Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Murder and Mayhem this Saturday, plus a preview event with Stephen Mack Jones and Danny Gardner Friday at Boswell

This Saturday, November 4, is the annual Murder and Mayhem conference at the Irish Cultural Center near the Marquette University campus downtown.The program features panels, interviews, and signings with these authors: James R Benn, Lou Berney, Chelsea Cain (pictured), Susanna Calkins, Reed Farrel Coleman (also pictured), Lori Rader-Day, Danny Gardner, Shaun Harris, Rob Hart, Matthew Fitzsimmons, Linda Joffe Hull, Stephen Mack Jones, Dave Krugler, SW Lauden, Kristen Lepionka, Bill Loehfelm, Nick Petrie, Thomas Pluck, Bryon Quertermous, Nathan Singer, F. Paul Wilson, and Lili Wright.

Who's out at the last minute: though on the guest list, we just learned we will not be seeing Sean Chercover. And one never really knows until the day of the event. Last year, one of our attendees had a flight cancellation.

Who's in, as of the latest update: Blake Crouch, Jamie Freveletti, Marcus Sakey

Here's the schedule of panels and interviews. Each panel tends to have four to six participants.
9 am: Violence in a Violent World
10 am: Worst. Panel. Ever.
11 am: Nick Petrie’s Mother is in the Audience
1 pm: F Paul Wilson interviewed by Nathan Singer
2 pm: What’s It All About?
3 pm: Chelsea Cain interviewed by Ruth Jordan
4 pm: Wondrous Woman of Crime Fiction

Register here! Tickets are $42.95 (including the ticketing fee) for a full day of thrills.

And of course on Friday, November 3, we're hosting a Murder and Mayhem preview event with Stephen Mack Jones, author of August Snow and Danny Gardner, author of A Negro and an Ofay.

Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in Farmington Hills, outside of Detroit. He worked in advertising and marketing communications for a number of years before turning to fiction.

In his debut, August Snow, the son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother grows up in the city's Mexicantown and joins the police force only to be forced out by corrupt officials and officers. It's not long before he's summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estate, home of business magnate Eleanor Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank, which he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide – dragging Snow into a rat’s nest of deception and danger.

Joining him will be debut author Danny Gardner. From his beginnings as a young stand-up comedian, Gardner has enjoyed careers as an actor, director, and screenwriter. He is a recent Pushcart Prize nominee for his creative non-fiction piece Forever. His first short fiction piece, Labor Day, appeared in Beat to a Pulp, and his flash fiction has been featured in Out of the Gutter and on Noir On The Air. Gardner is a proud member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers.

The novel A Negro and an Ofay takes place in 1952. After a year on the run, disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice wakes up in a jailhouse in St. Louis. Friends from his hometown secure his release and he returns to find the family farm in foreclosure and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse. Desperate for money, he accepts a straight job as a process server and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago's North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur, and soon Elliot is in up to his neck. The mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the Chicago Police on his heels and the Syndicate at his throat. Good thing he's had a lifetime of playing both sides against the middle.

It's been a good year for mysteries, especially in Milwaukee, the setting for Nick Petrie's debut novel, The Drifter, which has now been a finalist for six prizes, and is the winner of the International Thriller Writers Best Debut Novel. We'll have copies of The Drifter and Burning Bright at the show, and you'll probably hear a little about his next novel, Light It Up, which releases next January. I feel like this could be the one that breaks him big!

