Monday, May 21, 2018

Events this week: Robert Kurson, Jamie Cat Callan, J.F Riordan, Owen Laukkanen in conversation with Nick Petrie

What's going on at Boswell this week?

Tuesday, May 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Robert Kurson, author of Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

Robert Kurson, the Chicago-based University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and bestselling author of Shadow Divers, appears at Boswell with his latest riveting history, the lesser-known inside story of NASA’s boldest, riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind’s first journey to the moon. For this event, Kurson will be in conversation with technology specialist Dave Shapson, an area technology specialist who helped on the research for Rocket Men.

In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon.

From Meg Jones's profile in the Journal Sentinel: "While researching his book, Kurson had unprecedented access to all three astronauts and their families as well as key NASA officials who vividly shared their recollections from 50 years ago. Borman and Lovell are now 90 and Anders is 84. All three are still married to their wives, a rarity for 1960s astronauts."

In addition to Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson is the author of Pirate Hunters and Crashing Through. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor.

Wednesday, May 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Jamie Cat Callan, author of Parisian Charm School: French Secrets for Cultivating Love, Joy, and That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi 

 Jamie Cat Callan presents an engaging and practical guide to cultivating inner beauty and mystique. This is sure to be a delightful evening for anyone who is French, has French aspirations, or just wants to add a little bit of that certain je ne sais quoi to their lives. Cosponsored by Alliance Fran├žaise de Milwaukee.

We all know that French women don’t get fat. But their famous joie de vivre comes from more than just body type. It’s from the old-fashioned art of keeping romance alive at any age. Filled with insights from Parisian women, this delightful guide shows readers how to cultivate charm in the age of Tinder and OKCupid and to find lasting romance and connection.

From first impressions, lively conversation (in person!), and cultivating social finesse to embracing femininity and communicating with grace and humor, this is age-old advice that’s more precious than ever in our disconnected world. For anyone who’s tired of texting with strangers who don’t write back, here’s an inspiring guide to a better way.

Jamie Cat Callan is the author of the bestselling books French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, Bonjour, Happiness! and Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day. Her books have been published in 21 countries and have been featured in major magazines, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time.

Thursday, May 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
J. F. Riordan, author of Robert’s Rules

Riordan returns with Robert’s Rules, the third installment of the award-winning North of the Tension Line series set on a remote island in the Great Lakes. Called a modern-day Jane Austen, Riordan creates wry, engaging tales and vivid characters that celebrate the well-lived life of the ordinary man and woman.

As the new Chairman of the Town Board, Fiona Campbell finds life has become a series of petty squabbles, complicated by her guardianship of the as-yet unidentified screaming goat. In desperation, she hires a newcomer, the compulsively orderly Oliver Robert, to keep her organized. As Roger’s fame as an idiosyncratic yoga practitioner spreads, and he and Elisabeth look for a new location to accommodate the growing crowds at their tiny coffee shop.

Meanwhile, Ferry Captain and poet Pali has an offer to leave the Island and wonders whether it is time to introduce his son, Ben, to the larger world. The Fire Chief is threatening to quit, and Fiona finds herself faced with an Island controversy and an unwanted set of new responsibilities. As Pete Landry prepares to leave for one of his regular journeys, Fiona begins to suspect his life may be more than it seems. His secrecy raises doubt about whether he can be trusted, and their breakup plunges her into grief. The reliable Jim, always nearby, is all too ready to offer comfort.

J.F. Riordan first moved to Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, studied voice at the University of New Mexico and in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest. She taught for three years before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs.

Friday, May 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Owen Laukkanen, author of Gale Force, in conversation with novelist Nick Petrie. This event is cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

Partners in crime (fiction) Owen Laukkanen and Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie convene at Boswell for a conversation about Laukkanen’s newest novel, Gale Force, the beginning of a new series of seafaring action-adventure starring a dazzling new heroine. Laukkanen's latest was just named one of five mystery/thrillers to read for summer from Carole E. Barrowman.

McKenna Rhodes has never been able to get the sight of her father’s death out of her mind. A freak maritime accident has made her the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by when a freighter out of Yokohama founders two hundred miles out in a storm.

This is their last chance, but more is at stake than they know. Unlisted on any manifest, the Lion’s crew includes a man on the run carrying fifty million dollars in stolen Yakuza bearer bonds. And the storm rages on. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves and maybe even her life itself will be lost. Filled with bravery, betrayal, sudden twists, and pure excitement, Gale Force is a spectacular new adventure from the fast-rising suspense star.

