Monday, September 4, 2017

Event watch: Matthew Flynn on Thursday, Nancy Pearl and Kathleen Dunn on Saturday, Bill Goldstein next Monday, plus special Labor Day Hours

The first thing to know is that if you're reading this on Labor Day, we're open 10 am to 5 pm. And as long as you're marking your calendars, be aware that we're only open until 5:30 next Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10.

If you want to join our In-Store Lit Group discussion of Nicole Dennis-Benn's Here Comes the Sun, we're meeting Tuesday, September 5, 7 pm, instead of the normal Monday.

Thursday, September 7, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Matthew Flynn, author of Bernie Weber and the Riemann Hypothesis

Matthew Flynn is a lawyer and politician based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His first book was Pryme Knumber, the first book in the Bernie Weber series. At that point, Weber was a high school math prodigy.

In his new hilarious thriller by Flynn, the CIA and the Chinese Ministry of Intelligence go head to head in the battle for Bernie Weber, the mathematics genius who is now in college. This time Riemann is set to prove the Riemann Hypothesis and this could be the secret to cracking China's encryptions; the agency fears he could take down all of their operations. Luckily, Bernie isn't alone. He has CIA agent Audrey Knapp on his side. Will that be enough to outwit the ministry?

Flynn gives you a glimpse of the inner workings of Milwaukee in this love letter to his home city and brilliant send-up of espionage thrillers. Everything is fair game for Flynn's wit. The escapades of Bernie and Audrey may be fictional, but Flynn captures the true heart of the city and its citizens.

Saturday, September 9, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
A ticketed event Nancy Pearl, author of George and Lizzie, in conversation with Kathleen Dunn. Here's a ticket link.

Boswell and Wisconsin Public Radio presents a special evening with Nancy Pearl, in conversation with Kathleen Dunn. You've loved Pearl and Dunn's conversations on the radio, and now here's your chance to enjoy an evening of book talk live at Boswell. Pearl is coming to Milwaukee for the publication of her very first novel, George and Lizzie. The book goes on sale September 5 and our ticketed event is Saturday, September 9.

Nancy Pearl is known as “America’s Librarian.” She speaks about the pleasures of reading at library conferences, to literacy organizations and community groups throughout the world, comments on books regularly on public radio stations around the country, and hosts a monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl. Among her many honors and awards are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal; and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

And until early August, Kathleen Dunn hosted The Kathleen Dunn show on Wisconsin Public Radio. She has now retired from the position, so for those of us who are missing her already, this is a great opportunity to see her with one of her favorite guests from the show.

Tickets are $29 and include admission and a book. $5 of each ticket will be donated back to Wisconsin Public Radio. We'll have a $19 Boswell Book Company gift card available in lieu of the book on the night of the event only, but don't forget, a signed Nancy Pearl book makes a great gift. Pearl will sign backlist and pose for photos. And if you're not able to come, we'll hold your copy of George and Lizzie for up to six months.

Donna Seaman of Booklist (and a former Boswell guest for her own book) talked to Nancy Pearl (of Book Lust, get it?) about the new book. Here's an excerpt of the interview.

Seaman: "You are the book maven extraordinaire; no one has read more widely in the world of novels. Did any writers in particular inspire George and Lizzie? I have to say that I took great pleasure in that hilariously inappropriate moment in which Lizzie brings up Julie Hecht!" (Note to readers: Hecht's most famous work is Do the Windows Open?)

Pearl: "I’m so glad you appreciated the Julie Hecht reference. Among the writers whose books have given me great pleasure over the years, and whose work has taught me a lot about the craft of writing, I would include Elizabeth McCracken (especially Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry!); Laurie Colwin (especially the stories in The Lone Pilgrim); Anne Tyler (especially The Clock Winder and Searching for Caleb); Lorrie Moore (especially Birds of America); Leah Hager Cohen (Heart, You Bully, You Punk); Jo Ann Beard (especially In Zanesville)—I could go on and on. Dylan Hicks’ Amateurs. Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins. Carol Anshaw’s Lucky in the Corner."

I went through looking for the books to add to our Nancy Pearl recommends display. So sad that both Heart, You Bully, You Punk (which I also read) and several others are not currently available in print form as new copies, meaning that of course you can find them second-hand.

This event is cosponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio. WPR's Gretchen will be at the event with public radio swag!

Monday, September 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Bill Goldstein, author of The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forester and the Year that Changed Literature, now in conversation with me (Daniel Goldin).

Bill Goldstein, the founding editor of the books site of The New York Times on the Web, reviews books and interviews authors for NBC's "Weekend Today in New York." He is also curator of public programs at Roosevelt House, the public policy institute of New York's Hunter College. He received a PH.D in English from City University of New York Graduate Center in 2010, and is the recipient of writing fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, Ucross, and elsewhere.

The World Broke in Two tells the fascinating story of the intellectual and personal journeys four legendary writers (Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and D. H. Lawrence) make over the course of one pivotal year. As 1922 begins, all four are literally at a loss for words, confronting an uncertain creative future despite success in the past. The literary ground is shifting, as Ulysses is published in February and Proust's In Search of Lost Time begins to be published in England in the autumn. Yet, dismal as their prospects seemed in January, by the end of the year Woolf has started Mrs. Dalloway; Forster has, for the first time in nearly a decade, returned to work on the novel that will become A Passage to India; Lawrence has written Kangaroo, his unjustly neglected and most autobiographical novel; and Eliot has finished - and published to acclaim - The Waste Land.

As Boswell's Conrad Silverberg wrote: "As Willa Cather reflected in 1936, "The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts." Goldstein's book is a lively, nuanced, and utterly enthralling tale of how this break affected four writers in particular: Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forester and D.H. Lawrence, who all struggled with and found renewed inspiration from this new world."

Tom Zelman in the Star Tribune wrote: "Goldstein’s insightful and graceful prose reveals four authors during troubled moments of their careers, and he is fortunate in having a trove of writings from which to draw. Forster, Woolf and Eliot knew each other very well, read one another’s writings with an eye to what might be artistically useful, and reviewed one another’s work in journals. This year-in-the-life chronicle gives us a remarkable look at the gestation of literature."

I hope somewhere in the United States that Nancy Pearl is in conversation with Bill Goldstein. Talk about one great event in the making.

Hope to see you at one of our events. Don't forget to check out the upcoming events page.

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