Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Event Post--Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes Tonight at the Milwaukee Public Library (6 pm), Dork Diaries Tomorrow at the Greenfield Public Library (4 pm ), Daniel James Brown on "The Boys in the Boat" at Boswell on Thursday, and Elizabeth Berg Introducing Leah Hager Cohen on Friday.

Monday, June 9, 6 pm (note time), Milwaukee Public Library Rare Books Room, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. 53233: Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes, authors of Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham, Early Chronicler of Plants, Rocks, Rivers, Mounds and All Things Wisconsin.

In this long overdue tribute to Wisconsin's first scientist, authors Martha Bergland and Paul G. Hayes explore the remarkable life and achievements of Increase Lapham (1811-1875). Lapham's ability to observe, understand, and meticulously catalog the natural world marked all of his work, from his days as a teenage surveyor on the Erie Canal to his last great contribution as state geologist.

As Jim Higgins notes in the Journal Sentinel, "Lapham's legacy is so big it took two accomplished writers to wrestle it to the ground. Bergland's novels include the well-received A Farm Under a Lake. Hayes was a longtime Milwaukee Journal science reporter.

There is also an event this Wednesday, June 11, 7 pm, at Woodland Pattern in Riverwest.

Tuesday, June 10, 4 pm, at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 West Layton Ave 53220: Rachel Renée Russell, author of Dork Diaries 7: Tales of a Not-So-Glam TV Star, and her daughters Erin and Nikki

Everyone's been rooting for Nikki Maxwell and her crush, Brandon--and fans will finally learn if they had their first kiss in this seventh book of the bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki's juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice, and little sister Brianna's latest wacky hijinks. Nikki's sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes?

A Dork Diaries bus! Live DJ! Photo booth! Prize wheel! Dork Diaries Dedication Locker! Join us at the Greenfield Public Library for an afternoon of fun and get to meet your favorite author.

You can get up to two books signed per person, and of course, books will be available for sale at the library. Line letters will be given out starting at 3 pm.

For more information, contact Boswell at (414) 332-1181 or Greenfield Public Library at (414) 321-9595.

Thursday, June 12, 7 pm, at Boswell: A Ticketed event with Daniel James Brown, author of the bestselling The Boys in The Boat. The event is co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Business Journal and Wisconsin Public Radio.$18 ticket gets you a paperback of The Boys in the Boat (now #2 on The New York Times bestseller list and two admissions into the event).

Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.

The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

Tickets available through Thursday at 2 pm. Walk ups are likely available. More on our blog.

Friday, June 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Elizabeth Berg presents Leah Hager Cohen, author of No Book But the World and The Grief of Others.

At the edge of a woods, on the grounds of a defunct “free school,” Ava and her brother, Fred, shared a dreamy and seemingly idyllic childhood—a world defined largely by their imaginations and each other’s presence. Everyone is aware of Fred’s oddness or vague impairment, but his parents’ fierce disapproval of labels keeps him free of evaluation or intervention, and constantly at Ava’s side.

Decades later, then, when Ava learns that her brother is being held in a county jail for a shocking crime, she is frantic to piece together what actually happened. A boy is dead. But could Fred really have done what he is accused of? As she is drawn deeper into the details of the crime, Ava becomes obsessed with learning the truth, convinced that she and she alone will be able to reach her brother and explain him—and his innocence—to the world.

Leah Hager Cohen brings her trademark intelligence to a psychologically gripping, richly ambiguous story that suggests we may ultimately understand one another best not with facts alone, but through our imaginations.

In The New York Times Book Review, Julie Myerson writes that Cohen "is capable of writing prose that both convinces and sings. So many of her observations are subtle, intriguing, alluring."

I should also note that we have many of Elizabeth Berg's books available, including her new in paperback Tapestry of Fortunes, about a motivational speaker, who after the death of a friend, challenges herself to take her own advice.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Kevin Nance offers that "Elizabeth Berg has carved out a place as one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship.”

No events next Monday, but coming up next Tuesday, we've got two events planned.

Tuesday, June 17, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Katy Butler, author of Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

Tuesday, June 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Marquette professor James Marten, author of America's Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace.

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