Vancouver author Owen Laukkanen comes from a family of fishermen and spent months and summers as a deckhand for his father and uncle. He is the author of six Stevens and Windermere novels, nominated for Barry Awards, an International Thriller Writers Award, and the Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel: New Voices Award.

Find out about the rest of the folks coming to Boswell on the upcoming events page.

Photo credits
Robert Kurson: Matt Ferguson
Owen Laukkanen: Berni Huber

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 19, 2018.

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 19, 2018.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
2. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
3. Death Rides the Ferry, by Patricia Skalka
4. Last Stories, by William Trevor
5. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
6. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
7. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
8. You Think It I'll Say It, by Curtis Sittenfeld
9. The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (ticketed event 6/15. Info here)

Our good friend Dennis came back from Turkey to tell us that William Trevor is very popular there, or so the Istanbul booksellers say. His legacy is pretty strong in the United States too, where Last Stories, his posthumous collection, has a nice pop in sales this week. Maina Vaizey in The Arts Desk wrote: "This voices perhaps the underlying theme of these yearning lives, with fulfilment tantalisingly always just round the corner. Here are tales of compromise and melancholy and uncertainty, yet with moral and ethical considerations also shadowing decisions."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Beauty in the Broken Places, by Allison Pataki
2. Would You Do That to Your Mother, by Jeanne Bliss
3. Pick Three, by Randi Zuckerberg
4. A Year in the Wilderness, by Amy and Dave Freeman
5. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
6. The Sociable City, by Jamin Creed Rowan
7. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
8. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
9. Phyllis Tickle, by Jon M. Sweeney
10. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston

Out this week is Michael Pollan's latest, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. From Kevin Canfield in The San Francisco Chronicle: "In How to Change Your Mind, Pollan explores the circuitous history of these often-misunderstood substances, and reports on the clinical trials that suggest psychedelics can help with depression, addiction and the angst that accompanies terminal illnesses. He does so in the breezy prose that has turned his previous books — these include The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Cooked, the inspiration for his winning Netflix docuseries of the same name — into bestsellers."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
2. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
3. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
4. The Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz
5. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
6. Embers of War, by Gareth L. Powell
7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
8. A Legacy of Spies, by John Le Carre
9. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert (event 6/13 at Boswell with Karma Brown)
10. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (event 6/26 at Weyenberg Library 2 pm and Elm Grove Library 7 pm)

Book Club update! We've added a fourth Boswell-run book club on the third Monday of each month and it's meeting at Cafe Hollander. On Monday, May 21, Jen and attendees will be discussing The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Two other book club picks make this week's top 10. The In-Store Lit Group will be discussing The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane on Monday, June 4 and the Science Fiction Book Club will be discussing Embers of War by Gareth Powell on Monday, June 11, 7 pm.

Paul Di Filippo talked up Powell's novel on Locus: "I knew readers were in for a great ride on the shoulders of a writer here to stay. And his new novel, the first in a trilogy, bears out all my forecast. It’s a smart, funny, tragic, galloping space opera that showcases Powell’s wit, affection for his characters, world-building skills and unpredictable narrative inventions."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Divided City, by Alan Mallach
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
5. The Color of War, by Richard Rothstein
6. Inspiralized, by Ali Maffucci
7. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
8. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
9. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
10. Not That Bad, by Roxane Gay

We had a table at the JFS luncheon featuring Matthew Desmond where we recommended books to read after Eviction. We actually featured 5 of the 10 books on this week's top ten: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (signed paperbacks available), The Color of Water, Hillbilly Elegy, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Janesville, plus of course we also had Evicted on display, and we sold those books too, even though many attendees received a copy of the book as part of their ticket. Ben Austen's High Risers almost made the top 10 hardcovers, coming in at #12. We probably would have sold more, but we sold out!

Books for Kids:
1. Endling: The Last, by Katherine Applegate
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. If You Had a Jetpack, by Lisl Detlefsen
4. The Book of Beasts V3, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
5. The Bone Quill V2, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
6. The Hollow Earth V1, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
7. The Rose Legacy, by Jessica Day George
8. Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate
9. Tuesdays at the Castle V1, by Jessica Day George
10. Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate

We had two authors last week who did school visits in the Milwaukee area. Lisl Detlefsen talked about her second book, If You Had a Jetpack, while Jessica Day George was in town for the The Rose Legacy, the first book in a new middle-grade series. Kirkus Reviews offered this nice review of The Rose Legacy: "In this middle-grade fantasy, orphan Anthea is sent from Coronam to live with her uncle beyond the Wall, where she learns that not everything she was taught to believe is the truth."

