Monday, January 12, 2015

What's Happening at Boswell This Week: Judith Harway, George Koonce, Jr., Richard Jones, James Holstein (the three are together), Jill Nilssen Eastvold, Leon Logothetis, plus Lesley Kagen Next Monday and Tickets on Sale for Erik Larson.

Here's what's going on this week (plus one announcement for a March event)!

Tuesday, January 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Judith Harway, author of Sundown: A Daughter's Memoir of Alzheimer's Care.

Harway, an Associate Professor of Writing at MIAD, has written an unblinking account of the ravages and redemption of caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Sundown tallies the losses of dementia, examines the restructuring of relationships at the end of life, and affirms the power of storytelling to both preserve and shape memory. Unfolding in the no-man’s land between the needs of an aging population and the market-driven realities of the American healthcare system, with over five million Americans currently suffering from Alzheimer’s, this is terrain we cannot afford to ignore.

In the words of Tom Hlavacek, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, “Judith Harway gives us a loving, nuanced and immensely readable perspective on the journey she and her family traveled with her mother and Alzheimer's disease. Full of wisdom, insight, heartache, and moments of laughter and tears, Sundown is a testament to an extraordinary mother and an important addition to the body of literature on Alzheimer's and caregiving.”

Judith Harway's other works include The Memory Box and All That is Left, two collections of poetry. Her work has been published in dozens of literary magazines, and has earned fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the MacDowell Colony, and the Hambidge Center

Wednesday, January 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
George E. Koonce, Jr., James A. Holstein, and Richard S. Jones, authors of Is There Life After Football?: Surviving the NFL.

Is There Life After Football? draws upon the experiences of hundreds of former players as they describe their lives after their football days are over. It also
incorporates stories about their playing careers, even before entering the NFL, to provide context for understanding their current situations. The authors begin with an analysis of the bubble-like conditions of privilege that NFL players experience while playing, conditions that often leave players unprepared for the real world once they retire and must manage their own lives.

Is There Life After Football? also examines the key issues affecting former NFL players in retirement: social isolation, financial concerns, inadequate career planning, psychological challenges, and physical injuries. From players who make reckless and unsustainable financial investments during their very few high-earning years, to players who struggle to form personal and professional relationships outside of football, the stories in the book put
a very human face on the realities of the world of professional football. George Koonce Jr., a former NFL player himself, weaves in his own story throughout, explaining the challenges and setbacks he encountered and decisions that helped him succeed as an NFL Director of Player Development, PhD student, and university administrator after leaving the sport.

From Booklist: "While this is a rigorous and scholarly study, the authors present their findings in a very accessible manner, weaving narratives from hundreds of interviews together with information gleaned from direct observation, previous research, and stories in the media. A timely exploration that will be of interest to football fans looking to better understand the complex culture of the NFL."

James A. Holstein and Richard S. Jones are both Sociology Professors at Marquette University. George E. Koonce, Jr. is currently Vice President of Advancement at Marian University, after positions at UWM, Marquette, and of course the Green Bay Packers.

Thursday, January 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
June Nilssen Eastvold, author of The Boys on the Porch, an allegory.

When a company of homeless men took up residence on the portico at the University Lutheran Church in Seattle, all hell broke loose. Neighbors, realtors, health professionals, the bishop's office, the business community, the daycare staff, irate parents and the ecumenical community began to divide around the question, "Who is our neighbor?" The Boys on the Porch address the middle-class material values that block the mysterious transformational work of the spirit.

It is a drama that is based on Eastvold's years as a minister and social activist. It took place in the early 1990s in Seattle, Washington. But as Eastvold notes, "it's a dram that is being repeated, with different twists and turns in the story line, in every city, and even in small towns, in this country."

Jill Nilssen Eastvold was one of the first women to be ordained by the Lutheran Chruch in America in 1970. During her forty years of ministry, she has served on the commission of 70, elected to design the newly-formed Eveangelical Luteran Chruch in America, and worked as campus pastor at UWM, where she founded the Gamaliel Chair for Peace and Justice. She currently lives in Port Washington.

Saturday, January 17, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Leon Logothetis, author of The Kindness Diaries

Follow the inspirational journey of a former stockbroker who leaves his unfulfilling desk job in search of a meaningful life. He sets out from Los Angeles on a vintage motorbike, determined to circumnavigate the globe surviving only on the kindness of strangers. Incredibly, he makes his way across the U.S., through Europe, India, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and finally to Canada and back to the Hollywood sign, by asking strangers for shelter, food, and gas. Again and again, he’s won over by the generosity of humanity, from the homeless man who shares his blanket to the poor farmer who helps him with his broken down bike, and the HIV-positive mother who takes him in and feeds him. At each stop, he finds a way to give back to these unsuspecting
Good Samaritans in life-changing ways, by rebuilding their homes, paying for their schooling, and leaving behind gifts big and small. The Kindness Diaries will introduce you to a world of adventure, renew your faith in the bonds that connect people, and inspire you to accept and generate kindness in your own life.

TV host, producer, author, and traveler Leon Logothetis is in the midst of a cross-country tour to spread the word about the power of kindness. And part of the tour involves the golden ticket campaign in that one event attendee will win said ticket, redeemable for a $100 American Express gift certificate. And yes, if you already have a copy of The Amazing Adventure of a Nobody, this is an updated edition of that book.

Monday, January 19, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Our rescheduled event with Lesley Kagen, author of The Resurrection of Tess Blessing.
Snow, snow, go away. Come again on a day we don't have an event.

In Lesley Kagen's latest novel, 49-year-old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her final "to-do" list before what she’s sure will be her impending death after she is diagnosed with breast cancer, never thinking that she may have to stick around to deal with her handiwork.

Among the things Tess feels she must do before her impending death to cancer are making peace with her estranged sister, saying goodbye to her mother’s long-kept ashes that she keeps in the garage, rescuing her daughter from the grip of an eating disorder, helping her son grow-up, and reigniting the spark in her marriage. Grace, the story’s narrator, aids Tess on her quest and lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess who knows better than she? This is a heartwarming, humorous, and slightly magical redemptive story about second chances and realizing what—and who—is really important, before it’s too late.

Don't forget, the previous ebook novella, The Undertaking of Tess, is also available in paperback form.

Tickets now on sale!
Tuesday, March 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
A ticketed event with Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.
$30 ticket includes admission for one and a copy of Dead Wake.

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic Greyhounds and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat.

 Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the"Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small - hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more - all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. '

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

Our first email went out last week and we've already sold over fifty tickets. Don't forget, Larson is also the guest speaker at the Wauwatosa Library Leadership Lunch on March 25. Tickets available soon. Info should be available on this web page but if it's not updated soon, contact the library. And don't forget, if you are attending the lunch, it's polite to buy the book from Little Read Book in Wauwatosa.

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