Monday, July 5, 2021

Events - Richard Marx, Katherine Addison, Christina Clancy

Here's what is virtually happening at Boswell this week.

Tuesday, July 6, 7 pm
Richard Marx, author of Stories to Tell: A Memoir
in Conversation with Duff McKagan for a Virtual Event
Tickets available here.

We are joining up with Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville and Downer's Grove and Left Bank Books of St. Louis to present an evening with Richard Marx, in conversation with Duff McKagan of Guns 'N Roses. Each ticket costs $24.30 plus tax and ticket fee and includes admission for one device to the event and a copy of Stories to Tell. Books can be picked up at Boswell, or shipped for an extra fee. As we say in the business, the event is bundled.

Richard Marx debuted in 1987 and seemed like he came out of nowhere to have four top ten hits off his first album, culminating in the #1 song "Hold on the Nights." But his story in the music business began writing songs and signing backing vocals, after leaving the Chicago suburbs for Los Angeles.

Here's my recommendation: "This is what you want in a music memoir – the story behind the songs, interesting details about recording sessions, crazy tour stories, a whole mess of name dropping (Luther Vandross telling Marx to take his hands off the cashmere walls? A feud with Kenny Loggins? Barbara Streisand rejected ‘Right Here Waiting’ because she doesn’t wait for anyone? All that and plenty more is in there), and the sense that the musician you’re reading about is basically a good egg. I’ve always been curious about how Marx’s breakout first single was about how the music business chews you up and spits you out; now that I know that he was pitching his songs and singing backing vocals for years before his first single, it makes sense. When Lionel Richie sang ‘All Night Long,’ who was responding with ‘All night’? That’s right, Richard Marx."

From 1975 to 2001, I kept track of every song I liked, documenting each track's rise and fall on my own personal chart. This is more common than you think. At one point, I had ten or so friends and acquaintances who were sharing their personal stats. The rise of the internet may have indirectly led to the demise of this hobby - I found a website with hundreds of personal charts. For some reason, it made me feel less like a tribe member and more like a cog. At the time, my two highest charting songs were "Don't Mean Nothing" and "Endless Summer Nights," but now, having listened to a lot of Richard Marx in the last few months, I have taken to "Hazard," which was his second biggest hit in the UK after "Right Here Waiting."

Richard Marx has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, is the only male artist whose first seven singles reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts, and has written on a number one single in each of the last four decades - an accolade previously only reached by Michael Jackson. He won a 2004 Song of the Year Grammy and has scored fourteen number-one singles, both as a performer and as a songwriter/producer. For many years he lived in Lake Bluff, Illinois, but is now back in Southern California.

Duff McKagan is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and founding member of bands such as Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver. He's also written online columns for Seattle Weekly, Playboy, and ESPN as well as a memoir titled It's So Easy: And Other Lies.

Wednesday, July 7, 7 pm
Katherine Addison, author of The Witness for the Dead
in conversation with Jim Higgins for a virtual event
Register for this event here

Wisconsin author Katherine Addison (also known as Sarah Monette) returns to Boswell virtually for a conversation with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Books Editor Jim Higgins about her new novel, a stand-alone sequel that returns readers to the fantastical world of The Goblin Emperor. We know Higgins is an Addison fan, and it seemed perfect to reunite the two, this time virtually. No geographic boundaries for these two!

Addison took the world by storm with her brilliant and sensitive characterizations in The Goblin Emperor. She continues to immerse readers in the lives of her exotic, yet ever-so-human characters in this delicious stand-alone sequel. When the half-goblin emperor sought to learn who killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his Court: a Witness for the Dead. Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it. Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honesty will not permit him to live quietly.

John Scalzi, author of Old Man’s War and Redshirts, says, "I've been wanting to return to the world of The Goblin Emperor from the moment I finished that book, and The Witness For the Dead does not disappoint. At once intimate and literally operatic, it's everything I love about Katherine Addison's writing, in ways I didn't know to expect. I loved it."

From Jim Higgins in the Journal Sentinel: "Witness is satisfying mystery fiction, but it is also strong fantasy, building a complex but believable society, including naming and linguistic conventions. It's gently steampunk: airships! In some pages, it's horror, as Celehar undertakes a frightening ordeal."

Katherine Addison is author of The Goblin Emperor, which won a Locus Award, and The Angel of the Crows. As Sarah Monette, she is the author of the Doctrine of Labyrinths series and co-author, with Elizabeth Bear, of the Iskryne series. Her short fiction has been selected by The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Addison lives near Madison, Wisconsin.

Thursday, July 8, 7 pm
Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season
in conversation with Liam Callanan for a virtual event
Register for this event here

Boswell and Books & Company present an evening with Christina Clancy, author of The Second Home and her latest novel, a coming-of-age story set in the 70s at the bygone Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. For this event, she will be in conversation with Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book.

A small town in Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life.

From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose - and gain - when we leave home. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart.

Jim Higgins talked to Clancy for the Journal Sentinel about how she got the idea for a book set in East Troy and a chance meeting with Bunny Jojo that gave life to the story.

Christina Clancy is author of The Second Home. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, and in literary journals like Glimmer Train, Pleiades, and Hobart. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and lives in Madison with her family. Liam Callanan is Professor of English at UWM; his additional books are The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and Listen: Stories.

More on the Boswell Upcoming Events page.

Photo credits
Richard Marx by Daisy Fuentes
Duff McKagan by Studio Dudelson
Christina Clancy by James Bartelt
Liam Callanan by Patrick Manning

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