Friday, August 15, 2014

A Literary Walk Though This Week's Milwaukee Media Shout Outs--Lake Effect, Wisconsin Public Radio, Shepherd Express, Urban Milwaukee, and now Morning Blend.

This week in the Shepherd Express, the featured review is for Death by Hitchcock, an Edwina Goodman mystery by Elissa Grodin. Here's what Dave Luhrssen has to say: "Alfred Hitchcock might have appreciated the story line: a beautiful film student is found murdered on opening night of a Hitchcock film festival, with the time of death coinciding with the screening of Spellbound. Although one might expect a campus sleuth to emerge from the English department (perhaps a lecturer specializing in Arthur Conan Doyle?), a physics professor rises to the occasion in Elissa Grodin’s mystery novel, Death by Hitchcock." Alas, the book is on a conract publishing, print-on-demand platform, at least through our wholesaler Ingram, meaning you can buy the book from us, but it's pay-in-advance, nonreturnable. The author, by the way, is the spouse of Charles Grodin. Here's a Huffington Post piece on her first book.

The Book Preview this week is for Dan Epstein's Stars and Strikes: Baseball in the Bicentennial Summer of 76. Jenni Herrick writes: "This engrossing narrative follows the 1976 baseball season month by month, highlighting the great accomplishments of young athletes throughout the league, while also weaving in the tumultuous happenings of the wider world. Examples of contemporary culture are woven deftly throughout the book. Each chapter features a popular song from that year and societal trends are recounted with wit, humor and well-researched detail." Dan Epstein is in conversation with Mitch Teich of WUWM's Lake Effect on Monday, August 18, 7 pm, at Boswell.

On the Dial/Urban Milwaukee website, Will Stotts, Jr. recommends Midnight in Europe, by Alan Furst. "A master story teller spins tales that transport us through space and time. This kind of escapist fare is perfectly suited for summertime. And there is no better writer of this type of book than spymaster Alan Furst...Furst masterfully weaves a web of deceit and double-dealing. Just when you think you have figured out the various plots and predicaments, everything is reversed."

Lake Effect has several great authors featured this week. On Tuesday, there's a double feature. First Michio Kaku talked with Bonnie North for his recent book (and Boswell event), The Future of the Mind.

And then June Melby talked to Lake Effect about My Family and Other Hazards when she was in town for events with Boswell and Books and Company. If that link isn't fixed, you can find it on the complete program link above.

On Wednesday, Marquette professor Julia Azari talked to Mitch Teich about the recent primaries. She's appearing at Boswell with Kathleen Rooney on Tuesday, September 2, 7 pm, for her book Delivering the People's Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate, as part of our "Politics in Fact and Fiction" program.

Jon Kolb, Whitefish Bay author of The Summer of Rain, also spoke to Mitch Teich on Wednesday. He talks about "what makes a good mystery for him, and what initially drew him to the genre."

On Friday, Lake Effect spoke to Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer, who together have written a number of nature-friendly books, including We Love Nature!, The Kids' Outdoor Aventure Book, and the forthcoming The Truth About Nature. Together they talk about "five great summer family activities you can do without leaving your backyard."

On Wisconsin Public Radio, Joy Cardin talked to Ben Arment, author of Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love. Their pitch: "Do you hate your current job, but harbor a secret dream that you know would make you happy? Joy Cardin talks to a guest who says the fear of failure is less important than the fear of never accomplishing your dreams, and he offers practical advice on how to turn passion into a way to learn a living."

On Wednesday, Joy spoke with José Angel N., who chronicled his life as an undocumented immigrant in his memoir, Illegal. From the website: "The two talk about his experiences and perspectives on the lives of the undocumented." From the Kirkus review: "When he crossed the Mexican-American border as a teenager, he had only a ninth-grade education, and he did not speak English. In Chicago, where he had relatives and got work as a dishwasher, he learned English, earned a high school equivalency diploma and went on to major in philosophy in college and earn a master's degree in Latin-American literature. N. writes movingly of growing up in Guadalajara, of the family there he cannot visit, of his estrangement from the Latino community in Chicago, and of the personal humiliations he experienced and the deceptions he practiced to keep his well-paid, white-collar job. He could not let his co-workers discover that he lacked legal documentation of citizenship, that he could not vote or travel. Eventually, his fake social security number cost him his job, and by the end of the book, he has become a stay-at-home father dependent on his American wife. "

From Friday: "Weird Al Yankovic’s new song, Word Crimes, is resonating with linguists and grammar police for poking fun at bad syntax, poor writing and improper English. Joy Cardin and word wizard Richard Lederer discuss their biggest language pet peeves and invite you to weigh in with your most annoying word crimes." Richad Lederer's newest is American Trivia Quiz Book. Weird Al's newest book is My Teacher and Me.

On Larry Meiller's Monday program, he spoke to Amela Slayton Loftus, author of Sustainable Homebrewing: An All-Organic Approach to Crafting Great Beer. Make beer that's delicious and also great for the environment, WPR says. Loftus is cofounder of Seven Bridges Cooperative, the country’s only cooperatively owned, certified organic homebrew supply store.

On Kathleen Dunn's program, they did a segment based on the Morning Edition report about how Milwaukee schools were adding back art, music, and gym, because it seemed to help with attendance and increased student achievement in other areas. The guests included Teri Sullivan from Arts @ Large and James Catterall, a UCLA researcher who contract published Doing Well by Doing Good in 2009. Interestingly enough, Kluge is a Milwaukee Public School that does a great job with our author visits.

On Thursday, Kathleen speaks with two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists (Paul Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias) to get their unguarded and realistic perspective on the most pressing environmental issues of our day. Together, they’ve penned; Hope on Earth: A Conversation – a book that provides an informal and thought-provoking conversation between the two. Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias are her guests.

Yes, in this case I count the Madison programming too, as the show airs in Milwaukee and they are Milwaukee friendly, meaning they will mention a Milwaukee event if its happening (or Green Bay or Stevens Point or Eau Claire, if they know about it). On Monday, Rob Ferrett and Veronica Rueckert spoke with Dr. Jack Stern, whose Ending Back Pain is recently released. He offers five steps to coping with this endemic problem, including living a healthy back-friendly life, and working with a professional.

Also on Monday, Central Time spoke to Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald, authors of The Real Cost of Fracking: How America's Shale Gas Boom Is Threatening Our Families, Pets, and Food. Needless to say, they're against it. Per WPR, "fracking is damaging our health, our pets' health, and the safety of our livestock."

Tuesday brings us Kiddie Cocktails, a collection of non-alcoholic drinks wrapped in a pop-culture esthetic. Remember the Shirley Temple, the Cotton Candy, the Bahama Mama, and Cactus Juice. Stuart Sandler is an Eau Claire-based author and designer, who has created more than 500 typefaces. What troubled him about the mocktail book is that that he saw all these non-alcoholic drink books but none of them captured the nostalgia. Make sure you have fun glassware, a shaker, and a Hawthorne strainer.

Eau Claire librarian Caroline Akervik has written White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat, which is published on a print-on-demand platform, meaning bookstores are probably not going to be able to stock it except on consignment from the author, but we've now got it indexed in our system. From the publication: "After Sevy Anderson's father breaks his leg in a sawmill accident, the fourteen-year-old must take his place with the rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin."

Jumping to Thursday, Aaron Hurst speaks to Central Time about his book, The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World. Is it because Millennials think differently or is it because many of the traditional job paths are gone? The book, alas, is coded nonreturnable, so they are not looking for stocking on bookstore shelves. That said, we're happy to order it for you, but it's under pre-payment and nonreturnable terms, alas.

This week I'm adding the WTMJ television (TMJ4)Morning Blend to the roundup. Why not? It takes me forever to get this out, so why not make it harder? It's just that I noticed that they do separate out their segments for links and they cover a decent number of authors on their show. The first is Laurel Bragstad and her novel In the Comfort of Shadows, which came out last year from the local Orange Hat. It's the story of a woman searching for her birth parents, who befriends an elderly bachelor father. He's not dad, but his diaries offer clues. Our source is print-on-demand, nonreturnable, short discount, but we know if there was more demand for the book, we could source it locally. We'll see what happens.

That's all there was this week, but at least now I can sleep nights. What else am I missing?

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