Monday, May 2, 2022

Six events this week: Don Lee (virtual) , Michele Borba (USM), Michelle Huneven (Books & Co, Boswell, broadcast), Terri Libenson (Greenfield Library), Juneau Black (Boswell), Michael Benson (virtual)

Tuesday, May 3, 7 pm
Don Lee, author of The Partition
in conversation with Liam Callanan for a virtual event - click here to register!

Boswell presents an event with Don Lee, author of books such as Lonesome Lies Before Us and Wrack and Ruin, whose new story collection spans decades and continents as it explores Asian American identity. For this event, Lee will be in conversation with UWM Professor of English Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book.

Lee’s first story collection since his landmark debut, Yellow, this is an exploration of Asian American identity, featuring with characters who are presumptive model minorities in the arts, academia, and media. Spanning decades, these nine novelistic stories traverse an array of cities, from Tokyo to Boston, Honolulu to El Paso, touching upon transient encounters in local bars, restaurants, and hotels. Culminating in a three-story cycle about a Hollywood actor, The Partition incisively examines heartbreak, identity, family, and relationships, the characters searching for answers to universal questions: Where do I belong? How can I find love? What defines an authentic self?

From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan: "The Partition is flat-out brilliant: a witty,kaleidoscopic tear through questions of race and identity in America today by a writer who has wrought luminous fiction from these issues for years. Don Lee’s collection offers vivid, entertaining proof that ethnicity is never straightforward or easy - no matter who we are, or where we stand."

Don Lee is the author of the story collection Yellow and novels such as Country of Origin, Wrack and Ruin, and The Collective. He has received an American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, May 3, 7 pm
Michele Borba, author of Thrivers : The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine
In-Person at University School of Milwaukee, 2100 W Fairy Chasm Road
Registration is required to attend this event, so click here and sign up now! You can order a copy of Thrivers now, too. We’ll also be on hand at the event to sell copies of the book.

REDgen and USM present an evening with Today Show contributor and psychologist Michele Borba, author of Thrivers, for a talk entitled “How to Help the Pandemic Generation Thrive Now and Later.”

Michele Borba is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, and moral development. Her practical, research-based advice is culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide. In this session, Borba explains why empathy and resilience are core when educators and parents are considering how to help their children before and after school. Learn real, no cost, evidence-based ways to help children overcome adversity, be more resilient and learn skills they will need both now and later. Borba will offer a range of support options, including how to rebuild personal connection after experiencing disconnection, how to teach coping strategies, and minimizing anxiety. Most important, you’ll leave with strategies to improve school performance as well as help kids become thrivers both now and later.

Michele Borba is author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About Me World and a regular NBC contributor. She has been featured on Dateline, The View, NBC Nightly News, among many others.

Wednesday, May 4, 2 pm at Books & Company, 1039 Summit Ave, Oconomowoc
and 6:30 pm at Boswell Book Company
Michelle Huneven, author of Search
in conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin

Join us for the first In-Person edition of our Readings from Oconomowaukee program, hosted in partnership with Books & Company of Oconomowoc. Michelle Huneven, author of Search, a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes. In conversation with Goldin of Boswell and Baudoin of Books & Company.

Please note that there are two events featuring Huneven. Wherever you attend, be sure to order your copy of Search right now! Click here to order from Boswell, or here to order from Books & Company.

From critically-acclaimed author Huneven comes a novel that’s a real charmer: an irresistible cast of characters, funny, smart, with a deep well of feeling. Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer and a longtime member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation in Southern California. Just as she’s finishing the book tour for her latest bestseller, Dana is asked to join the church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience. That memoir, Search, follows the travails of the committee and their candidates - and becomes its own media sensation.

This wry and wise tale will speak to anyone who has ever gone searching, and James Beard Award–winning author Michelle Huneven’s food writing and recipes add flavor to the delightful journey. From Kirkus Reviews: "Huneven shows her range with a folksy, funny fifth novel on the unlikely subject of how bad decisions happen to good committees… tender, salty, and worthy of note." And from Daniel: "If you had asked me for a shortlist of compelling plots for a novel, I would not have come up with this one, but I would have been dead wrong, and not just because whenever I describe it to someone, I often get the response: I would read that! Search is a wonderful novel filled with vibrant characters, essential philosophical questions (most notably, what do we want from life?), and a cornucopia of foodie delights."

Michelle Huneven is the author of four novels: Round Rock, Jamesland, Blame, and Off Course. Her books have been New York Times Notable Books and finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a James Beard Award for feature writing with recipes, and received her master's in fine arts from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She teaches writing at University of California, Los Angeles.

Bonus: Register and attend and get a Classy Girl "brunch meeting" mini-cupcake. We'll have carrot cake, banana chocolate chip, and blueberry French toast. These are excellent cupcakes!