Hope to see you on Friday or Saturday.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Annotated Boswell bestsellers, week ending October 28, 2017

Here's what's been selling at Boswell this past week.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan
2. The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham

3. Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks
4. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
5. Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King and Owen King
6. Strange Weather, by Joe Hill
7. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
8. Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid
9. The Name of the Wind deluxe anniversary edition, by Patrick Rothfuss
10. The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman

The prolific Mr. Grisham produces a traditional thriller, following his summer blockbuster Camino Island. Like some of Grisham's previous bestsellers, The Rooster Bar hits on a timely topic, the duplicitous dealings of many for-profit education companies. Janet Maslin (wasn't she supposed to retire?) raves in The New York Times: "Earlier this year, John Grisham announced that his next legal thriller would be about the scams behind many for-profit law schools. But it’s a long leap from subject matter to story, and Grisham’s newly reanimated storytelling skills are what make The Rooster Bar such a treat."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Endurance, by Scott Kelly
2. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
3. Devotion, by Patti Smith
4. Grant, by Ron Chernow
5. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
6. Going into Town, by Roz Chast
7. College in Prison, by Daniel Karpowitz
8. What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (at the Riverside November 9 - it's not our event but we've been brought in to sell books in the lobby)
9. American Wolfe, by Nate Blakeslee
10. The Storm Before the Storm, by Mike Duncan (at Boswell on November 9 - this one's ours!)

Well here's something interesting I learned about Endurance (alas, no signed copies--we had a surge of last-minute ticket sales) at our event with Mr. Kelly this past Monday. I hadn't noticed as I didn't look at the inside full title page, but the book was written with the help of Margaret Lazarus Dean, who won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for her book Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight. Dean actually came to Boswell to talk about the book. OK, I hope this is ok to note: Mr. Kelly called Ms. Dean to collaborate...from space. How could she refuse? Their collaboration has borne fruit - Kirkus wrote that Endurance was "One of those books you can't put down, don't want to finish, and won't soon forget."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur
2. Karolina's Twins, by Ronald H. Balson
3. Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
4. The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
7. The Atomic Weight of Love, by Elizabeth J Church
8. Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
9. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
10. O Henry Prize Stories 2017, edited by Laura Furman

I don't know about you, but it's still crushing me that The New York Times has cut the number of trade paperback bestsellers to 10 and because it's not tracking mass markets, it's made the trade list more commercial. I looked at our list and wondered what we're missing, but honestly, I looked at the paperback fiction list and I didn't find a heretofore overlooked sleeper. I am a little shocked that Kazuo Ishiguro isn't present there. We're obviously doing quite well with several of his novels, and should do even better - I'm on the cusp of picking one of them for our January In-Store Lit Group selection, probably When We Were Orphans. You heard it here first. (Addendum: or maybe we're doing Never Let Me Go.)

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. I Am Not Your Negro, by James Baldwin, companion edition to the documentary film edited by Raoul Peck
2. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
3. A Northern Front, by John Hildebrand
4. Justice for All, by Lloyd Barbee, edited by Daphne Barbee-Wooten
5. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
6. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
7. Saving Sadie, by Joal Derse Dauer
8. How to Fight, by Thich Nhat Hanh
9. Pigeon Tunnel, by John LeCarre
10. Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

Several speakers were in town highlighting the works of other writers. Raoul Peck appeared for several events at UWM around his documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which focused on the work of James Baldwin. And then there was Justice for All: Selected Writings of Lloyd A Barbee, whose book was recently reviewed in the Journal Sentinel. His daughter, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, appeared at the Milwaukee Public Library to discusses this book of collected essays from a Wisconsin Civil Rights icon.

Books for Kids:
1. Sail Away Dragon, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Randy Cecil
2. The Sidekicks, by Will Kostakis
3. My Journey to the Stars, by Scott Kelly, with illustrations by Andre Ceolin
4. Lovabye Dragon, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Randy Cecil
5. Evermore Dragon, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Randy Cecil
6. The Gatekeepers, by Jen Lancaster
7. Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
8. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
9. Room on the Broom (paperback), by Julia Donaldson, with illustrations by Axel Sheffler
10. Bruce's Big Move, by Ryan T Higgins

We've been friends with author Barbara Joosse for a long time, having recently had a great public event with her and Anneke Lisberg for Better Together. For the first time, we partnered up for a day of school visits, making our way to Mequon, Waukesha, and even Lake Geneva. A great time was had by all. The new book, Sail Away Dragon, is the third adventure of Girl and Dragon, who this time fly off on an adventure. Kirkus Reviews saw the references to The Owl and the Pussycat, and noted: "As in many famous stories, one must leave home to find home, which is the same for these two loving friends...Fans of the series will delight in seeing these favorites again, and Girl and Dragon should win some new ones." We're doing it again in February. Contact Jenny if you'd like to be considered for a school visit.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Mike Fischer reviews The King Is Always Above the People, the new collection of stories from Daniel Alarcón, which has already been longlisted for the National Book Award. Fischer writes: "These stories — many set in an unnamed Latin American country resembling Alarcón’s native Peru, with a few unfolding in the United States where he’s lived most of his life — are filled with young men who’ve lost their innocence and their way. Many of them would be right at home in the 1930s world of John Steinbeck."

The TapBooks page also features a roundup from Jim Higgins of several books on Martin Luther. Higgins writes: "As Lutherans in Milwaukee and around the world celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, they can turn to several new biographies and studies of Martin Luther, whose 95 theses challenging the sale of indulgences launched Christian religious reform — and sometimes deadly conflict. While these new books dig into the content of the theses and the development of the reformer's religious thought, in general, they don't support the popular image of a defiant Luther nailing them on a church door in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517."

The books are:
--A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation, by Craig Harline
--Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, by Eric Metaxas
--The Making of Martin Luther, by Richard Rex
--Renegade: Martin Luther, the graphic biography, by Dacia Palmerino, with illustrations by Andrea Ciponte.

And just for good measure, check out The Ninety-Five Theses and Other Writings, a new collection of Luther's work from Penguin Classics.

Jim Higgins profiles the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books in Waukesha. The headliner is Nickolas Butler, author of The Hearts of Men.

Reprinted from other papers:
--Jenna Ross reviews Where the Past Begins, by Amy Tan (Star Tribune)
--Agatha French covers Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction, by Grady Hendrix (Los Angeles Times)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Get ready for an amazing week of events, starting with astronaut Scott Kelly and ending with children's lit great Kate DiCamillo (plus there's some good stuff in between too)

Monday, October 23, 7 pm, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd.
A ticketed event with Scott Kelly, author of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

Boswell, the UWM Student Union, and the Manfred Olson Planetarium present an evening with Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station, in conversation with Bonnie North of WUWM’s Lake Effect.

Tickets are $32 and include admission to the event, all taxes and ticket fees, and a signed copy of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Tickets are available at kellymke.brownpapertickets.com. Advance ticket sales will end today at 2 pm. We cannot guarantee walkup tickets will be available.

Note that there is no signing line or meet-and-greet following this event.

Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. In addition to his new memoir Endurance, he is also the author of the new children's picture book My Journey to the Stars.

Read Jim Higgins's profile of Scott Kelly in the Journal Sentinel.

Two (count 'em) events Ronald H. Balson, author of Karolina’s Twins and The Trust.

#1: Tuesday, October 24, 3 pm, Balson at Ovation Chai Point, Rubenstein Pavilion, 1400 N Prospect. This event is free and open to the public. ID required.

Join us for an afternoon of book club picks with a focus on titles with Jewish authors and themes. Boswell’s Daniel Goldin will offer a number of suggestions, and following that, our featured author Ronald H. Balson will talk about Karolina’s Twins.

Ronald H. Balson's third novel featuring Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart, tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who searches for the children of a close friend who died in a concentration camp. In the tradition of his breakout first novel, Once We Were Brothers, Karolina's Twins was inspired by a true story.

#2: Tuesday, October 24, 7 pm, Balson at Boswell.

Beloved author Ronald H. Balson takes Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart in a new direction in this mystery featuring Detective Taggart, focusing on Liam Taggart and his family in Northern Ireland.

Boswell's Anne McMahon, Boswell's mystery reader-in-chief called The Trust one of her favorite books of the year. She writes: "Liam Taggart suddenly finds himself in the middle of tangled family relationships and troubled Irish history when an uncle he has not heard from in sixteen years dies and names him trustee of his estate. Liam returns to Northern Ireland from Chicago to carry out his duties and lands in the middle of a nightmare that threatens to engulf not only the Irish branch, but also Liam’s wife and infant son. The Trust is a suspenseful read that taught me a few things about Irish history as well!"

Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 pm, at River Room, 1218 13th Ave. Grafton:
A YA Pizza Party featuring Will Kostakis, author of The Sidekicks and Jen Lancaster, author of The Gatekeepers.

W J Niederkorn Library, Cedarburg Public Library, USS Liberty Memorial Public Library, and Boswell have come together to bring you two amazing writers for a YA Pizza party event! This event will take place at the River Room, in Grafton. This event is free; no registration is requested.

Australia's Will Kostakis has already received critical acclaim for his first two novels, having won the Gold Inky Award and been shortlisted for both the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the CBC Australia Book of the Year Award for The First Third. In his American debut, The Sidekicks, three boys are left to face the death of their best friend, Isaac. None of the boys know each other, but their relationship to Isaac starts to bring them all closer together as they struggle to deal with their grief.

Kostakis is appearing with Jen Lancaster, the bestselling author of comic novels and memoirs. From Bitter Is the New Black to The Tao of Martha, Jen has made a career out of documenting her attempts to shape up, grow up, and have it all—sometimes with disastrous results. Her YA debut, The Gatekeepers, sheds light on a little known problem in a beautiful area. Three students, each with their own struggles and issues, are shocked when a lovable football player takes his own life and the tragedy becomes a suicide cluster. With so many students facing their own demons, can they find a way to save each other—as well as themselves?

Wednesday, October 25, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Hildebrand, author of A Northern Front: New and Selected Essays.

We're celebrating the paperback release (finally) of John Hildebrand's essay collection A Northern Front with a talk/reading at Boswell. Hildebrand's nonfiction has appeared in Harper's Audubon, and Sports Illustrated, and he is also the author of Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family and Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon.

Hildebrand writes of landscapes in dispute: Native Alaskan groups are pitted against each other over oil development, Hmong emigrants jostle locals in a public hunting ground, farmers battle a formidable company town and city hall. Nature itself is also in flux as timber wolves and Sandhill cranes reclaim lost ground and a marine biologist gauges the effect of an invading species on previously undisturbed areas.

A Northern Front reflects the day-by-day disappearance of wild places and the ever-changing face of the American landscape. Hildebrand's characters are unforgettable, and his stories gracefully capture the spirit of all people who care deeply about the land.

Thursday, October 26, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Daniel Karpowitz, author of College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration.

This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Turners, as part of their Mass Incarceration series, and Cardinal Stritch University.

From Daniel Karpowitz is the director of policy and academics for the Bard Prison Initiative and lecturer in law and the humanities at Bard College comes College in Prison, chronicling how Bard College has provided high-quality, liberal arts education to New York State prisoners. Drawing upon fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI's development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network.

The nationally renowned Bard Prison Initiative demonstrates how the liberal arts can alter the landscape inside prisons by expanding access to the transformative power of American higher education. American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative, however, is different. As this compelling new book reveals, BPI has fostered a remarkable transformation in the lives of thousands of prisoners.

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr in Brookfield:
A ticketed event with Kate DiCamillo, author of La La La: A Story of Hope.

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc’s Books & Company, and Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company present a very special event with Kate DiCamillo twice winner of the Newbery Medal.

Tickets are $22.00 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of DiCamillo’s latest picture book, La La La. A signing will follow the talk. There is no gift card option for this event, but don’t forget, La La La will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.

Kate DiCamillo is not just one of the most acclaimed children’s book authors writing today - she’s also one of the most beloved. Her events are incredibly popular and it’s hard to walk away from her presentations without being moved to tears. DiCamillo only does a handful of public speaking events in the United States each year. Boswell and our two partners are excited to be one of those select events, bringing fans the first metro Milwaukee event with DICamillo in five years.

