Friday, October 19, 2018

On swag - new Boswell totes and toddler tees

Several years ago we created a special toddler tee featuring one of the illustrations of renowned local artist and bookseller Aaron Boyd, author of Luigi and the Barefoot Races and Calling the Water Drum. Ever since then, we've had on our checklist to make our basic tee available for little kids too.*

Now we've done a special printing of tees in four sizes - T2, T3, T4, and T5/6 in an assortment of colors - apple green, Caribbean blue, cobalt blue, gold, purple, vintage red, and vintage blue (no T5/6 in the last two color options). Note that selection is very limited in each color. Each is $16.95. You can even order online, but you'll have to request size and color (list your top 3 color choices) in the notes field. Or come see them at Boswell.

We wound up using Brew City Promotions for our printing and went with a tee shirt company called Rabbit Ears, because a lot of the other companies had a very limited palette to choose from - neutrals and pastels - and we wanted brights. This is a bit of an experiment so supply is really limited. There is literally one tee shirt in each color in each size available.

Speaking of Boswell gear, here's another installment of toting the Boswell totes. Our new bright red tote will brighten up any day and as it gets closer to the holidays, it will be perfect for carrying holiday gifts, even if you don't have a red coat like Amie does. The totes are $15 and available in classic black, royal blue, eye-popping purple, and Harry W. Schwartz green. Please note color choice in notes field. Order here.

If you've missed us writing about the totes, my goal is to feature each of our colors used by someone dressed in that color. This was conceptual until our friend Catherine walked into the store dressed head to toe in person. Purple wasn't everyone's first choice for color number five. We were also looking at orange, and there was a strong teal contingent, and being that teal is our current most popular shirt color, there was a strong argument. When we saw the samples, we learned that teal didn't come in the stiffer 15 oz fabric, only the more loosey goosey 10 oz, and we wanted all the bags to have the same feel.

I went out on a limb this time as we needed to buy the colors in 50-bag lots, which led to an increased buy over previous tote purchases to get the assortment we wanted. I am tired of having a tote in one color. Note that we similarly moved to multi-color tees, and event our mugs come in four colors, with four more on order. Yes, we're out of both blue and teal. Can you see a trend here?
I was able to pose with any of the colored bags - of course I have several purple shirts and two tones of purple pants. But it turns out that Harry W. Schwartz green was the shade that most needed a model. Booksellers have already agreed to wear blue and black for future photos. But dark green has always been a favorite of mine and has a lot of meaningful connotations.

a. It's the official color of my alma mater.
b. It was the official color of Marshall Field's, and I do love a good old-fashioned department store.
c. And most importantly, it was the official color of Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, at least until Barnes and Noble started opening stores using the exact same shade. Then we switched to black.

While we're discussing tees and totes, we recently got a shipment in of adult tees as well. For some reason, the vendor has been having trouble restocking our fitted tees, but if you're looking for unisex small, medium, large, xl, we've got a nice selection of colors!

An abridged version of this post appeared in Friday's email newsletter. You can read it here.

*Aaron's got more books coming out in 2019 and has also created a Boswell-toad image for us for our 10th anniversary. Tenth anniversary????? That's crazy.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Boswell's week in preview: Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, Leif Enger, Andy Rash, Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler - please note that William Powers is canceled and Jodi Picoult is sold out.

Boswell's week in preview: Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, Leif Enger, Andy Rash, Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler - please note that William Powers is canceled and Jodi Picoult is sold out.

Monday, October 15, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, author and illustrator of Carmela Full of Wishes

Boswell is pleased to present Matt de La Peña and Christian Robinson, author and illustrator of the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor winning Last Stop on Market Street, for their newest collaboration, a moving ode to family, dreamers, and finding hope in unexpected places. Note: registration is closed for this event but don't worry, we have room for all walk ups! We'd love to see you.

Boswell is partnering with Next Door: Stronger Families Through Education for this event and will be accepting donations of books for children. Together, we hope to put Carmela and other books in the hands of as many young readers as possible. Donate a copy of Carmela and we’ll put your wish on display in our kids window.

We have completed advance registration for this event. We're quite sure we'll have room enough for all (there's both a Brewers and a Packers game tonight) so if you would like to see an award winning children's book duo, please come and bring friends, kids, educators, and so forth!

When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true. She’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish - if only she can think of just the right wish to make.

Matt de la Peña is the author of five picture books and six critically acclaimed young adult novels. Christian Robinson's picture books include the Gaston and Friends series, Leo: A Ghost Story, and Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. 

Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Cancelled - William Powers, author of Dispatches from the Sweet Life: One Family, Five Acres, and a Community's Quest to Reinvent the World. Just wanted to remind you that this event is not happening.

Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 PM, at Oriental Theatre, 2230 N Farwell Ave:
Leif Enger, author of Virgil Wander

Boswell is excited to work with Milwaukee Film to bring you an evening with Leif Enger, author of the million-copy selling book Peace Like a River. This event is free but registration is required at engermke.bpt.me. Capacity is limited. Doors open 6:30 pm.

Virgil Wander is the first novel in ten years from Enger, an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart. Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is cruising along at medium altitude when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives, but his language and memory are altered, and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball, and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a formidably gifted (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller. We're expecting Virgil Wander to be one of the most beloved novels of fall. We've already had several great advance reads, and all of us are unanimous that this book is simply magical.

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award and was one of the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine Best Books of the Year. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller and a Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award Honor Book for Fiction.

Downer Avenue's Haunted Halloween, 12 - 4 PM, featuring
Saturday, October 20, 2:00 PM, at Boswell:
Andy Rash, author of Unstinky

Boswell takes part in Historic Downer Avenue’s Haunted Halloween with a special picture book presentation from Boswellian favorite Andy Rash. Not only will Rash tell the story of Bud, the pleasant-smelling stink bug and (maybe!) even lead us in song, but we’re hosting an Unstinky scavenger hunt along the avenue. Registration requested (but not required) for this free event at unstinkymke.bpt.me.

This year is the 3rd annual Haunted Halloween on Downer Avenue. From 12-4 pm, local businesses host trick-or-treating and compete for votes in the pumpkin carving contest, as well as Halloween-themed chalk artistry on the sidewalk and St. Mark's Church pumpkin sale.

Andy Rash brings the laughs in this story of a stinkbug who can't stink. Bud is happy, except when it comes to stinking contests. He always loses to champions like P. U. Bottoms, Lord Stinkington, and The Fumigator. When they make smells like outhouse and armpit, poor Bud ends up smelling like flowers and fresh-baked bread. With an ending as fresh as a daisy, and funnier than any smell, Rash puts a hilarious spin on a tale of following your nose to happiness.

Milwaukee-based Andy Rash is the author and illustrator of several picture books, including The Robots Are Coming, Are You a Horse?, and Archie the Daredevil Penguin.

Sunday, October 21, 3:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts:
SOLD OUT - Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light, in conversation with Chloe Benjamin, presented by Oconomowoc’s Books and Company and Boswell. Here's a reminder that this program is sold out. Alas, there is no waiting list or walk-up tickets. Signed copies of A Spark of Light may be available at Boswell after the event.

Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler, in conversation for With the Wind at His Back: The Charmed and Charitable Life of Donald Baumgartner

Milwaukeean Donald Baumgartner is known as a man who takes a big bite out of life. He’ll chat with his biographer, Kurt Chandler, about his new biography and his life and times.

Baumgartner crossed the Atlantic in a 58-foot yacht through two gale-force storms. He’s set foot on all seven continents and accepted an award from President Ronald Reagan in the White House Rose Garden. He built his family business into a global leader and then made headlines in 2016 when he handed over the ownership of his Milwaukee manufacturing company to his employees.

As depicted by author Kurt Chandler, Donald Baumgartner has led a charmed life of adventure, success, and generosity, and he continues to give back to his community as one of his hometown's most charitable patrons of the arts. Impassioned, lionhearted, he works hard and lives large, endowed with an optimistic nature, sense of humor, and a measure of good luck.

Donald Baumgartner founded Paper Machinery Corporation in 1951 and now oversees this thriving, international company. He is highly active in Milwaukee-area civic and community organizations and was instrumental in bringing the Santiago Calatrava wing to life at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Kurt Chandler served as Milwaukee Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief from August 2013 - November 2015. Chandler has been published in a number of metro newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Boswell bestsellers, week ending October 13, 2018

Boswell bestsellers, week ending October 13, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Marukami
2. The Witch Elm, by Tana French
3. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger (last chance to register for Oriental Theatre event on Wed Oct 17)
4. Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce
5. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
6. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
7. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason (Boswell event Mon Nov 5, 7 pm)
8. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
9. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
10. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

It's not fair! Two of our favorite writers have new books on the same day. While not the same booksellers read Haruki Murakami's Killing Commendatore (we still have a few of the totes available if you want to purchase a book through us to get it) and Tana French's The Witch Elm (no tote, alas), there were multiple reads on both. I didn't read either, but I have read books #3 through 5 on this list. There are no end of reviews on Murakami - here's Kevin Canfield in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Overcomer, by David Jeremiah
2. Radium Girls in hardcover, by Kate Moore
3. One Person, No Vote, by Carol Anderson
4. Misdemeanorland, by Issa Kohler-Hausmann
5. Grateful, by Diana Bulter Bass
6. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, by James Mustich
7. Fear, by Bob Woodward
8. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
9. Flame, by Leonard Cohen
10. American Prison, by Shane Bauer

