Monday, November 18, 2019

John Duffy with Molly Fay, Michael Bowen at Whitefish Bay, Jaquira Díaz, Lawrence Lanahan at UWM, Holly Black, Game Night, and Paul Wellington with Nicholas Robinson at Tippecanoe Library. Lidia Bastianich is sold out, but Mitch Albom tickets look like they are still available.

Just how did we wind up working on so many events on Tuesday, November 19? In addition to the four we're talking about here, Amie and I are doing a book talk at Elmbrook School District in the morning. The way it usually works is that we pick the perfect date for an event. Then another opportunity comes to us that is less date-flexible. Didn't seem to be a conflict. And then the other events came along where we were not the leads - they were already set and were looking for a bookstore partner.

I will note that this mostly happens on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is when outside groups are most likely to schedule programming. On the upside, you certainly have several great options if you want to hear a speaker on Tuesday evening, even with Bastianich sold out.

Monday, November 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Duffy, author of Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety: A Complete Guide to Your Child's Stressed, Depressed, Expanded, Amazing Adolescence, in conversation with Molly Fay

Clinical pyschologist, life coach, and parenting expert John Duffy speaks to Molly Faye, Emmy-winning reporter and WTMJ4 Morning Blend host Molly Faye about Duffy's latest book, which focuses on the changing teenage brain. Cosponsored by REDgen, whose mission is to advocate for the mental health and wellbeing of all youth. At this time, registration is still open at redgen-duffy.eventbrite.com. Walk-ups are fine. You might wind up checking in through our friends at REDgen.

No parent experienced their teen years the way children do today; children as young as eight-years-old are prematurely self-conscious, over-stressed, and overwhelmed. Duffy provides strategies and tips for actively learning the world of our children, so that when they need us, we can be there armed with understanding.

Kids are growing up with nearly unlimited access to social media and the internet, and unprecedented academic, social, and familial stressors, and children are exposed to information, thought, and emotion that they are developmentally unprepared to process. As a result, saving the typical “teen parenting” strategies for thirteen-year-olds is now years too late. Duffy offers a guide for parents raising children who are growing up quickly and dealing with unresolved adolescent issues that can lead to anxiety and depression.

Monday, November 18, 6:30 pm, at Whitefish Bay Library, 5420 N Marlborough Dr
Michael Bowen, author of False Flag in Autumn

Milwaukee-are attorney and author of numerous mysteries such as Badger Game and Damage Control appears at the Whitefish Bay Public Library for his latest, a political thriller that asks why there wasn't an October surprise before the 2018 mid-term elections.

The irrepressible Josie Kendall finds herself in the middle of the novel’s provocative question, but answering it quickly confronts her with an even more dramatic challenge: What about 2020, with control of the White House at stake? Will Josie find the guts to leave the Beltway cocoon, where the weapons are spin, winks, nudges, and strategic leaks, and venture into a darker world where the weapons are actual weapons? Josie knows that you don't do politics with choir girls, but if she wants to end up on the side of the angels, she'll have to find some angels who play a little dirty.

Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jaquira Díaz, author of Ordinary Girls

Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at UW-Madison Díaz visits with her searing memoir of growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, one of the most anticipated books of the year according to Time, Publishers Weekly, The Millions, and more.

Growing up in housing projects, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope, to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be. Diaz’s memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in and beyond the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history.

From Reyna Grande in The New York Times Book Review: "A skilled writer, Díaz is meticulous in her craft, and on page after page her writing truly sings. Her temporal leaps and switches in tense and point of view make the overall delivery both powerful and complex...But perhaps disorientation is necessary to convey the life of this ordinary girl who was forced to grow up too quickly and fend for herself."

Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm, at UWM Greene Hall, 3347 N Downer Ave:
Lawrence Lanahan, author of The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore's Racial Divide

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Urban Studies Programs and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council present an evening with journalist Lawrence Lanahan, whose book, based on a Baltimore Public Radio fifty-episode series, received Columbia University’s duPont Award, which honors excellence in broadcast and digital journalism.

In The Lines Between Us, Lawrence Lanahan chronicles how Baltimore became so highly segregated and why its fault lines persist today, using the stories of two individuals, a white suburbanite contemplating a move to West Baltimore, and a black woman who hopes to move from a poor city neighborhood to a prosperous suburb.

