Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where Was Everybody This Weekend, and What's Coming Up This Week?

By that, I don't mean that we were empty of customers; we were actually pretty busy on Saturday, at least through the start of the 7 PM showings at the Downer Theater. Currently playing are "Jack Goes Boating" and "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger." I spoke with our pal Shari, who was off to see the latter (Woody Allen), and had really enjoyed the former, because of course it had Philip Seymour Hoffman.

What I meant was that we were really thin of staff. On Friday, Pam went with James Dashner to schools and was off to a teacher conference with Amie on Saturday. Stacie was at the Alverno writing conference on Saturday. And I stayed behind to host a very nice event with Rebecca Johns for The Countess*. As you know, this idea that the Countess murdered 600 of her female servants and bathed in her blood was preposterous, though we're not saying she was a beacon of light. What we might saying is that as the second wealthiest woman in Hungary and also a woman, she was a particularly juicy target. (In our discussion, Johns noted that it's been said that a number of Salem witches were similar targets).

Today is our green market (yes it's going through October) from 2 to 6 PM. Tomorrow (Monday, 10/18) we're hosting Sheila Bender, author of A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief. Bender has the honor of the most advance booking we've done, a full year in advance. Here's her website; the event is at 7 PM.

Tuesday (10/19) is Marilyn Taylor at the Hartford Avenue writing group at 7 PM. Jason's going to an author dinner for a hot book coming out this winter.

Wednesday (10/20) is John Reimringer and his novel Vestments. This novel has gotten raves from Leif Enger, Patricia Hampl, and Stewart O'Nan. Tom Franklin talked it up to us at a recently lunch (Yes, he's coming November 16th) and that convinced Boswellian Carl to read it, and he's been talking it up ever since. More on Reimringer's site. Being that the book takes place in St. Paul, I was hoping to get the article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but no such luck.

Thursday (10/21) we're hosting Mona Simpson for My Hollywood in the store, while Nancy Pearl is at the Milwaukee Public Library for Book Lust to Go, both at 7 PM. Want to see both? There is rumor that Pearl is at the Milwaukee Art Museum in the morning, doing a live show (9 AM) with Kathleen Dunn for Wisconsin Public Radio. More info on Dunn's Facebook page.

I learned from the Journal Sentinel that their original content can be posted online but the syndicated stuff is usually print only. I myself have a print subscription and greatly enjoy it. We don't get that many at the store, and generally run out of both the Sunday Journal Sentinel and New York Times. Good luck getting the Saturday Financial Times too. The allocations are very strict. Need it? Best off getting it in the morning.

Today's Journal Sentinel has a review of Mona Simpson's novel My Hollywood from Connie Ogle at the McClatchy News Service. Ogle notes how Simpson has probed the ties of family, particularly mothers and daughters, in her four novels, most recently Off Keck Road (though I think she's still best known for her first, Anywhere but Here). The story, as you've read here before, alternates between a mother and the nanny who works for her. Ogle's insight that there's an "Upstairs/Downstairs" tone to the book works for me. My original post on Mona Simpson is here.

On Friday (10/22), we're hosting Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia. Stefaniak, like Simpson, has Wisconsin roots (Simpson was partially raised in Green Bay, Stefaniak in Milwaukee), but heads to the terrain of her mother's side of the family for her new novel. Here's my original Mary Helen Stefaniak post.

And this coming weekend is a post unto itself. It's even crazier than last weekend.

*Our website is down today. Can't link to it, alas! But reminder that the credit card purchasing now works.

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