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The Best of the Undergraduate Writers, Part 2: Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Cardinal Stritch, Alverno, and Carroll University
Saturday May 2, 7:00 pm
We've asked the creative writing professors at MIAD, Cardinal Stritch, and Carroll University for their best undergraduate writers to read (about ten minutes each) at a program for Boswell. We've been holding this periodically since 2009, when it was part of our grand opening ceremonies. Here are this year's readers:
From MIAD: Michelle Sharp and Krista Toms.
From Cardinal Stritch University: Emlyn Dornemann and Raveen Lemon.
From Alverno College: Celeste Johnson and Jennifer Fazal.
From Carroll University
: Taylor Belmer
and Cory Widmayer
It’s Story Time with Boswellian Jannis, reading Lion, Lion
Sunday May 3, at 11:00 am
Prowl on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch, and other selections about lions and animals. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month’s Story Time will be a roaring good time!
A Whitefish Bay Library Event featuring Blue Balliett, author of Pieces and Players
Monday May 4, at 6:30 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to co-sponsor an event at the Whitefish Bay Library (located at 5420 N. Marlborough Drive in Milwaukee) with award-winning author the bestselling young adult art mystery novels Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3, Blue Balliett, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest mystery great for ages 8 and up, Pieces and Players, which School Library Journal calls "fun and engaging," and Kirkus Reviews calls "brain teasing adventure for thinking kids."
In Pieces and Players, thirteen extremely valuable pieces of art have been stolen from one of the most secretive museums in the world. A Vermeer has vanished. A Manet is missing. And nobody has any idea where they and the other eleven artworks might be…or who might have stolen them. Calder, Petra, and Tommy are no strangers to heists and puzzles. Now they’ve been matched with two new sleuths: Zoomy, a very small boy with very thick glasses, and Early, a girl who treasures words…and has a word or two to say about the missing treasure. The kids have been drawn in by the very mysterious Mrs. Sharpe, who may be playing her own kind of game with the clues. And it’s not just Mrs. Sharpe who’s acting suspiciously—there’s a ghost who mingles with the guards in the museum, a cat who acts like a spy, and bystanders in black jackets who keep popping up. With Pieces and Players, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic mystery sure to delight readers 8 and up!
"Juggling multiple pieces of art and multiple suspect players, Balliett again deftly merges mystery, art, and friendship into another perplexing puzzler." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: Blue Balliett is the award-winning author of the bestselling art mystery novels Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game, The Danger Box, and Hold Fast. Her debut novel, Chasing Vermeer, soared onto the New York Times best-seller list shortly after publication and garnered numerous awards including the Edgar Award, a Book Sense Book of the Year Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Additionally, Balliett has been awarded the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, the Agatha Award, and the Chicago Tribune’s 2010 Chicagoan of the Year for Literature. She has appeared twice on NBC’s Today Show and has garnered international praise and coverage for her mystery novels. Balliett’s books have been translated in 35 languages. Blue Balliett grew up in New York City, studied art history at Brown University, and has lived in Chicago for many years. She was a classroom teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School but now writes full-time, working in the laundry room of the Hyde Park home she shares with her husband.
A Capitol Library Event featuring Steve Berry (via Skype!), author of The Patriot Threat
Tuesday May 5, at 6:00 pm
Boswell is proud to be the bookseller of note for an event with #1 internationally bestselling Cotton Malone series author, Steve Berry, presenting The Patriot Threat, the series’ latest. Mr. Berry will be joining us via Skype at the Capitol Library, located at 3969 N. 74th St. in Milwaukee. This event will include a discussion, reading, and Q&A with the author, and Boswell will be selling copies of The Patriot Threat as well as select backlist titles.
Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files-the kind that could bring the United States to its knees-Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.
With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: what if the Federal income tax is illegal?
About the Author: Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of ten Cotton Malone novels, and four standalones. He has 19 million books in print, translated into 40 languages. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, which is dedicated to historical preservation. He serves as a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president.
Okla Elliott, co-translator* of The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, with Opening Readers (and Local Authors!) David Bowen, Loretta McCormick, and Molly Boutell
Tuesday May 5, at 7:00 pm
Please join us at Boswell Book Company as we welcome Chicago author Okla Elliott, who will read from and talk about the recently unearthed, epic science fiction novel, The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, written by Aleksandr Tuvim*, which Kirkus Reviews is calling "an epic novel of good and evil" and Praying Drunk author Kyle Minor calls "a dystopian masterpiece." The Doors Your Mark Are Your Own is the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic novels exploring an alternate reality where water is power and revolution is inevitable.
Joshua City is one of seven city-states in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce and technology is at mid-twentieth-century Soviet levels. As The Doors Your Mark Are Your Own opens, the Baikal Sea has been poisoned, causing a major outbreak of a flesh-eating disease called nekrosis. Against this backdrop of political corruption, violence, and oppression, a struggle for control of Joshua City ensues, and a revolutionary group called The Underground emerges. The Doors You Mark Are Your Own is a sweeping literary epic—the result of years of painstaking writing and world-building by two brilliantly imaginative minds—that readers will get lost in and never want to end.
