Monday, April 19, 2021

Boswell events - Amy E Reichert, Patricia Skalka, Jennifer Billock, plus MPL Friends Kiley Reid lunch, JCC's Rachel Biale, AF Milwaukee's Pamela Druckerman

Here's what's happening (virtually) at Boswell this week. I've read four of the six books we're featuring this week.

Monday, April 19, 7 pm
Amy E Reichert, author of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club - on sale tomorrow!
in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Register for this event here

Yesterday I drove to Books and Company in Oconomowoc to get our copies of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club signed by Amy E Reichert. I got to chat with her mom there, and later in the day, I traded emails with her mother-in-law. You can only imagine that Reichert's books are as much as about family as they are about romance. And ghosts too. Reichert's latest novel takes a turn for the supernatural as heroine Sabrina's family, the women at least, can talk to spirits who are stuck on the Earth with unfinished business. It's their mission to solve the problems of the deceased so they can go on to the next place. But one ghost, Molly, can't seem to be helped.

I really enjoyed this part of the book, but I'd be lying if I didn't note that at its heart, The Kindred Spirits Supper Club is a romantic comedy. Sabrina Monroe has moved back to Wisconsin Dells after the loss of her journalism job, and yes, she meets cute at a water park. Ray has moved back to, to be closer to his uncle and start up a supper club. And yes, Sabrina's old demon shows up too. She's not supernatural, just an old high school bully.

If you are one of the millions of people obsessed with the Hallmark-Lifetime-Netflex Christmas movie explosion, you're going to love this book. I can't see how they wouldn't want to adapt this, especially because small town Wisconsin has become a popular setting for return from the big city romances.

Want to know more? Read Jim Higgins's review in the Journal Sentinel. To quote: "Reichert handles the ghosts (there are multiple) deftly, using them to advance plot, reveal character and spark humor. A long flashback about Molly's life generations ago is a neat historical interlude that brings the Dells of the '20s back to life, including a visit to the famed H.H. Bennett photography studio."

Our copies are signed. You can purchase a personalized copy from Books & Company.

Wednesday, April 21, 7 pm
Patricia Skalka, author of Death Washes Ashore: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery
in Conversation with Barry Wightman for A Virtual Event
Register here for this event.

We should have called this week genre Wisconsin - we've got everything but some Badger high fantasy and vampire horror. But maybe ghosts fit that bill. I wouldn't be surprised if the LARP resort in Patricia Skalka's latest mystery didn't have a script that involved Wisconsin monsters.

In Death Washes Ashore, a storm along the coast brings the usual amount of damage, as well as one unusual piece of flotsam - a wrecked boat complete with a dead body. It turns out the victim had just started a live-action-role-play (LARP) resort on a former farm, and he's already gotten his share of noise complaints from the neighbor. It also turns out that the guy had a lot of enemies, and so did his family. Oh, and did I mention he's dressed in a knight's armor?

Note that while it's before pub date, so the book doesn't show up on our website, it's available now for purchase. 

As Publishers Weekly noted: "Finding the murderer is complicated by the close-knit neighborhood, since one serious suspect is the godfather of one of the sheriff’s assistants and another used to babysit for the Cubiaks. The local color is the book’s main attraction."

Patricia Skalka's books are great road trip reading, and from what I hear, we're going to be doing a lot of them this summer. She's talking to Barry Wightman, novelist and President of the Wisconsin Writer Association.

Thursday, April 22, 2 pm
Jennifer Billock, author of Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee
In conversation with Daniel Goldin for a virtual event 
Register for this event here

Writer and editor Jennifer Billock joins us for a virtual conversation featuring her latest book, which offers a glimpse into the classic restaurant scene of the Cream City. In preparation for this event, I followed up reading Classics Restaurants of Milwaukee (which brought back my own Milwaukee restaurant memories). I knew she had done archival research for the book, but I was curious about who she was able to talk to directly about the subject.

It turns out that so many of the businesses were happy to share their histories, from Old Town Serbian and the Five O'Clock Steakhouse to Solly's and Zaffiro's. For some of our lost treasures, Billock was able to talk to past customers, including Watt's Tea Room, Coffee Trader, and even the Public Natatorium. There's one restaurant I wish I'd been to before it closed!

Now if I could only remember the name of the classic old cafeteria on West Wisconsin Avenue that Mrs. Schwartz told me about. And no, I'm not talking about the Woolworth's. I hope I'll figure this out by Thursday!

Friday, April 23, 12 pm
Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age - on sale tomorrow
in conversation with Chloe Benjamin for a virtual event
Tickets here  

If this were in person, it would probably too late to make a reservation to the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Luncheon, but being that it's not, I'm guessing reservations are still available. The grab-and-go lunch from the Wisconsin Club is no longer available, alas.

This is going to be such a great event. I've actually been looking forward to it for more than a year, as Chloe Benjamin was initially meant to be in conversation with Kiley Reid for the hardcover of Such a Fun Age last March. I remember the date - March 19. Everything then was cancelled one event at a time as the theme from Jaws played in the background.

Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. and winner of an NAACP Image Award. And yes, a selection of the Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club.

The other great thing about a virtual lunch is that with the costs being lower, much more of your ticket goes to the fabulous cause of buying books and other materials for Central Library and the neighborhood branches. Look for an appearance from Mayor Barrett and the new Milwaukee Public Library Director, Joan Johnson.

From my review: "Kiley Reid’s debut novel features a wonderfully engaging and wiser-than-she-thinks-she-is heroine and is alternatingly inspired, infuriating, hilarious, and thought-provoking, touching on race, class, gender, friendship, dating, and motherhood, and filled with a whole mess of bad advice from everyone concerned. Lots of bad advice!" One of my favorite books of 2020!

Independent Bookstore Day
Saturday, April 24, 10 am – 5 pm
The last Saturday of April is Independent bookstore day! Be sure to stop by your favorite Milwaukee Indie to celebrate this most bookish of holidays.

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country. Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. At Boswell Book Company, we’ll have giveaways, outside games, and more. We have a prize wheel!

Two more cosponsorships.

Tues April 20, 7:30 pm
Rachel Biale, author of Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood
a virtual Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center event 
Register here for this event.

Rachel Biale has written informative memoir of kibbutz life that reveal a piece of Israel's early story that should not be forgotten. Linked stories about growing up on a kibbutz in Israel in the 1950s and 60 also offer a window into the lives of the adult kibbutz members, including Holocaust survivors. Biale is author of Women and Jewish Law: The Essential Texts, Their History, and Their Relevance Today. She grew up on Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in Israel.

Pamela Druckerman, author of Paris by Phone
a virtual Alliance Française de Milwaukee event
Wednesday, April 21, 2 pm
Email Erin at AF to register for this event.

Pamela Druckerman will chat about her latest work, a whimsical adventure that little travelers and little homebodies will love! When Josephine Harris decides that Paris is where she really belongs, all it takes is a quick call on her magical phone to whisk her away. The city of lights has fancy cafés, baguettes under every arm, the Eiffel Tower, and a fabulous new family who can't wait to show her around. The city is a feast for the senses, but each new discovery brings a pang of melancholy. There's something missing here. Could it be the person who loves Josephine's best - her own mother? Druckerman is also author of Bringing Up Bébé.

This week's sponsors above. More on the Boswell upcoming event page.

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