Monday, October 17, 2022

Six upcoming events: Kieran Setiya (virtual with Porchlight), Andrea Bartz at Elm Grove Public Library, Paul Salsini, Joe Meno, Nora McInerny, and Michail Takach and BJ Daniels (all at Boswell!)

Monday, October 17, 6 pm
Kieran Setiya, author of Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way
in Conversation with Sally Haldorson for a virtual event - click here to register

Boswell Book Company teams up again with Porchlight Book Company to present a virtual event featuring MIT Professor of Philosophy and author Kieran Setiya for a conversation about his philosophical new guide to facing life's inevitable hardships. In conversation with Sally Haldorson, Porchlight’s Managing Director.

There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy as well as fiction, history, memoir, film, comedy, social science, and stories from Setiya’s own experience, Life Is Hard is a book for this moment, a work of solace and compassion.

Setiya’s book is great for fans of Atomic Habits. Daniel H Pink, author of Drive, says: "Kieran Setiya has produced the ultimate handbook of hardship. He shows why adversity is inevitable - and why facing up to that reality, rather than insisting on simple-minded notions of happiness, offers the only path to living well." And from Louis Menand, author of The Metaphysical Club: "Finding wisdom in Aristotle, Wittgenstein, and Simone Weil, and also in Dostoevsky, Emily Dickinson, and Groundhog Day, this book offers guidance on how to make the most of the hand we have all been dealt."

Kieran Setiya is Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author Midlife: A Philosophical Guide. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksThe New York Times, and The Yale Review.

Monday, October 17, 7 pm
Andrea Bartz, author of We Were Never Here
in conversation with Noah Weckwerth, in-person at Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd - click here to register

Elm Grove Public Library hosts an evening of conversation with Milwaukee-area native Andrea Bartz, author of the Reese’s Book Club pick We Were Never Here, in which a backpacking trip leads to deadly consequences across three continents as the story traverses Cambodia, Chile, and Wisconsin. In conversation with Noah Weckwerth of Elm Grove Public Library and cosponsored by Boswell Book Company.

Emily is having the time of her life in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to the room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year's trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can't believe it's happened again - can lightning really strike twice? Emily returns home to Wisconsin, dives head-first into a new relationship, and throws herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past.

From Sarah Weinman, writing for The New York Times Book Review: "A book that skillfully examines toxic friendship at its most extreme... When the reckoning arrives, it shows that sometimes, we should fear our friends a lot more than strangers." And from NPR: "Beneath the thrilling cliffhangers and impeccably paced plot lies a very sharp portrait of female friendship and how magical and intense it can be."

Andrea Bartz is the bestselling author of the thrillers The Lost Night and The Herd. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street JournalVogue, and Elle, and she has held editorial positions at GlamourPsychology Today, and Self, among other publications.

Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 pm
Paul Salsini, author of Sondheim & Me: Revealing a Musical Genius
in conversation with Mike Fischer, in-person at Boswell - click here to register

Milwaukee journalist and writer Paul Salsini, the Founder and Editor of The Sondheim Review, which was the only publication devoted solely to Sondheim's work during his lifetime, visits for a conversation about his new memoir, Sondheim & Me, which details Salsini’s unique relationship with the groundbreaking American musical composer. In conversation with theater critic Mike Fischer. Masks required at this event.

Salsini’s memoir chronicles his relationship with Stephen Sondheim during his time working on The Sondheim Review. The magazine began in 1994 and Salsini shares his unique experiences interviewing, corresponding with, and speaking on the phone with the composer-lyricist through the entire next decade.

Sondheim & Me looks into Sondheim's early work, shares personal letters and interview excerpts, and collects Sondheim's own special insights into his work, often as a reaction to pieces appearing in The Sondheim Review. Salsini describes the musical genius and his working approach in revealing detail, while emphasizing Sondheim's lifelong passion and success in raising the standards of musical theater with innovative, influential, and sometimes provocative new shows.

Paul Salsini is author of ten novels set in Tuscany. Salsini is a graduate of Marquette University and worked as a writer, editor, and staff development director for The Milwaukee Journal for more than three decades. He also served as the Wisconsin correspondent for The New York Times. He is a writing coach and gives presentations on musical theater.

Wednesday, October 19, 6:30 pm
Joe Meno, author of Book of Extraordinary Tragedies
in conversation with Coe Douglas, in-person at Boswell - click here to register.

