella with pesto, spinach, grilled onions, and sautéed button mushrooms. We’re singing the praises of the Brendan Kiely: a savory slice with asiago and Gruyere cheeses topped with roasted red peppers, ham, and herbs.
Fans of The Outsiders will love When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, which is about standing up for what’s right even while on the wrong side of a questionable neighborhood. Ali lives in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for guns and drugs, but he and his sister, Jazz, and their neighbors, Needles and Noodles, stay out of trouble until they go to the wrong party, where one gets badly hurt and another leaves with a target on his back. Printz Award winner Walter Dean Meyers says of When I Was the Greatest: "[r]eaders will discover new meanings for the term 'family' and how street life can affect and redefine traditional values. I'm glad I've found Mr. Reynolds, a bright new talent." Jason Reynolds is crazy. About stories. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he gets home. When I Was the Greatest is his debut novel.
Doubt meets Speak in Brendan Kiely’s debut The Gospel of Winter, a fearless teen novel about a boy grappling with years of abuse at the hands of a man he believed to be a trusted friend. Emotionally authentic and beautifully rendered, The Gospel of Winter doesn't shy away from harsh realities or difficult topics, but is so engaging, readers will be unable to put the book down until the very last page. New York Times bestselling author Colum McCann calls The Gospel of Winter: "a novel that captures the pulse of a contemporary wound, a truth that needs to be told about the shameful issue of abuse within our society. It is also a novel that examines the faultlines of love, family, adolesence, faith and belonging. Brendan Kiely has written a novel that is both unflinching and redemptive." Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York. His writing has appeared in Fiction, Guernica, Big Bridge, and the journal Mikrokosmos Literary Journal, among other publications. Originally from the Boston area, he now teaches at an independent high school and lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.
A Ticketed Event with Christopher Moore, author of The Serpent of Venice
Thursday May 1, at 7:00 pm
This event is co-sponsored by Theatre Gigante, which will open for Christopher Moore, presenting a short play at 6:45 PM.
Get ready for a night of raucous hilarity with one of the most entertaining authors you’ll ever meet: Christopher Moore returns to Milwaukee to present The Serpent of Venice, the sequel to Fool and another satirical take on the Bard of Avon starring everybody’s favorite fool, Pocket of Dog Snogging, in a glorious and farcical mash–up of William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. Tickets are available on the Brown Paper Tickets website. Ticket cost is $28 (plus taxes and fees) and includes admission for one person and an autographed copy of The Serpent of Venice. This event is co-sponsored by Theatre Gigante. There is a $20 gift card option in lieu of the book, available on the night of the event only.
The setting is Venice, a long time ago. And three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: the rascal–Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio’s beautiful daughter, Portia. But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn’t even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool…and he’s got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve. Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.
Here’s what Boswellian Jason has to say about The Serpent of Venice: "The foul-mouthed, funny, and acrobatic Pocket from Fool is back, and now, he's running around and scheming in Venice trying to stop a Crusade, of all things. It is greed that lines the pockets of Pocket's enemies, and they also just hate his friendly standing with the doge and Othello, whose ears he can influence. Christopher Moore takes us on another Shakespearean romp that involves a deadly sea creature, a pound of flesh, double dealings, stolen money, three locked chests, Marco Polo, and a lot of people dying who don't stay dead. It was marvelous, and had me laughing out loud the entire time."
About the Author: Christopher Moore is the author of twelve previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, Fool, Bite Me, and Sacré Bleu. He divides his time between Hawaii and San Francisco, California.
A Ticketed Event with Garrison Keillor, author of The Keillor Reader
Monday May 5, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company and the UWM Bookstore are proud to present the multitalented master storyteller, Garrison Keillor, for a ticketed event at the UWM Union Ballroom, co-sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio and Milwaukee Public Radio. Best known as the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion, Keillor will present and discuss his latest book, The Keillor Reader, a stunning collection of his many, varied pursuits. Tickets for this event are available on the Brown Paper Tickets website. Ticket cost is $30 (including all taxes and fees) and includes admission for one person and an autographed copy of The Keillor Reader. Tickets are also available at the UWM Bookstore for $30/$27 for those with a valid UWM student ID. The UWM Union Ballroom is located in the Student Union on the UWM Campus, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. in Milwaukee. There is no gift card option for this event.
When, at thirteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer, and so he has done, recognized today as one of America’s best loved storytellers as well as an occasional comedian, essayist, editor, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, and poet. The Keillor Reader is a remarkable single volume that brings together the full range of his work including monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, and newspaper columns, and presents pieces never before published, including the essays "Cheerfulness" and "What We Have Learned So Far."
About the Author: Garrison Keillor is the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion, celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2014. He is the author of nineteen books of fiction and humor, the editor of the Good Poems collections, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in Anoka, Minnesota, he began his radio career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1966. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. Today, some 4 million listeners on more than 600 public radio stations coast to coast and beyond tune in to the show each week. Honored with Grammy, ACE, and George Foster Peabody awards, the National Humanities Medal, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Keillor’s many books include Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny. In 2007, he opened an independent bookstore, Common Good Books, in St. Paul.
Austin Kleon, author of Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Tuesday May 6, at 7:00 pm
This event is co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Business Journal and 800-CEO-Read.
The New York Times bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon, shares the secrets to success with his latest, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, which Publishers Weekly calls "[s]assy and spot-on." Written as a response to the most frequently asked question from his Steal Like an Artist tour, Show Your Work! is an accessible, inspiring book that will motivate you to use the digital community as your platform for networking, workshopping, and getting published. Opening keynote speaker for the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, Kleon speaks frequently about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, TEDx, and The Economist, and his work has been featured on 20x200.com, PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
In Steal Like an Artist, which spent six months on The New York Times bestseller list, Austin Kleon gave readers the keys to unlocking their creativity. Now, in Show Your Work!, he tackles the next step: getting discovered. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples that inspire, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, teaches you how to put your work out in the world for people to discover while staying focused on getting really good at what you do. As Kleon says, "In order to be found, you have to be findable." But it’s not about "networking" at cocktail parties; it’s about taking advantage of the network. By openly sharing ideas, knowledge, and process, you can gain an audience—for fellowship, feedback, or patronage. Show Your Work! is not just forward thinking, it is a practical and inspirational manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.
"Like Steal, Show is timeless; readers can return to it repeatedly throughout life and still glean useful ideas and tips. It’s a mistake to think this is aimed at young, artsy people, because anyone starting out (or starting over)…will find upbeat encouragement here." —Library Journal
About the Author: Austin Kleon is an artist and the author of Steal Like an Artist and the found poetry collection Newspaper Blackout. This year’s opening keynote speaker at the SXSW Interactive Festival in 2014, Kleon’s work has been featured on 20×200.com, NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS NewsHour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He speaks frequently about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. He lives with his family in Austin, Texas.
Milwaukee Public Library’s Spring Literary Luncheon featuring Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of The Selector of Souls
Thursday May 8, from 10:30 am to 2 pm at the Wisconsin Club
The Wisconsin Club is located at 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.
Award-winning local author Shauna Singh Baldwin, will present her latest novel, The Selector of Souls, at the Spring Literary Luncheon, hosted by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library. Book sales and signing begin at 10:30 a.m.; the lunch and talk begin at noon. Tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members, and include lunch for one and a signed copy of your choice of The Selector of Souls or The Tiger Claw. For tickets, call Valerie (414) 286-8720 or email her at: Friends@mpl.org. The Wisconsin Club is located at 900 West Wisconsin Avenue.
The Selector of Souls begins with a scene that is terrifying, harrowing and yet strangely tender: we're in the mid-ranges of the Himalayas as a young woman gives birth to her third child with the help of her mother, Damini. The birth brings no joy, just a horrible accounting, and the act that follows—the huge sacrifice made by Damini out of love of her daughter—haunts the novel. In The Selector of Souls, two fascinating, strong-willed women must deal with the relentless logic forced upon them by survival: Damini, a Hindu midwife, and Anu, who flees an abusive marriage for the sanctuary of the Catholic church. When Sister Anu comes to Damini's home village to open a clinic, their paths cross, and each are certain they are doing what's best for women. What do health, justice, education and equality mean for women when India is marching toward prosperity, growth, and becoming a nuclear power? If the baby girls and women around them are to survive, Damini and Anu must find creative ways to break with tradition and help their community change from within.
