Monday, October 20, 2014

Here's What's Going on at Boswell This Week--Wendelin Van Draanen and Mark Huntley Parsons Tonight, Judy Schachner at Mequon Nature Center, Allessandra Branca at Villa Terrace, Larry Watson at the Sunset Playhouse, plus David Finkel, Jack Bishop, Will Boast, and Hannah Pittard at Boswell.

Here are our this week's events. You know it's October when we've got four events in two days.

Monday, October 20, 7 pm:
The He Said, She Said Tour, featuring Edgar-Award-winning novelist Wendelin Van Draanen, author of Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, and Mark Huntley Parsons, author of Road Rash.

Please join us in welcoming the He Said, She Said Tour to Boswell, featuring celebrated author of the Sammy Keyes Series, Wendelin Van Drannen, who will discuss the final book in the series, Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye, and her husband Mark Huntley Parsons, debut author of the young adult novel Road Rash, in which teen drummer Zach’s star is on the rise. Great for ages 10 and up, you won’t want to miss this dynamic duo at their Milwaukee stop on this unique cross-country tour.

Dubbed “the most winning junior detective ever in teen lit” by Midwest Children’s Book Review, Sammy Keyes doesn’t go looking for trouble, but seems to find it everywhere. Until now: one of the bad guys has caught up! Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye is an emotional conclusion to the beloved, long running Sammy Keyes Series, demonstrating just how many lives one nosy girl can touch and paying tribute to a life well sleuthed.

In what Booklist is calling “a must-read for young garage-band types,” Mark Huntley Parsons’ debut teen young adult novel, Road Rash, is the story of 16-year-old drummer Zach, who is dropped from one band only to be invited on tour with a better band. Great for anyone who loved Almost Famous or This is Spinal Tap, Road Rash is “a road-trip adventure in romance and friendship that is ultimately all about the music” (Kirkus Reviews).

Tuesday, October 21, 4:30 pm (note special time), at the Mequon Nature Preserve, 8200 West County Line Road:
Judy Schachner, author of Skippyjon Jones: Snow What. This event is co-sponsored by the Mequon Nature Preserve and Milwaukee Reads.

Please join us at the Mequon Nature Preserve for a magical event with Judy Schachner, the Mamalita behind the bestselling Skippyjon Jones Series, including Skippyjon’s most exciting adventure yet, Skippyjon Jones: Snow What, in an event great for ages 3 and up!

Skippyjon Jones is back and off to a magical snow forest of make-believe in Skippyjon Jones Snow What, in which the irrepressible Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua teams up with his pals, the Chimichango gang, to save the frozen princess and make sure this fuzzy tale ends happily ever after. Frolicking through the snow with his amigos, the group takes on a job only El Skippito can do: to wake up Nieve Que, the frozen Princess, by kissing her! Kissing? Yuck! Will this hero agree to don a prince’s pantalones and save the day?

Tuesday, October 21, 7 pm, with reception at 5:30 pm:
A Ticketed Event with Alessandra Branca, author of New Classic Interiors at Villa Terrace, 2220 N. Terrace Ave. This event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

Please join us at Villa Terrace for a ticketed event with Chicago-designer Alessandra Branca, author of New Classic Interiors, a revealing look at her step-by-step creative process perfect for anyone who is ready for invaluable guidance on creating a home that is both gorgeous and livable. Admission is $10, which goes to directly to Villa Terrace.

For Alessandra Branca, living means living comfortably. Growing up in Rome, Branca was always surrounded by exquisite art and architecture. She learned early on that beauty is meant to intermingle with everyday life, and to this day her interior designs, while abiding by classical principles, comfortably accommodate her clients’ lifestyles. “You can’t just do something that looks pretty,” she says. “It has to work.”

Beginning with her own Chicago townhouse and interweaving insights drawn from several other prominent projects in New Classic Interiors, Alessandra Branca shows how she assesses each space’s form and function, selects foundation elements, chooses furniture and lighting, and, finally, incorporates decorative elements that reflect the resident’s personality. Illustrated with 200 lush photographs, the book offers a welcomes introduction to Branca’s enchanting and livable interiors.

Wednesday, October 22, 7 pm:
David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service, shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle prize.

Please join us for an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, MacArthur “Genuis” Grant recipient, and author of The Good Soldiers, David Finkel, as he presents his latest, Thank You for Your Service, an important book filled with great truths, none more powerful than when Finkel writes: “while the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own.”

No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge, a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now, in Thank You for Your Service, Finkel follows many of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and into American society at large. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it possible, or even reasonable, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And, in moments of hardship, who are soldiers expected to turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? A mesmerizing account of the pain and hope that they carry from day-to-day, Thank You for Your Service is more than a work of journalism—it is an act of understanding, shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, that takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war.

David Finkel is a staff writer for The Washington Post, he is also the leader of the Post’s national reporting team. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2006, and the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012.

Wednesday, October 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
The Friends of the Elm Grove Library present Let Him Go by Larry Watson at the Sunset Playhouse.

