Monday, June 22, 2015

Boswell Events This Week: Andrew Maraniss Tonight, Robert Kurson at Whitefish Library Thursday, Andrew Knapp and Momo Sunday, Matt Burriesci Next Monday.

Monday, June 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Andrew Maraniss, author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.

"(Perry) Wallace entered kindergarten the year that Brown v. Board of Education upended 'separate but equal.' As a 12-year old, he snuck downtown to watch the sit-ins at Nashville’s lunch counters. In 1963, he entered high school a week after Martin Luther King’s 'I Have a Dream' speech. While in high school, he saw the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, and his Pearl High basketball team won Tennessee’s first integrated state tournament. The world seemed to be opening at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt recruited him, Wallace courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the SEC. His experiences on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be nothing like he ever imagined."

"On campus, he encountered the leading civil rights figures of the day, including Stokely Carmichael, Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Robert Kennedy – and he led Vanderbilt’s small group of black students to a meeting with the university chancellor to push for better treatment. On the basketball court, he experienced an Ole Miss boycott and the rabid hate of the Mississippi State fans in Starkville. Following his freshman year, the NCAA instituted 'the Lew Alcindor rule,' which deprived Wallace of his signature move, the slam dunk."

"Despite this attempt to limit the influence of a rising tide of black stars, the final basket of Wallace’s college career was a cathartic and defiant dunk, and the story Wallace told to the Vanderbilt Human Relations Committee and later The Tennessean was not the simple story of a triumphant trailblazer that many people wanted to hear. Yes, he had gone from hearing racial epithets when he appeared in his dormitory to being voted as the university’s most popular student, but, at the risk of being labeled 'ungrateful,' he spoke truth to power in describing the daily slights and abuses he had overcome and what Martin Luther King had called 'the agonizing loneliness of a pioneer.'"

Formerly at the Vanderbilty University athletic department as associated director of media relations, Andrew Maraniss now works for the firm Piggott and Fox Public Relations in Nashville. Strong Inside recently received "special recognition" from the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards. Maraniss grew up in Madison, the son of acclaimed biographer David Maraniss.

Thursday, June 25, 6:30 pm, at the Whitefish Bay Library:
Robert Kurson, author of Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship.

Two men, John Chatterton and John Mattera, are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister should have been immortalized in the lore of the sea - his exploits more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s. But his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

Bill Streever writes in the Dallas Morning News: "Everyone ever bitten by the treasure bug — that is to say, most of us — will relish Robert Kurson’s new book, Pirate Hunters. It is nonfiction, like his earlier best-seller Shadow Divers. But also like Shadow Divers, it is nonfiction with the trademarks of a novel: the plots and subplots, the tension and suspense, the dialogue and character development, and the all-important tempo that keeps readers reading. Like a good novel, it tells more than one story."

And Howard Schneider at The Wall Street Journal likes the book, but is not too hot on celebrating pirates. They were, after all, pirates. The Whitefish Bay Library is located at 5420 N. Marlborough, just south of Silver Spring Drive.Their phone number is (414) 964-4380.

Our event with Mary Alice Monroe, scheduled for Friday, June 26, has been cancelled, due to a broken wrist. Offer your get well wishes on Monroe's guest book.

Saturday, June 27, all day, at Boswell:
The Downer Classic Bicycle Races. We're not having any additional events, but I wanted you to be aware that if you like bicycles, it's a good day to visit, but if you are afraid of them perhaps, or need to park very, very close to the bookstore, it might not be the right day to come. Downer Avenue, and east is close for most of the day. The best place to park is along Lake Drive two blocks (and further) south of the store, but that does also fill up. The gold line bus (formerly the Downer 30) is also slightly rerouted.

Sunday, June 28, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Andrew Knapp and Momo, photographer and subject of Find Momo Coast to Coast.

Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Knapp and Momo ran into some car trouble and had to reschedule a leg of their tour. But that's ok, because I bet they found more places for Momo to hide int he meantime.

From the Chicago Tribune: "Knapp takes his photos of Momo posed inconspicuously among landmarks, in gorgeous landscapes, or in shops or roadside stops. The focus is on the big picture; but look closely, and, yes, there’s Momo peeking out from behind a tree in Union Springs, Ala., or relaxing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or lurking among fishermen’s nets on a dock in Montauk, N.Y. An absolutely charming book."

From the Guiltless Reading blog: "With the success of the Where's Waldo concept of the first book, it's no surprise that the second capitalizes on this formula. Momo and Andrew continue their road trip in their yellow van throughout North America and the book's format is exactly the same -- short snippets and musings of the duo's stops followed by full photo bleeds where Momo is cleverly hidden at these stops."

"I enjoyed the coast to coast virtual trip through US and Canada with some amazing landscapes, picturesque neighborhoods, interesting architecture, iconic landmarks, and some seriously mundane spots! And - dare I say it - some of the most bizarre places (do you know where there are ginormous 36-foot tall The Beatles statues? Tallest filing cabinets? And it gets weirder!). Come sun or snow, Momo and Andrew just had to snap a photo!"

The British press loves Momo. Here's a piece from The Daily Mail.

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

Matt Burriesci began his career at the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, and later served as Executive Director for both the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. During his tenure at AWP, he helped build the largest literary conference in North America, and he served as a national advocate for literature and the humanities. In his work as a consultant, he has interviewed dozens of global leaders in healthcare, scientific research, and higher education, and his stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines.

After his daughter was born prematurely in 2010, Burriesci set out to write a book about 26 Great Books, from Plato to Karl Marx, and how their lessons have applied to his life. As someone who has spent a long and successful career advocating for great literature, Burriesci defends the great books in this series of tender and candid letters, rich in personal experience and full of humor.

You never know what is going to bring an author to within reading distance of Boswell. In the case of Matt Burriesci, it turned out to be a family gathering in Lake Geneva. But the nice thing is that booking this event got the book on the radar of Boswellian Jane, who is always interested in books about reading, as you may have noticed from all our talking up of How to Be a Heroine: Or What I've Learned from Reading Too Much.

Here's her take on Dead White Guys: "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!" (Jane Glaser)

Here's Matt Burriesci in the Book Brahmin column of Shelf Awareness. He sure likes Plato's Republic!

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