Tuesday, February 2, 2021

This week - Lauren Fox and Ethan Kross, though not together

Boswell events this week - Lauren Fox and Ethan Kross

Tuesday, February 2, 7 pm
Lauren Fox, author of Send for Me
in Conversation with J. Courtney Sullivan for a virtual event

Congratulations to Lauren Fox, whose latest novel, Send for Me, was chosen as one of the two February selections of the Today Show Read with Jenna Book Club. At Boswell, she'll be in conversation with J. Courtney Sullivan, whose latest novel is Friends and Strangers.

Fox’s latest is an exciting departure from her previous work, a sprawling historical drama with a fascinating personal history, as the letters within the book were written by the author’s own grandmother as she sought escape from Germany. Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, calls Send for Me "a rare and beautiful novel...I loved this book."

Malcolm Forbes writes in the Star Tribune: "Fox's narrative flits between past and present to tell two tales in tandem, but it also makes effective use of flash-forwards to reveal roads that will be taken and pitfalls that lie ahead. Shifts in perspective create a more comprehensive picture, while the quirkily descriptive prose adds color and mystery: 'Her body was an engine left idling. She was half of a secret.' This could have been a jarring clash of voices and a messy fusion of the historical and the modern. Instead it is an artfully constructed and richly absorbing novel that shows how love is strengthened, not weakened, over distance and time."

My rec: "In Lauren Fox’s first work of historical fiction, Annelise is a young woman working at her parents’ bakery in 1930s Feldenheim. Life is fairly normal – school, work, friends, dating – but every day there are more restrictions on Jews. Christian friends and neighbors who were once friendly have turned cold. It’s possible Annelise can escape, but what will happen to her parents? Fox has a way of taking minute details and infusing them with life, from the highs of first love to the lows of increasing desperation. The story is told with glimpses into the future, with Annelise’s granddaughter Clare, under very different circumstances, also contemplating a separation from her parents. Fox has a deft touch bringing small details to flower, and while her humor is more restrained than in previous novels, there are moments where her quirky writerly charm comes to the fore. Contemplative, heartbreaking, beautiful."

Wednesday, February 3, 7 pm
Ethan Kross, author of Chatter : The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It
in conversation with Dasha Kelly Hamilton for a ticketed virtual event
Tickets at ethankrossmke.eventbrite.com   

This is a ticketed event. Tickets cost $5, or upgrade to admission plus one copy of Chatter for $22.40, plus sales tax and ticket fee for either option The first 50 folks to purchase the ticket-with-book option will receive an autographed bookplate.

Ethan Kross is an award-winning professor in the University of Michigan’s Psychology Department and its Ross School of Business. He has participated in policy discussion at the White House and has been interviewed about his work on CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, and NPR’s Morning Edition. His research has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New England Journal of Medicine and Science.

Here is Mary Cadden's review on Chatter in USA Today: "Citing myriad studies to forward his thesis, Kross includes extensive notes but never leaves the reader drowning in data. Kross keeps his argument simple and relatable. He shares his own experiences as well as those of well-known figures. From the biblical king Solomon to the NBA star LeBron 'the King' James, Kross shows us how both they and he either escalated negative chatter or mitigated it. Celebrities, they're just like us!"

Here is Boswellian Tim McCarthy's recommendation: "I haven’t read many books from the self-help section of our store, but I’m truly glad I read this one! Kross is a smooth and entertaining writer, blending top-flight brain research with compelling real-life stories to give us a fast-paced manual for using our inner voice in ways that reduce stress. The book fascinated me, and it actually helped me. As the director of the Emotion and Self Control Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Kross is always looking for better scientific understandings of the human brain. He respects the mindfulness movement, but he also understands that consciousness is the greatest adaptation we've developed, allowing us to look at ourselves in order to create and plan and problem solve. The trouble is, for many of us, that chatter too often takes control. Ruminating, negative "thought spirals" drag us down. Kross is very open about how this sometimes happens to him, and he tells great stories about people we know from popular culture. The graceful mix of amazing research studies and anecdotes comes together in a toolbox for controlling the conversations we have with ourselves, and now he's piloting a promising curriculum for children based on his work. Thank you, Ethan Kross!:

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, curator and facilitator. She is also the new Wisconsin Poet Laureate, having previously been Milwaukee Poet Laureate. Her latest book is Life in Short.

Photo credits!
Lauren Fox by Rachel Dickman
J. Courtney Sullivan by Michael Lionstar
Ethan Kross by Meredith Heuer
Dasha Kelly Hamilton by VaNa Barki

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