Melissa F. Olson, author of Dead Spots,
Alex Bledsoe, author of Wake of the Bloody Angel and The Hum and the Shiver.
Melissa Olson is a recent graduate of the creative writing MA program at UWM (my apologies, as I recently said it was an MFA program--I'm so removed from academia that I didn't double check this hard enough). After graduating, she moved west of us to Madison, but when her new book got published by 47North (yes, we know who the parent company is), she looked to return back to Milwaukee for an event with Boswell. We had to postpone the launch until after she had a baby, however.
I asked Olson if there was someone she'd like to read with and she immediately thought of asking Alex Bledsoe, whose written a number of different series, including the cross-genre based Eddie LaCrosse books. The newest release, Wake of the Bloody Angel, has LaCrosse tracking down the pirate Edward Tew, just in time for the Milwaukee Public Museum's Real Pirates exhibit, open now through May.
Mel gives a thumbs up to Bledsoe's Appalachian fantasy, The Hum and the Shiver. Coming this summer is the sequel, Wisp of a Thing. Here's what Kirkus said about the first in the Tufa series: "This powerful, character-driven drama, set forth in superbly lucid prose, occurs against an utterly convincing backdrop and owns complications enough to keep everybody compulsively turning the pages. A sheer delight."
More from Bledsoe in yesterday's interview with Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel. My apologies on the lack of an author photo. Bledsoe's image will not load to Blogger, either as a jpg or png!
Friday, February 1, 7 pm, at Outpost Natural Foods, 100 E. Capitol Drive, 53212:
Polly Campbell, author of Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People.
We love working with Viva Editions, home of Phil Cousineau, Arthur Plotnik, and John Duffy, all of whom have appeared at Boswell. So when they called offering an event with Polly Campbell, we jumped at it. The only problem? How to do two events in an evening.
I talked to our friend Margaret at Outpost. We've worked with them both in the store and at their community room. And based on the material in the Outpost Exchange, I remembered that spirituality is a topic that seems to resonate with many of their customers (and ours). And when Hannah gave me a thumbs up on Imperfect Spirituality, I was even more enthusiastic. Quoting Hannah:
"Polly Campbell gets that we're human and imperfect. She believes that we can all make progress to become better centered and spiritually healthy people and gives us the tools to do so. Imperfect Spirituality is one of the most accessible self-improvement books I've read." (Thanks, Hannah!)
You can listen to Campbell on Wisconsin Public Radio's "At Issue with Ben Merens," which aired last Friday. And Campbell will also be on "Morning Blend" this Friday morning. That's the other reason I love working with Viva. They don't, as I call it, "book and run."
Friday, February 1, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Ian Rankin, author of Standing in Another Man's Grave.
When my friend John told me that he was reading all the Inspector Rebus books by Ian Rankin in order, I knew that Rankin was not just any mystery writer. And America apparently feels the same way, as Rebus's return to action (he's no longer an inspector, but he's still driving everyone else around him crazy) just hit The New York Times bestseller list, the top ten no less.
The new novel has Rebus working on a cold case, where women are disappearing along the same stretch of road. Reviews have been great. Tom Nolan in The Wall Street Journal calls the newest, a "suspenseful, atmospheric, often droll novel."
And as Alison Flood notes in the UK Guardian, "Did anyone really believe Ian Rankin was going to stop writing about John Rebus, the cantankerous, alcoholic detective who was retired by his creator, to much mourning, in 2006? In retrospect, we should all have known better: Rankin was always going to find a way to keep Rebus on the page. He's just too good a character to let lie."
More in Carole E. Barrowman's announcement in the Journal Sentinel, which also lists Mystery One's event with Robert Crais on Tuesday, and Rankin's appearance on Friday at 5. Yes, that means you can actually see Rankin and Campbell.
Still not convinced. Here's Anne's take:
"If you had to live or work with John Rebus, he’d make you crazy. Reading about him, however, is sheer pleasure. Watching him weave his way through a series of possibly connected old and new crimes, irritating colleagues right and left along the way, is fascinating business. And just when you think he can’t possibly solve this cold case, he does. Loved it!" (Thanks, Anne.)
Sunday, February 3, 2 (note this is a new time!) pm, at Boswell, signing only:
Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King, Zeitoun, What is the What, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and other titles.
And publisher of McSweeneys.
And the man behind the 826 centers.
The great Mr. Eggers is on a whirlwind trip through the midwest and mountain states, covering three events in one day. As a result, our Super Bowl Sunday counter programming (not quite, our event is 3 pm, giving you plenty of time to root for, well, whomever you root for) is a signing only, though Eggers will be happy to chat with folks. But not forever, because he has to get on a plane to Denver after our event.
So what are we saying here. You should be here by 3 pm to make sure you get your book signed, because Eggers will leave when the line is finished. And if the line is crazy, we should note that we may have to cut the line off, though I suspect we should be fine. This is a new start time for this event. He'll need to leave earlier than first projected.
We've bought a good amount of A Hologram for the King in its beautiful hardcover, and an assortment of backlist. There are no signing restrictions for this event, but I will note that depending on the line size, there may be signing limit on books brought from home.
Still on the fence about Dave Eggers newest novel? Carmela Ciuraru in the San Francisco Chronicle calls A Hologram for the King "an outstanding achievement in Eggers' already impressive career, and an essential read."
Hope to see you at one of our events. And please say hi, though I admit up front I can't do both events on Friday evening. So if you're going to Polly Campbell, say hi to Hannah and Margaret instead.