Monday, July 11, 2022

Two remarkable events this week! Shelby Van Pelt for Readings from Oconomowaukee (virtual) and David Ellis for Look Closer (in person at Boswell)

Monday, July 11, 7 pm
Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
in conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a virtual event - click here to register! 

Readings from Oconomowaukee presents a virtual evening with Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures, a charming, witty, and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus. In conversation with Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company and Lisa Baudoin of Books & Company, our cohost for the event. Click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from Books & Company.

After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors - until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.

Daniel loves this book: "If you can say one thing about widowed aquarium cleaner Tova Sullivan, the once-again-jobless Cameron Passmore, and star-aquarium-attraction Marcellus the Octopus, it’s that they’ve all had their share of misfortune. Yes, this is a story of grief, of losses both recent and in the past. But it’s also a story of found family, of hope, and of purpose. Van Pelt infuses all her characters with grace, not just the protagonists but the members of Tova’s Knit-Wit social group, Cameron’s Aunt Jeanne (who raised him after his mom disappeared), and even the elusive developer who Cameron suspects is his father. But the star of the show is probably Marcellus, whose dexterity and wisdom never fails to inspire. Why haven’t I read Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus? And while I’m asking, why haven’t you read Remarkably Bright Creatures?"

Shelby Van Pelt's writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been featured in f(r)iction and Funny Pearls. Remarkably Bright Creatures, her debut novel, was inspired by her favorite aquarium as a child.

Why are we hosting this event twice? At our original program, we planned to broadcast Shelby Van Pelt's interview, but we had a problem with the audio. Being that Lisa Baudoin at Books & Company is also a fan of Remarkably Bright Creatures, we thought the best way to solve this problem was to schedule a virtual event. It turned out to be the right decision - we've got a lot of folks registered for the program!

Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 pm
David Ellis, author of Look Closer
in conversation with Ruth Jordan, in-person at Boswell - click here to register for this event

Illinois Appellate Court Justice and Edgar-winning author David Ellis visits with his brand new thriller, Look Closer, a wickedly clever and fast-paced novel of greed, revenge, obsession, and quite possibly the perfect murder. Great for fans of The Guest List and The Silent Patient. In conversation with Ruth Jordan, cofounder of Crimespree Magazine.

Part Gone Girl, part Strangers on a Train, Look Closer is a wild rollercoaster of a read that will have you questioning everything you think you know. Simon and Vicky couldn’t seem more normal: a wealthy Chicago couple, he a respected law professor, she an advocate for domestic violence victims. But when the body of a beautiful socialite is found hanging in a mansion in a nearby suburb, Simon and Vicky’s secrets begin to unravel. A secret whirlwind affair. A twenty-million-dollar trust fund about to come due. A decades-long grudge and obsession with revenge. These are just a few of the lies that make up the complex web...and they will have devastating consequences.

Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent, says: "A daring, brilliant thriller, full of characters you both love and hate and more unexpected turns than a mountain road at night without your headlights. Tremendous fun!" And from James Patterson: "You won’t forget this novel, and these characters - good and bad - for a long time."

David Ellis is author of ten novels, and coauthor of eight books with James Patterson. Ellis was sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District in 2014.

Photo credits
Shelby Van Pelt by Karen Forsythe 

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