About the Author: Shauna Singh Baldwin born in Montreal and grew up in India. Her first novel, What the Body Remembers, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in the Canada/Caribbean region. Her second novel, The Tiger Claw, was a finalist for the Giller Prize in 2004 and is forthcoming as a film. Her short stories have won literary awards in the United States, Canada and India. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she currently lives with her husband.
A Shorewood Public Library Event with Michael Hall, author of It’s an Orange Aardvark!
Thursday May 8, at 4:00 pm
Artist and author Michael Hall pops into Shorewood Public Library to talk about and sign copies of his latest picture book, It’s an Orange Aardvark!, which will delight audiences from 4 to 104 with what School Library Journal calls "an illustration style reminiscent of Lois Ehlert's and storytelling style similar to Eric Carle's." Following this event will be a crafting activity with Miss Heide. The Shorewood Public Library is located at 3920 N. Murray Avenue in Shorewood.
Here’s what Kirkus Reviews said about It’s an Orange Aardvark! in their starred review: "Get ready for some hilarity and hijinks as five ants discover what's really outside their stump home in this die-cut offering from Hall. Rumbles awaken a handful of carpenter ants, and the debate begins. One ant believes an aardvark awaits, and three others follow along. But the fifth ant? He industriously drills a hole. Orange light filters in, and the alarmist proclaims it to be an orange aardvark. More holes, colors and silliness ensue, as the naysayer's hypotheses run wild: ‘It's a pajama-wearing, ketchup-carrying orange aardvark....’ Five die-cut peepholes later, the levelheaded ant—and readers (if not reduced to giggles)—is ready to make a guess. As purple light floods in, four ants fly out to see a rainbow, while the pessimist remains, to further comedic effect. Digitally collaged illustrations, done with appealing, primary splashes of color, allow for easy identification of characters and colors. (The ants have color-coded hard hats.) Hall uses the die-cuts to great effect, playfully piquing the curiosity of readers while revealing both the real and the ridiculous. Suspenseful and entertaining; all-around great fun."
About the Author: Michael Hall is the creator of the nationally best-selling picture book My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the acclaimed Perfect Square and Cat Tale. He is also the creative director of Hall Kelley, Inc., a design firm. He lives in a renovated barn outside Minneapolis.
A Local Book Launch with Eva Augustin Rumpf, author of In Liberty’s Name
Thursday May 8, at 7:00 pm
A well-traveled writing box, a name on a passenger list, an oil painting, a copy of a 200-year-old document, and family tales heard over and over: these were the clues that sent local author Eva Augustin Rumpf, on a search for the story of her French ancestors and the thousands of other French émigrés who survived two bloody revolutions and played a major role in reviving Creole culture in New Orleans in the early 19th century. On Thursday, May 8th, Milwaukee’s own Eva Augustin Rumpf premieres her latest historical novel, In Liberty’s Name, which New Orleans genealogy buff Augusta Elmwood calls "a well-told tale of war, peril and romance" and former editor of the Xavier Review, Thomas Bonner, calls "an historical novel with immediacy and impact."
The story opens in Paris during the height of the French Revolution and follows fictional characters Jean Baptiste Aubert and Marie Josephine Saunier to the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue, which became Haiti after the successful slave insurrection. Jean and Marie barely manage to escape the violence as the former slaves seek revenge on their white oppressors. Jean and Marie make a temporary home in Cuba until political troubles force them to flee to New Orleans, arriving shortly after the Louisiana Purchase. But you’ll have to read In Liberty’s Name to find out what happens in this new novel’s exciting plot as the story ends right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
"From the chaotic streets of Paris during the French Revolution to the turbulent plantations in what would become Haiti, and then on to adventures in Cuba and New Orleans, In Liberty’s Name is a sweeping story of adventure, passion, intrigue and heartbreak. With rich historical details, indelible characters and a gripping narrative, Eva Augustin Rumpf has given us a compelling look at some of the most riveting events in history." —Paul Salsini, author of A Tuscan Trilogy
About the Author: Eva Augustin Rumpf is a former newspaper reporter and university journalism instructor. She is author of the memoir Reclamation: Memories from a New Orleans Girlhood and the satiric novel Prot U, and is co-author of the self-help book Till Divorce Do Us Part. She lives in Milwaukee, where she continues to write, edit, and teach writing classes.
