Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wrapping the Week Up in Words: Book-Related Segments from the Shepherd Express, Urban Milwaukee,, Lake Effect, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Morning Blend.

First of all, don't forget to read Friday's post on The Boswellians, where Sharon, Jen, and Carly interview Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests, on sale Tuesday, September 16.

And now for this week's books in the news, Milwaukee edition. First up is the Shepherd Express book page. David Luhrssen reviews Brazil: The Fortunes of War: World War II and the Making of Modern Brazil, by Neill Lochery. His take?: "Lochery writes with an eye for detail, putting readers in the Copacabana and on the beaches of Rio as well as the smoke-filled conferences were deals where made."

While we hosted James Brown's son Daryl, The Shepherd Express came down on the side of his sister Yamma Brown, featuring Cold Sweat: My Father, James Brown, and Me, written with Robin Gaby Risher. David Luhrssen calls this a "dishy account of an imperious talent whose uncontrollable rage included beating her mother behind closed doors." My take on this one? They haven't finished arguing this legacy out.

And thanks for featuring Miki Knezevic's Behind God's Back as the Book Preview this week. We had a great time.

On to Will Stotts, Jr.'s column in Dial/Urban Milwaukee. This week he recommends the third volume in Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy. He dares you to start right in on volume three, The Magician's Land. From Stotts: "Purists would never start at the end of a trilogy, but I think this book is good enough to make you set those prohibitions aside. Compulsives may balk, but I wouldn’t want to delay this kind of gratification just because I hadn’t read the two previous novels."

From, I was remiss in not linking to Bobby Tanzilo's interview with Stuart Rojstaczer, author of The Mathematician's Shiva. On his Milwuakee connections: "I grew up in a colorful community of Polish and Soviet WWII survivors who ended up in Milwaukee and my childhood is a great wellspring of emotions and creative ideas. I write a lot of short stories that take place in Milwaukee. There might be a time when I take a selection of them and create a book." It turns out that Rose Anne, a long-time FOB (friend of Boswell) went to high school with Mr. Rojstaczer. And yes, the "j" is pronounced like a "y."

Over on Milwaukee Public Radio Lake Effect, Mitch Teich interviewed Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs. From their write up: "These creative pairs span a diverse group of fields - computer science (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak), biology (Francis Crick and James Watson), and even art (Vincent van Gogh and his brother, Theo). But Shenk says no pair better exemplifies the power and the chemistry of creative partnerships than John Lennon and Paul McCartney."

On Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewed a member of another collaborative pair this week, Bob Gaudio who made his start with the four seasons. Early in their career, he and Frankie Valli made a handshake deal--Valli would share in the publishing royalties of Gaudio's songs, and Gaudio would split Valli's performance revenues. It still holds more than fifty years later.

Stacy Tonio and Ken Keffler appeared on Monday's show to talk about canning and preserving the flavors of summer. Their most recent book is Truth about Nature: A Family's Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors.

On Wednesday, Lake Effect talked to Patricia Skalka, author of Death Stalks Door County. The inspiration?: "Author Patricia Skalka has been traveling to Door County for nearly 30 years. She and her family have a rustic cottage where they stay to enjoy the serenity and the county’s culture. But her long periods of time there got her to thinking: What about the dark side of Door County?"

Our Door County fiction event is on Monday, September 29, 6:30 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Library's Loos Room. J.F. Riordan appears, author of North of the Tension Line, the first in a series of novels about Door County, which as you've guessed, is "north of the tension line."

Friday's Lake Effect features two book segments. First up is Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, "the story of how four women were involved in the war effort on both sides during the Civil War."

Up next is Jordan Ellenberg, UW-Madison mathematician who recently appeared at Boswell for How Not to Be Wrong. He explains how "math is all around us, all the time." Right now there's just a link to the whole show. If I see segmented links, I'll update this post.

Over at Wisconsin Public Radio, Kathleen Dunn spoke to Clarence Page on Tuesday, whose new book, Culture Worrier: Selected Columns 1984-2014: Reflections on Race, Politics and Social Change, has just been released by Agate Publishling. The book contains 172 columns originally published by the Chicago Tribune.

On Thursday, Kathleen Dunn spoke to sociologist Marianne Cooper, author of Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times. From the program notes: "The author of a new book about about inequality and risk in American society joins Kathleen for a discussion about rising economic insecurity, rolled-up safety nets, and what really keeps Americans up at night." Publishers Weekly writes that "Cooper offers a robust analysis of gender dynamics, with sharp insights about the heavy burden on women to manage the family's anxiety. Cooper's necessary and timely study is a discomfiting reminder of the human cost of the recession"

On the Wednesday Joy Cardin show, also on Wisconsin Public Radio, the guest was Paul Roberts, author of the The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification, a book that we recapped in our new and noteworthy column. I listened to this interview and found the author's premise provocative: that online social networking and shopping has worsened our impulses to act impulsively.

On Thursday, Joy Cardin spoke to Parker Palmer, author of numerous books about spirituality, education, and politics. I should note that Parker Palmer is appearing in Milwaukee on Thursday, October 16, for a rare Milwaukee appearance. It's a ticketed event sponsored by The Medical Society. $40 tickets includes a book. Register here.

Over on Central Time, Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferret talked with Jen Shelton, an English professor at Texas Tech University, on the topic of how World War I changed literature.

This week's Wisconsin authors segment features 13-year-old author Emily Page (Rawn), who has completed the second volume of a young adult trilogy called The Spirit's Shadow. She talks about how she writes in between her eighth grade studies. As the book is on a print-on-demand publishing platform, it's available from us to order, but pre-payment is necessary and the book is nonreturnable.

Friday's Central Time brings democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis, who has written a new memoir, Forgetting to be Afraid. She's known as the politician who led an 11-hour filibuster to block a plan to close most abortion clinics in Texas.

On a lighter note, our new pal Daniel Shumski was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio's Food Friday (twice, as these things go, in the 3 pm and 5 pm hour) for Will it Waffle. Featured dishes are waffled eggs miga and red velvet waffled ice cream sandwiches. I am particularly excited about this interview as I overnighted the book, so I share some excitement in the booking. And of course Daniel Shumski will be waffling with Julie Pandl at Boswell next Monday, September 15, 7 pm.

On the Morning Blend, Friday's show featured Betsy Woodman, who that day was our host at Boswell. She spoke about the Jana Bibi novels, including her newest, Emeralds Included.

Wow, what a week in books! Hope you found something of interest for your to-be-read pile.

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