Monday, March 26, 2018

Events: Larry Baldassaro, Patrick W. Steele, United We Read, Sonya Renee Taylor

Here's the scoop on Boswell book events this week. Please note we are open Easter Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Tuesday, March 27, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Lawrence Baldassaro, author of Baseball Italian Style: Great Stories Told by Italian American Major Leaguers from Crosetti to Piazza

From Chris Foran in the Journal Sentinel: "Baldassaro, a professor emeritus of Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball, puts together decades of his interviews with players of Italian ancestry in this eclectic collection. It's a diverse bunch, from Hall of Famers (Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Ron Santo, Phil Rizzuto) to journeymen (Al Ferrara, Sibby Sisti, Ken Aspromonte), from former Brewers (Sal Bando, Chris Bosio, Chris Capuano) to some of the best players in the game today (Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto)."

Their stories provide a time capsule that documents not only the evolution of Italian American participation in the national pastime but also the continuity of the game and the many changes that have taken place, on and off the field. At a time when statistical analysis plays an increasingly prominent role in the sport, the monologues in this book are a reminder that the history of baseball is passed on to future generations more eloquently, and with much greater passion, through the words of those who lived it than it is by numerical data.

Lawrence Baldassaro, Professor Emeritus of Italian at UWM, is the author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball, editor of Ted Williams: Reflections on a Splendid Life, and co-editor of The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity. He has published articles in numerous sports encyclopedias and journals, has been a contributing writer for the Milwaukee Brewers Game Day magazine since 1990, and wrote the chapter on sports for The Routledge History of Italian Americans.

Wednesday, March 28, 6:30 pm, at Zimmerman Architectural Studios, 2122 W Mt Vernon Ave in Milwaukee:
Patrick Steele, author of Home of the Braves: The Battle for Baseball in Milwaukee

This event is sponsored by the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear and cosponsored by Boswell. There is a $5 admission for this event. Purchase advance tickets here.

From Boswell's Tim McCarthy's review of Home of the Braves: "I've always wondered why that terrible and wonderful transition happened; this book gave me everything I needed. It's the political and economic story of the joy and early success that surrounded the Braves' arrival in 1953, and the rage over their bitter departure in 1966. More than that, the book explains how the Braves' move was the beginning of great change in Major League Baseball, with shifting franchises and expansion extending the league coast to coast, and with frustrated fans in many cities seeing their teams move in large part due of broadcast revenues with the advent of television. Steele's research into the actions and reactions from the entire spectrum of Milwaukee's community, and nationwide, is excellent. A fascinating read!"

From Chris Foran in the Journal Sentinel: "Unlike other books about the Milwaukee Braves, Steele's Home of the Braves focuses more on what happened off the field than on it. And what happened off the field, he shows in this trim but well-sourced history, was a hot mess. Aggressive new ownership and stubborn local government battled and bickered at a time when both the Braves and baseball were heading into dangerous slumps."

Patrick W. Steele is Associate Professor of History at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is a member of the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association.

Thursday, March 29, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
The UWM English Department presents United We Read, featuring Mollie Boutell, Su Cho, and Eric Wegenke, now with faculty reader Rebecca Dunham

Discover the next literary superstar, as three graduate students from the creative writing program and one faculty member read from their work

Rebecca Dunham is Professor of English at UWM and Program Coordinator of Creative Writing. She the author of four books of poetry. Her first book, The Miniature Room, won the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize. Her second book, The Flight Cage, was a Tupelo Press Open Reading Selection. Glass Armonica was awarded the 2013 Lindquist and Vennum Poetry Prize and was published by Milkweed Editions. Her most recent book of poetry, Cold Pastoral, was also published by Milkweed. Dunham’s chapbook, Fascicle, was published by dancing girl press.

Saturday, March 31, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Sonya Renee Taylor, author of The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

This manifesto on radical self-love is life altering - required reading for anyone who struggles with body image. Come join us for a special evening with writer, performance poet, and transformational leader Sonya Renee Taylor, cosponsored by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the UWM Women's Resource Center. This event is free but registration is requested. RSVP to sonyareneetaylormke.bpt.me.

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world for us all.

Sonya Renee Taylor is the founder and radical executive officer of The Body Is Not an Apology. She has been featured on HBO, BET, NPR, and in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and USA Today.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bestsellers from Boswell - week ending March 24, 2018

Here's what's selling (for the week ending March 24, 2018)

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Punishment She Deserves, by Elizabeth George
2. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
3. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
4. The Temptation of Forgiveness, by Donna Leon
5. Dead Calm, by Annelise Ryan
6. Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen
7. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea
8. Chicago, by David Mamet
9. A Veil of Spears, by Bradley P. Beaulieu
10. Murder in an Irish Churchyard, by Carlene O'Connor

Four of our top ten this week are traditional mysteries. Annelisa Ryan's Dead Calm and Carlene O'Connor's Murder in an Irish Churchyard (signed copies available) are from our cozy tea, while Donna Leon and Elizabeth George's The Punishment She Deserves are selling out of our new mystery case. George discusses 30 years of writing about Thomas Lynley in The Irish News: "George turns 70 next year but she has no intention of retiring. Writing, she says, has in many ways been her saviour, helping her through the deep bouts of depression she's suffered since she was a teenager. 'I've always been prone to depression but I discovered that the creative act is a really good way to fight off depression. As long as I stay creative, I don't get the kind of serious depression that I used to get.'" No author listed, so this might be a press release. Still interesting.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Glow15, by Naomi Whittel
2. The Humane Gardener, by Nancy Lawson
3. Disappointment River, by Brian Castner
4. Saving Tarboo Creek, by Scott Freeman and Susan Leopold Freeman
5. Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff
6. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
7. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
8. Triumph of Christianity, by Bart D. Ehrman
9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
10. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben

True crime is in a resurgence (we have two events coming up in the next month, with Dorothy Marcic for With One Shot on April 16 and Cutter Wood for Love and Death in the Sunshine State on April 26) but the biggest right now is Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark, which has gotten a good amount of extra attention as the author was the late wife of Patton Oswalt, who did appearances for the book. Raves from Gillian Flynn and Stephen King ("a brilliant genre-buster") did not hurt. Here's the Scott Simon piece from NPR.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders (In-Store Lit group Mon 4/2, 7 pm, at Boswell)
2. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
3. Earthy Remains, by Donna Leon
4. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (event Tue 4/10, 7 pm at Shorewood Public Library)
5. Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid
6. Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
7. Murder in an Irish Village, by Carlene O'Connor
8. Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, by Patty Yumi Cottrell
9. Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
10. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

Congratulations to Patty Yumi Cottrell, the former Milwaukeean who has just won a Whiting Writers Award for Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, her first novel. She also received the Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Award for fiction. The Whiting Writers Award notes that the novel “opens up fresh lines of questioning in the old interrogations of identity, the politics of belonging, and the problem of other minds.” From Adam Rivett in The Australian: "Some novels thrive on plot and others on voice, and this one is all voice: a totalising, inescapable concoction of lurching, woozy, abrasive glory."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Parentally Incorrect, by Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee
2. Taking Flight, by Michael Edmonds
3. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
4. Urban Ecology, by Ken Leinbach (event at Boswell Wed 4/25, 7 pm)
5. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
6. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
7. Just Add Sauce, from America's Test Kitchen
8. Brick Through the Window, by Nodine, Beaumont, Carroll, and Luhrssen
9. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
10. Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Several of us spent the evening at the Pabst Theater selling books for Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee, co-authors (or are they editors) of Parentally Incorrect: True Tales by Real Moms about the F**ked-Up Things Their Kids Have Done. These mommies have been touring for a number of years (first time in Milwaukee) and one of the highlights is that audience shares things their kids have done which are read out loud. The best are collected here. Mother's Day is just weeks away and we have some signed copies left. Here's more about Shayna and Tracey.

Books for Kids
1. The Tapper Twins Go to War with Each Other, by Geoff Rodkey
2. The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York, by Geoff Rodkey
3. Stuck in the Stone Age, by Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates
4. Dog Man and Cat Kid, by Dav Pilkey
5. A Wrinkle in Time (paper), by Madeleine L'Engle
6. Dog Man Unleashed, by Dav Pilkey
7. Deadweather and Sunrise, by Geoff Rodkey
8. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
9. Islandborn, by Junot Diaz, with illustrations by Leo Espinosa
10. A Wrinkle in Time graphic novel, by Madeleine L'Engle

Here's an few interesting things about Stuck in the Stone Age (signed copies available, the new novel from Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates, one of the authors that we are touring this spring who only did school events. 1) The next Story Pirates novel will feature a different writer. 2) The series was published by Rodale Kids, which was sold by Hearst to Penguin Random House in during publication. 3) But that's okay, because Rodkey's next book is already contracted to Crown (another PRH imprint) for 2019. 4) Stuck in the Stone Age was #2 on the Milwaukee Bookscan charts for the week of his visit, just after A Wrinkle in Time and that's for all books, not just kids books, and that's other indies, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, but not WalMart. While we do capture a percentage of the sales when an author visits a school, a lot of the sales go elsewhere (well, let's be blunt -- to one particular website). We're well aware that all our handselling and marketing leads to sales elsewhere, and if that helps the books and authors and publishers we love, so be it.

And now it's Journal Sentinel time!

First up, let's link to the front page story about Liam Callanan and the impending publication of Paris by the Book. Find out if you are a Madeleine person or a Red Balloon person. Please note that we will be discounting Liam's novel 20% for presale and the event launch on Tuesday, April 3, 7 pm.

Today the Journal Sentinel Tap section has a feature on Home of the Braves, the new baseball book from Patrick W. Steeele. Chris Foran writes: "Baseball attendance was shrinking everywhere, but in Milwaukee, Steele notes, the drop coincided with other alarming trends. Chief among them were a suddenly shrinking market — thanks to the Washington Senators moving to Minnesota, where the new Twins siphoned off some fans and the Braves' broadcast audience — and the rise of the Green Bay Packers, who under Vince Lombardi supplanted the Braves as Wisconsin's team." The book (which I read) makes the case that the very thing that helped bring baseball to Milwaukee (the involvement of local government, at the time unusual) was one of the things that brought it down. Event is Wed 3/28 at Zimmerman Architectural Studios. $5 admission tickets here.

On page 4 is another Chris Foran feature offers 11 more books worth adding to your lineup, including Lawrence Baldassaro's Baseball Italian Style. Larry will be at Boswell on Tue 3/27 to talk about his new book.

More book reviews:

--Dan Cryer reviews Tara Westover's Educated: A Memoir. Originally from Newsday

--Zlati Meyer covers The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to win the Vote, written by Elaine Weiss. Originally from USA Today. Also recommended by Boswell's buyer Jason.

--Charisse Jones tackles Children of Blood and Bone, the bestselling YA fantasy from Tomi Adeyemi. Originally from USA Today. As Jones writes, "It's nearly impossible to Put Down." Our bookseller Jen agrees!

And finally, here's a piece from Jim Higgins profiling Jeanne Theoharis, author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. Higgins notes that Theoharis "continues to push back against the simplification of King, Parks and other activists — and against a national tendency to see the civil rights movement as a completed chapter in American history."

Monday, March 19, 2018

This week, at Boswell and elsewhere: Brian Castner, Game Night, Bradley Beaulieu, Cozy Mysteries, Red Oak presents Carol Wobig and Friends, plus events at Schlitz Audubon, Urban Ecology Center, and Villa Terrace

It's nature week and more!

Monday, March 19, 7:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd in Bayside:
Scott Freeman and Susan Leopold Freeman, author and illustrator of of Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family's Quest to Heal the Land:

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and Boswell present Scott Freeman and Susan Leopold Freeman, who own and manage over 240 acres of forestland in Jefferson County, all protected by conservation easements held by Jefferson Land Trust. This event is free with Center admission or membership. Registration required for this event by calling (414) 352-2880 x0.

Saving Tarboo Creek is based on the land ethic of Aldo Leopold, Susan Leopold Freman’s grandfather. Since its publication in 1949, A Sand County Almanac has inspired readers to reduce their impact on the land. Scott Freeman’s story offers a concrete example of how one family did their part to repair environmental damage and inspires readers to do the same through thoughtful, individual choices.

Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 pm at Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park, 1500 E Park Pl in Milwaukee:
Michael Edmonds, author of Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America:


Edmunds, Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society, has written a dynamic account of ornithological history in America’s heartland. Edmonds, a recreational birder, has authored numerous books and articles and has won awards from the American Folklore Society and the American Association for State and Local History. This event, held at and cosponsored by the Urban Ecology Center, is free. Pay what you can.

