Sunday, May 27, 2018

This Boswell bestseller list for the week ending May 26, 2018 brought to you by Andrew Sean Greer and Jennifer Egan visiting Boswell on June 15. Tickets now available.

Here's the Boswell's bestsellers for the week ending May 26, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Robert's Rules, by J.F. Riordan
3. Gale Force, by Owen Laukkanen
4. The Outsider, by Stephen King
5. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
6. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
7. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
8. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
9. The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (tickets for June 15 event here with Jennifer Egan here -- more below

Sorry! Stephen King is not coming back to Milwaukee for The Outsider. That was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the new book, Amanda St. Amand in the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes: "What would it feel like to be so perfectly, completely implicated in the worst crime to ever befall a small town, and have perfectly, completely exonerating evidence you weren’t there? That’s the biggest question King explores in The Outsider as small-town cops and prosecutors are asked to believe the impossible — and find the impossible as well."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Rocket Men, by Robert Kurson
2. War in 140 Characters, by David Patrikarakos (at USM on Thu Sept 13, 7 pm)
3. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
4. Parisian Charm School, by Jamie Cat Callan
5. Restless Wave, by John McCain
6. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
7. Creative Confidence, by David Kelley
8. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
9. Facts and Fears, by James R. Clapper
10. See What Can Be Done, by Lorrie Moore

The political books keep coming. New to the list this week is James R. Clapper's Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. Philip Ewing, reviewing the book on the NPR site, writes: "No wonder James Clapper always seemed so grouchy. The longtime spy baron became well-known during his stint as director of national intelligence for his profound scowl and sometimes-Zen-like terseness. Now, in his new memoir, Clapper tells why: It is the tale of how the world — at least from his perspective - fell apart."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Run, by Ann Patchett
2. Dragon Teeth, by Michael Crichton
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (did we mention Greer is visiting?)
4. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
5. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
6. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
7. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
8. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
9. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
10. The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett

Why anyone would buy a copy of Less when for just about the same price they can get the book and see Andrew Sean Greer is in conversation with Jennifer Egan is beyond me, but I know that this time of year there are people to see, trips to embark on, drinks to imbibe. Hey, you can drink afterwards. This is going to be an amazing event. Here's YA star Maggie Stiefvater (really!) reviewing the book on Goodreads: "I actually think I loved it because of what it believes. There's a line in the book — I had to fetch it to quote it exactly — that I think is what the book says on every page: 'Just for the record: happiness is not bullshit.'" We have plenty of people attending, but it strikes me that we should be sold out already! Ticket link here.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
2. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
3. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
6. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
7. Somos Latinas, edited by Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez (event at MPL Mitchell Street Branch, 6/5, 6 pm)
8. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
9. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
10. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein

No, not every bookin he store is on the what to read after Evicted table, but it's noticeable that while Evicted didn't make this list, just about every book in our top ten is at least scheduled for the table (there's a lot of books, so we rotate). Just to say that aside from the regional stuff, issue books really drive this category, even when we're talking about things that could be in history or memoir. Not so many traditional bios, soft memoirs, or even paperbacks on the impulse table. It strikes me that event Killers of the Flower Moon is driven by the issues in the book, as much as the storytelling. The In-Store Lit Group is reading David Grann's history book on August 6.

Books for Kids:
1. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
2. Here We Are, by Oliver Jeffers
3. The House that Once Was, by Julie Fogliano
4. If You Had a Jetpack, by Lisl Detlefsen, illustrations by Linzie Hunter
5. Endling: The Last, by Katherine Applegate
6. Anger Is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro
7. What a Wonderful World, by Bob Thiele
8. You Go First, by Erin Entrada Kelly
9. The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown
10. Baby Monkey Private Eye, by Brian Selznick

Here's my rec on If You Had a Jetpack: "What adventures two little animals have when they build jetpacks to fly around! Helping their principal, visiting Nana, playing Turbo Tag – the possibilities are endless. I like how both the conditional tense of the story and the emphasizing of adverbs play with the adorable illustrations (you’ve seen them on puzzles, stickers, and greeting cards) to give the story a sense of possibility. Both the text and the pictures have lots of funny asides to keep readers young and old occupied, and I can’t imagine a group of kids reading this story not having their own ideas about what they’d do with a jetpack."

And now it's time for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TapBooks Page features.

Paula McLain's Love and Ruin, a novel based on Martha Gellhorn and her marriage to Hemingway, is reviewed by Jocelyn McClurg, originally from USA Today. She writes: "It can be weird, if titillating, to eavesdrop on imagined, intimate conversations between famous people, but McLain’s dialogue, is, as Hem might say, good and true. She captures the passion Gellhorn and Hemingway feel for each other, and the slow erosion of trust on both sides." We have some signed copies.

From Pamela Miller, originally from the Star Tribune, comes a profile of the Gopher State's Patricia Hampl, whose new memoir is The Art of the Wasted Day. She writes: "Patricia Hampl, a memoirist, poet and professor who is one of Minnesota’s most thoughtful writers, transports us far from such glum judgment in her latest memoir, a wise and beautiful ode to the imagination – from a child’s daydreams, to the unexpected revelations encountered in solitary travel, meditation and reading, to the flights of creativity taken by writers, artists and philosophers."

Randy Lewis in the Los Angeles Times talked to Robert Hilburn about his new biography, Paul Simon: The Life. On granting access: "There was this huge thing early on – in the second month, third month, fourth month. He said, 'If you’re going to London, here are some people you ought to talk to,' and he had a whole list of names. He had people he had his secretary send notes to saying I’m going to be calling them. But then he said, 'Now Kathy Chitty (his girlfriend during his early years living in England) is off limits.' And I thought, 'Here we go.'"

Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Club Mondays

When Boswell first opened, our goal was to have a book club meet on each Monday. I started the Lit group on the first Monday, Jason led the Science Fiction Book Club on the second Monday, and Anne organized the mystery group on the fourth Monday, which I think actually continued from the Shorewood Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop. And then for the third Monday, another group asked us to meet and agreed to be open to new members and Boswell promotion. We actually had a few other book clubs asked to meet on weekends and afternoons and signed them up.

One thing you learn is that not every program goes the way as planned. And one thing we realized over time was that if a Boswell person wasn't running the book club, it's not really our book club. It's hard to get the titles, hard to move the meeting if we're hosting a large event, and hard to get the people to buy the books from us. Sometimes the clubs would get so popular they'd outgrow the space. Live and learn.

We'd been contemplating a fourth Boswell club for years. And after contemplating a few other ideas, we decided to copy the model in a few other cities and have a bar book club. Cafe Hollander signed on. Irony #1: After we set this up, the longtime club meeting in the store moved to a weekend daytime model. Irony #2: Just after the first meeting, another beer book club asked to meet at Holland on the same time. We saw it as proof that we had a good idea.

Our New Books and Beer Book Club is at Cafe Hollander on the Third Monday of Each Month, at 7 pm. Here are our next three selections:
--Monday, June 18: Underground Airlines, by Ben H. Winters
--Monday, July 16: Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero
--Monday, August 20: Mister Monkey, by Francine Prose

While you are reading, here are our other upcoming book-club selections.

In-Store Lit Group, run by Daniel on the first Monday at Boswell at 7 pm
--Monday, June 4: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
--Monday, July 2: Sour Heart: Stories, by Jenny Zhang
--Monday, August 6: Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

Science Fiction Book Club, run by Jason on the second Monday at Boswell at 7 pm
--Monday, June 11: Embers of War, by Gareth L. Powell
--Monday, July 9: Borne, by Jeff VanderMeer
--Monday, August 13: Spaceman of Bohemia, by Jaroslav Kalfar

Boswell Mystery Book Club, run by Anne on the fourth Monday at Boswell at 7 pm
--Monday, June 25: The Professionals, by Owen Laukkanen
--Monday, July 23: Open Grave, by Kjell Eriksson
--Monday, August 27: Death on Nantucket, by Francine Mathews (just announced!)

And for those who care about these things, both the Science Fiction Club and the Books and Beer Book Club have selections titled to the end of the year and beyond.
I should note that with our event programming ramped up from what was a modest beginning, we no longer schedule regular groups at the magazine table on weekday nights and weekend days. But if your group meets weekday days, it still might be possible, if another group isn't already meeting. We suggest that it be for groups of 12 or less. And it is possible to schedule one-off meetings for book selection, based on availability.

Here's one more book club piece of news. We have two book club events at area libraries on Tuesday, June 26. At 2 pm at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon, and again at 6:30 at the Elm Grove Library, I will be giving a talk with an area librarian (Paulette Brooks in Elm Grove) about great book club choices. As part of that, we'll be featuring Kathleen Rooney, the author of one of our favorite book club selections, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, who will talk about her book. We've done this before and it's a lot of fun!

We're trying to keep our book club page updated. You can find it here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Events this week: Robert Kurson, Jamie Cat Callan, J.F Riordan, Owen Laukkanen in conversation with Nick Petrie

What's going on at Boswell this week?

Tuesday, May 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Robert Kurson, author of Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

Robert Kurson, the Chicago-based University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and bestselling author of Shadow Divers, appears at Boswell with his latest riveting history, the lesser-known inside story of NASA’s boldest, riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind’s first journey to the moon. For this event, Kurson will be in conversation with technology specialist Dave Shapson, an area technology specialist who helped on the research for Rocket Men.

In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon.

From Meg Jones's profile in the Journal Sentinel: "While researching his book, Kurson had unprecedented access to all three astronauts and their families as well as key NASA officials who vividly shared their recollections from 50 years ago. Borman and Lovell are now 90 and Anders is 84. All three are still married to their wives, a rarity for 1960s astronauts."

In addition to Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson is the author of Pirate Hunters and Crashing Through. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor.

Wednesday, May 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Jamie Cat Callan, author of Parisian Charm School: French Secrets for Cultivating Love, Joy, and That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi 

 Jamie Cat Callan presents an engaging and practical guide to cultivating inner beauty and mystique. This is sure to be a delightful evening for anyone who is French, has French aspirations, or just wants to add a little bit of that certain je ne sais quoi to their lives. Cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

We all know that French women don’t get fat. But their famous joie de vivre comes from more than just body type. It’s from the old-fashioned art of keeping romance alive at any age. Filled with insights from Parisian women, this delightful guide shows readers how to cultivate charm in the age of Tinder and OKCupid and to find lasting romance and connection.

From first impressions, lively conversation (in person!), and cultivating social finesse to embracing femininity and communicating with grace and humor, this is age-old advice that’s more precious than ever in our disconnected world. For anyone who’s tired of texting with strangers who don’t write back, here’s an inspiring guide to a better way.

Jamie Cat Callan is the author of the bestselling books French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, Bonjour, Happiness! and Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day. Her books have been published in 21 countries and have been featured in major magazines, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time.

Thursday, May 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
J. F. Riordan, author of Robert’s Rules

Riordan returns with Robert’s Rules, the third installment of the award-winning North of the Tension Line series set on a remote island in the Great Lakes. Called a modern-day Jane Austen, Riordan creates wry, engaging tales and vivid characters that celebrate the well-lived life of the ordinary man and woman.

As the new Chairman of the Town Board, Fiona Campbell finds life has become a series of petty squabbles, complicated by her guardianship of the as-yet unidentified screaming goat. In desperation, she hires a newcomer, the compulsively orderly Oliver Robert, to keep her organized. As Roger’s fame as an idiosyncratic yoga practitioner spreads, and he and Elisabeth look for a new location to accommodate the growing crowds at their tiny coffee shop.

Meanwhile, Ferry Captain and poet Pali has an offer to leave the Island and wonders whether it is time to introduce his son, Ben, to the larger world. The Fire Chief is threatening to quit, and Fiona finds herself faced with an Island controversy and an unwanted set of new responsibilities. As Pete Landry prepares to leave for one of his regular journeys, Fiona begins to suspect his life may be more than it seems. His secrecy raises doubt about whether he can be trusted, and their breakup plunges her into grief. The reliable Jim, always nearby, is all too ready to offer comfort.

J.F. Riordan first moved to Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, studied voice at the University of New Mexico and in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest. She taught for three years before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs.

Friday, May 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Owen Laukkanen, author of Gale Force, in conversation with novelist Nick Petrie. This event is cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

Partners in crime (fiction) Owen Laukkanen and Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie convene at Boswell for a conversation about Laukkanen’s newest novel, Gale Force, the beginning of a new series of seafaring action-adventure starring a dazzling new heroine. Laukkanen's latest was just named one of five mystery/thrillers to read for summer from Carole E. Barrowman.

McKenna Rhodes has never been able to get the sight of her father’s death out of her mind. A freak maritime accident has made her the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by when a freighter out of Yokohama founders two hundred miles out in a storm.

This is their last chance, but more is at stake than they know. Unlisted on any manifest, the Lion’s crew includes a man on the run carrying fifty million dollars in stolen Yakuza bearer bonds. And the storm rages on. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves and maybe even her life itself will be lost. Filled with bravery, betrayal, sudden twists, and pure excitement, Gale Force is a spectacular new adventure from the fast-rising suspense star.