Together they personify the enormous disparities in access to safe housing, educational opportunities, and decent jobs. As they eventually pack up their lives and change places, bold advocates and activists - in the courts and in the streets - struggle to figure out what it will take to save our cities and communities: Put money into poor, segregated neighborhoods? Make it possible for families to move into areas with more opportunity?

From Jacqui Banaszynski in the Star Tribune: "His reporting is evenhanded, his writing clear-eyed and dispassionate...Lanahan reveals an anger that edges on despair, and makes a clear call for something better from America."

Wednesday, November 20, 6 pm, at Tippecanoe Library, 3912 S Howell Ave:
Paul Wellington, author of Black Built: History and Architecture in the Black Community, in conversation with Nicholas Robinson of DREAM Builders

Milwaukee author and cofounder of MKE Black, Wellington explores over forty works by Black architects and their impact. He’ll chat with Nicholas Robinson, co-creator of DREAM Builders and one of only eight licensed African American architects in the state.

Please note that copies of Black Built will not be available for purchase at this event. Boswell will have the book for sale in the store or via our website, by clicking the link in this event listing title.

Wednesday, November 20, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Boswell’s Fall Game Night

Enjoy sampling new and bestselling games from our collection, including Boswellian favorites like Roadkill, Forbidden Island, and Quicktionary. Boswellians Jen and Aaron will offer a short intro and demos for each game, plus we’ll have giveaways too. Attendees are encouraged to come alone or in groups.

Please note this game night is for folks age 16 and up, and that some of these games involve adult language. Free registration is requested at boswellgamefall19.bpt.me. Online registrations through Tuesday. Walk-ups will be accommodated, if space is available.

Thursday, November 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Holly Black, author of The Queen of Nothing

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her first Milwaukee appearance in six years with her highly anticipated, jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy. Registration is free for this event at hollyblackmke.bpt.me, but you must upgrade to a copy of The Queen of Nothing to get in the signing line. This event features Holly Black in conversation with Jaime and Erin Arkin of Fiction Fare.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to keep. As the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and reeling from betrayal. Determined to reclaim everything taken from her, Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court if she wishes to save her sister. When a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity.

Will there be Fairy Food? Yes. Will there be a special Fairy drink special at Starbucks? Yes. What more can you want? We're taking registrations through Wednesday.

Monday, November 25, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Layne Fargo, author of Temper, in conversation with Kelsey Rae Dimberg

Chicago-based author Layne Fargo visits with her debut that’s a razor-sharp page-turner, named to the New York Times summer reading list. She’ll chat with Milwaukee’s own Kelsey Rae Dimberg, author of Girl in the Rearview Mirror. Prior to the event, Boswell’s in-store mystery book club will meet at 6 pm to discuss Temper.

After years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? Working with a mercurial director known for pushing performers past their limits onstage and off. As opening night draws near, Kira and the theater’s slippery cofounder both start to realize the director’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they're capable of themselves.

From Mindy Mejia in The New York Journal of Books: "Temper is one hell of a ride. Fargo’s writing is direct and crisp, and her characters mesmerize. She keeps the story moving and the intrigue high with fresh twists on those classic thriller genre crowd-pleasers: sex, violence, and deception. Readers won’t find better in the debut thriller category this summer." It's now close to winter and maybe they still won't!

And here's the status on the two big off-site events on Tuesday.

Lidia Bastianich at the ICC is sold out. We may have stand-by tickets at the door.

At this point, Mitch Albom is still accepting event registrations. My guess is that the website will close out advance registrations sometime today. Contact (414) 933-8002 for more information.