Today, more than fifty million Americans traipse through wetlands at dawn, endure clouds of mosquitoes, and brave freezing autumn winds just to catch a glimpse of a bird. The human desire to connect with winged creatures defies age and generation. In the Midwest, humans and birds have lived together for more than twelve thousand years. Taking Flight explores how and why people have worshipped, feared, studied, hunted, eaten, and protected the birds that surrounded them.

Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Brian Castner, author of Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage:

For fans of Jon Krakauer and David Grann comes an exciting new dual historical narrative and travel memoir. Boswell is honored to host Marquette University grad and Bronze Star recipient Brian Caster for his book, Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage. Marquette University graduate Brian Castner is a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer who received a Bronze Star for his service in the Iraq War. He is the author of two books, The Long Walk and All the Ways We Kill and Die, and the coeditor of the anthology The Road Ahead.

In his new book, Castner transports readers back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of globalization and climate change. Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark, Alexander Mackenzie set off to cross the continent of North America with a team of voyageurs and Chipewyan guides, to find a trade route to the riches of the East. What he found was a river that he named “'Disappointment.' Mackenzie died thinking he had failed. He was wrong. In Disappointment River, Brian Castner not only retells the story of Alexander Mackenzie’s epic voyages in vivid prose, he personally retraces his travels, transporting readers to a land rarely glimpsed.

Read Rinker Buck's review in The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Game Night at Boswell

Enjoy an evening sampling new and bestselling games from our collection, including Donner Dinner Party and Quicktionary. Jen and Jason will offer a short intro and demos on our favorites, plus we’ll have giveaways too. Come alone or in groups.

Please note this game night is for folks 16+. Some of these games involve adult language. Registration requested at boswellgame18.bpt.me. Registration live until 3 pm the day of the event. After that, call us at (414) 332-1181.

Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 pm
A ticketed event with Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum,2220 N Terrace Ave:

Tickets are $25 for the general public and do not include the book. Her talk is called 'The Humane Garden: Cultivating Compassion for All Creatures.' More information here.

Thursday, March 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of A Veil of Spears

From Racine’s Bradley P. Beaulieu comes the third book in The Song of Shattered Sands series - an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action. Following Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, which was on many best-of lists for 2015, and With Blood upon the Sand, the new novel features Çeda, a pit fighter in the desert city of Sharakhai, who discovers a dangerous secret that might help her overthrow the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai.

Matt Staggs interviews Beaulieu in Unbound Worlds, on his influences: "The initial drive was Tolkien. I’m a big Tolkien fan, and I’m one of those guys who actually loved the poems and the songs he wrote. Before I started 12 Kings in Sharakhai I had a rough idea of what the book was about, but I needed to know the history... I wrote an epic poem that had to do with how they came to rule the desert, and those are the things that Ceda uncovers, eventually. Those poems, actually, led to the formation of the first book and the whole series."


Racine writer Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of the Lays of Anuskaya trilogy and the Song of Shattered Sands trilogy. His novels have garnered many accolades, including a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination.

Friday, March 23, 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
A cozy afternoon tea featuring Beth Amos, writing both as Annelise Ryan, author of Dead Calm and Allyson K. Abbott, author of A Toast to Murder, as well as Mary Carter, writing as Carlene O’Connor, author of Murder in an Irish Churchyard

Boswell invites you to a cozy tea with mystery writers Beth Amos (Annelise Ryan and Allyson K. Abbott) and Mary Carter (Carlene O'Connor. We'll be serving tea and mini scones from Beans and Barley. Specifically, we've ordered classic cream with currants and apple with date. So if you don't like dried fruit, you'll have to wait till we feature cucumber sandwiches another time.

Cozies are a storied tradition in the mystery world, but probably the matriarch is Agatha Christie, whose Miss Marple series has influenced many later writers. Here's a list from Sara Nicholas at Book Riot featuring top cozy scribes, but the picks are definitely up for debate. Alexander McCall Smith? Yes, I'd say that fits. Diane Mott Davidson? Absolutely, she popularized the recipe addition, a popular addition to many series. Most authors whose protagonists are paired with a cat costar? (Rita Mae Brown, Lillian Jackson Braun) That seems fair. But Louise Penny? Sorry, I disagree.

Beth Amos is an active member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She's also a registered nurse in Janesville. While Chicago-based Mary Carter has written three books in the Irish Village series under the pseudonym Carlene O’Connor.

Sunday, March 25, 3:00 pm, at Boswell:
Carol Wobig, author of The Collected Stories, Yvonne Stephens, author of of The Salt Before It Shakes, and Patricia Ann McNair, author of of And These Are the Good Times: A Chicago Gal Riffs on Death, Sex, Life, Dancing, Writing, Wonder, Loneliness, Place, Family, Faith, Coffee, and the FBI

Carol Wobig's short stories and monologues are written with unfailing sensitivity and empathy, and in language that rings clear and true.Wobig has won awards from the Writer’s Digest Competition, the Florence Lindemann Humor Contest, and the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. Read Jim Higgins's review of The Collected Stories in the Journal Sentinel.

In The Salt Before It Shakes, poet Yvonne Stephens writes about nature, loss, change, hope, motherhood and family with honesty, courage, sensitivity, and moments of keen existential humor. Marquette University’s Angel Sorby praised “the earthy alchemy of her attentive and deeply nourishing work.” The poems of Stephens have appeared in the Dunes Review, the LAND Creative Writing Journal, and Family Stories from the Attic.

Patricia Ann McNair’s recently released collection of essays is And These Are the Good Times. McNair lives just two miles from where she was born, and her writing reflects her Windy City grounding. McNair is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College. Her story collection The Temple of Air was named Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association.

This event is cosponsored by Red Oak Writing.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Boswell annotated bestsellers for the week ending March 17, 2018

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending 3/17/18

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
2. The Maze at Windermere, by Gregory Blake Smith
3. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
4. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
5. Sunburn, by Laura Lippman
6. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
7. The Sparsholt Affair, by Alan Hollinghurst
8. Munich, by Robert Harris
9. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
10. A Long Way from Home, by Peter Carey

The bottom of the list is Knopf heavy, with three of the five coming from Borzoi Books. I heard an interesting interview with Peter Carey for A Long Way from Home, when he discussed writing about addressing Australia's colonial legacy with Tom Power on Q, the CBC radio show and how he framed this within the legendary Redex Reliability Tests which were not exactly races but endurance tests. The Guardian says its "his best novel in decades."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Extraordinary Influence, by Tim Irwin
2. The Way of Being Lost, by Victoria Price
3. The World Only Spins Forward, by Dan Kois/Isaac Butler
4. Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
5. Promise Me, Dad, by Joe Biden
6. Einstein and the Rabbi, by Naomi Levy
7. The Deepest Well, by Nadine Burke Harris
8. What Are We Doing Here?, by Marilynne Robinson
9. Packing My Library, Alberto Manguel
10. The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking

It's no Fire and Fury, but we get a pop on Michael Isikoff and David Corn's Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Steven Lee Myers writes in The New York Times: "Although the authors make their view clear from the start, referring to Russian help as the perceived 'original sin' of Trump’s presidency, it is to their credit that they present both campaigns in an unfavorable light. The book will surely infuriate readers on either side of what should be the most urgent question facing the nation today: the vulnerability of our democratic institutions to Russian manipulation."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
2. Call Me by Your Name, by André Aciman
3. Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
4. Beartown, by Fredrik Backman
5. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (event Tue 5/8 - Tickets here.)
6. Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel (event Tue 4/10 at Shorewood Public Library)
7. The Little French Bistro, by Nina George
8. Hum If You Don't Know the Words, by Bianca Marais
9. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
10. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nina George's follow up to The Little Paris Bookshop is now out in paperback. The Little French Bistro did not quite live up to its predecessor, but because we're talking about bookstore sales, perhaps it sold better in bistros that sold it. Novelist Barbara Delinsky offers her take. And Bethanne Patrick in The Washington Post notes this book is part of a legacy of novels about unhappy women stumbling into a new life.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence, by Derald Wing Sue
2. Dreamland, by Sam Quinones
3. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
4. Species of Species and Other Pieces, by Georges Perec
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. Mexicans in Wisconsins, by Sergio Gonazalez
7. Irish Milwaukee, by Martin Hintz
8. The Six, by Laura Thompson
9. Everybody Lies, by Seth Stephens Davidowitz
10. Siddhartha's Brain, by James Kingsland

No that there's often a sales pop for Irish titles in the week's leading up to St. Patrick's Day, but it's nice to see Martin Hintz's Irish Milwaukee have at least a small pop. Our paperback nonfiction list generally has the smallest sales of the five lists, but on the other hand, I read four of the ten this week (Evicted, Janesville, The Six, Everybody Lies) so it seems like a good list for me. One book I'd still like to read on the list is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. Quinones was brought in to do a Rotary Club lunch and a talk/panel discussion at Milwaukee Public Library.

