Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dorothy Marcic, panel discussion with Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey, Tom Matthews, Bob Barry, Lisa See, Suzanne Leonard, David Sedaris, Meg Wolitzer

With Sunday's weather mess behind us, here's this week's book scoop. And we're hoping for calm skies and warmer temperatures.

Monday, April 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Dorothy Marcic, author of With One Shot: Family Murder and a Search for Justice

From noted playwright, theatrical producer, and Waukesha native Dorothy Marcic comes a true crime story from her own life. The victim’s lonely widow confessed to the coldblooded murder. But Marcic suspected a more sinister tale at the heart of her beloved uncle’s violent death.

The brutal murder of LaVerne "Vernie" Stordock, a respected family man and former police detective, shocked his Wisconsin community. On the surface, the case seemed closed with the confession of Stordock’s wife, Suzanne. But the trail of secrets and lies that began with his death did not end with his widow’s insanity plea.In 2014, Marcic embarked on a two-year mission to uncover the truth. In the bestselling tradition of Ann Rule and M. William Phelps, With One Shot tells a tale of unmet justice and the truth behind a shocking family tragedy.

From Amanda Finn in the Wisconsin State Journal: "Between court documents and Suzanne’s less than one year stay in a psychiatric hospital, Marcic had her doubts that she knew the truth about what happened on that night in 1970. So when Marcic’s cousin, and Stordock’s daughter Shannon Stordock Hecht, discovered Suzanne and her family were living in Tennessee in 2014, they knew they had to find them. For the next two and half years Marcic got her hands on every document, newspaper clipping and person she could find that was even remotely attached to Suzanne and LaVerne in hopes that she would find the truth."

Dorothy Marcic is a playwright and theatrical producer whose productions include SISTAS, which has been running Off Broadway for six years. An adjunct professor at Columbia University, Marcic was formerly a Fulbright Scholar at University of Economics in Prague and a professor at Vanderbilt University. Her other books include Understanding Management and Respect: Women and Popular Music.

Tuesday, April 17, 6:00 pm, at UWM Fireside Lounge (the old Kenwood Inn), 2200 E Kenwood Blvd, 3rd floor:
Steve Ventura and Martin Bailkey, coeditors of Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice Through Local and Regional Food Systems , along with Greg Lawless of University of Wisconsin Extension, Monica Theis of UW-Madison, and Erika Allen of Urban Growers Collective

As part of UWM Earth Week, the UWM Office of Sustainability and The UWM Food Center and Pantry present a talk, panel discussion, and reception. Authors from the book will read excerpts from their chapters with a question-and-answer period hosted by UWM students studying food systems change. The event will be bookended by a reception to share local foods with the authors and community food organizations.

Good Food, Strong Communities shares ideas and stories about efforts to improve food security in large urban areas of the United States by strengthening community food systems. It draws on five years of collaboration between a research team comprised of the University of Wisconsin, Growing Power, and the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and more than 30 organizations on the front lines of this work from Boston to Cedar Rapids.

Steve Ventura is the Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is also the director of the Land Tenure Center in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Martin Bailkey has served as outreach and program coordinator for Growing Power and coproject manager of the Community and Regional Food Systems Project.

Tuesday, April 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Tom Matthews, author of Raising the Dad

We've really been enjoying Tom Matthews's second novel, Raising the Dad. Here's Chris Lee with more about the book: "This one's a charmer. John's marriage has cooled, his goth-leaning daughter thinks her dad a doofus, his mother's losing her marbles, and his heavy-metal washout of a brother is just out of jail, again. John's barely holding it together as-is. Then a man from his past shows up with a secret about John's long-dead father, who maybe isn't exactly so dead. With moments that are laugh-out-loud funny, cringe-inducing awkward, and oh-no gasp sad, this novel's a great story about a man who no longer knows exactly how to get by and about family bonds that will bend but, with a little luck, won't break under the strain of a world gone crazy."

From WUWM's Lake Effect: "When Matthews was 10-years-old, his father died. Years later, he had a dream where a close family friend told him his father was still alive, but due to the massive trauma, his father's personality had changed. The book explores how the protagonist and other family members process that development."

Milwaukee-based Tom Matthews wrote the Costa-Gavras film Mad City, starring Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta. And yes, it was originally set in Madison. His satirical novel Like We Care was published in 2014. Matthews’s writing has appeared in Milwaukee Magazine, Creative Screenwriting, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and he is also an essayist on Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect.

Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Bob Barry, author of Rock 'n' Roll Radio Milwaukee: Stories from the Fifth Beatle

Bob Barry ruled Milwaukee’s airwaves in the ’60s and ’70s. The only time the Beatles performed there, Barry introduced them to the audience, and he was the only local personality who spent time in private with the Fab Four. If a band or musician came to town, he met them with a microphone, whether it was Chuck Berry, the Animals, or The Rolling Stones.

His popular “Bob Barry Calls the World” segment entertained thousands with cold calls to famous personalities, including Bob Hope, Sophia Loren, Elton John, and Cher. Through it all, Barry maintained a calm and fun-loving demeanor, even when mocked by the WOKY Chicken or nearly eaten by wolves on the air.

Packed with never-before-seen photos, this revealing memoir recalls the iconic DJ’s many celebrity encounters, his career highlights and setbacks, and the hijinks that made Milwaukee radio rock.

Bob Barry is best remembered as a legendary Milwaukee disc jockey and TV personality. During his career, he received numerous industry awards, chief among them Billboard Magazine Top 40 Air Personality of the Year in 1975. In 2001, Bob was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 pm, at at UWM Golda Meir Library, 2311 E Hartford Ave:
Lisa See, author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The Friends of the UWM Golda Meir Library presents an evening with Lisa See, the featured speaker of their annual meeting. Her latest, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, is a moving novel about tradition, tea farming, and the bonds between mothers and daughters. This event is free and does not require registration. Join us at the Fourth Floor Conference Center. Parking is available at the UWM Union and Klotsche Pavilion parking garages.

From Helen Simonson in The Washington Post: "Just as properly aged tea from ancient trees has both flavor and a “returning taste,” so this story balances moving on with returning home. Both Li-yan and Haley must ultimately reconcile where they come from with who they are now, and they must compromise with the flaws of family and tradition if they wish to reclaim their roots. A lush tale infused with clear-eyed compassion, this novel will inspire reflection, discussion and an overwhelming desire to drink rare Chinese tea."

Anita Felicelli in the San Francisco Chronicle writes: "The central appeal of Tea Girl is women’s relationships to their mothers and friends. See breathes life into a hidden world to which many of her readers don’t have access, just as she’s done in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Shanghai Girls and her many other Chinese historical novels. Snow Flower, for example, revealed 19th century Hunan Province, a world in which a secret script, nu shu, was developed for women, and where some young girls were paired with emotional matches that stayed with them through their lives. The hidden world there served as a resonant backdrop for a heartbreaking tale about the shifting fortunes of two friends."

In addition to her novels, Lisa See is author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in 2003.

Friday, April 20, 2:00 pm, at UWM Curtin Hall 368, 3243 N Downer Ave:
Suzanne Leonard, author of Wife, Inc.: The Business of Marriage in the Twenty-First Century.

Boswell is selling books for Suzanne Leonard’s talk, “Rethinking the 21st Century ‘Wife-Cycle’: From Online Dating to the Campaign Trail.” Suzanne Leonard, Associate Professor of English at Simmons College, will discuss her book, Wife Inc., as well as current issues surrounding gender and media. She is also the author of Fatal Attraction, a critical study of the 1987 film, and co-editor of Fifty Hollywood Directors. She received her PhD in Literary Studies from UWM in 2005.

Of the book, Diane Negra of University College Dublin notes: "Suzanne Leonard’s brilliant, timely book elucidates the new stakes of wifehood in early 21st century culture, unpacking it as a status category, a state of risk and a mode of female labor that demands critical reflection, and the kind of fresh take that she is ideally suited to provide.”

This event is cosponsored by the Center for 21st Century Studies. More info here.

Friday, April 20, 8:00 pm, at Riverside Theater, 116 W Wisconsin Ave:
WUWM 89.7 presents David Sedaris - Tickets available here.

He's back! David Sedaris, essayist, memoirist, and English countryside trash picker upper, offers a not-to-be-missed evening. This is month 11 of the Theft by Finding Tour, and it's likely Sedaris will be previewing Calypso, his new collection of essays releasing May 29. It's already winning raves - Kirkus Reviews gives his newest a starred review: "Bad news has sharpened the author's humor, and this book is defined by a persistent, engaging bafflement over how seriously or unseriously to take life when it's increasingly filled with Trump and funerals. Sedaris at his darkest--and his best."

As always, Sedaris will be signing for fans. Boswell will be selling books in the lobby, but you are always welcome to bring your own books from home to be signed. Please note that tax and fees are extra and the ticket does not include a book.

Monday, April 23, 7:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd:
A ticketed event with Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion, in conversation with Jane Hamilton

You know that two weeks after this event you're going to be hitting your head against the wall that you didn't see Meg Wolitzer in conversation with Jane Hamilton. This is going to be a great night! Limited to 125 seats. We're more than halfway there to sellout.

Maureen Corrigan reviewed the book for NPR's Fresh Air: "The Female Persuasion also makes a strong case for critic Lionel Trilling's theory that the novel of ideas is a critical tool against overconfidence - particularly the blithe overconfidence of smart people (radical, liberal or conservative) who think they've arrived at readily satisfying solutions to political and personal questions. As Wolitzer dramatizes, life isn't that straightforward and art shouldn't be either."

And you must read this column by Michelle Dean in The New Republic: "Do young feminists really apprentice to older feminists in the way Greer latches on to Faith, these days? I’m not sure. It has often seemed to me that young women now deliberately avoid knowing much about their forebears. They dismiss the “liberal second wave” as a relic, often having little idea of what the second wave actually was or what it stood for. They think of themselves as more enlightened on any number of fronts: sexually, racially, economically. They use the word 'intersectional' often, as a way of signifying this. And because they have their own set of foundational texts so readily available on the internet—in blogs, on Twitter, on Tumblr - the desire for mentorship has somewhat receded."

Tickets are $30 and include admission, parking, and a copy of The Female Persuasion. Tickets are available at A portion of all ticket sales will be donated back to Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. While there is no gift card option for this event, don’t forget that The Female Persuasion makes a great gift for birthday, graduation, Mother's Day, do I say it, Fathers Day, and it also would be a welcome donation to your favorite school, library, or nonprofit. It's only eight months to Christmas or Hanukkah and this is your opportunity to get a book personalized.

More events on our upcoming event page. Please note the blog is proofread post-publication. Apologies in advance! And if you spot an error, let me know! -Daniel

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