Friday, April 19, 2013

Stacie Spots Four Upcoming Novels with Birds on the Cover, All With Giant Posters.

Stacie put up some upcoming event signs and noticed that a whole bunch of them had birds, including:

a. Brian Kimberling, coming for Snapper on Thursday, April 25, 7 pm, at Boswell.
We love this book, but it's tricky for a first novel where the event is so close to the on-sale date but there's no family or friends component. Stacie designed a bird display to help promote the book.

Here's a recommendation from Hannah: "While reading Snapper, you get to know your new fictional best friend, Nathan Lochmueller. Why, you ask, is he so great? It's because he's a born storyteller! He's able to take all of the good, weird, and nostalgic times of life in Evansville, Indiana and make them the most compelling reading you never knew you were missing."

Of all the books listed, this is the most appealing to birdwatchers.

b. Mary Robinette Kowal, coming for Without a Summer on Monday, May 13, 7 pm.
Robinette blends speculative and romantic elements in a way that can intrigure folks interested in either genre. Jane at our store is reading this as a loyal member of JASNA (the Jane Austen Society of North America, to which Kowal also belongs), but another fan is Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel who wrote in 2012 "What impressed me most about this smoothly written novel is how seamlessly Kowal has woven the magic into the story, and devised a form of magic that fits the Ellsworths' world. The creating of illusions to make a mundane world more pleasant -- that's of a piece with the music and painting young women of this era were already learning."

c. Dale Kushner, author of The Conditions of Love, on Thursday, May 16, 7 pm.

From the publisher: "In 1953, ten-year-old Eunice lives in the backwaters of Wisconsin with her outrageously narcissistic mother, a manicurist and movie star worshipper. Abandoned by her father as an infant, Eunice worries that she will become a misfit like her mother. When her mother's lover, the devoted Sam, moves in, Eunice imagines her life will finally become normal. But her hope dissolves when Sam gets kicked out, and she is again alone with her mother. A freak storm sends Eunice away from all things familiar. Rescued by the shaman-like Rose, Eunice's odyssey continues with a stay in a hermit's shack and ends with a passionate love affair with an older man. Through her capacity to redefine herself, reject bitterness and keep her heart open, she survives and flourishes. In this, she is both ordinary and heroic. At once fable and realistic story, The Conditions of Love is a book about emotional and physical survival. Through sheer force of will, Eunice saves herself from a doomed life." Comparisons are to Elizabeth Strout and Mona Simpson.

Kushner's debut novel had the usual kind of conversation in booking it. She's a Wisconsin writer with a high profile release, so I did an inquiry, first checking to see if she had a strong enough family and friends base for a local launch. As she doesn't have a Milwaukee background, our next thought was to pair her up with another novelist, especially because we have a lot of debuts out this season, and there's something really great about two authors having a conversation, which always winds up happening during the question part of the talk. Our first thought was to pair her with Rebecca Kanner and have a flood theme (as Sinners and the Sea is about Noah's wife, and Kushner's novel also has a flood as a pivotal plot point). But being that we have flood warnings, I'm glad we didn't do this as it could have turned out not so great. Kanner is now reading with Joshua Henkin on April 30.

And then we looked to Andrea Lochen, a Wauwatosa writer who is coming out with The Repeat Year. Both authors have taught writing. They might have some interesting things to say to each other, particularly if it turns out there are plot or thematic connections that I haven't caught yet. This is a game you can play, by the way. Pair up any two books and try to imagine how you would link them together when making a sign.

d. David Sedaris, coming for Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls.
He'll be at Boswell on Sunday, May 26, 2 pm. You are probably wondering why we are doing this at Boswell, but the thing you need to know is that publisher events must be inside bookstores. All other events are run by an outside production company. Some stores around the country are doing book-with-ticket events, but ours is going to be a classic and free-and-open-to-the-public-no-ticket-or-book-purchased required extravaganza. Once we reach capacity, folks we'll have a signing line outside, much like we did for the Barrowmans in the fall. It's going to be crazy. If you like your Sedaris events civilized, he'll be coming back to the Pabst in the fall for a ticketed event.

We do have a few events coming up with tickets, however. Details to come.

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