Books for Kids:
1. Stuck in the Stone Age, by Geoff Rodkey and the Story Pirates
2. Deadweather and Sunrise: Chronicles of Egg V1, by Geoff Rodkey
3. Tapper Twins Tear Up New York V2, by Geoff Rodkey
4. Tapper Twins Go to War with Each Other V1, by Geoff Rodkey
5. The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani
6. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
7. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
8. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
9. Love, Hate, and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
10. The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

New to our kids list is Samira Ahmed's YA novel Love, Hate, and Other Filters, about an Muslim Indian American girl in Illinois whose destiny is to go to a good school in the Chicago area and marry a good match. But she wants to go to film school! But in the midst of this personal dilemma comes a tragedy - a terrorist attack in Springfield. Katie Ward Beim-Esche in the Christian Science Monitor says "Ahmed has a tangled web to weave, and you’re in for a blistering and blunt experience that will not end the way you expect." The headline says it's the most important YA novel of 2018 so far.

Here's what's happening on the TapBooks page of the Journal Sentinel:

-Mark Athitakis reviews Chris Bohjalian's The Flight Attendant: "A woman. A murder. A mode of public transportation... It was only a matter of time before someone gave it wings." Athitakis calls it "an assured novel about reckoning not just with some ruthless bad guys, but private sadness as well." Originally from USA Today

--Diane Werts reviews Stealing the Show: How Woman Are Revolutionizing Television: "We hear you, straight white guys. You hardlyl see yourselves on television anymore. Seems like it's all black people, LGBT people, chubby chucks, prison inmates, and female butt-kickers now. Whom can you guys identify with? Must be frustrating. Welcome to the club of 'other' viewers." Originally from Newsday

--Steph Cha reviews The Hunger, by Alma Katsu: "You've heard of the Donner Party. You know they were pioneers who set out for California, that things went poorly and did not end well. If nothing else, you probably know that they ate one another to survive. The Hunger, Alma Katsu's new novel, assumes some familiarity with this California trail horror show." Cha notes that Katsu adds a supernatural twist. Originally from USA Today

Monday, March 12, 2018

What's happening at Boswell? Victoria Price at Boswell, Dan Kois at UWM, plus Sam Quinones at the Milwaukee Public Library Loos Room

If you'll notice, there was a gap in our schedule this week, but don't worry, we're keeping busy. On Monday, we have a full day of author visits, and on Tuesday, we have two events where we're selling books but not officially sponsoring (for the former, because it was private, and for the latter, because we didn't know the exact format in time to put on our promotional materials). But I thought you'd find them interesting anyway, and in the case of the Tuesday evening event, we'd still love for you to attend this very timely and important panel discussion.

Geoff Rodkey, author of Stuck in the Stone Age:
Monday, March 12, various schools (private events).

Geoff Rodkey, author of two middle-grade series, has written a new book for readers eight and up that is a collaboration with The Story Pirates. Here's the publisher's description: "Tom Edison (no, not that Tom Edison) is a hopeful janitor who dreams of becoming a scientist--and Dr. Morice is a shy scientist who dreams of making friends. When an accident at the lab sends them back in time to the stone age, Tom and Dr. Morice must work together to face down cavemen, saber-tooth tigers, and other B.C. hazards, with only one problem: Tom isn't very good at science, and Dr. Morice isn't very good with people." Each book is going to be from a kid's idea. Contact Jenny if you're interested in being on our school proposal list. There is no public event for this book but we might have signed copies afterwards.

Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic:
Tuesday, March 13, 6:30 pm, at Loos Room of Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St.

Dreamland received the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. Per the library, The book chronicles the opiate crisis of a town in Ohio, and how that town came together to address the dependency and work toward economic and social revitalization. Quinones will be joined by local guests who will discuss the opiate crisis in Milwaukee. We'll be there selling books. There is also a Rotary Club meeting, but that's by invitation only. More on the library event here.

Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Victoria Price, author of The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self

After a tumultuous period of crisis, Victoria Price rebuilt her life by embracing a daily practice of joy, healing childhood wounds and reconnecting to the example set by her father Vincent, the famed actor. Her journey involved stepping away from externalities and into her father's legacy -his love for people and compassion for others, his generosity of spirit and simple kindnesses, his enthusiasm for new experiences, and his love of life.

Victoria Price is the author of the critically acclaimed Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography and several Vincent Price cookbooks. A popular inspirational speaker on topics ranging from art collecting and design to creativity and spirituality, as well as the life of her famous father, Price’s work has been featured in USA Today, Travel & Leisure, and The New York Times. She is also an interspiritual and interfaith minister.

The UWM Visiting Writer Series presents Dan Kois, author of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America:
Thursday, March 15, 7:00 pm, at UWM’s Curtin Hall, Room 175, 3243 N Downer Ave. It's about seven blocks north of Boswell (though one of them is pretty long).

Boswell is honored to cosponsor a special talk from Slate editor and Whitefish Bay native Dan Kois, part of the UWM Visiting Writer Series. When Tony Kushner’s Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nichols’s 2003 HBO adaptation with Meryl Streep and Al Pacino was itself a tour de force, winning 11 Emmys and introducing the play to an even wider public.

Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Dan Kois and Isaac Butler offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, nearly 200 voices in vibrant conversation and debate. The intimate storytelling of actors (including Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeffrey Wright), directors, producers, and Kushner himself reveals the turmoil of the play’s birth - a hard-won miracle in the face of artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. Historians and critics help situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the activism of the AIDS crisis through civil rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan ’80s.

Please check your schedule for this event. It was originally listed for later in the month at another venue. Don't miss this special event.

Richard School Fundraiser:
Sunday, March 18, 2 pm fundraiser begins, 3 pm program

Have you noticed the beautiful tree branch decorations at Boswell? We are celebrating spring with a book fundraiser for Whitefish Bay's Richards School. We'll have a program of student readings and a short dramatic presentations. Parents and friends can purchase books for Richards classrooms and library. And a percentage of designated sales will go towards more book credits, in lieu of Boswell Benefits. This is the model we use for our programs with Maryland Avenue Montessori and St. Robert School. If you're interested in having a program like this for your school, contact Daniel (me).

Plus don't forget next week is Game Night at Boswell:
Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Game night is for folks 16+. Some of these games involve adult language. Registration requested at boswellgame18.bpt.me. We really want you to register because we need to set the store for the right number of people, and we only have so many games!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Annotated Boswell bestsellers, week ending March 10, 2018

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending March 10, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
3. The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea (more below)
4. The Maze at Windermere, by Gregory Blake Smith
5. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
6. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
7. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
8. Chicago, by David Mamet
9. Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday
10. Temptation of Forgiveness, by Donna Leon

It's so exciting to see the reviews coming in for The House of Broken Angels, Luis Alberto Urrea's long-awaited novel, featured at the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Spring Literary Lunch (ticket info here) on March 11. Michael Lindgren in The Washington Post wrote: "Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels is a big, sprawling, messy, sexy, raucous house party of a book, a pan-generational family saga with an enormous, bounding heart, a poetic delivery and plenty of swagger. It’s not perfect — in fact, even its flaws are big — but it stays with you, and it stands as a vital reminder of the value of fiction in defining the immigrant experience."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Uneasy Peace, by Patrick Sharkey
2. The Art of Resistance, by Shelley Drake Hawks
3. Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker
4. Baseball Italian Style, by Lawrence Baldassaro (event at Boswell 3/27)
5. Common Good, by Robert B. Reich
6. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
7. Sioux Chefs Indigenous Kitchen, by Shean Sherman
8. Educated, by Tara Westover
9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
10. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance

Patrick Sharkey appeared at a Marquette Law School conference which was, as usual, sold out, but I hope someone brings him back because his book, Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, will be of great interest to many in Milwaukee, especially because at least one chapter is set here. Ashley Luthern noted some of his findings in this Journal Sentinel story: "In his research, Sharkey and his colleagues found in a given city with 100,000 people, 'every new organization formed to confront violence and build strong neighborhoods led to about a 1 percent drop in violent crime and murder.'"

