Monday, September 18, 2017

Event alert: Donald Driver signing on Friday, plus Rabbi Evan Moffic, Marta McDowell, Denise Chanterelle DuBois, Yanick Lahens at Boswell, Michael Hall at Oak Creek Public Library, Sherri Duskey-Rinker and John Rocco at Cudahy Family Library

Here's what's going on, Boswell-wise, for the upcoming week!

Monday, September 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Evan Moffic, author of The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today.

This event is cosponsored by the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.

At age 30 Rabbi Evan Moffic became the leader of a large congregation. He had great success. But he couldn't find happiness. Then he found a 2000-year-old prayer. In it were hidden elements of Jewish wisdom. They became a part of his life and those of his congregation and transformed them and him. In the tradition of Harold Kushner, Moffic opens up wisdom that has been at the heart of Judaism for thousands of years. He distills the "Eilu Devarim", an ancient prayer for happiness found in the Talmud, into ten practices that empower us to thrive through setbacks, so nothing can hamper our happiness.

Moffic spoke to Neil Minnow at HuffPost about The Happiness Prayer. Here's his response to the query asking why he wrote the book: "I needed it. I was overwhelmed and stressed and knew I needed to serve my congregation. I also began to see that underlying many of the frustrations my congregants were experiencing was a search for meaning in a confusing world. The happiness prayer helped me see what actions people could take and profound wisdom Judaism held."

Tuesday, September 19, 6:30 pm, at Oak Creek Public Library, 8040 S Sixth St:
Michael Hall, author of Little i.

Little i’s dot has rolled away into the sea! Without his dot, who is he? Little i decides to take a journey but what he learns on the way is not what he expected!

Michael Hall’s visit is part of Oak Creek Library’s Family Fun Night. One Tuesday a month, the Oak Creek Library offers a different fun activity. This family program is free and geared toward children ages 5-10, but all ages are welcome. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult at all library programs. And no registration is required for this event.

Mary Ann Grossman discussed the book in the Twin Cities (formerly St. Paul) Pioneer Press. Here's the spoiler: "Since this isn’t a mystery, we’ll tell you Little i does find his dot, but it didn’t fit anymore and didn’t feel right. So Little i left it on the edge of a cliff by the sea and went home to the alphabet to learn that he wasn’t Little i anymore. He’d grown up and become a word: 'I.'"

Tuesday, September 19, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Marta McDowell, author of The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books.

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by bestselling author Marta McDowell, explores Wilder's deep relationship to the landscape. Follow the wagon trail of the series, starting in the Wisconsin setting of Little House in the Big Woods to the Dakotas and finally to Missouri. Throughout, you'll learn details about Wilder's life and inspirations, discover how to visit the real places today, and even learn to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the stories.

From Library Journal, reviewer Sue O’Brien at the Downers Grove Public Library calls The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder “a well-researched, beautifully illustrated title that entwines the natural world depicted in Wilder's books with her life as a settler, farmer, and writer.”

Jim Higgins profiled Marta McDowell in Sunday's Journal Sentinel. Higgins notes: 'Laura and Almanzo practiced a nothing-gets-wasted philosophy that's familiar today, McDowell said in a telephone interview. And what today we call the farm-to-table concept, for the Wilders that was "the length of a walk from their kitchen garden and barn to their back door,' she said."

Wednesday, September 20, 7 pm, at Boswell: Denise Chanterelle DuBois, author of Self-Made Woman: A Memoir.

Denise Chanterelle DuBois is an actress, environmentalist, and businesswoman. She grew up in Milwaukee and now hails from Portland, Oregon. But DuBois's transformation into a woman wasn't easy.

Born as a boy into a working-class Polish American Milwaukee family, she faced daunting hurdles: a domineering father, a gritty 1960s neighborhood with no understanding of gender nonconformity, trouble in school, and a childhood so haunted by deprivation that neckbone soup was a staple. Terrified of revealing her inner self, DuBois lurched through alcoholism, drug dealing and addiction, car crashes, dangerous sex, and prison time

Of the book, filmmaker and transgender rights activist Andrea James writes:"Denise's colorful life has covered it all in spades: sex, drugs, and a journey of self-discovery that takes her around the world. Buckle up for a wild ride!"

Friday, September 22, 4 pm, at Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Dr:
Sherri Duskey Rinker and John Rocco, author of Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton.

