Monday, March 2, 2015

Boswell Event Bulletin: Melissa Falcon Field on Tuesday, Thanhha Lai on Wednesday, Mary Doria Russell Thursday, Gina Cilento Saturday.

Tuesday, March 3, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Melissa Falcon Field, author of What Burns Away.

Boswell is proud to present Madison author Melissa Falcon Field,author of What Burns Away, in which a depressed new mom transplanted from Connecticut to Madison, Wisconsin, gives in to her latent teenage-arsonist fantasies and her first love. Christi Clancy writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "What Burns Away is that rare mix of well-written literary fiction with the suspense of a spy novel. Falcon Field asks hard questions about aging, innocence, loyalty and the importance of place, while keeping us on the edge of our seat."

A little about the story: upon relocating to snowy Madison with a distant physician husband, New England native Claire Spruce is besieged by a dark past when her first love finds her again. Breaking decades of silence, old flame Dean offers an intoxicating, reckless escape from motherhood’s monotony. Enchanted by his return, while yearning for her own mislaid identity, she agrees to repay a favor that could incinerate her marriage and her child’s well-being. What Burns Away is a story of loyalty, family and the realization that the past is nearly always waiting for us in the future.

From writer Bill Roorbach, author of Life Among Giants: "What Burns Away is a study of safety, loyalty, and heart. But it’s also the story of what happens when those things run up against boredom, when they gaze in the smoky glass of lost mirrors and see soulful shadows of passion, freedom, and risk. A new mom’s fiery first love is back, and he challenges all she's built for herself, revealing the fragility of suburban dreams—I mean nightmares. In scorching prose, Melissa Falcon Field reminds us that when trouble flies out to the far reaches of the solar system, we’d best not forget it’s coming back.”

Wednesday, March 4, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Thanhhà Lại, author of Inside Out and Back Again and her new book,  Listen, Slowly

Please join us as we welcome to Boswell the Newbery Honor and National Book Award winning-author of Inside Out and Back Again, Thanhhà Lại, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest young adult novel great for ages 8 and up, Listen, Slowly, an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale of Mai, a twelve-year-old Vietnamese American Laguna Beach girl, who discovers that home is not found on a map but is instead made up of the people she surrounds herself with and who she calls family.

Mai has been shipped off to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is traveling there to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip is a great opportunity for her to learn more about her roots. But Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place Mai wants to be during vacation. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive this trip, Mai will be forced to find the balance between two completely different worlds.

From National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson: “This book is at once funny, thoughtful, and stunningly engaging. I loved, loved, loved it! Can’t wait for my own daughter—and every reader who is lucky enough to get their hands on it—to step inside Mai’s two, very different, worlds.”

Here's Lai talking to Rachel Martin on NPR's All Things Considered.

Thursday, March 5, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Mary Doria Russell, author of Epitaph: A Novel of the O. K. Corral

A deeply divided nation. Vicious politics. A shamelessly partisan media. A president loathed by half the populace. Smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border. Armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take law into their own hands...that was America in 1881. All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October 26th when Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and thirty bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt. Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West.

Epitaph tells Wyatt’s real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried under 130 years of mythology, misrepresentation, and sheer indifference to fact. Epic and intimate, this novel gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by those fatal 30 seconds in Tombstone. At its heart is the woman behind the myth: Josephine Sarah Marcus, who loved Wyatt Earp for forty-nine years and who carefully chipped away at the truth until she had crafted the heroic legend that would become the epitaph her husband deserved.

From Chris Foran at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Like many stories of the West, Epitaph is part elegy and part eulogy, but it's also part regret: Unlike some tellings of this story, this gunfight is not an inevitable clash between law and lawlessness, but one rooted in a pileup of coincidences, personal histories and miscalculations."

Mary Doria Russell is the author of The Sparrow, considered a classic of speculative fiction and its sequel, Children of God, which, combined, have won eight regional, national and international awards. Her third novel, A Thread of Grace, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and her fourth novel, Dreamers of the Day, was nominated for the 2008 IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. She holds a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and previously taught human gross anatomy. She lives in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

Friday, March 6, 6:30 pm at Boswell:
Alas, our public event with Ted Sanders is cancelled, due to a scheduling conflict. School visits will continue as previously announced. If you'd like a signed copy of The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly, please email us and we'll get one signed for you.

Saturday, March 7, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Local Author Gina Cilento, author of Mitzi Boo and Mia, Too: Go to England

Keep Calm and Carry On—to Boswell for a talk and signing with local author and tennis pro, Gina Cilento, who will discuss her unique traveldogue-slash-kids' book in which adorable English Bulldog sisters Mitzi Boo and Mia guide readers on a sightseeing adventure across England.

Two English Bulldogs—the charismatic and ever-stylish Mitzi Boo and her even-keeled sister, Mia—journey to England after landing their first assignment for World Travel Magazine. From Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace, the two traipse across England desperate to see the Queen, sampling local cuisine, and working through sibling rivalry. Appealing to travel lovers, animal enthusiasts, and kids of all ages, Mitzi Boo and Mia, Too: Go to England is a humorous, off-beat approach to sibling stories, travelogues, and fundraising, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every book going to help fight against animal cruelty.

Gina Cilento has always been passionate about the well-being of animals: one of her lifelong dreams is to open a sanctuary for unwanted and abused animals of all kinds. For two decades, Gina has played tennis professionally in Oregon and Wisconsin. Still teaching and playing competitively, she’s found joy in reviving her art background as the author of Mitzi Boo and Mia, Too: Go to England, starring her two English Bulldogs, Mitzi and Mia.

Sunday, March 8, 11 am:
Story Time with Jannis!
This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Home by Carson Ellis, illustrator of the Wildwood series and The Mysterious Benedict Society series. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month’s Story Time is worth leaving home for! (And don't forget, Ellis will be at Boswell on Wednesday, March 25, 7 pm)

Coming up next week, Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Cat Warren, author of What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World.

Help us welcome Cat Warren, associate professor at North Carolina State University, who will discuss her new book, now out in paperback, What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World. Warren's work is a firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of “working dogs”—pups who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, even locate the dead, as told through the experiences of a journalist and her intrepid canine companion.

From Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash and beloved former host of the Wisconsin Public Radio Talk Show: “Good writing is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and this book is full of it.”

And from Rebecca Skloot in The New York Times Book Review:What the Dog Knows is a fascinating, deeply reported journey into scent, death, forensics and the amazing things dogs can do with their noses: sniffing out graves, truffles, bedbugs, maybe even cancer. But it’s also a moving story of how one woman transformed her troubled dog into a loving companion and an asset to society, all while stumbling on the beauty of life in their searches for death.”

Want more info? Read Cat Warren's blog here.

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