Boswell welcomes back Joe Meno, author of books such as The Great Perhaps and Hairstyles of the Damned, for his latest, Book of Extraordinary Tragedies, a moving novel about the impossibility of fate and family. In conversation with Milwaukee artist and writer Coe Douglas.

Siblings and former classical music prodigies Aleksandar and Isobel were forced to abandon their musical ambitions at a young age. Now in their twenties and doomed by a family history of failure, the two have all but given up. But when an illness forces Isobel to move home to far southside Chicago, she begins playing cello again as Aleksandar comes to see a world of possibility and wonder in the lives of his extraordinarily complicated family.

Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels, says: "I don’t know how Joe Meno does it - if I did know, I’d copy him. This book has such velocity that it generates wind, yet it is meditative and steeped in love, music, and human connection. It’s stunning."

Joe Meno is author of novels and short story collections such as Marvel and a Wonder, The Boy Detective Fails, and Hairstyles of the Damned. He’s been awarded the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is a professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago.

Nora McInerny, author of Bad Vibes Only: (and Other Things I Bring to the Table)
In-Person at Boswell
Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm - capacity is limited; click here to register

Boswell hosts an evening with Nora McInerny, host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking and author of books like No Happy Endings, for an event featuring her latest, a fun, raw essay collection called Bad Vibes Only: (and Other Things I Bring to the Table). This event is currently at capacity. Please check back to see if spaces open up. Walk-in registration may not be available, but we should be able to accommodate you on the signing line.

McInerny’s latest book is great for her fans as well as readers of Jenny Lawson and
Glennon Doyle - a poignant, hilarious collection of essays that offers not just a response to a society that tells us to live, laugh, love, but also a reminder that in a world where we are more connected to and observed by our peers than ever before, we still deserve the freedom to be ourselves. McInerny does not dance like no one is watching. In fact, she does not dance at all. She has captured the hearts of millions by discussing grief and loss with wit and warmth. Now, she turns her eye on our aggressively, oppressively optimistic culture, our obsession with self-improvement, and what it really means to live our lives online.

In essays that span her childhood to present, McInerny introduces us to her mind and her world while inviting us to more closely observe our own. We meet the people that challenge, question, and make her reflect on her own life, habits, and personality: her children, and their homework meltdowns, job searches, and online personalities; her college friend Kathleen, who now lives as a cloistered nun; and her uncle, a philosopher who has never used the internet.

Nora McInerny is author of It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too), The Hot Young Widows Club, and Bad Moms. She hosts the award-winning podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, has spoken on TED’s mainstage, and has contributed to publications like The New York Times, Slate, and Vox. She is very tall.

Monday, October 24, 6:30 pm
Michail Takach and BJ Daniels, coauthors of A History of Milwaukee Drag: Seven Generations of Glamour
in-person at Boswell Book Company - click here to register

Coauthors Michail Takach and BJ Daniels appear at Boswell for a conversation about their new book, A History of Milwaukee Drag, which celebrates Milwaukee’s place in the history and impact of drag queen culture.

For over a century, drag has been a force in Milwaukee nightlife. On June 7, 1884, "The Only Leon" brought the fine art of female impersonation to the Grand Opera Hall, launching a proud local legacy that continues today at This Is It, La Cage, Hamburger Mary's, D.I.X. and other venues.

Historians Takach and Daniels recognize that today's LGBTQ liberties were born from the strength, resilience, and resistance of yesterday's gender non-conforming pioneers. This is a long overdue celebration of those stories, including high-rolling hustler of the Fourth Ward "Badlands" Frank Blunt, over-the-top dinner theater drag superstar of the 1950s Adrian Ames, and "It Kid" Jamie Gays, first-ever Miss Gay Milwaukee and Latin community hero.

BJ Daniels has done hair and makeup work on set for film and video, taught the art of hairdressing as a licensed professional, and has covered Fashion Week in New York City. Daniels still works behind the chair, and lens, and performs in drag. Michail Takach is a reporter and communications professional who earned a masters in communications and history at UW-Madison. As the curator of the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project, Takach produces ongoing articles, documentaries and podcasts about local history.

Photo credits
Kieran Setiya by Caspar Hare
Andrea Bartz by Bill Wadman
Nora McInerny by Chelsey Werth

No comments: