Monday, December 10, 2018

December doings at Boswell - Kim Suhr's stories, Angela Brintlinger and Thomas Feerick on translating a Russian emigré cookbook, Eric Nehm on the Bucks, Carl Baehr on Irish Milwaukee, and a signing with John Gurda

Here we go! The last week of Boswell events in 2018.

Tuesday, December 11, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Kim Suhr, author of Nothing to Lose: Stories

Wisconsin author and Director of Red Oak Writing debuts her first collection of fiction, Nothing to Lose, from Cornerstone Press of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the second title in the Press’s Legacy Series.

Drawing on the rich complexity of the American Midwest, Kim Suhr peoples her debut book of fiction with characters that we know, carved out of the Wisconsin landscape and caught between expectation and desire.

An Iraq war veteran stalks the streets of Madison. Four drunk friends hunt deer outside Antigo. A mother tries to save her son. A transplanted New Yorker plots revenge against her husband. A man sobers up and opens a paintball range for Jesus. A women with nothing to lose waits for her first kiss. Personal and powerful, Kim Suhr's Nothing to Lose shows us a region filled with real people who are less than perfect, plagued with doubts, and always reaching.

In case you can't make this event, Kim Suhr will also be at Oconomowoc’s Books and Company on Wednesday, December 12, at 7 pm.

Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Writer’s Association. She holds an MFA from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Boston, where she was the Dennis Lehane Fellow in 2013, and her work has appeared in Midwest Review, Stonecoast Road, and Solstice Literary Magazine, and has been featured on WUWM’s Lake Effect. She is author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom.

Wednesday, December 12, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Angela Brintlinger and Thomas Feerick, translators of Russian Cuisine in Exile

Boswell and UWM’s Slavic Languages Program present the translators of Russian Cuisine in Exile, which brings the essays of Pyotr Vail and Alexander Genis, originally written in the mid-1980s, to an English-speaking audience. This is a delicious introduction to Russian culture and the problems of Soviet life, viewed through the experiences and recipes of émigrés.

A must-read for scholars, students, and general readers interested in Russian studies, but also for specialists in émigré literature, mobility studies, popular culture, and food studies, the essays in this book re-imagine the identities of immigrants through their engagement with Russian cuisine.

Beloved by Russians in the U.S., the Russian diaspora across the world, and in post-Soviet Russia, these essays narrate everyday experiences. Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the book has been translated “not word for word, but smile for smile,” to use the phrase of Vail and Genis’s fellow émigré writer Sergei Dovlatov. Translators Angela Brintlinger and Thomas Feerick have supplied copious authoritative and witty commentaries.

Angela Brintlinger has written, edited, and translated numerous books and articles about Russian literature. She is Professor and Graduate Studies Chair of Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Studies at Ohio State University. Thomas Feerick is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University.

Thursday, December 13, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Eric Nehm, author of 100 Things Bucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die

Cohost of the Locked on Bucks podcast and staff writer for The Athletic, Eric Nehm combines his encyclopedic knowledge of Bucks history and his passion for basketball into a list of Bucks fans’ most memorable moments, biggest personalities, and must-do activities.

Milwaukee Bucks fans have seen it all. They know the joy of a championship season and the despair of finishing last in the conference. They’ve welcomed legendary players with open arms and seen future stars slip through their fingers. With half a century of basketball in the books and a talented young core, the Bucks’ history makes a great story, and one that keeps getting better.

From the early years of the Milwaukee Arena to the one-of-a-kind play of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nehm covers everything that makes Bucks Basketball unique. 100 Things Bucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die will rekindle the fandom of diehards while introducing new fans to the rich history of the franchise. Loaded with facts, stats and anecdotes, this great new title will bring value to readers of all stripes.

Eric Nehm is a former producer and writer for ESPN Milwaukee, current staff writer for The Athletic, and cohost of the podcast Locked on Bucks.

Friday, December 14, 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
Carl Baehr, author of From the Emerald Isle to the Cream City: A History of the Irish in Milwaukee

Native Milwaukeean and Urban Milwaukee’s City Streets history and culture columnist Baehr discusses how the Irish influenced the political, educational, religious, and sports landscape of Milwaukee and their impact on other ethnic groups, overcoming early poverty and bigotry to help make Milwaukee the city that it is today.

Irish-Milwaukee history begins with the first Irish immigrants who arrived during Milwaukee's founding in the mid-1830s. Irish laborers helped shape the city by cutting down bluffs, filling in marshes, digging a canal, and creating streets. They were joined in the late 1840s by more Irishmen who were fleeing the Great Famine and starvation in Ireland.

It's a history populated with heroic figures like Patrick O'Kelly, the city's first Catholic priest and the founder of Milwaukee's first Catholic church. There was John O'Rourke, the first editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and Timothy O'Brien, who emerged as a hero during the cholera epidemics. Other colorful characters are the scoundrel Robert B. Lynch, kind-hearted Hannah Kenneally, firefighting hero Patsy McLaughlin, and militia leader John McManman.

Carl Baehr is the City Streets columnist for Urban Milwaukee and author of the Gambrinus Prize-winning book Milwaukee Streets: The Stories Behind Their Names.

Saturday, December 15, 2:00 - 3:00 PM, at Boswell:
John Gurda, author of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water and the newest edition of The Making of Milwaukee

John Gurda, Milwaukee’s preeminent historian, will appear at Boswell for a special afternoon book signing. Please note, Gurda will only be signing books at this event. There is no talk or presentation.

An autographed and personalized copy of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, or the brand new Fourth Edition, including an all new chapter, of The Making of Milwaukee each make the perfect holiday gift for any Milwaukeean, whether they’re brand new to the metro or a lifelong Cream City resident. Boswell will have more of Gurda’s titles available as well.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. His book, The Making of Milwaukee, was the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary series that premiered on Milwaukee Public Television in 2006. In addition to his work as an author, Gurda is a lecturer, tour guide, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

More in 2019! Visit the Boswell upcoming events page.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Boswell bestsellers, week ending December 8, 2018

What is selling at Boswell?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
2. Kingdom of the Blind V14, by Louise Penny
3. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
4. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
6. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
7. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
8. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
9. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
10. The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez

How are author's current books performing, compared to previous works? This is Daniel Mason's first novel since Boswell has been open, I should note that we've probably sold more copies of The Winter Soldier at Boswell than all the Harry W. Schwartz stores sold of The Far Country. I can't say that for The Piano Tuner, which was a big hit at a few of the Schwartz locations.

I'm guessing that the November release of Kingdom of the Blind will not dramatically increase sales for Penny's latest over her previous novel, Glass Houses, at least not at Boswell. And it looks like Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel, Unsheltered, will perform for us somewhere between The Lacuna (2009) and Flight Behavior (2012), the latter of which had sales about double of the former for us. Similarly, Kate Atkinson likely won't hit the heights she had at Boswell for Life After Life (2013), but Transcription is looking to outperform A God in Ruins (2015). In that case, Atkinson did an event at Boswell for Life After Life, so the numbers are not really comparable.

Finally, all comparisons to Richard Powers previous books are thrown out with The Overstory. His last two novels, Generosity (2009) and Orfeo (2014) sold in the single digits, but we're well into the triple digits with his latest, and I can't remember, in all my years at Schwartz, having a Richard Powers novel sell in these kinds of numbers in hardcover. And that includes The Echo Maker, which won the National Book Award.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
2. Conversations with Abner Mikva, by Sanford Horwitt
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. You Can't Spell Truth without Ruth, edited by Mara Zaia
5. Ottolenghi Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi
6. In the Hurricane's Eye, by Nathaniel Philbrick
7. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
8. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
9. Sister Pie, Lisa Ludwinski
10. Born to Be Posthumous, by Mark Dery

In a way, Michelle Obama is responsible for two books in the top three. She's the author of Becoming  (along with collaborator Sara Corbett, per her acknowledgments) and also mentioned she is reading Educated, after a recommendation from her husband. Now of course Tara Westover's memoir has been a bestseller since its February release and it also was just named ten best by The New York Times, but I'm guess the Obama mention didn't hurt.