A Local Launch with Mary "Peetie" Basson, author of Saving Kandinsky
Friday May 9, at 7:00 pm
Just in time to get you excited for the Milwaukee Art Museum’s summer retrospective exhibition of Wassily Kandinsky, local author Mary Basson will read from and sign copies of her latest novel, Saving Kandinsky, a tale of romantic collaboration and courage in the face of personal and historical crisis.
As they paint together on the Bavarian mountainside, young Gabriele (Ella) Münter falls in love with her married teacher, Wassily Kandinsky. While their illicit love faces the disapproval of early 20th century European society, the two artists forge a partnership that will offer the world its first taste of Abstract Expressionism. Along with Alexei Jawlensky, Franz Marc, and other members of the Blue Rider, Münter and Kandinsky give birth to something truly new in art. Yet the delights of that heady time together are not to last, certainly not past the time of the Nazi purge of "Degenerate Art." That period will test Ella’s mettle as well as her dedication to art and to love.
About the Author: Mary "Peetie" Basson serves as a Docent at the Milwaukee Art Museum that houses the largest collection of paintings by Gabriele Münter in North America. For 39 years she taught Upper School English and served as an administrator at the University School of Milwaukee. She and her husband, Steve Basson, now split their time between their home on Milwaukee’s East Side and Brooklyn, New York.
Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo and The Confabulist
Saturday May 10, at 2:00 pm
Following the wild success of The Cellist of Sarajevo, we welcome award-winning author Steven Galloway to Boswell to present his much-anticipated new novel, The Confabulist. Concerning legendary Wisconsin escape artist Harry Houdini, The Confabulist is a tale of magic and memory, truth and illusion, and the ways that love, hope, and grief can—for better or worse—alter what we perceive and believe.
Into the extraordinary life and sudden death of Harry Houdini, The Confabulist weaves the story of Martin Strauss, an ordinary man whose fate seems forever tied to that of the legendary magician. With a cast of memorable characters—from the Romanov family, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Spiritualists, to the heads of the Secret Service and Scotland Yard—Galloway’s vivid and expansive narrative is a page-turning read that gives the reader a front-row view of the role of magic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and of the underestimated power of illusion (and delusion) in our own memories and accounts of ourselves. As the story unfolds, we’re challenged to decipher for ourselves what is real and what is a conjuring, and the novel becomes a moving magic trick of its own.
About the Author: Steven Galloway lives in British Columbia and teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo.
Bill Hillmann, author of The Old Neighborhood
Saturday May 10, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is proud to announce the arrival of Union Construction Laborer, Chicago Golden Glove Champion, one-time gang affiliate, and award-winning Chicago author, Bill Hillmann, who will set aside his gloves to introduce his debut novel, The Old Neighborhood, for a reading and signing. A fascinating person who has rubbed elbows and thrown punches with people from shadowed to well-lit corners of the globe, you don’t want to miss your chance to meet this entertaining and gifted storyteller that Boswellian Mel has dubbed "the Cormac McCarthy of the streets!"
The Old Neighborhood is the story of a bright and sensitive teen named Joe Walsh who is the youngest member of a big, mixed-race Chicago family. After Joe witnesses his heroin-addicted oldest brother commit a brutal gangland murder, his friends and loved ones systematically drag him deeper into a deep pit of violence that reaches a bloody impasse when his elder sister begins dating a rival gang member. The Old Neighborhood is a sociological exploration of urban life and a tale which explores the great white flight from urban centers in America before the turn of the century, while simultaneously unveiling surprising insights into the origins of modern street gangs. Boswellian Mel says: "Reminiscent of Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land, Bill Hillmann’s singular voice captures the pain and confusion of adolescence with stunning accuracy while rendering the cacophony of Chicago’s city streets into soul-stirring poetry."