Photo credits
Jaquira Díaz credit Maria Esquinca

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 16, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 16

Hardcover Fiction:
1. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
2. The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
3. Black Card, by Chris L Terry
4. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Neshisi Coates
5. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
6. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
7. The Guardians, by John Grisham
8. Find Me, by André Aciman
9. Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
10. Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally

On our buyer Jason's holiday gift suggestion list is Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, which is translated by Tiina Nunnally, whom we once met when she was visiting family. But I guess it also doesn't hurt that Neil Gaiman wrote the forward, which notes "In a translation as crystalline and pellucid as the waters of the fjords, Tiina Nunnally takes the stories that Asbjørnsen and Moe collected from the people of rural Norway, translates them, and gives them to us afresh. Each story feels honed, as if it were recently collected from a storyteller who knew how to tell it and who had, in turn, heard it from someone who knew how to tell it."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The Body, by Bill Bryson
2. Essays One, by Lydia Davis
3. Troubled Water, by Seth M Siegel (Register here for UWM Union event, Wed Dec 4, 6 pm)
4. Finding Chika, by Mitch Albom (Tickets here for Nehemiah Project dinner at Hilton, Tue Nov 19,5:30 pm)
5. Beautiful Ones, by Prince
6. Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman
7. 100 Years in Titletown, by Vernon and Jim Biever (Register here for Tue Dec 2, 7 pm event at Boswell)
8. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
9. Felidia, by Lidia Bastianich (Tue Nov 19 event sold out)
10. Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell

We put out more holiday options for our gift-wrapping service and yesterday was the first day that we had gift wrappers, from the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library. Today from 12-4 our volunteers are from Pets Helping People. And this is reflected on our hardcover nonfiction list, by two oversize Packers gift books and the best showing for cookbooks (3 out of our top 10) in several months. Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over if from a New York Times columnist and has already been named one of fall's best cookbooks by numerous media outlets, including Food & Wine, Vogue, and People magazine.

And here's a shout out for Lydia Davis's Essays One, which not one but two customers noted was a very attractive looking book.

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
2. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
3. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
4. Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk
5. Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami
6. The Story of Arthur Truluv, by Elizabeth Berg
7. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
8. Girl Woman Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
9. Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg
10. The Red Address Book, by Sofia Lundberg

It's interesting to me that even though each list had a tie, only one Booker (Girl Woman Other) and one Nobel Literature title (Flights)is on our bestseller lists. The Testaments is bubbling under our top ten this week (I can't figure it out - did this work to PRH standards or not?) and there are a number of Peter Handke backlist titles that are due to be released on December 3, though several other titles already in stock are coded nonreturnable at Ingram, which will definitely inhibit bookstores stocking them. I still haven't seen many stateside reviews of Evaristo aside from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Hope to see more!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Midwestern Strange, by BJ Hollars
2. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takai
3. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
4. Upstream, by Mary Oliver
5. Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
6. Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, American Birding Association
7. Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harai
8. Black Bilt, by Paul Wellington (event at Tippecanoe Library, Wed Nov 20)
9. Basketball, by Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, Dan Klores
10. Blindspot, by Mahzarin R Banaji

Out in paperback is Basketball: A Love Story, which in hardcover was the companion to an ESPN documentary and had strong holiday sales for us. Those kinds of books don't always have a good paperback life but sales so far are promising. Here's Jackie MacMullan interviewing Dan Klores on ESPN.com.

Books for Kids:
1. Refugee, by Alan Gratz
2. The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Sean Rubin
3. Wrecking Ball V14: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
4. Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament V1, by Kim Long
5. Margaret and the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Lucy Knisley
6. Finding Treasure, by Michelle Schaub, with illustrations by Carmen Saldana
7. The Snowy Day board book, by Ezra Jack Keats
8. Call Down the Hawk V1 by Maggie Stiefvater
9. The Wicked King V2: Folk of the Air, by Holly Black (Register here for Thu Nov 21 event at Boswell)
10. The Toll V3: Scythe, by Neal Shusterman (Event date not yet rescheduled)

Call Down the Hawk is Maggie Stiefvater's first book in the new Dreamer trilogy. We had several advance orders, including one from a former (and future) bookseller. The Booklist starred review explains it all: "This spinoff trilogy was born from Stiefvater's Raven Cycle, and though readers of that quartet (especially those who favored The Dream Thieves) will of course be eager for this, this new series, somewhat astonishingly for a story this layered, exists independently of its predecessor. It's a different beast entirely, one that circles the complexities of family and the joys and terrors of creating. For all that is new, however, Ronan remains the same; a lodestar that old readers will be happy to return to and new ones glad (if nervous) to discover."

Over at the Journal Sentinel

Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk are collected mostly older writings from Outside and other publications. John Forker in the Associated Press review wrote: "Krakauer’s storytelling is so confident and engrossing, it begs for a reader’s undivided attention. I found myself OK with sleepless nights; I could turn to Classic Krakauer once again to devour another essay or another few pages."