Everyone in Folly Cove knows Virginia Lee as "Jinnee." With her magical wands she can draw whatever she imagines, but for her sons Aris and Michael, she draws the most wonderful characters of all: Big Machines with friendly names like Mary Anne, Maybelle, and Katy. Her marvelous magical wands can make anything move - even a cheerful Little House.

In addition to a book signing, the library will have a variety of activities for big machine fans of all ages, including; a modular train display set up by the Milwaukee Lionel Railroad Club, light refreshments, a big machines craft, a photo prop area, a train table for children to play with, and a toddler ride-on train. This event is free to the public. No registration is required.

Publishers Weekly wrote: "Burton’s fans will enjoy teasing out the visual references to her work, both in Rocco’s use of color and form (including several circular vignettes), while feeling intimately connected to how these treasured stories came into being."

You'll know Sherri Duskey Rinker as the author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train. John Rocco is a bestselling author and illustrator of numerous books, including Blackout, a winner of the Caldecott Honor title BS the covers for Rick Riordan's internationally bestselling novels.

Friday, September 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
A Ticketed Signing with Donald Driver, author of The 3D Body Revolution: The Ultimate Workout + Nutrition Blueprint to get Healthy and Lean.

Boswell presents a ticketed signing with Donald Driver, the beloved receiver for the Green Bay Packers NFL franchise, where he played from 1999 until 2012. He holds the all-time team record for receptions and receiving yards. After his storied career, he also went on to win his season of Dancing with the Stars.

Now, following his bestselling memoir, Driven, he presents The 3D Body Revolution. After taking a break from intense workouts upon retiring, Donald Driver found himself sluggish and unhappy. He took it upon himself to get back into the best shape of his life - and along the way has become THE go-to guy for training other pro athletes, as well as regular people just looking for a great workout at his Dallas gym, Driven Elite Fitness and Health Center.

Tickets to this signing are $30.00 and include a signed copy of The 3D Body Revolution, all taxes and fees, and admission to the signing line for up to two people. Each ticket holder can get one posed photo with Donald Driver, using their own cell phone or camera. Please note that due to time constraints, Mr. Driver cannot personalize books, write inscriptions, or sign memorabilia.

Tickets are available at or fans can call 800-838-3006 to secure a spot in the signing line. Please note this event is a signing only. There is no talk component to this event.

Saturday, September 23, 11 am, at Boswell:
Yanick Lahens, author of Moonbath (Bain de Lune).

This event is cosponsored by Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee, French Consulate of Chicago, and The French Program at UWM.

Yanick Lahens was born in Port-au-Prince in 1953. After attending school and university in France, she returned to Haiti, where she taught literature at the university in Port-au-Prince and worked for the Ministry of Culture. Her first novel was published in 2000, and she won the prestigious Prix Femina for Moonbath in 2014.

From World Literature Today, Robert H. McCormick writes: "Yanick Lahens’s Bain de lune chronicles the history of a family in rural Haiti over four-plus generations. Tertulian Mésidor’s ardent stare at sixteen-year-old Olmène, sitting beside her mother at the fish market, initiates the plot. With cinematographic close-ups, Lahens records the sighting of the young peasant girl by the community’s most powerful don, a fifty-five-year-old man whose family had forced the sale of her family’s land and killed the seller besides. The object of Tertulian’s desire yet aware of his reputation, Olmène, and her mother, are nonetheless impressed by the virility of the man on horseback. Moreover, he buys all their wares."

Monday, September 25, 6:30 pm, at Boswell: Katherine Rundell, author of The Explorer.

From Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner Katherine Rundell comes an exciting new novel about a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they're on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

Katherine Rundell is one of Boswell buyer Amiee Mechler-Hickson’s favorite writers of contemporary children’s books. Our strong sales of Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms and Rooftoppers are one of the reasons why Rundell’s publisher picked Milwaukee for one of the very limited number of stops on the American tour for The Explorer.

Imogen Russell Phillips writes in The Guardian: "This month, lucky eight-plus readers can plunge into the green wilds of Katherine Rundell’s marvelous new novel, The Explorer. Stranded in the Amazon rainforest, Fred, Lila, Max and Con overcome their initial terror to adapt to the uncompromising fierceness and beauty of their surroundings, gradually shedding the constraints of home – and discovering much more than they expected. Hannah Horn’s delicate line drawings encroach, vine-like, on Rundell’s dangerous, intoxicating pages in this love-song to the natural world and those who find release in it. This is essential reading for lovers of Eva Ibbotson."

Please note that Boswell will have several special offers for teachers who participate in the Boswell authors-in-schools program.

More Boswell events on our upcoming event page.

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