"A raucous but soulful account of growing up on the mean streets of Chicago, and the choices kids are forced to make on a daily basis. This cool, incendiary rites of passage novel is the real deal." —Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting
"Bill Hillmann's The Old Neighborhood is like a right hook to the chin with brass knuckles, crackling with both bravery and urgency. Brilliantly evoking Nelson Algren's Neon Wilderness and Richard Price's The Wanderers, the novel is unflinchingly honest in its depictions of class and race, a deft portrait of [Chicago,] our sometimes-less-than-fair city." —Joe Meno, bestselling author of Hairstyles of the Damned
About the Author: Bill Hillmann is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Chicago. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, Salon.com, and broadcast on NPR. He’s told stories around the world with his internationally acclaimed storytelling series the Windy City Story Slam. Hillmann is a Union Construction Laborer and Chicago Golden Glove Champion. In the not so distant past, Hillmann was a feared street brawler, gang affiliate, drug dealer, convict, and an elite bull-runner in Spain.
It’s Story Time, with Boswellian Jannis!
Sunday May 11, at 11:00 am
April showers bring May Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle and a few more stories on the themes of rain showers and thunderstorms. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, pop in and start your Mother’s Day off right with Story Time!
Joseph Ellwanger, author of Strength for the Struggle: Insights from the Civil Rights Movement and Urban Ministry
Monday May 12, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for a night of inspiring insight into social justice from one of Milwaukee’s own, Reverend Joseph Ellwanger, aut/ihor of Strength for the Struggle: Insights from the Civil Rights Movement and Urban Ministry.
Strength for the Struggle: Insights from the Civil Rights Movement and Urban Ministry is a collection of stories, and lessons learned, from the three congregations Joseph Ellwanger served in a pastoral capacity over the past 55 years and from his involvement in the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, in the 1960's and in the peace and justice movement in Milwaukee 1967 to the present.
About the Author: Joseph Ellwanger was pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, a small African American congregation in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1958 to 1967. He served as pastor of Cross Lutheran, on the near north side of Milwaukee, 1967-2001. And he has served in assisting pastoral capacities at Hephatha Lutheran, also on the near north side of Milwaukee, since 2002. He worked as an organizer with WISDOM, a network of congregation-based justice organizations in Wisconsin, from 2002 to 2012.
Tony DiTerlizzi, author of The Battle for WondLa
Tuesday May 13, at 7:00 pm
The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi presents the highly-anticipated conclusion to the WondLa Trilogy, The Battle for WondLa. "An irresistible adventure" according to Percy Jackson & The Olympians author Rick Riordan, this middle-grade fantasy is perfect for ages ten and up with "wonder aplenty" in what Publisher’s Weekly calls "…[a] tense, chase-filled journey to engage young readers, [with] twists for adult fans of Twilight Zone–styled stories."
When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children’s literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child’s wish for a place to belong. Eva Nine is at her bravest in the final book in this New York Times bestselling trilogy.
About the Author: Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has created books with Simon & Schuster for more than a decade. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela), and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in more than thirty countries.
A Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center Event with Bill Berry, author of Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way
Tuesday May 13, at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we welcome Wisconsin author and environmental activist Bill Berry to the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center for a talk and signing of his latest, Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way. A chronicle of the struggle and ultimate success of local grassroots efforts by citizen activists in Wisconsin, Banning DDT is a testament to the positive, far-reaching change a handful of concerned citizens can begin in their own communities. The Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center is located at 1500 E. Park Place in Milwaukee. The entry fee for this event is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.
