Monday, September 5, 2022

Six upcoming events: Anna Lardinois (in-person), Maureen Kilmer (in-person), Jonathan Ames (in-person) plus virtual: Sangu Mandanna (virtual), Mike Mariani (virtual with Porchlight), Ann Cleeves (multistore virtual),

Virtual - Wednesday, September 7, 6 pm
Mike Mariani, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us: Who We Become After Tragedy and Trauma
in conversation with Sally Haldorson for a virtual event - click here to register

Boswell and Porchlight Book Company join forces to host a virtual event featuring journalist Mike Mariani and his new book, What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us, a deep examination of what happens after life-altering events, from car accidents to incarceration, and how we forge new identities when our lives are cleaved irrevocably into a before and after. In conversation with Porchlight’s Managing Director Sally Haldorson.

"What doesn't kill me makes me stronger," Nietzsche's famous maxim goes. But how much truth is there to that omnipresent statement? Tracing the lives of six people who have experienced catastrophic, life-changing events, journalist Mike Mariani explores the nuances and largely uncharted territory of what happens after one's life is cleaved into a before and after. If what doesn't kill us doesn't necessarily make us stronger, he asks, what does it make us?

Robert Kolker, author of Hidden Valley Road, calls the book: "A bold and intricate exploration of catastrophe as not just… a test case for resilience, but something that completely reinvents us - a reincarnation." And from Leslie Jamison: "This book gave me chills, over and over again, and its subjects - whose lives are documented with grace, insight, and compassion - will stay with me forever. If you listen closely, this book will ask you to reexamine everything you believe

about incarceration, injury, tragedy, and joy - and to think harder about how we might all do better, as individuals and institutions, to support the thriving of every human life."

Mike Mariani has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for outlest including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate on topics as varied as the ethical quandary of expert witnesses in criminal cases involving mental illness, the opioid crisis and its impact on mortality rates, and the neuroscience of inequality.

Virtual - Thursday, September 8, 5 pm
Ann Cleeves, author of The Rising Tide
in conversation with Paula Munier for a virtual event - click here to register

Boswell Book Company joins in with several independent bookstores around the country to present an evening featuring British author Ann Cleeves, the much-loved and often-adapted-for-television writer, who visits for a chat about her latest Vera Stanhope novel, The Rising Tide. In conversation with Paula Munier.

Please note that a recording of this event will not be available after it's over. 

Ann Cleeve’s stunning tenth installation in the Vera Stanhope series explores guilt, betrayal, and the secrets people keep. For fifty years a group of friends have met for reunions on Holy Island, celebrating their first school trip together and the friend that they lost to the rising causeway tide five years later. When one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder.

Louise Penny says, "Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers." And from The New York Times: "Who doesn't love ‘large and shabby’ Vera Stanhope, the blunt detective in Ann Cleeves's Northumberland police procedurals? She is already one of the genre immortals."

Ann Cleeves is the New York Times bestselling author behind two hit television series, Shetland and Vera.

In Person - Thursday, September 8, 6:30 pm
Anna Lardinois, author of Madison Ghosts and Legends
in-person at Boswell Book Company - click here to register

Boswell is pleased to welcome Gothic Milwaukee founder Anna Lardinois back to the shop for an event featuring her latest book of spooks and specters, Madison Ghosts and Legends, in which she recounts the ghastliest tales of our state’s capitol city.

From restless spirits roaming the UW campus to ghostly Confederate soldiers lingering at Camp Randall Stadium, Madison is filled with otherworldly entities. Spirits do not rest in peace at Taliesin, and the tragedies that occurred on the Capitol grounds shed light on the building's numerous paranormal reports. The city's outskirts are just as eerie.

From the prowling Beast of Bray Road to what is thought to be Wisconsin's most haunted bar, a spine-tingling location is never far away. Discover some of Madison’s most macabre tales.

Anna Lardinois is author of Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends, Storied and Scandalous Wisconsin, and Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes as well as several Spooky America titles for young readers, including The Ghostly Tales of Milwaukee. Lardinois founded the Gothic Milwaukee haunted historical walking tours and happily resides in a historic home in Milwaukee that, at this time, does not appear to be haunted.

In Person - Friday, September 9, 6:30 pm
Maureen Kilmer, author of Suburban Hell
in-person at Boswell - click here to register.

Boswell Book Company hosts an evening with Maureen Kilmer, author of Suburban Hell, a new horror-comedy novel that’s Bad Moms meets My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Four moms' friendship is tested when a demon moves in next door.