About the co-translator: Okla Elliott is currently an Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois, where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. He also holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University. His work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, A Public Space, The Southeast Review, and Subtropics, among others. He is the author of a collection of short fiction, From the Crooked Timber, and a collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Ink.
* This is high concept. The translators are actually the authors. Think of this as David Foster Wallace crossed with Michael Chabon.
A Milwaukee Public Library Event with James Bradley, author of Flags of our Fathers, and The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia
Wednesday May 6, at 7:00 pm
Please join us in the Loos Room at Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall, located 733 N. Eighth Street in Milwaukee, for a special evening with Wisconsinite, founder of the James Bradley Peace Foundation, and Flyboys author, James Bradley, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest, The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia, a fascinating take on U.S.-China relations from the 19th century through World War II by the son of one of the US Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in the iconic WWII photo.
From the bestselling author of Flags of our Fathers, Flyboys, and The Imperial Cruise, a spellbinding history of turbulent U.S.-China relations from the 19th century to World War II and Mao’s ascent. In each of his books, James Bradley has exposed the hidden truths behind America’s engagement in Asia. Now comes his most engrossing work yet. Beginning in the 1850s, Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans who made their fortunes in the China opium trade. As they—good Christians all—profitably addicted millions, American missionaries arrived, promising salvation for those who adopted Western ways. And that was just the beginning. From drug dealer Warren Delano to his grandson Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from the port of Hong Kong to the towers of Princeton University, from the era of Appomattox to the age of the A-Bomb, The China Mirage explores a difficult century that defines U.S.-Chinese relations to this day.
About the Author: James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Imperial Cruise, Flyboys, and Flags of Our Fathers, and the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He lives in New York.
National Children’s Book Week Middle Grade Panel with Emily Demuth, author of Hattie’s War, Sandy Brehl, author of Odin’s Promise, and Julie Mata, author of Bride of Slugman
Thursday May 7, at 6:30 pm
Boswell Book Company invites you to join us in celebrating National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), with a distinguished panel of middle grade authors! Joining us for five-minute discussions of their books, followed by a Q&A and signing are: Wisconsinite Julie Mata, presenting the latest in her Kate Walden Directs series, Bride of Slug Man; local author Sandy Brehl, presenting Odin’s Promise, a tale of the first year of WWII and the German occupation in Norway; and native Wisconsinite Emily Demuth, presenting Hattie’s War, the story of Hattie Bigelow, who lives in Milwaukee near the end of the Civil War. This event is perfect for ages 9 and up, and is co-sponsored by MKE Teacher SPAce.
Hattie’s War, co-authored by Emily Demuth, is a middle-grade historical novel about a girl, Hattie Bigelow, who lives in Milwaukee near the end of the Civil War and is far more interested in the emerging sport of base ball than in sewing circles and other women’s efforts to support the Union cause.
Odin’s Promise is local author Sandy Brehl’s debut historical novel and the tale of the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of eleven-year-old Mari, who is supported and protected by her faithful elkhound, Odin.
After her huge success with her first feature-length movie, seventh-grader Kate Walden is eager to start on her next film, a sci-fi romance called Bride of Slug Man in the latest in the Kate Walden Directs series by Juile Mata, a hilarious story about friendship and two rival filmmakers that tweens will adore.
Emily Demuth Bio: Emily Demuth lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and children. She spends her days as a grade school library aide and computer lab assistant. A free-lance writing for many years, primarily devotionals, curricula, and global education resources for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Augsburg Fortress Publishers, she is a regular contributor to The Little Lutheran and The Little Christian.
Sandy Brehl Bio: Sandy Brehl is an educator and active member of SCBWI. She enjoys art, gardening, and travel to Norway (of course). She lives in Muskego, Wisconsin.
Julie Mata Bio: Julie Mata grew up outside Chicago and currently lives in Wisconsin. She loves movies and once wrote and directed her own short film. She also loves traveling, gardening, and reading a really good book. She is the author of Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens.
Celebrate National Children’s Book Week with Local Author Silvia Acevedo, launching her debut young adult novel God Awful Loser
Friday May 8, at 7:00 pm
To continue our celebration of National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), Boswell launches God Awful Loser, the debut young adult novel by award-winning journalist and local author, Silvia Acevedo. God Awful Loser is a new tale of mythology (perfect for ages 12 and up!) in which a carefree Cupid is dethroned by a powerful stranger and exiled to Earth where he finds more enemies and a plot to overthrow Olympus.
Cupid, the son of the God of War has it all, and the smooth-talking, jet-setting master knows it. The once chubby cherub now has adoring fans, a shiny red limousine, and a mansion nearly, almost, not quite big enough to hold his enormous and ever-growing ego. But everything changes for the sloppy, ill-aiming love god when a meddling stranger challenges him for his crown. Not even the advice of his war-mongering father, Mars, and embarrassingly underdressed mother, Venus, can save Cupid from the skids. Facing enraged immortals, epic battles against hell’s most vile creatures, and the dread of becoming mortal himself, Cupid teams up with an unlikely band of misfit fallen angels in the hopes of saving himself, the Olympic kingdom, and humans the world over. But can such an inept team of losers finally win when it counts? Funny, rude, and planted smack in modern times, God Awful Loser is a new chapter on the ancient gods’ bad — and hugely entertaining — choices, that will entertain readers 12 and up!
About the Author: Silvia Acevedo earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in Journalism, Spanish, and Latin American/Iberian Studies. A regular host on WTMJ-TV’s The Morning Blend, she has written and presented news for KTBC-TV, KRDO-TV, WISN-TV, The Milwaukee Sentinel, and The Badger Herald, to name a few. Acevedo and her husband, world-renowned fantasy illustrator Jeff Miracola, are the founders of Three Points Publishing, a Wisconsin-based imprint dedicated to producing entertaining books and engaging art instructional videos. God Awful Loser is her first book.
National Children’s Book Week Picture Book Panel with Jamie A. Swenson, author of If You Were a Dog, Kashmira Sheth, author of Sona and the Wedding Game, and Janet Halfmann, author of Animal Teachers
Saturday May 9, at 2:00 pm
To continue our celebration of National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), Boswell Book Company welcomes a fantastic panel of picture book authors! Joining us for five-minute discussions of their books, followed by a Q&A and signing are: If You Were a Dog author and Wisconsinite Jamie A. Swenson, Sona and the Wedding Game author Kashmira Sheth, and Animal Teachers author and local author Janet Halfmann. This event is perfect for ages 18 months and up, and is co-sponsored by MKE Teacher SPAce.
Wisconsin author Jamie A. Swenson, writer of Boom! Boom! Boom!, returns with playful interactive picture book perfect for reading aloud, If You Were a Dog, which uses spare, rhythmic, onomatopoeic text to draw in readers of all ages into the animal kingdom.
In Kashmira Sheth’s latest picture book, Sona and the Wedding Game, Sona’s big sister is getting married and she’s been given the job of stealing the groom’s shoes, no small feat for a girl who has never attended a wedding before and is unfamiliar with this Indian tradition—as well as many of the other magical experiences that will occur before and during the special event.
Award-winning local author, Janet Halfmann, presents her latest gorgeous picture book, Animal Teachers, which explores the world’s outdoor "classrooms" and the kinds of lessons baby animals learn in them, showcasing—in an entertaining combination of science and storytelling—the teacher-student dynamic between young and adult animals as they are taught crucial skills needed to handle daily challenges.
Jamie A. Swenson Bio: Jamie A. Swenson works as an associate librarian and early literacy storyteller. She is also the author of Boom! Boom! Boom!, illustrated by David Walker. She lives in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Kashmira Sheth Bio: Kashmira Sheth was four years old at the first Indian wedding she remembers, and she still cherishes the memory of the festivities in her grandparents’ house. Since then she has attended many weddings but, unlike Sona, has never successfully stolen a groom’s shoes. She is the author of many acclaimed books, including Tiger in My Soup, My Dadima Wears a Sari, and Monsoon Afternoon. Sheth teaches at Pine Manor College, in their Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Janet Halfmann Bio: Janet Halfmann is the author of over forty fiction and nonfiction books for children, including Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?, A Rainbow of Birds, Home in the Cave, and Seven Miles to Freedom: the Robert Smalls Story, to name a few. Before becoming a children’s author, Janet Halfmann was a daily newspaper reporter, children’s magazine managing editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. When Janet isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living-history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, WI.
Local Author Scott Douglas Prill, author of Into the Realm of Time
Saturday May 9, at 4:00 pm
Please join us for a reading and signing with local author Scott Douglas Prill, introducing his debut historical novel Into the Realm of Time, a narrative of timeless personal struggles set against the backdrop of an unsettled Roman Empire in which Christianity had eclipsed paganism as the state religion, and Britannia is an orphaned and wild Roman province while the Huns emerged, pushing panicked barbarian Goths into the eastern edge of the Empire. Into the Realm of Time is a singular historical novel that takes place during the tumultuous era in which Rome tenuously clings to its status as a dominant power, the height of General Marcus Augustus Valerias, and the moment from which a sprawling epic unfolds for modern readers ready for a tale like no other.
In Scott Douglas Prill’s debut historical novel, Into the Realm of Time, it is 372 AD and the Roman Empire is on the cusp of its great decline. The fierce Roman General Marcus Augustus Valerias contemplates his future. Though at the peak of his success and power, through victories against both external and internal enemies of Rome, the General is weary of the brutality of continual war and yearns for a different life away from his legions and battlefields. At the same time, Claire, the widowed queen of a kingdom in Britannia, risks everything to protect her children from a bloodthirsty usurper. A priest, named Joseph, tries to hide his dark past as he pursues salvation in the Christian faith. Flavius, a Roman officer who has deserted his legion, seeks redemption for the cruel actions he has inflicted on behalf of a corrupt tyrant. All the while, two Hun brothers, Uldric and Rao, are ruled by their ambitions to ruthlessly establish and expand a Hun empire. The story of these intertwined destinies unfolds against the backdrop of love, power, greed, religion, valor, and sacrifice in this turbulent period. Fates are not foretold and events lead to a climactic epic battle. Each character must make choices and it is these crucial decisions that decide their ultimate fates.
