Monday, February 24, 2014

Event-ure Time! Tonight is Gina Frangello and Robert Vaughan, Tuesday is Elizabeth Eulberg, Wednesday is Michio Kaku, Thursday is Paul Geenen, Sunday is Our History Trio for Middle Graders, and Don't Forget about Lorrie Moore Next Monday.

Monday, February 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Gina Frangello, author of A Life in Men, along with Robert Vaughan, author of Addicts and Basements.

A Life in Men is a vivid, devastating, and ferocious novel that captures a woman’s whole life in a world torn apart by terrorism and alienation…A story of love, passion, and friendship that will rock readers to the core.”—Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River

The friendship between Mary and Nix had endured since childhood, a seemingly unbreakable bond, until the mid-1980s, when the two young women reunited for a summer vacation in Greece. It was a trip instigated by Nix, who had just learned that Mary had been diagnosed with a disease that would inevitably cut her life short. Nix, a free spirit by nature, was determined that Mary have the vacation of a lifetime, but by the time their visit to Greece was over, the ties between them had unraveled, and when they said goodbye, it was for the last time.

Three years later, Mary returns to Europe to try to understand what went wrong, in the process meeting the first of many men she will spend time with and travel with throughout the world. Through them she experiences not just a sexual awakening but a spiritual and emotional awakening that allows her to understand how the past and the future are connected, and to appreciate how important it is that she live her life to the fullest.

Gina Frangello is a cofounder of Other Voices Books and the fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. She is also the author of one previous novel and a collection of short stories.

Opening for Frangello will be Milwaukee's own Robert Vaughan, whose first full-length book, Addicts and Basements, has just been published. Vaughan was a finalist for the 2012 Micro-Fiction Awards, and another of his pieces was a finalist for the 2013 Gertrude Stein Award. In addition to his writing, he is the senior flash editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines, and leads writing roundtables at Red Oak Writing .

Tuesday, February 25, 7 pm, at Boswell: A Launch Party for Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Better Off Friends and Revenge of the Girl with Great Personality.

Wisconsin-raised writer Elizabeth Eulberg returns to her home state to launch her fifth YA novel, Better Off Friends. When a conversation with notable YA author David Levithan revealed that an editor was looking for a When Harry Met Sally type story for teens, Eulberg, whose previous books were also romantic comedies, jumped at the chance to write it.

When Levi moves to Wisconsin from California and meets Macallan, it’s friends at first sight. They hang out after school and share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way. Eventually they realize they’re best friends—which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder...are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before heading off to college in Syracuse and making a career in the New York City book biz. She is the author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom and Prejudice, Take a Bow, and Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. She lives outside Manhattan with her three guitars, two keyboards, and one drumstick.

Wednesday, February 26, 7 pm, at Boswell: Michio Kaku, author of The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

“Kaku has a gift for explaining incredibly complex concepts, on subjects as far-ranging as nanotechnology and space travel, in language the lay reader can grasp.... "—San Francisco Chronicle

Theoretical physicist and New York Times bestselling author Michio Kaku (photo credit Andrea Brizzi) tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain. The Future of the Mind gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness.

Michio Kaku is the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, a leader in the field of theoretical physics, and cofounder of string field theory. He is the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Parallel Worlds, Visions, Beyond Einstein, Hyperspace, and Physics of the Impossible—the basis for his Science Channel TV show, Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible—and the host of two radio programs, Explorations and Science Fantastic. He has written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Discover Magazine, The London Daily Telegraph, New Scientist Magazine, and other periodicals, and his work has been published in many languages across the globe.

This event is free and open to the public, but we will close when we reach capacity of about 350 people. If we do close the doors, don't worry. We will reopen when the signing starts, and you will still be able to get your book signed. Everyone attending will get a line letter, whether you buy a book from us or not. This is also your pass in and out. Alas, you cannot get a pass for someone coming later.

Thursday, February 27, 7 pm, at Boswell: Paul Geenen, author of Civil Rights Activism in Milwaukee: South Side Struggles in the Sixties and Seventies.

Longtime Milwaukee community activist Paul Geenen, whose previous books looked at the histories of the Bronzeville and Sherman Park neighborhoods, takes on a new decade and a new community: the South Side in the era of Civil Rights.

In the early 1960s, as members of Milwaukee’s growing African American
population looked beyond their segregated community for better jobs and housing, they faced bitter opposition from the real estate industry and union leadership. In an era marked by the friction of racial tension, the south side of Milwaukee earned a reputation as a flashpoint for prejudice, but it also served as a staging ground for cooperative activism between members of Father Groppi’s parish, representatives from the NAACP Youth Council, students at Alverno College and a group of Latino families. Paul Geenen chronicles the challenges faced by this coalition in the fight for open housing and better working conditions for Milwaukee’s minority community.

Paul Geenen Geenen lives in Milwaukee where he is a community activist, author, and grandfather of eight. He is the author of Milwaukee's Bronzeville: 1900-1950, Schusters and Gimbels: Milwaukee's Beloved Department Stores, and Sherman Park: a Legacy of Diversity in Milwaukee.

Can't make this event? Mr. Geenen will be at the Milwaukee Public Library, 807 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Sunday, March 9, 3 pm.

Sunday, March 2, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Historical Middle Grade Fiction Panel, with Gayle Rosengren, author of What the Moon Said, Wendy McClure, author of Wanderville, and Rebecca Behrens, author of When Audrey Met Alice,

Each author will take ten minutes to present their historical middle grade novel to the audience in our inaugural Historical Middle Grade Fiction Panel with Gayle Rosengren, author of What the Moon Said, Wendy McClure, author of Wanderville, and Rebecca Behrens, author of When Audrey Met Alice. Following the discussion, panelists will field questions from each other, Boswellians, and attendees. Great for ages 8 and up, this panel will cover topics ranging from the Great Depression to orphan trains to First Daughters and Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary.

Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will adore What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren. When Esther’s father loses his job in Chicago during the Great Depression and the family moves to a run-down farm in Wisconsin, everyone is worried but Esther. She thinks of the move as an adventure. As Jan Dundon wrote, “I absolutely LOVED What the Moon Said! Esther is one of those rare characters who grabs your heart and doesn’t let go.” Gayle Rosengren grew up in Chicago and lives near Madison, Wisconsin. A school librarian for many years, she now writes full-time. Her mother's move from the city to a farm during the Great Depression helped inspire Esther's story.

In Wendy McClure’s Wanderville, a group of children from New York hop off of a moving train in 1899 to escape rumored horrors of the new life slated for them at their destination in Kansas. Their new friend, Alexander, tells them that they’re the first citizens of a new town called Wanderville, a town without adults where freedom is paramount. This book is perfect for fans of The Boxcar Children and Little House on the Prairie. Wendy McClure is the author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie and several other books for adults and children. She is a senior editor at Albert Whitman and Company, where her recent projects include books in the Boxcar Children series.

In Rebecca Behrens’s latest, When Audrey Met Alice, when frustrated First Daughter Audrey Rhodes
discovers Alice Roosevelt’s secret diary hidden beneath the White House floorboards, she’s inspired to ask herself, “What would Alice do?” Audrey’s Alice-like antics are a lot of fun—but will they bring her happiness, or a host of new problems? As BookPage puts it: “When Audrey Met Alice is a terrific work of blended realistic and historical fiction… [t]he combination of humor, history, light romance and social consciousness make Rebecca Behrens’s debut novel a winner.” About the Author: Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Rebecca Behrens dreamed of becoming the following: a zoologist, an Olympic swimmer, or an author. One out of three isn’t bad! Today she lives in New York City, where she works as a production editor for children’s books.

Teachers, this is a great opportunity to discover some new middle-grade authors. If you are interested in a school appearance for Gayle Rosengren or Wendy McClure (and maybe even Rebecca Behrens), contact Hannah, who does our school outreach.

And don't forget about next Monday, March 3, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories.

Lorrie Moore, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award. (Photo credit Linda Nylind. I can't get the new one from Zane Williams to upload).

From Jeff Giles, in Entertainment Weekly: "But I don't have the heart to really complain about any of this: I've been addicted to Moore's voice for a long time now and want more, not less, of it. Her new collection, Bark, rounds up a decade's worth of short stories, the most perfect of which ran in The New Yorker."

From Mike Fischer in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Bark is filled with such regret for a vanished past; true to form, Moore connects characters' private sorrows to the larger world, in which Americans have grown similarly estranged from a younger version of our collective self-image."

From John Freeman in The Boston Globe: "Yet in each story of Bark, the knives of Moore’s wisdom feel newly sharpened, their jab urgently swift." More to come. Hope to see you at one of this week's events.

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