Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Event Post--Tom Franklin, Sara Paretsky, Locals Anthony Hains and Thomas Biel, Plus Last Chance for Donald Driver Signing Tickets.

Tuesday, October 22, 4:30 pm, at Boswell:
Celebrate the release of Veronica Roth's Allegiant.

The much-anticipated explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's bestselling Divergent trilogy will be one of the biggest books of the year. Everything about the third and final book in the series has been a closely-guarded secret.for now. But all will be revealed on Tuesday.

We're hosting an informal party at 4:30. The first folks who buy Allegiant (which is featured on Boswell's Best) will get a special cupcake from Milwaukee Cupcake Company. Meet other Roth fans, share your favorite parts of the first two books, talk about the upcoming movie, and then by all means, head home and read until you can't read anymore!

Tuesday, October 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Thomas Biel, author of Badlands.

Thomas Biel was born in Sydney, Montana, and raised across the Northwest-Mountain states of Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming. He's taught high school in Montana, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and now lives in the Milwaukee area, and teaches at Rufus King A graduate of the University of Montana and the University of Northern Colorado, Biel has taught English for twenty-seven years at high schools in Montana, Costa Rica and Ecuador. He currently lives in Milwaukee, where he teaches at Rufus King International School. Biel is also the author of four plays, including Silver Bullet Day, which was most recently produced in Berlin, Germany.

Badlands is his first collection of stores, set in the badlands of eastern Montana. Matthew Davis, the collection's narrator, recalls how he and his friends navigated the tricky, switch-backed roads of life, sometimes barely hanging on—sometimes not—while the Vietnam War unfurled on the edges of everyday life, even in the small badlands town of Riverside. At the heart of Matthew's stories is his best friend, Idaho Wells, whose life is the one most etched n the violence that shapes the beauty of the badlands.

“Badlands is full of vivid images, striking turns of phrase, original metaphors, and funny, touching moments.”— Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948

Wednesday, October 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Anthony Hains, author of Birth Offering.

Anthony (Tony) Hains is a professor at UWM in counseling psychology, with a specialization in pediatric psychology; his research involves working with youth who have a chronic illness. He is married and lives in the Milwaukee area.

Birth Offering chronicles a boy thrust into a living nightmare, and the cumulative psychological impact of evil actions by multiple past generations, Birth Offering is the story of fourteen-year-old Ryan Perry. When he moves to his grandmother's coastal home in South Carolina, Ryan is haunted by a malevolent entity masquerading as his double—a specter of ancient evil intent on destroying him. As the hauntings become dangerous, Ryan encounters an additional threat: two menacing feral boys and their caretaker somehow connected to this other twin. Realizing that in order to save himself and his family, Ryan must confront the all-too-real presence of an unimaginable evil.

I am fascinated by how many academics have a horror novel inside them, waiting to be written.

Thursday, October 24, 2 pm, at Boswell:
a ticketed event with Donald Driver, author of Driven: From Homeless to Hero.

We are almost sold out of tickets to this event. Please visit Brown Paper Tickets now. Don't forget to order one ticket for every copy you want signed.

Each ticket includes entrance to the signing line and a copy of Driven. Mr. Driver will not be signing memorabilia; please leave such items at home. In order to make sure that Mr. Driver meets as many people as possible, there are no books allowed from home, no personalizations, and no posed photographs for this event.

While we will make every attempt to have additional books available for purchase the day of the event, we cannot guarantee stock beyond what has been pre-ordered. If you would like a specific quantity of signed books, we encourage you to order that many tickets in advance. We are not likely to have signed copies of Driven after this event is over, so plan your holiday gift giving now.

If you end up missing the event, don't fret! We will hold your signed book for you until you can make it in to the store to pick it up.

Thursday, October 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, authors of The Tilted World.

The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf all in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson. Arriving in the tiny hamlet of Hobnob, Mississippi, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents on the trail of a local bootlegger, they unexpectedly find an abandoned baby boy at a crime scene.

An orphan raised by nuns, Ingersoll is determined to find the infant a home, a search that leads him to Dixie Clay Holliver. A lonely woman married too young to a charming and sometimes violent philanderer, Dixie Clay has lost her only child to illness and is powerless to resist this second chance at motherhood. From the moment they meet, Ingersoll and Dixie Clay are drawn to each other. He has no idea that she's the best bootlegger in the county and may be connected to the missing agents. And while he seems kind and gentle, Dixie Clay knows he is the enemy and must not be trusted.

Then a deadly new peril arises, endangering them all. A saboteur, hired by rich New Orleans bankers eager to protect their city, is planning to dynamite the levee and flood Hobnob, where the river bends precariously. Now, with time running out, Ingersoll, Ham, and Dixie Clay must make desperate choices, choices that will radically transform their lives-if they survive.