On a December day in 1968, DDT went on trial in Madison, Wisconsin. In Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way, Bill Berry details how the citizens, scientists, reporters, and traditional conservationists drew attention to the harmful effects of "the miracle pesticide" DDT, which was being used to control Dutch elm disease. Berry tells of the hunters and fishers, bird-watchers, and garden-club ladies like Lorrie Otto, who dropped off twenty-eight dead robins at the Bayside village offices. He tells of university professors and scientists like Joseph Hickey, a professor and researcher in the Department of Wildlife Management at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who, years after the fact, wept about the suppression of some of his early DDT research. And he tells of activists like Senator Gaylord Nelson and members of the state's Citizens Natural Resources Association who rallied others to the cause. The six-month-long DDT hearing was one of the first chapters in citizen activism in the modern environmental era. Banning DDT is a compelling story of how citizen activism, science, and law merged in Wisconsin's DDT battles to forge a new way to accomplish public policy. These citizen activists were motivated by the belief that we all deserve a voice on the health of the land and water that sustain us.
About the Author: Bill Berry grew up in Green Bay and earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. After more than twenty years as a reporter, columnist, and editor for several daily newspapers, he redirected his energy to communicate about conservation and agriculture. This work has taken him across the United States to learn and teach about private lands conservation. A columnist for The Capital Times of Madison, he lives in Stevens Point with his wife and is the father of two daughters.
Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State
Thursday May 15, at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we welcome for a reading and signing Roxane Gay, a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic "built-in readership" (Library Journal). Her debut novel, An Untamed State, is about a woman who is kidnapped for ransom, her father (who refuses to pay), her husband (who fights for her release over thirteen days), and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.
In An Untamed State, Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale: the strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men in front of her father’s Port-au-Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself the Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents. An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places.
"Clear your schedule now! Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, devastated, you also dare to hope for the best, for all involved." —Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light
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.
David Downing, author of Jack of Spies
Friday May 16, at 7:00 pm
Mystery One and Boswell Book Company are proud to present celebrated author of the John Russell Espionage Series, David Downing, as he reads from and signs copies of his latest novel and the first in the Jack McColl Series, Jack of Spies. Perfect for fans of Alan Furst and John Le Carré, this complex and thrilling new novel takes readers all the way back to the dawn of that most fascinating of 20th century characters: the spy.
Set on the eve of the First World War, across oceans and continents, steamliners and cross-country trains, Jack McColl, a Scottish car salesman with an uncanny ear for languages, has always hoped to make a job for himself as a spy. As his sales calls take him from city to great city—Hong Kong to Shanghai to San Francisco to New York—he moonlights collecting intelligence for His Majesty's Navy, but British espionage is in its infancy and Jack has nothing but a shoestring budget and the very tenuous protection of a boss in far-away London. He knows, though, that a geopolitical catastrophe is brewing, and now is both the moment to prove himself and the moment his country needs him most. Unfortunately, this is also the moment he begins to realize what his aspiration might cost him. He understands his life is at stake when activities in China suddenly escalate from innocent data-gathering and casual strolls along German military concessions to arrest warrants and knife attacks. Meanwhile, a sharp, vivacious American suffragette journalist has wiled her way deep into his affections, and it is not long before he realizes that her Irish-American family might be embroiled in the Irish Republican movement Jack's bosses are fighting against. How can he choose between his country and the woman he loves? And would he even be able to make such a choice without losing both?
"It would already be enough that Jack of Spies is a taut, highly intelligent spy thriller without it being a brilliant historical portrait and a captivating love story to boot. A remarkably engaging world tour of pre-World War One espionage featuring an honorable protagonist begging for a long series." —Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham
About the Author: David Downing grew up in suburban London. He is the author of six books in the John Russell espionage series, set in WWII Berlin: Zoo Station, Silesian Station, Stettin Station, Potsdam Station, Lehrter Station, and Masaryk Station. He lives with his wife, an American acupuncturist, in Guildford, England.
Alan Weisman, author of Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for Future on Earth?
Saturday May 17, at 7:00 pm
The Urban Ecology Center, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Boswell Book Company are excited to welcome internationally bestselling author and activist, Alan Weisman, for a talk and signing of his latest book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? A sobering look at the current state of the world’s population, Countdown explores the answers to the important questions about the fate of the Earth that many are afraid to ask.
