Monday, June 10, 2013

Holy Hot Pockets! This Week's Boswell Lineup Includes Jim Gaffigan, Lauren Conrad, Dean Jensen, Monte Reel, R. Clifton Spargo, David Nirenberg, and Our Three Faced Media Event, Co-Sponsored by The Soup House.

It's a big week!

Monday, June 10 7 pm, at Boswell:
R. Clifton Spargo, author of Beautiful Fools:The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. Let folks know about this event on Facebook.

In 1939 Scott is living in Hollywood, a virulent alcoholic and deeply in debt. Despite his relationship with gossip-columnist Sheila Graham, he remains fiercely loyal to Zelda, his soul mate and muse. In an attempt to fuse together their fractured marriage, Scott arranges a trip to Cuba, where, after a disastrous first night in Havana, the couple runs off to a beach resort outside the city. But even in paradise, Scott and Zelda cannot escape the dangerous intensity of their relationship.

"Little biographical information exists about the 1939 vacation Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald took to Cuba in an effort to recapture the tenderness they felt for each other during the dazzling years of the Jazz Age. R. Clifton Spargo convincingly imagines this curious chapter in the marriage of one of the most fascinating couples of the 20th century with a fictional portrayal of the effects of the insanity and alcoholism that would, alternately, separate and reconcile the Fitzgeralds, but would keep them ultimately tied to each other until Scott's death in 1940. Written in descriptive prose that mirrors the elegant writing style of F. Scott Fitzgerald himself. I highly recommend this captivating story to readers who enjoyed Paula McClain's Paris Wife and Nancy Horan's Loving Frank."
--Jane Glaser, Boswell Book Company.

R. Clifton Spargo has taught creative writing at Yale University, Marquette University (for fifteen years), and the University of Iowa and serves as the ethics advisor to The Voices and Faces Project, for which he created and now regularly teaches a first of its kind testimonial writing workshop on gender-based violence. He lives in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, June 11, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Monte Reel, author of Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm (photo credit Mei-Ling Hopgood). Facebook link.

Monte Reel’s gripping book tells the extraordinary adventure tale of a young man who emerged from the jungles of Africa with the evidence of a mysterious, still-mythical beast--the gorilla--only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the nineteenth century: Darwin’s theory of evolution.

" A nonfiction narrative that reads like a bestselling page-turner! Author Monte Reel perfectly combines the stories of discovering the mythical gorilla, the exploration and mapping of Africa, the relentless debate between evolution and religion, historical views on racism, the scientific boom in Victorian England, and the mercurial nature of fame, while framing them within the surprisingly compelling biography of Paul Du Chaillu, the great explorer lost to history--lost, of course, until now. An amazing accomplishment and an absolutely fantastic book."
--Nick Berg, Boswell Book Company

Monte Reel is a former reporter for The Washington Post and is the author of the critically acclaimed The Last of the Tribe. He lives in the Chicago area with his family.

Wednesday, June 12, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Ticketed signing with Lauren Conrad, author of Infamous: A Fame Game Novel
Buy your ticket here. Facebook link.

Tickets are $20 and include a copy of Infamous, the final book in the Fame Game series. We'll also be donating $2 from each ticket sold to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Tickets can be purchased online, in-store or over the phone. Online and phone sales will end 6 pm on Tuesday. A limited number of walkup tickets are available. Ms Conrad will not personalize. No posed photos, please.

A little about the new book: Filming for season two of The Fame Game has begun, and star Madison Parker is doing something she never thought she’d do: avoiding the PopTV cameras. She knows Trevor will come groveling, and that she’ll go back to the show eventually—but on her terms. Fame can turn a girl into a pawn, and Madison knows that’s not the life she wants.

Lauren Conrad is best known for starring in the MTV hit series The Hills. She is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including the L.A. Candy series as well as Lauren Conrad Style and Lauren Conrad Beauty, her fashion and beauty guides. In 2009 she launched LC Lauren Conrad, exclusively for Kohl's, and the line has since expanded to shoes, accessories, and sunglasses. Conrad has been featured on the covers of Elle, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Shape, and Entertainment Weekly, among others. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit the Kohl's website for more about the LC Lauren Conrad collection.

Thursday, June 13, 4 pm, at Boswell (note special time):
David Nirenberg, author of Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (photo credit Albert Jodar). Facebook link.
Co-sponsored by by the UWM Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

Why have so many cultures—even those cultures with no living Jews—thought so much about Judaism? What work did thinking about the meaning of Judaism do for them in their efforts to make sense of the world? And how did this history of thinking about Judaism affect the future possibilities of existence for living Jews? How, ultimately, have “Jewish questions” shaped the history of Western thought? Anti-Judaism synthesizes several thousand years of thinking about Judaism—from the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the great continental philosophers of the twentieth century—to demonstrate convincingly that anti-Judaism had a central role in the construction of the Western intellectual tradition.