A Midwestern cul-de-sac is about to get a new neighbor, one of the demonic sort. After Amy left the city and moved to the suburbs, she found her place quickly with neighbors Liz, Jess, and Melissa, snarking together from the outskirts of the PTA crowd. One night during their monthly wine get-together, the crew concoct a plan for a clubhouse She Shed in Liz’s backyard. But the night after they christen the She Shed, things start to feel… off. They didn’t expect Liz’s little home-improvement project to release a demonic force that turns their quiet enclave into something out of a nightmare.

Early praise comes from Samantha Downing, author of My Lovely Wife, who says: "Maureen Kilmer strikes the perfect balance in Suburban Hell. This is a scary, thrilling, and funny ride through a neighborhood nightmare. The pages turn themselves, you can’t stop reading this one." And from Rachel Harrison, author of Such Sharp Teeth: "A savvy, wildly relatable horror-comedy about suburban angst and the bonds of friendship, that serves chilling scares and genuine laughs. Massively entertaining and fun as hell!"

Maureen Kilmer graduated from Miami University, Ohio, and lives in the Chicago suburbs. Suburban Hell is her horror debut, and she has written two Lake Geneva-set novels under the name Maureen Leurck.

Virtual - Saturday, September 10, 11 am
Sangu Mandanna, author of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
in conversation with Rachel Copeland for a virtual event - click here to register

Boswell hosts a virtual event featuring Sangu Mandanna, author of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, a warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a new family - and a new love - changes the course of her life. Mandanna joins us all the way from England for a virtual conversation with Rachel Copeland of Boswell Book Company.

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules... with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos 'pretending' to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously. But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and soon peril comes knocking at the Nowhere House’s door.

Here’s Rachel’s take: "Mika Moon is lonely; it's the reality of being a modern witch. When she's invited to a mysterious place called Nowhere House to tutor three young witches, she should refuse, but she doesn't. In a house run by a housekeeper, a groundskeeper and his retired actor husband, and a grumpy (and gorgeous) librarian for an absentee archeologist who fosters the girls, Mika is the only person who can help the girls control their magic. Now all Mika has to do is keep the girls' feet on the ground (literally!) and her heart guarded from something she shouldn't want - to love and be loved. Finally, a witch book that really nails it! The magic in this book is that perfect balance of wicca-ish and Sabrina the Teenage Witch silliness, but the real winner is the human element of found family. Mandanna's writing is relentlessly charming - mark me down as devotee!"

Sangu Mandanna is author of Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom and many other novels about magic, monsters, and myths.

In Person - Monday, September 12, 6:30 pm 
Jonathan Ames, author of The Wheel of Doll
in-person at Boswell - click here to register

Novelist Jonathan Ames, creator of HBO’s Bored to Death, appears at Boswell for an evening featuring his latest novel, the second Happy Doll mystery, in which a badly scarred detective with a new philosophy takes on a fresh case. Ames visited us virtually last year for his first installment of this series and he’s a one-of-a-kind – check out the video of that event here.

Down to his last kidney after the previous caper, Happy Doll is back in business. When a beguiling young woman turns up at his door, it seems Doll’s past has also come knocking. Mary DeAngelo is searching for her estranged mother, a singular and troubled woman Doll once loved. The last he’d seen her she’d been near-death: arms slit like envelopes. She survived but vanished shortly thereafter. Now, Mary claims she’s alive and has made contact, only to disappear once again. Although his psychoanalyst would discourage it, Doll takes the case. But as the investigation deepens, there are questions he can’t shake.

Wholly original, this book follows Happy from LA to Washington and back again on a journey that gets wilder and woolier with each turn. Praise for the series includes this, from Lee Child: "Quirky, edgy, charming, funny, and serious, all in one. Very highly recommended." And from Boswellian Chris Lee: "This is crime fiction the way it was meant to be: sly, sad, and a little weird. And I love it."

Jonathan Ames is the author of I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, and most You Were Never Really Here, which was adapted into the acclaimed film starring Joaquin Phoenix. He's the creator of two television series, Blunt Talk and Bored to Death, and has had two amateur boxing matches, fighting as 'The Herring Wonder.' 

Photo credits
Mike Mariani by Diana Jahns Photography
Ann Cleeves by David Hirst
Maureen Kilmer by Meagan Shuptar
Jonathan Ames by Anne Thornton

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