Monday, July 13, 2015

Gavin Schmitt at the Cental Library Tonight (Monday, July 13), plus Wendy R. Olsen's "Loving Lardo" on Thursday, July 16, Summer Safari Reading Party on Sunday, July 19, 3 pm, and Cynthia Swanson's "The Bookseller" Next Monday, July 20..

Monday, July 13, 6:30 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Library Rare Books Room:
Gavin Schmitt, author of Milwaukee Mafia.

Please join us for an exciting event in the Rare Books Room of the Milwaukee Public Library (located at 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue) with Wisconsinite, research enthusiast, and Images of America author, Gavin Schmitt, who will talk about and sign copies of his latest groundbreaking work, The Milwaukee Mafia: Mobsters in the Heartland, the long-awaited history drawing from thousands of police reports, nearly a million confidential FBI pages, and years of meticulous research to shed light on the dark history of Milwaukee’s criminal underworld.

Milwaukee’s Sicilian underworld is something few people speak about in polite company, and even fewer people speak about with any authority. Everyone in Milwaukee has a friend of a friend who knows something, but they only have one piece of a giant puzzle. The secret society known as the Milwaukee Mafia has done an excellent job of keeping its murders, members, and mishaps out of books. Until now. From the time Vito Guardalabene arrived from Italy in the early 1900s, until the days the Mob controlled the Teamsters union, Milwaukee was a city of murder and mayhem. Gavin Schmitt relies on previously unseen police reports, FBI investigative notes, coroner’s records, newspaper articles, family lore, and more to bring to light an era of Milwaukee’s history that has been largely undocumented and shrouded in myth.

The Milwaukee Public Library Reading Room is located on the 2nd floor of Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Most street parking meters go only till 6 pm. If you decide to park in the lot across Wisconsin Avenue, it's a reasonable $3/hour.

Thursday, July 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Wendy R. Olsen, author of Loving Lardo.

We’re proud to welcome to Boswell founder and owner of Slinger Academy of Language and Arts in Slinger, Wisconsin, Wendy R. Olsen, discussing and signing copies of her debut book, Loving Lardo, a memoir written from her perspective as a young American in the late 1980’s who moved to Milan for love. This compelling story will inspire you visit Italy—and may convince you to stay awhile!

In Wendy R. Olsen’s debut, Loving Lardo, she retraces her first decade living with her family in Milan, Italy where she spontaneously decides to move after meeting a charmingly handsome Italian man. Loving Lardo is a personal story and a quick summer read that will resonate universally with men and women of all age groups. Written in a pithy, well-crafted style reminiscent of Hemingway—a prominent figure in this entertaining, moving memoir, the perfect book to read before visiting the 2015 EXPO World’s Fair in Milan, Italy.

Wendy Rachel Olsen was born in Orléans, France. She has lived in seven different countries and speaks four languages. From 1987 to 1999, she lived in Milan and Como, Italy, the setting of her debut book, Loving Lardo. In addition to giving talks on Italy, Ms. Olsen is the founder and owner of S.A.L.A., the Slinger Academy of Language and Arts in Slinger, Wisconsin, where adults and children can learn Italian, Spanish, and French. An avid sailor—whether racing or cruising—she enjoys playing her trumpet and sharing her motto: "Let’s all help create a world with fewer borders."

Sunday, July 19, 3 pm, at Boswell:
MPTV presents Summer Safari Reading Party!

Boswell Book Company and MPTV are hosting a Summer Safari Reading Party at Boswell! Children ages 4 and up are invited to Boswell for a wild jungle party with fun activities and exciting learning games teaching them why reading is important, especially during the summer months! Each child will get to choose from an assortment of items like bookmarks and stickers, and will take home their very own reading log to fill out during the summer months. Kids who bring their completed reading log back to Boswell get a discount on an "I Can Read!" book!

Suggested age for this event is 4-8!

And don't forget Monday, July 20, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Cynthia Swanson, author of The Bookseller.

At one time or another, we’ve all wondered, "what if?" Cynthia Swanson strikes to the core of this tantalizing question in her provocative and haunting fiction debut The Bookseller, which follows a woman who must reconcile her reality with the alternate world of her dreams. Please join us for a reading with Cynthia Swanson, who will sign her debut novel, The Bookseller, perfect for fans of Sliding Doors, Anna Quindlen, and Anita Shreve.

It’s 1962, and free-spirited Kitty Miller runs a Denver bookstore with her best friend Frieda. She’s in her later thirties, single, and free as a bird to do whatever, and go wherever, she likes. She loves to read all night long, or get drinks with friends. She meets her parents for dinner often, and enjoys the company of her cat Aslan (named after the lion in The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe). There was a man once—a doctor named Kevin—but things didn’t work out the way Kitty had hoped. Then the dreams come. It’s 1963, and Katharyn Andersson is married to a wonderful man named Lars. He’s an architect, and she lives with him and their beautiful children in a suburban area of Denver, taking part in an active social life. This is the life that Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps. The more Kitty dreams, the more real her dream-world seems, and the more reluctant she is to leave it. But where are Frieda and their bookstore in her dream-world, and the other people from her actual life? Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

Though author Cynthia Swanson now lives in Denver with her family, she was raised in Milwaukee. Come out and welcome her back!

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