Vancouver author Owen Laukkanen comes from a family of fishermen and spent months and summers as a deckhand for his father and uncle. He is the author of six Stevens and Windermere novels, nominated for Barry Awards, an International Thriller Writers Award, and the Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel: New Voices Award.

Find out about the rest of the folks coming to Boswell on the upcoming events page.

Photo credits
Robert Kurson: Matt Ferguson
Owen Laukkanen: Berni Huber

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 19, 2018.

Here are the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending May 19, 2018.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
2. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
3. Death Rides the Ferry, by Patricia Skalka
4. Last Stories, by William Trevor
5. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
6. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
7. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
8. You Think It I'll Say It, by Curtis Sittenfeld
9. The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer
10. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (ticketed event 6/15. Info here)

Our good friend Dennis came back from Turkey to tell us that William Trevor is very popular there, or so the Istanbul booksellers say. His legacy is pretty strong in the United States too, where Last Stories, his posthumous collection, has a nice pop in sales this week. Maina Vaizey in The Arts Desk wrote: "This voices perhaps the underlying theme of these yearning lives, with fulfilment tantalisingly always just round the corner. Here are tales of compromise and melancholy and uncertainty, yet with moral and ethical considerations also shadowing decisions."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Beauty in the Broken Places, by Allison Pataki
2. Would You Do That to Your Mother, by Jeanne Bliss
3. Pick Three, by Randi Zuckerberg
4. A Year in the Wilderness, by Amy and Dave Freeman
5. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
6. The Sociable City, by Jamin Creed Rowan
7. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
8. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
9. Phyllis Tickle, by Jon M. Sweeney
10. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston

Out this week is Michael Pollan's latest, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. From Kevin Canfield in The San Francisco Chronicle: "In How to Change Your Mind, Pollan explores the circuitous history of these often-misunderstood substances, and reports on the clinical trials that suggest psychedelics can help with depression, addiction and the angst that accompanies terminal illnesses. He does so in the breezy prose that has turned his previous books — these include The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Cooked, the inspiration for his winning Netflix docuseries of the same name — into bestsellers."

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See
2. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
3. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
4. The Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz
5. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
6. Embers of War, by Gareth L. Powell
7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
8. A Legacy of Spies, by John Le Carre
9. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert (event 6/13 at Boswell with Karma Brown)
10. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney (event 6/26 at Weyenberg Library 2 pm and Elm Grove Library 7 pm)

Book Club update! We've added a fourth Boswell-run book club on the third Monday of each month and it's meeting at Cafe Hollander. On Monday, May 21, Jen and attendees will be discussing The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Two other book club picks make this week's top 10. The In-Store Lit Group will be discussing The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane on Monday, June 4 and the Science Fiction Book Club will be discussing Embers of War by Gareth Powell on Monday, June 11, 7 pm.

Paul Di Filippo talked up Powell's novel on Locus: "I knew readers were in for a great ride on the shoulders of a writer here to stay. And his new novel, the first in a trilogy, bears out all my forecast. It’s a smart, funny, tragic, galloping space opera that showcases Powell’s wit, affection for his characters, world-building skills and unpredictable narrative inventions."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Divided City, by Alan Mallach
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
5. The Color of War, by Richard Rothstein
6. Inspiralized, by Ali Maffucci
7. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance
8. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
9. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
10. Not That Bad, by Roxane Gay

We had a table at the JFS luncheon featuring Matthew Desmond where we recommended books to read after Eviction. We actually featured 5 of the 10 books on this week's top ten: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (signed paperbacks available), The Color of Water, Hillbilly Elegy, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Janesville, plus of course we also had Evicted on display, and we sold those books too, even though many attendees received a copy of the book as part of their ticket. Ben Austen's High Risers almost made the top 10 hardcovers, coming in at #12. We probably would have sold more, but we sold out!

Books for Kids:
1. Endling: The Last, by Katherine Applegate
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. If You Had a Jetpack, by Lisl Detlefsen
4. The Book of Beasts V3, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
5. The Bone Quill V2, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
6. The Hollow Earth V1, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman
7. The Rose Legacy, by Jessica Day George
8. Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate
9. Tuesdays at the Castle V1, by Jessica Day George
10. Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate

We had two authors last week who did school visits in the Milwaukee area. Lisl Detlefsen talked about her second book, If You Had a Jetpack, while Jessica Day George was in town for the The Rose Legacy, the first book in a new middle-grade series. Kirkus Reviews offered this nice review of The Rose Legacy: "In this middle-grade fantasy, orphan Anthea is sent from Coronam to live with her uncle beyond the Wall, where she learns that not everything she was taught to believe is the truth."

Signed copies of both are available. Here's what's happening on the Journal Sentinel TapBooks page.

Featured on the front page are books to read this summer from the Journal Sentinel from Jim Higgins: "Whether you’re on the road or staying on the porch this summer, a book can be your traveling companion." Here are the editor's picks.
--Calypso, by David Sedaris (on sale 5/29)
--The Female Persuasion, by Meg Woliltzer
--The Monk of Mokha, by Dave Eggers
--Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
--Robin, by David Itzkoff
--See What Can Be Done, by Lorrie Moore
--Sharp, by Michelle Dean

Carole E. Barrowman suggest five great mystery/thrillers for summer reading.
--Mr. Flood's Last Resort, by Jess Kidd
--Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin
--Gale Force, by Owen Laukkanen (event at Boswell Fri 5/25, 7 pm)
--A Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier (on sale 6/12)
--The Line That Held Us, by David Joy (on sale 8/14)

Here's what Barrowman had to say about Gale Force: "Call me Ishmael! This is one of the most original thrillers out this summer. Captain McKenna Rhodes has inherited a business that’s leaking money. Her marine salvage company is going under unless she can get to the seas north of Alaska in time to salvage The Pacific Lion and earn the insurance fee. The freighter is packed with SUVs on its decks and a dangerous stowaway hiding in its hull."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Events this week (though two are already at capacity and two more are close to it): Allison Pataki, Amy and Dave Freeman, Jon M. Sweeney, Dan Egan, Patricia Skalka, Rhonda Leet, Robert K. Elder, Jamin Creed Rowan.

Please note that the following library events are full to capacity and are no longer taking reservations. If you have registered, please arrive by 15 minutes before start time to guarantee entry. Please note that it is likely that we will not be able to accommodate walk-ups at either event.

--Katherine Applegate for Endling: The Last on Tuesday, May 15 at the Greenfield Public Library. For more information, contact the Greenfield Public Library at (414) 321-9595. We hope to have signed copies after the event.

--Victoria Aveyard, author of War Storm, with special guests Brittany Cavallaro, and Lori M. Lee on Sunday, May 20 at Delafield Public Library. For more information, contact Books and Company at (262) 567-0106. Also please note that if you are attending, there are signing restrictions for this event.

Here's what else is going on.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills:
A ticketed event with Allison Pataki, author of Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

Please note, this event is now filled to capacity.

Please note that registration for this event is near capacity. If you are planning on attending, please register at lyndensculpturegarden.org/allisonpataki-2018 or call (414) 446-8794. Walk-ups may not be available for this event.

Milwaukee Reads presents Allison Pataki as a part of the Women’s Speaker Series at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, produced by Milwaukee Reads. Pataki, author of several historical novels including The Traitor's Wife and Sisi, now tells her own story, chronicling her husband's brush with death, his slow recovery, and how their relationship was affected by the experience.

From Allison Klein's Washington Post profile, reprinted in the Seattle Times: "Dave Levy leaned over and asked his wife (Pataki) if his eye looked strange. Pataki looked up. She watched as her 30-year-old husband had a stroke and lost consciousness while they were 35,000 feet in the air. The plane made an emergency landing in Fargo, North Dakota. Pataki spent the night in a hospital waiting area while doctors worked on her husband. She didn’t know if he’d ever wake up."

If you haven't been to the a Lynden Sculpture Garden event, know that the evening begins at 7 with a short reception Enjoy a glass of wine or light appetizers from MKE Localicious. The talk begins at 7:30. If it's not raining, you're welcome to walk the grounds. Tickets are $30, $25 for Lynden members, include a copy (autographed if you wish) of her new memoir, Beauty in the Broken Places, and are available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/AllisonPataki-2018 or by phone, at (414) 446-8794.

Monday, May 14, 7:00 pm, at Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E Park Place:
Amy and Dave Freeman, author of A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters

Amy and Dave Freeman are biking to DC from Ely, Minnesota in support of their new book and to continue to raise awareness of their efforts to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They’re stopping in Milwaukee as they take their book and a petition of support over 1,750 miles across the country to the nation’s capital. Please note this event is pay what you can.

On September 23, 2015, Amy and Dave Freeman embarked on a yearlong adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in support of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters to protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. They shared their year in the wilderness in their blogs with hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens. This book tells the story of their adventure in northern Minnesota: loons whistling under a moonrise, ice booming as it forms and cracks, a moose and her calf swimming across a misty lake.

