Monday, May 13, 2019

Event alert - Daniel José Older, Tim Hennessy and friends, Pseudonymous Bosch, John H Schroeder, Celeste Ng, Susanna Calkins, Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft, Annette LeBlanc Cate, Jennifer Chiaverini

Here's what's happening at Boswell this week

Monday, May 13, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Daniel José Older, author of Freedom Fire V2: Dactyl Hill Squad

New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older appears at Boswell with his series that Dav Pilkey calls “an unforgettable historical, high-octane adventure,” blending history and fantasy like never before. This event is great for adults and kids age 8 and up.

Daniel José Older’s work highlights the importance of writing roles for people of color in fantasy and adventure for kids and adults, and his debut YA series, Shadowshaper Cypher, earned the International Latino Book Award and New York Times Notable Book and NPR Best Books of the Year picks, among other accolades. Booklist says of his latest, “History comes alive... Older also continues to shine a light on heroic people of color... Older has middle-graders' number with this dino-charged series. Stampedes are likely!”

Magdalys's powers and her mysterious connection to dinosaurs might be the Union's last hope, but she doesn't want to abandon the search for her brother. Kirkus Reviews starred review says, “Showing great respect for his readers, Older doesn't pull any punches. Readers will be relieved that in a cruelly unjust world [Magdalys] gets a happy ending, though it's clear her story is far from over. Blisteringly paced, thought-provoking adventure.”

Daniel José Older is author of the Dactyl Hill Squad series, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Star Wars: Last Shot, and the award winning Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher.

Monday, May 13, 6:00 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library, Tippecanoe Branch 3912 S Howell Ave:
Tim Hennessy, editor of Milwaukee Noir

Milwaukee writer and anthology editor presents Milwaukee Noir, the latest entry in Akashic Books's award-winning series, set in the Cream City.

Fourteen free-wheeling stories document the grit and glory of Milwaukee. The Cream City is going through a renaissance, as abandoned factories are converted to condos and craft breweries push out corner taverns, yet at the same time it is among the most segregated and impoverished cities in the country. Such an environment and atmosphere make excellent fodder for noir fiction.

Of the anthology, Publishers Weekly says, “Hennessy does justice to the harsher aspects of his hometown in this fine anthology… Contributors show that violence is not a prerequisite to crafting a haunting depiction of despair... The selections make the different neighborhoods, seedy or otherwise, come to life, even for those who have never set foot in them.”

Tim Hennessy is a bookseller and author living in Milwaukee. His work has appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Crimespree Magazine, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Tuesday, May 14, 4:00 pm, at Boswell: Pseudonymous Bosch, author of The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers

Boswell hosts an afternoon event with the infamously anonymous author of The Name of This Book is Secret, Pseudonymous Bosch, the author whose ridiculously mischievous writing LA Weekly says is, “like Lemony Snicket with a little Monty Python,” whose latest is a funny chapter-book mystery about a third-grade magician and the wisecracking rabbit who is the secret brains behind his act. Perfect for adults and kids 7 and up.

Oliver dreams of being a magician, even though he has terrible stage fright. And now, his friends have gotten him invited to a classmate’s birthday party as the paid entertainment! Desperate for help, he visits The Great Zoocheeni’s Magic Emporium, but comes away with nothing more than a moth-eaten top hat.

Oliver is in for a lucky surprise. Inside that top hat hides a wisecracking rabbit who agrees to help. But at the party, Oliver is accused of robbery! He must solve the mystery of the missing robo-cat to clear his name before he can amaze the crowd with a grand finale.

Pseudonymous Bosch is author of the New York Times bestselling Secret series and the Bad books such as Bad Magic. He is definitely not the alter ego of Raphael Simon, a totally unrelated author.

Oh, and we'll be giving away magic wands at this event with purchase.

Tuesday, May 14, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
John H Schroeder, author of The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: The First Sixty Years

Former Chancellor of UWM and Professor of History Emeritus, Schroeder recounts the history of UWM, from welcoming its first students in 1956 through 2016, when the prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognized UWM for “highest research activity."