Poetry, plays, music - it's sometimes hard to decide if they are fiction or nonfiction. The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyric Drawings, I saw the word self-portrait used to describe Leonard Cohen's book and that was enough for me to stick with nonfiction, but who knows what other bestseller lists would say. Songs are fiction, aren't they? From Scott Timberg in The Guardian: "Was he, in the end, a musician or a poet? A grave philosopher or a grim sort of comedian? A cosmopolitan lady’s man or a profound, ascetic seeker? Jew or Buddhist? Hedonist or hermit? Across his 82 years, the Montreal-born Leonard Cohen was all of these things – and in his posthumous book of poetry, given the Lawrentian title The Flame by his son Adam, all sides of the man are present."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Eat the Document, by Dana Spiotta
2. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
3. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
4. The Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles
5. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (Unsheltered releasesOctober 16)
6. Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
8. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
9. Innocents and Others, by Dana Spiotta
10. Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke

It's hard to actually describe what happened at Boswell last Wednesday through Friday. The Milwaukee Opera Theatre presented Antiology, which was an event inspired by Dana Spiotta's Eat the Document, which featured together a reading, a concert of songs from the book, and three original works for an opera in progress. She'll join the ranks of former Boswell visitors like Ann Patchett and Anchee Min whose works inspired operas. This Shepherd Express piece explained it a bit more.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Radium Girls, by Kate Moore
2. The Men Who Lost America, by Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy
3. White Rage, by Carol Anderson
4. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
5. Grounded by Diana Butler Bass
6. Becoming Leonardo, by Mike Lankford
7. Transitions, by William Bridges
8. Great Lakes Water Wars (revised), by Peter Annin
9. Homeward, by Bruce Western
10. Preservation, by Christina Ward (her new American Advertising Cookbooks history coming soon)

One thing you might know about Radium Girls is that not one but two area schools are staging a play based on the subject - Nicolet this fall and Brookfield Central next winter. We were able to schedule a school visit where she spoke to drama students - how cool is that? One thing we weren't aware of was why Moore was touring the United States now, being that her book came out in paperback six months ago - the answer was that she's doing research for her next book. Do we know the subject? We do not. Catch up on Kate Moore's book with this NPR profile from Mary Louise Kelly.

Books for Kids
1. The Third Mushroom, by Jennifer L. Holm
2. The Fourteenth Goldfish (paperback), from Jennifer L. Holm
3. Lights, Camera, Middles School V1: Babymouse, by Jennifer L. Holm
4. Miss Communication V2: Babymouse, by Jennifer L. Holm
5. Full of Beans, by Jennifer L. Holm
6. The Fourteenth Goldfish (hardcover), by Jennifer L. Holm
7. Carmela Full of Wishes, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson
8. Deseas de Carmela, by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson (the same book, in Spanish)
9. Muse of Nightmares V2, by Laini Taylor
10. Amor (Love, in Spanish), by Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Loren Long

It's here! Carmela Full of Wishes is the follow-up collaboration to Last Stop on Market Street, which received the Newbery Medal for story and a Caldecott Honor for the artwork. Matt and Christian will be at Boswell tomorrow for an event co-hosted by Next Door. The following day they will do three school visits, including one to one of the Next Door sites (more like a pre-school) where we're aiming to have a book for every attendee, and another to Hayes Bilingual School (hence the Spanish-language sales). You can buy a book for Next Door kids too here. Here's a Publishers Weekly feature.

If you didn't hear, Bob Woodward's scheduled appearance in Milwaukee at the Riverside Theater has been cancelled. More in the Journal Sentinel.

Today's Journal Sentinel has a preview for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, featuring Kathie Giorgio, Nick Petrie, Liam Callanan, Jim Higgins, and more.

From Gene Seymour in USA Today comes a review of Eric Idle's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Antiology, Issa-Kohler Haussmann, Laini Taylor, Carol Anderson, Jon Agee, Diana Butler Bass - please note that Megan McDonald is full and Kate Moore is almost, almost sold out.

Because of the Antiology production, most of our events are offsite this week. Please note that we close at 7 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Monday, October 8, 6:30 PM, at Todd Wehr MSOE Conference Center,1047 N Broadway
This year’s Frank P Zeidler Memorial Lecture features Milwaukee native Issa Kohler-Hausmann, now Associate Professor of Law and Sociology at Yale University, and her new book, Misdemeanorland.
Kohler-Hausmann will discuss her new book and the broad implications of her research of ‘broken windows’ policing and the criminal justice system in New York City and then participate in a panel discussion, with panelists including Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Alma Center Founder Terri Strodthoff.
Drawing on three years of fieldwork in and out of the courtroom, in-depth interviews, and analysis of trends in arrests and dispositions of misdemeanors going back three decades, Kohler-Hausmann argues that lower courts have largely abandoned the adjudicative model of criminal law administration in which questions of factual guilt and legal punishment drive case outcomes. Revealing and innovative,Misdemeanorland shows how the lower reaches of our criminal justice system operate as a form of social control and surveillance, often without adjudicating cases or imposing formal punishment.
Issa Kohler-Hausmann is Associate Professor of Law and Sociology at Yale University. She grew up in Milwaukee.

Laini Taylor, author of Muse of Nightmares
Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 PM, at West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave
National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the hugely popular Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, comes to West Allis Public Library with Muse of Nightmares, the highly anticipated sequel to her novel Strange the Dreamer.
This free event is great for adults and young readers 14 and up. Please register using this link: surveymonkey.com/r/CJQQH25. Please note that there is construction on National Ave. Take Greenfield to 75th and head south the library.
Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation clash in, according to Kirkus Reviews, “a sequel that surpasses the original.” Lazlo and Sarai, one a god, the other a ghost, struggle to grasp the boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice, save the woman he loves, or everyone else, while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.
Laini Taylor is author of the Printz Honor Book Strange the Dreamer, the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, and the companion novellaNight of Cake & Puppets. Taylor's other works include the Dreamdark books, Blackbringer, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre presentsAntiology, inspired by Dana Spiotta's Eat the Document
Wednesday, October 10, Thursday, October 11, and Friday, October 12, 7:30 PM doors, 8:00 PM show, at Boswell
Milwaukee Opera Theatre returns to Boswell for three performances of Antiology, musical theater inspired by Dana Spiotta’s novel, a National Book Award finalist, Eat the Document. Featuring music by John Glover, words by Kelley Rourke, and performance by baritone Andrew Wilkowske. Author Spiotta will also be present at each performance to discuss her work and Milwaukee Opera Theater’s response to it.
Tickets are $25 general, $15 students and artists, available atantiology.bpt.me. The night of each performance, Boswell will close at 7:00 pm. Doors will reopen to ticketholders at 7:30 pm.
Under the purview of Producing Artistic Director Jill Ann Ponasik,Antiology is a musical response to Spiotta’s novel, exploring the language, technology, music, and activism of two eras. Shifting between protest movements in the 70s and their consequences in the 90s, Eat the Document deftly explores the connection between the two different times. Spiotta’s novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for twenty-five years is a compelling story of activism, sacrifice, and the cost of living a secret.
Founded in 1998, Milwaukee Opera Theatre produces projects ranging from the classic to the contemporary, with a special affinity for locally sourced work. They offer Voice Lab workshops to area singers, and, in partnership with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's ACE Program, provide annual support to the "Script & Score" program, in which sixth graders at a Milwaukee-area elementary school write and produce their own original opera. Dana Spiotta is the author of Innocents and Others and Stone Arabia, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Spiotta is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize for Literature.

Thursday, October 11, 4:00 PM, at Boswell
Boswell presents a special afternoon with award-winning author and illustrator Jon Agee, creator of the beloved books Life on Mars and It’s Only Stanley! for a preview event for Sheboygan Childrens Book Festival, cohost of Agee’s appearance at the store.
This event, perfect for adults and children 4-9, is free with registration, or upgrade to registration with purchase of The Wall in the Middle of the Book for signing line priority for $19 atageemke.bpt.me.
There’s a wall in the middle of the book, and this young knight is sure the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side, like an angry tiger, a giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn’t seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water emerging on his side.
When he’s almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn’t as dangerous as the knight thought, from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all! The Wall in the Middle of the Book is a timeless story that will strike a chord with adults and kids alike.
Jon Agee is author and illustrator of acclaimed books for children, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner It’s Only Stanley!, the ALA Notable Book Little Santa, and the IRA-CBC Children’s Choice book Go Hang a Salami! I’m a Lasagna Hog! Agee attended The Cooper Union School of Art, where he studied painting and filmmaking.

Thursday, October 11, 7:00 PM reception, 7:30 PM talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd
This event is close to sold out. For ticket availability, please call (414) 446-8794. 



Friday, October 12, 6:30 PM, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave
Boswell and Shorewood Public Library present Carol Anderson, author of National Book Critic’s Circle award-winning book White Rage, a 2016 New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year. Anderson will discuss her latest work, One Person, No Vote, a timely history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Congressman John Lewis.
One Person, No Vote, chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws.
Anderson explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures, and explores the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author ofWhite Rage, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as Bourgeois Radicals and Eyes off the Prize.

A Judy Moody Tea Party with Megan McDonald, author of Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party
Sunday, October 14, 2:00 PM, at Milwaukee Public Library Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St
The Milwaukee Public Library tea party with Megan McDonald is filled to capacity. Registration is closed for this event.


Diana Butler Bass, author of Grateful: The Power of Giving Thanks
Saturday, October 13, 1:30 and 3:00 PM, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N. Astor St
Immanuel Presbyterian Church presents author and scholar of American religion and culture Diana Butler Bass for two lectures cosponsored by Boswell, as part of the church’s Weekend with Diana Butler Bass. To attend Butler Bass’s lectures, or any other part of Immanuel Presbyterian Church’s weekend with Diana Butler Bass, please register using this link.
Bulter Bass explores the themes of her latest book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks and considers why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offers practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminates the shared practice of gratitude.
Gratitude is partially an individual, emotional response to our circumstances, but research has shown that what we often miss is how much more it is a communal, actionable response. Bass examines this more unexpected experience of gratitude and reveals how people and communities can practice it and thrive, whether or not they are part of a traditional religious community.
Diana Butler Bass is the author of nine books on American religion, including Grounded, Christianity After Religion, and A People’s History of Christianity. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University. She was a columnist for the New York Times syndicate and currently blogs for the Huffington Post and The Washington Post.

Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, author and illustrator ofCarmela Full of Wishes
Monday, October 15, 7:00 PM, at Boswell
Boswell is pleased to present Matt de La Peña and Christian Robinson, author and illustrator of the Newberry Medal and Caldecott Honor winning Last Stop on Market Street, for their newest collaboration, a moving ode to family, dreamers, and finding hope in unexpected places.
Boswell is partnering with Next Door: Stronger Families Through Education for this event and will be accepting donations of books for children. Together, we hope to put Carmela and other books in the hands of as many young readers as possible. Donate a copy of Carmelaand we’ll put your wish on display in our kids window.
Register for this free event at by visiting carmelamke.bpt.me or upgrade to a book purchase for $19.00, including all taxes and fees, and an earlier spot on the signing line. Perfect for adults, children ages 4-8, and anyone else who likes award-winning author and illustrator teams! Donate a book to Next Door here. We'll give you 20% off the list price. 
When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true. She’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish - if only she can think of just the right wish to make.
Matt de la Peña is the author of five picture books and six critically acclaimed young adult novels. In 2016, he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. He received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. Christian Robinson received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and his picture books include the Gaston and Friends series, Leo: A Ghost Story, and Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. Robinson is also an animator and has worked with The Sesame Street Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios.
Visit our upcoming events page for more programs.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Boswell Bestsellinator Predicts Tomorrow's Hits After the Fact, Week Ending October 6, 2018

The Boswell Bestsellinator Predicts Tomorrow's Hits After the Fact, Week Ending October 6, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green
2. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason (event Mon Nov 5, 7 pm, at Boswell)
3. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
4. There There, by Tommy Orange
5. A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult (event sold out, alas)
6. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger (register for Wed Oct 17, 7 pm Oriental Theatre event here)
7. Sea Prayer, by Khaled Hosseini
8. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
9. Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

We're obviously quite excited to be hosting Daniel Mason for The Winter Soldier, one of Jane's favorite novels of the year. This week Friend-of-Boswell Nancy O. hugged the book, remembering how much she loved The Piano Tuner. Anthony Marra praised the novel in The New York Times Book Review. And here's Joan Frank in the San Francisco Chronicle: "The Winter Soldier’s settings (Vienna, countryside, peasant and military flight) are peopled by a terrific ensemble; meticulously drawn, all acted upon in their turns by the frantic compression of options during wartime. A romance seeded inside such straits can’t not take on desperate stakes — as will Lucius’ later, monumental search for Margarete. One is reminded of a dozen greats: Dr. Zhivago, The English Patient, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Event is at 7 pm on Monday, November 5 - our In-Store Lit Group will meet with him beforehand to ask spoiler questions.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, by James Mustich
2. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda
3. Object Lessons, by Sarah Anne Carter
4. Fear, by Bob Woodward
5. The Fifth Risk, by Michael Lewis
6. My Own Devices, by Dessa
7. Atlas Obscura, by Dylan Thuras, Joshua Foer
8. Good and Mad, by Rebecca Traister
9. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, by John Gurda
10. These Truths, by Jill Lepore

It's time to come clean - I have counted 122 books in 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, up from 121, because I wasn't sure if the sidebars counted. They do, and that added The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth, which I've read twice. I've been looking for a structure to catch up on my reading of older titles (not necessarily classics, but what we call backlist) and I think James Mustich's book is going to help me. Here's one rule - when Mustich lists a series, you only need to read the first book in the series to count it. Here's Mustich on Wisconsin Public Radio, apologizing for leaving out Sand County Almanac. 

Paperback Fiction:
1. Improvement, by Joan Silber
2. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
3. The Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz
4. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
5. Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult
6. Cutting for Stone, by Andrew Verghese
7. Eat the Document, by Dana Spiotta (register for Antiology Spiotta event 10/10-10/12 here)
8. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
9. The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho
10. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney

Speaking of the In-Store Lit Group, our December and January selections are #1 and #2 this week, which tends to happen after we meet. Can I give a shout out to our book club attendees who support the group by buying the book from us? I picked Hotel Silence because I think it's a great holiday book (relatively short, emotional, generous, winning raves from Boswellians) and Improvement because I have liked Joan Silber in the past, the book received the National Book Critics Circle Prize, and I always the group's reaction when there's a lot of jumping around among characters and time frames.

Here's Kamila Shamsie's opening to her review in The New York Times Book Review: "There is a category of fiction that we might as well call Berger-esque for its engagement with the John Berger line: 'Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one.' That sentence is the epigraph to Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Its influence can also be discerned in the works of Berger admirers such as Nadeem Aslam, Teju Cole and Ali Smith. If you keep an eye out for Berger-esque fiction, it doesn’t take you very long to identify Joan Silber’s work as belonging firmly to this category. A little sleuthing will confirm this by taking you to the interview in which she cites that very line." She calls Improvement "a novel of richness and wisdom and huge pleasure." I can't wait!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Great Lakes Water Wars revised edition, by Peter Annin
2. Homeward, by Bruce Western
3. The Brilliance of Black Boys, by Brian L. Wright
4. Cream City Chronicles, by John Gurda
5. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
6. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
7. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
8. Best American Food Writing 2018, edited by Ruth Reichl
9. Out of Darkness, by Russell Freedman
10. Punishment and Inequality in America, by Bruce Western

Bruce Western was just at Marquette Law School for a one-day conference on incarceration. Because his book, Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison: Life in the Year After Prison, is published by the Russell Foundation (which I usually just associate with a dorm from college) and we don't have a rep, the book slipped by us. It's price high for trade but relatively reasonable for academic ($29.95 paperback), so we'll have signed copies in store and will be featuring it on our updated what-to-read-after-Evicted table. Vann R. Woodward writes about the book in The Atlantic.

Books for Kids:
1. Stick Cat: Two Cats and a Baby V4, by Tom Watson
2. Property of the Rebel Librarian, by Allison Varnes
3. Stick Dog V1, by Tom Watson
4. Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties V1, by Tom Watson
5. Atlas Obscura's Guide for the World' Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras, Rosemary Mosco
6. The Royal Ranger V1/V12, by John Flanagan
7. Stick Cat: To Catch a Thief V3, by Tom Watson
8. The Ruins of Gorlan V1, by John Flanagan
9. Stick Cat: Cats in the City V2, by Tom Watson
10. The Royal Rangers: The Red Fox Clan V2, by John Flanagan
11. The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, by Mackenzi Lee
12. The Early Years: Tournament at Gorlan V1, by John Flanagan
13. Two Dark Reigns V3, by Kendare Blake
14. Sawkill Girls, by Claire Legrand
15. Damsel, by Elana K. Arnold

The kids list gives you a sampling of what the last ten days have been. We're catching up with student sales for John Flanagan and Tom Watson (for Stick Cat: Two Cats and a Baby) and Allison Varnes, and next week will likely feature Jennifer H. Holm, Melissa Savage, and Lainy Taylor, all of which have school visits and Taylor has a public event at West Allis Public Library (Tuesday at 6:30) as well. Threaded through are titles from the Epic Reads Meet Up, which we hosted on Wednesday evening. There was one hitch, alas, but in general, the event, where each author spent quality time with 8-10 attendees, was a big success. It's really like everyone is a VIP.

And boy do these writers keep busy. Take Claire Legrand. This was her second new release this year, after Sourcebooks's Furyborn - and how cool was it that Katie from Sourcebooks attended the event. Legrand's Sawkill Girls got a starred review from Publishers Weekly: "Sure to win Legrand plenty of new fans, this tale, which includes an asexual character and a beautifully wrought queer romance, focuses on the power of female friendship and what it means to pit women against one another in fiction and in life.

Over at the Journal Sentinel Tap Books Page
--Jocelyn McClurg of USA Today reviews Jodi Picoult's A Spark of Light. Our event at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center with Books and Company is sold out.
--Grace Z. Li of USA Today reviews America Ferrera's American Like Me. 
--Leanne Italie of Associate Press profiles Rachel Hollis, author of the #1 bestseller, Girl, Wash Your Face.  

Just learning that Jodi Picoult was coming to town, only to learn that tickets are sold out? Sign up for our email newsletter and never miss a Boswell event.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee at Irish Cultural Center on November 3, 2018

Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee is only a month away! This year's daylong celebration of chilling crime and thrilling mystery takes place on Saturday, November 3, from 9 am - 5 pm, at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, just west of Marquette University. For tickets ($40 plus ticketing fee for the whole day),  register here.

Boswell will be on hand to sell copies of each author's books, and if you've attended in the past you know you can expect great author panels and interviews, and that tradition of excellence is sure to continue. What a great job Jon, Ruth, Penny, Erica Ruth, and company do!

This year's lineup is criminally good, featuring authors like special guest Lou Berney, the Edgar award-winning author with his brand new novel, November Road, a poignant and evocative crime novel featuring a cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America in the wake of the Kennedy assassination. Berney's November Road goes on sale October 9, with raves from all the trade reviewers. Library Journal writes: "Berney's follow-up to The Long and Faraway Gone explores relationships between two complicated and realized characters. With depth and genre crossover appeal, this literary crime thriller will please fans of Dennis Lehane or George Pelecanos and also satisfy a wider audience."

From the starred Kirkus review: "Perfectly captures these few weeks at the end of 1963 - all that was lost and all that lay tantalizingly and inevitably just beyond the horizon." The starred Publishers Weekly notes "This is much more than just another conspiracy thriller." Mystery fans are always asking us when we're going to get someone like Dennis Lehane or Michael Connelly at Boswell. The book will be Boswell's Best at 20% off at the bookstore. Buy the book now and read it before you attend Murder and Mayhem.

Also attending Murder and Mayhem is Andrew Gross, author of sixteen thrillers, including five New York Times bestsellers as James Patterson's coauthor. Button Man, Gross's latest historical thriller, brings to life the drama of the birth of organized crime in 1930s New York City from the tale of one family.

Advance reviews are great on Button Man as well. The starred Booklist offers: "Gross' historical suspense novel delivers a gut-wrenching, noirish portrait of Jewish organized crime and labor unionism in 1930s New York. By personalizing key characters, the author immerses readers in a maze of labor racketeering and political and police corruption, upping the nail-biting suspense chapter by chapter." I'm particularly fascinated by the backstory on this one as my father worked in the New York garment industry for much of his working life.

And that's just scratching the surface. The lineup includes Joe Clifford, Angel Colon, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Matthew FitzSimmons, Bryan Gruley, Jennifer Hillier, Chris Holm, Julie Hyzy, Owen Laukkanen, Elizabeth Little, Jess Lourey, Nadine Nettmann, Clare O'Donohue, Milwaukee's own Nick Petrie*, Lori Rader-Day, Tom Schreck, Alex Segura, Victoria Thompson, and Fred Van Lente. Let me give a shout out to three delightful authors whom you might have missed at Boswell - Fred Van Lente, Owen Laukkanen, and Lori Rader-Day.

Don't miss this mystery extravaganza in Milwaukee at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, located at 2133 W Wisconsin Ave, on Saturday, November 3, starting at 9 am and running all day. You ask for the big mystery authors - show that you want them by letting these authors know that Milwaukee is a great mystery town. I can vouch that a great time will be had by all. It's the next best thing to a Something-con. Lineup subject to last-minute changes. Here's another ticket link.

*I just finished an advance copy of Nick's next book, Tear It Down. Wow!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Boswell doings: Hank Green in conversation with Dessa at UWM Union, John Gurda at Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall, Epic Reads Meet-up with Kendare Blake, Mackenzi Lee, Elana K. Arnold, Claire Legrand, and Anna Godbersen, Peter Annin at Discovery World, James Mustich in conversation with Mitch Teich, and Issa Kohler-Haussmann at MSOE

Here's what's going on around Milwaukee, Boswell-wise. Please note that Boswell will be closed for browsing from 6:30 to 8 pm on Wednesday, October 3.

Monday, October 1, 7:00 PM, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
A Ticketed Event with Hank Green, author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, in conversation with Dessa

Tickets on sale now! Join Hank Green and special guest Dessa on tour in support of Hank's debut novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this multimedia event, Hank and Dessa will talk about their books, answer audience questions, and Hank will perform live music. All tickets include an autographed copy of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

Tickets are available at hankgreenmke.bpt.me for $30, including all taxes and fees. ID required for meet and greet. Dessa's new book, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, will also be available for sale at the show. Please note there is no public signing for this event. Mr. Green will not be able to personalize, sign memorabilia, or pose for pictures.

VIP tickets are now sold out for this event.

Specially priced tickets for UWM Students, Faculty, and Staff, will go on sale at the UWM Union at the same time as general tickets, at the special price of $20 for UWM students and $27 for UWM faculty and staff, including taxes and fees. ID required. This event is cosponsored by the UWM Student Union and UWM Student Involvement. Advance ticket sales end at Noon on October 1 for this event. Walk-up tickets available.

Monday, October 1, 6:00 PM, at Milwaukee Public Library’s Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St:
John Gurda, author of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water

Milwaukee’s preeminent historian appears with his latest book, expanding upon his popular PBS Milwaukee documentary to relate the mucky history of the waters that gave Milwaukee life. This event is free and open to the public, no registration required.

The success and survival of Milwaukee lies in the rivers that meander through its streets and the great lake at its shore. The area’s earliest inhabitants recognized the value of an abundant, clean water supply for food and transportation. Settlers, shipbuilders, and city leaders used the same waters to travel greater distances, power million-dollar industries, and even have a bit of fun.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of 21 books, including Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods and Cream City Chronicles. The Making of Milwaukee was adapted into a public television series.

Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 PM, at Boswell:
Epic Reads Meet-Up, featuring Kendare Blake, author of Two Dark Reigns: Three Dark Crowns #3, Mackenzi Lee, author of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Elana K. Arnold, author of Damsel, Claire Legrand, author of Sawkill Girls, and Anna Godbersen, author of When We Caught Fire

Epic Reads and Boswell invite readers of all ages to join a round-table to strike up conversation with authors (including Anna Godbersen, at left) who will gab about their books and other fan favorites. A purchase of any of the authors new books is required to participate (and you can bring books from home!).

Tickets are $21 for the meet-up and include one of the five featured titles and chance to meet with each author in small groups, VIP style. Tickets available at epicreadsmke.bpt.me. Afterwards, at 8 pm or a bit before, the store will open for a public signing. Recommended for adults and teens 14 and up.

Kendare Blake is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns series, Anna Dressed in Blood, and the Goddess Wars trilogy. In Two Dark Reigns, the third book in the series, a queen that has long been dead makes a chilling return to Fennbirn Island.

Mackenzi Lee is the author of This Monstrous Thing and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. She has an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. In The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Lee’s highly anticipated sequel, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor, even if she has to turn to a life of crime to do it.

Elana K. Arnold is the author of critically acclaimed and award winning young adult novels and children’s books, including What Girls Are Made Of, a National Book Award Finalist. In Damsel, when the king dies, his son must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been. But not all is as it seems, and there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows.

Claire Legrand is the author of Furyborn, the first book in the Empirium Trilogy, and several other titles, including the Edgar Award-nominated Some Kind of Happiness. In Sawkill Girls, girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight, until three girls take on an insidious monster in this frightening teen horror novel.

Anna Godbersen is the author of the Luxe series. When We Caught Fire is a lush, romantic, soapy YA standalone that tells the story of the love triangle that started Chicago’s infamous Great Fire, one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.


Wednesday, October 3, 5:00 light refreshments and cash bar, 6:00 pm talk, at Discovery World:
Peter Annin, author of Great Lakes Water Wars, revised edition.

Come celebrate the tenth anniversary of the historic Great Lakes Compact with the launch of the second edition of Peter Annin’s definitive The Great Lakes Water Wars, which includes new chapters on Waukesha, Foxconn, and the massive Chicago diversion.

Books will be available for purchase and Peter Annin will be available to sign copies. Please RSVP for this event.

Author Peter Annin is the director of the Northland College Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation.

Sponsored by Northland College, the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, the Joyce Foundation, and Discovery World.

Friday, October 5, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
James Mustich, author of 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life Changing List, in conversation with WUWM Lake Effect's Mitch Teich

For 20 years, James Mustich compiled the eagerly awaited mail-order catalog, A Common Reader. Now, he brings his love of literature to Boswell for a special celebration of books! Mustich will chat with noted book lover and WUWM’s Lake Effect Executive Producer and host, Mitch Teich.

Please register for this free event at 1000booksmke.bpt.me.

Because this book is so special, and because we know it will lead to many more book purchases for many of you, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is discounted 20% off its list price. Not only that, but 10 folks who register and attend will win a $5 Boswell gift card to give your literary bucket list a jump start!

Encompassing fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, Mustich’s selections move across cultures and through time to present an eclectic collection of titles, each described with the special enthusiasm readers summon when recommending a book to a friend. Established classics like Austen and Tolstoy are joined by new and unexpected choices like Citizen and Friday Night Lights. The result is a treasury of essential reading for expansive tastes.

James Mustich worked as an independent bookseller in New York's Briarcliff Manor and spent many years as a publishing executive. Mitch Teich is Executive Producer of Milwaukee Public Radio's Lake Effect. 

Jim Higgins offers "Seven Reasons to Read 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die" in Sunday's Journal Sentinel.

Monday, October 8, 6:30 PM, at Todd Wehr MSOE Conference Center, 1047 N Broadway:
Issa Kohler-Hausmann, author of Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing

This year’s Frank P Zeidler Memorial Lecture features Milwaukee native Issa Kohler-Hausmann, now Associate Professor of Law and Sociology at Yale University, and her new book, Misdemeanorland.

Kohler-Hausmann will discuss her new book and the broad implications of her research of ‘broken windows’ policing and the criminal justice system in New York City and then participate in a panel discussion, with panelists including Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and Alma Center Founder Terri Strodthoff.

Drawing on three years of fieldwork in and out of the courtroom, in-depth interviews, and analysis of trends in arrests and dispositions of misdemeanors going back three decades, Kohler-Hausmann argues that lower courts have largely abandoned the adjudicative model of criminal law administration in which questions of factual guilt and legal punishment drive case outcomes. Revealing and innovative, Misdemeanorland shows how the lower reaches of our criminal justice system operate as a form of social control and surveillance, often without adjudicating cases or imposing formal punishment.

Former Milwaukeean Issa Kohler-Hausmann is Associate Professor of Law and Sociology at Yale University.

More at Boswell's upcoming events page.