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Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Lola Quartet and Station Eleven
Monday September 22, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company and Soulstice Theatre are proud to present The Lola Quartet author Emily St. John Mandel who returns to Boswell for a talk and staged reading of Station Eleven, a novel that Kirkus calls "[an] ambitious take on a post-apocalyptic world where some strive to preserve art, culture, and kindness…think of Cormac McCarthy seesawing with Joan Didion…," and The Vacationers author Emma Straub says is perfect for "dozens of the readers in me—the Hollywood devotee, the comic book fan, the cult junkie, the love lover, [and] the disaster tourist."
Here’s what Boswellian Daniel Goldin has to say about Station Eleven: "In this powerful new novel, the end of civilization might not come via nuclear war or environmental catastrophe, but by a flu virus so lethal that there is simply nobody around to keep civilization going. By the time we’re in shape to recover, it’s too late to stop out-of-control fires, or contain lawlessness, let alone turn back on electricity, the internet, or gas pumps. In this post-apocalyptic world, small outposts remain, congregated around abandoned fast food restaurants and airplane terminals with little to bring joy and beauty to their lives aside from a periodic visit from the Traveling Symphony, a group of Shakespeare-performing classical musicians. One day, the Symphony comes to St. Deborah by the Water, only to find that the village has been taken over by a cult, and things turn particularly dangerous when one of the villagers becomes a stowaway. And then one of the performers, Kirsten, slowly learns that she and the ruthless cult leader might have more in common than she imagined. And in fact almost all the characters in this story are connected by an unlikely source—an actor named Arthur Leander, whose on-stage death opened the story. Station Eleven is an entrancing thriller/fantasy epic/comic satire/domestic drama, and while the setup might have reminded you of The Hunger Games, the result is more A Visit from the Goon Squad."
About the Author: Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York. All four of her novels—Station Eleven, Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, and The Lola Quartet—are Indie Next Picks. The Singer's Gun was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup presents his latest book The Happiness of Pursuit
Wednesday September 24, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an inspiring evening with the author of The $100 Startup and founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, and the Travel Hacking Cartel, Chris Guillebeau, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest, The Happiness of Pursuit, a book about finding purpose and meaning by committing to a life-changing project or quest. Be warned: A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically says "If you like complacency and mediocrity, do not read this book. It’s dangerously inspiring."
Chris Guillebeau specializes in helping people break out of the "box" of their everyday lives. His most recent book, The $100 Startup, explained how to create income on one’s own terms and not necessarily abide by a 9-to-5, "work for the man" model. But while liberation from "the grind" is one step in pursuing a life of purpose, it’s far from the only way. Indeed, genuine fulfillment typically requires a quest or challenge that is big and ambitious, that involves surpassing the limits most people accept as part of their boring, routine-filled lives and making an actual difference. Chris has undertaken a successful quest of his own, having visited every country in the world by age 35. But the quests or projects discussed in this book need not involve travel at all. What they do involve is commitment and progressive accomplishment, losing oneself in an accretive task—whether it be a physical journey, an artistic enterprise, a philanthropic feat, even an act of political protest. Chris has surveyed thousands who’ve undertaken such quests and really drilled down to discover how they went about it, the common mistakes, what happened when they hit the wall, and how they coped when the quest was over. His specialty is well-researched, easy-to-follow advice that helps readers bridge the gap between "impossible dream" and "everyday reality."
"The Happiness of Pursuit is smart, honest, and dangerous. Why dangerous? Because it is as practical as it is inspiring. You won’t just be daydreaming about your quest—you’ll be packing for it!" —Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly
About the Author: Chris Guillebeau is a New York Times bestselling author and modern-day explorer. During a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, Chris Guillebeau visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. He is the author of three books, The Art of Non-Conformity, which was translated into more than twenty languages, The $100 Startup, which has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide, and The Happiness of Pursuit. Every summer in Portland, Oregon, Guillebeau hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people, and is the founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, the Travel Hacking Cartel, and numerous other projects.
Paige Rawl, author of Positive: A Memoir
Thursday September 25, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin are excited to welcome national youth advocate, anti-bullying crusader, powerful HIV/AIDS educator, and author, Paige Rawl, to Boswell for a discussion and signing of her new memoir Positive. Great for ages 13 and up, you won’t want to miss this inspiring speaker as she tells her deeply personal and completely universal story about overcoming bullying by choosing to be Positive.
Paige has been HIV+ since birth, but growing up that was never The Thing that defined her. It was just one facet of her life, like competing in beauty pageants or making the honor roll. And then in middle school, in a moment in which she was attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV+ status. Relentlessly bullied from that point forward, Paige suffered from stress-related seizures, she cut herself, and her normally athletic frame withered to a mere 81 pounds. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed fifteen sleeping pills—one for each year of her life to date. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Positive is a dazzling memoir in which Paige tells how she managed to overcome the trauma of persistent bullying by choosing compassion over cruelty, and resolved to fight daily on behalf of others in her place.
Here’s what Boswellian Jannis Mindel has to say about this incredible memoir: "Paige Rawl spent the early years of her childhood unaware of her HIV positive status. Her daily doses of medicine were as much a part of life as cheerleading and playing on the soccer team. After her mother finally tells her about her disease, Paige reveals her status to her best friend. Her life thereafter would never be the same. The bullying started almost immediately and with ferocity. The school did nothing to help Paige or her mother but rather told her she was causing too much drama. The stress became so severe she suffered from frequent seizures and eventually found herself attempting suicide. But with the help of her mother, close friends, and a camp for HIV/AIDS children, she was able to move forward and forgive. This is a moving, personal, and very powerful story of the effects of bullying."
About the Author: Paige Rawl is a national youth advocate, anti-bullying crusader, and powerful HIV/AIDS educator. She is currently a student at Ball State University, where she plans to study molecular biology.
Local Author Christine M. Merritt, author of Once Upon a Time in China: Worms, Cha, and a Harmonious Society
Friday September 26, at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we welcome parasitologist and local author, Christine M. Merritt, as she discusses and signs copies of her memoir, Once Upon a Time in China: Worms, Cha, and a Harmonious Society, which relates her experiences during her two years as the first westerner to teach in a medical school in mainland China and the only foreign faculty member of the Medical School in Soochow University, Suzhou.
Teaching at the Medical School afforded Christine M. Merritt the opportunity for an inside look at daily life for Chinese students, their thinking, hopes and dreams, social issues, family life, the Communist Party, and much more. She traveled in search of ancient China and her travels took her to Miao villages in the mountains, eco-museums in Guizhou, Confucius’s birthplace and people living in caves. She found the Chinese to be a warm, generous hearted people with a great sense of humor who invited her to stay with their families in their hometowns. Merritt lived, shopped, and ate with the Chinese and they shared their family histories, sexual orientation, love life, and the wonderful myths and legends of China.
About the Author: Christine Merritt spent nearly two years in China, teaching parasitology to international students in the Medical School at Soochow University, Suzhou. The Chinese told her she was the first westerner ever to teach in a medical school in mainland China. She was also the only foreign faculty member on campus. These unique experiences are detailed in her 2014 book, the travel-memoir; Once Upon A Time in China: Worms, Cha and a Harmonious Society.
Madison Author Chloe Benjamin, author of The Anatomy of Dreams
Saturday September 27, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome Madison author and "great new talent" (Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories), Chloe Benjamin, as she reads from and signs copies of her debut The Anatomy of Dreams, which Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures author Emma Straub calls "a wholly original tale" that exposes the slippery nature of trust—and the immense power of our dreams.
It’s 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: by teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller’s work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast. But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors—and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller’s research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress.
"A vibrant, ambitious novel that wrestles with the big complexities of early adulthood—the impossibility of fully knowing a partner, the quixotic desire for meaningful work, and the surprisingly sudden nature of obsession. Chloe Benjamin’s impressive debut shimmers and surprises with its wonderfully original fusion of compelling quirk and surreal mystery." — Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness.
"A sly, promising, and ambitious debut." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author: Chloe Benjamin is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Wisconsin-Madison MFA program. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Pank, Whiskey Island, and The Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
A Milwaukee Public Library Event with J. F. Riordan, author of North of the Tension Line
Monday September 29, at 6:30 pm
Please join us in the Milwaukee Public Library’s Loos Room at Centennial Hall, located 733 N. Eighth Street in Milwaukee, for an evening with former English teacher and professional singer, J. F. Riordan, as she reads from and signs copies of the first book in her debut series, North of the Tension Line, evocative of the work of Alexander McCall Smith, Jan Karon, Miss Read, and Jane Austen. Please register for this event by calling (414) 286-3011.
Fiona Campbell is a newcomer to tiny Ephraim, Wisconsin. Populated with artists and summer tourists, Ephraim has just enough going on to satisfy Fiona’s city tastes, but she is fascinated and repelled by what lies at the furthest tip of the Door County peninsula: Washington Island, a place utterly removed from the hubbub of modern life. North of the Tension Line is the first in a series following Fiona, a fierce female protagonist, and an accompanying cast of eccentric characters. At turns comic, romantic, and thought provoking, this book is part compelling romance and part-comedy-of-manners. Adults and young adults alike will enjoy Fiona’s foray into the vicious politics of small town life, her encounters with a ruthless neighbor and the captain of a haunted ferry, and her eventual discovery of the peculiar spiritual renewal of life as it is "north of the tension line."
About the Author: J. F. Riordan was born in New Jersey and moved first to Michigan, then Wisconsin as a child. At sixteen, after two years of high school, she went to the University of New Mexico to study voice and ultimately became a professional singer. After years of travel, she returned to the Midwest, finished her college degree, and became certified to teach high school English. She taught for three years in the inner city before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs. North of the Tension Line is her first novel.
Simon Van Booy, author of The Illusion of Separateness
Tuesday September 30, at 7:00 pm
We are most excited to welcome to Boswell award-winning author Simon Van Booy, who penned Love Begins in Winter, for a reading and signing of his latest novel, The Illusion of Separateness, which was inspired by true events and moves between WWII and the present to relate the harrowing and enchanting tale of six strangers whose lives are inextricably linked.
Whether they are pursued by Nazi soldiers, old age, shame, deformity, disease, or regret, the varied characters of Simon Van Booy’s utterly compelling The Illusion of Separateness discover in their darkest moments of fear and isolation that they are not alone, that they were never alone, that every human being is a link in an unseen chain. This gripping, emotional novel intertwines the stories of several compelling characters: a deformed German infantryman, a lonely British film director, a young, blind museum curator, Jewish-American newlyweds separated by war, a lost child on the brink of starvation, and a caretaker at a retirement home for actors in Santa Monica. The same world moves beneath each of them, and one by one, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, they discover the vital parts they have played in each other’s lives, a realization that shatters the illusion of their separateness.
Here’s what Boswellian Sharon has to say about Simon Van Booy’s The Illusion of Separateness: "An act of mercy that takes place on a field in France during World War II is the nucleus of this book. All the other characters and events are connected in a gorgeous tapestry that is slowly and masterfully revealed to the reader. This novel is based on a true story and is a lovely illustration that separateness is indeed an illusion, and that we are all connected. Rilke said something along the line of ‘Words can only point at emotions.’ This is quite accurate as I read this most amazing of novels almost a month ago and have only lately been about to talk about it in full sentences. Seriously, I have rarely been so affected by a book in recent memory."
About the Author: Simon Van Booy is the author of four novels, including The Secret Lives of People in Love; Love Begins in Winter, winner the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; and Everything Beautiful Began After, which won the ABA’s Honor Award in Adult Fiction. He is also the editor of three philosophy books: Why We Fight; Why We Need Love; and Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter. He lives in New York City, where he teaches at the School of Visual Arts and is involved in the Rutgers Early College Humanities for young adults living in underserved communities. A finalist for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, his work has been translated into thirteen languages.
A Shorewood Public Library Event with Scott Westerfeld, author of The Uglies Series, the Leviathan Series, and Afterworlds
Wednesday October 1, at 6:30 pm
Please join us at the Shorewood Public Library, located at 3920 N. Murray Ave in Shorewood, for a thrilling evening with Leviathan Series author, Scott Westerfeld, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest young adult novel great for ages 14 and up, Afterworlds, a smart, thought-provoking novel-within-a-novel featuring Darcy Patel, a young writer who bangs out a novel in her senior year of high school, has it published for a ton of money, moves to New York City to revise it, write a sequel, and hang out with the NYC YA crowd.
Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love. Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.
" Westerfeld masterfully creates two divergent reading experiences (YA romance and fantasy horror) with two distinct yet believable voices." —Booklist
About the Author: Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Leviathan Series, the first book of which was the winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. His other novels include The Uglies Series (which has over 4 million books in print and has been translated into 28 languages), The Last Days, Peeps, So Yesterday, and the Midnighters Trilogy.
Milwaukeean Charles Eigen, editor of Inner Dialogue in Daily Life: Contemporary Approaches to Personal and Professional Development in Psychotherapy
Wednesday October 1, at 7:00 pm
Join us for a fascinating event with Milwaukee psychotherapist and bodywork/movement practitioner, Charles Eigen, as he presents the unique book Inner Dialogue in Daily Life: Contemporary Approaches to Personal and Professional Development in Psychotherapy, which looks in depth at ten major contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches, all of which use inner dialogue as a way of developing both professionally and personally.
Each chapter is written by an expert in their field, some of whom were invited to contribute by the founder of the approach. The authors include personal stories of how they have used the approach in their own lives and work as therapists, giving a deeper insight into each method. As well as developing a connection to the mind, several of the approaches focus on deepening an awareness of the body and listening to its voice. Approaches covered include the Jungian approach, Gestalt therapy, Focusing, internal family systems therapy, and Hakomi. Drawing on both Eastern and Western traditions and methods, this fascinating book will be of interest to psychotherapists, counselors and students, as well as anyone with an interest in inner dialogue, healing and personal development.
About the Author: Charles Eigen is a Milwaukee-based psychotherapist and bodywork/movement practitioner. He has trained in a variety of approaches including psychotherapy, bodywork, and meditation. He is a Certified Therapist in Internal Family Systems Therapy, Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement® Teacher, and a Certified Workshop Leader for the Progoff Intensive Journal® Method.