When Jason says cookbook's have become more fourth quarter driven, he's not kidding. We have two books in our top ten this week, Yotam Ottolenghi's Ottolenghi Simple and Lisa Ludwinski's Sister Pie, and another at #12, Chinese Soul Food, is Aaron's pick, from Hsiao-Ching Chou. Many of you might not know that Aaron worked at a Chinese restaurant. The author is a former food editor at Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In addition to cooking classes at the Hot Stove Society, she's on the James Beard cookbook committee. Per Publishers Weekly, not a cookbook for vegans: "Chou thickens her fillings not with gelatin but with the natural collagen from simmered pork skin."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lord of the Butterflies, by Andrea Gibson
2. Colors of The Sun, by Douglas Armstrong
3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
4. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
5. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
6. Milkman, by Anna Burns
7. Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (In-Store Lit Group, Mon Feb 4, 7 pm, at Boswell)
8. Improvement, by Joan Silber (In-Store Lit Group, Mon Jan 7, 7 pm, at Boswell)
9. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
10. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney

Sometimes I read a book late just to see what makes it tick, and that's why I'm about a third of the way through The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Barbara Spindel at The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the book is " flawed, remarkable, wrenching, moving." She notes that your take on Life Is Beautiful will probably give you a handle on how you'll react to the book, which is currently #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback fiction. Here's another take from Sophie Cohen in The Jewish Chronicle.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Mettle and Honor, by Mark Concannon
2. Countdown to Pearl Harbor, by Steve Twomey
3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. 100 Things Bucks Fan Should Know and Do Before They Die, by Eric Nehm (event Thu Dec 13, 7 pm, at Boswell)
7. Call Them by Their True Names, by Rebecca Solnit
8. Somos Latinas, by Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez
9. From the Emerald Isle to the Cream City, by Carl Baehr (event Fri Dec 14, 2 pm, at Boswell)
10. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda (signing Sat Dec 15, 2 pm)

Issues and regional books drive nonfiction paperbacks, as is generally the case - Evicted and Death and Life of the Great Lakes falls into both categories. I know that biography and history bestsellers tend to skew hardcover, but what happened to things like self help and popular memoirs. I should note that our media table (which has both Beautiful Boy and Boy Erased) moves to the back of the bookstore during holiday season. Speaking of it, you can see David and Nic Sheff at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts on January 11, presented by Elmbrook Schools, REDgen, and Your Choice. Register here.

Books for Kids:
1. Santa Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins
2. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse with illustrations by Renée Graef
3. Bruce's Big Move, by Ryan T. Higgins
4. Tomorrow I'll Be Brave, by Jessica Hische
5. National Parks of the USA, by Kate Siber
6. Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins
7. Hotel Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins
8. Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, by America's Test Kitchen
9. Anthology of Intriguing Animals, from DK
10. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats

Interest in cookbooks includes those published for kids. America's Test Kitchen Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs brings the same testing rigor of other titles in the series to this volume, with Booklist noting: "The inviting, encouraging tone, which never talks down to the audience; emphasis on introducing and reinforcing basic skills; and approachable, simplified recipes make this a notable standout among cookbooks for kids." The sales pop was so strong I assumed that some of the sales were to another store for whom we effectively wholesale - and whose numbers I generally back out of our printed lists. But these were all individual sales!

Over at the Journal Sentinel:
--Charles Finch looks at five takeaways from George RR Martin's Fire and Blood: "There’s a riddle: 'What’s always coming and never arrives?' The answer is 'tomorrow,' but a reply of The Winds of Winter should receive partial credit from now on." Originally from USA Today.

Matt Damsker, also from USA Today, reviews Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, by Karina Longworth. He writes: "Film critic and creator of the popular Hollywood-themed podcast You Must Remember This, Longworth delivers much more than a warmed-over recounting of the eccentric Hughes saga and the famous women who helped define it."

Monday, December 3, 2018

In Between Holiday Shopping: Sanford D. Horwitt with Mary Spicuzza on Abner Mikva, Doug Armstrong at Whitefish Bay Library, type designer and illustrator Jessica Hische, Mark Concannon shares Wisconsin veterans' stories, Daniel's Holiday Book Talk at Shorewood Public Library

Things to do while you're holiday shopping

Tuesday, December 4, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Sanford D. Horwitt, author of Conversations with Abner Mikva: Final Reflections on Chicago Politics, Democracy’s Future, and a Life of Public Service, in conversation with Mary Spicuzza

Former speechwriter and senior congressional aide to Congressman Mikva, Milwaukee native Sanford D. Horwitt appears at Boswell to discuss his biography of the influential Chicago politician’s long life and career of public service with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff reporter Mary Spicuzza.

