Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Newsletter is Done (Again) Plus an Extra Plug For "We the Animals"...and a Few Adjustments to the Schedule.

It's been three weeks since our last email newsletter, which is one more than I usually want to go. Actually, I wouldn't mind getting one out every week, but I think I'd have to sacrifice the daily blog to make it work.  If I did things strictly by the numbers, I might consider it though--I'd say that accounting for our open rate of about 25% on the email newsletter, we still get about five times as many folks reading the newsletter as the blog, maybe six.  On the other hand, I have a little trouble compiling the RSS feed numbers with the Google analytics.

So here is today's newsletter, just in time for Rochelle Melander's event tonight, and primed to get a little more walk-in traffic for Dava Sobel at Discovery World tomorrow.  And here is a little preview, with us talking up We the Animals.

Pretty much every newsletter, I run through a few titles that are on our Boswell's Best list. Jason and Amie carefully hand-pick these titles as they buy the upcoming months of adult and kids books. Sometimes we decide that something was overlooked, and we'll add that on too. But these are just a small selection of the titles that come out every month. So I thought for a change up, I'd mention a non-Boswell Best title from the new release case at Boswell that is getting some love.

We the Animals, by Justin Torres, is a slim but powerful novel about two boys growing up, much like the author did, in upstate New York, where his father was a truck driver and his mother a brewery shift worker. It's not a memoir, but life turned into myth. As Scott Simon said on NPR, "Justin Torres' debut novel is a welterweight champ of a book. It's short but it's also taut, elegant, lean--and it delivers a knockout."

And here's a recommendation from our Mark: "We the Animals is vivid and alive with colors, sounds and smells. I tore through the book in one night, and found myself wishing that the story would've gone on longer, but Torres gives us everything we need to know, and he knows exactly where he wants to take us. Any additional elements would have diluted the story's power. The three young brothers in the story rush headlong into days filled with adventure and danger, both imagined and real. Torres's novel hits home with just how fierce, fragile, and fleeting boyhood is, and how we all must eventually discover who we are."

I think I'm in event overload.  In addition to a few disappointing turnouts, we've had a few reversals. Kathleen Russo will no longer be speaking at Boswell for The Journals of Spalding Gray on Wednesday October 26.  She'll be coming to Milwaukee, but simply won't be able to get to town in time for our event.  Instead we'll be celebrating Spald-o-rama with Theatre Gigante; the evening will be a talk from Isabel and Mark, plus perhaps a scene preview.  The show opens on October 27.

In addition, our Art Jamboree, originally scheduled for November 3, is now postponed indefinitely.  The folks involved in this program are sort of victims of their own success, and need some time to regroup. Sounds like they are doing a great job, and we'll keep you posted o their upcoming events.

That's nothing.  Just wait until January and February, when there is sure to be some weather issue or two.

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