Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Events--Andy Griffiths at Franklin Library Tonight, Brian Kimberling and World Book Night Reception Wednesday, Stuart Shea on Wrigley Field Thursday (Plus Eric Pankey at UWM), and Lois Ehlert on Saturday Afternoon.

April 14, 6 pm, at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road, 53132: Andy Griffiths, author of The 26-Story Treehouse, sequel of course to The 13-Story Treehouse, and perhaps most famously known for The Day My Butt Went Psycho.

Fun for ages 8 and up, The Treehouse series is about kids Andy and Terry, who live in a sprawling treehouse and write books. Packed with jokes and silly illustrations, The 26-Story Treehouse will take you on an unforgettable walk on the wild side.

Join Andy and Terry in their newly expanded treehouse, including a skate ramp, a mud-fighting arena, an anti-gravity chamber, an ice-cream parlor with 78 flavors run by an ice-cream serving robot called Edward Scooperhands and the Maze of Doom—a maze so complicated that nobody who has gone in has ever come out again… well, not yet, anyway. What are you waiting for? Come on up!

Did you know that Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular and well-loved children’s authors? He has written more than 25 books, including short stories, comic novels, nonsense verse, picture books, plays and a creative writing guide for students and teachers. Over the last 20 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, adapted for the stage and television, won more than 50 children’s choice awards and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.

We're excited to let you also know that among our school visits today for Andy Griffiths is one to Mitchell School in Racine, where a fire heavily damaged the school earlier this year. Hannah helped spearhead a fund drive for books, and we along with Griffith's publisher Macmillan, donated 34 sets of the Treehouse library to the school. More in the Racine Journal Times.

Wednesday, April 16, 7 pm, with a reception at 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Brian Kimberling, author of Snapper, as part of our pre-World Book Night Reception.

If you don't know about World Book Night, here's the time to find out. Here's the official info. Every year on April 23 (Shakespeare's birthday, 30- 35 books are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed World Book Night U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers.

After the book titles are announced, members of the public apply to personally hand out 20 copies of a particular title in their community. World Book Night U.S. vets the applications, and the givers are chosen based on their ability to reach light and non-readers. The selected givers choose a local participating bookstore or library from which to pick up the 20 copies of their book, and World Book Night U.S. delivers the books to these host locations.

Givers pick up their books in the week before World Book Night. On April 23rd, they give their books to those who don’t regularly read and/or people who don’t normally have access to printed books, for reasons of means or geography. Come tonight and learn a little more about World Book Night so you can volunteer for 2015!

We're suggesting that folks come this Wednesday evening for a short reception and an appearance by Brian Kimberling (photo credit Benedict Brain), author of Snapper, one of our favorite books of last year, now out in paperback. I think we had six staff recs on this book altogether, and even Margaret Atwood is said to have tweeted out her approval.

I came to Snapper with some misconceptions. For one thing, I thought that Nathan Lochmueller’s story was completely tied up with bird identification, when it turned out that not only is much of the book not set in the field, Nathan loses his gig before the end of the story when someone pushes him down a flight of stairs and his hearing is impacted.  My other mistake was thinking that Snapper is a collection of stories, but his paperback publisher insists it’s a novel, and it surely does revolve around one protagonist, with Nathan making a mess of his job, searching for birds and nests in the Southern Indiana forests.

Nathan is trying to stay tight with his old friends, but the relationships are sort of splintering, either because they are growing up or well, going crazy. And he’s got this slow burning love for Lola, whom he knew from high school, but started dating in college. The problem is that she’s almost always got another boyfriend somewhere. It’s not going to end great with her, you just know it, but it might end ok. So though I might quibble with calling this a novel, there’s a narrative arc and some conflict resolution, and when it’s combined with such a good-natured, observant, and often funny story, that’s enough for me.

Thursday, April 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Stuart Shea, author of Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Continuous Times of the Friendly Confines.

When Boswellian Jannis told me about the revised edition of the new Wrigley Field book, written by an old friend of hers, we jumped at the chance to put something together. How could we not celebrate the stadium's 100th anniversary? Wrigley Field is a hallowed piece of baseball history!

Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Continuous Times of the Friendly Confines is packed with facts, stories, and surprises that will captivate even the most fair-weather fan. From dollar signs (the Ricketts family paid $900 million for the team and stadium in 2009), to exploding hot dog carts (the Cubs lost that game 6–5), to the name of Billy Sianis’s curse-inducing goat (Sonovia), Shea uncovers the heart of the stadium’s history. As the park celebrates its centennial, Wrigley Field continues to prove that its colorful and dramatic history is more interesting than any of its mythology.

Stuart Shea is an editor and contributor to The Baseball Encyclopedia: The Complete and Definitive Record of Major League Baseball, The Emerald Guide to Baseball, Who’s Who in Baseball, and SABR’s Baseball Research Journal. He lives in Chicago, twenty-four blocks north of Wrigley Field.

Thursday, April 17, 7 pm, at the UWM Hefter Conference Center, 3271 North Lake Drive, 53211:
Eric Pankey, author of Trace and Dismantling the Angel.

Boswell Book Company is proud to be the bookseller of note at this year’s Boudreaux Reading featuring celebrated poet Eric Pankey. The Boudreaux Reading is sponsored by the New Orleans-based Boudreaux Foundation, which is committed to bringing an important American poet to UWM every year. The recipient of several awards including Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, and the author of nine collections of poems, Eric Pankey has released not one but two books of poetry in the past two years, Dismantling the Angel and  Trace, a gorgeous and inspirational journey of the soul through depression to recovery with the keen poetic eye for which Pankey is known.

Eric Pankey was born in Kansas City, Missouri and holds an MFA from the University of Iowa. The author of nine collections of poems, Pankey’s first collection, For the New Year, won the Walt Whitman Award. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such journals as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, and The Kenyon Review. He teaches in the Master of Fine Arts Program at George Mason University, where he is Professor of English and the Heritage Chair in Writing.

Saturday, April 19, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Lois Ehlert, author of The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life.

About six months ago, I said hello to Lois Ehlert at Boswell, and she told me her next book was going to be very special. I couldn't wait to find out what that would be. And special it is--The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life is the closest thing to a memoir that she's written. Many years and many books after her parents first encouraged her to make art with her own two hands, Ehlert’s The Scraps Book opens the doors to her studio and her life in an inspiring glimpse of her colorful world.

Illustrations from some of Ehlert's previous books are interspersed with new collages, sketches of ideas and book layouts, and photographs of Ehlert as a child and adult, of her studio, of objects that have inspired her work, and of her various collections of artistic and natural items. The simple text could easily be read aloud to a group or read alone by upper primary or middle graders, especially as a pleasant and accessible addition to a unit on artists or writers for the same age group. Part fascinating retrospective, part moving testament to the value of following your dreams, this richly illustrated picture book is sure to inspire children and adults alike to explore their own creativity.

“Ehlert offers a highly visual presentation of her roots as an artist and her process as a writer and illustrator of picture books… [s]imply written and inviting, the text leads readers to understand her approach to creating books as well as her hands-on involvement with art throughout her life… visually riveting. Creative children will find inspiration and encouragement here.” — Booklist, starred review. Plus here's a great review in Publishers Weekly.

Lois Ehlert has created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Snowballs, Fish Eyes, Rrralph!, Lots of Spots, Boo to You!, Leaf Man, Waiting for Wings, Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. She is also the illustrator for Bill Martin's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Photo credit by Lillian Schultz.

Sneak peak at Next Week!
Tuesday, April 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Brian Freeman, author of The Cold Nowhere.

On the heels of winning Best Hardcover Novel for Spilled Blood at the International Thriller Awards, master of the psychological thriller and best-selling author Brian Freeman returns this spring with the sixth installment in the popular Jonathan Stride series, The Cold Nowhere, which marks the much-anticipated return of Duluth PD Lieutenant Jonathan Stride, one of Brian Freeman’s signature characters.

Lieutenant Stride goes home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior, where he is confronted with a crime he cannot ignore. He discovers a young woman, Cat Mateo, hiding in his bedroom, scared and dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy lake. The girl isn’t a stranger to Stride; she is the daughter of a woman he tried and failed to protect from a violent husband years ago. When Cat asks Stride for protection from a mysterious person she claims is trying to kill her, Stride is driven by guilt and duty to help her. As Stride investigates Cat’s case off the record, a single question haunts the void between them: should Stride be afraid for—or of—this damaged girl?

No comments: