Here's what's going on at Boswell this week!
Monday, February 13, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me to Be, in conversation with Carole E. Barrowman.
From Carole E. Barrowman's review in the Journal Sentinel: "Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman in Minnesota author Mindy Mejia’s evocative and provocative mystery Everything You Want Me To Be ]has taken Shakespeare literally. Her entire world’s a stage. She’s “spent her entire life playing parts.” In her senior high school production of Macbeth, she’s playing Lady Macbeth, but forever she’s been role-playing with everyone: her parents (the good daughter), her young married English teacher (the good student), her friends (the popular girl), and even the sheriff (the good teenager).
"The novel opens with Hattie alone 'in a ditch in the middle of nowhere' Minnesota, with 'everything in the inside' changed. This is her moment of epiphany, but for what? A few pages later, Hattie is found brutally stabbed to death, and the small town reels.
"The story unfolds through three distinctive first-person points of view: the town’s sheriff, Del; Hattie’s English teacher, Peter; and Hattie herself. Early in the investigation the sheriff says he doesn’t place much stock in the 'common sense' of teenagers, but who are they when they think no one’s looking, when the masks are off and the costumes put away?"
Everything's coming up Mindy! Here's a Boswell recommendation from Teasha Kirkwood: "A haunting thriller about the muder of an adored high school senior in small-town Minnesota. Mejia is a skillful master of thte re-direct and will keep you guessing 'til the end." That is seconded by Boswellian Sharon K. Nagel, another fan.
In addition to being a mystery critic for the Journal Sentinel and a guest host on Morning Blend, Carole Barrowman is a professor of English and the director of Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno College, where she has taught since 1987. She has written six books, including Exodus Code, Hollow Earth, and the London Times bestseller Anything Goes, as well as the comic book Captain Jack and the Selkie.
This event is cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.
Tuesday, February 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
bela suresh roongta, author of …fill in the beauty, a book for the storyteller and artist in all of us.
In a book for the storyteller and artist in all of us, local artist and business owner bela suresh roongta introduces …fill in the beauty, a collection of her original drawings and the stories they tell.
Inspired by her East-Indian roots and growing up in the West, roongta invites us to discover, explore, and fill in our own truth and beauty. Borrowing from the art of henna, the ancient East-Indian practice of adorning the hands and feet with a paste made from the finely ground leaves of the henna plant, she uses the intricate floral and geometric patterns of this art form to bring her own drawings to life. She then plays with words until they fall into place, capturing the moments, hopes and dreams we all share.
bela suresh roongta is the founder and designer of belabela, a Milwaukee-based business that offers high-quality, easy-to-wear fashion for the active lifestyle. Each design tells a story and is inspired by bela’s life experiences as a woman, mother, friend, advocate, and artist. Just as the hands and feet provide a canvas for the art of henna, bela wants her art to live through the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the stories we write.
If you didn't read our blog post about belabela studio, here's a link to it.
Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes, #15 on The New York Times bestseller list!
The Guardian calls Behind Her Eyes "fantastically creepy." And here's the Evening Standard nothing the huge buzz around this book with comparisons to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train being more than just about genre--all three authors were 44 when their books were released! 44!
Louise is a single mom and secretary stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone. When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
Then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, and also happens to be married to David. David and Adele may look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
Sarah Pinborough is an award-winning YA and adult thriller, fantasy, horror novelist, and screenwriter. She has published more than 20 novels, written for the BBC, and is currently working with several television companies on original projects. Her recent novels include the dystopian love story, The Death House, and a teenage thriller, 13 Minutes, which has been bought by Netflix with Josh Schwartz adapting.
This event is cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.
Friday, February 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Steve Nodine, Eric Beaumont, Clancy Carroll, and Dave Luhrssen, authors of Brick Through the Window: An Oral History of Punk Rock, New Wave & Noise in Milwaukee, 1964-1984.
Brick Through the Window chronicles a small number of people who made history in a setting that produced internationally recognized bands such as the Violent Femmes, Die Kreuzen, Plasticland, and Oil Tasters. Original interviews with such visionaries as the late Mark Shurilla and Richard LaValliere tell stories of imagination, creativity, resourcefulness, and sacrifice.
From Jim Higgins in the Journal Sentinel: ""Brick" offers origin stories, histories and post-mortems (and photos) of many memorable local bands, including hardcore giants Die Kreuzen, the psychedelic Plasticland and the reggae-inflected X-Cleavers, to name just a few. (A thorough index will help you find your favorite.) Musically speaking, take the book's subtitle loosely, as a number of the units remembered here don't fit any of those categories, including the clever pop-rock band Yipes! and the rootsy R&B maestro Paul Cebar.