Signed copies of both are available. Here's what's happening on the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page.

Featured on the front page are books to read this summer from the Journal Sentinel from Jim Higgins: "Whether you’re on the road or staying on the porch this summer, a book can be your traveling companion." Here are the editor's picks.
--Calypso, by David Sedaris (on sale 5/29)
--The Female Persuasion, by Meg Woliltzer
--The Monk of Mokha, by Dave Eggers
--Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
--Robin, by David Itzkoff
--See What Can Be Done, by Lorrie Moore
--Sharp, by Michelle Dean

Carole E. Barrowman suggest five great mystery/thrillers for summer reading.
--Mr. Flood's Last Resort, by Jess Kidd
--Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin
--Gale Force, by Owen Laukkanen (event at Boswell Fri 5/25, 7 pm)
--A Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier (on sale 6/12)
--The Line That Held Us, by David Joy (on sale 8/14)

Here's what Barrowman had to say about Gale Force: "Call me Ishmael! This is one of the most original thrillers out this summer. Captain McKenna Rhodes has inherited a business that’s leaking money. Her marine salvage company is going under unless she can get to the seas north of Alaska in time to salvage The Pacific Lion and earn the insurance fee. The freighter is packed with SUVs on its decks and a dangerous stowaway hiding in its hull."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Events this week (though two are already at capacity and two more are close to it): Allison Pataki, Amy and Dave Freeman, Jon M. Sweeney, Dan Egan, Patricia Skalka, Rhonda Leet, Robert K. Elder, Jamin Creed Rowan.

Please note that the following library events are full to capacity and are no longer taking reservations. If you have registered, please arrive by 15 minutes before start time to guarantee entry. Please note that it is likely that we will not be able to accommodate walk-ups at either event.

--Katherine Applegate for Endling: The Last on Tuesday, May 15 at the Greenfield Public Library. For more information, contact the Greenfield Public Library at (414) 321-9595. We hope to have signed copies after the event.

--Victoria Aveyard, author of War Storm, with special guests Brittany Cavallaro, and Lori M. Lee on Sunday, May 20 at Delafield Public Library. For more information, contact Books and Company at (262) 567-0106. Also please note that if you are attending, there are signing restrictions for this event.

Here's what else is going on.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills:
A ticketed event with Allison Pataki, author of Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

Please note, this event is now filled to capacity.

Please note that registration for this event is near capacity. If you are planning on attending, please register at lyndensculpturegarden.org/allisonpataki-2018 or call (414) 446-8794. Walk-ups may not be available for this event.

Milwaukee Reads presents Allison Pataki as a part of the Women’s Speaker Series at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, produced by Milwaukee Reads. Pataki, author of several historical novels including The Traitor's Wife and Sisi, now tells her own story, chronicling her husband's brush with death, his slow recovery, and how their relationship was affected by the experience.

From Allison Klein's Washington Post profile, reprinted in the Seattle Times: "Dave Levy leaned over and asked his wife (Pataki) if his eye looked strange. Pataki looked up. She watched as her 30-year-old husband had a stroke and lost consciousness while they were 35,000 feet in the air. The plane made an emergency landing in Fargo, North Dakota. Pataki spent the night in a hospital waiting area while doctors worked on her husband. She didn’t know if he’d ever wake up."

If you haven't been to the a Lynden Sculpture Garden event, know that the evening begins at 7 with a short reception Enjoy a glass of wine or light appetizers from MKE Localicious. The talk begins at 7:30. If it's not raining, you're welcome to walk the grounds. Tickets are $30, $25 for Lynden members, include a copy (autographed if you wish) of her new memoir, Beauty in the Broken Places, and are available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/AllisonPataki-2018 or by phone, at (414) 446-8794.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm, at Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E Park Place:
Amy and Dave Freeman, author of A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters

Amy and Dave Freeman are biking to DC from Ely, Minnesota in support of their new book and to continue to raise awareness of their efforts to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They’re stopping in Milwaukee as they take their book and a petition of support over 1,750 miles across the country to the nation’s capital. Please note this event is pay what you can.

On September 23, 2015, Amy and Dave Freeman embarked on a yearlong adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in support of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters to protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. They shared their year in the wilderness in their blogs with hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens. This book tells the story of their adventure in northern Minnesota: loons whistling under a moonrise, ice booming as it forms and cracks, a moose and her calf swimming across a misty lake.