About the Author: Scott Douglas Prill was born in Iowa and received a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1977. His subsequent career choices have reflected a strong interest in natural resources. Since graduating, Scott has held positions as a limnologist and environmental consultant. He also has a M.B.A. and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager. For the previous twenty-six years, Scott has been an in-house environmental consultant for the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Scott lives in Bayside, Wisconsin with his wife, Marcie. He enjoys spending time with their three adult children and writing. Into the Realm of Time is his debut novel.
Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree and Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land
Monday May 11, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome journalist, USC professor, and author of The Lemon Tree, Sandy Tolan, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, Children of Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land, the touching story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a child from a Palestinian refugee camp, who confronts an occupying army, gets an education, masters an instrument, dreams of something much bigger than himself, and then, through his charisma and persistence, inspires scores of others to work with him to make that dream real. The dream: a school to transform the lives of thousands of children—as Ramzi’s life was transformed—through music.
Musicians from all over the world came to help. A violist left the London Symphony Orchestra, in part to work with Ramzi at his new school, Al Kamandjati. An aspiring British opera singer moved to the West Bank to teach voice lessons. Daniel Barenboim, the eminent Israeli conductor, invited Ramzi to join his West Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he founded with the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said. Since then the two have played together frequently. Children of the Stone chronicles Ramzi’s journey—from stone thrower to music student to school founder—and shows how through his love of music he created something lasting and beautiful in a land torn by violence and war. This is a story about the power of music, first, but also about freedom and conflict, determination and vision. It’s a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the prospects of musical collaboration across the Israeli–Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children everywhere see new possibilities for their lives.
"Eye-opening…Tolan’s exhaustive research and journalistic attention to detail shine through every page of this sweeping chronicle." —Publishers Weekly
"A resolute, heart-rending story of real change and possibility in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank and The Lemon Tree. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for NPR and PRI. He has also written for more than forty magazines and newspapers. He was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
A North Shore Library Event, with Max Brallier author of Galactic Hot Dogs, #1: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway
Tuesday May 12, at 6:30 pm
Calling all pranksters, hot dog aficionados, and intergalactic explorers! Boswell is pleased to announce a North Shore Library Event featuring Adventure Time writer and Eerie Elementary series author, Max Brallier, talking about and signing copies of the first book in his hilarious new Galactic Hot Dogs series perfect for ages 8 and up, Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway, which Big Nate author Lincoln Peirce calls "an insanely entertaining, eye-popping adventure." Refreshments will be served. The North Shore Library is located at 6800 N. Port Washington Road in Glendale. This event is co-sponsored by Dr. Dawg.
In Max Brallier’s latest, Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway, readers meet Cosmoe, the Earth-Boy, who is the captain of the Neon Weiner, the finest flying food truck in the galaxy. Along with his bud, Big Humphree, Cosmoe spends his days cruising the cosmos and staying crazy busy with tasks such as: 1. cooking up a Mega-Dog (a hot dog is the size of a jeep!); 2. escaping mutant worm monsters, zombie space pirates, and grumpy robots (What the butt?!); 3. playing Super Moon Ninja Death Jab (Turbo Ear Slap! 9,000 points!!); and last but not least, 4. protecting the galaxy from the Ultimate Evil (see, Cosmoe’s kind of an awesome space guy.). They’re dirty jobs, but someone’s got to do them!
About the Author: Max Brallier is the author of more than twenty books for children and adults, including tie-in books for the popular show Adventure Time and the acclaimed Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? He lives with his wife, Alyse, in New York City, where he spends his time chasing fortune, glory, and the perfect hot dog.
Milwaukee Author Dasha Kelly launches her new novel, Almost Crimson
Tuesday May 12, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for a special evening with celebrated Milwaukee spoken-word artist and author, Dasha Kelly, launching her latest novel, Almost Crimson, an uplifting story of one woman’s struggle to overcome her mother’s sadness, her father’s absence, and to become an independent woman. This event is co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Public Library, who will be remotely issuing library cards, so if you don’t have one, come on down and sign up, meet a lovely local author, and hear an excerpt of her new heartwarming, singular tale.
In Dasha Kelly’s latest novel, Almost Crimson, CeCe couldn’t remember when her mother became too weak to carry anything but tears. When the Sad started to come, pressing her mother to their bed, her Mama cried slick silent tears for a long, long time. Longer than a game of hopscotch. Longer than singing the alphabet in her head five times. Longer than a nap, even. The Sad made her mother cry all the time. From a young age CeCe copes with her mother’s crippling depression, their severe poverty, an absentee father, and her own insecurities. With gorgeous language, a vivid cast of characters, and an eye for poignant detail, Dasha Kelly tells the story of CeCe’s struggle to break free from the grips of codependency and poverty to find confidence and success in her career and her personal life, finally becoming the strong woman she’s always dreamed of being.
"Dasha Kelly writes with equal parts sweetness and sadness about being a human. She writes about girls and women, family, friendship and aching love. Almost Crimson offers a full teacup of emotions, past and present, delicately balanced on a wildly beating heart. This author, this novel—blessings to readers and storytellers alike." —Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss A War
About the Author: Dasha Kelly is a nationally-respected writer, artist, and social entrepreneur. As a spoken word artist, Dasha has performed throughout the U.S., in Canada, and appeared on the final season of HBO presents Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. Dasha holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is an alum of the iconic Squaw Valley Writers Community, the former writer-in-residence for the historic Pfister Hotel, and founder of Still Waters Collective, an arts education and community-building initiative. In 2014, Dasha was selected as a U.S. Embassy Arts Envoy to teach and perform in Botswana, Africa. She is the author of one chapbook, Hither, and three books: All Fall Down, Hershey Eats Peanuts, and Call It Forth. She lives in Milwaukee.
A Reading for Peace with Local Author Kathie Giorgio, author of Rise from the River
Wednesday May 13, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is proud to co-sponsor a very special reading benefiting Milwaukee’s Sojourner Family Peace Center, established in 1975 and dedicated to the mission of transforming lives impacted by domestic violence. Novelist Kathie Giorgio is coming to Boswell to read from, discuss, and sign copies of her latest novel, Rise from the River, to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women. A percentage of every book sold at the event will be donated directly to the Sojourner Family Peace Center to aid their important mission of working with families affected by domestic violence to achieve safety, justice, and well-being.
In Kathie Giorgio’s new novel Rise from the River, we meet young single mother Rainey Milbright whose life is shattered by a violent assault, an assault witnessed by her young daughter Tish. With compassion and unflinching honesty, Giorgio chronicles the way a night of violence reverberates through Rainey’s life, the life of her young daughter Tish, and this family’s emotional journey to healing.
"Say that Kathie Giorgio’s new novel, Rise from the River, is an assault on the senses, a torrent of feeling. Say that it is a manifesto for independent choices, a primer on women’s issues taken to their extreme. That it is funny and awful and poignant and that you will be unable to put it down. It’s all these things, but most of all it’s about Rainey, to whom the unthinkable happens, and who then has to make one of a woman’s most difficult choices..." —Mary Grimm, author of Left to Themselves
About the Author: Kathie Giorgio lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with her family and an even number of beagles and cats. She is the director and founder of All Writers’ Workplace & Workshop, an international creative writing studio that offers online and onsite support, encouragement, and education for writers of every genre and ability. She holds her BA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her MFA in Fiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kathie is an internationally known short story writer whose short stories and poetry have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies.
The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library present the Spring Literary Luncheon featuring Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover
Thursday May 14, at 11:00 am
The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library and Boswell Book Company are proud to present bestselling author, Elizabeth Berg, as the featured speaker for this year’s annual Spring Literary Luncheon at the Wisconsin Club, located at 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The meet-and-greet and signing begin at 11 AM, and lunch begins at noon. Tickets are $65 ($55 for Friends members) and include admission to and lunch for one at the Wisconsin Club, and an autographed hardcover copy of The Dream Lover, a novel about George Sand, Paris, fashion, desire, love, art, the power of family to define us, and the strength it takes to break free. Please call (414-286-8720) or email the library (Friends@mpl.org) to make your reservation and purchase tickets.
In The Dream Lover, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she renames herself George and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle. Illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society, The Dream Lover features many of Sand’s famous lovers and friends including Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, Alfred de Musset, and more. Considered one of the most gifted geniuses of her time, Sand welcomes fame as she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, the pain of her childhood, and the disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter.
Here’s what Boswellian Sharon has to say about The Dream Lover: "My knowledge of George Sand is somewhat limited. I know that she was a French writer who used a man’s name, and that she had once had an affair with Frederic Chopin. There, my information ends. Elizabeth Berg’s new historical novel fleshes her out quite nicely. George Sand wasn’t just a writer; she was France’s most successful female novelist of the time, and her affair with Chopin was just one of many. She was a passionate woman with a social conscience who was constantly looking for love, as well as a disciplined writer, and solicitous mother. She dressed in men’s clothes, at first because it was cheaper to get into the theatre, and then because she appreciated the freedom they allowed her, both in movement and activities. She lived life on her own terms, leaving her husband to pursue her writing career in Paris, taking lovers and dropping them when she pleased, and managing her own money and property. The Dream Lover is a departure for Elizabeth Berg, but definitely one that readers will be glad that she took."
About the Author: Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Talk Before Sleep, The Pull of the Moon, Tapestry of Fortunes, The Last Time I Saw You, Home Safe, The Year of Pleasures, and Dream When You’re Feeling Blue. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. Berg has been honored by the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. Her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. She divides her time between Chicago and San Francisco.
A West Allis Public Library Event, with Jonathan Maberry author of The Nightsiders, Volume 1: The Orphan Army
Thursday May 14, at 6:30 pm
Please join us at West Allis Public Library, located at 7421 W. National Avenue in West Allis, for an exciting event with multiple Bram Stoker Award winner and Marvel Comics writer, Jonathan Maberry, who will talk about and sign copies of the first volume in his new series, The Nightsiders, The Orphan Army, in which Milo’s Louisiana bayou is overrun with alien bug invaders and magical creatures in a breathtaking new series perfect for ages 8 and up!
The world of Jonathan Maberry’s latest, The Orphan Army is a world filled with Bugs—monsters that ceaselessly ravage the Earth. In this world, Milo Silk has a hard time keeping his dreams separate from reality. So he keeps them locked up in his dream journal and hopes they’ll never come to pass. But too often, they do—like when his father disappeared three years ago. Lately, the Witch of the World has been haunting his dreams, saying he is destined to be the hero who saves everyone. But all Milo can think about is how he fears the Bugs will attack his own camp, and bring something even more terrible than ever before. What Milo doesn’t know is that the Earth is already fighting back with its own natural power in the form of Nightsiders, magical creatures who prefer shadows to sunlight and who reside in trees, caves, and rivers. And the Nightsiders are ready to find an ally in Milo…
"Maberry’s prowess in fiction as well as comic books is evident in his well-crafted story, which balances over-the-top battle scenes with the quiet moments between characters that give substance to what could be a heartless thriller. This first book in an explosive new series is the perfect mix of science fiction and magic." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and Marvel Comics writer. He’s the author of many novels, including Assassin’s Code, Dead of Night, Patient Zero, and Rot & Ruin. His nonfiction books cover topics ranging from martial arts to zombie pop-culture. Jonathan continues to teach the celebrated Experimental Writing for Teens class, which he created. He founded the Writers Coffeehouse and cofounded The Liars Club, and he is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries, as well as a keynote speaker and guest of honor at major writers’ and genre conferences. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his family.
Leslie Parry, author of Church of Marvels
Friday May 15, at 7:00 pm
The enchantment of New York at the turn of the century and the weird, wonderful world of side shows and human circuses are vividly brought to life in Chicago author Leslie Parry’s highly-anticipated debut, Church of Marvels, a twisting narrative full of thrills and surprises, and a colorful exploration of four lives at the fringes of society and selection of the 2015 Indies Introduce Debut Authors program. Please join us for an evening reading, discussion, and signing of this fantastic debut that Room author Emma Donoghue calls "Irresistible."
In Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels, Sylvan Threadgill discovers an abandoned newborn while cleaning out privies behind tenement houses and rescues the girl, determined to find where she belongs. Meanwhile, struggling performer Odile Church has been left alone after a fire ravages her family’s sideshow. Her mother was lost to the ashes and her twin sister Belle, a stunning contortionist and star of the show, fled after the disaster. Desperate and guilt-ridden, Odile decides to search for her sister using the only clue she has—a letter sent from Manhattan, imploring Odile to stay in Coney Island. Across the river, the recently-wed Alphie finds herself trapped in a lunatic asylum, certain her cruel, conniving mother-in-law has orchestrated her imprisonment. When she befriends a fierce, silent young woman committed alongside her, she discovers the girl’s extraordinary talent, which may be the key to their escape. As Sylvan, Odile, and Alphie unravel the mysteries around them, their lives become irrevocably entwined, and their long-hidden stories and secrets begin to unfold.
"This quite literally marvelous novel takes you on a hallucinatory ride through old New York, until the four threads of its protagonists’ lives tangle and tighten like a noose. Irresistible." —Emma Donoghue, author of Room
About the Author: Leslie Parry is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her stories have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, Cincinnati Review, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She was recently a resident at Yaddo and The Kerouac House. Her writing has also received a National Magazine Award nomination and an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2013. She lives in Chicago.
Jen Lancaster, author of I Regret Nothing: A Memoir, with an Introduction to Self-Defense by Local Martial Artist, Personal Trainer, and Special Guest Paul Boyajian
Monday May 18, at 7:00 pm
Set aside your regrets and join us for a once-in-a-lifetime event with the "absolutely hilarious" (Chicago Sun-Times) Jen Lancaster, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest memoir about turning a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, I Regret Nothing, with an introduction to self-defense by a special guest: local martial artist, personal trainer, and founder of Anthro EX, Paul Boyajian. You’ll absolutely regret missing this event, so come on down to #learnselfdefense with Paul and hear some of Jen’s signature outrageous storytelling!
Mistakes are one thing; regrets are another. After a girls’ weekend in Savannah makes Jen Lancaster realize that she is—yikes!—middle-aged (binge watching is so the new binge drinking), Jen decides to make a bucket list and seize the day, even if that means having her tattoo removed at one hundred times the cost of putting it on. From attempting a juice cleanse to studying Italian, from learning to ride a bike to starting a new business, and from sampling pasta in Rome to training for a 5K, in I Regret Nothing, Jen turns a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, sharing her sometimes bumpy—but always hilarious—attempts to better her life...again.
Paul Boyajian Bio: With over 30 years of martial arts experience, personal trainer and founder of Anthro EX Corrective Exercise & Functional Training Programs Paul Boyajian is skilled in Tae Kwon Do, Thai Boxing, Savate, Jeet Kune Do, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to name a few. He is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and fitness nutritionist and a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, and has taught and trained clients of all ages locally for many years in various disciplines, including a popular class on self-defense for women that he co-developed in the late 1980s. In the 90s, as a group-home manager, he designed and implemented new restraint and defense programs to reinforce the safety of residents and workers. For more information and to schedule your training session, visit Anthro EX on Facebook.
About the Author: Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous books (Twisted Sisters, The Tao of Martha, Here I Go Again, Jeneration X, If You Were Here, My Fair Lazy, Pretty in Plaid, Such a Pretty Fat, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and Bitter Is the New Black). She has appeared on Today, The Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their ever-expanding menagerie of ill-behaved pets.
R. M. Ryan, author of There’s a Man with a Gun Over There
Tuesday May 19, at 7:00 pm
Heralded as the Norman Mailer of the Vietnam generation, R. M. Ryan is coming to Boswell to discuss and sign copies of his new autobiographical novel There’s a Man with a Gun Over There. Based on Ryan’s military experiences as an antiwar activist and grad student turned translator and Military Police officer for the US Army, There’s a Man with a Gun Over There "offers a side to Vietnam that most people don’t see" (Publishers Weekly) that Kirkus calls "Intriguing."
An antiwar activist while in graduate school, R. M. Ryan received a draft notice after the Tet Offensive in 1968. Not interested in killing or being killed in Vietnam, he considered moving to Canada to avoid conscription. Before fleeing north, however, he met with an army recruiter, who promised him a place in a German Language Class at the Defense Language School in Monterey, California. Unfortunately, the army’s pledge to Ryan terminated when he graduated as a translator and he was sent to Military Police School. This would keep him physically out of harm’s way but cause severe and unexpected emotional consequences. He ended up collaborating with former Nazis while policing American soldiers for mostly minor law-breaking, which violently escalated when he attempted to arrest a black American sergeant for black-marketing cigarettes. About There’s a Man with a Gun Over There, Ryan offers: "I hope my story will serve as an object lesson. I will be happy if it convinces just one person to stay out of the military."
"The book’s message is clear and repeated throughout the book: the Army is not a game, and no matter what you tell yourself to get through it, you are still a trained killer. Ryan offers a side to Vietnam that most people don’t see. He drives his points home about the dangers of the military and how it affects people." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author: Acclaimed by The New York Times as a writer who works "at the juncture of rapture and rupture," R. M. Ryan is the author of Goldilocks in Later Life, The Golden Rules, and Vaudeville in the Dark. He served in the US Army from 1969 to 1972 and is married to the biographer Carol Sklenicka.
Adam Rockoff, author of The Horror of It All: One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead
Wednesday May 20, at 7:00 pm
Bolt the door and grab some popcorn: presenting horror film aficionado, filmmaker, and Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986 author, Adam Rockoff, talking about and signing copies of his latest, The Horror of It All: One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead, a memoir form the front lines of the industry that dissects (and occasionally defends) the hugely popular phenomenon of scary movies.
Pop culture history meets blood-soaked memoir as a horror film aficionado and screenwriter recalls a life spent watching blockbuster slasher films, cult classics, and everything in between. Horror films have simultaneously captivated and terrified audiences for generations, racking up billions of dollars at the box office and infusing our nightmares with unrelenting zombies, chainsaw-wielding madmen, and myriad incarnations of ghosts, ghouls, and the devil himself. Despite evolving modes of storytelling and the fluctuating popularity of other genres, horror endures. In The Horror of It All author Adam Rockoff traces the highs and lows of the horror genre through the lens of his own obsessive fandom, born in the aisles of his local video store and nurtured with a steady diet of cable trash. From Siskel and Ebert’s crusade against slasher films to horror’s Renaissance in the wake of Scream, Rockoff mines the rich history of the genre, braiding critical analysis with his own firsthand experiences. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
"Rockoff is an amiable and often amusing guide…a passionate defender of the creative rights of filmmakers, no matter how shocking or disturbing their creations might be, and a convincing advocate for scary movies as transgressive art—or just plain fun." —Kirkus
About the Author: Adam Rockoff is the screenwriter of Wicked Lake, a film so depraved it caused Ron Jeremy to storm out of the theater in anger. However, his 2010 adaptation of the classic exploitation film, I Spit on Your Grave, received nearly unanimous praise from horror critics. His first book, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986, a critical examination of the slasher genre, was made into a documentary which premiered on STARZ. When he’s not getting his hands bloody, Rockoff runs the television production company, FlashRock Films.