"But all of these folks knew each other, and local live music fans knew them. Describing those years, Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie said: 'There were hundreds and hundreds of us, and it was amorphous. There was very little distinction between the musicians and the fans. They were the same people.'"
Steve Nodine is a web developer and author of The Cease Is Increase, interviews from which provide the foundation for this book. Steve has written for ShepherdExpress and OnMilwaukee,, and was the lead singer for the Milwaukee-based bands Dark Façade, Between Walls, and Newly Damaged.
Eric Beaumont is a musician, DJ, paralegal, and writer living in Milwaukee. His literary criticism has appeared in the African American Review, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and ShepherdExpress. As Eric Blowtorch, he has written, performed, and arranged five albums, seven singles, and numerous songs on compilations and soundtracks. His published interviews include those with Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, KRS-ONE, and George McGovern.
Clancy Carroll is a musician, record label owner, and music writer based in Milwaukee. His past bands include Ozone, the Ones, and the Clancy Carroll Band. As King and CEO of Splunge Communications, Inc., he has released records by the likes of the Prosecutors, Triple Forbidden Taboo, and the Leather Phaorohs, as well as the double-CD compilation History in 3 Chords: Milwaukee Alternative Bands 1973-1982.
David Luhrssen has lectured at UWM and MIAD. He is author of Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen and Hammer of the Gods: Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism. He is co-author of numerous works, including Searching for Rock and Roll. Currently the Arts and Entertainment Editor of Milwaukee’s weekly ShepherdExpress, he is also a commentator on film for WUWM.
Sunday, February 19, 2:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd:
A ticketed event with Elinor Lipman, author of On Turpentine Lane in conversation with Daniel Goldin
Elinor Lipman, the grand dame of American comic fiction, returns to Milwaukee for a very special ticketed event at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.
From Michelle Wildgen's review in The New York Times Book Review: "Light and tight, On Turpentine Lane is constructed with an almost scary mastery. Not a single thread dangles, not a single character is left without a place in Faith’s world. The story folds out and back in as neatly as an origami flower, and Faith recounts it all with a raised eyebrow and plenty of cheek. 'I tried to be circumspect,' she says of a nouveau riche broker of customized Chagall copies. 'I might have let slip some of the adjectives I meant to stifle, such as "domineering," "insensitive" and "hypersexual," but I was careful to balance those with compliments about her décor.'"
Ms. Lipman will also be the guest speaker at Elizabeth Berg's Writing Matters program in Oak Park. That event is Saturday, February 18, 7 pm. Tickets are $10 and include refreshments. You can read more about Lipman's writing process (500 words a day!) in this profile, published in the Chicago Tribune from Myrna Petlicki. Writing Matters event details are here.
Missed our round-up of all the great Elinor Lipman events in Milwaukee? Read more here.
Tickets for our event are $26 and include a copy of On Turpentine Lane. $5 from every ticket purchase will go back to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. You can purchase your ticket at Brown Paper Tickets or by phone at 800-838-3006. There is an $18 Boswell gift card option in lieu of the book on the day of the event only.
Monday, February 20, 7:00 pm at Radisson Hotel West, 2303 N Mayfair Rd:
A ticketed event with Patricia B. McConnell, author of The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog.
Renowned Zoologist and Animal Behaviorist, Patricia McConnell combines brilliant insights into canine behavior gained from her work with aggressive and fearful dogs with heartwarming stories of her own dogs and their life on the farm. In her memoir, McConnell is forced to face her past by her love for a young Border Collie named Will, whose frequent, unpredictable outbreaks of fear and fury shake Patricia to her core.
Tickets for this are $25 for general setting and $35 for preferred seating. Tickets can be purchased on the Wisconsin Humane Society’s website. Tickets do not include the price of the book, but books will be available for purchase at the event from Boswell.
Doors open for ths event at 6 pm.
Patricia McConnell, PhD, is an internationally known Zoologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has treated serious behavior problems in dogs for over twenty-five years. She speaks around the world about canine behavior and training, and is the author of fourteen books, including the critically acclaimed The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs. Dr. McConnell lives with her dogs and husband on a small farm near Madison, Wisconsin.
After that, we have a little public event winter break!Join us back at Boswell on February 26, 3 pm, for Karen Braman's talk about The Family Tree, cosponsored by America's Black Holocaust Museum.
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