With the magic, urgent message that has rallied an international audience to the campaign to save the Boundary Waters, A Year in the Wilderness is a rousing cry of witness activism and a stunning tribute to this singularly beautiful region. This stop on their cross-country trip is being held at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center. Admission is pay what you can.

Amy and Dave Freeman's expeditions have taken them over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled through some of the world's wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named Amy and Dave Adventurers of the Year in 2014 and their images, videos, and articles have been published by the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, and Minnesota Public Radio.

Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 pm, at at All Saints Cathedral, 818 E Juneau Ave in Milwaukee: Jon M. Sweeney, author of Phyllis Tickle: A Life

Sweeney, a locally-based independent scholar who is also the publisher of Paraclete Press, presents his newest work of biography, Phillis Tickle: A Life. Sweeney was in active conversation with Phyllis Tickle at the time of her death about co-authoring her biography and is the official biographer of Tickle’s estate. This event is sponsored by All Saints Cathedral.

The founding editor of the Religion Department at Publishers Weekly, Tickle’s work influenced the growth of spiritual writing and interfaith understanding during the 1990s. By the time of her death in 2015, Phyllis Tickle was one of the most beloved and respected figures in American religious life. Sweeney examines Tickle’s personal and professional roots, from her family, and life on The Farm in Lucy, Tennessee, to her academic career and move into book publishing.

Sweeney also looks at pivotal relationships with John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, and Brian McLaren, as well as her great influence on the increasing number who adopted fixed-hour prayer, the Episcopal Church as a whole, and the Emerging Church, for which she served as historian, forecaster, and champion. A look at her early, passionate advocacy for the LGBT community, lecture circuit controversies, and projects left unfinished completes the picture.

Jon M Sweeney is editor in chief and publisher of Paraclete Press and author/editor of more than 20 works of religious scholarship. His recent books include What I Am Living for: Lessons from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul, and The Pope's Cat, a book for kids.

Thursday, May 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Patricia Skalka, author of Death Rides the Ferry

Patricia Skalka returns to Boswell for the latest installment in the mysterious Sheriff Dave Cubiak series, in which another Door County summer’s end is disturbed by a gruesome death, one that dredges the depth of Lake Michigan and draws up crimes from the past.

It’s a sparkling August day on Washington Island and the resonant notes of early classical music float on the breeze toward the sailboats and ferries that ply the waters of Death’s Door strait. After a forty-year absence, the Viola da Gamba Music Festival has returned to the picturesque isle on the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. Sheriff Dave Cubiak enjoys a rare day off as tourists and a documentary film crew hover around the musicians.

The jubilant mood sours when an unidentified passenger is found dead on a ferry. Longtime residents recall with dismay the disastrous festival decades earlier, when another woman died and a valuable sixteenth-century instrument—the fabled yellow viol—vanished, never to be found. Cubiak follows a trail of murder, kidnapping, and false identity that leads back to the calamitous night of the twin tragedies. With the lives of those he holds most dear in peril, the sheriff pursues a ruthless killer into the stormy northern reaches of Lake Michigan.


Thursday, May 17, 7:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd in Bayside Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Please note that registration for this event is near capacity. If you are planning on attending, please register at (414) 352-2880, x0 today. Walk-ups may not be available for this event. This event is free with admission ($8) or membership to the Schlitz Audubon.
Dan Egan returns to Schlitz Audubon Nature Center for the paperback release of his compelling and nimble chronicle of the many man-made hazards threatening the world’s largest source of accessible fresh water. Boswell is cosponsor of this event.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes was recently awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. Egan’s book is also the current pick for the PBS NewsHour – New York Times book club. In addition, UW-Madison just named The Death and Life of the Great Lakes the Go Big Read title for incoming freshmen.

Friday, May 18, 4:00 pm, at Boswell:
After-school storytime and activities with Rhonda Leet, author of Franny's Father Is a Feminist

DePere-based Leet appears at Boswell for an after-school afternoon of empowerment perfect for young feminists and parents alike, regardless of gender, with a sweet, straight-forward picture book that portrays the loving bond between a young girl and her father, who isn’t afraid of bucking gender norms to ensure that his daughter grows up smart, strong, and self-confident. We’ll have themed activity sheets before and after the event.