Jim Higgins spoke to Kate DiCamillo in the Journal Sentinel.

And don't forget about Monday, October 30, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, author of Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in 1970s America.

This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Turners, as part of their Mass Incarceration series.

Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, assistant professor of history at Cornell University, show how in 1970s America, get-tough campaigns on drugs, crime, and welfare helped expand the nation's penal system, discredit welfare programs, and cast blame for the era's social upheaval on racialized deviants that the state was not accountable to serve or represent. Getting Tough sheds light on how this unprecedented growth of the penal system and the evisceration of the nation's welfare programs developed hand in hand.

Kohler-Hausmann illuminates this narrative through three legislative cases: New York's adoption of the 1973 Rockefeller drug laws, Illinois's and California's attempts to reform welfare through criminalization and work mandates, and California's passing of a 1976 sentencing law that abandoned rehabilitation as an aim of incarceration. Spanning diverse institutions and weaving together the perspectives of opponents, supporters, and targets of punitive policies, Getting Tough offers new interpretations of dramatic transformations in the modern American state.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Boswell bestsellers - our top tens for the week ending October 21, 2017

Here's what's selling at Boswell.

I guess it was the right move to put off the paperback release of A Gentleman in Moscow. I was selling books at a literary luncheon in Brookfield and the attendees were selling the book to each other. I didn't have to even be involved.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
2. Devotions, by Mary Oliver
3. Origin, by Dan Brown
4. Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks
5. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders (Man Booker Prize)
6. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
7. It Devours, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
8. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
9. The Trust, by Ronald H. Balson (event 10/24, 7 pm, at Boswell)
10. Complete Stories, by Kurt Vonnegut

A caveat on It Devours, the new Night Vale novel, which has a great recommendation from Olivia S. at Boswell. Officially the classification of the book is paper over board, so you might also see it on paperback bestseller lists. But our customers definitely see it as a cheap hardcover, and we generally don't have the time to explain the binding variation, nor do most of them care. But some do, which is why I'm mentioning it here.

Mary Oliver's Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, has a strong week at Boswell, as does every release of hers going back to the Schwartz days. From Danny Heitman in The Christian Science Monitor: "Like Henry David Thoreau, who famously did a lot of traveling in Concord, Oliver’s poems have mostly been inspired by her long walks within the woods and shoreline of Provincetown, Mass., a coastal community where she lived and worked for more than half a century before moving to Florida after the death of her longtime partner, photographer Molly Malone Cook. Oliver is perhaps the most peripatetic poet since William Wordsworth, whose rambles on foot around England’s Lake District deeply informed both the pastoral sensibility and rhythm of his verse."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
2. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
3. Grant, by Ron Chernow
4. Death of an Assassin, by Ann Marie Ackermann
5. We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
6. Duck Season, by David McAninch
7. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
8. What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton
9. Illusion of Justice, by Jerome F. Buting
10. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben

It felt like last holiday season I was scavenging around for a good biography to sell at the holiday season, but this year, between Ron Chernow's Grant and Walter Isaacson's Leonardo Da Vinci, I feel we are in good hands. Of Walter Isaacson's latest, Walter Della Cava writes in USA Today: "Calling all living geniuses. Your mission is to find a way to keep author Walter Isaacson alive for the next 100 years so that he can keep writing about dead geniuses. There's just something about the way that the onetime Time magazine editor-turned-Aspen Institute leader manages to bring historical giants into vivid, 3D life that makes it worth extending the man's lifespan by a century."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur
2. How to Change a Life, by Stacey Ballis
3. The Hamilton Affair, by Elizabeth Cobbs
4. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
5. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
6. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
7. Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Nobel Prize winner)
8. Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur
9. It, by Stephen King
10. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie (now up to six award noms with one win, so far)

