Monday, October 11, 2021

What a Boswell Week! Christine Pride and Jo Piazza, Todd Doughty, Anthony Doerr, Mike Duncan (signing only), Andrew J Graff (at Elm Grove Library)

Boswell events for the week of October 11, 2021

Monday, October 11, 7 pm
Christine Pride and Jo Piazza, authors of We Are Not Like Them
in Conversation with Nancy Johnson for a Virtual Event
Register for this event here.

Join us for an evening with Pride and Piazza, coauthors of a powerful and poignant new novel that explores race in America today and its devastating impact on two childhood friends, one Black and one white. In conversation with Nancy Johnson, author of The Kindest Lie. Don't forget to ask foryour signed bookplate.

Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young and, after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia. But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager.

On getting the Philadelphia setting for the book just right, from Philadelphia Magazine: " There were little things that Jo insisted on getting into the book that Christine didn’t get. There’s a line about how people in Philly ask where you went to high school before they ask what you do - Christine tried to take it out a dozen times, and Jo was insistent." This is also a St. Louis thing. I've never noticed it in MilwAUkee.

Christine Pride has held editorial posts at imprints such as Doubleday, Crown, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. She pens the Race Matters column for Cup of Jo. Jo Piazza is author of books such as Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, How to Be Married, and The Knockoff. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN.

Tuesday, October 12, 6 pm
Todd Doughty, author of Little Pieces of Hope: Happy-Making Things in a Difficult World
in conversation with Chelsea Cain and Chuck Palahniuk for a virtual event
Register for this event here.

Boswell Book Company presents an event featuring Todd Doughty for his new book, Little Pieces of Hope, an enchanting collection of lists, musings, and illustrations that will inspire you to cherish all of the things, from the extraordinary to the everyday, that bring hope into our lives. Don't forget to ask for your signed bookplate. This event is brought to you by Watermark Books & Café of Wichita, Anderson's Book Shop of Naperville and Downer's Grove, and Boswell.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, and our lives began to change in unprecedented ways. Todd Doughty knew he needed to do something to help him stay connected to the everyday joys of daily life. So he wrote down a list of things that make him happy: The musical intro to All Things Considered. Someone forgiving you. Someone believing in you. Your foot sticking out from under a blanket in order to find the cool spot. Freshly cut yellow tulips. A really good burger.

From Associated Press: "This should be a book you keep around when you need a little jolt, something to lift you up if you’re feeling down. As even Doughty suggests in the opening pages, you can read the book in order or flip to random pages." (This link is to ABC News)

Todd Doughty is currently SVP, Deputy Publisher of Doubleday and has worked at Penguin Random House for more than two decades. Doughty is a graduate of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and former bookseller.

I love the fact that one of our delightful customers worked with both Christine Pride and Todd Doughty when they were both at Doubleday!

Wednesday, October 13, 7 pm
Anthony Doerr, author of Cloud Cuckoo Land
in Conversation with Quan Barry for a Ticketed Virtual Event
Tickets for the event here.

Boswell Book Company is thrilled to host the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See. Doerr joins us for a conversation about his latest novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land, which is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. Doerr will be in conversation with Quan Barry, Professor of English at UW-Madison and author of the novels We Ride Upon Sticks and She Weeps Each Time You're Born. Cosponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library.

Tickets cost $30, and each includes a copy of Cloud Cuckoo Land and admission for one electronic device. Signed copies and bookplates no longer available. $5 from each ticket will be donated back to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, in the spirit of Cloud Cuckoo Land's celebration of libraries.

From Marcel Theroux in The New York Times: "Cloud Cuckoo, among other things, a paean to the nameless people who have played a role in the transmission of ancient texts and preserved the tales they tell. But it’s also about the consolations of stories and the balm they have provided for millenniums. It’s a wildly inventive novel that teems with life, straddles an enormous range of experience and learning, and embodies the storytelling gifts that it celebrates. It also pulls off a resolution that feels both surprising and inevitable, and that compels you back to the opening of the book with a head-shake of admiration at the Swiss-watchery of its construction."

The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are trying to figure out the world around them: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour in an attack on a public library in present-day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for an exoplanet, decades from now. An ancient text - the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky - provides solace and mystery to these unforgettable characters. Doerr has created a tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness - with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us and those who will be here after we’re gone. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship - of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

Anthony Doerr is author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Carnegie Medal, as well as The Shell Collector and Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O Henry Prizes, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, and the Story Prize. Quan Barry is author of two novels and four poetry books, including Water Puppets, winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and a PEN/Open Book finalist. She has received NEA Fellowships in both fiction and poetry and is the author of a new novel, out February 2022, titled When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East. 

Thursday, October 14, 4 pm
Mike Duncan, author of Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
Outdoor Book Signing
Register for this signing here.

Mike Duncan, the bestselling author of The Storm Before the Storm and host of the Revolutions podcast, is coming to Boswell for an outdoor book signing. His latest book tells the thrilling story of the Marquis de Lafayette’s lifelong quest to defend the principles of liberty and equality. Admission to the signing line is free with purchase of Hero of Two Worlds or $5, which can be applied to any other book purchase at Boswell. Please note that Mike Duncan is not giving a talk at this event.

Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist. From enthusiastic youth to world-weary old age, from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair, Lafayette never stopped fighting for the rights of all mankind. His remarkable life is the story of where we come from, and an inspiration to defend the ideals he held dear.

From The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Duncan’s Hero of Two Worlds offers, in readable prose, much informative description alongside measured interpretation. The author’s sympathetic yet balanced and sensible rendering, some may think, mirrors Lafayette’s eventful life in a revolutionary age." And from Adam Gopnick in The New Yorker: "Duncan’s biography is written in a loose, colloquial style that sometimes startles with its informality but more often delights with its directness."

Mike Duncan is author of The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic, and his award-winning series, The History of Rome, remains a landmark in the history of podcasting. Duncan’s current podcast series, Revolutions, explores the great political revolutions that have driven the course of modern history.

Saturday, October 16, 1 pm
Andrew J Graff, author of Raft of Stars
In Person at Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd
Register for this event here.

Elm Grove Public Library, along with Boswell Book Company, present an afternoon with Wisconsin native Andrew J Graff, author of Raft of Stars, the debut novel that Richard Russo calls “a rousing adventure yarn full of danger and heart and humor.” When two hardscrabble young boys think they’ve committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults trying to find and protect them reach them before it’s too late? Please click here to visit the Elm Grove Public Library website and register for this event.

Raft of Stars was one of our big books of spring, it's going to make a great holiday gift. If you bought a copy from us and didn't paste in your signed bookplate, maybe you should head over to Elm Grove for the event.  

Andrew J Graff grew up in in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Graff earned an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, teaches at Wittenberg University, and has published work in Image and Dappled Things.

More at Boswell's upcoming events page.

Photo credit
Christine Pride and Jo Piazza by Bench
Nancy Johnson by Nina Subin
Todd Doughty by Michael Lionstar
Chuck Palahniuk by Alan Amato
Mike Duncan by Brandi Duncan

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