Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Event Post--Louise Penny on Tuesday (Ticketed), Clark Howard at the Sunset Playhouse on Wednesday, while at Boswell, Janice Clark and Amy Gail Hansen Read Together, Also on Wednesday.

Recently our friend Judi sent me an article in the Chicago Sun Times regarding author tours. According to Natasha Wisinski and author Kevin Guilefoile, those days are gone. While it is true that two of our four paired authors this week are both coming up from the Chicago area, not as part of a tour, both Clark Howard and Louise Penny seem to be on a national tour, as traditional as they get.

I'm sort of surprised that Wisinski didn't talk to one of seven store groups in the Chicago area that regularly host touring authors:
Andersons of Naperville and Elmhurst
Book Cellar of Lincoln Square
The Book Table of Oak Park
Bookstall of Winnetka
Lake Forest Book Store of Lake Forest
Seminary Coop and 57th Street Books of Hyde Park
Women and Children First of Andersonville

In addition, I've noticed that Unabridged Books of Lakeview has been taking on more events after several years of being dormant. And both City Lit of Logan Circle and Read Between the Lynes of Woodstock are among the area stores that periodically host touring authors, in addition to featuring locals.

It's true that the event programs are changing. There is less reading. There are more book festivals. And for the larger authors, there are way more ticketed events.

It's true that many authors forego book tours, but oddly enough, the ones that no longer tour, are two of the very authors in the article that they said claim to tour, John Grisham and J.K. Rowling. If big-time authors don't like the tour atmosphere, they don't have to do it. If an author is large enough to do paid speaking events, by all means that's what you'll often see.

But for the authors who like it, and for the midsize authors that can't command ticketed events and have the likelihood of getting some extra press on the road and generating good word of mouth, the word on the street is that many publishers who wrote off the book tour several years ago are revisiting it. It's not what it was in 2005, but it's also not quite 2010 either.

I think this is a case of when the pundits say to sell, it's time to buy. And now, on to this week's Boswell events.

Tuesday, August 27, 7 pm at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Louise Penny, which includes a copy of How the Light Gets In. The Store will close to the general public at 6 pm.
This event is co-sponsored by L'Alliance Française de Milwaukee.
Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets. At one point tomorrow, we will close off ticketing on the website and will be able to have walkups.

We're the launch for the event, and we've got a nice assortment of refreshments. We'll have an assortment of themed cupcakes from Milwaukee Cupcake Company (Quebecois love maple and caramel apples, I'm told) plus if everything goes right, a poutin amuse bouche plus two kinds of iced tea. Don't forget our recs!

"Several circumstances in the life of Inspector Gamache and his friends in Three Pines await illumination. Book store owner Myrna needs help searching for a missing friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir remains estranged and self-destructive, and Gamache's carefully selected staff is being just as carefully destroyed by the Chief Superintendent. These three story lines converge for a stunning conclusion. Once again, Louise Penny draws you in and holds you captive. I'll be reading and re- reading How the Light Gets In until the next Chief Inspector Gamache mystery is written."
--Anne K. McMahon, Boswell Book Company

"Louise Penny’s latest mystery takes its title from a lyric by Leonard Cohen, one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Chief Inspector Gamache is searching for a little peace from the backstabbing and betrayal at the Surete. Unfortunately, the haven he chooses, the quiet village of Three Pines, produces a murder for him to solve. When a national celebrity is found dead, he must put his personal and professional difficulties aside, and take charge of the investigation. Once again, Louise Penny does what she does best – provides an intriguing mystery which takes second place to the complex personalities and relationships of her main characters."
--Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company

And here's Maureen Corrigan, enthusing over the latest Gamache in the Washington Post:
"This is a mystery novel worth staying home for: Cancel those weekend plans, crank up the air conditioner and mute all electronic devices. You’ll want plenty of silence and slow time to savor “How the Light Gets In,” the ninth novel in Louise Penny’s extraordinary series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his troubled sidekick, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, of the Surete du Quebec. How the Light Gets In  is the culmination of a story arc that has been developing over the most recent books; happily, it is not the termination of the series."


