Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Event Post--Joël Dicker at Boswell on Tuesday, Info on Christine Ha at Independence First Dinner on Thursday, Jeffery Renard Allen at Boswell on Saturday, Plus Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes on Increase Latham Next Monday, June 9.

It's day 1887.

Tuesday, June 3, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Joël Dicker, author of The Truth about The Harry Quebert Affair.

This event is co-sponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee. Mr. Dicker will be reading in French and English.

With rights sold in over 32 countries and the winner of three French literary prizes, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, cinematic literary thriller and global phenomenon about the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old New Hampshire girl and, thirty years later, a young American writer’s determination to clear his mentor’s name while finding the inspiration for his next bestseller. To save his mentor Harry, his writing career, and eventually even himself, Marcus Goldman must answer three questions, all of which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? What happened one misty morning in Somerset in the summer of 1975? And how do you write a successful and true novel?

"This sprawling, likable whodunit [is] obvious ballast for the summer’s beach totes…Dicker keeps the prose simple and the pace snappy in a plot that winds up with more twists than a Twizzler…[An] entertaining debut thriller." —Kirkus Reviews

Here's more from Mr. Dicker himself.

Thursday, June 5, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino:
Christine Ha, as part of the Night for Independence First Annual Fundraiser.

This wonderful annual fundraiser celebrating the contributions of people with disabilities will feature a silent auction, dinner and a keynote delivered by Ms. Ha, the first blind contestant on the show. Ms. Ha went on to win season three. She also has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston, where she also served as Fiction Editor for their literary magazine, Gulf Coast. And yes, she has a BBA in finance/MIS from the University of Texas.

Boswell will be selling copies of Christine Ha's cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food. More about Ms. Ha, her cooking and writing career, and Independence First in their newsletter.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person. For more information, visit or call (414) 291-7520 V/Relay. Walk ups are not available for this event to my knowledge, so if you want to see Ms. Ha and support a great cause, contact Independent First now.

Saturday, June 7, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank.

Jeffery Renard Allen as he presents his latest novel, Song of the Shank, a "richly written" (Library Journal) contemporary American masterpiece about music, race, an unforgettable man, and an unreal America during the Civil War era. With his latest earning comparisons to Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner, you won’t want to miss Jeffery Renard Allen discussing this brilliant work!

Boswellian Conrad Silverberg had this to say about the book: "Blind Tom was a musical prodigy. He could reproduce on his piano, after one hearing, anything played for him: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, popular songs...anything. He toured the U.S. and Europe during the mid-Nineteenth Century, and was hailed by one and all as a musical genius. He was considered to be an idiot savant. He was also a slave. He was treated like an amazingly gifted animal, like a show horse or circus elephant. He made his master rich. When the Civil War ended, with the loss of this source of income threatened, his master neglected to inform him that he was free. Jeffery Renard Allen's first novel was compared favorably to Faulkner and Joyce. That's an awfully hard row to hoe. With this book, based on a true story, he delivers the goods."

"The prodigiously talented Jeffery Renard Allen is without question one of our most important writers." —Junot Díaz, author of This Is How You Lose Her

"In the extraordinarily talented hands of Allen, Tom is a mysterious and compelling figure…[A] tour de force…A brilliant book, with echoes of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner." —Booklist

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author the novel, Rails Under My Back, which won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Fiction, and the story collection Holding Pattern, which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. He is a professor in the ceative writing program at Queens College in New York.

And for next week, mark your calendars for Monday, June 9, 6 pm (note special time), at the Milwaukee Public Library Rare Books Room, 807 W. Wisconsin Ave. 53233:
Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes, authors of Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham, Early Chronicler of Plants, Rocks, Rivers, Mounds, and All Things Wisconsin.

Told in compelling detail through Lapham's letters, journals, books, and articles, Studying Wisconsin chronicles the life and times of Wisconsin's pioneer citizen-scientist. Authors Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes explore the remarkable life and achievements of Increase Lapham (1811-1875), who identified and preserved thousands of botanical specimens. He surveyed and mapped Wisconsin's effigy mounds. He was a force behind the creation of the National Weather Service, lobbying for a storm warning system to protect Great Lakes sailors.

Lapham's ability to observe, understand, and meticulously catalog the natural world marked all of his work, from his days as a teenage surveyor on the Erie Canal to his last great contribution as state geologist. Self-taught, Lapham mastered botany, geology, archaeology, limnology, mineralogy, engineering, meteorology, and cartography. A prolific writer, his 1844 guide to the territory was the first book published in Wisconsin. Asked late in life which field of science was his specialty, he replied simply, "I am studying Wisconsin."

Oh, just one more preview. Don't forget the Dork Diaries' Rachel Renée Russell will be signing at the Greenfield Public Library from 4-7 pm with her daughters Nikki and Erin. The featured title is Dork Diaries 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star, but we'll have all books available for sale. The Russells will sign up to two Dork Diaries books per person. There are no posed photos with the author for this event, but aside from that, cameras are welcome.

Hope to see you at one of this week's events.

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