Thursday, May 5, 6:30 pm
Terri Libenson, author of Remarkably Ruby
In-Person at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W Layton Ave - registration is required to attend.

Join us at Greenfield Public Library for a special evening with Terri Libenson featuring the latest installment of her New York Times bestselling Emmie & Friends series of graphic novels. Great for middle grade readers age 9 and up.

Ruby (aka Baked Bean Girl) is an outsider. She’s bigger than all of her classmates and a bit socially
awkward. But middle school takes a turn for the better when she’s asked to start a poetry club. Now others are starting to see that there is more to Ruby than meets the eye. And maybe Ruby realizes this too. Mia is a perfectionist. She must always have the right outfits, get good grades, and now she has to win her school class president election. The only thing, or person, ruining her perfect image is her former friend, Ruby. Libenson’s latest is a story about being more generous to ourselves and to others. Can these two ex-friends come back to each other?

As she has throughout the series, Libenson taps into middle grade readers' feelings as she explores friendships, identity, and family through these two characters in a unique, graphic-novel hybrid format with a satisfying twist ending. This is a moving and authentic story that captures the messiness and warmth of our most important friendships.

Terri Libenson is the Reuben Award-winning cartoonist of the syndicated comic strip The Pajama Diaries and author of the Emmie & Friends series.

Greenfield Public Library is one of our most popular partner destinations for kids events. It's conveniently located just off the I894/I43 60th St exit. 

Friday, May 6, 6:30 pm
Juneau Black, author of Mirror Lake
in conversation with Erica Ruth Neubauer, in-person at Boswell Book Company

Boswell presents an evening with Juneau Black, pen name of authors and former Boswellians Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel, to celebrate the release of the third book in the Shady Hollow series, Mirror Lake. Vera Vixen takes on her most challenging case yet: solving the murder of a rat who appears to still be alive. In conversation with Erica Ruth Neubauer, Milwaukee author of the Jane Wunderly mysteries.

Change is afoot in Shady Hollow, with an unusually tense election shaping up between long-serving Chief of Police Theodore Meade and Vera's beau, Deputy Orville Braun. But the political tension takes a back seat when resident eccentric Dorothy Springfield becomes convinced her beloved husband, Edward, is dead, and that the rat claiming to be him is actually a fraud. While most of the town dismisses Dorothy's rants as nothing more than a delusion, Vera has her doubts. More than a few things don't add up in the Springfield household, but Vera will have to tread carefully, since, with Orville's attention on the election, she may be more exposed than ever.

Daniel loves this series: "This latest cozy mystery is filled with everything that makes the Shady Hollow series a delight – charmingly eccentric characters, a surfeit of animal puns and clever turns of phrase, homey locales (I dream of a slice of pumpkin pie from Joe’s Mug), and a compelling story." And from Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce series: "Watership Down meets Mickey Spillane. A mystery of rare and sinister charm."

Juneau Black is the pen name of authors Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel. They share a love of excellent bookshops, fine cheeses, and good murders (in fictional form only). Though they are two separate people, if you ask either of them a question about their childhood, you are likely to get the same answer. This is a little unnerving for any number of reasons.

Monday, May 9, 7 pm

Boswell is pleased to present an evening with Michael Benson for his newest release, Gangsters vs. Nazis. Benson tells the stunning true story of the rise of Nazism in America during the 1930s and 1940s - and the fearless Jewish gangsters and crime families who joined forces to fight back.

With an intense cinematic style, acclaimed nonfiction crime author Michael Benson divulges the thrilling role of Jewish mobsters like Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel in stomping out the terrifying tide of Nazi sympathizers in the years leading to WWII. Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob's most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism - inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. This is the story of the mob that's rarely told - and one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime.

From Larry Alexander, author of the New York Times bestseller Biggest Brother: "From indoctrinating youth camps to jack-booted rallies promoting Adolf Hitler, pre-World War II America was threatened by the rise of Nazism. Gangsters vs. Nazis is a must-read, eye-opening account that brings to life the violent struggle between these home-brewed storm troopers and an army of unlikely patriots; gangs of fist-swinging Jewish mobsters willing to break bones and crack heads in order to turn back the Nazi menace."

Michael Benson is the author of more than sixty books, including the nonfiction crime titles Betrayal in Blood, Killer Twins, and The Devil at Genesee Junction. He is the co-author, along with Frank DiMatteo, of the acclaimed American Mafia history books Carmine the Snake, Mafia Hit Man, and Lord High Executioner. He regularly appears on ID: Investigation Discovery channel and is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award.

Photo credits: 
Don Lee by Jane Delury
Liam Callanan by Patrick Manning
Michelle Huneven by Courtney Gregg 

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