Monday, August 14, 2017

Boswell event preview: Trucking wtih Finn Murphy Tuesday, Kathleen Anne Kenney's Irish tale on Wednesday, Kathy Flanigan's Wisconsin beer tales on Thursday, plus previews for events next Monday and Tuesday

Tuesday, August 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Finn Murphy, author of The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

Boswell is pleased to host the 45’ Wrapped Truck Tour. Finn Murphy offers up a long-haul mover's rollicking account of life out on the Big Slab. Since the time Murphy dropped out of college thirty years ago, he’s covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America. And boy has he got some stories!

Murphy offers a trucker's eye view of America on the move. Going far beyond the myth of the American road trip, he whisks readers down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains. As he crisscrosses the country, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades, from the hollowing-out of small towns to changing tastes in culture and home furnishings.

Michael Perry, author of Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, and the forthcoming Montaigne in Barn Boots, offers this recommendation: “Finn Murphy is my kind of intelligent roughneck. He deploys a keen eye, frank tongue, and muscular thought to show us how the upper class and the working class are acting when they think no one is watching.”

Jim Higgins offered his take on The Long Haul in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wednesday, August 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
An Irish Fest Literary Corner preview with Kathleen Anne Kenney, author of Girl on the Leeside

The Irish Fest Literary Corner always offers a great selection of Irish and Irish-American authors. This year’s lineup features Tony Macaulay, author of the memoir Paper Boy; Rex Owens, with Out of Darkness, a thriller set during the troubles; Valerie Biel with a YA trilogy based on Celtic mythology; John Sexton and his memoir Big Yank; and Michael McCarthy, with a saga about the Irish immigrant experience. Tonight we’re featuring one of those authors, Kathleen Anne Kenney, with a special preview event.

Siobhan Doyle grew up with her Uncle Kee at their family pub, the Leeside, in rural Ireland. Kee has been staunchly overprotective of Siobhan ever since her mother's death, but now that she's an adult, it's clear that in protecting her, Kee has unwittingly kept her in a state of arrested development. The pair are content to remain forever in their quiet haven, reading and discussing Irish poetry, but for both Siobhan and Kee, fate intervenes. A visiting American literary scholar awakens Siobhan to the possibility of a fulfilling life away from the Leeside. In the face of these changes, Siobhan reaches a surprising decision about her future.

Edward Rutherfurd says, "In its hauntingly evocative Irish setting, this is a book suffused with poetry--real poetry. It is a book of awakenings of every kind, and of moving surprises. Like all good stories, as this local tale unfolds it becomes universal."

And Katie Noah writes in Shelf Awareness: "Quiet, lyrical and sprinkled with verses of the Irish poetry Siobhan loves, Girl on the Leeside is a slim, beautiful debut about one woman taking her place in the world."

Former Wauwatosa resident Kathleen Anne Kenney is an author, freelance writer, and playwright. Her writing has appeared in Big River, Coulee Region Women, and Ireland of the Welcomes. Her play New Menu was a winner in the 2012 Rochester Repertory Theatre's national short-play competition. She is currently at work on a novel based on her 2014 stage play, The Bootleg Blues.

Thursday, August 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Kathy Flanigan, author of Beer Lover's Wisconsin: Best Breweries, Brewpubs and Beer Bars

It looks like we're cutting it very close for Beer Lover's Wisconsin. The books may not arrive in time, but we're going to host the program anyway.

Quality beer producers are popping up all over the nation, but you don't have to travel far to taste great beer. Some of the best stuff is brewing right in your home state. Beer Lover's Wisconsin features breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars statewide for those seeking the best beers the Badger State has to offer - from bitter, citrusy IPAs to rich, complex stouts.

Written by a beer expert, Beer Lover's Wisconsin covers the entire beer experience for the local enthusiast and the traveling drinker alike, including information on breweries and beer profiles with tasting notes, must-visit brewpubs and beer bars, top annual festivals and events, and city pub crawl itineraries with maps.

Kathy Flanigan is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and, for which she covers the region’s craft-beer community.

Monday, August 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell: Micro & Memoir, Poetry & Prose: Robert Vaughan, author of Funhouse, Ben Tanzer, author of Be Cool, Caitlin Scarano, author of Do Not Bring Him Water, and Lee L. Krecklow, author of The Expanse Between

Micro: Robert Vaughan leads roundtables at Red Oak Writing in Milwaukee. He also teaches workshops in hybrid writing, dialogue, and playwriting at places like The Clearing in Door County. He was the co-founder of Flash Fiction Fridays, a radio program on WUWM, where he premiered local flash fiction writers, and also featured writers from America and abroad. His new collection Funhouse is a delightful creative take on the form of short stories. Kirkus Reviews calls Funhouse “a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read.”

Memoir: Chicago-based Ben Tanzer is the author of Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award, Lost in Space, and The New York Stories. He has also contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor, and Men's Health, serves as Senior Director, Acquisitions for Curbside Spendor. Tanzer’s Be Cool turns the microscope on the human phenomenon of being cool. With snapshot looks and comical insights into why humans are always stressing their cool factor, Tanzer explores his own experiences in a work that Wendy Ortiz calls “fresh, deep, funny, and unexpected.”

Poetry: Caitlin Scarano is from Milwaukee, at least for now, where she is completing a PhD in poetry. She has an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was the winner of the 2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in the Best New Poets 2016 and The Best Small Fictions 2016 anthologies. Her new collection, Do Not Bring Him Water, focuses on the lines that separate life’s clashing dualities and how delicious and dangerous it can be to walk them.

Prose: Milwaukee-area writer Lee L. Krecklow’s debut novel is The Expanse Between. Krecklow earned the 2016 South Million Writers Award for his short story “The Son of Summer and Eli.” Other stories have appeared in Oxford Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and The Madison. His new novel tells the story of a reclusive writer desperate for inspiration. The writer obsessively begins to watch his neighbor for details of her life, but when her life takes a turn he doesn’t like he’ll take matters into his own hands to keep the story on track.

Tuesday, August 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Augustus Rose, author of The Readymade Thief

Boswell presents an evening with Augustus Rose, the first novelist whose debut was named an Indies Introduce title by the American Booksellers Association. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, 17-year-old Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the facade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.

We’ve had four great reads on The Readymade Thief, with our buyer Jason calling it “such a great journey!” and Boswellian Kay praising it as “a very unusual, totally engaging thriller.” In addition, Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore wrote: "The Readymade Thief is my favorite kind of book: an improbable one. The novel is a map of things--urban exploration, secret societies, the city of Philadelphia, Marcel Duchamp, very possibly the Home Alone movies--and if those things don't seem to fit together, well, that's the magic of the improbable book, and the transmutation of obsessions, by energy and intellect, into something wholly new: a novel that's unexpected, uncategorizable, unputdownable."

Adam Morgan writes in Chicago Magazine that The Readymade Thief is one of the best novels of the year from a Chicago writer. From his profile: "Augustus Rose has seen a lot of weird stuff. Driven by an obsession with hidden secrets, the University of Chicago professor has climbed through city drainage tunnels, snuck into Roman necropolises, and explored abandoned islands off the coast of Maine. But the strangest thing he’s ever seen hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: a giant, inexplicable sculpture called The Large Glass by the father of 'readymade' art, Marcel Duchamp."

Augustus Rose is a novelist and screenwriter. He was born in the northern California coastal town of Bolinas, and grew up there and in San Francisco. Rose teaches fiction writing at the University of Chicago.

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