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ru, by Kim Thúy
2. Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur
3. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders (In Store Lit Group 4/2)
4. Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid
5. Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, by Sherman Alexie
6. Mãn, by Kim Thúy
7. Berlin Alexanderplatz, by Alfred Döblin
8. Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
9. Beartown, by Fredrik Backman
10. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Just out from NYRB Classics is Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz, the inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic film, many consider it one of the most important works of 20th century literature. It's even got a Wikipedia entry. Bertold Brecht wrote: "I learned more about the essence of the epic from Döblin than from anyone else. His epic writing and even his theory about the epic strongly influenced my own dramatic art."

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. There Are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz
2. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein
3. The French Art of Not Giving a Sh*t, by Fabrice Midal
4. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
5. The Other Side of the River, by Alex Kotlowitz
6. Angel Wisdom, by terry Lynn Taylor
7. How to Fight, by Thich Nhat Hanh
8. Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments, by Peter Caputano
9. Healthcare 911, by Bhupendra O. Khatri
10. The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore

New this week in paperback is Kate Moore's The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women. From Genevieve Valentine's story on NPR: "The book, infuriating for necessary reasons, traces the women at two dial-making factories — the USRC in New Jersey, and Radiant Dial in Illinois. And Radium Girls spares us nothing of their suffering; though at times the foreshadowing reads more like a true-crime story, Moore is intent on making the reader viscerally understand the pain in which these young women were living, and through which they had to fight in order to get their problems recognized."

Books for Kids:
1. The Night Diary, by Veera Hirandani
2. Deadweather and Sunrise, by Geoff Rodkey
3. The Tapper Twins Go to War with Each Other V1, by Geoff Rodkey
4. The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York V2, by Geoff Rodkey
5. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
6. A Is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara
7. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
8. The Playbook, by Kwame Alexander
9. Stuck in the Stone Age, by Geoff Rodkey and The Story Pirates
10. Sacred Leaf, by Deborah Ellis

I wish there were more hours in a day so that we could have hosted Veera Hirandani for a public event for her new novel, The Night Diary, which three Boswellians have already read and loved. But between a school visit for Books & Company and Boswell, a Lake Effect taping, and a dinner for area booksellers and librarians, there was simply no time. Here's Virandani talking to Renee Montaigne on NPR: "I hope it resonates on a few levels. I think kids that I know, in my area, they learn about what a refugee is, but I don't know if they always have a specific sense of what that means for an individual person going through this. So I hope that readers will see that Nisha is a 12-year-old girl who loves her home, has a complicated relationship with her father, loves her brother — and also they fight — and she wonders what's for dinner, and she does all of these things that I think most 12-year-olds could relate to."

The Journal Sentinel TapBook page highlights some of the great upcoming literary events in Milwaukee. Included is info on:
--Liam Callanan for Paris by the Book at Boswell on April 3 - free, no registration
--Kwame Alexander for Rebound at Boswell on April 9 - register here
--Emily St. John Mandel for Shorewood Reads at the Shorewood Public Library on April 10 - free, no registration
--Lisa See at UWM Golda Meir Library for Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane on April 19 - free, no registration
--David Sedaris at the Riverside Theater on April 20 - tickets here
--Meg Wolitzer at Schlitz Audubon for The Female Persuasion on April 23 - tickets here
--Christopher Moore at Boswell for Noir on May 2 - tickets here
--Paula McLain at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for Love and Ruin on May 6 - tickets here
--Arundhati Roy at UWM Student Union for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness on May 8 - tickets here
--Luis Alberto Urrea (as noted above) at the MPL Friends Literary Lunch on May 11 - tickets here

Also in the paper is Michael Lindgren's review of Laura Lippman's Sunburn: "You don't need to be steeped in the history of noir crime to enjoy Sunburn. What makes the book so lethally seductive is Lippman's utter control over the narrative, which ticks away with relentless fatalism." This review originally appeared in Newsday.

From Hannah Wise comes a review of Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Female Friendship, by Kayleen Schaefer. Her review, which originally appeared in Dallas Morning News, notes: Women of my generation know what it means when a friend says 'Text me when you get home.' In six small words, she is speaking volumes. She wants to make sure you know the memories, witty banter, and love don't stop when you walk out the door."

Jim Higgins profiles Amy Kaufman's Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure for anything about Nick Viall, the Waukesha native who has been on four iterations of the franchise and still has not found love. Apparently it's not you, it's him.