Monday, April 8, 2013

Wow! Another Week of Great Event--William Kent Krueger, Christina Schwarz, Tim Federle, Amy Stewar, Lee Sandlin, a Tom Bontly Memorial, and a Heads Up on Dan Schulz Next Monday.

Monday, April 8, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Willliam Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace.

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of twelve previous Cork O'Connor novels, including Northwest Angle and Trickster's Point. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.

A tragic set of murders from forty years ago haunts one man’s memories. In 1961, Frank was thirteen and faced only with the ordinariness of baseball games to worry about: The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and "Hot Stuff "comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. But when several tragedies rock the small Minnesota town he calls home, including one that strikes his own family, this son of a Methodist minister will have to consider the true meaning of “grace.”

"A pitch-perfect, wonderfully evocative examination of violent loss. In Frank Drum's journey away from the shores of childhood--a journey from which he can never return--we recognize the heartbreaking price of adulthood and it's 'wisdoms.' I loved this book."
—Dennis Lehane, author of The Given Day

Mr. Krueger will also be signing at Mystery One today, April 8, at 5 pm.

Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm, at the Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.: Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, co-sponsored by the Oak Creek Public Library.

In addition to our big event at the Oak Creek Community Center, we are also having an informal meet and greet/stock signing with the author at Boswell at 4 pm.

Tim Federle was born in San Francisco, grew up in Pittsburgh, and began crashing New York auditions as a teenager, landing in five Broadway shows. He has danced behind Christina Aguilera and worn a polar bear costume with the Rockettes.

A Broadway performer and choreographer for Billy Elliot, Tim Federle’s debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever was inspired by his own teenage adventures backstage. Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the hit show Modern Family calls it "The book I needed—and would have adored—when I was a kid. Federle writes from the heart and hits you in the gut—not to mention your funny bone."

In it, a small-town boy, Nate Foster, hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for "E.T.: The Musical." He has big dreams. His whole life, he's wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he's stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby's help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for "E.T.: The Musical," and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

My rec for Better Nate than Ever: "For a boy like Nate Foster, living in exurban Pittsburgh, Broadway should be just a dream, considering his only acting experience is playing a vegetable in a school review. But beyond a good singing voice, he’s got energyn, ambition, and he perfect bff/future manager in fellow-theater-obsessive Libby. So he’s got this plan to escape Pennsylvania on Greyhound, try out for the role of Elliott in ET and be back in time before his feuding parents come back from a romance-reigniting weekend. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, indeed, at least for readers like me, who can only be charmed by this witty, middle-grade, theater-drenched story about standing out (and possibly, but not necessarily, coming out), even when you might not be everyone’s idea of perfect."

Tuesday, April 9, 7 pm, at Boswell (or "meanwhile, back at the ranch"):
Christina Schwarz, author of The Edge of the Earth, co-sponsored with Paperwork.

Christina Schwarz is the author of three previous novels, including Drowning Ruth. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she now lives in Southern California.

 From the author of the Oprah Book Club selected Drowning Ruth, comes a haunting, atmospheric novel set at the closing of the frontier about a young wife who moves from Milwaukee to a far-flung and forbidding lighthouse where she uncovers a life-changing secret. In 1898, a woman forsakes the comfort of home and family for a love that takes her to a remote lighthouse on the wild coast of California. What she finds at the edge of the earth, hidden between the sea and the fog, will change her life irrevocably.

Well-educated and raised to marry her childhood friend and assume a life of bourgeois comfort in Milwaukee, Trudy instead falls in love with Oskar, an enigmatic and ambitious man she believes can give her an escape. The couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse at Point Lucia, California—an unnervingly isolated outcropping, trapped between the ocean and hundreds of miles of inaccessible wilderness. There they meet the light station's only inhabitants—the formidable and guarded Crawleys. In this unfamiliar place, Trudy will find that nothing is as she might have predicted, especially after she discovers what hides among the rocks.

A rec from Boswellian Sharon: "Trudy had her future mapped out for her in 1890’s Milwaukee. She was engaged to marry Ernst, a respectable, if slightly dull, family friend that she had known since childhood. When she threw caution to the wind and married Oskar instead, her parents were both shocked and disapproving. She and Oskar moved across the country so that he could be a lighthouse keeper at Point Lucia, California. This put geographical as well as emotional distance between Trudy and her family. Daily life at isolated Point Lucia was quite different from Trudy’s sheltered existence in Wisconsin. She had to learn to live with Oskar, who was smart and ambitious, but lacked follow through. Trudy’s life took an interesting turn as she studied the local plant and animal life, including a mysterious and wild Indian woman, who was living on the island. Christina Schwarz’s latest novel provides us with a view of a way of life that few of us are familiar with. I was intrigued and delighted with Trudy’s story." 