From Kirkus Reviews’ starred review: “Little readers learn what it means to be a feminist. As the title says, Franny’s father is a feminist. Feminists believe “that girls can do everything boys can do, and [that girls deserve] all the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities that” boys have. The book’s tone is informative rather than preachy, presenting feminism not as the only way to be but rather a sensible caregiving choice. An excellent primer on what feminism and allyship entail.”

Rhonda Leet grew up in Green Bay, and her passion for children’s books has grown from reading them to writing her debut picture book. A former educator, Rhonda believes all children deserve to thrive in the classroom and throughout their lives, regardless of their gender.

Friday, May 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Robert K. Elder, author of The Mixtape of My Life: A Do-It-Yourself Music Memoir

Mix up your own musical memoir at Boswell with Chicago-based author Elder. No matter which musical generation you belong to, from doo-wop to Daft Punk, The Mixtape of My Life is an instant conversation starter and a great way to rediscover the special tunes that played during key moments of your life. Elder provides more than 200 questions and prompts to help readers chronicle their lives through music and explore their personal soundtrack.

Evoking memories, stories, and long-forgotten mix tapes, this guided journal includes questions like "What was the first record you owned?" and "What song did you later realize was smutty?" and provides room to draw a favorite album cover or create the perfect road trip playlist. With dozens of quirky illustrations throughout, The Mixtape of My Life can be a great tool for your next dinner party, or simply something any music lover can enjoy for themselves.

Listen to Elder talk to Amy Guth on WGN's Saturday Night Special.

Robert K. Elder is the author of seven books, including 2016's Hidden Hemingway. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon. He has worked for Sun-Times Media and Crain Communications, and is the founder of Odd Hours Media.

Saturday, May 19, 2:30 walk, 4:30 talk, at Boswell:
Jane’s Walk presents Jamin Creed Rowan, author of The Sociable City: An American Intellectual Tradition

Jane’s Walk, MSOE Scholar’s Honor Program, and Boswell present an informative afternoon stroll through the city with author Jamin Creed Rowan, Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Brigham Young University, and MSOE Associate Professor Michael Carriere. Walkers meet at Boswell at 2:30 pm for a guided walking tour through the East Side that will return to Boswell for Rowan’s 4:30 talk.

Registration for the walk is requested, at eventbrite.com/e/45170056856. And find out more about Jane’s Walk Milwaukee at janeswalkmke.com.

The Sociable City chronicles how, as the city's physical and social landscapes evolved over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, urban intellectuals developed new vocabularies, narratives, and representational forms to explore and advocate for the social configurations made possible by urban living. Jamin Creed Rowan aims to better understand why we have built and governed cities in the ways we have, and to imagine an urban future that will effectively preserve and facilitate the interpersonal associations and social networks that city dwellers need to live manageable, equitable, and fulfilling lives.

Read Tom Daykin's story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Jane's Walk on the High Rise Bridge that previewed development plans below on the old Kneeland Properties.

And more about other Boswell upcoming events here.

Photo credits:
--Allison Pataki and Dave Levy credit Beatrice Copeland
--Amy and Dave Freeman credit Nate Ptacek
--Dan Egan credit Sara Egan
--Robert K. Elder credit Greg Rothstein

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Number one with a bullet! Here are the bestseller lists for the week ending May 12, 2018

Number one with a bullet! Here are the bestseller lists for the week ending May 12, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
2. Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
3. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
4. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
5. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjaming
6. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (event with Egan and Andrew Sean Greer on Fri 6/15 at Boswell - ticket info here)
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. Robert's Rules, by J.F. Riordan (event Thu 5/24 at Boswell)
9. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
10. Kindest Regards, by Ted Kooser

Warlight is the latest novel from Michael Ondaatje. Chrysler Szarlan of the Odyssey Bookshop described it thus: "Warlight is the unexpected story of two teenagers abandoned by their enigmatic parents in post-war London. Casually watched over by a dodgy cast of characters - petty criminals, opera singers, and panting greyhounds - Nathaniel and Rachel try to make sense of their new world while struggling to define their parents' shadowy wartime pasts. Years later, Nathaniel embarks on a quest to discover the disturbing truth, and his own unwitting part in it." More Indie Next picks here.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
2. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
3. A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey
4. Beauty in Broken Places, by Allison Pataki (event Mon 5/14 at Lynden Sculpture Garden - Ticket info here)
5. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
6. Prairie Fires, by Caroline Fraser
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. Fascism, by Madeleine Albright
9. Parisian Charm School, by Jamie Cat Callan (event Wed May 23 at Boswell)
10. Assume the Worst, by Carl Hiaasen

Taking the top nonfiction spot is Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo." Published for the first time, here is the true story of Cudjo Lewis, an 86-year-old man who told of the raid that led to his capture and bondage 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. Here's a story about the journey to publication of Barracoon by Lily Rothman in Time magazine.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
3. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
4. Sour Heart, by Jenny Zhang (In-Store Lit Group at Boswell, Mon 7/2)
5. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See (In-Store Lit Group at Boswell, Mon 6/4)
6. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
7. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
8. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
9. Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain
10. Homesick for Another World, by Ottessa Moshfegh (event at Boswell, Tue 7/24)

My family has been passing around Jenny Zhang's Sour Heart, winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. We hadn't read a story collection for a while in our In-Store Lit Group so this seemed like a great choice. Jia Tolentino in The New Yorker's essay on the work begins: "Jenny Zhang’s astounding short-story collection, Sour Heart, combines ingenious and tightly controlled technical artistry with an unfettered emotional directness that frequently moves, within single sentences, from overwhelming beauty to abject pain."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Rock 'n' Roll Radio Milwaukee, by Bob Barry
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan (event at Schlitz Audubon, Thu 5/17 - Registration required at 414-352-2880 x0)
3. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
4. Meaty, by Samantha Irby
5. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, by Samantha Irby
6. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. The Story of Act 31, by J.P. Leary
9. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
10. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley Du Fresne McArthur

Here are two fascinating but not particularly useful insider fact about the reissue of Meaty, Samantha Irby's first essay collection, now repackaged and updated by Vintage. It was originally going to continue the chicken motif of the Curbside Splendor edition, and only later changed to the hedgehog, which got a little angrier in another revamp. The book was also going to be turquoise, not pink. I think yellow, hot pink and turquoise would look great together. I wouldn't write off turquoise for book #3. Lime green would also be nice. Fans also learned that the FX deal talked up in our marketing is off, but they are still hoping for a development deal at another network.

Books for Kids:
1. Positively Izzy, by Terri Libenson
2. Invisible Emmie, by Terri Libenson
3. The Way You Make Me Feel, by Maurene Goo
4. The Novice V1, by Taran Matharu
5. The Burning Maze V3, by Rick Riordan
6. The Golden Thread, by Colin Meloy, with illustrations by Nikki McClure
7. Dog Man and Cat Kid V, by Dav Pilkey
8. Outcast V4, by Taran Matharu
9. One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
10. Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

I watched Amie hand-sell Bob at the annual Ozaukee Family Services luncheon featuring Barbara Rinella. Here's Boswellian Jen Steele's recommendation: "10-year-old Livy is visiting her Gran in Australia. It's been five years since she visited her Gran, and that's a long time - long enough to forget all about the adventures that were had. Like meeting a green talking chicken named Bob. You'd think that would be unforgettable. Not to Livy, and now, Bob is waiting for Livy to remember him and her promise to help him. If only she'd remember. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is magical, laugh out loud story that's sure to warm your heart."

Journal Sentinel Book Report!

--Jocelyn McClurg from USA Today offers an endorsement of Curtis Sittenfeld's latest: "The novelist (Eligible, American Wife, Prep) is a sharp observer of human nature and human relationships — especially the male/female variety — and she’s a hoot, an appealing combination in my book. These qualities are on vivid display in You Think It, I’ll Say It, a witty, breezy, zeitgeist-y collection of 10 short stories, her first."

--Also originally appearing in USA Today is Sharon Peters's review of Allison Pataki's new memoir. She will be appearing at the Lynden Sculpture Garden tomorrow (ticket info here--only 15 slots left). "In Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith and Resilience, Allison Pataki (daughter of former New York governor George Pataki) tells the story of the fear-filled roller-coaster months after her husband, David Levy, had an in-flight stroke on June 9, 2015...Pataki, a novelist (The Accidental Empress), chronicles the days and months of her husband’s hospitalization and rehab in a compelling and straightforward way."

--Nara Schoenberg of the Chicago Tribune reports on the success of Natasha Tarpley's I Love My Hair, 20 years after publication. From the story: "In the book, a little girl named Keyana, rendered in lively, evocative watercolors by the Caldecott Honor-winning artist E.B. Lewis, cuddles in her mother’s lap, wincing when the comb hits a tangle, crying out when the pain get too great, until her mom strokes her head gently and tells her a secret: 'Do you know why you’re so lucky to have this head of hair, Keyana? Because it’s beautiful and you can wear it in any style you choose.'"

Monday, May 7, 2018

Event alert: Too late to sign up for Luis Alberto Urrea luncheon, but you've still got time for Arundhati Roy with Parneshia Jones, J.P.. Leary, Bob Barry, Samantha Irby, Fierce Reads YA tour at Oak Creek Public Library, Amy and Dave Freeman, and Allison Pataki

Here's what's happening at Boswell this week.

Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union, 2200 E Kenwood Dr in Milwaukee:
A ticketed event with Arundhati Roy, author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, in conversation with Parneshia Jones

Boswell and the Humanities Division, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee present a rare evening with Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. For this event, Roy will be in conversation with Evanston poet Parneshia Jones, winner of the Midwest Book Award for her first collection, Vessel.

Tickets are $19 for the general public and are available at roymke.bpt.me. Tickets are available at a reduced rate to UWM students, faculty, and staff at the UWM Union Box Office only. ID is required and there's a limit of two tickets per person at the Box Office.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes readers on a panoramic yet intimate journey across the Indian subcontinent, following a varied cast of characters who become swept up in Kashmir’s fight for independence. The tale begins with Anjum, a hijra, unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. Then there is Musa, a Kashmiri freedom fighter; Tilo, his lover; his landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul; and the two Miss Jebeens - the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard, the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. The result is a shimmering, deeply humane novel that reinvents what a novel can do and can be.

Arundhati Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into more than forty languages. She also has published several books of nonfiction including The End of Imagination, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, and The Doctor and the Saint. She lives in New Delhi.

 Recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award, Parneshia Jones is a Ragdale Fellow and published in several anthologies including She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, edited by Caroline Kennedy and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney. Jones is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, a collective of Black voices from Appalachia and serves on the board of Cave Canem and GlobalWrites.

Wednesday, May 9, 6:00 pm, at UWM, Mitchell Hall, Room 361, 3203 N Downer Ave:
J.P. Leary, author of The Story of ACT 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms

Leary’s book chronicles one piece of Wisconsin legislation from forward-thinking resolution to violent controversy and beyond. Since its passage in 1989, a state law known as Act 31 requires that all students in Wisconsin learn about the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin’s federally recognized tribes. This event is cosponsored by Electa Quinney Institute and the School of Education.

The Story of Act 31 tells the story of the law’s inception, tracing its origins to a court decision in 1983 that affirmed American Indian hunting and fishing treaty rights in Wisconsin, and to the violent public outcry that followed the court’s decision. Author J.P. Leary paints a picture of controversy stemming from past policy decisions that denied generations of Wisconsin students the opportunity to learn about tribal history.

J.P. Leary is an associate professor of humanities, First Nations studies, and history at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. He is also a member of the graduate faculty in education and a faculty affiliate with the Professional Program in Education Center for First Nations Studies.

Wednesday, May 9 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Bob Barry, author of Rock 'n' Roll Radio Milwaukee: Stories from the Fifth Beatle

We're so excited to be able to reschedule our event with legendary DJ Bob Barry. Come early for good seats on this one - everybody is attending, or so it seems from what our customers are saying.

His popular “Bob Barry Calls the World” segment entertained thousands with cold calls to famous personalities, including Bob Hope, Sophia Loren, Elton John, and Cher. Through it all, Barry maintained a calm and fun-loving demeanor, even when mocked by the WOKY Chicken or nearly eaten by wolves on the air.

Packed with never-before-seen photos, this revealing memoir recalls the iconic DJ’s many celebrity encounters, his career highlights and setbacks, and the hijinks that made Milwaukee radio rock.

Bob Barry is best remembered as a legendary Milwaukee disc jockey and TV personality. During his career, he received numerous industry awards, chief among them Billboard Magazine Top 40 Air Personality of the Year in 1975. In 2001, Bob was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Please note this event was rescheduled, due to an April snowstorm.

Thursday, May 10, 6:30 pm, at Oak Creek Public Library , 8040 S Sixth St in Drexel Town Center:
The Fierce Reads YA Tour, featuring  Taran Matharu, author of The Outcast, Mary E. Pearson, author of the forthcoming Dance of Thieves, Maurene Goo, author of The Way You Make Me Feel, and Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Siren Queen

Boswell presents an evening of fantasy and adventure for young adult readers at the Oak Creek Library. This event is cosponsored by Pizza Man, and yes, that means that pizza will be served. We'll have lots of swag too! Register for this event at oakcreeklibrary.org/events.

