Katy Butler, author of Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death.
Boswellian Jane Glaser says it all: "Written with both the compassion of a daughter's heart and the insight of an experienced investigative science journalist, the shocking statistics behind the medical community's use of technology to prolong life beyond its natural end are revealed. When her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, informed decisions for his end of life care are complicated by the fact that he lives with a previously inserted pacemaker. Contrasting the practices of Slow-Med which recognizes the natural end of life using palliative and hospice care against the procedures of Tech-Med which uses devices that result in enormous profits and prestige, this beautifully written and straightforward memoir is benchmark reading for anyone planning their advance directive health care plan. Don't sign on the bottom line until you read this groundbreaking book!"
Originally we thought we were competing with an event in Chicago for the evening time period, so we suggested a daytime event. Then when it turned out we could have either a day or evening event, we thought it through, and decided this would be a great daytime event. For one thing, we're trying to convince folks from various agencies to attend, and Butler's info affects a lot of nonprofits and government departments that deal with aging. For another, a lot of folks dealing with their families and older relatives are in their sixties and even seventies; they could well be retired, and we'll certainly have a lot less to compete with at 2 pm.
Here's an insightful review from Shelf Awareness: "In Knocking on Heaven's Door, science writer and journalist Katy Butler has rendered a beautifully balanced, stirring memoir of a dutiful, middle-aged daughter, one of three siblings, who traces her life-long relationship with her parents and how she stood by, often powerlessly, through their prolonged illnesses and deaths. Woven into the details of Butler's impassioned personal story are thoroughly researched facts and staggering statistics about the money-driven, technologically advanced, biomedical U.S. health-care system and how it tends to overtreat illness and prolong the process of death--often to the point of 'medical torture.' Butler centers her story on the decision to have a pacemaker implanted in her elderly father, Jeffrey, after he has a stroke. The medical intervention aided a minor heart arrhythmia, but over time, it extended Jeffrey's suffering as his physical and mental decline accelerated and his quality of life diminished."
There will be a visual presentation that goes with this talk. Should be amazing!
James Marten, author of America's Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace
From the publisher: James Tanner may be the most famous person in nineteenth-century America that no one has heard of. During his service in the Union army, he lost the lower third of both his legs and afterward had to reinvent himself. After a brush with fame as the stenographer taking down testimony a few feet away from the dying President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, Tanner eventually became one of the best-known men in Gilded Age America. He was a highly placed Republican operative, a popular Grand Army of the Republic speaker, an entrepreneur, and a celebrity. He earned fame and at least temporary fortune as "Corporal Tanner," but most Americans would simply have known him as "The Corporal." Yet virtually no one--not even historians of the Civil War and Gilded Age-- knows him today.
Professor Marten teaches at and is chair of Marquette's history department. Until recently, he was also chair of the Society of Civil War Historians. The Civil War Monitor review from Guy Hasegawa notes "History enthusiasts whose interests have been confined to the Civil War years would do well to read this short book, for it shows how the conflict continued to affect America--and especially her veterans--for decades after the last shot was fired."
And Caroline Janney, author of Remembering the Civil War, writes: "America's Corporal is a fascinating look at one of the Union army's most remarkable veterans. Following Tanner from his enlistment as an enthusiastic seventeen-year-old, through his debilitating double-amputation, and on to his rise as a prominent figure in veterans' affairs, James Marten chronicles a story at once extraordinary and exceedingly representative of the Civil War generation. Situating Tanner within the worlds of wartime medicine, veteran culture, urban life, and Gilded Age politics, Marten once again offers a beautifully written and compelling portrait of late nineteenth-century America."
This is our first event with University of Georgia Press, which I only figured out when we had to fill out a credit application. A little confusion there led to us not being able to receive our books until Tuesday, but don't worry, they will be there. I should also note that this is a rare chance to buy America's Corporal from an indie bookstore. The title is a short discount title, meaning lots of stores don't get enough margin to stock it. Why not get a copy signed from Professor Marten from us?
Wednesday, June 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project.
So here's an interesting story about The Rosie Project that I hadn't yet heard. I've pieced together that Graeme Simsion's novel won the 2012 Victorian Premier's award for an unpublished manuscript, the prize of which was having the book published by Text Publishing. If you look at that year's other prizes, you've heard of none of them. He outdid all the established authors, at least internationally.
Tuesday, June 17, 7 pm, at the Newport Beach Library. $10 suggested donation.
Wednesday, June 18, 7 pm, at Boswell!
Thursday, June 19, 7 pm, a ticketed event ($15.99, includes book, for two) at Kansas City's Unity Temple, sponsored by Rainy Day Books.
Friday, June 20, 7 pm, a ticketed event ($10) at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta
Saturday, June 21, 11:00 am, a ticketed event ($5) at King's English in Salt Lake City. Note, the tour says 11:30. It looks like this is Graeme's second visit to KE at SLC. Who wouldn't want to go back to this wonderful store.
Monday, June 23, 7 pm, at Common Good Books in St. Paul. I noticed this event is co-sponsored by the Autism Society. As you've probably read on last week's post, I wavered on going in that direction, but the publicist has told me this partnership has actually worked out quite well.
Tuesday, June 24, 7 pm, at Bookpeople in Austin. The event is free but like many indies, you must purchase your book at Bookpeople to get it signed.
Wednesday, June 25, 7 pm, at Blue Willow in Houston. Same rules at Bookpeople. Free event, but you must purchase books at BW to get them signed.
Thursday, June 26, 6 pm private reception ($30 includes book), 7 pm reading (free) at the University Park Library (Dallas).
Thursday we're at the Michio Kaku fundraiser dinner for Milwaukee Center for Independence. Tickets are $100 and do not include the book. If they are not sold out already, they are close to it.
Saturday, June 21, 2 pm, at the North Shore Library 6800 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale 53217.
Fierce Reads comes back to Milwaukee!
This year's lineup features:
Leigh Bardugo, author of Ruin and Rising the third volume of the Grisha Trilogy.
From the publisher: The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction--and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she's fighting for.
Emmy Laybourne, author of Monument 14: Savage Drift, also the third volume.
Fourteen kids from Monument, Colorado are trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. Outside the world is being ripped apart by violent storms and chemicals leaking into the atmosphere that, depending on blood type, leave victims paranoid, sterile, filled with bloodlust or dead. The kids must remain inside, forced to create their own community, unsure if they’ll ever be able to leave. Can they stop the world they’ve created inside from self-destructing too?
Our buyer Amie is a fan of the first Monument 14 book!
Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, teacher, and former character actress. Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1; and acted in the movies Superstar, The In-Laws, and Nancy Drew, among others.
Since we're listing tours, I noticed that Layborne's starts this week as well. Here's where she's going. Tuesday, June 17 – San Diego Public Library 6 PM
Wednesday, June 18 – Book Passage, San Francisco 6 PM
Thursday, June 19 – Seattle University 7 PM
Friday, June 20 – Anderson’s Bookshop, Chicago 7 PM
Saturday, June 21 – North Shore Library, Glendale 2 PM
Sunday, June 22 – Red Balloon Bookshop, Mineapolis 5 pm
Monday, June 23 – Shuler’s Books & Music, Okemos 6 PM
Tuesday, June 24 – Mclean & Eakin, Petoskey 6 PM
Good thing I checked--the website lists our store, not the library. I'll get that corrected.
Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead.
Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead. People like Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and most importantly, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn someone when you haven’t forgiven them? And how do you find your true identity when so much of who you were died with the person you loved?
Here's a profile of Dellaira in Entertainment Weekly. They can't pass up a book that checks Kurt Cobain. And I should note that Dellaira is getting comparisons to Stephen Chbosky
Born in Los Angeles, raised in Albuquerque, a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writers Workshop, Ms. Dellaira now lives in Santa Monica in an apartment the size of a shoebox.
Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice.
Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring--and keep--Alice down.
Jennifer Mathieu is a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with my family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist (at the Houston Press), she now writes contemporary YA fiction, which you already knew!
Mathieu launched her book at Blue Willow in Houston. Read the profile in the Houston Press
Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) and Mary Robinette Kowal, in conversation with Jim Higgins of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
On Mary Robinette Kowal, whose new novel is Valour and Vanity...
Acclaimed fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal has enchanted many fans with her beloved novels featuring a Regency setting in which magic—known here as glamour—is real. In Valour and Vanity, master glamourists Jane and Vincent find themselves in the sort of a magical adventure that might result if Jane Austen wrote Ocean’s Eleven.d
Now in Valour and Vanity, Melod has married, and the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.Jane and Vincent are helped by a kind local they meet en route, but Vincent is determined to become self-reliant and get their money back, and hatches a plan to do so. But when so many things are not what they seem, even the best laid plans conceal a few pitfalls. The ensuing adventure is a combination of the best parts of magical fantasy and heist novels, set against a glorious Regency backdrop.
On Katherine Addison, whose new novel is The Goblin Emperor.
Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world. The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his
father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody.
Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.
I love how the copy called Addison a great new talent, whereas Addison is not secret about noting that her previous novels were written as Sarah Monette. It appears that this is just another variation of the Turing Test. And you do know that On the Media observed that the whole thing was a bit of a sham. Eugene Goostman was a chatbot, not a supercomputer, and was certainly not the first machine to pass the Turing test. But maybe we can convince some buyer's computers to take a chance on Katherine "Sarah Monette" Addison.
Here's more about the event on in the Journal Sentinel. Our thanks to Jim Higgins for moderating this fantasy fantasy panel.
Monday, June 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Ann Garvin, author of The Dog Year
From the publisher: Dr. Lucy Peterman was not built for a messy life. A well-respected surgeon whose patients rely on her warmth, compassion, and fierce support, Lucy has always worked hard and trusted in the system. She's not the sort of person who ends up in a twelve-step program after being caught stealing supplies from her hospital. But that was Lucy before the accident-before her husband and unborn baby were ripped away from her in an instant, before her future felt like a broken promise. Caught red-handed in a senseless act that kept her demons at bay, she's faced with a choice: get some help or lose her medical license. Now she's reluctantly sharing her deepest fears with a bunch of strangers, avoiding her loneliness by befriending a troubled girl, pinning her hopes on her husband's last gift, and getting involved with a rugged cop from her past. It's only when she is adopted by a stray mutt and moves her group to the dog park that she begins to truly bond with the ragtag dog-loving addicts-and discovers that a chaotic, unplanned life might be the sweetest of all.
Ann Garvin (who was Ann Wertz Garvin on her last novel, On Maggie's Watch) teaches at UW Whitewater but lives in Madison. She apparently had a wonderfully successful launch in Madison. Team Milwaukee, see if you we can even get close to that number!
Watch Ms. Garvin's video, filmed at Madison's A Room of One's Own.
Hope to see you at one of this week's events!