With the magic, urgent message that has rallied an international audience to the campaign to save the Boundary Waters, A Year in the Wilderness is a rousing cry of witness activism and a stunning tribute to this singularly beautiful region. This stop on their cross-country trip is being held at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center. Admission is pay what you can.

Amy and Dave Freeman's expeditions have taken them over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled through some of the world's wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named Amy and Dave Adventurers of the Year in 2014 and their images, videos, and articles have been published by the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, and Minnesota Public Radio.

Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 pm, at at All Saints Cathedral, 818 E Juneau Ave in Milwaukee: Jon M. Sweeney, author of Phyllis Tickle: A Life

Sweeney, a locally-based independent scholar who is also the publisher of Paraclete Press, presents his newest work of biography, Phillis Tickle: A Life. Sweeney was in active conversation with Phyllis Tickle at the time of her death about co-authoring her biography and is the official biographer of Tickle’s estate. This event is sponsored by All Saints Cathedral.

The founding editor of the Religion Department at Publishers Weekly, Tickle’s work influenced the growth of spiritual writing and interfaith understanding during the 1990s. By the time of her death in 2015, Phyllis Tickle was one of the most beloved and respected figures in American religious life. Sweeney examines Tickle’s personal and professional roots, from her family, and life on The Farm in Lucy, Tennessee, to her academic career and move into book publishing.

Sweeney also looks at pivotal relationships with John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, and Brian McLaren, as well as her great influence on the increasing number who adopted fixed-hour prayer, the Episcopal Church as a whole, and the Emerging Church, for which she served as historian, forecaster, and champion. A look at her early, passionate advocacy for the LGBT community, lecture circuit controversies, and projects left unfinished completes the picture.

Jon M Sweeney is editor in chief and publisher of Paraclete Press and author/editor of more than 20 works of religious scholarship. His recent books include What I Am Living for: Lessons from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul, and The Pope's Cat, a book for kids.

Thursday, May 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Patricia Skalka, author of Death Rides the Ferry

Patricia Skalka returns to Boswell for the latest installment in the mysterious Sheriff Dave Cubiak series, in which another Door County summer’s end is disturbed by a gruesome death, one that dredges the depth of Lake Michigan and draws up crimes from the past.

It’s a sparkling August day on Washington Island and the resonant notes of early classical music float on the breeze toward the sailboats and ferries that ply the waters of Death’s Door strait. After a forty-year absence, the Viola da Gamba Music Festival has returned to the picturesque isle on the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. Sheriff Dave Cubiak enjoys a rare day off as tourists and a documentary film crew hover around the musicians.

The jubilant mood sours when an unidentified passenger is found dead on a ferry. Longtime residents recall with dismay the disastrous festival decades earlier, when another woman died and a valuable sixteenth-century instrument—the fabled yellow viol—vanished, never to be found. Cubiak follows a trail of murder, kidnapping, and false identity that leads back to the calamitous night of the twin tragedies. With the lives of those he holds most dear in peril, the sheriff pursues a ruthless killer into the stormy northern reaches of Lake Michigan.


Thursday, May 17, 7:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd in Bayside Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Please note that registration for this event is near capacity. If you are planning on attending, please register at (414) 352-2880, x0 today. Walk-ups may not be available for this event. This event is free with admission ($8) or membership to the Schlitz Audubon.
Dan Egan returns to Schlitz Audubon Nature Center for the paperback release of his compelling and nimble chronicle of the many man-made hazards threatening the world’s largest source of accessible fresh water. Boswell is cosponsor of this event.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes was recently awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. Egan’s book is also the current pick for the PBS NewsHour – New York Times book club. In addition, UW-Madison just named The Death and Life of the Great Lakes the Go Big Read title for incoming freshmen.

Friday, May 18, 4:00 pm, at Boswell:
After-school storytime and activities with Rhonda Leet, author of Franny's Father Is a Feminist

DePere-based Leet appears at Boswell for an after-school afternoon of empowerment perfect for young feminists and parents alike, regardless of gender, with a sweet, straight-forward picture book that portrays the loving bond between a young girl and her father, who isn’t afraid of bucking gender norms to ensure that his daughter grows up smart, strong, and self-confident. We’ll have themed activity sheets before and after the event.

From Kirkus Reviews’ starred review: “Little readers learn what it means to be a feminist. As the title says, Franny’s father is a feminist. Feminists believe “that girls can do everything boys can do, and [that girls deserve] all the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities that” boys have. The book’s tone is informative rather than preachy, presenting feminism not as the only way to be but rather a sensible caregiving choice. An excellent primer on what feminism and allyship entail.”

Rhonda Leet grew up in Green Bay, and her passion for children’s books has grown from reading them to writing her debut picture book. A former educator, Rhonda believes all children deserve to thrive in the classroom and throughout their lives, regardless of their gender.

Friday, May 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Robert K. Elder, author of The Mixtape of My Life: A Do-It-Yourself Music Memoir

Mix up your own musical memoir at Boswell with Chicago-based author Elder. No matter which musical generation you belong to, from doo-wop to Daft Punk, The Mixtape of My Life is an instant conversation starter and a great way to rediscover the special tunes that played during key moments of your life. Elder provides more than 200 questions and prompts to help readers chronicle their lives through music and explore their personal soundtrack.

Evoking memories, stories, and long-forgotten mix tapes, this guided journal includes questions like "What was the first record you owned?" and "What song did you later realize was smutty?" and provides room to draw a favorite album cover or create the perfect road trip playlist. With dozens of quirky illustrations throughout, The Mixtape of My Life can be a great tool for your next dinner party, or simply something any music lover can enjoy for themselves.

Listen to Elder talk to Amy Guth on WGN's Saturday Night Special.

Robert K. Elder is the author of seven books, including 2016's Hidden Hemingway. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon. He has worked for Sun-Times Media and Crain Communications, and is the founder of Odd Hours Media.

Saturday, May 19, 2:30 walk, 4:30 talk, at Boswell:
Jane’s Walk presents Jamin Creed Rowan, author of The Sociable City: An American Intellectual Tradition

Jane’s Walk, MSOE Scholar’s Honor Program, and Boswell present an informative afternoon stroll through the city with author Jamin Creed Rowan, Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Brigham Young University, and MSOE Associate Professor Michael Carriere. Walkers meet at Boswell at 2:30 pm for a guided walking tour through the East Side that will return to Boswell for Rowan’s 4:30 talk.

Registration for the walk is requested, at eventbrite.com/e/45170056856. And find out more about Jane’s Walk Milwaukee at janeswalkmke.com.

The Sociable City chronicles how, as the city's physical and social landscapes evolved over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, urban intellectuals developed new vocabularies, narratives, and representational forms to explore and advocate for the social configurations made possible by urban living. Jamin Creed Rowan aims to better understand why we have built and governed cities in the ways we have, and to imagine an urban future that will effectively preserve and facilitate the interpersonal associations and social networks that city dwellers need to live manageable, equitable, and fulfilling lives.

Read Tom Daykin's story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Jane's Walk on the High Rise Bridge that previewed development plans below on the old Kneeland Properties.

And more about other Boswell upcoming events here.

Photo credits:
--Allison Pataki and Dave Levy credit Beatrice Copeland
--Amy and Dave Freeman credit Nate Ptacek
--Dan Egan credit Sara Egan
--Robert K. Elder credit Greg Rothstein

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Number one with a bullet! Here are the bestseller lists for the week ending May 12, 2018

Number one with a bullet! Here are the bestseller lists for the week ending May 12, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
2. Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
3. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
4. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
5. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjaming
6. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (event with Egan and Andrew Sean Greer on Fri 6/15 at Boswell - ticket info here)
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. Robert's Rules, by J.F. Riordan (event Thu 5/24 at Boswell)
9. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
10. Kindest Regards, by Ted Kooser

Warlight is the latest novel from Michael Ondaatje. Chrysler Szarlan of the Odyssey Bookshop described it thus: "Warlight is the unexpected story of two teenagers abandoned by their enigmatic parents in post-war London. Casually watched over by a dodgy cast of characters - petty criminals, opera singers, and panting greyhounds - Nathaniel and Rachel try to make sense of their new world while struggling to define their parents' shadowy wartime pasts. Years later, Nathaniel embarks on a quest to discover the disturbing truth, and his own unwitting part in it." More Indie Next picks here.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston
2. The Soul of America, by Jon Meacham
3. A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey
4. Beauty in Broken Places, by Allison Pataki (event Mon 5/14 at Lynden Sculpture Garden - Ticket info here)
5. Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
6. Prairie Fires, by Caroline Fraser
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. Fascism, by Madeleine Albright
9. Parisian Charm School, by Jamie Cat Callan (event Wed May 23 at Boswell)
10. Assume the Worst, by Carl Hiaasen

