Monday, June 29, 2015

Boswell Events! Matt Burriesci Tonight, Tina and Carson Kugler on Mary Nohl Wednesday at 3 pm at Shorewood Public Library, Jo Piazza's "Knockoff" on Thursday, Plus Daniel Silva in Conversation with Jody Hirsh Next Monday, July 6, 7 pm (ticketed).

Monday, June 29, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Matt Burriesci, author of Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter and the Great Books of the Western World.

Boswell welcomes Matt Burriesci, former executive director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, who also served in various capacities at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, known to bibliophiles as AWP.

Boswellian Jane Glaser says it best: "A devoted father rediscovers his love for the great works of western classics as he packs his 54 volume collection away to make room for a nursery for his newborn daughter. Excerpting thoughts from his favorite thinker Plato along with others as diverse as Plutarch, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Jefferson, Adam Smith, etc., the author partners their words of wisdom with love letters of life lessons to his daughter for her to read on her eighteenth birthday. Reminiscent of Rebecca Mead's My Life in Middlemarch and Anna Quindlen's How Reading Changed My Life, this thought provoking book is perfect for readers who love the endlessly yielding power of the written word!"

Bookpage offers this recommendation: "Burriesci’s reading tour skews toward the ancients (the book is nearly half done before he gets to St. Augustine), with Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Montaigne getting the lion’s share of consideration. Shakespeare is represented singly by Hamlet, and, by necessity, there are many other omissions: Thomas Aquinas, Chaucer, Dante, Cervantes, Kant and Freud, among them. Indeed, with the exception of Hamlet, the book steers away from fiction and drama entirely, focusing instead on philosophical and political works."

Wednesday, July 1, 3 pm, at Shorewood Public Library
Tina and Carson Kugler, author and illustrator of In Mary's Garden.

From the Shorewood Public Library: "Meet Tina and Carson Kugler, authors/illustrators of In Mary's Garden, the picture book about the life of Mary Nohl and her now famous garden. After the presentation, participants will have a chance to create their own unique artwork. Enter a drawing to win an autographed copy of the book. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This program is co-sponsored with Boswell Book Company."

From the Mary Louise Schumacher profile in the Journal Sentinel, from back in March: "The Kuglers met at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where Tina studied film and Carson art. They married and moved to L.A., where they both worked in animation. When they started a family, though, they moved back to Wisconsin for a time. It was when the couple started taking their own boys to see Mary Nohl's house that the idea of a children's book surfaced. They took their first son to see the place when he was still a baby."

And here's a bit more about the book, from Horn Book magazine: "The authors embellish their picture-book biography of artist Mary Nohl (1914-2001) with touches of whimsy -- her dogs Sassafras and Basil assist beyond the bounds of ordinary canine capacity, for example -- reflecting their subject's own outsized imagination. The illustrations -- digital collages of scratchy, affectionate paintings on an assortment of papers -- mirror this sense of wonder; careful readers will see a variety of friendly creatures swirling amid the clouds and hiding in tree trunks."

The Shorewood Public Library is at 3920 N. Murray Avenue, just south of Capitol Drive.

Thursday, July 2, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jo Piazza, co-author of The Knockoff.

One never knows how an author will wind up in Milwaukee. For Matt Burriesci, it was a family function in Lake Geneva. For Jo Piazza, it's the home of her future in-laws. This is why it's not just enough to have great authors and illustrators living in the Milwaukee area, it helps if people are family and friends of great authors, even if the authors themselves live elsewhere.

Publishers Weekly's take: " In this modernized All About Eve plotline, the maniacally driven Eve goes up against her too-kind boss in ways both large (stealing Imogen's ideas) and small (insulting her lack of tech knowledge), leaving Imogen feeling out of step. Throughout, readers are constantly reminded of the ubiquity of technology and its potential pitfalls. This breezy, behind-the-scenes tale offers a fresh, modern take on a classic tale of rivalry."

Liz Matthews in Town and Country calls The Knockoff the only beach read you should be reading. "Sykes and Piazza cleverly satirize this recent marriage of the fashion and tech industries, and have managed to craft a strong plot with a few unforeseen twists." Glamour also put it on the "best books of summer" list.

In Time magazine, Jo Piazza writes a little about what led to The Knockoff. "I’m almost 35, which means I straddle that weird line between Generation X and millennial. I recently wrote a novel with former-magazine-editor-turned-techie Lucy Sykes, who is 45, about this generational divide in the workplace." Her essay has a lot of good advice.

We've had a great read from Boswellian Scott Espinoza, who found it both enjoyable and engaging enough to have questions for the author at our event on Thursday evening, 7 pm.

Monday, July 6, 7 pm, at the JCC:
a ticketed event with Daniel Silva, author of The English Spy, in conversation with Jody Hirsh. Buy your tickets here. (Daniel Silva photo credit John Earle.)

From the Silva website: "He has been called his generation’s finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever. Compelling, passionate, haunting, brilliant: these are the words that have been used to describe the work of award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva."

Silva knew from a very early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master’s degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel and they were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington and went to work for CNN and became Executive Producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 he confessed to Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller The Unlikely Spy. He left CNN in 1997 after the book’s successful publication and began writing full time. Since then all of Silva’s books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 30 languages and are published around the world. He is currently at work on a new novel and warmly thanks all those friends and loyal readers who have helped to make his books such an amazing success. (Jody Hirsh photo credit Nathan Harimann)

We're excited to be co-sponsoring a very special ticketed event with Daniel Silva, whose latest novel is The English Spy, in conversation with Jody Hirsh, Judaic Education Director at the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center on 6255 N. Santa Monica Boulevard. Tickets are $30, and include admission and a copy of The English Spy. Due to the structure of this event, there is no gift card option, but if you love Daniel Silva's work as much as we know you do, you'll agree that a copy of his book also makes a great gift.

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