Alison Flood in the UK Observer writes: "Just like his Gold Dagger award-winning tale of a murder, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Tom Franklin's new thriller The Tilted World, written with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, immerses its readers in America's deep south. It's a thriller for those who like their fiction literary, or literary fiction for those who like their thrills."

Friday, October 25, 7 pm, at Boswell:
UWM Student/Faculty Reading.

Come for an evening of readings from future literary stars. Who knows? Perhaps we'll be announcing that one of these students from the the Department of English-Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee program has one a major prize and you'll be able to say you saw him or her at the beginning of their career.

Saturday, October 26, 11:30 am, at Lake Park Bistro, 3133 E. Newberry Blvd.53211, reservations required:
Patricia Wells, author of The French Kitchen Cookbook.

Since 1995, students have waited months and sometimes years, for the privilege of learning to cook with Patricia Wells at Chanteduc, her eighteenth-century Provençal farmhouse, and at her Parisian cooking studio. Now, the culinary legend invites home cooks into her life in France, making the recipes from her popular classes available to fans who dream of embarking on their own gastronomic adventure in the world's culinary capital.

Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated with stunning color photos, The French Kitchen Cookbook is a compilation and reflection on what she and her students have learned: the satisfaction of preparing a perfect fruit tart; the pleasure of extracting a warm, fragrant, golden brioche from the oven; the giddiness of sharing a meal with a group of former strangers who quickly become lifelong friends.

Lunch with Patricia Wells at Lake Park Bistro, with recipes inspired from the book. Cost is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Attendees will receive a signed copy of The French Kitchen Cookbook. For reservations, please call (414) 962-6300.

Sunday, October 27, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Sara Paretsky, author of Critical Mass.

We at Boswell are pleased to welcome back Sara Paretsky to Milwuakee, for her first visit in five years. Paretsky is the author of nineteen books, including her renowned V.I. Warshawski novels. She was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and is also the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award given by the British Crime Writers Association.

One of the most well-known and respected crime writers penning mysteries today, Sara Paretsky offers readers thrilling rides through Chicago without sacrificing anyone’s IQ. At the wheel is V.I. Warshawski, a heroine for the modern woman: tough, smart, fierce, snappy, and champion of the underdog.

The vehicle of Critical Mass is a missing person case that quickly veers out of control as it becomes clear that much more than a woman’s life is at stake. In 1939, Lotty Herschel escaped to London on the Kindertransport, along with her friend Kitty Binder. As close as family, they have been reunited in Chicago for some time. When Kitty's daughter finds her life is in danger, she calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to help. The daughter's troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan and England to develop the first atomic bomb. The secrets are old, but the people who continue to guard them today will not let go of them without a fight.

Take it from Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times, writing about Breakdown: “What really matters in a Sara Paretsky mystery are the crimes behind the crimes ¬– the corrupt politics, the class divisions, the economic inequities, the dirty business practices and all the other injustices that incite the wicked deeds we love to read about. Breakdown takes its first crack at a soft target: a cult series of lurid vampire novels that sends a group of impressionable pre-teenage girls into a graveyard to perform a giddy initiation ritual for their book club. But once V.I. Warshawski, the intrepid private eye who sees herself as “a street fighter, a product of the mills and ethnic wars of Chicago’s Steel City,” has rescued the girls from the trauma of discovering the murder victim, the true villains come into sharper focus.”

Can't make our event? Paretsky will also be appearing at Mystery One on Prospect Avenue at 5 pm.

Monday, October 28, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Robert Boswell (right), author of Tumbledown, in conversation with C.J. Hribal (below).

Robert Boswell’s books include the novels Crooked Hearts and Century's Son, a guide to the craft of writing fiction, and his numerous stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a PEN West Award for Fiction. Currently Boswell shares the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston with his wife, writer Antonya Nelson.

Joining him in conversation will be C.J. Hribal of Marquette University. The authors both teach at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, a low residency program nestled in the North Carolina hills.

His new novel, Tumbledown, received a glowing review from The New York Times Book Review earlier this year, with the reviewer noting, “Boswell can write the most refreshingly old-fashioned kind of narrative: one that evokes deep sympathy for all its characters. . . . All the novel’s characters know that in adulthood they’re supposed to settle for ‘what could pass for a normal life. Maybe it was a C- sort of life, but that was a passing grade.’ Still, they want to keep hope, wonder and love in their lives. . . . Without a whiff of sentimentality, he shows exactly how elusive such balance can be.”

Leading the cast of characters— who are all failing and succeeding in various degrees to make sense of our often-irrational world—is James Candler. At age thirty-three, he is nurturing a promising career as a therapist at a treatment facility, and has a fiancée, a sizeable house, and a Porsche. But . . . he’s falling in love with another woman, is underwater on his mortgage, and has put his hapless best friend in charge of his signature therapeutic program. While his clients are struggling in their own hilarious, heartbreaking ways to keep their lives on track, James has to wonder: how can he help them if he can’t help himself?

More about Robert Boswell and Tumbledown on an earlier post.

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