Monday, September 25, 2017

Event blog: Katherine Rundell, Kathie Giorgio, John Nichols, Min Jin Lee, David Barclay Moore, Ann Hornaday

Here's what's happening at Boswell (and other places) this week!

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

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.

From the starred Publishers Weekly review: " A quieter thread contemplates the nature of exploration and curiosity, tying into the enigmatic city of ruins. Fans of survival stories like Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain are an ideal audience for this fast-paced escapade with a lush and captivating setting."

From me: "This middle-grade novel offers some unexpected twists and a lesson or two, plus a fine recipe for cocoa bean and grub pancakes. It’s a great book for the explorer in every kid!” It's a classic adventure tale with a contemporary perspective.

Katherine Rundell is also the author of Rooftoppers, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms (a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner and a favorite of Boswellian Barb Katz), and The Wolf Wilder. She grew up in Zimbabwe, Brussels, and London, and is currently a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

We'll be offering a middle grade galley to attendees and a second if you buy The Explorer. Plus educators on our authors-in-schools program get a special bonus.

Tuesday, September 26, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kathie Giorgio, author of In Grace’s Time.

In her new book, 56-year-old Grace faces her worst nightmare: the death of her son. Her friend, Virgil, is about to leave for his once-a-year cross-country trip, building inventory for his doll shop. In a haze of grief, Grace asks if she can go along. But Virgil is dealing with worries of his own. At 65-year old, Virgil is gay and unsure how he feels about his longtime, long-distance lover proposing marriage. Together, Grace and Virgil cross road after crossroad, trying to find home and family.

Giorgio’s short stories and poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Fiction International, and Harpur Palate, and in many anthologies. Her short story, "Half-Dressed," published in Deep Water, was nominated for the 2014 Write Well Award, sponsored by the Silver Pen Writers Association. Giorgio is the director and founder of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, an international creative writing studio in Waukesha.

Join us for the debut event for Giorgio's latest novel.

Wednesday, September 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Nichols, author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America.

Madison-based John Nichols is the national affairs writer for The Nation magazine and a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, an online newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, and a cofounder of the media-reform group Free Press. He is the author of numerous books, including Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America, and with Robert W. McChesney, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.

In his new book, John Nichols delivers a pointed guide to the folks in Donald Trump’s administration. Bill Lueders wrote in Isthmus: "Few writers are better at working themselves into a righteous lather than John Nichols."

From Reverend Jesse Jackson: "This is the real story of the Trump administration - not what Trump is tweeting but what his appointees are doing to undermine civil rights, economic security and the environment. John Nichols gets behind the scenes, finds the truth and reveals it all. If you want to go beyond the alternative facts, the fake news, and the media spin, you must read this book.”

From Ralph Nader: "Nichols provides all rationally outraged Americans with factually insightful portraits of the corporatist managers of Trump's giant wrecking machine... The unprecedented cruelty, greed, ignorance and abuses of power over the laws of the land are revealed in the pages of this fast-paced, well documented book... Nichols shows that the fate of our society's health and safety, justice and democracy, freedom and opportunity are being sacrificed on the anvil of giant corporatism - unless 'we the people' stop them.”

Thursday, September 28, 7 pm reception, 7:30 talk:
Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko.

Milwaukee Reads presents a ticketed evening with Min Jin Lee at the Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Women’s Speaker Series. Pachinko has been recently named to the National Book Award longlist for the fiction award.

Here’s a little more about Pachinko. Beginning in early 1900s Korea, Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Steph Cha, in USA Today, notes: "Pachinko is an unfair game — a gambler’s pinball with strong house odds — one that lends itself rather easily to metaphors about life. 'There could only be a few winners and a lot of losers,' one character reflects. 'And yet, we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.'"

Min Jin Lee's debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires, was one of the top 10 novels of the year for The Times (London), NPR's Fresh Air, and USA Today. Her short fiction has been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts. She also served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading paper of South Korea.

Tickets are $31, $26 for Lynden Sculpture Garden members, and are available at, or by calling 414-446-8794. The Lynden Sculpture Garden is located at 2145 W Brown Deer Rd, just west of I-43.

Friday, September 29, 6:00 pm (doors open 5:30), at Milwaukee Youth Art Center, 325 W Walnut St (the First Stage building):
David Barclay Moore, author of The Stars Beneath Our Feet.

This event is cosponsored by First Stage Children's Theater, ALIVE MKE, the Woodruff Group, and the Brewers Community Foundation.

The 4Core (Rasean Bly, John W. Daniels IV, Jeremiah I. Johnson, and Gaulien Smith, III) cordially invite you to a meet and greet with author David Barclay Moore. Light refreshments will be served.

Here’s more about the book from Boswell proprietor Daniel Goldin: “Wallace, better known as Lolly, lives in the Harlem projects. His parents are divorced, his brother is dead, his mom has a girlfriend, and two kids just outside the neighborhood are threatening him and his best friend Vega. The thing that keeps him sane through all of this is his Legos, lots and lots of Legos. One day, he stops creating replicas of the kits and starts building his own stuff. When there’s no more room in the apartment, he turns to the after-school center in the projects, and that’s when he meets Rose, who though very different from Lolly and all his friends, bonds over their shared desire to build stuff. Lolly has to work through his grief over his brother, and still try to figure out how to navigate the projects so he doesn’t go down the same path. What an amazing kid Lolly is, and what a great book Moore’s first novel is!”

From his interview with Scott Simon on NPR: "You know, Lolly is a very creative boy. And I think one of the ways in which he utilizes Legos in this story is kind of exercise in imagination, building this fantasy environment and creating it in the real world, you know, and using that as a way to kind of process his grief. While all this is going on, he's also going through a type of therapy with a local counselor. And I think one of the things that the character finds out is that even though the therapy is helpful..."

David Barclay Moore has served as communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community. He has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Yaddo, and the Wellspring Foundation. This is his first novel.

Registration is requested at

Sunday, October 1, 12 pm, at Milwaukee Film Festival Inova Gallery, 2155 N. Prospect Ave:
Ann Hornaday, author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.

The Milwaukee Film Festival presents Ann Hornaday, cosponsored by Boswell. This event is free and does not require registration.

Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art-house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations with friends, we all need ways to watch and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?

In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie-from writing the script and casting to the final sound edit-and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film is well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.

From Lisa Schwartzbaum in The New York Times Book Review: "In Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies, Ann Hornaday provides a pleasantly calm, eminently sensible, down-the-middle primer for the movie lover — amateur, professional or Twitter-centric orator — who would like to acquire and sharpen basic viewing skills."

Ann Hornaday is a film critic at The Washington Post and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.

Alas, our event with Stephen King and Owen King in conversation this coming Saturday is sold out. We are also not able to offer signed copies. Don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter.

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