Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Crenshaw" Food Drive, Big Blow-Up of Rory the Raccoon for "Furiously Happy," "Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods" Arrives, Launches at the Grain Exchange.

1. On my way to work today I stopped at a grocery store to buy food for our Crenshaw food drive, to benefit Hunger Task Force. While I normally donate money to these things, donating the food itself got me to thinking about what is the best food to give. It had to be shelf-stable, and based on the handling, I had to avoid glass jars. My first choice was peanut butter--I eat it every day, it seems relatively healthy, and unless you have a peanut allergy, most kids eat it too. My second choice was rice--it made sense to have some sort of staple. And finally, after seeing on the news that apples were the most popular fruit, I bought some unsweetened apple juice. This was sort of a nostalgia pick for me--I drank a lot of apple juice is a kid but now it's hard on my stomach, so I can only think wistfully about its pleasures.

Crenshaw, the book that inspired our food drive, came out on Tuessday, And Applegate will be coming to Boswell on tomorrow, Friday, September 25, 6:30. She's also doing one school visits, a multi-school program that we put together with Kay, the district librarian. Kay is really a treasure to the kids at Elmbroook Schools. We threw out the challenge to get 800-1000 kids together for an event, and she took it up. They are also doing a food drive, for the Salvation Army. And she had a great idea for a special addition to their event that resonates with the story. I don't want to give it away. Here's Entertainment Weekly's teaser and the Crenshaw trailer. Our promotion where if you buy the book ahead of time from us gets you your signing line letter early still is running.

2. It's another big week for books going on sale. We've also been celebrating the release of Furiously Happy, the new collection from Jenny Lawson AKA The Bloggess. She's doing a big tour for the book and will wind up at Boswell on Tuesday, October 27, also at 6:30 pm. As her publicist Marlena says, she signs "David Sedaris style," meaning attendees really get some quality time with the author, which also means the singing is going to go for a long time. And that means it makes more sense than ever to buy the book from us to get an early signing line letter. The event itself, like Crenshaw, is free.

We did a series of tweets celebrating the release with our stand-up of Rory the Raccoon, Lawsons's taxadermied pal. I won't repeat the all here, as our Facebook posts also get converted to Tweets and that could lead to an infinite loop that would explode the whole system, and who would want that? As the book came out, we thought it was the perfect time to celebrate raccoons on our what-seems-like-annual woodland critters table. Here's Carly drinking some raccoon-themed beverage. We also have raccoon greeting cards, plush, mugs, dishes, and while they are not out yet, ornaments. The raccoon finger puppet was out of stock, which hurt.  Here's Entertainment Weekly on Furiously Happy.

Why not come in and pose with Rory too?

3. It's not just national publishers that have major books going on sale for us this week. Historic Milwaukee, Inc. is publishing John Gurda's Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods with a big launch tonight (September 24) at the Grain Exchange Building. I traveled to their offices to pick up our first shipment of books. It was all very exciting.

Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods is somewhat inspired by the classic neighborhood posters created by Jan Kotowicz and put out by the Department of City Development in the 1980s. I actually have the Bay View poster hanging in our home. And while the old posters are not currently for sale, Jim Higgins noted in the Journal Sentinel that the 11 new posters were available from Historic Milwaukee. There's a chance we might be selling them too, but they will probably be sold to us at the net price, so the actual cost will be higher. If this happens, we'll let you know.

Here's a picture of Eric receiving the book at Boswell.  Gurda will be speaking at Boswell on December 2, 7 pm, but there are more events planned, including a talk at the Bay View Library.

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