Saturday, February 29, 2020

Here's what's happening at Boswell the week of March 2-9: Donna Leon, Dennis E Staples, Linda Sue Park, Epic Reads Meet-Up with Mindy McGinnis, Elana K Arnold, and Evelyn Skye, plus Dan Pfeiffer next week

Here's a week of Boswell programs.

Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 pm, at Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St:
Donna Leon, author of Trace Elements

Boswell Book Company, Bartolotta Restaurants, and the Italian Community Center are pleased to host the author of Venetian mysteries for a visit with her haunting new novel in which a woman's cryptic dying words lead Commissario Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region. Tickets cost $35 and includes admission, all taxes and fees, a copy of Trace Elements, and light appetizers adapted from Brunetti's Cookbook. A cash bar will also be available.

We actually hit the original space's capacity (150), but our friends at Bartolotta and the ICC were able to move us to a larger room. At blog post time, we've still got about 25 openings. Tickets at

When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.

From Booklist’s starred review: “A meditative novel that looks at the water crisis in Venice - not flooding this time, but pollution - set against the eternal problem of justice… In an age where so many seek simplistic and wrongheaded answers to complex questions, it is comforting that Leon, in human complexity, remains one of our most beloved writers.” And of Leon’s series, the Washington Post adds, “Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive, and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon… One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.”

Wednesday, March 4, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Dennis E Staples, author of This Town Sleeps, now in conversation with UWM Assistant Coordinator of Creative Writing Elizabeth Hoover, who will be interviewing Staples for Bomb Magazine.

Ojibwe author Staples visits Boswell with his brand new novel, one of Electric Literature’s Most Anticipated Debuts of 2020.

Living unhappily in his hometown on Minnesota’s Ojibwe reservation, a young gay man reckons with love, tribal lore, and a decades-old murder. Staples explores the many ways history, culture, landscape, and lineage shape our lives, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it all.

Tommy Orange, author of There, There, praised Staples’s writing, calling it "Elegant and gritty, angry and funny. Staples’s work is emotional without being sentimental. Dennis unmakes something in us, then remakes it, a quilt of characters that embody this town, this place, which sleeps but doesn’t dream, or it is all a dream we want to wake up from with its characters."

A member of the Red Lake Nation, Dennis E Staples earned an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction and Nightmare magazine. He is a graduate of the 2018 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E Butler Memorial Scholarship.

Thursday, March 5, 4:30 pm, at North Shore Library, 6800 N Port Washington Blvd:
Linda Sue Park, author of Prairie Lotus

The North Shore Library and Boswell Book Company are thrilled to welcome acclaimed children's book writer Linda Sue Park, winner of the Newbery Medal for A Single Shard. Admission is free for this event, but due to limited capacity, registration is requested at Boswell will be on hand to sell Park’s books. At this point we're not at the community room's capacity.

Set in the Dakota Territory during the 1880s, Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multi-layered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father's shop, and making at least one friend. The heart of the story is Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings and how she negotiates the townspeople's almost unanimous prejudice against Asians. The novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the story “an absorbing, accessible introduction to a troubled chapter of American history.” And Kirkus’s starred review adds, “Fans of the Little House books will find many of the small satisfactions of Laura's stories.”

Thursday, March 5, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Epic Reads Meet-Up, featuring Elana K Arnold, author of Red Hood, Mindy McGinnis, author of Be Not Far From Me, and Evelyn Skye, author of Cloak of Night

So many YA books, so little time. Epic Reads invites readers of all ages to join a round-table where you’ll get to strike up conversation with authors {SO MANY AUTHORS} who will gab about their books and other fan favorites. Small author dish sesh + killer YA books = a booklover’s dream, courtesy of Epic Reads.

Tickets are $20 and include admission, all taxes and fees, and one featured title of your choice. As an extra bonus, select all three with admission for one person and get the books at a special price of $54. Available at Please note that you'll have the opportunity to spend time with each author no matter which book you pick, you can bring extra books from home, and additional books will be available for sale at the event from all our attending authors. And yes, walk-up tickets are available.

Elana K Arnold, author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of one young woman’s attempt to regain power when confronted with threats both familiar (toxic masculinity) and unfamiliar (wolves). From the Edgar Award-winning author of The Female of the Species, Mindy McGinnis, comes a harrowing YA survival story about a teenage girl’s attempt to endure the impossible in the Great Smoky Mountains - Hatchet meets Wild. And from Evelyn Skye, The New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series, comes the stunning sequel to Circle of Shadows, a fantasy series about two young warriors sworn to protect their Empress after the onset of war.

Elana K Arnold is author of the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. Mindy McGinnis is author of YA novels, including A Madness So Discreet, winner of the Edgar Award. And Evelyn Skye is author of The New York Times bestselling Crown’s Game series.

Monday, March 9, 7 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N Vel R Phillips Ave:
Dan Pfeiffer, author of Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again, in conversation with Joy Powers of WUWM's Lake Effect

Dan Pfeiffer's new book, Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again, is just released and is bestseller bound. Dan Pfeiffer will be at Turner Hall Ballroom on March 9, in conversation with WUWM's Joy Powers. But he's also coming back on July 12 to the Riverside Theater for a live podcast of Pod Save America. We've put together a few reasons why you should consider the Turner Hall event instead of, or in addition to, the event at the Riverside Theater.

1. The Un-Trumping America event at Turner Hall Ballroom is less expensive than the Pod Save America event at the Riverside Theater, and it includes the book, which has a $28 list price. In a sense, that makes the ticket cost $2 plus taxes and fees, as opposed to the Pod Save America event, which is $39.50 for the cheapest seats. There's no book included at the basic level.

2. Everybody at the Turner Hall Ballroom gets to meet Dan Pfeiffer. Only VIP attendees have a meet-and-greet at the Riverside event.

3. Show your Milwaukee pride. Dan Pfeiffer will be in conversation with Lake Effect's Joy Powers for the Un-Trumping America event. The Pod Saves America podcast features Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. Who are they? OK, they are famous people, but still, Joy Powers is a WUWM gem!

4. Parking! The Bucks are in Denver for the March 9 Un-Trumping America event. Parking is going to be a breeze. Can you imagine what downtown is going to be like the day before the DNC?

5. At the Un-Trumping America event, you can say hi to some Boswellians.

If you want an easier, cheaper, and more intimate experience, there's no contest. That said, folks are crazy for the podcast event and it's likely to sell out. But if you are a true Dan Pfeiffer, you should really consider the Turner Hall program too, on March 9! Ticket link here.

Dan Pfeiffer was one of Barack Obama's longest serving advisors. From 2009-13 he was White House Director of Communications, and from 2013-15 he served as Senior Advisor to the President.

On Friday, two of us will be at UWM's Women Leader Conference, held at The Pfister Hotel. As is often the case, the event is sold out.

On Monday March 2, 7 pm, at Boswell, I'll be hosting our In-Store Lit Group's discussion of Barnardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, winner of the Booker Prize. As always, there's no registration and anyone who has read the book is free to attend.

No comments: