Monday, August 22, 2016

Boswell Happenings: Michael Bowen, Michail Takach, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, and Lisa Moser

Here's what's happening at Boswell this week.

Tuesday, August 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Michael Bowen, author of Damage Control

Milwaukee's Michael Bowen may no longer be a full-time lawyer, but he's got many years of lawyerly stories that will inspire many mysteries to come. A graduate of Harvard Law with a passion for politics going back to his teens, Bowen penned an earlier D.C.based series that began with 1990's Washington Deceased and continued through Collateral Damage, focused on retired Foreign Service Officer Richard Michaelson. His new anti-heroine, Josie Kendall, is as different from Michaelson as contemporary Washington is from the capital as it was 25 years ago.

Here's a little more about Damage Control. When shadowy gray market hustler and aspiring crony capitalist Jerzy Schroeder is murdered while Josie Kendall is hitting him up for a million dollars to help him cash in on alternative energy funding, the police suspect her of adultery and her husband, Rafe, of homicide. Josie, who works for Majority Values Coalition, an activist fundraising organization, is a new but passionate DC player. Suave Rafe, long a Washington insider, also long a widower, is passionate about Josie. He’s on a new track as a literary agent and supporting Josie’s how-Washington-works learning curve. For Josie and Rafe, this isn't a murder investigation but a political damage-control problem. They attack the issue with an array of finely tuned skills: strategic leaks, manipulation of the media, judicious use of inside information, and a flexible attitude toward the truth - plus the assistance of Josie's Uncle Darius, a veteran spin doctor with surprising connections, who - luckily - is out on parole.

They'll need a full arsenal, since, as one capital insider points out, "A damage control strategy that hasn't succeeded within thirty days has failed." Along the way, Josie, juggling plot lines, will have to decide whether there are ethical lines that even she won't cross. A proposal from Schroeder's ex-wife, Ann DeHoin, known as “The Gray Lady,” thanks to her wardrobe, shows Josie that she was (and probably still is) being gamed. To what end? The priority here is to figure out what the game is before the body count rises, while staying on mission at MVC, which gets money from people committed to a cause, spends part of it promoting that cause through channels like running ads, and keeps the rest. In this contemporary House of Cards scenario, determining who actually murdered Schroeder is a low-priority problem but Josie manages to do that as well. It's all in a day's (well, thirty days') work.

As he did for his previous visit, Michael Bowen will be donating his proceeds from this event to Literacy Services of Wisconsin.

Thursday, August 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Michail Takach, author of LGBT Milwaukee

This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Pride and Outwords Books, Gifts, and Coffee

As a lifelong Milwaukeean, Michail Takach became fascinated with its nightlife culture, venues, and neighborhoods at a young age and has committed himself to researching and documenting those stories not told in history books. Now with the help of Don Schamb, who has worked with the Milwaukee AIDS Project (now ARCW), Milwaukee Gamma, the Cream City Foundation, and now the LGBT History project, Milwaukee Pride Communications Director Takach has put together LGBT Milwaukee, the newest release from Arcadia's Images of America.

For a medium-size Rust Belt city with German Protestant roots, Milwaukee was an unlikely place for gay and lesbian culture to bloom before the Stonewall Riots. It is said there were 36 gay bars already open in Milwaukee before Stonewall, a number matched only by New York and San Francisco. However, Milwaukee eventually had as many--if not more--known LGBTQ gathering places as Minneapolis or Chicago, ranging from the back rooms of the 1960s to the video bars of the 1980s to the guerrilla gay bars of today.

Over the past 75 years, people in the LGBT community have experienced tremendous social change in America. Gay and lesbian culture, once considered a twilight world that could not be spoken of in daylight, has become today’s rainbow families, marriage equality victories, and popular pride celebrations.

All author proceeds from LGBT Milwaukee will benefit Milwaukee Pride, a 501c3 nonproft dedicated to year-round local LGBTQ history education programs.

Saturday, August 27, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, author of Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir
We're grateful to help from Cope Services and Community Advocates for helping get the word out about this event.

Darryl McDaniels “DMC” made his start in the music business with the groundbreaking rap group Run-D.M.C., which he founded with Joseph (Rev. Run) Simmons and the late, great Jason (Jam Master Jay) Mizell. The multi-platinum music group has sold more than thirty million singles and albums worldwide, and has had a major influence on popular culture, transforming Rap and Hip Hop into the most popular music in the world and building a fan base that rivals the biggest acts in Rock ’n’ Roll.

As one third of the legendary rap group Run-D.M.C., Darryl “DMC” McDaniels—aka Legendary MC, The Devastating Mic Controller, and the King of Rock—had it all: talent, money, fame, prestige. While hitting #1 on the Billboard charts was exhilarating, the group’s success soon became overwhelming. A creative guy who enjoyed being at home alone or with his family, DMC turned to alcohol to numb himself, a retreat that became an addiction. For years, he went through the motions. But in 1997, when intoxication could no longer keep the pain at bay, he plunged into severe depression and became suicidal. But he wasn’t alone. During the same period, suicide became the number three leading cause of death among black people - a health crisis that continues to this day.

In this memoir, DMC speaks openly about his emotional and psychological struggles and the impact on his life, and addresses the many reasons that led him—and thousands of others—to consider suicide. Some of the factors include not being true to who you are, feelings of loneliness, isolation, and alienation, and a lack of understanding and support from friends and family when it’s needed most. He also provides essential information on resources for getting help. Revealing how even the most successful people can suffer from depression, DMC offers inspiration for everyone in pain—information and insight that he hopes can help save other lives.

Here's a Boswell and Books blog post that talks more about Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide.

Sunday, August 28, 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
Stories and activities with Lisa Moser, author of Stories from Bug Garden

Grafton's Lisa Moser is the author of the early readers The Monster in the Backpack and Squirrel’s Fun Day as well as many picture books, including Kisses on the Wind, and the sadly now out-of-print Railroad Hank. Come to Boswell for a bug-tastic afternoon. We'll make bookworms and have other activities, as well as a storytime.

What may appear to be an abandoned garden is actually home to an unusual array of insects. Meet a ladybug who prefers making mud angels to acting like a lady, a roly-poly bug who loves to roll (“wa-hoo!”), a cricket who dreams of grand adventures, and a whole neighborhood of bugs gazing up at a fireworks show of flowers bursting into bloom. These inviting vignettes are sure to have readers seeing bugs in a whole new light.

Join us for an afternoon of bug related poetry and activities with Wisconsin’s own Lisa Moser. We’ve been having so much fun selling this book since spring, and decided we absolutely had to do more to let you know about it. It’s summer now when you take bugs for granted, but in January, you’ll be thinking about dragonflies and crickets and grasshoppers and Stories from Bug Garden can be your memory book.

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