On the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, there are a lot of unusual tie-ins, such as a Farmer's Insurance series of commercials featuring the Muppets. There's also The Importance of Being Ernie (and Bert), which Mary Cadden reviewed? featured? in USA Today, nothing: "After all, the best friendships are a combination of silly, sweet and sentimental, aren’t they? And who better to emulate those traits than these two Sesame Street stalwarts."

Jonathan Elderfield in Associated Press reviews John LeCarré's Agent Running in the Field: "Le Carré’s Nat relies on his 25 years of experience as an agent runner to navigate the competing forces of money and power, patriotism and love. And with a style honed over 25 novels and more than 50 years, the author’s prose is crisp and compelling and the story is relevant to today’s turbulent times."

Tomorrow is our weekly event blog.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Two postponed events this week (Goldie Goldbloom and Neal Shusterman), plus Chris L Terry, BJ Hollars, Michelle Schaub, Michael Bowen, John Duffy

So much to keep track of this week!

Postponed Event
Monday, November 11, 7 pm, at Boswell (now Monday, December 9, 7 pm)
Goldie Goldbloom, author of On Division

Goldie Goldbloom, author and Chasidic mother of eight, in conversation with Marquette Professor CJ Hribal about her latest work, a deeply affecting novel of one woman's life at a moment of change, set in the world of Brooklyn's Chasidim. Cosponsored by the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and UWM Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Surie Eckstein is soon to be a great-grandmother. Her in-laws live on the first floor of their house, her daughter lives on the second. Into this life of counted blessings comes a surprise. Surie is pregnant at fifty-seven. It is an aberration, a shift in the proper order of things, and a public display of private life. Exposed, ashamed, she is unable to share the news, even with her husband. And so for the first time in her life, she has a secret that slowly separates her from the community.

On Division is an excavation of one woman's life, a story of awakening at middle age, and a thoughtful examination of the dynamics of self and collective identity. It is a steady-eyed look inside insular communities that also celebrates their comforts. It is a rare portrait of a long, happy marriage. And it is an unforgettable new novel from a writer whose imagination is matched only by the depth of her humanity. Join us for an evening in December when we hope it will be both warmer and less snowy.

Registration Has Ended 
Tuesday, November 12, 11:30 am, at Shully’s Watermark, 146 Green Bay Rd in Thiensville
Elizabeth Berg, author of The Confession Club

Please note that registration has ended for the Ozaukee Family Services Fall Fundraiser Lunch with author Elizabeth Berg at Shully’s Watermark. We hope to have signed copies when The Confession Club goes on sale on November 19.

In The Confession Club, a group of women in Mason, Missouri discover that best friends are made by sharing secrets. It all started as a supper club, a group gathering monthly to share homemade dinners, until the night one woman made a startling revelation. After that, the Confession Club decided to meet weekly to feast not only on dinner, but on admissions of misdeeds, embarrassments, and insecurities.

Ozaukee Family Services offers programs for parents, youth, and seniors, including counseling and support groups. OFS also offers presentations to schools and community organizations to promote healthy lifestyles and empower children and youth with techniques to keep themselves safe and healthy.

New Location! 
Tuesday, November 12, 7 pm, at The Retreat, 2215 N Martin Luther King Dr
Chris L Terry, author of Black Card

The Retreat presents Chris L Terry, in conversation with Milwaukee writer, performer, and creative change agent Dasha Kelly Hamilton for About That: Black Card. Black Card is a novel about a mixed-race punk rock musician who is determined to win back his coveted Black Card. This event is free; no registration required. Doors open at 6 pm for bar and bites.

In an effort to be “black enough,” a mixed-race punk rock musician indulges his own stereotypical views of African American life by doing what his white bandmates call “black stuff.” After remaining silent during a racist incident, the unnamed narrator has his Black Card revoked by Lucius, his guide through Richmond, Virginia, where Confederate flags and memorials are a part of everyday life

Jason Terry writes on NPR's website: "As Terry so cleverly and poignantly points out, the narrator's split personality embodies the soul of America itself. And with deadpan comic timing, sensitive insight, and taut, terse prose, Terry plunges the reader into his turmoil. Like nature, racial identity in America abhors a vacuum. If you don't fill in your own identity, as Black Card illustrates, someone else will."

