Monday, May 15, 2017

Event alert: cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, physicist James Kakalios, acclaimed novelist Mary Gordon, Dean Robbins at Wauwatosa Public Library on NASA's Margaret Hamilton (kids version), and Kate Southwood at the Lynden Sculpture Garden

Tuesday, May 16, 3:30pm, at Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W North Ave:
Dean Robbins, author of Margaret and the Moon.

In addition to his work writing children's books, Dean Robbins is a journalist, well-known for his tenure at Madison's Isthmus. His previous books include Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass and Miss Paul and the President. Robbins has become a popular presenter at area schools and we're pleased to cosponsor a public event with him at the Wauwatosa Public Library. If you're an educator and haven't yet hosted Robbins, come meet him.

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. Math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft's computer to solve any problems it might encounter on Apollo 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 10, and Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Kirkus Reviews writes: "Robbins successfully translates a complicated subject into an engaging text, with just the right amount of scientific information for young readers. Knisley's cartoonish illustrations, reminiscent of Megan McCarthy's, especially in Margaret's bespectacled eyes, perfectly capture the young white woman's inquisitive spirit while keeping the story light and child-friendly. A superb introduction to the life of one girl whose dreams were out-of-this-world."

Wednesday, May 17, 7:00pm, at Boswell:
Mary Gordon, author of There Your Heart Lies.

Mary Gordon is the author of eight novels, including Final Payments, Pearl, and The Love of My Youth; six works of nonfiction, including the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother; and three collections of short fiction, including The Stories of Mary Gordon, which was awarded the Story Prize. She has received many other honors, including a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Marian cut herself off from her wealthy, conservative Irish Catholic family when she volunteered during the Spanish Civil War, an experience she has always kept to herself. Now in her nineties, she shares her Rhode Island cottage with her granddaughter Amelia, a young woman with a good heart but a vague notion of life's purpose.

Their daily existence is intertwined with Marian's secret: the blow to her youthful idealism as she witnessed the brutalities of Franco's war and the romance that left her trapped in Spain for nearly a decade. When Marian is diagnosed with cancer, she finally speaks about what happened to her during those years, the personal and ethical challenges and unexpected gifts of true love and true friendship.

From Autumn Markus at the New York Journal of Books: "Read for the historical narrative about a war overshadowed by World War II, There Your Heart Lies is a lovely, well-conceived, researched, and executed novel about love, loss, and family. The insanity of war is a big enough topic for any writer to bite off, so forgive the weak modern era storyline. Mary Gordon has left big footsteps to fill for any other author writing about this era of history."

Thursday, May 18, 7:00pm, at Boswell:
James Kakalios, author of The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day.

James Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota and the author of the bestselling The Physics of Superheroes.

Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones and digital "clouds" to x-ray machines and hybrid vehicles.

Breaking down the world of things into a single day, Kakalios engages our curiosity about how our refrigerators keep food cool, how a plane manages to remain airborne, and how our wrist fitness monitors keep track of our steps. Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing invisible forces that surround us. Through this "narrative physics," The Physics of Everyday Things demonstrates that sophisticated science is also quite practical. With his signature clarity and inventiveness, Kakalios ignites our imaginations and enthralls us with the principles that make up our lives.

Publishers Weekly writes: "Readers will enjoy lucid explanations of dazzling yet quotidian technology, and those who remember a bit of high school–level science may appreciate them even more."

Friday, May 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell: A ticketed event with, Chuck Klosterman, author of Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century

Chuck Klosterman is a New York Times-bestselling author and cultural critic and has written five more bestsellers (including the legendary Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs), helped found and establish Grantland. In addition, he served as The New York Times Magazine Ethicist and worked on film and television productions, all while maintaining a consistent stream of writing in outlets such as GQ, Billboard, and The Guardian.

Ten years and four books into his atypical career, Chuck Klosterman released a collection of his previously published journalism, essays, and columns titled Chuck Klosterman IV, solidifying his reputation as a cultural critic who can span the realms of pop culture and sports, but who can also address interpersonal issues, social quandaries, and ethical boundaries. And yes, the new collection contains the legendary essays on Kiss, Creed, and Nickelback.

From Jeff Simon at the Buffalo News, an editor's choice pick: "This is a plump collection indeed -- no less than 444 pages. He calls it 'a highly specific, defiantly incomplete history of the 21st century.' It's difficult to resist a fellow who, despite all unavoidable appearances of megalomania, loves 'reading the index to any book I publish ... Exploring the index from a book you created is like having someone split your head open with an axe so that you can peruse the contents of your brain. It's the alphabetizing of your consciousness.'"

Klosterman's previous events at Boswell have proven to be incredibly popular. The new book is a physical beauty, with beautiful black-stained edges. It will look very smart on your bookshelf or coffee table. And yes, we'll be giving away special tour tee shirts at the event. Tickets are $29 and include admission, a copy of Chuck Klosterman X, and all taxes and fees. On the night of the event only, a $20 Boswell gift card in lieu of the book will be available. Purchase a ticket on the Brown Paper Ticket website or call 800-838-3006.

Monday, May 22, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 pm talk at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd:
The Women's Speaker Series presents a ticketed event with Kate Southwood, author of Evensong.

Margaret Maguire is a widow and grandmother home from the hospital in time for Christmas, is no longer able to ignore the consequences of having married an imperious, and arrogant man. Despite her efforts to be a good wife and mother in small-town Iowa, her adult children are now strangers to one another, past the hope of reconciliation. Margaret's granddaughter could be the one to break the cycle, but she can't do it without Margaret's help. It's time to take stock, to examine the past, even time for Margaret to call herself to account.

By turns tenacious and tender, contrary and wry, Margaret examines her life's tragedies and joys, motivations and choices, coming to view herself and the past with compassion, if not entirely with forgiveness. Beautifully rendered and poignantly told, Evensong is an indelible portrait of a woman searching for tranquility at the end of her days.

Tickets are $30, $25 for members. Purchase here, or call the Lynden at 414-446-8794. This event is produced by Milwaukee Reads.

Kate Southwood is also the author of Falling to Earth. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Huffington Post.

For our friends in the Oconomowoc area, Southwood will also be at Books and Company on Sunday, May 21, 2 pm.

Keep up with the latest happeneings at the Boswell upcoming events page.

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