Abner Mikva's memoir chronicles his career in Chicago and nationally and details the many controversies he faced as a member of the US House and as a judge: battles with the NRA, the Nazi march in Skokie, Congressional gridlock, and US Supreme Court activism. His career culminated in a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by a young politician he once mentored, Barack Obama.

Conversations with Abner Mikva lets us listen in as the veteran political reformer and unreconstructed liberal reflects on the world as it was, how it’s changed, and what matters. Mikva is eloquent, deeply informed, and endlessly interesting. In this intimate, unfiltered encounter, he remains an optimist, inspired and inspiring to the very end of a remarkable life of public service.

Sanford D. Horwitt is author of Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy and Feingold: A New Democratic Party. Horwitt served as a speechwriter for Congressman Mikva and senior congressional aide. A graduate of Northwestern, he is policy advisor to civic engagement organizations. Horwitt is a native of Milwaukee.

Wednesday, December 5, 6:30 PM, at Whitefish Bay Public Library, 5420 N Marlborough Dr:
Douglas Armstrong, author of Color of The Sun

Former reporter, editorial writer, and columnist for The Milwaukee Journal, Whitefish Bay author Douglas Armstrong appears at Whitefish Bay Public Library with the latest novel in his series about newsroom life in the era of love beads, tear gas, and manual typewriters.

The murder of a newspaper reporter in 1967 pulls his colleagues deep into the contentious issues of race in America and the secrets of a troubled family. Did a nine-year-old boy pull the trigger? Alternately solemn and irreverent, Color of The Sun looks back at an era when the civil rights movement rocked the social underpinnings of a nation, including newspaper journalism.

Critics call Douglas Armstrong’s Life on The Sun “authentic, frenzied, and suspenseful.” In 2010, his debut novel,.0417 won the Council for Wisconsin Writer’s Award.

Douglas Armstrong was a reporter, critic, and columnist for The Milwaukee Journal who was on the scene during the anti-war and civil rights protests of the 1960s. He is author of two novels in The Sun series as well as Even Sunflowers Cast Shadows. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Ellery Queen and Boys Life. He serves on the board of his local library and school district and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and the Milwaukee Press Club.


Thursday, December 6, 6:30 PM, at Boswell:
Jessica Hische, author of Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave

Boswell presents a special evening with graphic artist and award-winning illustrator Jessica Hische for her debut picture book, which encourages kids to try new things, do their best, and be brave. For bibliophiles, Hische's art will be instantly recognizable from her work creating the beautiful Penguin Drop Caps classic series.

Registration is free at bravemke.bpt.me. An upgrade to a book-with-ticket option is also available for $19 and includes admission, a copy of Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave, and all taxes and fees.

At a time with so much uncertainty, this simple and uplifting book of beautiful illustrations reminds children to be positive and active in making each day the best that it can be. Journey through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities - all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.

Jessica Hische works as a letterer, illustrator, type designer, and relentless procrastiworker who’s twice been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Clients include Wes Anderson, The New York Times, and Chronicle Books.

Friday, December 7, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Mark Concannon, author of Mettle and Honor: Wisconsin Stories from the Battlefield

Former Fox 6 Milwaukee journalist and four-time Emmy Award winner Mark Concannon debuts his book, Mettle and Honor, which shares the battlefield stories of Wisconsin veterans.

Concannon captures the myriad emotions of war - a clear sense of duty, the fear of young soldiers in combat, the humor resulting from the absurdities of military life, and the unique sense of pride that one can only realize from serving their country. His book is part of the WMC, Wisconsin War Memorial Center’s Veterans Story Project, which features interviews with dozens of vets that capture an important oral history and provides a remarkable anthology of the exceptional experiences of Wisconsin soldiers.