Wednesday, August 28, 6:30 pm, at the Sunset Playhouse
Clark Howard, author of Clark Howard's Living Large for the Long Haul: Consumer-Tested Ways to Overhaul Your Finances, Increase Your Savings, and Get Your Life Back on Track.
This event is cosponsored by 620WTMJ, The Elm Grove Public Library, and the Elm Grove Playhouse.

This is our second event with the very gracious fan favorite Clark Howard, whose show on 620 WTMJ really gets out the troops. This time we're co-hosting it at the Sunset Playhouse, through the diligence of co-sponsor Elm Grove Library, and their dynamo director Svetlana Foley. The Sunset is also co-sponsoring.

S.T. VanAirsdale in Slate magazine recently called Clark Howard "the most reasonable financial guru in the bookstore." Howard's new Living Large for the Long Haul "cements Howard as a kind of economist folk hero—a polo-shirted intellectual who can communicate more useful, constructive policy analysis in one chapter than Thomas Friedman gets across in a year of Times op-eds."

Wow again!

Wednesday, August 28, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Janice Clark, author of The Rathbones
and Amy Gail Hansen, author of The Butterfly Sister.

Tonight we have another great pairing of new authors. Here is Hansen telling Bruce Ingram at the Barrington Courier-Review about the origins of the story.

"It was Hansen’s luggage, packed for her 2004 honeymoon in Italy, when during final preparations for the trip she noticed that they were tagged with the name and address of a friend she’d loaned them to years before. As she wondered if they would have been shipped to her friend if they had been lost — and what her friend would have made of that — she realized the idea would make a good story. Hansen hung the old luggage tag on a bedside lamp and mentally filed the idea away until another piece of the puzzle popped up two years later. Listening to a woman in a writers group read a passionately mournful poem about her formerly all-female college going coed, Hansen suddenly realized a women’s college would make an intriguing setting. And Hansen’s debut novel was well on its way."

And here is Kathryn Lang in the Boston Globe talking about The Rathbones.
"Set in the middle years of the 19th century in Naiwayonk, Conn. (today’s Noank, within the town of Groton), Janice Clark’s debut novel is fabulous — in the word’s earlier definitions of 'suggesting a fable' and 'astonishing,' as well as its modern meaning of 'terrific' and 'awesome.' The Rathbones is both cleverly crafted and a beguiling read, limning (a favorite word of Clark’s) the saga of the Rathbone whaling family. Part fairy tale, part sea yarn (with nods to Melville and Hemingway), part Homeric epic, it is also a story of star-crossed love, spiced with Gothic Poe-like details and a dollop of farce. "

Here's Mel's recommendation for The Rathbones:
"Hold this book to your ear and hear the sea. In Janice Clark's The Rathbones, exquisite prose unfolds with the ebb and flow of the ocean. Each detail rendered therein is as delicate and precise as the thinnest line in a scrimshaw design. You discover the story of the Rathbone family as the youngest Rathbone child does: in fits and starts, in hearsay, in rumor, in gut instinct. Nothing is as it seems: this family has secrets deeper than the ocean. Clark has carved a sharp narrative, elevated with splendidly rendered nautical diction, and will spear you through the heart with it in one stroke. This is a book you'll pine for long after you've returned from its far shores, six-generations wiser, in love with Mercy and the sea."
--Mel Morrow, Boswell Book Company

Both novels were also selected for the Indie Next list for August. Here's the rec for The Butterfly Sister:
“Ruby Rosseau believes that she has gone mad. Her suicide attempt at Tarble, a women’s college, leads to her dropping out and failing to graduate. Ten months later, a suitcase with her name on it arrives at her home via courier, but the suitcase belongs to a former classmate at Tarble who has gone missing. Ruby’s search for her friend leads her back to Tarble to face her past and the ghosts that threaten to destroy her life. It will take a ‘butterfly sister,’ someone who inspires metamorphosis, to save Ruby and her friend. Hansen’s debut tale of madness, mystery, revenge, betrayal, love, and literature will keep you guessing until the surprise ending.”
--Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

After that, we have an event free holiday weekend so you can enjoy Harley Davidson's 110th anniversary. Our next in-store event is Meg Choi on Friday, September 6, 7 pm.

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