In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the world could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity’s constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought-experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet—only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature. But with a million more of us approximately every 4 1/2 days on a planet that’s not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of our oceans, prospects for a sustainable future seem ever more in doubt. In Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, Alan Weisman’s long-awaited follow-up book, he traveled to twenty-one countries to ask four questions that experts agreed were probably the most important on Earth—and also the hardest. How many people can the Earth sustain? If, in order to ensure our survival, we need to stop our growth before we hit 10 billion—or even reduce our numbers from our current 7 billion—is there an acceptable, nonviolent way to convince all of the world’s cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems that it’s in their best interest to do so? What kind of ecosystem is necessary to maintain human life, and what species or ecological processes are essential to our survival? And finally, If a sustainable population on Earth is less than our current growth projection, or even less than our current number, how do we design an economy for a shrinking population, and then for a stable one—that is, for an economy not dependent on constant growth? Truly a journalistic tour de force, Countdown is a riveting piece of narrative nonfiction that is impossible to put down and as compellingly entertaining to read as its message is urgent.
"Provocative and sobering, this vividly reported book raises profound concerns about our future." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author: Alan Weisman is the author of several books, including The World Without Us, an international bestseller translated into thirty-four languages, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Wenjin Book Prize of the National Library of China. His work has been selected for many anthologies, including The Best American Science Writing. An award-winning journalist, his reports have appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Discover, Vanity Fair, Wilson Quarterly, Mother Jones, and Orion, and on NPR. A former contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he is a senior producer for Homelands Productions. He lives in western Massachusetts.
Other Confirmed Author Appearances
Monday, May 19, 6:00 pm - Thomas Mickey, author of America’s Romance with the English Garden in the Rare Books Room on the second floor of the Milwaukee Public Library, located 807 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Monday, May 19, 7:00 pm - Joshua Ferris, author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Wednesday, May 21, 7:00 pm - Local Author Bobby Tanzilo, author of Hidden History of Milwaukee
Thursday, May 22, 7:00 pm - Michael Mair, author of Kaiten: Japan’s Secret Manned Suicide Submarine and the First American Ship It Sank in WWII
Tuesday, May 27, 7:00 pm - A Gestern Hall Event at Turner Hall with Harvey J. Kaye, author of The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great. This event is co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Turners; Turner Hall is located 1034 North 4th Street in Milwaukee.
Wednesday, May 28, 7:00 pm - Rachel Kapelke-Dale and Jessica Pan, authors of Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults
Wednesday, May 28, 7:00 pm - Jessica Vealitzek, author of The Rooms are Filled at the Lynden Sculpture Garden as part of the Women’s Speaker Series, tickets are $18 for members and $22 for non-members
Tuesday, June 3, 7:00 pm - Joel Dicker, author of The Truth of the Harry Quebert Affair, reading in French and English!
Thursday, June 12, 7:00 pm - A Father’s Day Celebration with Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, tickets are $18 and will be available soon at www.brownpapertickets.com
Friday, June 13, 7:00 pm - Ann Garvin, author of The Dog Year
Wednesday, June 18, 7:00 pm - Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project
Saturday, June 21, 2:00 pm - Fierce Reads at the North Shore Library, with Leigh Bardugo, author of Ruin and Rising: Grisha Trilogy #3, Emmy Layborne, author of Monument 14: Savage Drift, Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead, and Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice
Sunday, June 22, 3:00 pm - Hugo-award winning author and Professional Puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Valour and Vanity with Wisconsin’s own Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette, author of The Goblin Emperor in conversation with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Higgins
Tuesday, June 24, 7:00 pm - Susan Simensky Bietila, author of World War 3 Illustrated: 1979-2014
Monday, June 30, 7:00 pm - Jonathan Lethem, author of Dissident Gardens and The Fortress of Solitude
Wednesday, July 9, 7:00 pm - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love
Saturday, July 12, 2:00 pm - Michael Edmonds, author of Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader
Wednesday, July 16, 7:00 pm - Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, authors of Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists
Monday, August 4, 7:00 pm - Deborah Harkness, author of The Book of Life
Wednesday, August 6, 7:00 pm - Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House