Mark Concannon is a four-time Emmy Award winning journalist who spent 23 years as a decorated journalist with Fox 6 in Milwaukee. Mark is now President of Concannon Communications.

Saturday, December 8, 11:00 am, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave:
A holiday book talk with Daniel Goldin

The Friends of Shorewood Public Library present Boswell Book Company's proprietor Daniel Goldin, offering gift suggestions for the holiday season. This talk will feature fiction and nonfiction, books for adults and kids, from national bestsellers and award winners to Boswell discoveries.

The mission of the Friends, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is to provide financial and volunteer support to the Shorewood Public Library. As an advocate for the library, the Friends strives to ensure that it remains a vital and essential part of village life.

This talk will be held at the Shorewood Village Center, one floor down from the Shorewood Public Library. No registration required. A percentage of sales at the talk will be donated back to the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library for future projects.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Becoming, Butterflies, and Bruce, Bruce, Bruce - Boswell Bestsellers for the week ending December 1, 2018

Here we go!

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Walking Backwards, by John Koethe
2. Kingdom of the Blind V14, by Louise Penny
3. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
4. Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg
5. Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
6. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
7. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
8. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger
9. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
10. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver

The long-awaited new Inspector Gamache mystery arrives off from its normal August release date. Penny fans could tell you more about this than I can. But here's Maureen Corrigan talking about Kingdom of the Blind in The Washington Post: "As always, Penny’s moral vision and evident love for her own characters imbue all these situations with emotional depth. Over the course of this series, that love has proven to be contagious. (Full disclosure: I witnessed this adulation in person at the National Book Festival in September when I interviewed Penny about her work.) Kingdom of the Blind is an ingenious mystery that follows a thoughtful group of beloved characters navigating their way through a fallen world. What more could a mystery reader — or any reader for that matter — want?"

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Israeli Soul, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
2. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
3. Timefulness, by Marcia Bjornerud
4. Zahav, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. The Misunderstood Mission of Jean Nicolet, by Patrick J Jung
7. Milwaukee A City Built on Water, by John Gurda (signing only with John Gurda, Sat Dec 15, 2 pm)
8. Gmorning Gnight, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, with illustrations by Johnny Sun
9. Milwaukee A City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
10. You Can't Spell Truth Without Ruth, edited by Mary Zaia

Lin-Manuel Miranda's bestselling book, Gmorning Gnight: Little Pep Talks for Me and You is a collection of affirmations that originally appeared on his Twitter feed. Johnny Sun's illustrations are an important part of the package and Ailsa Chang interviewed him on NPR about the project: "I was aware of him much earlier than he was aware of me," Sun says. "But eventually I think we just started realizing that we were just kind of floating in the same space, and that's how we started to get to know each other."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lord of the Butterflies, by Andrea Gibson
2. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
4. Descent, by Tim Johnston (event with author at Boswell Mon Jan 28, 7 pm)
5. Improvement, by Joan Silber (In-Store Lit Group Mon Jan 7, 7 pm)
6. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
7. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
8. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
9. Lord of the Flies, by William Goldin
10. Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adje-Brenyah (In-Store Lit Group Mon Feb 4, 7 pm)

Usually we have a pop of sales for the In-Store Lit Group picks after we meet, but We're not discussing Hotel Silence until tomorrow, right? Did I forget to go to a meeting? But it's true that four of our top 10 this week are upcoming book club picks. In addition to Hotel Silence, Improvement, and Friday Black, Descent was just picked as our January Mystery Group pick. They'll be discussing Descent at 6, and then the Tim Johnston will have a public event for his new novel, The Current. And yes, you can buy Hotel Silence today and finish it in time for tomorrow's meeting. It's not that long!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Call Them by Their True Names, by Rebecca Solnit
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. 100 Things Bucks Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, by Eric Nehm (Event Thu Dec 13, 7 pm, at Boswell)
4. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
5. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
6. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
7. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
8. Countries of the World in Minutes, by Jacob F. Field
9. Independent Woman, by Simone de Beauvoir
10. From the Emerald Isle to the Cream City, by Carl Baehr (event Fri Dec 14, 2 pm, at Boswell)

Janesville has another publicity shot as GM closes several more plants around the country. Here's Goldstein talking about the new development in The Washington Post: "The workweek after Thanksgiving opened with a shudder as General Motors announced that it would stop production at four U.S. plants and one in Canada, dooming more than 14,000 jobs. As protesting workers walked out of their assembly plant into freezing rain east of Toronto, and as President Trump upbraided GM chief executive Mary Barra for killing jobs in Ohio, what struck me most was the eerie echo of another announcement by the same automaker a decade ago."