David Nirenberg is the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His work focuses on the interactions of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures in history.

Nirenberg was just at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. If you'd like to get a taste for his talk, it was taped for C-Span. I think there are some problems in the feed. I suggest you just come to our event and enjoy it live.

Thursday, June 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Dean Jensen, author of Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus. Facebook link.

A true life Water for Elephants, the circus world comes alive through the gorgeously written, true story of renowned trapeze artist and circus performer known simply as Leitzl, Queen of the Air. Just four feet-nine and a mere ninety-four pounds, Lillian Leitzel was one of the most famous women in the world at the turn of the 20th century.

Her feats as an aerialist mesmerized crowds across the globe and for two decades during its golden age, as the biggest star ever of the biggest circus ever, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth. But her personal life was one of star-crossed romances through numerous affairs and three husbands, with only one man ever fully capturing her heart: Alfredo Codona, the greatest trapeze flyer that had ever lived.

Dean Jensen operates the Dean Jensen Gallery in Milwaukee. He was previously art critic for the Milwaukee Sentinel, and has writtethree earlier books on subjects from the world of circus, carnivals, and vaudeville.

Friday, June 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Three Faced Media Collective Launch: Three Authors, Three Books, and Soup!

Featuring Ivan Baker, author of Flush, Daniel Warschkow, and author of Devil-Dog-Death, and Christophor Rick, author of Do Diligence.

This event is co-sponsored by The Soup House. We will have two soups on hand for sampling, including Ivan's chicken tikka masala as well as one vegetarian option. Soup House Facebook page.

In Ivan Wayne Baker’s Flush, Jacob McAlister is institutionalized for an eating disorder. Inside the treatment center, he meets a girl named Ana who tries to teach him that there is more to life than wrestling and food. Jacob must learn the truth about himself before all he holds dear is flushed down the toilet.

Daniel Warschkow’s Devil-Dog Death is a fantastical tale of how the human condition deals (or doesn’t deal) with the reality of death and the consequences of misdeeds. After coping with the death of his father and the strange changes in his mother, Perseus must deal with the consequences of his misdeeds, the fleeting relationship of his true love, and the safety of a wayward young girl, Abuella. For Abuella the guardian of her divine sibling, Garuda, who may be the savior of existence.

The incestuous backstabbing supernatural family that is The Deadly Sins are center stage in Christophor Ricks’ Do Diligence, along with their diametrically opposed siblings, The Heavenly Virtues. When Diligence goes missing, the Virtues instantly suspect that the Sins are involved and so begin investigating his disappearance. But all is not as it seems and their usual suspects are apparently not involved, yet a more sinister plot is afoot in this fantasy novel.

Ivan Baker is an avid boxer, backpacker, and guitarist. In addition to his writing, he also coaches hurling. Dan Warschkow is an artist who paints, draws, and creates comic books with Star Cross Studio, in addition to his day job at The Soup House. And Christophor Rick was a navy nuclear technician who also interned at NASA before he transitioned to a career in writing. He specializes in video gaming, technology and social media journalism.

We are selling all three Three Faced Media titles for $10 each. 

Saturday, June 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jim Gaffigan, author of Dad is Fat (photo credit Nigel Perry). Facebook event link.

This is a free talk and signing, moderated by Jim's wife, Jeannie Noth Gaffigan. Line letters will be given out starting at 4 pm. The store will close when it reaches capacity. 

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who's best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children--everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers' communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four year olds ("there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor"). Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

Jim Gaffigan is a stand-up comedian and actor with numerous film, television, and stage credits. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Jeannie, and their five children in a two-bedroom apartment.

Pabst tickets are available for Mr. Gaffigan's shows on December 30 and 31, 2013.

Here's the famous Hot Pockets routine!

Plus a headstart on next week...
Monday, June 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door. Facebook event link. 
Co-sponsored by 9to5, Wisconsin Jobs Now, and Hawks Quindel.

Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Behind the Kitchen Door is a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman shows us that the quality of the food that arrives at our restaurant tables depends not only on the sourcing of the ingredients. Our meals benefit from the attention and skill of the people who chop, grill, saute, and serve.

Saru Jayaraman is co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC-Berkeley.

Now I want to share a strang story. I have this customer who seems to come to one to two events per year, most recently Michael Pollan. At each one, he complains that we don't do enough nonfiction events. I am completely confused because more than half our events are nonfiction of late, and really great nonfiction events at that. What is this guy talking about?

I've gotten that off my chest. Hope you are excited about this week's schedule and say hi when you're next at Boswell. 

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