Monday, May 9, 2016

Events This Week! Mark Wilkerson, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Richelle Mead at Oak Creek Public Library, Fredrik Backman,and Alvaro Saar Rios next Monday

Monday, May 9, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Mark Wilkerson, author of Tomas Young's War
Co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace.

From Mark Wilkerson, who spent eight years in the army as an AH-1 Cobra and UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter crew chief, comes a biography of the paralyzed Iraq War soldier turned antiwar activist. From his obituary by Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times: "Young, a native of Kansas City, Mo., enlisted in the Army two days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, at the age of 21. He completed his basic training at Ft. Hood, Texas, and shipped out to Iraq. Young was riding through Sadr City in an unarmored, uncovered Humvee when he was shot through the spinal cord and paralyzed. He relied on a wheelchair for the rest of his life."

Wilkerson interviewed Young in 2013 and 2014 before Young's passing in November 2014. Phil Donahue helped bring to life a documentary on Young called Body of War and wrote the foreward to this book. Donahue writes: "The author has brilliantly rendered a true account that includes all the dramas that were never seen by the government ‘bring it on’ boys who boast of their toughness by calling a war and send other peoples’ kids to fight it.”

Kirkus Reviews called Tomas Young's War "an extremely poignant statement on human vulnerability and the devastation of war." In addition to his years of service, Wilkerson has written books on Pearl Jam and Pete Townshend, He also has a day job as an aircraft maintenance professional.

Tuesday, May 10, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs, 1613-1918
This event is cosponsored by the UWM Russian and Eastern European Studies program and the UWM Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

Here is a not unusual conversation I have with bookstore shoppers. Someone will ask me why we can't host a famous writer. I will explain the particular complications of pitching writers of acclaim. They have a limited amount of time available and everyone wants them. In addition, there is more competition for their time with speaking paid speaking engagements. Serious nonfiction is particularly difficult because you're competing with every university campus in the country.

In this case, we're competing with just about every academic institution in the western world, but somehow we are hosting the acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore. Just read this biography: "Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian of Russia and the Middle East. Potemkin: Catherine the Great’s Imperial Partner was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, the Costa Biography Award, and le Grande Prix de la biographie politique. Jerusalem: The Biography was a worldwide best seller. Montefiore is also the author of the novels Sashenka and One Night in Winter, which won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2014. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Dr. Montefiore graduated from Cambridge University, where he received his PhD."

Reviews of the new book, The Romanovs, 1613-1918, are very strong. Anthony Beevor called it "epic history on the grandest scale" in The Financial Times. Jon Kampfner in The Guardian wrote "the research is meticulous and the style is captivating." And Stuart Kelly in The Scotsman found it "a compelling study, balancing analysis and anecdote beautifully.

This is a big deal! Spread the word.

Friday, May 13, 6 pm signing, 6:30 talk, at the Oak Creek Public Library, 8040 S Sixth Street, just off Drexel Ave:
Richelle Mead, author of The Glittering Court.

Richelle Mead has written over 25 novels for teens and adults but far and away her biggest success is The Vampire Academy series. We're honored to be cosponsoring an event with Mead at the new Oak Creek Public Library in Drexel Town Center.

Richelle Mead has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. Her standalone novel, Soundless, draws upon Chinese mythology and history, and her new series, The Glittering Court, follows the adventures of girls destined for arranged marriages in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America. Of her newest, Booklist wrote "There is a strong feminist element in Adelaide's narration, and more than meets the eye in terms of plot, character development, and substantive thought."

If you want to know a little more about Mead, she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails (made with mead?), and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous

There are signing restrictions for this event. Mead will sign up to three books from home, one personalized and two signature only. She'll take photos too, as time permits. More information on the Blue Succubus journal.

Saturday, May 14, 2 pm, at Boswell: Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, in conversation with Claire Hanan, Senior Editor at Milwaukee Magazine.

It's finally here. The runaway international bestselling author who has been topping our own bestseller lists for months is coming!

Here's a little more about the new book. Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She begins her day at 6 a.m., because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It's just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. She is not one to judge others - no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.

If you loved A Man Called Ove, we think you're going to love Britt-Marie Was Here too. Boswellian Jen Steele called Backman's newest "a wonderful novel full of heart and humor." And Publishers Weekly wrote: "Insightful and touching, this is a sweet and inspiring story about truth and transformation. Fans of Backman's will find another winner in these pages."

This event is free and open to the public, but I'd come early if I were you.

Monday, May 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Alvaro Saar Rios, author of Luchadora!

Presenting an event from the top rope: a talk and dramatic reading by Alvaro Saar Rios, assistant professor of playwriting and analysis at Peck School of the Arts, co-founder of The Royal Mexican Players, and author of Luchadora!, a moving tale of fathers and daughters, secret identities, and the exciting world of lucha libre—Mexican wrestling.

Rios's play has already been performed in Milwaukee by First Stage and what great reviews it got! Jim Higgins wrote in the Journal Sentinel: "Step right up, damas y caballeros, for the most exciting father-daughter wrestling saga this side of the Pecos. Playwright Alvaro Saar Rioshas described Luchadora! as the folk tale of Mulan set in the world of lucha libre wrestling. But Saar Rios and First Stage have packed so much into this swift-moving, often sweet family show, from the German and Mexican folk songs that reflect the diversity of Texas to a mystical female wrestling trainer with a Seinfeld-ian take on hugging."

We're celebrating the release of Luchadora! in book form. We'll have a talk and dramatic reading of this exciting story.

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