Against a backdrop of intense scrutiny, UWM seemed to fight above its weight class, providing opportunities for a distinctive set of students and steadily forging a reputation as a Milwaukee institution.

In this expansive history, the first in-depth book about the university’s history in more than twenty years, Schroeder chronicles UWM's bold mission as Wisconsin's sole public, urban university, accessible to Milwaukee students underserved by more expensive private colleges and more distant universities. With fine detail and a clear-sighted approach, Schroeder charts the milestones of UWM's sixty-year journey, chronicles the obstacles UWM has faced, and shows how UWM has risen and become stronger with each challenge faced.

John Schroeder is author of five books on 19th century American history, including a biography of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, which won the Roosevelt Prize for American Naval History. He is former Chancellor of UWM and Professor of History Emeritus.

Wednesday, May 15, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union’s Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere, in conversation with WUWM Lake Effect's Bonnie North

Celeste Ng, in conjunction with UWM's Department of English, Creative Writing Program, Humanities Division, and Asian Faculty and Staff Association, is coming to the UWM Student Union, as part of the paperback publication tour of Little Fires Everywhere. For this event, Ng will be in conversation with Bonnie North, a producer and cohost at WUWM's Lake Effect.

Tickets cost $19 for the general public and are available at Specially priced tickets for the UWM community are available only at the UWM Student Union box office. Each ticket comes with a signed paperback edition of Little Fires Everywhere. Already have the book? It makes a great gift, for birthday, graduation, or holiday. It's never too early, right?

The bestselling Little Fires Everywhere traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Named a Best Book of the Year by too many publications to list, (okay, here are a few: The Washington Post, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, People, and NPR) Ng’s novel was recently picked up by Hulu to go into production as a limited series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. And Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, says, "witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel."

The event is ticketed, but UWM students can now receive free admission tickets at the UWM Union. This special admission does not include a book.

Celeste Ng is author of Everything I Never Told You, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the ALA's Alex Award

Thursday, May 16, 8:00 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N Vel R Phillips Ave:
Happier Hour: An Evening with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft

Boswell is cosponsoring an evening with Gretchen Rubin, voice of the Happier podcast and author of Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness and The Happiness Project, in conversation with her sister, Elizabeth Craft. Tickets are still available - $35 for general admission or $75 for the VIP meet-and-greet.**

Boswell is cosponsoring Calling all Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels! Gretchen and Elizabeth are taking their show on the road. See the sisters’ disembodied voices take human form live on stage in Happier Hour: An Evening With Gretchen And Elizabeth. You’ll participate in a real-time 'Try This Right Now,' enlighten fellow Happierites in an audience Happiness-Hack lightning round, and find out if Gretchen is actually learning to play the ukulele (#7 on her 19 for 2019 list). Because this event won’t be televised, Gretchen and Elizabeth will even share embarrassing photos from the European trip that turned them from just sisters into actual best friends. Remember: the things that go wrong often make the best memories!

Whether Gretchen and Elizabeth remind you of your sisters, make you wish you had sisters, or make you wish you had different sisters, you’ll love this IRL evening packed with fun, laughter, and practical tips about how to be happier, healthier, and more creative. Bring your friends, your family, your co-workers… or just bring yourself. Follow the one-minute rule, and order your ticket now.

**VIP Tickets include a pre-show meet-and-greet with Gretchen and Elizabeth, preferred seating, an exclusive Happier Hour experience, and as many photos with the sisters as you want to take. Ticket link here!

Thursday, May 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Susanna Calkins, author of Murder Knocks Twice, in conversation with Erica Ruth Neubauer

Author of the award-winning Lucy Campion series chats with Crimespree Magazine’s Erica Ruth Neubauer about the first book in a captivating new series that takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920s Chicago speakeasy.

Gina Ricci takes on a job as a cigarette girl to earn money for her ailing father and to prove to herself that she can hold her own at Chicago’s most notorious speakeasy, the Third Door. But when her friend, a socialite photographer, is brutally murdered, with Gina as the only witness, she’s determined to track down his killer. What secrets did Marty capture on his camera, and who would do anything to destroy it?

Renée Rosen, author of White Collar Girl and Windy City Blues, calls Calkin’s Murder Knocks Twice, “A page-turning romp through Prohibition-era Chicago! … Filled with bootleggers, speakeasies, intrigue and murder, you're in for a wild ride once you step inside Calkins' action-packed world at the Third Door.”

Susanna Calkins is author of the Lucy Campion series, holds a PhD in history, and teaches at the college level. Her historical mysteries have been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha awards, among many others, and The Masque of a Murderer received a Macavity. Calkins now lives in the Chicago area.

More about the Murder Knocks Twice on the Boswell and Books blog.

Friday, May 17, 6:30 pm, at Boswell: Annette LeBlanc Cate, author and illustrator of Look Up: Birdwatching in Your Own Backyard

Author/Illustrator Annette LeBlanc Cate has been watching and drawing birds for many years. She visits Boswell with her appealing introduction to observing these easiest-to-see wild creatures that is perfect for adults and kids age eight and up.

You don’t have to own binoculars and know a bunch of fancy Latin names to watch birds. As LeBlanc Cate (also the author/illustrator of The Magic Rabbit) points out in her Robert F Sibert Honor Book, no matter where you live, birds are in your neighborhood - just look up. This conversational, humorous introduction to bird-watching encourages kids to get outdoors with a sketchbook and really look around. 

Publishers Weekly's starred review says, "An array of talkative cartoon birds bring energy and humor to this small-format guide to bird-watching... Cate’s informal hobbyist tone and all-around enthusiasm is infectious, as she emphasizes that bird-watching is as much about being aware of one’s environment as it is about identifying specific birds."

Sunday May 19, 3:00 pm, at Boswell:
Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Resistance Women

Madison-based author Jennifer Chiaverini is back and her latest novel is a textured, nail-biting WWII historical novel based on the true story of Mildred Fish Harnack, an American from Milwaukee who helped lead the resistance in Nazi-era Berlin. Register for the event at, or upgrade to book-with-ticket by on-sale date (May 14, before opening) and get 20% off on Resistance Women. Chiaverini's novels will be available at the event, but attendees must pre-register to get the discounted price.

Chiaverini’s latest is an intimate and historically sound exploration of the years leading up to and through WWII which draws inspiration from the real life of Mildred Fish Harnack, a Milwaukeean who married German economist Arvid Harnack and led an exciting life in Berlin until the Nazis came to power. She then organized her American and German friends to resist.

Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed. Publishers Weekly wrote: "This fictionalized version of real-life heroes is told with prose that ranges from forthright to eloquent, and the focus on the road to war and evolving attitudes regarding fascism and Nazism is exceptionally insightful, making for a sweeping and memorable WWII novel."

Don't forget, today is the last day to upgrade to book at our Jennifer Chiaverini event on Sunday at a special price of 20% off. Just want to register? That's free and will help us gauge attendance.

Sold out - Monday, May 20, 6:30 dinner, at The Urbanite Steven Raichlen, author of The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World's Most Epic Cut of Meat

Sold out -

Our event with Heaven's Table BBQ for Steven Raichlen has hit capacity. While we do not have a waiting list, cancellations do occur so if you are still interested in attending, please check back at for availability. And yes, you can order a signed copy of The Brisket Chronicles in paperback. Alas, we are no longer able to take orders for The Brisket Chronicles hardcover. And don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter so you don't miss another event.

You'll never miss an event (well, almost never) if you sign up for the Boswell email newsletter. Also get the first scoop about our events on the Boswell upcoming events page.

Photo credits!
Daniel José Older: Kevin Kane
Tim Hennessy: Lucien Knuteson
Celeste Ng: Kevin Day
Susanna Calkins: Lisa Bagadia

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