Books for Kids:
1. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse and Renée Graef
2. Look Write See, by Milwaukee Art Museum Docents
3. Meltdown: Diary of a Wimpy Kid V13, by Jeff Kinney
4. Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins
5. Tomorrow I'll Be Brave, by Jessica Hische
6. National Parks of the USA, by Kate Siber
7. Santa Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins
8. Jangles: A Fish Story, by David Shannon
9. Bruce's Big Move, by Ryan T. Higgins
10. Hotel Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins

It was all Bruce all the time this week as we had the bear extraordinaire visit three schools on Friday and three libraries on Saturday, in conjunction with the release of Santa Bruce. You'll definitely see another placement from Bruce next week. Kids and parents loved having their pictures taken with Bruce. And yes, each attendee got to have their book stamped by Bruce himself. We have some Bruce books with special Bruce signatures at Boswell. We'll have one more appearance at Boswell today, December 2, sometime between 4 and 5 pm.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins rounds up recently published graphic novels and memoirs.

--Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home, by Nora Krug
--Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, Adapted by Ari Folman, with illustrations by David Polonsky
--Kafkaesque: Fourteen Stories, by Peter Kuper
--Rx: A Graphic Memoir, by Rachel Lindsay
--Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol, A Factual Fairytale, by Typex

Plus USA Today's Jennifer Coburn reviews Tony's Wife, the new novel from Adriana Trigiani:"Chi Chi’s lifeguarding skills are put to use only once in Adriana Trigiani’s historical novel “Tony’s Wife” (Harper), but the incident gives us a glimpse into the character of the twenty- something daughter of Italian immigrants. Her ability to save drowning men will serve Chi Chi well throughout her life with popular crooner and serial philanderer Tony Arma, stage name for Saverio Armandonada."

Jonathan Elderfeld reviews Let's Go (So We Can Get Back), the memoir from Jeff Tweedy, which has already had several weeks in Boswell's top 10. This review is from AP: "The book will appeal to diehard fans eager to learn about the inner working of the group and Tweedy’s relationships with bandmates past and present, in particular, the two Jays, as he refers to them (Jay Farrar, with whom Tweedy formed Uncle Tupelo, and Jay Bennett of Wilco), but it will also appeal to those interested in the artist’s inner life. "

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Celebrating Aaron Boyd's illustrations: Signed copies of Luigi and the Barefoot Races, Calling the Water Drum, the Snowtoad tee, and more

With snow on the ground, it's time to celebrate the season with our special Snowtoad tee shirt, created by Boswellian Aaron Boyd. We have a limited selection of sizes at a special price of $10.*

While we're talking about Boyd, may we remind you that we also have autographed copies of several of Aaron's books.

Calling the Water Drum, written by Latisha Redding. From Kirkus: " Redding's distinguished text sensitively portrays the tragedies young Henri and Karrine have faced, and Boyd's watercolor illustrations expressively convey the love of Henris family, the perils of their sea crossing, and the range of emotions he experiences as he finds his way in New York with his uncle and friends. Moving."

Melena's Jubilee, written by Zetta Elliott. From Publishers Weekly: "Befitting the sense of grace that Melena clings to, Boyd's vibrant mixed-media images evoke the heft and poise of stained glass windows, whether showing Melena and her elders picking garden vegetables or the girl and her friends perched on the jungle gym, gazing at swirling clouds."

Luigi and the Barefoot Races, written by Dan Paley. Kirkus writes: "Boyd's bright illustrations move right along with the action and depict a multicultural community from a variety of panoramic and close-up perspectives."

Janna and the Kings, written by Patricia Smith. Winner of Lee and Low's New Voices Award. Citing Booklist: "Boyd’s bright watercolor spreads nicely interpret the characters’ emotions and sense of community."