Taking the top nonfiction spot is Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo." Published for the first time, here is the true story of Cudjo Lewis, an 86-year-old man who told of the raid that led to his capture and bondage 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. Here's a story about the journey to publication of Barracoon by Lily Rothman in Time magazine.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
3. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
4. Sour Heart, by Jenny Zhang (In-Store Lit Group at Boswell, Mon 7/2)
5. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See (In-Store Lit Group at Boswell, Mon 6/4)
6. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
7. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
8. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
9. Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain
10. Homesick for Another World, by Ottessa Moshfegh (event at Boswell, Tue 7/24)

My family has been passing around Jenny Zhang's Sour Heart, winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. We hadn't read a story collection for a while in our In-Store Lit Group so this seemed like a great choice. Jia Tolentino in The New Yorker's essay on the work begins: "Jenny Zhang’s astounding short-story collection, Sour Heart, combines ingenious and tightly controlled technical artistry with an unfettered emotional directness that frequently moves, within single sentences, from overwhelming beauty to abject pain."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Rock 'n' Roll Radio Milwaukee, by Bob Barry
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan (event at Schlitz Audubon, Thu 5/17 - Registration required at 414-352-2880 x0)
3. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
4. Meaty, by Samantha Irby
5. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, by Samantha Irby
6. Lost Milwaukee, by Carl Swanson
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. The Story of Act 31, by J.P. Leary
9. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
10. North Point Historic Districts, by Shirley Du Fresne McArthur

Here are two fascinating but not particularly useful insider fact about the reissue of Meaty, Samantha Irby's first essay collection, now repackaged and updated by Vintage. It was originally going to continue the chicken motif of the Curbside Splendor edition, and only later changed to the hedgehog, which got a little angrier in another revamp. The book was also going to be turquoise, not pink. I think yellow, hot pink and turquoise would look great together. I wouldn't write off turquoise for book #3. Lime green would also be nice. Fans also learned that the FX deal talked up in our marketing is off, but they are still hoping for a development deal at another network.

Books for Kids:
1. Positively Izzy, by Terri Libenson
2. Invisible Emmie, by Terri Libenson
3. The Way You Make Me Feel, by Maurene Goo
4. The Novice V1, by Taran Matharu
5. The Burning Maze V3, by Rick Riordan
6. The Golden Thread, by Colin Meloy, with illustrations by Nikki McClure
7. Dog Man and Cat Kid V, by Dav Pilkey
8. Outcast V4, by Taran Matharu
9. One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
10. Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

I watched Amie hand-sell Bob at the annual Ozaukee Family Services luncheon featuring Barbara Rinella. Here's Boswellian Jen Steele's recommendation: "10-year-old Livy is visiting her Gran in Australia. It's been five years since she visited her Gran, and that's a long time - long enough to forget all about the adventures that were had. Like meeting a green talking chicken named Bob. You'd think that would be unforgettable. Not to Livy, and now, Bob is waiting for Livy to remember him and her promise to help him. If only she'd remember. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is magical, laugh out loud story that's sure to warm your heart."

Journal Sentinel Book Report!

--Jocelyn McClurg from USA Today offers an endorsement of Curtis Sittenfeld's latest: "The novelist (Eligible, American Wife, Prep) is a sharp observer of human nature and human relationships — especially the male/female variety — and she’s a hoot, an appealing combination in my book. These qualities are on vivid display in You Think It, I’ll Say It, a witty, breezy, zeitgeist-y collection of 10 short stories, her first."

--Also originally appearing in USA Today is Sharon Peters's review of Allison Pataki's new memoir. She will be appearing at the Lynden Sculpture Garden tomorrow (ticket info here--only 15 slots left). "In Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith and Resilience, Allison Pataki (daughter of former New York governor George Pataki) tells the story of the fear-filled roller-coaster months after her husband, David Levy, had an in-flight stroke on June 9, 2015...Pataki, a novelist (The Accidental Empress), chronicles the days and months of her husband’s hospitalization and rehab in a compelling and straightforward way."

--Nara Schoenberg of the Chicago Tribune reports on the success of Natasha Tarpley's I Love My Hair, 20 years after publication. From the story: "In the book, a little girl named Keyana, rendered in lively, evocative watercolors by the Caldecott Honor-winning artist E.B. Lewis, cuddles in her mother’s lap, wincing when the comb hits a tangle, crying out when the pain get too great, until her mom strokes her head gently and tells her a secret: 'Do you know why you’re so lucky to have this head of hair, Keyana? Because it’s beautiful and you can wear it in any style you choose.'"