Monday, October 20, 2014

Here's What's Going on at Boswell This Week--Wendelin Van Draanen and Mark Huntley Parsons Tonight, Judy Schachner at Mequon Nature Center, Allessandra Branca at Villa Terrace, Larry Watson at the Sunset Playhouse, plus David Finkel, Jack Bishop, Will Boast, and Hannah Pittard at Boswell.

Here are our this week's events. You know it's October when we've got four events in two days.

Monday, October 20, 7 pm:
The He Said, She Said Tour, featuring Edgar-Award-winning novelist Wendelin Van Draanen, author of Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, and Mark Huntley Parsons, author of Road Rash.

Please join us in welcoming the He Said, She Said Tour to Boswell, featuring celebrated author of the Sammy Keyes Series, Wendelin Van Drannen, who will discuss the final book in the series, 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, 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).

Tuesday, October 21, 4:30 pm (note special time), at the Mequon Nature Preserve, 8200 West County Line Road:
Judy Schachner, author of Skippyjon Jones: Snow What. This event is co-sponsored by the Mequon Nature Preserve and Milwaukee Reads.

Please join us at the Mequon Nature Preserve for a magical event with Judy Schachner, the Mamalita behind the bestselling Skippyjon Jones Series, including Skippyjon’s most exciting adventure yet, Skippyjon Jones: Snow What, in an event great for ages 3 and up!

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?

Tuesday, October 21, 7 pm, with reception at 5:30 pm:
A Ticketed Event with Alessandra Branca, author of New Classic Interiors at Villa Terrace, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. This event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

Please join us at Villa Terrace 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, which goes to directly to 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.

Wednesday, October 22, 7 pm:
David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service, shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle prize.

Please join us for an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, MacArthur “Genuis” 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.

David Finkel is 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.

Wednesday, October 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
The Friends of the Elm Grove Library present Let Him Go by Larry Watson at the Sunset Playhouse.

The Friends of the Elm Grove Library presents 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. Tickets are $5 and are available at 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.

Thursday, October 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
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 Meat and Poultry with 450 Recipes.

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.

Friday, October 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Will Boast, author of Epilogue, and Hannah Pittard, author of Reunion

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 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.

Sneak Peek for Monday, October 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River and The Necromancer’s House, presenting his latest novel, The Lesser Dead.

It's an early Halloween for Boswell as we welcome Christopher Buehlman, reading from his creepy new vampire novel, The Lesser Dead. This time Buehlman 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.

Christopher Buehlman not just the author of four novels of genre-bending horror; he's also winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize for Poetry. Most importantly, he is Christophe the Insultor, a popular entertainer at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekly Bestsellers from Boswell, Including Review Links, Little Known Facts, and the Journal Sentinel Book Page Reviews.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. To Dwell in Darkness, by Deborah Crombie
2. Lila, by Marilynne Robinson
3. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
4. Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín
5. Blue Horses, by Mary Oliver
6. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
7. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
8. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
9. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
10. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, by Hilary Mantel

The Man Booker Prize was announced this week and the winner was Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North, about Australian prisoners or war held by the Japanese in 1943. For those of you who buy books because they win prizes, that's all I have to tell you, right? But if you want some recommendations, Ron Charles in The Washington Post writes "Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this — all the more so because it’s based on recorded history, rather than apocalyptic speculation."

Also on The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Alex Preston in the (UK) Guardian calls it "a novel of extraordinary power, deftly told and hugely affecting. A Classic in the making." But he also warns: "This is not an easy novel. The winding path of memory that serves for narrative structure can be disconcerting until we fall into its rhythm. There are scenes of violence on the "Line" that reminded me of The Part About the Crimes in Roberto Bolaño's 2666 – violence so relentless and brutal it threatens to swamp us."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Not that Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham
2. A Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker
3. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
4. Milwaukee Then and Now, by Sandra Ackerman
5. The Making of Milwaukee, by John Gurda
6. The Innovators, by Walter Isaacson
7. How We Got to Now, by Steven Johnson
8. Jesus, by James Martin
9. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, by Jeff Hobbs
10. Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi

How's that for a serious top ten? Our poppiest books books are by an Emmy-nominated actress and a James-Beard-award-winning chef. In The New York Times, Janet Maslin offered a very positive but strangely unquotable review of Being Mortal. She describes Atul Gawande's writing style as "clear and illuminating" and offers nothing but praise for both his thesis and the stories he tells to get us there. You can also check out Gawande's essay in New York magazine about how medicine has "changed the way we die, and not always for the better."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
2. The Shelter Cycle, by Peter Rock
3. A Share in Death, by Deborah Crombie
4. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
5. How the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny
6. Luka and the Fires of Life, by Salman Rushdie
7. The Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline
8. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
9. Best American Short Stories 2014, edited by Jennifer Egan
10. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

There was a little grumbling that folks are not thrilled with the new packages for the "Best American" series, but in the end, it's what's inside that counts. I'm mostly upset that series editor Heidi Pitlor stole my line that there are now more writers than readers in America. Arielle Landau in The New York Daily News is very pleased with Jennifer Egan's final choices in Best American Short Stories 2014, loving Egan's criteria of searching for stories that make her lose her bearings. Landau's on Joshua Ferris' "The Breeze" and T.C. Boyle's "Night of the Satellite." For those who want a little background, John Williams in The New York Times looks at the development of the "Best American" series since its inception in 1915. That's right, next year is the centennial!

Paperback Nonfiction
1. Unlikely Heroes, by Jennifer S. Holland
2. Through the Eye of the Tiger, by Jim Peterik
3. Germaine Dulac, by Tami Williams
4. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown
5. Christianity without God, by Daniel Maguire
6. Milwaukee Rock and Roll, by Larry Widen
7. No Struggle, No Progress, by Howard Fuller
8. What We See When We Read, by Peter Mendelsund
9. Shakespeare Saved by Life, by Laura Bates
10. Studying Wisconsin, by Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes

So it's not unusual for our top 6 nonfiction books to be current, former, and upcoming events, but the funny thing about this list is that our #1 book was actually postponed. That said, one of the schools we were involved with said the books were so anxious to get the books that they bought them anyway, including this week's #1, Unlikely Heroes. Workman has assured us this that Holland will be back in Milwaukee when she is better. The fans are really looking forward to it. Here's what Holland told Chicago Tribune reporter William Hagemann in his recent profile: "'Because I've been looking into this sort of thing a long time, I'm not necessarily shocked and amazed, but there is something that makes you scratch your head, especially when it's not a dog or big mammal doing something a human would do,' Holland says. 'When you see an elephant seal step in in a heroic manner, it's a bizarre situation. I think for me investigating what we know about other animals, and about empathy and sympathy and animal intelligence is an important part of this. I'm happy to see people more comfortable now than they used to be assigning these things to animals.'"

Books for Kids:
1. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
2. Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
3. The Dog and the Piglet, by Jennifer S. Holland
4. I want my Hat Back, by Jon Klassen
5. The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan
6. Freddy and Betty and the Halloween Rescue, by Randy Soudah
7. The Leopard and the Cow, by Jennifer S. Holland
8. The Dark, by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
9. The Monkey and the Dove, by Jennifer S. Holland
10. Clariel, by Garth Nix
11. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
12. A Halloween Scare in Wisconsin, by Eric James and Marina La Ray
13. Once Upon an Alphabet, by Oliver Jeffers
14. Monsterator, by Keith Graves
15. Telephone, by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Jen Corace

We have a tendency to just list the writer of children's books in our database, though whenever we can, we also put the illustrator. I wish the bookstore inventory systems allowed for 2nd authors and illustrators, but they do not, which of course means we often still have to use outside systems like our Ingram program to look things up. That's why it's so nice when an illustrator like Oliver Jeffers, probably most famous for the drawings in The Day the Crayons Quit, writes and illustrates a book - no complications (but while he's had bestsellers before, like This Moose Belongs to Me, nothing has topped the popularity of his collaboration with Drew Daywalt, so there's something said for the traditional model, right?

His new Once Upon an Alphabet, contains 26 stories about the letters. This book took a long time to write and illustrate - almost every story but two were changed from the original conception. And he told Robert Siegel on NPR's All Things Considered that he illustrated the book all the way to "T" when he realized that this oil paint/collage/multimedia compositions were too much for the story, and he started again in ink/ink wash with a little splash of watercolor.