We had a lovely evening with Stacey Ballis, who was in conversation with Amy Reichert for the release of How to Change a Life. It was not just enjoyable but informative, as I learned the secret of the famous chocolate cream pie of Eloise, the private chef that is at the center of this romantic comedy. It turns out the recipe is that of Milwaukee's Honeypie. Ballis asked owner and recipe keeper Valerie Lucks if she could use it in the book and she gave her permission. Ballis, a Chicago-area writer, has a number of Milwaukee food obsessions. She brought another to the event for us to share - the mini crullers from Grebe's Bakery, which you can find at many area supermarkets (and after this recommendation, you might look a little more carefully). Here's an essay from Ballis on food and cooking from Signature Reads.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Little Book of Mindfulness, by Patricia Collard
2. Urban Preparation, by Chezare A. Warren
3. Really Important Stuff My Cat Has Taught Me, by Cynthia L. Copeland
4. Cry Rape, by Bill Lueders
5. Live and Let Live, by Evelyn M. Perry
6. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
7. Basketball and Other Things, by Shea Serrano
8. Tales of Two Americas, by John Freeman
9. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs
10. No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein

Where do you categorize anthologies that mix together both fiction and nonfiction? We've had recent appearances from The Driftless Reader, as well as John Freeman's Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation. Booklist's starred review noted that " Freeman believes that we need a new framework for writing about inequality, and construction is well underway in this anthology of masterful and affecting stories, essays, and poems by 36 writers profoundly attuned to the sources and implications of social rupture. These are sharply inquisitive and provocative works, from Richard Russo's working-class lament to Karen Russell's account of living above a homeless shelter to Manuel Munoz's portrait of his hardworking immigrant father to Rebecca Solnit's searing piece about gentrification, racism, and police shootings, and Claire Vaye Watkins' and Sandra Cisneros' looks back on very different impoverished childhoods."

Books for Kids:
1. My Book of Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg
2. Going Wild V1, by Lisa McMann
3. Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg
4. Predator Vs. Prey V2, by Lisa McMann
5. My Life as a Ninja, by Janet Tashjian
6. The Sidekicks, by Will Kostakis
7. Sticker Girl V1, by Janet Tashjian
8. Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
9. One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
10. Sticker Girls Rule the School V2, by Janet Tashjian
11. Going Wild V1 (hardcover), by Lisa McMann
12. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage V1, by Philip Pullman

A downside of a kids book coming out in the midst of our school event madness is a lower showing in rank on our bestseller list. Between current appearances from Karen McManus, closed out events where we got final numbers from Barney Saltzberg, Lisa McMann, and Janet Tashjian, and advance sales from Will Kostakis (he's with Jen Lancaster at Grafton's River Room this Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 pm), it pushed Philip Pullman's new Book of Dust series opener, La Belle Sauvage, out of the top ten, while just a few weeks ago he might have been #1 on this list. This long-awaited release is part of a companion series to His Dark Materials. And yes, it had a special Thursday release. Here's Andrew Liptak in The Verge writing more about Pullman and his works.

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins talked to Kate DiCamillo, the author of many books for kids, including two Newbery winners. She's turned her hand to a picture book collaboration with Jaime Kim, and I hope all of you know she'll be at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts next Sunday, October 29, 2 pm, for a ticketed talk. Detail on that here.

Read the conversation here, where DiCamillo explains how the story came about.

Also in TapBooks, Chris Foran reviews Justice for All: Selected Writings of Lloyd A. Barbee, edited by Daphne E. Barbee Wooten. He notes: "The message that rings through Justice for All is that Barbee never stops fighting. Barbee recounts his campaign over a half decade in the Legislature to toughen the state's anemic fair housing laws. 'This, among other matters, earned me the reputation as a person who stayed on the job until it was completed as planned.'"

Plus there's a roundup of new (sometimes in paperback) fall nonfiction picks from the Seattle Times's Moira Macdonald.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Events to watch out for: David McAninch and Kyle Cherek discuss Gascony, three YA thriller writers (Karen McManus, Tara Goedjen, Kara Thomas) at Oak Creek Library, Joan Marie Johnson on the roots of feminism, Chezare Warren on prepping Black men for college, Lil Rev's latest album, Stacey Ballis and Amy E. Reichert present foodie fiction Friday, and don't forget, astronaut Scott Kelly coming to UWM next Monday.

Monday, October 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
David McAninch in Conversation with Kyle Cherek, author of Duck Season: Eating, Drinking and Other Misadventures in Gascony – France’s Last Best Place.

Chicago magazine features editor David McAninch, who was previously an editor at Saveur, joins us at Boswell for a conversation with Wisconsin Foodie host, Kyle Cherek, to discuss his new book that tackles the love of food in the south of France.

A delicious memoir about the eight months food writer David McAninch spent in Gascony - a deeply rural region of France virtually untouched by mass tourism - meeting extraordinary characters and eating the best meals of his life.

With wit and warmth, McAninch takes us deep into this enchanting world, a place almost frozen in time, where eating what makes you happy isn’t a sin but a commandment—and where, to the eternal surprise of outsiders, locals’ life expectancy is higher than in any other region of France. Featuring a dozen choice recipes and beautiful line drawings, Duck Season is an irresistible treat for Francophiles and gourmands alike.

Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 pm, at Oak Creek Library, 8040 S 6th St:
A YA Pizza Party with Karen M. McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying, Tara Goedjen, author of The Breathless, and Kara Thomas, author of Little Monsters.

The Oak Creek Library and Boswell present three YA thriller writers! Join us for a night of suspense and mystery as Karen McManus, Tara Goedjen, and Kara Thomas delight fans with their thrilling tales of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. Pizza Man pizza will be provided. This event is free, but registration is requested. Click on October 17 Teen Thriller Night to register.

Karen McManus's One of Us Is Lying is the first novel from Cambridge-based McManus, a graduate of Holy Cross (BA) and Northwestern (MA in journalism). One of Us is Lying is a YA thriller packed full of intrigue. When Simon, the creator of a high school gossip app, dies under mysterious circumstances, five students come under fire for his murder. Each had their own reason for wanting him dead, and someone is lying, but it will take everything they have in order to solve the crime.

Tara Goedjen, with an MFA from the University of Alabama, debuts The Breathless, a gothic tale of deceit and secrets. A year after the death of her older sister, Mae’s home life has been off. When she discovers that her sister’s boyfriend has turned up after disappearing the night her sister died, Mae is determined to uncover her sister’s secrets; what she finds there may cause more problems than she bargained for.

Kara Thomas is a seasoned writer and true-crime addict who lives on Long Island. In addition to her other novels The Darkest Corner and The Cheerleaders, she's also written for Warner Brothers television. Little Monsters tells the story of Kacey Young, a troubled young woman who has just moved cross country to live with her estranged father. After befriending two girls at school, life for Kacey seem to fall into place, that is until one of her friends goes missing

The legendary Pizza Man, a fixture on Oakland and North until 2010, has returned to greatness under the leadership of Zak and Sarah Baker. In addition to their location on Downer Avenue, down the block from Boswell, they have locations at the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa and at Drexel Town Center, across the street from the Oak Creek Public Library. My favorite is spinach and tomato with the bianca base. What's yours?

Wednesday. October 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Joan Marie Johnson, author of Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement.

Joan Marie Johnson is a historian and faculty coordinator for the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University. In her new book, she examines an understudied dimension of women's history in the United States: how a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advanced the status of all women through acts of philanthropy. This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street "Merchant Prince" William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune.

Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women's need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women's access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights, as well as to provide assistance to working-class women. In a time when women still wielded limited political power, philanthropy was perhaps the most potent tool they had. But even as these wealthy women exercised considerable influence, their activism had significant limits. As Johnson argues, restrictions tied to their giving engendered resentment and jeopardized efforts to establish coalitions across racial and class lines.

Thursday, October 19, 4:00 pm, at Boswell: Chezare A. Warren, author of Urban Preparation: Young Black Men Moving From Chicago’s South Side to Success in Higher Education.

In conjunction with the Black Male Achievement Summit, Boswell is proud to host Chezare A. Warren is assistant professor at Michigan State University and president of Critical Race Studies in Education Association. In Urban Preparation, Warren chronicles the transition of a cohort of young Black males from Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men to their early experiences in higher education. A rich and closely observed account of a mission-driven school and its students, Urban Preparation makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how young males of color can best be served in schools throughout the United States today.

A founding teacher at Urban Prep, Warren offers a detailed exploration of what this single-sex public high school on the South Side of Chicago has managed to accomplish amid profoundly challenging circumstances. He provides a rich portrait of the school - its leaders, teachers, and professional staff; its students; and the community that the school aims to serve - and highlights how preparation for higher education is central to its mission. Warren focuses on three main goals: to describe Urban Prep's plans and efforts to prepare young Black males for college; to understand how race, community, poverty, and the school contributed, in complex and interrelated ways, to the academic goals of these students; and to offer a wide-ranging set of conclusions about the school environments and conditions that might help young Black males throughout the country succeed in high school and college.

This special afternoon event is cosponsored by Council for Black Male Achievement and DeRute Consulting cooperative.

Thursday, October 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Lil Rev, celebrating the release of Sing Song Daddy.

Lil Rev was born and raised in Milwaukee, and now hangs his hat in Sheboygan, WI. Influenced heavily by the city’s industrial powerhouses, he has a strong appreciation for the working man, a theme that is prevalent in his music. Along with being an accomplished musician and educator, he is also the author of multiple instructional books for the harmonica and the ukulele.

Lil Rev’s brand-new album, Sing Song Daddy, “wrangles the best of American roots influences and runs ‘em thru a ukulele-playing, panhandler’s prism of originality. Turn it up and stake your claim. 15 new tunes, including “The Old Sheboygan Soft Shoe,” The Milwaukee Waltz,” and “The Night Dan Emmett Wrote Dixie” were all written by Lil Rev and recorded at SurroundinSoundStudio with Jonathan Leuber.

From Lil Rev: “Thank you for investing in the time-honored tradition of the troubadour. For over thirty years now, I have been collecting, interpreting, and writing songs for anyone and everyone who’ll listen. This endeavor has become like a rite of passage. As the years roll and the seasons change, so too, does the pen and palette. I hope you enjoy this collection of roots-based originals.”

Boswell’s event will feature many of the musicians featured on the sessions: Guy Florentini, Jason Klagstad, John Sieger, Robin Pluer, Jim Liban, Peter Roller, and James Eannelli. And we wouldn’t be surprised if some special guests joined at the last minute.

Friday, October 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell: Stacey Ballis, author of How to Change a Life, in conversation with Amy Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and other novels.

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl. Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world's most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again. Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn't seem so lonely, until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels, including Off the Menu, Out to Lunch, and Recipe for Disaster. She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies, including Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume and Living Jewishly.

Monday, October 23, 7 pm, at UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
A ticketed event with Scott Kelly, author of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

Boswell, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union, and the Manfred Olson Planetarium present an evening with Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station, in conversation with Bonnie North of WUWM’s Lake Effect.

Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut.

Tickets are $32 and include admission to the event, all taxes and ticket fees, and a signed copy of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Tickets are available at kellymke.brownpapertickets.com or you can order by phone at 800-838-3006. Tickets are also available to the UWM campus community at a special discounted price of $26 for students and $29 for faculty and staff, only at the UWM Student Union Information Desk.

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have: How does it feel to be launched in a rocket? What happens to your body in zero gravity? What do you do when you get a toothache 250 miles above the Earth?

Jim Higgins talked to Scott Kelly in the Journal Sentinel. From the interview: "During his final space station mission, he called the writer who launched him on his life's journey. 'It was a great conversation,' Kelly said of his chat with Tom Wolfe, 'talking about how much he inspired me and how important it was to where I ended up.'" Read more here. And here's one last ticket link.