Here are some bookish happenings this week!
Tuesday, July 12, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lions and Lamb
Bonnie Nadzam, author of the critically acclaimed Lamb, winner of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, returns with this scorching, haunting portrait of a rural community in a living ghost town on the brink of collapse, and the individuals who are confronted with either chasing their dreams or—against all reason—staying where they are. A story of awakening, Lions is a novel that explores ambition and an American obsession with self-improvement, the responsibilities we have to ourselves and each other, as well as the everyday illusions that pass for a life worth living.
For more about Bonnie Nadzam and Lions, here's an interview with Royal Young in Interview magazine. A taste: "Nadzam weaves ghosts, myths, longing, and an aching American landscape into a fascinating fable about the lengths we go to for the people we love. Tender, intense, and desperate for a better life, Nadzam's characters are easy to relate to. We spoke with Nadzam about lost love, how we live our lives according to legends, dark culture, ghost towns, and the sublime."
Bonnie Nadzam currently lives in Madison. A film version of Lamb was released at several film festivals and received a very positive reception. It was produced by Menomonie Falls native Mel Eslyn.
Tuesday, July 12, 6 pm, at the North Point Lighthouse, 2650 N Wahl:
A ticketed evening with John Gurda, author of Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods.
While we are not involved with North Point's evening with John Gurda, I must mention this great opportunity--you can't go wrong with a night of John Gurda stories. Tickets are $35 and include on drink and light refreshments. Historic Milwaukee will be selling books at this event. The North Point Lighthouse is a treasure on Milwaukee's East Side. If you haven't been, why not visit this summer? Business hours are 10-2 on Tuesdays and 1-4 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Wednesday, July 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jim and Donna Peterson, author of Staging the Great Circus Parade.
From the introduction: "In the early 1900s, Wisconsin was home to over 100 circuses. The Ringling Brothers show stared out in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Chappie Fox was fascinated by horses, trains, and circuses. He was an avid photographer and took many pictures of his three favorite subjects...With help from John M. Kelly, a lawyer who worked for Ringling Bros., Chappie worked to start a circus museum in Baraboo." The parade was originally set up to showcase the museum. Ben Barkin, a marketing exec, put Fox in touch with Schlitz Brewing Company, who provided the financing for the first run of the parade, from 1963 to 1972. Later on it was put on by the Great Circus Parade Foundation, also put together by Barkin. What Milwaukeean of a certain age doesn't have memories of visiting the parade and grounds?
Jim Peterson grew up in Milwaukee and volunteered for the first run of the Great Circus Parades. By 1980, Jim was married with a young family when Circus World Museum called and asked him to volunteer again. He agreed as long as his wife, Donna, could volunteer as well. Like Jim, she was assigned to the flag and banner crew and was hooked, participating in every parade through 2009. During this time, the Petersons amassed a collection of photographs that documents the extensive volunteer effort dedicated to putting on a magnificent show, with the best from the archive gathered within this book.
Friday, July 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Emily Giffin, author of First Comes Love
This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Magazine
Boswell Book Company is pleased to present a ticketed event with Emily Giffin, author of seven bestselling novels, including her latest, First Comes Love. Tickets are $28, including admission for one and a copy of the new book, and all taxes and fees, purchased via Brown Paper Tickets*. On the night of the event only, a $20 Boswell gift card is available in lieu of the book. Don't forget, a signed copy of First Comes Love makes a great gift.
Congratulations to Giffin, who reached #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for First Comes Love!
From Sharon Nagel at Boswell"Emily Giffin's latest is the story of two sisters, Josie and Meredith, who lose their much-loved older brother in a tragic accident when they are young. Their already tenuous relationship becomes even more contentious and strained. The novel is set in alternating chapters: Josie's voice, and then Meredith's. On the 15th anniversary of their brother's death, long-buried secrets and feelings come to the surface. I greatly enjoyed my first reading of this very popular author."
And here's Jackie K. Cooper at The Huffington Post: "There are enough relationships in this novel to fill five other books but each one is pertinent to the story and each one is developed in a way as to be completely fulfilling. Plus each relationship impacts all of the other relationships directly or indirectly. Kudos to Giffin for it takes a talented and resourceful writer to create a wealth of characters and have them all be fully described for the reader to understand and enjoy."
Milwaukee Magazine Editor Carole Nicksin will be introducing our author.
Sunday, July 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of Before We Visit the Goddess
Introduced by Shawna Singh Baldwin, author of The Selector of Souls and The Tiger's Claw
Presenting a beautiful and powerful new novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of Oleander Girl and The Mistress of Spices about three generations of mothers and daughters who must discover their greatest source of strength in one another—a masterful, brilliant tale of a family both united and torn apart by ambition and love.
Divakruni has been a Boswell favorite for a long time. Boswellian Jane Glaser offered up a recommendation of the classic novel, Sister of My Heart: "Set against the backdrop of the cultural traditions of India, this is a moving story about two cousins, born twelve hours apart and raised
in the same Calcutta household. Forming a lifelong bond of mutual dependency and self sacrifice, they confront their inheritance of firmly
rooted family expectations of the societal roles for women and arranged marriages. Timelessly engaging storytelling by a brilliant writer,
Sister of My Heart has been a longstanding favorite on my bookshelf!"
And here's Daniel Goldin with his recommendation of Before We Visit the Goddess: "Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been exploring the bonds of family in her work, and in her latest, she writes about three generations of women – Sabritri, Bela, and Tara – and how their decisions resonate over the generations. The story is told through linked stories, propelled forward over the narrative but with time hopping to make things interesting. So can you have an ideal life when visions of love and family don’t measure up? The answer is that there are alternate paths to fulfillment and peace, one of which definitely involves tasty food. Before We Visit the Goddess makes the journey both enlightening and rewarding."
Monday, July 18, 6 pm, at Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N Water St:
Philia Kelnhofer, author of Fast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People
Philia Kelnhofer (aka Phi) started her food blog sweetphi.com as a place to share her favorite recipes with friends and family. After getting numerous requests for more of her five-ingredient meals, she introduced Five Ingredient Fridays with the simple belief that "five ingredients is all it takes to create fantastic dishes." A native of Chicago, Phi attended graduate school at Cornell University in New York, has lived in North Carolina, and now calls Milwaukee home, where she lives with her husband and their dog.
Monday, July 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Amy E. Reichert, author of Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.
The author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is back with her second Milwaukee-set novel. This time its about a woman who decides to bond with her poker-playing husband, only to find herself with such a talent that she starts entering professional tournaments. All well and good for self-esteem, but not exactly the move to re-bond with her spouse.
I was at a luncheon in Appleton yesterday and I could hear the other side of the table animatedly discussing their new favorite book. I hardly imagined it would be Reichert's The Coincidence of Coconut Cake! Kimberly said to me, offhandedly, "You've probably hosted her in the bookstore" and my reply was "Actually she'll be at Boswell really soon!" Maybe Reichert's new book will be your next favorite book too.