In the Journal Sentinel Book Page, Jim Higgins has several reviews featured. First of all there is When Mystical Creatures Attack , by Kathleen Founds. The winner of the John Simmons award, this novel in stories is very funny, but Higgins notes: "As funny as Founds' book is — and it is a veritable enchiridion of comic literary strategies — it probes dark territory in the story of Freedman, the young English teacher. Her missing diary is a running joke early in the book, but when Founds reveals its contents later, it portrays a lonely woman, struggling with the legacy of her mother's death and her own mental illness, and over her head as a new teacher in a Texas high school."

Also on the book page, Jim Higgins also reviews How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means, by John Lanchester, which is at least in part, a modern-day, economic Devil's Dictionary. He notes: "Lanchester explains the weird Humpty-Dumpty turn some economic words have taken as 'reversification': 'a process in which words come, through a process of evolution and innovation, to have a meaning that is opposite to, or at least very different from, their initial sense.' Take 'hedge fund': That use of 'hedge' began as a word to describe a kind of investing that involved setting limits to a bet, like putting a hedge around a field. Many of today's hedge funds have little to do with that kind of careful hedging."

And finally Carole E. Barrowman rounds up her three mystery picks for the month. Alas, we booked our Tasha Alexander event a bit late, so we weren't able to get notice in the Journal Sentinel. The newest Lady Emily novel, The Counterfeit Heiress, which alternates this time between our protagonist and that of the heiress (the last one had an upstairs/downstairs split), "parallel plots that come together in a surprising way. Barrowman notes that the tagline of this mystery could be "the best sort of historical fiction." Our evening of British mystery features Tasha Alexander and Charles Finch (ok, they both live in the Chicago area) is Tuesday, November 25, 7 pm.

John Connolly's The Wolf in Winter is fighting for wolf rights with Jon Darnielle's Wolf in White Van. His newest is "set in a twisted town in Maine, with creepy selectmen, brooding Gothic Mansions, and an ancient pagan church" and finds Charlie Parker (no, not the jazz musician) in the town of Prosperous, founded by a religious sect, "mired in redness and sin" with a "populace bound together with bonds of matrimony, loyalties, and fear." My apologies, but I'm quoting within quotes a lot and have sort of lost track of where each source begins and ends. Let it just be said that none of the ideas are mine, and to really understand this book, you should read the original review. Barrowman suggests for fans of American Horror Story, Supernatural, Grimm, and other shows that tell of the monsters amongst us.

Oy, there's another book called Wolf Winter coming in January from Cecelia Ekback. And there was also Winter of the Wolf Man. And plenty more where that came from, including a bunch of self-published titles.

Finally the Barrowman book bouquet is rounded out by Murder at the Brightwell, a debut novel from Ashley Weaver. This mystery is set in the 1930s at a seaside resort, where Amory Ames offers to help her former fiancee Gil (she's sort of not getting along with her playboy husband Milo) and unfortunately Gil is then accused of murder. It's all reather messy. From Barrowman: "I adored much about this book, especially the romantic tension and snappy repartee between its main characters." And Weaver is a Louisiana librarian, which of course we all love.

Wow, another great selection of titles from Higgins and Barrowman. I just want to drop everything and read Kathleen Founds' When Mystical Creatures Atack.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Milwaukee Public Radio Fundraiser with Mitch Teich this Morning--Tune into 89.7 at 10 AM.

If you've lived in other cities, you may have noticed that Milwaukee seems to get more than its share of authors compared to some similar-sized towns in the Midwest. While it is true that a strong, event-driven independent can make a difference, and our proximity to Chicago doesn't hurt, there are other factors at play. It's my thought that one reason is our media is very good and is interested in authors and what they have to say. We are very lucky to have the Journal Sentinel Book Page, Wisconsin Public Radio (including Milwaukee's Kathleen Dunn), Morning Blend, and several other weeklies like Shepherd Express and web magazines like and Urban Milwaukee that regularly cover our events.

But today it is my day to give a shout out to Milwaukee Public Radio, 89.7 and Lake Effect in particular. There are few public radio shows out there that give a regular voice not just to topical nonfiction, but also to novels and even kids' books, and that's on top of everything else they cover. Their plate is indeed full.

One thing we always hear from both publicists and authors alike is that when Lake Effect does an interview, they always do a great job. I was a publicist many years ago and it was not unusual for my authors to get to an interview and for the host to inadvertently let out that they really didn't know what the author's book was about. Not only do Mitch and Bonnie and company know the books and authors they interview, they've usually read the book thoroughly. It isn't unusual to hear an author say, "That's a great question, and nobody has ever asked me that before."

So today I'm going on Lake Effect to chat with Mitch and remind everyone how important the station and the show is to Milwaukee. I'm a member of WUWM and we underwrite there as well. Hope you consider the same, and not to suck up to you or anything, but it would be really great to pledge during my appearance.

(I took a blog break so I could catch up with event booking. I'm hoping to fill in the gaps today).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Roundup of Recent Cookbooks from Rachel Khoo, Herve This, Yottom Otolenghi, Karen Page, and a Collobaration Between Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Oscar Farinetti.

Being that we have three major food events coming up, including Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen at Boswell on October 23 (free), 7 pm, for The Cook's Illustrated Meat Book, and Bartolotta events for Dorie Greenspan on November 7 and Gabrielle Hamilton on November 17 (both ticketed, with meal and book), it put me in the mood to round up some new cookbooks.

First up is My Little French Kitchen: More Than 100 Recipes from the Mountains, Market Squares, and Shores of France (Chronicle), by Rachel Khoo She is the new style of cookbook writer in the age of the Food Network. First a cookbook, then a television show (on sister network The Cooking Channel), and then a bigger profile cookbook. Alas, not much has been written about the network since it started up in 2010; is it still positioned as the grittier and more authentic little sibling? You can decide if Khoo fits the bill by reading this profile in the (UK) Guardian.

Sometimes a cookbook can come from a retailer, like that endless series of cookbooks from Williams Sonoma in the aughts. How to Eataly (Rizzoli) is a collaboration of retail czar Oscar Farinetti, as well as Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. Eataly has ten stores in Italy, 13 in Japan, and now two in the United States. The book includes the basics of shopping for ingredients, what to do with the staples, and of course, recipes. Moira Hodgson in The Wall Street Journal reviews the book, the store, and for good measure, another Italian cookbook called DiPaolo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy (Ballantine). It certainly compels me to visit their outpost in Chicago, but I'm not crazy about the name; the bad pun brings to mind a themed mall food court.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (Little,Brown) is an A to Z list of ingredients for vegetarian and vegan cooks, with snappy quotes from Molly Katzen "Karen Page's thorough, generous message is an intuition booster for every level of experience, and Andrew Dornenburg's beautiful images will make it all feel magical and pull you in, guaranteed" and Deborah Madison "What a helpful guide to anyone who is at a loss when approaching an unfamiliar plant, be it vegetable, fruit, legume, or or grain." I thought you should know that the author Karen Page and photographer Andrew Dornenberg are at the Milwaukee Public Market, this Thursday, October 16, from 6 to 7:30. It's not our event, but feel free to tell the authors we sent you.

Coming back for seconds is Yottam Ottolenghi with Plenty More (Ten Speed Press), his follow up to the cookbook Plenty, which Washington Post food and travel writer Joe Yonan called "the cookbook of the decade", at least informally. In his recent column, Yonan profiles the 45-year-old London restauranteur, newspaper columnist, and omnivore, who talks about the joys of black garlic (hot in the UK) and kashk, which is dried, fermented, and rehydrated yogurt.

And for a change of pace, here is Hervé This's Note by Note Cooking: The Future of Food (Columbia), a guide to using molecular compounds in your recipes. Here's the scoop: "Cooking with molecular compounds will be far more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable than traditional techniques of cooking. This new way of thinking about food heralds a phase of culinary evolution on which the long-term survival of a growing human population depends. Heré This clearly explains the properties of naturally occurring and synthesized compounds, dispels a host of misconceptions about the place of chemistry in cooking, and shows why note-by-note cooking is an obvious - and inevitable - extension of his earlier pioneering work in molecular gastronomy." Here's a link to This on the PBS program Nova. You expected Martha Stewart's Cooking School?

Monday, October 13, 2014

At Boswell This Week: Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett (together) on Tuesday, Deborah Crombie on Wednesday, Tami Williams Thursday, Randy Soudah and Jim Peterik on Saturday (not together) and Wendelin Van Draanen and Mark Huntley Parsons Next Monday (together).

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

Tuesday, October 14, 6:30 pm, at Boswell: (note time):
Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, with opening act Fox and Branch.

