Monday, July 25, 2022

Five wonderful events! Jennifer Chiaverini (at Greendale Public Library), Patricia Skalka (at Boswell), Batja Mesquita (virtual), Adriana Trigiani (Sharon Lynne Wilson Center), Decoteau J Irby (at Boswell)

Monday, July 25, 6:30 pm
Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Switchboard Soldiers
in-person at Greendale Public Library, 5647 Broad Street - click here to visit the Greendale Public Library website for registration information.

Boswell will be on hand at the event selling copies of this and Chiaverini’s other books, too. Please Note: Masks are required to be worn at all times during this event, at the author's request. 

Wisconsin’s own New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, Jennifer Chiaverini returns to the Milwaukee area for an evening with her latest, Switchboard Soldiers, a novel set during WWI about the very first women ever recruited into the US military.

In 1917, US Army Signal Corps needed telephone operators. At a time when women could not serve, nearly all well-trained operators were women. This is the story of four very different women who were among the very first to be sworn in - a group that could do their jobs six times as fast as the men they replaced. While mocked at by men at the time as the “hello girls,” the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps broke down gender barriers in the military, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

The risk of death was real - the women worked as bombs fell around them - as was the threat of the deadly Spanish Flu. Not all of the telephone operators would survive. Their story has never been the focus of a novel… until now.

Jennifer Chiaverini is author of acclaimed historical novels such as The Women’s March and Resistance Women as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives in Madison.

Tuesday, July 26, 6:30 pm
Patricia Skalka, author of Death Casts a Shadow
In-Person at Boswell Book Company - click here to register! 

Wisconsin mystery author Patricia Skalka returns to Boswell for an evening featuring the latest installment of her popular Dave Cubiak mysteries, which follow Sheriff Cubiak on his murder investigations throughout Door County.

Registration is required to attend this event – click here to visit to sign up. You can preorder your copy of Death Casts a Shadow now, too.

With Door County caught in the grip of a fierce winter storm, Sheriff Cubiak agrees to do a simple favor for a friend of his wife: he stops by to check in on an affluent widow with a questionable new suitor. His initial disquiet is easily dismissed - until she is found dead the next morning in her home. Lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs, clutching a valuable bronze sculpture, she points her outstretched hand in the direction of a nearby, nondescript ring.

It looks like an accidental fall, but later in the week, an explosion in an ice fishing shack on the frozen bay leads to the discovery of another body, burned beyond recognition. Was this the widow’s missing handyman? Could the two deaths be related? With what has become a hallmark for books in the series, past and present collide as Cubiak’s search for answers uncovers the sad legacy of loneliness and the disquieting links between wealth and poverty on the peninsula.

Patricia Skalka is author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series, which includes titles such as Death Stalks Door County, Death Rides the Ferry, and Death Washes Ashore. She divides her time between Milwaukee and Door County.

Thursday, July 28, 6 pm
Batja Mesquita, author of Between Us: How Cultures Create Emotions
in conversation with Sally Haldorson for a virtual event - click here to register

Boswell hosts a virtual event featuring social psychologist and pioneer of cultural psychology Batja Mesquita for a conversation about Between Us, her new book in which she argues that emotions are not innate, but made as we live our lives together. In conversation with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book Company, our cohost for this virtual event.

"How are you feeling today?" We may think of emotions as universal responses, felt inside, but Mesquita asks us to reconsider them through the lens of what they do in our relationships, both one-on-one and within larger social networks. From an outside-in perspective, readers will understand why pride in a Dutch context does not translate well to the same emotion in North Carolina, or why one’s anger at a boss does not mean the same as your anger at a partner in a close relationship. By looking outward at relationships at work, school, and home, we can better judge how our emotions will be understood, how they might change a situation, and how they change us.

Synthesizing original psychological studies and stories from peoples across time and geography, Mesquita skillfully argues that acknowledging differences in emotions allows us to find common ground, humanizing and humbling us all for the better. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, says: "Batja Mesquita’s work on culture and emotion is highly original and highly important and has been influential in shaping the science of emotion. It’s no surprise that Between Us is a groundbreaking book."

Batja Mesquita is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where she studies the role of culture in emotions, and of emotions in culture and society. She is also Director of the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology in Leuven. Mesquita spent her postdoctoral years at the University of Michigan, where she was part of the "culture and cognition group" that played a key role in the start of cultural psychology.

Saturday, July 30, 2 pm 
New Date! Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone
a ticketed, in-person Event at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 3270 Mitchell Park Dr

Our event featuring Adriana Trigiani at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center has a new date, and we are very happy to present her in support of her latest, The Good Left Undone, a lush, immersive novel about a hardworking family of Tuscan artisans with long-held secrets. Cosponsored by Books & Company of Oconomowoc, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and Boswell.

If you already purchased tickets for this event’s previous date, your tickets will be honored for the new date. Tickets are still available, cost $35 plus fees each, and include admission to the event and a copy of The Good Left Undone. Ticketholder books can be picked up at the event, or, if you prefer, pick up your book now at Boswell or Books & Company.

Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew.

Early readers are loving Trigiani’s latest. Jess Walter, author of The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins says, "The Good Left Undone is at once epic and intimate, a delightful novel about the mysterious lore of an unforgettable Italian family whose characters walk right off the page." And Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale, says, "Adriana Trigiani is a gifted, natural storyteller and The Good Left Undone is her at the top of her game. This beautiful, sweeping historical epic about three generations of women paints an exquisite portrait of love, loss, the ravages of time and the price a family pays for its secrets. Brava!"

Adriana Trigiani is author of twenty books, including The Shoemaker’s Wife. She is an award-winning playwright, television writer/producer, and filmmaker. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture adaptation of her novel, Big Stone Gap. Trigiani is Cofounder of the Origin Project and serves on the New York State Council on the Arts.

Sunday, July 31, 4 pm
Decoteau J Irby, author of Stuck Improving: Racial Equity and School Leadership and Magical Black Tears: A Protest Story
In-Person at Boswell - click here to register!

Creator, activist, and Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago Decoteau J Irby joins us at Boswell with his two latest books, Stuck Improving and Magical Black Tears.

With Stuck Improving, Irby analyzes the complex process of racial equity reform within K-12 schools. Those who accept the challenge of reform find themselves "stuck improving," caught in a perpetual dilemma of both making progress and finding ever more progress to be made. Rather than dismissing stuckness as failure, Irby embraces it as an inextricable part of the improvement process. This timely work contributes both to the practical efforts of equity-minded school leaders and to a deeper understanding of what the work of racial equity improvement truly entails.

With Magical Black Tears, Irby celebrates the resilience of Black communities and families. It acknowledges the role Black children’s creative imaginations play in fortifying us all against the harms of racism and injustice. Caregivers and educators who help children read about and discuss current events play a special role in nurturing their imaginations.

Decoteau J Irby’s work focuses on creating and sustaining organizations that contribute to Black people’s self-determined well-being, development, and positive life outcomes. He is Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.

Photo credits
Batja Mesquita by Eve Eysermans

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