Local Author Larry Widen, author of Milwaukee Movie Theaters and Milwaukee Rock and Roll
Thursday October 2, at 7:00 pm
Are you ready to be rocked? Then we have just the event for you! Join us at Boswell for a discussion and signing with local author Larry Widen, author of Milwaukee Movie Theaters, as he presents his latest, Milwaukee Rock and Roll. A Milwaukee-based journalist, Larry Widen has interviewed Alice Cooper, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, B.B. King, Joan Jett, and many more—you won’t want to miss this event!
In this latest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s new Images of Modern America series, author Larry Widen recollects the rock and pop acts that came through the Milwaukee music scene from the 1950s to the 1990s in Milwaukee Rock and Roll. With a foreword by Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, and more than160 images—some of which have never been published and some of which are from the author’s personal collection—readers will take a wild trip down memory lane. In Milwaukee Rock and Roll, readers are able to see the venues and festivals that hosted various rock powerhouses, from the Arena, Summerfest, Eagles Club, as well as two dozen bars and clubs that no longer exist. Larry Widen shares vintage concert ads and posters, as well as offstage images of fan interactions with the likes of KISS, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Johnny Winter, Joan Jett, and other rock stars he personally interviewed throughout his career.
About the Author: Larry Widen is a Milwaukee-based journalist who has interviewed Alice Cooper, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, B.B. King, Joan Jett, and many other musicians. When he owned a Milwaukee cinema, he booked Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Canned Heat, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards. He is the author of Milwaukee Movie Theaters and Entertainment in Early Milwaukee.
Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light
Saturday October 4, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome to Boswell celebrated and bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein, who will read from and sign copies of his latest novel, A Sudden Light, in which a boy trying to save his parents’ marriage uncovers a vast legacy of family secrets. You won’t want to miss your chance to meet this charming and engaging author!
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after. But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future. Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power.
"Wow! I devoured A Sudden Light, a grand, gorgeous, multi-generational epic of the Pacific Northwest. Garth Stein has given us another singular, soulful, and wise narrator for the ages, who tells us a story full of mystery and yearning. I adored this book." —Maria Semple, The New York Times bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
About the Author: Garth Stein is the author of The New York Times bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain (and its tween adaptation, Racing in the Rain), How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, Raven Stole the Moon, and a play, Brother Jones. Before turning to writing full-time, he was a documentary filmmaker, directing, editing, and/or producing several award-winning films, including The Lunch Date, winner of the Academy award for live action short in 1990, and The Last Party, starring Robert Downey, Jr. He is the cofounder of Seattle7Writers.org, a nonprofit collective of sixty-two Northwest authors dedicated to fostering a passion for the written word. Garth Stein lives in Seattle with his family and his dog, Comet.
Genevieve G. McBride and Stephen R. Byers, authors of ‘Dear Mrs. Griggs’: Women Pour Out Their Hearts from the Heartland, in the Village Center Meeting Room at the Shorewood Public Library
Monday October 6, at 7:00 pm, reception begins at 6:30 pm
Please join us for an evening event in the Village Center Meeting Room at Shorewood Public Library, located at 3920 North Murray Avenue in Shorewood, featuring local authors Genevieve G. McBride and Stephen R. Byers as they discuss and sign copies of ‘Dear Mrs. Griggs’: Women Pour Out Their Hearts from the Heartland, their latest collaborative history about legendary and beloved Midwestern advice columnist Ione Quinby Griggs. This event is co-sponsored by the Shorewood Historical Society, the Friends of Shorewood Public Library, and the Shorewood Women’s Club.
Before "Dear Abby" or "Ann Landers," an advice columnist beloved as "Dear Mrs. Griggs" already had dispensed wisdom to millions of readers, mainly women, for decades. Indeed, Ione Quinby Griggs became legendary, as she set a record for longevity of more than half a century in the "advice industry," because she colluded with her readers in the column, empowering them to set the agenda of their page, the back page of the newspaper. The result often foreshadowed front-page news, as their collaborative effort created a forerunner of modern social media, for a more "sociable media." A form of community forum, the column provides a literal mother lode for research into her readers’ letters on their daily lives and everyday concerns, in their own and often colorful words. The result is a unique social history of a region, a class, and a gender rarely represented in histories: Generations of Midwestern women in a working-class city, as well as in surrounding rural areas soon to become suburbs, where daily reading of "Dear Mrs. Griggs" became one of the continuities in their lives, amid major societal change for more than half a century in the mid-twentieth century.
If they rarely made news on the front page, her readers found on the back page of the newspaper a forum for discussion of conflicts and controversies as well as continuities in their lives, which made their page the best-read page of the Milwaukee Journal. From the depths of the Depression of the 1930s into new workplaces for women on the World War II homefront in the 1940s, from urban ethnic enclaves to homes of their own in new postwar suburbs with "spiked kaffeeklatsches" in the 1950s, from the era of the modern women’s movement and many momentous social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, into the "conservative revolution" of the 1980s, faithful readers of "Dear Mrs. Griggs" from across the Heartland penned often heartfelt and sometimes hilarious letters on their issues, in their times.
Genevieve G. McBride Bio: Professor of History and affiliated faculty in Women's Studies and in Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is the author of the award-winning On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage. She also is the editor of an anthology on four centuries of women's history in her state, Women's Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium. McBride was an editor at the Waukesha Freeman, the Milwaukee Courier, and the Milwaukee Star and also worked at the Milwaukee Sentinel and the Milwaukee Journal. Born and raised in Milwaukee, where her parents also were journalists at the Journal and Sentinel, Gen grew up reading "Mrs. Griggs."
Stephen R. Byers Bio: just-retired Assistant Professor of Journalism at Marquette University, was entertainment editor of the Milwaukee Journal, when he worked closely with Ione Quinby Griggs. He also had been a columnist, reporter, and editor of other sections at the Journal, and also had worked at the City News Bureau of Chicago and at several Indiana newspapers.
Marquette Professor Daniel Maguire, author of Christianity Without God: Moving Beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative
Tuesday October 7, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an enlightening evening with Marquette Professor of Ethics and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Christian Ethics, Daniel Maguire, as he discusses and signs copies of his latest treatise on Christianity and ethics, Christianity Without God: Moving Beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative.
In Christianity Without God, Daniel C. Maguire rejects the three fundamental dogmas of Christian faith—belief in a personal god, the divinity of Jesus, and the afterlife. Maguire illustrates a powerful poetic moral message communicated in the Bible and suggests how it can be applied in a global ethic to issues such as economics, politics, and ecology, with the hope of healing a planet sinking under the effects of ungrateful mismanagement by the human race. A distinguished professor of religion at Marquette University, Maguire recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Christian Ethics and has appeared on Nightline, Today, and Good Morning America. In Christianity Without God, he seeks not to have the best or the last word on the subject, but one that can join the conversation and speak to the urgent need for change.