Postponed, new date to come
Formerly Tuesday, November 12, 7 pm, at Boswell
Neal Shusterman, author of The Toll: Arc of a Scythe V3

Due to a family emergency, Neal Shusterman's event on November 12 is postponed. We should have a new date for this event shortly. Right now we are not accepting new reservations, but existing reservations, including book-with-ticket upgrades, are being held until the new date is announced.

We hope you will be able to attend our rescheduled date, but if not, refunds for the book-with-ticket upgrade are available by contacting Brown Paper Tickets. Please have your order confirmation number handy. Contact information can be found at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/about/locations

In a world that's conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created? Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him? The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.

Nothing has changed for this event and the others below.
Thursday, November 14, 7 pm, at Boswell
BJ Hollars, author of Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country

UW-Eau Claire Professor of English BJ Hollars haunts Boswell with his brand new book, which chronicles his explorations of the mythic oddities of what’s often known as flyover country, including Wisconsin legends like the Beast of Bray Road, the Hodag, and the Val Johnson incident. He’ll deep-dive into his own case files to unearth the truth.

Part memoir and part journalism, Midwestern Strange offers a fascinating, quirky account of flyover folklore that also contends with the ways such oddities retain cultural footholds. Hollars shows how grappling with such subjects might fortify us against the glut of misinformation now inundating our lives. By confronting monsters, Martians, and a cabinet of curiosities, we challenge ourselves to look beyond our presumptions and acknowledge that just because something is weird, doesn’t mean it is wrong.

Hollars’s quest is not to confirm or debunk these mysteries but rather to seek out these unexplained phenomena to understand how they complicate our worldview and to discover what truths might be gleaned by reexamining the facts in our “post-truth” era.

Friday, November 15, 4 pm, at Boswell:
Michelle Schaub, author of Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections

Poet and author Schaub presents her new book, a treasure trove of clever poems which tell the story of one inquisitive child’s quest to start just the right collection to share at school. This special event will feature a mini-tour, led by Boswell proprietor Daniel Goldin, of chat about his tchotchkes and offer a behind-the scenes tour of his collections, some of which started when he was a kid. Great for adults and kids 4 and up.

While everyone else is excited about presenting their treasures, one creative elementary schooler is stressed about her class’s show-and-tell assignment. How is she supposed to share her collection if she doesn’t collect anything? Polling her parents, visiting with Granny and Grandpa, and searching for the secret behind her siblings’ obsession with baseball cards, she discovers she does, in fact, have something to share: a collection of stories and poems!

Michelle Schaub is the author of Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, and her poems have appeared in And the Crowd Goes Wild, A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, and The Poetry Anthology for Celebrations. She has contributed poems to Highlights High Five, Ladybug magazine, and the SCBWI national bulletin.

Monday, November 18, 6:30 pm, at Whitefish Bay Library, 5420 N Marlborough Dr:
Michael Bowen, author of False Flag in Autumn

Milwaukee author appears at the Whitefish Bay Public Library for his latest political thriller that asks why there wasn't an October surprise before the 2018 mid-term elections.

The irrepressible Josie Kendall finds herself in the middle of the novel’s provocative question, but answering it quickly confronts her with an even more dramatic challenge: What about 2020, with control of the White House at stake? Will Josie find the guts to leave the Beltway cocoon, where the weapons are spin, winks, nudges, and strategic leaks, and venture into a darker world where the weapons are actual weapons? Josie knows that you don't do politics with choir girls, but if she wants to end up on the side of the angels, she'll have to find some angels who play a little dirty.

Michael Bowen is a Milwaukee-based author of numerous books, including non-fiction and mysteries such as Badger Game, Damage Control, and Washington Deceased. He is an attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School.

Monday, November 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
John Duffy, author of Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety: A Complete Guide to Your Child's Stressed, Depressed, Expanded, Amazing Adolescence, in conversation with Molly Fay

John Duffy is a clinical psychologist, certified life coach, and author of The Available Parent. He chats with Molly Fay of TMJ4’s The Morning Blend about his latest work on the changing teenage brain. Cosponsored by REDgen, whose mission is to advocate for the mental health and wellbeing of all youth. Please register for this free event at redgen-duffy.eventbrite.com.

No parent experienced their teen years the way children do today; children as young as eight-years-old are prematurely self-conscious, over-stressed, and overwhelmed. Duffy provides strategies and tips for actively learning the world of our children, so that when they need us, we can be there armed with understanding.

Kids are growing up with nearly unlimited access to social media and the internet, and unprecedented academic, social, and familial stressors, and children are exposed to information, thought, and emotion that they are developmentally unprepared to process. As a result, saving the typical “teen parenting” strategies for thirteen-year-olds is now years too late. Duffy offers a guide for parents raising children who are growing up quickly and dealing with unresolved adolescent issues that can lead to anxiety and depression.

More on the Boswell upcoming event page

Photo credits!
Goldie Goldbloom credit Shterna Goldbloom

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Boswell bestsellers for the week ending November 9, 2019

Here's what is selling at Boswell

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Find Me, by André Aciman
2. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
3. The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
4. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
5. Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout
6. The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
7. Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
8. Ribbons of Scarlet, by Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, E Knight, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Bray, and Heather Webb
9. Agent Running in the Field, by John LeCarre
10. The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

Just how long have we been awaiting The Starless Sea? Well, Erin Morgenstern appeared at Winter Institute last January to interview Margaret Atwood, with the implication being that the book was in the pipeline. From Nancy Pate in the Star Tribune: "Ever dreamed of being lost in a book — literally? Admit it, you’d like to fall down the rabbit hole, walk through the wardrobe, fly straight on ’til morning. Or maybe you want “to sail the Starless Sea and breathe the haunted air.” That’s Zachary Ezra Rawlins’ wish, although he doesn’t know it at the beginning of Erin Morgenstern’s extravagantly imaginative novel The Starless Sea. Her new book arrives eight years after her high-wire fantasy of a first novel The Night Circus, and it’s just as magical but even more daring."

More and more publishers are doing paperback originals with limited hardcover printings, such as Ribbons of Scarlet. The growth in print-on-demand technology for hardcovers is also fueling this trend, as seen in Putting Government in Its Place, below. The main market for the hardcover is libraries, but we find there's a substantial upgrade to hardcovers at author events.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Finding Chika, by Mitch Albom (ticketed dinner at Hilton Milwaukee for Nehemiah Project, Tuesday, November 19)
2. Ordinary Girls, by Jaquira Diaz (event at Boswell, Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm)
3. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
4. Helping the Good Do Better, by Thomas F Sheridan
5. Salt Fat Acid Heat, by Samin Nosrat
6. The Body, by Bill Bryson
7. Notre Dame, by Ken Follett
8. Plagued by Fire, by Paul Hendrickson
9. Educated, by Tara Westover
10. Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds, by Ian Wright

Jaquira Díaz spoke to Steve Inskeep about Ordinary Girls on NPR's Morning Edition: "I was a juvenile delinquent who spent most of her time on the streets. At 11, I attempted suicide for the first time. Then, a few months after that, I ran away from home for the first time, and then I started getting arrested — mostly for fighting. I was in a state of rage, also. I was so angry and I couldn't really explain why. I didn't have the language for it. And so I turned to what I knew, I remembered the kind of woman my mother had been — in a lot of ways, I was acting out, I was performing the same thing."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ribbons of Scarlet, by Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, E Knight, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Bray, and Heather Webb
2. Call Me by Your Name (both jackets), by André Aciman
3. The Current, by Tim Johnston
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
5. We're All in This Together, by Amy Jones
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Milwaukee Noir, edited by Tim Hennessy
8. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
9. The Apple Tree, by Daphne DuMaurier, illustrated by Seth
10. Girl Woman Other, by Bernadine Evaristo

From an earlier set of releases in the same series, John Williams talked up Seth's series of Christmas books, available as $6.95 paperbacks: "You might think it’s a couple of months too late for ghost stories, but a long tradition that peaked in Victorian England says otherwise. The publisher Biblioasis has begun a series of Christmas ghost stories, miniature books chosen and illustrated by the cartoonist Seth. The stories, by M.R. James, Charles Dickens and others, offer chills — and charm." The Apple Tree led the pack this week.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Putting Government in Its Place, by David R Riemer
2. Memories Dreams Reflections, by Carl Jung
3. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
4. One Question a Day, by Aimee Chase
5. St. Francis of Assisi, by Jon M Sweeney
6. 111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss, by Michelle Madden
7. Wonders of the World, from Lonely Planet
8. Making Comics, by Lynda Barry
9. Milwaukee Jazz, by Joey Grihalva
10. Inspiralized, by Alia Maffucci

The #1 book on the Indie Bestseller Lists as collected by the American Booksellers Association is The Library Book from Susan Orlean, which we're also reading as our December selection for the In-Store Lit Group on December 2. There are a lot of crossover books to our list, but a few stand out as not having made a splash at Boswell, including #9's HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Mental Toughness. I went on Edelweiss to look at sales and noticed sales for Born a Crime (#10) and The Spy and the Traitor (#11) were substantially more robust. No, it looks like Boswell isn't missing anything by not stocking this book anymore.

Books for Kids:
1. The World According to Humphrey, by Betty G Birney
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. From Malena with Love, by Courtney Kotloski and Natalie Sorrentino
4. The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Sean Rubin
5. The Toll V3, by Neal Shusterman (event postponed on November 12. Details to come)
6. The Friendship Yarn, by Lisa Moser, with illustrations by Olga Demidova
7. Two Friends, by Dean Robbins, with illustrations by Lucy Knisley
8. Goodnight Little Monster, by Helen Ketterman, with illustrations by Bonnie Leick
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid V14; Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney continues to be on tour, with a number of Heartland appearances over the next week for The Wrecking Ball. He appears to be alternating ticketed events, often hosted by indies, with signings at chain stores and mass merchants. Here's the schedule, just in case you were up for flying somewhere. And from the publisher, here's what happens in the latest: "In Wrecking Ball... an unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins looks at new regional books. You can read about his selections here.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Boswell event alert - Ribbons of Scarlet authors at Lynden Scullpture Garden, David Riemer, André Aciman, Tim Johnston, Lisa Moser

Here are the Boswell-related book programs happening this week. I should note that my Friends of Milwaukee Public Library fundraiser talk on Tuesday, November 5 is sold out. My next public gig is my annual holiday book talk for the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library on Saturday, December 7, 11 am.

Tuesday, November 5, 7 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd:
Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, and E Knight, contributors to Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution's Women

The Lynden Sculpture Garden Women’s Speakers Series presents an evening with three authors who contributed to a breathtaking epic novel of six women whose paths cross during the French Revolution. Produced by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company.

Laura Kamoie is author of My Dear Hamilton and America’s First Daughter, as well as two non-fiction books on early America. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from William and Mary and was Associate Professor of History at the US Naval Academy.

Sophie Perinot is author of The Sister Queens and Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois. Her passion for French history began more than thirty years ago when she first explored the storied châteaux of the Loire Valley.

E Knight is an award-winning author of historical women’s fiction. Her love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles and ran through the fields in Southern France.

They, along with three more novelists, tell a story of six very different women who were princesses, peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers and whose paths cross during the French Revolution. Booklist offers this praise: "An excellent choice for a lively book discussion and readers of historical fiction will appreciate this unique take on an era not often covered in English-language popular fiction.”

Online sales for this event end shortly. Please reserve your spot by calling the Lynden Sculpture Garden at (414) 446-8794.

Wednesday, November 6, 7 pm, at Boswell:
David R Riemer, author of Putting Government in Its Place: The Case for a New Deal 3.0

David R Riemer, Senior Fellow at Milwaukee's Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, tells the story of the house that FDR built and considers how the New Deal, since the 1970’s, has faltered in the face of international competition and new tech’s disruptions. Cosponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in Milwaukee.

Riemer explains the major gaps, flaws, and mistakes of the New Deal settlement and spells out fundamental, sweeping changes needed to revive it. Riemer’s proposed New Deal 3.0 intends to create greater economic security for all Americans, make the market economy more productive, and enlarge the nation’s wealth, all with the purpose of creating America’s next birth of freedom.

Thursday, November 7, 7 pm, at Boswell:
André Aciman, author of Find Me

Boswell is pleased to host the return of André Aciman to Milwaukee, visiting with Find Me, his sequel to his acclaimed novel-turned-Oscar-winning-film, Call Me By Your Name. Tickets cost $29, including tax and ticket fee, available at acimanmke.bpt.me. Please note that Boswell will close to the general public for browsing at 6 pm on November 7 and reopen after the event. For this event, Aciman will be in conversation with Boswellians Jenny Chou and Daniel Goldin.

In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio's father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami's plans and changes his life forever. Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.

Aciman, who teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the emotional nuances that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the magic circle of one of our greatest contemporary romances to ask if, in fact, true love ever dies.

Friday, November 8, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Tim Johnston, author of The Current

Tim Johnston, the author of the New York Times bestseller Descent, returns to Milwaukee for the paperback release of The Current, his dazzling literary thriller, which traces the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people over the course of more than a decade. Register for this free event at timjohnstonmke.bpt.me, or upgrade to a purchase-with-registration for $16.95, including taxes and fees. Everyone who registers and attends the event will be entered into a drawing for one of ten $5 gift cards to be given away during the event.

In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is drowned, the other half frozen but alive. This was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who drowned in the same river ten years earlier, whose killer may still live among them.

Boswellians love The Current – Tim calls it “an excellent novel of suspense from a fine writer,” and Chris says it’s a “masterful performance that plumbs the depths of life’s extremes,” and Kay just says, “I LOVED it.” And they’re not the only ones. Edgar-winner Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River, says, “Tim Johnston’s second novel, The Current, is even better than his first, which is saying something. He’s a terrific writer.” And from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Pick up Tim Johnston's suspenseful novel The Current and you risk finding yourself glued to your chair, eyes to the pages, no thought of attending to daily obligations.”

Saturday, November 9, 11 am, at Boswell:
Lisa Moser, author of A Friendship Yarn

Wisconsin author of childrens books like Stories from Bug Garden visits Boswell for a Saturday morning storytime with her brand new picture book about a porcupine, badger, and knotty yarn situation, plus Moser will lead attendees in creating a special yarn craft. Great for adults and kids 3 and up.

Porcupine and Badger have always been the best of friends, so when Porcupine finds some yarn in the woods, she makes a present for Badger. And when Badger finds yarn, she makes a present for Porcupine. The only problem? It’s the same yarn, and to finish the gift, they each must unravel the other’s creation. An act of kindness turns into a fierce standoff as the friendship frays. Can Porcupine and Badger set aside their differences and knit themselves back together?

Boswellian Chris says, "With outstanding artwork that will make you wish you could live in Badger and Porcupine's forest, A Friendship Yarn paints an important portrait of how to put friendship first. My favorite picture book of the fall!"

Monday, November 11, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Goldie Goldbloom, author of On Division

Goldie Goldbloom, author and Chasidic mother of eight, in conversation with Marquette Professor CJ Hribal about her latest work, a deeply affecting novel of one woman's life at a moment of change, set in the world of Brooklyn's Chasidim. Cosponsored by the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center's Tapestry program.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Surie Eckstein is soon to be a great-grandmother. Her in-laws live on the first floor of their house, her daughter lives on the second. Into this life of counted blessings comes a surprise. Surie is pregnant at fifty-seven. It is an aberration, a shift in the proper order of things, and a public display of private life. Exposed, ashamed, she is unable to share the news, even with her husband. And so for the first time in her life, she has a secret that slowly separates her from the community.

On Division is an excavation of one woman's life, a story of awakening at middle age, and a thoughtful examination of the dynamics of self and collective identity. It is a steady-eyed look inside insular communities that also celebrates their comforts. It is a rare portrait of a long, happy marriage. And it is an unforgettable new novel from a writer whose imagination is matched only by the depth of her humanity.

Goldie Goldbloom’s first novel, The Paperbark Shoe, won the AWP Prize, was named the Literary Novel of the Year by Forward magazine, and is an NEA Big Reads selection. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and has received multiple grants and awards, including fellowships from Warren Wilson, Northwestern University, the Brown Foundation, the City of Chicago, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. CJ Hribal is Professor of English at Marquette University and author of The Company Car, The Clouds in Memphis, and American Beauty.

More happenings at Boswellbooks.com/upcoming-events