Babu's Song, written by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. The School Library Journal take: "Boyd’s impressionistic watercolors capture the rich colors of the countryside and the market and effectively convey the story’s emotions. Babu’s Song will resonate with a wide range of readers."

We're so excited by Mr. Boyd's next illustration for the store, but we're not officially releasing it until 2019. That said, if you follow Boyd on Facebook, you've already seen it.

*At this point, we're out of unisex (traditional cut) 3X and fitted (what was called women's or junior cut) small and XL. We only have one unisex small and 2X and multiples of the other sizes.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Boswell Celebrates Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Wocka Wocka Wednesday (only Fozzie-themed gifts) and the rest of the week: Patrick J. Jung on Nicolet, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook at the JCC,

Here are the Boswell happenings

Tuesday, November 27, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Patrick J. Jung, author of The Misunderstood Mission of Jean Nicolet: Uncovering the Story of the 1634 Journey

Milwaukee School of Engineering Professor of History Patrick J. Jung delves into the history of Wisconsin wanderer Jean Nicolet.

For years, schoolchildren heard the story of Jean Nicolet’s arrival in Wisconsin. But the popularized image of the hapless explorer landing with robe billowing and guns blazing, believing himself to have found a passage to China, is based on scant evidence - a false narrative perpetuated by fanciful artists’ renditions and repetition.

Recently, historians have pieced together a story that is more complicated and more interesting. Jung synthesizes the research about Nicolet and his superior Samuel de Champlain, whose diplomatic goals in the region are crucial to understanding Nicolet’s journey across the Great Lakes. Additionally, historical details about Franco-Indian relations and the search for the Northwest Passage provide a framework for understanding Nicolet’s famed mission.

Patrick J. Jung is a professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a Ph.D. in history and anthropology and is author of The Black Hawk War of 1832, The Nicolet Corrigenda: New France Revisited with coauthor Nancy Oestreich Lurie, and The Battle of Wisconsin Heights: Thunder on the Wisconsin.

Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 PM, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Boulevard
A ticketed event with Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, authors of Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious  

2017 James Beard Outstanding Chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner, Steven Cook, owners of Zahav, Federal Donuts, and other restaurants, weave together history and delicious food in this demonstration and discussion at the Harry and Rose Samson Jewish Community Center, cosponsored by the Israeli Center and Boswell.

For this event Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook will be in conversation with Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie.

Tickets for this event are available at jccmilwaukee.org/israeli-soul. $40 for one person, $60 for two, includes admission, one copy of Israeli Soul, and delicious appetizers.

For their first major book since the trailblazing Zahav, Solomonov and Cook go straight to the food of the people, the great dishes that are the soul of Israeli cuisine. Usually served from hole-in-the-wall restaurants or market stalls, these specialties have been passed down through generations. The authors scoured bustling cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and sleepy towns on mountaintops, visiting bakeries, juice carts, beaches, even weddings, to find the best recipes. Perfected for the home kitchen, recipes include falafel and pita, grilled and roasted spice-rubbed meats, stuffed vegetables, chopped vegetable salads, pastries, ice creams, and shakes.

Kyle Cherek is a culinary historian, food essayist, and host of Wisconsin Foodie, and a is also a contributor to Lake Effect on WUWM. Cherek has been awarded the Wisconsin Broadcast Association Award twice for his essays on food culture.

James Beard award-winning Michael Solomonov is the executive chef of Zahav, an Eater essential restaurant, and the 2016 Eater Chef of the Year. Steven Cook, with Solomonov, wrote Federal Donuts and the award-winning Zahav. Together, they own Zahav, Federal Donuts, and Abe Fisher restaurants.

Thursday, November 29, 4:00 PM, at UWM Lapham Hall, 3209 N Maryland Ave, Room N101:
Marcia Bjornerud, author of Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World

UWM’s Department of Geoscience presents Lawrence University Geology Chair Marcia Bjornerud for a discussion of her newest work, which explains why an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms is critical to our planetary survival. Cosponsored by Boswell.

Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet’s past and determine the pace of processes like mountain building and erosion, comparing them with the unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system - some fast, some slow - demand a poly-temporal worldview, which Bjornerud calls “timefulness.” She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society.