"With immense learning and considerable charm, Daniel Maguire evokes a Christianity freed from dogma, literalism, self-righteousness, and terror. Believers and skeptics alike can delight in what's left: poetry, morality, a sense of awe and wonder. In a word, humanity." —Katha Pollitt, author of The Mind-Body Problem: Poems
About the Author: Daniel C. Maguire is Professor of Ethics at Marquette University and the author or editor of many books, including (with Larry L. Rasmussen) Ethics for a Small Planet: New Horizons on Population, Consumption, and Ecology.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Professor Jim Winship, author of Coming of Age in El Salvador
Wednesday October 8, at 7:00 pm
We’re happy to welcome Peace Corps volunteer, Fulbright Scholar, and Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Jim Winship, as he discusses and signs copies of his latest, Coming of Age in El Salvador, which gathers first-person accounts and research into a unique text revealing the challenges and rewards of growing up in a small, globalized Central American country. This event is co-sponsored by the UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Coming of age, becoming an adult, can be difficult in any time and place. This book is about youth and young adults who live simultaneously in a globalized world and a small Central American country with great beauty and strong family connections, yet with significant problems and too few opportunities. Through first-person accounts of young Salvadorans, his own research and the work of others, Dr. Jim Winship shows the context and challenges in which young Salvadorans struggle to reach their aspirations.
"I highly recommend people interested in El Salvador to read this book. It is a fresh and interesting perspective of what it means to live in El Salvador. Living in a country where many of the conversations about youth only relate to violence, Dr. Winship has been able to capture a collage of key stories that will give the reader a more holistic idea of our youth." —Eva Rodriguez Bellegarrigue, President, Transformando Conflictos Partners El Salvador
About the Author: Jim Winship (MSW, Ph.D.) has been a Peace Corps Volunteer and a Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador. He has co-authored four monographs related to youth and migration in El Salvador which have been published in El Salvador and Spain. He is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he has coordinated the Latin American Studies minor.
Cast Members of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater discuss and perform a song from The Color Purple
Friday October 10, at 2:00 pm
Members of the cast of The Color Purple will join us to discuss the musical based on Alice Walker’s Pultizer Prize-winning novel as well as to perform a song from the production. The Color Purple is running at Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse now through November 2.
Following the success of last year’s Ragtime, Mark Clements and his creative team reunite at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre to bring you the hit musical based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. This glorious musical saga, spanning four decades, tells the unforgettable story of a woman who finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her own unique voice in the world. With a joyous Grammy-nominated score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, and blues, The Color Purple captures the hearts of young and old, and reminds us that "it only takes a grain of love to make a mighty tree."
Steven Pinker, author of The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Friday October 10, at 7:00 pm
You are cordially invited to an event with longtime style manual enthusiast, and chair of the Usage Panel of The American Heritage Dictionary, Steven Pinker, who will discuss the corruption of the English language, the intentional obfuscation of bad writing, kids these days, and other issues raised in his latest, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, a cheerful, practical, and entertaining usage guide.
In The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker argues that complaints about the decline of language go at least as far back as the invention of the printing press. Every generation believes that the kids today are degrading the language and taking civilization down with it. So we can’t blame social media or texting. Rather than moaning about the decline of the language, carping over pet peeves, or recycling spurious edicts from the rulebooks of a century ago, Pinker believes we can apply insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose. For example, contrary to Strunk & White’s instruction in The Elements of Style to change passive verbs to active ones, linguistic research has shown that the passive construction has a number of indispensable functions because of the way it engages a reader’s attention and memory.
"This book is a graceful and clear smackdown to the notion that English is going to the proverbial dogs. Pinker has written the Strunk & White for a new century while continuing to discourage baseless notions such as that the old slogan should have been ‘Winston tastes good AS a cigarette should.’" —John McWhorter, author of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue and The Power of Babel
"Great stuff! Only Steven Pinker could have written this marvelous book, and thank heaven he has. ‘Good writing can flip the way the world is perceived,’ he writes, and The Sense of Style will flip the way you think about good writing. Pinker’s curiosity and delight illuminate every page, and when he says style can make the world a better place, we believe him." —Patricia T. O’Conner, author of Woe Is I and, with Stewart Kellerman, Origins of the Specious
About the Author: Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. His research has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution, the American Psychological Association, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. He has also received several teaching awards and many prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Time’s "100 Most Influential People in the World Today," and Foreign Policy "World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals." He has written for The New York Times, Time, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and other publications on consciousness, genomics, morality, war and peace, and of course, language.
Jennifer Holland, author of Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom
Sunday October 12, at 3:00 pm
Boswell and the Wisconsin Humane Society are proud to invite you to an inspiring event with Jennifer Holland, author of The New York Times bestselling books Unlikely Friendships and Unlikely Loves, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest book, Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom. This event is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Humane Society with 10% of each sale of Unlikely Heroes from this event donated to them.
In Unlikely Heroes, Jennifer Holland uncovers and celebrates yet another side of animals that we often think belongs primarily to people—heroism, that indefinable quality of going above and beyond, often for altruistic reasons, often at great personal risk. These 37 inspiring true tales show animals whose quick acts have saved lives, like the pod of dolphins who protected swimmers in New Zealand from a great white shark by forming a screen around them. There are stories of animals who simply and unselfishly give, like Rojo the llama, who shines his very special light of loving kindness on the elderly patients in an Oregon rehab center. And there are compelling stories of heroic resilience: like Naki'o, the abandoned puppy who lost all four paws to frostbite but found the grit not only to overcome that terrible hardship but to reclaim the joy of life—that's him, smiling on the cover of the book.
About the Author: Jennifer Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic, and she also writes for the Earth Touch News Network and other online science news organizations. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and dozens of snakes and geckos, dividing her time between Silver Spring, Maryland, and a cabin in the woods near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Book Launch with Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Tuesday October 14, at 6:30 pm
In their first epic team-up since Extra Yarn, The New York Times bestselling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humor in Sam and Dave Dig a Hole—and we’re inviting you on the journey. If you can dig it, join us for the launch where Barnett and Klassen will discuss and sign copies of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, fun for ages 4 to 104! Our opening act for this event is beloved local children’s musical duo and the winners of three Parent’s Choice recommended awards, Fox and Branch, who will be playing their hits as well as selections from their latest album, "Let Us Get Together."
Sam and Dave are on a mission—a mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. They find…nothing. But the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary—and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.
Here’s what Boswellian Jannis has to say about Sam and Dave Dig a Hole: "Sam and Dave decide to dig a hole with their dog alongside them. They won't stop digging until they find ‘something spectacular.’ Needless to say they tire themselves out and run out of food before they find anything. But their trusty dog doesn't stop digging and therein lies the adventure. Caldecott award winners Barnett and Klassen have created a deceptively simple book filled with clever clues that children will enjoy discovering as they read this unique adventure story."
Mac Barnett’s Bio: Mac Barnett is the author of several award-winning books for children, including President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath and Extra Yarn, which won a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and a Caldecott Honor. He is also the co-editor of McSweeney’s The Goods. Mac Barnett lives in California.
Jon Klassen’s Bio: Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, and This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal. He is also the illustrator of House Held Up by Trees, which was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year, and Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett, which won a Caldecott Honor. Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Jon Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.
Deborah Crombie, author of To Dwell in Darkness
Wednesday October 15, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an event with Deborah Crombie, author of the bestselling Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James thrillers, as she reads from and discusses the latest in the series, To Dwell in Darkness, which has already been praised as "Superb" (Houston Chronicle), "Masterly [and] supremely satisfying" (Library Journal), and "An intriguing, atmospheric London murder mystery" (People).
In the tradition of Elizabeth George, Louise Penny, and P. D. James, The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie delivers a powerful tale of intrigue, betrayal, and lies that will plunge married London detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James into the unspeakable darkness that lies at the heart of murder. Recently transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his new murder investigation team are called to a deadly bombing at historic St. Pancras Station. The bombing isn’t the only mystery troubling Kincaid. He’s still questioning the reasons behind his transfer, and when his former boss—who’s been avoiding him—is attacked, those suspicions deepen. With the help of his former sergeant, Doug Cullen, Melody Talbot, and Gemma, Kincaid begins to untangle the truth. But what he discovers will leave him questioning his belief in the job that has shaped his life and his values—and remind him just how vulnerable his precious family is.
"We can always count on her for fabulous plots...But what puts Deborah Crombie among the greats is her sure hand in raising her characters off the page." —Louise Penny, The New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache novels
About the Author: Deborah Crombie is a New York Times Notable author and has been nominated for and won many awards including The New York Times Book of the Year. Her novel Dreaming of the Bones, was chosen by the Independent Mystery Booksellers of America as one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century.
UW-Milwaukee Professor Tami Williams, author of Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations
Thursday October 16, at 7:00 pm
Boswell is proud to welcome UW-Milwaukee Professor of English and film studies, Tami Williams, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest, Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations, which is the first in-depth historical study of the trailblazing feminist filmmaker and her work. This event is co-sponsored by the UWM Department of English.
Best known for directing the Impressionist classic The Smiling Madame Beudet and the first Surrealist film The Seashell and the Clergyman, Germaine Dulac, feminist and pioneer of 1920s French avant-garde cinema, made close to thirty fiction films as well as numerous documentaries and newsreels. Through her filmmaking, writing, and cine-club activism, Dulac’s passionate defense of the cinema as a lyrical art and social practice had a major influence on twentieth century film history and theory. In Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations, Tami Williams makes unprecedented use of the filmmaker's personal papers, production files, and archival film prints to produce the first full-length historical study and critical biography of Dulac. Williams’ analysis explores the artistic and sociopolitical currents that shaped Dulac’s approach to cinema while interrogating the ground breaking techniques and strategies she used to critique conservative notions of gender and sexuality. Moving beyond the director’s work of the 1920s, Williams examines Dulac’s largely ignored 1930s documentaries and newsreels establishing clear links with the more experimental impressionist and abstract works of her early period. This vivid, interdisciplinary portrait will be of interest to general readers, as well as scholars of cinema, visual culture (music, theater, dance), French history, women’s studies, and queer cinema.
"Tami Williams has produced a monumental, extraordinarily well-researched, highly readable portrait of one of the most significant figures in the history of cinema…There is, quite literally, no other book like it anywhere, in any language. It is the first book of its kind and will always be the best." —Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, author of To Desire Differently: Feminism and the French Cinema
About the Author: Tami Williams is an assistant professor of English and film studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Get Ready for Halloween with Freddy & Betty and the Halloween Rescue
Saturday October 18, at 2:00 pm
Get ready for Halloween with Randy Soudah, author of Freddy & Betty and the Halloween Rescue, a caped Halloween caper fun for ages 3 and up! Although Freddy and Betty know it will be a night of goblins and ghouls, they aren't ready for a night of unexpected adventure. Freddy, a fun-loving, energetic young boy and his know-it-all big sister, Betty, will find themselves lost in the dark. Will they find the way home?
About the Author: Randy Soudah was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up primarily in the Wisconsin area. Although he lived in Seattle, for a few years, he still says Wisconsin is home and considers it the best place to live—a true "Cheese head." He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, tasting exotic foods, playing soccer with kids, and reading to his kids. Soudah lives with his wife and four children in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Jim Peterik, co-author of Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Survivor’s Founding Member
Saturday October 18, at 7:00 pm
Boswell presents Jim Peterik, just a man and his will to survive as he captures it in his new memoir, Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Survivor’s Founding Member. Discussing his rock star life and signing copies of Through the Eye of the Tiger, you won’t want to miss the chance to meet Jim Peterik, founding member of Survivor (who co-wrote ‘Eye of the Tiger’), member of The Ides Of March, and the man responsible for most of .38 Special’s lyrics.
As the founding member of Survivor and co-writer of one of the most inspirational songs in rock history, Jim Peterik easily fits into the category of "rock star." But a closer look at Peterik’s life and career reveal that he is anything but a typical rock star. Forgoing a life of meaningless sex and drugs, Peterik married his high school sweetheart and focused on the music, becoming one of the most prolific songwriters of his generation. In Through the Eye of the Tiger, Peterik shares for the first time the stories behind his iconic songs, from touring with Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin on the heels of the Ides of March number one classic “Vehicle” to his Grammy-winning, triple platinum "Eye of the Tiger" with Survivor, and beyond.
"It's no coincidence that Jim Peterik’s most successful band was called ‘Survivor.’ Through the Eye of the Tiger is Peterik’s rock’n’roll saga, the engaging autobiography of a hit-making musician and songwriter who pursued his music with passion, power, and persistence...His new book tracks the highs and lows of his life in rock, with equal parts honesty, insight and irreverence." —Ken Paulsen, music journalist, editor of Americana Music News
"If you bought a record with with a Jim Peterik tune on it, chances are that would be the one you'd find yourself singing along with before the first chorus ended. Jim’s autobiography is powered by the same boundless enthusiasm and way with a hook that have helped his greatest hits endure for decades. This is one entertaining read." —Jeff Giles, UltimateClassicRock.com
About the Author: What do Survivor, The Ides Of March, .38 Special, Sammy Hagar, and The Beach Boys have in common? The uncommon songwriting, vocal, and production talents of Jim Peterik. In high school, Peterik put together his first band, The Ides Of March, whose single "Vehicle" hit #2 on the Billboard chart. Just out of high school, the band did shows with Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and many more. In 1977, Jim founded one of the premier rock bands of the ‘80s: Survivor. With Peterik’s Songwriting for Dummies now a bestseller, he is traveling the world doing songwriting seminars. The Ides Of March recently celebrated 50 years of making music together.
The He Said, She Said Tour! with Wendelin Van Draanen, author of Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye and Mark Huntley Parsons, author of Road Rash
Monday October 20, at 7:00 pm
Please join us in welcoming the He Said, She Said Tour to Boswell! Featuring celebrated author of the Sammy Keyes Series, Wendelin Van Draanen, who will discuss and sign copies of the final book, Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, and her husband Mark Huntley Parsons, debut author of the young adult novel Road Rash, in which teen drummer Zach’s star is on the rise. Great for ages 10 and up, you won’t want to miss this dynamic duo at their Milwaukee stop on this unique cross-country tour!
Dubbed "the most winning junior detective ever in teen lit" by Midwest Children’s Book Review, Wendelin Van Draanen’s Sammy Keyes doesn’t go looking for trouble, but seems to find it everywhere. Until now: one of the bad guys has caught up! Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye is an emotional conclusion to the beloved, long running Sammy Keyes Series, demonstrating just how many lives one nosy girl can touch and paying tribute to a life well sleuthed.
In what Booklist is calling "a must-read for young garage-band types," Mark Huntley Parsons’ debut teen young adult novel, Road Rash, is the story of 16-year-old drummer Zach, who is dropped from one band only to be invited on tour with a better band. Great for anyone who loved Almost Famous or This is Spinal Tap, Road Rash is "a road-trip adventure in romance and friendship that is ultimately all about the music" (Kirkus Reviews).
Wendelin Van Draanen Bio: Wendelin Van Draanen was a teacher for many years before turning to writing full-time. Her first Sammy Keyes mystery, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She lives in Central California with her husband and two sons.
Mark Huntley Parsons Bio: Mark Huntley Parsons has been a drummer since 7th grade when he saved $100 from his paper route to buy a used drumset, and he’s been pounding away ever since. He’s a long-standing contributor for Modern Drummer magazine, and has written non-fiction books on audio and music-related topics. Mark lives on the Central Coast of California with his wife and two sons (the four of whom comprise the ever-eclectic dance-rock band, Risky Whippet). Road Rash is his debut novel.
A Mequon Nature Preserve Event with Judy Schachner, author of Skippyjon Jones Snow What
Tuesday October 21, at 4:30 pm
Please join us at the Mequon Nature Preserve, located at 8200 W. County Line Road in Mequon, for a magical event with Judy Schachner, the Mamalita behind The New York Times bestselling Skippyjon Jones Series, who will read from, discuss, and sign copies of Skippyjon’s most exciting adventure yet, Skippyjon Jones Snow What, in an event great for ages 3 and up! This event is co-sponsored by the Mequon Nature Preserve and Milwaukee Reads.
Skippyjon Jones is back and off to a magical snow forest of make-believe in Skippyjon Jones Snow What, in which the irrepressible Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua teams up with his pals, the Chimichango gang, to save the frozen princess and make sure this fuzzy tale ends happily ever after. Frolicking through the snow with his amigos, the group takes on a job only El Skippito can do: to wake up Nieve Que, the frozen Princess, by kissing her! Kissing? Yuck! Will this hero agree to don a prince’s pantalones and save the day?
"A new craze is spreading…Judy Schachner’s Skippyjon Jones books are all the rage." —The New York Times Book Review
About the Author: Judy Schachner has received many letters from parents and teachers confessing their love for Skippyjon Jones. This New York Times bestselling series has received numerous awards and honors, including the inaugural E.B. White Read Aloud Award for 2004. In addition to being the Mamalita behind Skippyjon, Judy Schachner is the author and illustrator of The Grannyman, Yo, Vikings!, and Willy and May. Judy Schachner lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania with her family, a dog, and two Siamese cats.
A Ticketed Villa Terrace Event with Alessandra Branca, author of New Classic Interiors
Tuesday October 21, at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
Please join us at Villa Terrace (located at 2220 N. Terrace Avenue in Milwaukee) for a ticketed event with Chicago designer Alessandra Branca, author of New Classic Interiors, a revealing look at her step-by-step creative process perfect for anyone who is ready for invaluable guidance on creating a home that is both gorgeous and livable. Admission is $10 ($5 for Friends of Villa Terrace) and tickets are available on the night of the event. This event is co-sponsored by Friends of Villa Terrace.
For Alessandra Branca, living means living comfortably. Growing up in Rome, Branca was always surrounded by exquisite art and architecture. She learned early on that beauty is meant to intermingle with everyday life, and to this day her interior designs, while abiding by classical principles, comfortably accommodate her clients’ lifestyles. "You can’t just do something that looks pretty," she says. "It has to work."
Beginning with her own Chicago townhouse and interweaving insights drawn from several other prominent projects in New Classic Interiors, Alessandra Branca shows how she assesses each space’s form and function, selects foundation elements, chooses furniture and lighting, and, finally, incorporates decorative elements that reflect the resident’s personality. Illustrated with 200 lush photographs, the book offers a welcomes introduction to Branca’s enchanting and livable interiors.
About the Author: Rome-born designer Alessandra Branca learned at an early age that classical beauty was meant to be intermingled with everyday life, and that the well-lived life takes place not in stiff and serious surroundings, but in artful structures graced with a comfortable elegance and wit. Branca is widely known for fusing chic, old-world craftsmanship with energy and practicality in all she designs. Celebrated for her impeccable style and exceptional use of color, Branca is consistently ranked as one of America’s top designers. Her numerous honors and awards include ELLE DÉCOR’s 2011, 2012, and 2013 A List, House Beautiful’s Master Class, and more. Branca launched her first fabric collection in Fall 2013 as well as a collection of home and fashion accessories. With wide-ranging interiors and product development projects for a global clientele, she divides her time between New York, Rome, Harbour Island, and Chicago, where she founded her design firm, Branca, in 1981.
David Finkel, author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service
Wednesday October 22, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient, and author of The Good Soldiers, David Finkel, as he presents his latest, Thank You for Your Service, an important book filled with great truths, none more powerful than when Finkel writes: "while the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own."
No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge, a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now, in Thank You for Your Service, Finkel follows many of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and into American society at large. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it possible, or even reasonable, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And, in moments of hardship, who are soldiers expected to turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? A mesmerizing account of the pain and hope that they carry from day-to-day, Thank You for Your Service is more than a work of journalism—it is an act of understanding, shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, that takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war.
"Eloquently reported…This is not—nor should it be—an easy book. But it is an essential one." —The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
"I’m urging everyone I know to give Thank You for Your Service just a few pages, a few minutes out of their busy lives. The families honored in this urgent, important book will take it from there." —Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers
About the Author: David Finkel is the award-winning author of The Good Soldiers. A staff writer for The Washington Post, he is also the leader of the Post’s national reporting team. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2006, and the MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 2012. Finkel lives in Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.
The Friends of the Elm Grove Library present Let Him Go by Local Author Larry Watson at the Sunset Playhouse
Wednesday October 22, at 7:00 pm
The Friends of the Elm Grove Library present their "Elm Grove Reads" selection for 2014, Let Him Go, by local author Larry Watson. With this riveting tale of blood ties and familial love set in North Dakota, Watson reminds us why the American West as a literary genre is worth preserving. The Elm Grove Reads celebration is being held at the Sunset Playhouse (located at 800 Elm Grove Road in Elm Grove). Tickets are $5 and are available at the Elm Grove Library. Books will be available for sale, courtesy of Boswell Book Company. There will be a cash bar, courtesy of the Sunset Playhouse. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Elm Grove Library, (262) 782-6717.
Set in 1951 North Dakota, Let Him Go is the story of George and Margaret Blackledge. A few months ago, their son’s widow took off with their grandson to remarry a man from a somewhat troublesome family, the Weboys. Resolved to find her grandson, who is also the last connection they have to their son, who died years ago, Margaret insists on taking to the road to bring him home. George, a retired sheriff, is hesitant but agrees, and together they leave the Dakota badlands, headed for Montana. The Weboy clan, however, is not going to give up the boy without a fight.
"I loved Let Him Go, so real, and heartbreaking, and tragic. It never let me go as I took a trip with George and Margaret Blackledge. Larry Watson is a master at setting up the gut-wrenching atmosphere and these hard-scrabble characters. My heart went out to them in their desperate situation and their dead end choices. Brilliant!" —Boswellian Jason Kennedy
Jack Bishop, editorial director of America’s Test Kitchen and co-editor of The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: An Authoritative Guide to Selecting and Cooking Today’s Meat and Poultry with 450 Recipes
Thursday October 23, at 7:00 pm
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got burgers, steak, ribs, or roast chicken on the menu—shopping for and cooking meat can be confusing, and mistakes can be costly. Join us for an evening discussion with Jack Bishop, editorial director of America’s Test Kitchen as he presents The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book, which begins with a 27-page master class in meat cookery that covers shopping, storing, and seasoning meat, including 450 foolproof recipes from America's most-trusted food magazine.
Matching cut to cooking method is another key to success, which is why The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book includes fully illustrated pages devoted to all of the major cooking methods: sautéing, pan-searing, pan-roasting, roasting, grilling, barbecuing, and more. The editors of Cook’s Illustrated identify the best cuts for these methods and explain point by point how and why you should follow their steps (and what may happen if you don’t). Among the 450 foolproof recipes included in The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book are recipes for new ways to cook some of your favorite dishes, such as: pan-seared thick cut steak, juicy pub-style burgers, oven roasted BBQ ribs, slow-roasted pork, crispy-skinned chicken breasts, and roast turkey.
Jack Bishop Bio: Jack Bishop is the editorial director of America's Test Kitchen. He joined the staff of Cook's magazine in 1988 and helped with the launch of Cook's Illustrated in 1993. He established the tasting protocols used in America's Test Kitchen and has authored dozens of articles for the magazine. Jack directed the launch of Cook's Country magazine and oversees editorial operations at both magazines. He is a cast member of America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country, edited The Best Recipe, and established the books division at America's Test Kitchen. He is the author of several cookbooks, including A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Vegetables Every Day, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, Pasta e Verdura, and Lasagna. Jack has two daughters with his wife, Lauren Chattman, a cookbook author and former pastry chef.
Will Boast, author of The Epilogue and Hannah Pittard, author of Reunion
Friday October 24, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an exciting evening with two authors whose books, although one fact and one fiction, delve into the delicate and dicey territory of family secrets. In Will Boast’s memoir, Epilogue, Boast thought he'd lost his family, until a deeply held secret revealed a second chance he never thought he’d have. In Reunion, Hannah Pittard’s "engaging and vigorous" (Chicago Tribune) prose masterfully illuminates the problems that can divide modern families—and the ties that prove impossible to break.
In Epilogue, having already lost his mother and only brother, twenty-four-year-old Will Boast finds himself absolutely alone when his father dies of alcoholism. Numbly settling the matters of his father's estate, Boast is deep inside his grief when he stumbles upon documents revealing a secret his father had intended to keep: He’d had another family before Will’s—a wife and two sons in England. This revelation leads to a flood of new questions. Setting out in search of his half brothers, he attempts to reconcile their family history with his own, testing each childhood memory under the weight of his father's secret. With the piercing gaze of a novelist, Boast transforms the pain and confusion of his family history into an achingly poignant portrait of resilience, revising the stories he's inherited to refashion both his past and his present. Heartbreaking and luminous, Epilogue is the stunning account of a young man's struggle to understand all that he has lost and found, and to forge a new life for himself along the way.
Hannah Pittard, author of the highly acclaimed The Fates Will Find Their Way, Pittard returns with Reunion, a fully-realized novel about a far-flung family reunited for one weekend by their father's death. There is no shortage of novels about dysfunctional families, but this story explores the incredibly complex emotional relationships between adult siblings in a way that rings so authentic and true that the reader feels as if they are part of the family. Written with huge heart and bracing wit, Reunion takes place over four days, as family secrets are revealed, personal foibles are exposed, and Kate—an inveterate liar looking for a way to come clean—slowly begins to acknowledge the overwhelming similarities between herself and the man she never thought she'd claim as an influence, much less a father. Reunion delves into the heart of what family means and how adult siblings can simultaneously share the closest of bonds and feel completely estranged.
Will Boast Bio: Will Boast was born in England and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin. He won the Iowa Short Fiction Award for his short story collection, Power Ballads, and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly, Best New American Voices, and elsewhere. He divides his time between Chicago and Brooklyn, New York.
Hannah Pittard Bio: Hannah Pittard is the winner of the 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, the recipient of a 2012 MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a consulting editor for Narrative Magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia's MFA program and teaches fiction at DePaul University.
Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River, The Necromancer’s House, and his latest novelThe Lesser Dead
Monday October 27, at 7:00 pm
We are excited to welcome to Boswell beloved author of Those Across the River and The Necromancer’s House, Christopher Buehlman, reading from and signing copies of his latest genre-bending work, The Lesser Dead, in which he takes takes readers to the dangerous and dirty streets of New York City in 1978 where a gruesome game of cat and mouse between the city’s undead residents and a formidable foe is about to begin.
Joey Peacock has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks. The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy. Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires…like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were. And neither are the rest of us. Both harrowing and humorous, The Lesser Dead is an expertly-crafted novel from one of the horror genre’s most exciting new voices.
"Buehlman offers up a colony of fierce, brazenly unscrupulous vampires who reclaim the genre from angsty goths and return it to its fearsome and ferocious origins." —Publishers Weekly
About the Author: Christopher Buehlman is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize for Poetry and the author of four novels, including The Necromancer’s House, Between Two Fires, and Those Across the River, and several plays. He spends half the year in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the rest on the road.
Craig K. Collins, author of Thunder in the Mountains: A Portrait of American Gun Culture
Wednesday October 29, at 7:00 pm
According to Craig K. Collins, Executive Director of The Center for Gun Analytics (CGA) and author of Thunder in the Mountains: A Portrait of American Gun Culture, more than 32,000 people are killed by guns each year in the United States, with another 82,000 wounded. Please join us for an evening with the dynamic and engaging Craig K. Collins, who will discuss and sign copies of his debut about gun violence, Thunder in the Mountains: A Portrait of American Gun Culture.
The overwhelming brunt of America’s gun epidemic is borne by men and boys. Statistics reveal that 95% of all gun-inflicted homicides in the U.S. involve males as either perpetrators or victims, and 97% of all non-fatal gun injuries in the U.S. involve males as perpetrators or victims. "These data are as sobering as they are tragic," says Collins, who grew up in a family where guns were viewed as utilities: as important to survival in the region as a horse, shovel, or pick and as much a part of life as driving a car. But the day he shot himself in the remote wilderness a hundred miles from the nearest hospital, experiencing unremitting pain and terror, was a defining moment in Collins’ life, a moment that would forever change the way he thought about guns. In Thunder in the Mountains, Collins recounts a rapid succession of accidental shootings among teenage boys in his hometown just before and after his own—shootings that left three of his classmates dead, one permanently brain damaged and one forever scarred.
"Unfortunately, I can speak from experience regarding the nature of gun violence in the West," says Collins. "Gun accidents and suicides were fairly common occurrences in the small towns where I was raised. And they still are to this day."
About the Author: Craig K. Collins is the Executive Director of the Center for Gun Analytics. He was born in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1960, and was raised in small towns throughout the Great Basin—Carson City, Nevada; Winnemucca, Nevada; and Bishop, California. He attended college in San Diego, where he has lived since, and holds a BA in English and an MBA from San Diego State University. After a stint as a journalist, he served as a senior executive for Fortune 500 companies. Later, he founded a series of venture-backed technology start-ups. He has won a number of professional awards for writing, marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Thunder in the Mountains is his first book.
Milwaukeean Pete Fromm, author of As Cool As I Am, presents his latest novel If Not For This
Thursday October 30, at 7:00 pm
We’re pleased to welcome to the Boswell stage celebrated author, Milwaukee native, and four-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award, Pete Fromm, who will read from and sign copies of his latest novel returning to the untamed rivers of the West, If Not For This, a stunning novel of love and the wild places it takes us.
In If Not For This, after meeting at a boatman’s bash on the Snake River, river runners Maddy and Dalt embark on a lifelong love affair. They marry on the banks of the Buffalo Fork, sure they’ll live there the rest of their days. Forced by the economics of tourism to leave Wyoming, they start a new adventure, opening their own river business in Ashland, Oregon: Halfmoon Whitewater. They prosper there, leading rafting trips and guiding fishermen into the wilds of Mongolia and Russia. But when Maddy, laid low by dizzy spells, with a mono that isn’t quite mono, both discovers she is pregnant and is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, they realize their adventure is just beginning. Navigating hazards that dwarf any of the rapids they’ve faced together, Maddy narrates her life with Dalt the way she lives it: undaunted, courageous, in the present tense. Driven by her irresistible voice, full of wit and humor and defiance, If Not For This is a love story like no other.
"If Not For This is a terrific novel, poignant as hell, but feisty, funny, and romantic, too. Pete Fromm is a powerful, lucid writer, a perfect guide to the unpredictable rivers and people of the interior West, to their deep channels and breathtaking turns." —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
"What do you do when you get everything you most desire in this life, but getting through every day requires you to be a superhero? In Pete Fromm’s smart, gorgeous, uplifting and heartbreaking new novel, If Not For This, you consider yourself damn lucky." —Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Once Upon a River
About the Author: A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pete Fromm is the author of ten books, including the novel As Cool As I Am and the memoir Indian Creek Chronicles. A four-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award, Pete lives with his family in Montana, where he can often be seen walking underneath his canoe to the river.
A Ticketed Event with Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Kingkiller Chronicles and The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Friday October 31, at 7:00 pm at the UWM Union Ballroom, located 2200 East Kenwood Avenue in Milwaukee
Boswell Book Company and the UWM Bookstore are excited to present a ticketed event at the UWM Union Ballroom featuring the genius behind The Kingkiller Chronicles, Wisconsinite Patrick Rothfuss, who will read from, discuss, and sign copies of his latest epic fantasy novel following Auri, one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world. Tickets are $22 (includes all taxes and fees), include admission for one and a signed hardcover copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things, and are available through Brown Paper Tickets. This event is co-sponsored by the UWM Bookstore. The UWM Union Ballroom is located 2200 East Kenwood Avenue in Milwaukee.
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes.
"As seamless and lyrical as a song...This breathtakingly epic story is heartrending in its intimacy and masterful in its narrative essence." —Publishers Weekly
"It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words...Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes...he'll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song." — Ursula K. LeGuin
About the Author: Patrick Rothfuss currently lives in central Wisconsin where he teaches at the local university. Patrick loves words, laughs often, and dabbles in alchemy. His first novel, The Name of the Wind, was a 2007 Quill Award winner and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and won the David Gemmell Legend Award. His novels have also appeared on NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Books list and Locus’ Best 21st Century Fantasy Fiction Novels list.
A Ticketed Event at Boswell Book Company with Colonel Chris Hadfield, author of You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station in conversation with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn
Thursday November 13, at 7:00 pm
Please join us at Boswell for an inspirational ticketed event presented by Wisconsin Public Radio: former commander of the International Space Station, Colonel Chris Hadfield, will discuss with WPR’s Kathleen Dunn (and sign copies of!) his gorgeous new collection You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station. Tickets are $30 (includes all taxes and fees), include admission for one and a signed hardcover copy of You Are Here, and are available through Brown Paper Tickets. A $22 gift card option in lieu of the book is available the night of the event only. This event is co-sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio with a percentage of each ticket sale going to them.
Colonel Chris Hadfield’s You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station is a gorgeous book of photographs that encapsulates Hadfield’s singular eye for our world as it appears from above. Divided by continent, You Are Here represents one (idealized) orbit of the International Space Station from its former commander. This planetary photo tour—surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful—is also punctuated with a fun, fascinating commentary on life in zero gravity. In the spirit of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.
"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe." —New York Post
"Hadfield proves himself to be not only a fierce explorer of the universe, but also a deeply thoughtful explorer of the human condition, capable of articulating those most universal of inquiries in simple yet profound language...The book itself is absolutely spectacular." —Brain Pickings
About the Author: Chris Hadfield is one of the world’s most seasoned and accomplished astronauts and the author of the #1 international bestseller An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Among his many accomplishments, Hadfield most recently served as commander of the International Space Station, where, while conducting a record-setting number of scientific experiments and overseeing an emergency spacewalk, he gained worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking photographs and educational videos about life in space. His music video, a zero-gravity version of David Bowie’s "Space Oddity," received over ten million views in its first three days online. His TED talk, delivered in March 2014, drew more than one million views in its first three weeks.
Other Confirmed Author Appearances
Saturday, November 1, 7:00 pm - Erika Wurth, author of Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, with James Tadd Adcox, author of Does Not Love
Wednesday, November 5, 7:00 pm - Bhupendra O. Khatri, MD, author of Healing the Soul: Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope, and the Power of the Mind
Thursday, November 6, 7:00 pm - Rick Perlstein, author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan at UWM’s Golda Meir Library, co-sponsored by Friends of the Golda Meir Library and UWM Libraries
Friday, November 7, 6:30 pm - Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, co-sponsored by Wisconsin Foodie (tickets are $90 plus tax and gratuity, which includes an autographed copy of Baking Chez Moi; for reservations, call Lake Park Bistro: (414) 395-8881)
Monday, November 10, 7:00 pm - Sapna Thottahil, author of India’s Organic Farming Revolution: What It Means for Our Global Food System - for more information, see the Event Page
Tuesday, November 11, 7:00 pm - Miram Toews, author of All My Puny Sorrows
Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 pm - Release Party featuring Lil Rev and Friends for the new album Harmonica Americana
Friday, November 14, 7:00 pm - Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This
Monday, November 17, 7:00 pm - David Bezmozgis, author of The Betrayers co-sponsored by the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM and the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center Milwaukee
Monday, November 17, 6:30 pm - Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Prune at Bacchus (for more information and for tickets, call Bacchus: (414) 765-1166)
Tuesday, November 18, 7:00 pm - Kim Wilson, author of At Home with Jane Austen, co-sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America
Wednesday, November 19, 7:00 pm - Kathleen Ernst, author of Tradition of Deceit