Monday, October 3, 2016

Event Forecast: Sister Carrie Book Club with Florentine Opera, Ben Hatke, Robert Olen Butler, Laurie Halse Anderson, Candice Millard, Jennifer Niven and Kathleen Glasgow, Trenton Lee Stewart, and Margot Livesey

Monday, October 3, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Book club discussion of Sister Carrie with Florentine Opera

Join us and the in-store lit book club in discussion of Theodore Dreiser’s classic Sister Carrie. We will be joined by UWM’s professors Jason Puskar and Amanda Seligman, along with Kelly Schlicht from the Florentine Opera. We'll have a discussion about the book and the opera, and a short video clip will be shown.

Sister Carrie will be performed at Uihein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts October 7 and 9.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 6:30 pm at Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Dr, just south of Layton Ave:
Ben Hatke, author of Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl.

In addition to the books above, Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the picture books Julia's House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin, and the graphic novel Little Robot.

Now Hatke returns to middle-grade fantasy-adventure with the first of two graphic novels retelling Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: Summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring too, because Maddy doesn't talk. Ever.

But then, one day, she does talk. Maddy tells Jack in no uncertain terms to trade their mom's car for a box of magic beans. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made. The little garden behind his house is about to become home to tiny onion babies running amok, dangerous biting cabbages, and, in a fiery cliff-hanger at the end of this first volume, a dragon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Robert Olen Butler, author of Perfume River in conversation with David Riodan of Cardinal Stritch University.

Robert Olen Butler is the author of sixteen novels, including the Pulitzer-Prize winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, Hell, A Small Hotel, and the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series. He is also the author of six short story collections and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature.

Robert Quinlan is a seventy-year-old historian teaching at Florida State University, where his wife Darla is also tenured. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, both personal and historical, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee and solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain under the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert’s own family are more apparent: He has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified. Robert and Jimmy’s father, a veteran of WWII, is coming to the end of his life, and aftershocks of war ripple across their lives once again, when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father’s bedside. And an unstable homeless man Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a deep impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.

Wednesday, October 5, 6:30 pm at West Allis Public Library 7421 W. National Ave:
Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Ashes.

Laurie Halse Anderson is bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Anderson was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award.

In her new novel Ashes, the long-awaited completion to the Seeds of History trilogy, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy.

Wednesday, October 5, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill.

In addition, Candice Millard is the author of two other acclaimed bestsellers, The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic. This event is cosponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become Prime Minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament. He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him.

Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits.

Thursday, October 6 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
A pizza party with Jennifer Niven, author of Holding Up the Universe and Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces featuring pizza from Pizza Man

In addition to Holding up the Universe Jennifer Niven is the author of bestselling All the Bright Places. She has also written four novels for adults as well as three nonfiction books. Kathleen Glasgow writes for The Writer's Almanac. Girl in Pieces is her first novel

Here's a little more about Holding Up the Universe. Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one has taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: He can’t recognize faces; even his own brothers are strangers to him.When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling and community service Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel.

And here's more about Girl in Pieces. Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Registration is requested but not required, so that we know how much pizza to order.

Friday, October 7, 6:30 pm at Shorewood Public Library 3920 N Murray Ave:
Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Secret Keepers and The Mysterious Benedict Society

Acclaimed and bestselling author Trenton Lee Stewart delivers a dazzling and heart-pounding mystery-adventure that will thrill fans of his Mysterious Benedict Society series as well as entice a whole new generation of readers.

When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. At first he is thrilled with his new treasure, but as one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero. Now he is on a dangerous adventure full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. Even with fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke and his devious defenders the Directions and save the city from a terrible fate?

Friday, October 7, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Margot Livesey, author of Mercury, in conversation with UWM’s Liam Callanan.

This event is cosponsored by UWM's English Department Creative Writing Program. Livesey will be in conversation with Liam Callanan, UWM Associate Professor of English and author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and Listen, a collection of stories. Margot Livesey is The New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, and Banishing Verona. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award.

In the new novel, Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children, and to each other. Then Mercury, a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.

Hilary, a newcomer to town, has inherited Mercury from her brother after his mysterious death. When she first brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she harbored before she settled for a career in finance. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession. Donald may have 20:20 vision, but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world.

Up next: Wednesday, October 12, 7 pm, at Boswell: Ivan Ashcer, author of Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Mode of Prediction, in conversation with UWM's Kennan Ferguson.

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