The Friends of the Elm Grove Library presents their “Elm Grove Reads” selection for 2014, Let Him Go, by local author Larry Watson. With this riveting tale of blood ties and familial love set in North Dakota, Watson reminds us why the American West as a literary genre is worth preserving. The Elm Grove Reads celebration is being held at the Sunset Playhouse. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Elm Grove Library, (262) 782-6717.

Set in 1951 North Dakota, Let Him Go is the story of George and Margaret Blackledge. A few months ago, their son’s widow took off with their grandson to remarry a man from a somewhat troublesome family, the Weboys. Resolved to find her grandson, who is also the last connection they have to their son, who died years ago, Margaret insists on taking to the road to bring him home. George, a retired sheriff, is hesitant but agrees, and together they leave the Dakota badlands, headed for Montana. The Weboy clan, however, is not going to give up the boy without a fight.

Thursday, October 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jack Bishop, editorial director of America’s Test Kitchen and co-editor of The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: An Authoritative Guide to Selecting and Cooking Meat and Poultry with 450 Recipes.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got burgers, steak, ribs, or roast chicken on the menu—shopping for and cooking meat can be confusing, and mistakes can be costly. Join us for an evening discussion with Jack Bishop, editorial director of America’s Test Kitchen as he presents The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book, which begins with a 27-page master class in meat cookery that covers shopping, storing, and seasoning meat, including 450 foolproof recipes from America's most-trusted food magazine.

Matching cut to cooking method is another key to success, which is why The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book includes fully illustrated pages devoted to all of the major cooking methods: sautéing, pan-searing, pan-roasting, roasting, grilling, barbecuing, and more. The editors of Cook’s Illustrated identify the best cuts for these methods and explain point by point how and why you should follow their steps (and what may happen if you don’t). Among the 450 foolproof recipes included in The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book are recipes for new ways to cook some of your favorite dishes, such as: pan-seared thick cut steak, juicy pub-style burgers, oven roasted BBQ ribs, slow-roasted pork, crispy-skinned chicken breasts, and roast turkey.

Friday, October 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Will Boast, author of Epilogue, and Hannah Pittard, author of Reunion

Please join us for an exciting evening with two authors whose books, although one fact and one fiction, delve into the delicate and dicey territory of family secrets. In Will Boast’s memoir, Epilogue, Boast thought he'd lost his family, until a deeply held secret revealed a second chance he never thought he’d have. In Reunion, Hannah Pittard’s “engaging and vigorous” (Chicago Tribune) prose masterfully illuminates the problems that can divide modern families—and the ties that prove impossible to break.

In Epilogue, having already lost his mother and only brother, twenty-four-year-old Will Boast finds himself absolutely alone when his father dies of alcoholism. Numbly settling the matters of his father's estate, Boast is deep inside his grief when he stumbles upon documents revealing a secret his father had intended to keep: He’d had another family before Will’s—a wife and two sons in England. This revelation leads to a flood of new questions. Setting out in search of his half brothers, he attempts to reconcile their family history with his own, testing each childhood memory under the weight of his father's secret. With the piercing gaze of a novelist, Boast transforms the pain and confusion of his family history into an achingly poignant portrait of resilience, revising the stories he's inherited to refashion both his past and his present. Heartbreaking and luminous, Epilogue is the stunning account of a young man's struggle to understand all that he has lost and found, and to forge a new life for himself along the way.

Hannah Pittard, author of the highly acclaimed The Fates Will Find Their Way, Pittard returns with a fully-realized novel about a far-flung family reunited for one weekend by their father's death. There is no shortage of novels about dysfunctional families, but this story explores the incredibly complex emotional relationships between adult siblings in a way that rings so authentic and true that the reader feels as if they are part of the family. Written with huge heart and bracing wit, Reunion takes place over four days, as family secrets are revealed, personal foibles are exposed, and Kate—an inveterate liar looking for a way to come clean—slowly begins to acknowledge the overwhelming similarities between herself and the man she never thought she'd claim as an influence, much less a father. Reunion delves into the heart of what family means and how adult siblings can simultaneously share the closest of bonds and feel completely estranged.

Sneak Peek for Monday, October 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Christopher Buehlman, author of Those Across the River and The Necromancer’s House, presenting his latest novel, The Lesser Dead.

It's an early Halloween for Boswell as we welcome Christopher Buehlman, reading from his creepy new vampire novel, The Lesser Dead. This time Buehlman takes readers to the dangerous and dirty streets of New York City in 1978, where a gruesome game of cat and mouse between the city’s undead residents and a formidable foe is about to begin.

Joey Peacock has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks. The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy. Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires…like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were. And neither are the rest of us. Both harrowing and humorous, The Lesser Dead is an expertly-crafted novel from one of the horror genre’s most exciting new voices.

Christopher Buehlman not just the author of four novels of genre-bending horror; he's also winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize for Poetry. Most importantly, he is Christophe the Insultor, a popular entertainer at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

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