Taran Matharu has written The Outcast, the prequel to the popular Summoner series, in which a lowly stable boy accidentally summons a demon and becomes the key to a secret that powerful overlords would do anything to keep hidden.

Mary E. Pearson is the author of The Remnant Chronicles series, among other books for teen and young adult readers, and won the 2006 Golden Kite Award for fiction. Pearson will be previewing her newest book, Dance of Thieves, which is a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives.

Maureen Goo is the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Since You Asked. Her newest, The Way You Make Me Feel, is a laugh-out-loud story with a Korean American heroine about summer love, new friends, and a food truck.

Tricia Levenseller is the author of Daughter of the Pirate King. In this thrilling, action-packed sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, a seventeen-year-old pirate captain must race her father, The Pirate King, to a legendary hidden treasure.

If you haven't been to a Fierce Reads tour, here's New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo discussing her experience in Publishers Weekly: "From the start, I absolutely loved being part of this group tour,” she said. “It’s much more fun and more relaxed than a solo tour, and [there’s less] anxiety about whether people will show up. You can be assured of lots of laughs and having a good time." We're positive you will have a great time too!



Thursday May 10, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Samantha Irby, author of Meaty and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

Samantha Irby’s second collection, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, was a huge New York Times bestseller and garnered raves reviews from Lindy West, Jenny Lawson, and Sonya Renee Taylor. Now Vintage is rereleasing her breakout essay collection, Meaty.

Back by popular demand, Irby’s debut collection laughs its way through a tragicomic adulthood: chin hairs, depression, bad sex, failed relationships, masturbation, taco feasts, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. Updated with with Instagramable, couch-friendly recipes, this much-beloved romp is treat for anyone in dire need of the infamous, scathing wit and poignant candor thousands of loyal readers have come to expect from visiting Irby’s notoriously hilarious blog.

From Irby's interview in Book Riot with Katie MacBride, on how Irby is blowing up: "You know what, I’ve been invited to a handful of interesting things, but I’m not special enough yet to be offered free transportation so I don’t go to a goddamn thing. I hate going places because the outside world is unpredictable, so I try not to go anywhere. The cat voted me Most Important Person in This Living Room and that’s enough for me."

Here she talks about the difference between the earlier edition of Meaty and the new edition from Vintage: "My first book didn’t have a copy editor. And that was fine because it was an indie press with a shoestring budget and the whole thing felt very cool and DIY when we were putting the book together. But this time around I had an editor and a copy editor and a marketing team and lawyers had to look over it, and that was the most excruciating process I’ve ever been through."

Samantha Irby lives in Kalamazoo and writes a popular blog called Bitches Gotta Eat. Meaty has been optioned by FX Studios to be developed into a show based on Irby’s life.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm, at Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E Park Place:
Amy and Dave Freeman, author of A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters

Amy and Dave Freeman are biking to DC from Ely, Minnesota in support of their new book and to continue to raise awareness of their efforts to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They’re stopping in Milwaukee as they take their book and a petition of support over 1,750 miles across the country to the nation’s capital.

On September 23, 2015, Amy and Dave Freeman embarked on a yearlong adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in support of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters to protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. They shared their year in the wilderness in their blogs with hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens. This book tells the story of their adventure in northern Minnesota: loons whistling under a moonrise, ice booming as it forms and cracks, a moose and her calf swimming across a misty lake.

With the magic, urgent message that has rallied an international audience to the campaign to save the Boundary Waters, A Year in the Wilderness is a rousing cry of witness activism and a stunning tribute to this singularly beautiful region. This stop on their cross-country trip is being held at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center. Admission is pay what you can.

Amy and Dave Freeman's expeditions have taken them over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled through some of the world's wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named Amy and Dave Adventurers of the Year in 2014 and their images, videos, and articles have been published by the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, and Minnesota Public Radio.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills:
A ticketed event with Allison Pataki, author of Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

Milwaukee Reads presents Allison Pataki, author of Sisi and The Traitor's Wife, as a part of the Women’s Speaker Series at the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Tickets are $30, $25 for Lynden members, include an autographed copy of her new memoir, Beauty in the Broken Places, and are available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/AllisonPataki-2018 or by phone, at (414) 446-8794. Light refreshments will be offered by MKE Localicious.

Beauty in the Broken Places is a deeply moving memoir about a couple whose lives were changed in the blink of an eye and the love that helped them rewrite their future. Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave, a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident, had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.

As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation for this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.

Please note that ticket sales have ending for the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Luncheon with Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels. We hope to have signed copies after the event.