A Ticketed Event with Neal Stephenson, author of Reamde, Snow Crash, and Seveneves
Friday June 5, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to present a ticketed event with Neal Stephenson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatham, Reamde, and Snow Crash, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest thought provoking science fiction epic, Seveneves, a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years. Tickets are $36, include taxes and fees, admission for one, and an autographed hardcover of Seveneves, and are available on Brown Paper Tickets, event #1409332. A $28 gift card is available in lieu of the book on event night only.
In Neal Stephenson’s latest science fiction epic, Seveneves, a catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain. Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
Neal Stephenson, a writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in Seveneves, a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
Here’s what Boswellian Jason had to say about Seveneves: “This could well be Neal Stephenson’s best work to date, equal parts Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World. An event occurs that leaves humanity on the brink of extinction with very little time on the clock to attempt to survive. Most writers would start well after the event and leave out all the important how parts, the parts readers want to know, like how does civilization continue or barring that, humanity. The leaders of Earth hatch a harsh plan to save humanity; nothing is easy and survival is not assured, but there is true heroism in the early pages of this novel as humanity has to learn to live in a foreign environment without the cozy confines of atmosphere or terra firma. To say this was a great novel does not do it justice; Stephenson creates a breathtaking take on the catastrophic ending of the world and the saving of the human race. Then he brings it full circle, leaving me completely in awe.”
About the Author: Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, the three-volume historical epic The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Emily Nagoski, author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, at the Tool Shed
Wednesday June 10, at 8:15 pm doors; 8:30 pm start
Boswell is proud to co-sponsor an event at the Tool Shed (located at 2427 N. Murray Avenue in Milwaukee) with Wellness Education Director, Lecturer, and campus favorite at Smith College, where she teaches Women’s Sexuality, Emily Nagoski, author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, an essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works drawing from groundbreaking research and an emphasis on cognitive science.
Emily Nagoski brings groundbreaking research and an emphasis on cognitive science to the sexual conversation in Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, an essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works. Nagoski fills a longstanding gap in the market that other books have tried and failed to fill. There are science books that fail to address women’s sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. And there are books about women’s sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm that really miss the scientific mark. Come as You Are is both evidence-based and empowering; both knowledgeable and non-technical. Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Once you understand the central factors to a woman’s sexual wellbeing and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible.
"Emily Nagoski is worth her weight in TED Talks, and Come as You Are is a master-class in the science of sex." —Ian Kerner, sex therapist and bestselling author of She Comes First
"Emily Nagoski has written one of the most important books about sex any woman (or anybody else) could ever pick up, full of insights that are both fascinating and deeply useful. Synthesizing new research and theory about sexuality with old-school sex-positive information of the sort you didn’t learn in sex ed (unless, perhaps, you are a Unitarian, or Scandinavian, or lucky enough to be in Dr. Nagoski’s class). I guarantee Come as You Are will open minds and change lives." —Carol Queen, Ph.D., Founding director, Center for Sex & Culture
About the Author: Emily Nagoski is Wellness Education Director, Lecturer, and campus favorite at Smith College, where she teaches Women’s Sexuality. She has a PhD in Health Behavior with a doctoral concentration in human sexuality from Indiana University, and a master’s degree (also from IU) in counseling, with a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in human sexuality, relationships and communication, stress management, and sex education. She is the author of three guides for Ian Kerner’s GoodInBed.com, including the Guide to Female Orgasm, and she writes the popular sex blog, TheDirtyNormal.com.
It’s Story Time with Boswellian Jannis, reading Tad and Dad, by David Ezra Stein
Sunday June 14, at 11:00 am
Grab your Dad and hop on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein, and other selections about Dads and families. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month’s Story Time will be a ribbetting good time!
Please join us at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center for a Ticketed Event with Daniel Silva, author of The Unlikely Spy, The Heist, and The English Spy, in conversation with the JCC’s Jody Hirsh
Monday July 6, at 7:00 pm
Boswell is excited to present a ticketed event at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center with Daniel Silva, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Heist, and The English Assassin, joined in conversation by the JCC’s Jody Hirsh, discussing Silva’s latest stunning thriller, The English Spy, an action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon. Tickets are $30, include taxes and fees, admission for one, and an autographed hardcover of The English Spy, and are available on Brown Paper Tickets, event #1476403. The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center is located at 6255 N. Santa Monica Boulevard in Whitefish Bay.
Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with seventeen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant hero, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar. Following the success of his smash hit The Heist, Daniel Silva returns with another blockbuster—The English Spy—a powerhouse novel featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.
About the Author: Daniel Silva is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, and The Heist. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and is married to journalist Jamie Gangel. Silva lives in Florida with his wife and their two children.
Other Confirmed Author Appearances
Monday, July 27, 6:30 pm - A Special, One-Time Screening of Chasing Red (awarded Best Feature and Best of the Fest at the 2015 LA Indie Film Festival!), featuring Chicago Author and Golden Gloves Champ Bill Hillmann, author of The Old Neighborhood, at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, located at 2230 North Farwell Avenue--tickets available soon via Tugg