This week's online literary clipping service for Milwaukee.
Will Stotts, Jr's "Booked Up" column in Dial/Urban Milwaukee features a review of Emma Donoghue's Frog Music. He writes: "Emma Donoghue is a gifted writer. This book deepens the admiration I felt after ROOM. She has opened an unknown world to us and forced us to smell and taste it, even when it disgusts us. Her achievement here is one akin to time travel. We are transported and return with insights into the past in ways we may never have dreamed. Frog Music makes the past sing."
And finally, the Wisconsin Gazette has a periodic WiGWords column. Their most recent entry featured another look at Christopher Isherwood, in lieu of the recent reissues of A Single Man and his letters. She notes: "The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, also from FSG and edited by Katherine Bucknell, creates a remarkable portrait of the relationship between the two men. It is a strange, engrossing book — extraordinarily personal and unlike any other volume of letters in literature. 'Animals' is a word the men use for themselves, for their private world, where Isherwood is a workhorse named 'Dobbin' and Bachardy is a playful kitty cat."
Lake Effect's Labor Day broadcast featured an airing of the conversation with Mitch Teich and Matthew Algeo, author of Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport. From the promo: "Turn back the clock to the 19th Century, and the hottest ticket in town, as far as sports were concerned, was the sport of pedestrianism. Watching people walk, around a track, often for days at a time."
A reairing of Teich's interview with Julia Azari, author of Delivering the People's Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate, was particularly timely, as it aired the day before our event with Julia Azari and Kathleen Rooney on Tuesday. "When Presidents justify their decisions in terms of what they promised they would do and what they were elected to, it kind of puts the decision in the hands of the voters in a way that sounds democratic, but you know, there’s a way of thinking about democracy that’s kind of about, we elect leaders and we want leaders to exercise good judgment," says Azari.
Tuesday's Lake Effect offered an interview with Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat, a timely airing that promotes the upcoming Milwaukee River Challenge. Back when we had our event, it was clear that the crew fans were among the early adopters of Brown's wonderful story. Lake Effect notes: "The (Milwaukee River) Challenge will draw throngs of curious onlookers, but back in 1936, rowing was very much in the public consciousness. It was that year that an underdog group of American rowers took on the world’s best at the Olympics in Berlin, and took home a gold medal."
We're big fans of Do Not Sell at Any Price (or at least Josh is, as he's got the rec), and apparently so are the Lake Effect crew, who talked to author Amanda Petrusich. "Because 78 RPM records are so fragile and because nearly no metal masters survived of those sessions, the 78s themselves, the artifacts, the records, are sometimes the only evidence we have that these songs were ever written," says author Amanda Petrusich. Alas, there's no play button on this segment, but you can find it on the full episode.
LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow fame (to say nothing of STNG, was interviewed by Mitch Teich on Wednesday. Burton is the featured speaker at the annual Sharpe Literacy Luncheon. He's definitely an ebook reading type of guy, and is currently immersed in Game of Thrones.
Oh, I did love Garbage, with such gems as "Only Happy When it Rains." If Butch Vig or Shirley Manson ever write a book, I'll recap where each of their songs peaked on my personal top 100. But only if...or if Mr. Vig is ever spotted at Boswell.
Marja Mills appeared on Lake Effect on Thursday, in advance of our wonderful Thursday evening talk for The Mockingbird Next Door. Bonnie North talked to the Madison-born Mills, who originally went to Alabama to report on the town of Monroeville, as part of a Chicago Tribune project. The Chicago Public Library had chosen the book as the citywide read, and the story started from there when Mills met Alice Finch Lee.
And on Friday, Mitch Teich talked to Katey Schultz, author of the story collection, Flashes of War, a collection from May 2013. From Lake Effect: "It’s a collection of short stories and flash fiction pieces written from the perspectives of people on many different fronts of the war on terror - active soldiers, Afghan citizens, traumatized veterans and more. The pieces are, in essence, thought-provoking snapshots of where the characters find themselves at a particular moment in time."
Over on Wisconsin Public Radio, Joy Cardin spoke with Harlan Cohen, author of the perennial graduation table staple, The Naked Roommate. From WPR: "But no matter what your place in life, sharing an apartment with someone can come with rewards and challenges. Joy Cardin's guest discusses how to deal with a far-from-ideal roomie, and welcomes your stories of horror, happiness, and lessons you learned." Amusingly enough, I once though this book was written by thriller writer Harlan Coben.
I actually caught most of Joy Cardin's interview with Michael Ellis, author of The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection when it aired on Wednesday. We will likely be the last generation to know what it's like to not be continuously wired. Well, unless Station Eleven's predictions come true.
I've apparently been listening to a lot of Cardin lately. It's generally on the reairing at night. Thursday's program featured Steve Almond, author of Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, a favorite of our buyer Jason. Per WPR, Almond says "the once-wholesome game not only puts players at too high a risk of brain damage, but also promotes greed, violence, racism, and homophobia." I had an interesting conversation with a fan when I brought this up recently; even though he loves the sport, he wondered why there weren't weight limits, as there are in boxing.
On the Larry Meiller Show, Michael Perry talked to Meiller about his new kids' book, The Scavengers. From WPR: "Author Michael Perry is back, and this time, it's a dystopian novel for middle grade readers. Larry Meiller visits with Michael and finds out how different it is from writing memoirs, and what inspired the story." Michael Perry appears at Boswell on Thursday, September 18, 7 pm.
On Kathleen Dunn, the author of The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America talks about "what cities can do to rebuild after a terrible disaster." Scott Cowen is the past president of Tulane University.
And then on Thursday, Dunn talks to Chuck McCutcheon and David Marks, author of Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech. On this interesting tome: "To the amusement of the pundits and the regret of the electorate, our modern political jargon has become even more brazenly two-faced and obfuscatory than ever. Where once we had Muckrakers, now we have Bed-Wetters. Where Blue Dogs once slept peaceably in the sun, Attack Dogs now roam the land. During election season--a near constant these days--the coded rhetoric of candidates and their spin doctors, and the deliberately meaningless but toxic semiotics of the wing nuts and backbenchers, reach near-Orwellian levels of self-satisfaction, vitriol, and deceit."