Barnett and Klassen, with their first collaboration since Extra Yarn, which received a Caldecott Honor, are back with the launch (yes, it's the first day on sale) for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. In it, two boys set off on a fantastic (and a bit fantastical) adventure along with their dog. It's really only their dog who sees what riches are buried along the way, but for these two boys, it's the journey that matters most.

Mac Barnett is the author of many books, including one of our favorites for 2014, President Taft is Stuck in the Bath and the brand new Telephone. Jon Klassen is known for his hat duology, I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. The latter was the first book ever to be awarded both the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal, the highest honors respectively in the United States and Great Britain for children's books.

Opening for Barnett and Klassen are our friends Fox and Branch, whose new collection of songs for kids (and adults) is Let Us Get Together. The new albums is a mix of traditional songs such as "Accentuate the Positive" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad" along with originals such as "Up in a Tree" and "When You Were Born." Playing on the record is Lil Rev, who'll be a Boswell to launch his new CD, Harmonica Americana, on Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, October 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Deborah Crombie, author of To Dwell in Darkness.

I continue to be thrilled by the authors who tour to Boswell, and we're pleased to note this is Deborah Crombie's first visit to the Cream City ever, and my definitive source on that is Jon Jordan of Crimespree magazine, who would know these things.  And both Jon and Ruth say that Crombie is completely delightful and will please both new and old fans.

To Dwell in Darkness is Crombie's 16th novel (our wholesaler says 15th, but we're trusting the author) featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, a pair of London detectives with three kids (two from a previous marriage and one foster child) and a menagerie of pets. James works in South London while Kincaid calls Scotland Yard home base, though he's been recently demoted. They are both handling multiple cases but their paths cross when a protest in St. Pancras Station turns violent, leading to a fire and at least one terrible death.

Carole E. Barrowman reviews the book in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And Shelf Awareness writes that "the darkness of the crimes spills over into the protagonists' household, creating a sense of conspiracy and unease that will keep readers anxiously turning the pages."

Thursday, October 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Tami Williams, author of Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations

Co-sponsored by the UWM Department of English, Tami Wiliams will discuss her new book, an in-depth historical study of the trailblazing feminist filmmaker. Best known for directing the Impressionist classic, The Smiling Madame Beudet, and hte first surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergymen, Germaine Dulac made close to 30 (fictional) films as well as numerous documentaries and newsreels. As an aside, distinguishing other films from documentaries could really use the coining of a retronym.

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. 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.

Saturday, October 18, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Randy Soudah, author of Freddy and Betty and the Halloween Rescue

Once an Eastsider, now in Brookfield, with a stint in Seattle, Randy Soudah has created a picture book of two kids who are so excited about Halloween, but first have to do their chores. But uh oh, they get lost during trick or treating. They find a policeman, but mom and dad always said to not go with strangers. Will this story have a happy ending? You'll have to read to find out.

Saturday, October 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jim Peterik, author of Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock 'n' Roll Life of Survivor's Founding Member.

Jim Peterik might be best known for being a founder member of Survivor (the original incarnation was called The Jim Peterik Band) but the first group he was in, Ides of March, also had its share of success. Their hit "Vehicle" hit #2 in 1970. Through the Eye of the Tiger chronicles Peterik's journey, including the rise of Survivor, what led to their breakout with the "Rocky" theme, and why it might have been even more satisfying to have a hit album with no "Rocky" hits.

I learned that Mr. Peterik also co-wrote most of the hits for .38 Special, bringing a pop sensibility to the Southern rockers. But things weren't all guts and glory, however. The band mates didn't always get along, and Peterk faced the usual roadblocks that cause musicians to lose sight of their music.

Here's an interview with Scott Shannon on the WCBS-FM website. Peterik notes: “A lot of the songs I wrote endured. I want to talk about those stories,” he says “It was a very interesting process. I’m glad I did it.”

And here's a sneak peek at next Monday's event.
Monday, October 20, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Wendelin Van Draanen, author of many books, including Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodnight
and Ron Rash, author of Road Rage.

Please join us in welcoming the He Said, She Said Tour to Boswell! Featuring celebrated author of the Sammy Keyes Series, Wendelin Van Drannen, 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. Come meet this dynamic duo at their Milwaukee stop on this unique cross-country tour!