Wednesday, April 10, 7 pm, at the Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. National Ave.:
Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Boerner Botanical Gardens and Great Lakes Distillery.

Join us for an entertaining talk by bestselling gardening expert Amy Stewart at Milwaukee’s own award-winning distillery. In her new book, Stewart mixes up an intoxicating concoction of history, biology, chemistry, etymology and mixology—topping it off with more than 50 drink recipes. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the enlightening botanical history and the fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, fruits, and even a few fungi. Strewn with growing tips for gardeners and witty advice, this is a perfect fit for gardeners and cocktail aficionados alike.

Cocktails will be available for purchase, including selections from the book.

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including three New York Times bestsellers: Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She is the cofounder of the popular blog Garden Rant and a contributing editor at Fine Gardening magazine. She and her husband, Scott Brown, live in Eureka, California, where they own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books.

Boswellian Halley's recommendation: "One part science to two parts alcohol, Stewart's The Drunken Botanist is an intriguing look at the plants that make up everyone's favorite libations. Name a plant, and Stewart will give you fact-filled pages on the drinks made from it. The book contains botany and microbiology for the science lover, historical facts for the history buff, and lots of delicious recipes for your favorite bartender. Bottoms up!"

Thursday, April 11, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Lee Sandlin, author of The Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers.

Lee Sandlin is the author of Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild, and reviews books for The Wall Street Journal. His essay "Losing the War" was included in the anthology The New Kings of Nonfiction and his new memoir, The Distancers will be released this summer. He lives in Chicago.

“If the vast majority of climate scientists are right, the weather is going to become an increasingly important, and threatening, feature of our daily lives. Lee Sandlin's new book is a riveting history of our relationship with the funnel clouds of the Midwest. This is a story we need to know, and Sandlin tells it with uncommon grace and style.”
 —Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Founding Brothers

In Storm Kings, Sandlin introduces us to the early scientists and pioneers who spent their lives studying the elusive, destructive force of tornadoes, inspiring fear and awe. Drawing on memoirs, letters, eyewitness testimonies, and archives, Sandlin brings to life the forgotten characters and scientists who changed a nation—including James Espy, America's first meteorologist, and Colonel John Park Finley, who helped place a network of weather "spotters" across the country. Along the way, Sandlin details the little-known but fascinating history of the National Weather Service, paints a vivid picture of the early Midwest, and shows how successive generations came to understand, and finally coexist with, the spiraling menace that could erase lives and whole towns in an instant.

Boswellian Hannah's recommendation: "Generations before Helen Hunt chased tornadoes in the movie Twister, a select group of early American scientists devoted their careers to unravelling the mystery of this destructive force. In Storm Kings, Lee Sandlin brings these pioneers to life and inspires fear and awe of the ever elusive tornado."

Friday, April 12, 7 pm, at Boswell:
UW-Milwaukee and Boswell Books will host a  special United We Read student-faculty reading in honor of Professor Tom Bontly.

Tom Bontly was the founding director of UW-Milwaukee's creative writing program and co-founder of Cream City Review. He published four novels and numerous short stories and essays, and received awards from the Fulbright Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

We'll have light refreshments and readings from:
John Goulet
Mollie Boutell
Kate Olson Nesheim
Liam Callanan.

And a heads up on next week!

Monday, April 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Dan Schultz, author of Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West.

Dan Schultz is an award-winning writer and journalist. He received his M.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota and worked as a reporter and feature writer for daily newspapers in Minnesota and Oregon, covering crime stories before he began writing for magazines and television. After living in Aspen, Colorado, for several years, he and his wife, Lynda, now split their time between their Chicago home and the Colorado mountains.

Evoking Jon Krakauer, Dead Run is the extraordinary true story of desperado survivalists, a brutal murder, and vigilante justice set against the harsh backdrop of the Colorado wilderness.

On a sunny May morning in 1998 in Cortez, Colorado, three desperados in a stolen truck opened fire on the town cop, shooting him twenty times; then they blasted their way past dozens of police cars and disappeared into 10,000 square miles of the harshest wilderness terrain on the North American continent. Self-trained survivalists, the outlaws eluded the most sophisticated law enforcement technology on the planet and a pursuit force that represented more than seventy-five local, state, and federal police agencies with dozens of swat teams, U.S. Army Special Forces, and more than five hundred officers from across the country. Dead Run is the first in-depth account of this sensational case, replete with overbearing local sheriffs, Native American trackers, posses on horseback, suspicion of vigilante justice and police cover-ups, and the blunders of the nation's most exalted crime-fighters pursuing outlaws into territory in which only they could survive.

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