This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history and the magnitude of our effect on the planet.

Marcia Bjornerud is Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology and Chair of Geology at Lawrence University. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth and a contributing writer for Elements, The New Yorker’s science and technology blog. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 29, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Milwaukee Art Museum Docents, authors of Look, Write, See: Activities for Teaching Writing and Looking at Art

Join docents from Milwaukee Art Museum, including Mary ‘Peetie’ Basson, Jody Baxter, and Jee-Won Schally, as they present the book Look, Write, See, a collaborative endeavor developed to help teach writing and encourage closer looking at art. Cohosted by Milwaukee Art Museum.

Twenty activities are paired with works of art from the Milwaukee Art Museum's Collection, but each can easily be used with other works-and at other museums. The magic of these activities happens in the combination of close looking, writing, listening to what others see, and looking again. Children and adults will be amazed at what there is to find and see!

The heart of the interaction is writing that enhances an appreciation of art, and art returns the favor by enriching our understanding of writing. The beauty of these activities is that you do not need to be trained in art to enjoy and learn from it. With this book, museum goers will look more closely, think more personally, and engage in dialogue in the galleries.

Look, Write, See is a collaborative effort created by docents at Milwaukee Art Museum.

Friday, November 30, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
John Koethe, author of Walking Backwards: Poems 1966-2016

Join us for a special evening celebrating the release of the collected work of John Koethe, UWM’s Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Milwaukee’s own philosopher-poet, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award.

Walking Backwards gathers for the first time Koethe’s award-winning body of work. These poems, always dynamic and in process, never static or complete, luxuriate in the questions that punctuate the most humdrum of routines, rendering a robust portrait of an individual: complicated, quotidian, and resounding with truth.

Pulitzer-winning poet John Ashbery said, “Solemn and playful, John Koethe’s poems lock themselves gradually but firmly into one’s memory.”

John Koethe has published eleven books of poetry. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry, and is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at UWM.

Saturday, December 1:
10:00 AM at West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave
Noon at Cudahy Family Library, 3500 E Library Dr
2:00 PM at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W Layton Ave
Bruce the Bear, hero of Mother Bruce and Santa Bruce

Everyone’s favorite bear is coming to Milwaukee! Bruce, the hero of Mother Bruce, is coming to town (in costume form) for the publication of Ryan T. Higgins’s picture book Santa Bruce.

Each library will have a story time, and children and adults will have a chance to pose for pictures with Bruce and get his "autograph" (custom Bear stamp). Boswell will have Higgins books for sale at each library. Please note, Higgins will not be present at these events. Perfect for adults and kids 4+.

Bruce is many things - a reluctant mother, a harangued hotelier, and an all-around magnet for chaos. But one thing Bruce is definitely not? He is not Santa Claus. But that doesn't stop the whole forest from giving him their Christmas wishes in the fourth installment of mistaken identity fun with the hilarious bear who just can't catch a break.

While Ryan T. Higgins is not appearing at these events, we should note that he received the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor for Mother Bruce. 

Saturday, December 1, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Andrea Gibson, author of Lord of the Butterflies
in conversation with Audrey Nowakowski of Lake Effect

Poet, activist, spoken-word artist, and author of stirring, introspective poetry collections such as Take Me With You and Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, Andrea Gibson appears at Boswell for a special evening in which they will speak and perform poems from their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies.

After the performance, Gibson will be in conversation with Audrey Nowakowski, producer at WUWM's Lake Effect.

Register for free at gibsonmke.bpt.me or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option for $17, which includes admission to the event, a copy of Lord of the Butterflies, and priority on the signing line. If we are near capacity for this event, Boswell will close to the general public, so be sure to register today!

Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. The honesty of Gibson's work makes audiences and readers feel welcome as they are. With artful, nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

Andrea Gibson began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008, Gibson won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Gibson is the author of four previous books of poetry and has released seven spoken-word albums.

Audrey Nowakowski is a producer at WUWM's Lake Effect since 2014. She is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University and has also worked at WMSE.

*It turns out there's nothing happening on Cyber Monday except our recovery from the weekend. More at Boswell's upcoming events page.