Monday, November 14, 2016

Events! Lauren Fox, Daniel, and Jane at Lynden Sculpture Garden Book Club Night, Michael Schumacher on a Great Lakes shipwreck, Kathleen Ernst and Patricia Skalka offer Wisconsin Whodunits, Wisconsin Public Radio's Charles Monroe-Kane, Mary J. Dowell on leadership and success, Mary Alice Monroe with Jim Kryns, and Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo on custard.

Monday, November 14, 7 pm, at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Road
Book Club Night with Jane Glaser, Daniel Goldin, and special guest Lauren Fox, author of Days of Awe. (A note regarding correction--I was so sure I'd make a Lauren mistake that I did a proof, but it was on the other post. I had just decided to move some books from our Conrad event into the signed copy case and well, the brain had a misfire).

Our presentations of new books at venues around town have proven to be very popular. We've already done four presentations around town, but we understand that you can't do the same books every time. So unlike our Woman's Club presentation last week of gift books (inluding lots of things for kids), this is book club central.

And we've got a special guest too. After our spring book club night in Elm Grove with J. Ryan Stradal, we were talking to one of the attendees, the author Lauren Fox, about joining us for an evening in the fall. Like us, she's an avid reader who is passionate in her picks. I won't reveal them now, but everyone who attends will get a checklist. We'll have books for sale there too. Tickets are $22, $18 for Lynden members, and include a copy of Days of Awe or while available, one of Fox's backlist titles.

Lauren Fox has three novels in all - Still Life with Husband, Friends Like Us, and Days of Awe, now in paperback. Recalling Ron Charles's review from The Washington Post: "Lauren Fox’s new novel, Days of Awe, starts with a funeral, but it’s a lot more nimble than that procession to the grave would suggest. Fox is a master of emotional misdirection, and what she presents here tastes like carbonated grief, an elixir of sorrow gassed up with her nervous humor."

This event is produced by Milwaukee Reads and cosponsored by the Lynden Sculpture Garden.

Tuesday, November 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Michael Schumacher, author of Torn in Two: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man’s Survival on the Open Sea

This is life-and-death drama on the inland sea as only Michael Schumacher can tell it. In Torn in Two the great Lakes historian recreates the circumstances surrounding the terrible storm of November 29, 1966, that broke the mighty freighter in half, sending 25 of the Morrell’s twenty-nine-man crew to their deaths and consigning the surviving four to the freezing raft where all but Hale would perish. At the heart of Torn in Two are the terrible hours spent by Hale on the life raft with his crewmen, clinging to life for thirty-eight hours in freezing temperatures and wearing only a peacoat, life jacket, and boxer shorts. Schumacher’s vivid narrative captures every harrowing detail and curious fact of the Morrell’s demise, finally doing justice to this epic shipwreck 50 years ago.

 From Kim Ode in the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune: "Prompted by the 50th anniversary of the sinking this Nov. 29, the book may be best read on a tropical beach, where passages of death-dealing frigidity can counteract the sun’s rays. Schumacher, who has written about other storms, tells the story of Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the wreck. Drama enough. But perhaps even more harrowing are the accounts of how ships are built, how they behave in waves and how questions had been raised as to safety."

Kenosha native, Michael Schumacher has published three previous books about the Great Lakes: Mighty Fitz, about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald; The Wreck of the Carl D., about the loss of the Carl D. Bradley; and November’s Fury, an account of the Storm of 1913, the deadliest in Great Lakes history. Here's Schumacher talking about November's Fury on WUWM's Lake Effect.

Wednesday, November 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Patricia Skalka, author of Death in Cold Water, and Kathleen Ernst. author of A Memory of Muskets

We've hosted both Skalka and Ernst before, but not together. Being that they are two of the big Ws in Wisconsin Whodunits, we thought it would be great to host them together. This event is cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

 Death in Cold Water. On a bracing autumn day in Door County, a prominent philanthropist disappears. Is Gerald Sneider, known as Mr. Packer for his legendary support of Green Bay football, suffering from dementia, or just avoiding his greedy son? Is there a connection to threats against the National Football League? When human bones wash up on the Lake Michigan shore, the sheriff has more than a missing man to worry about, Cubiak must follow his instincts down a trail of half-remembered rumors and local history to discover the shocking truth.
Here's a little taste of

 And here is a quick peek at A Memory of Muskets. Curator Chloe Ellefson is happily planning Old World Wisconsin’s first Civil War reenactment, but her overbearing boss scorns her ideas and proposes staging a mock battle instead. And when a reenactor is found dead at one of the historic site’s German farms, Chloe’s boyfriend, cop Roelke McKenna, suspects murder. And yes, there is a little Germanfest action in the story.

Patricia Skalka is the author of Death Stalks Door County and Death at Gills Rock, the first two volumes in the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series. A former writer for Reader’s Digest, she presents writing workshops throughout the United States and divides her time between Chicago and Door County, Wisconsin.

Middleton-based Kathleen Ernst is an award-winning and bestselling author, educator, and social historian. She has published over thirty novels and two nonfiction books. Her books for young readers include the Caroline Abbott series for American Girl. Kathleen worked as an Interpreter and Curator of Interpretation and Collections at Old World Wisconsin, and her time at the historic site served as inspiration for the Chloe Ellefson mysteries.

Thursday, November 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Charles Monroe-Kane, author of Lithium Jesus: a Memoir

Charles Monroe-Kane is a natural raconteur, and boy, does he have stories to tell. Born into an eccentric Ohio clan of modern hunter-gatherers, he grew up hearing voices in his head. Over a dizzying two decades, he was many things: teenage faith healer, world traveler, smuggler, liberation theologian, ladder-maker, squatter, halibut hanger, grifter, environmental warrior, and circus manager, all the while wrestling with schizophrenia and self-medication.

From Bill Lueders in Isthmus: Raised in a nomadic family that prized eccentricity, Monroe-Kane plunged headlong into religion when he was a teenager. He traveled to far-away places in need of salvation, such as Haiti and the Philippines. Later, as a young adult, his wanderlust continued, and he spent several years in Prague. Often accompanying him on these journeys were the voices in his head - faint, fleeting, frightening. (Originally considered schizophrenic, Monroe-Kane was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder.) His portrait of mental illness is alternately heartbreaking and exhilarating.

Charles Monroe-Kane has won a Peabody Award for his work as a senior producer and interviewer for the program To the Best of Our Knowledge, broadcast on 220 public radio stations. He has reported for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Friday, November 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Mary J. Dowell, author of Playing Through the Fence: Stories from 19 Women Who Challenged Stereotypes, Prejudice and Other Barriers to Achieve Career Success

Mary Dowell is the principal of MJDowell and Associates, a management-consulting group with emphasis in Human Resources, Coaching, Workshops, Philanthropy, and Public Speaking. A former executive at Johnson Controls and Master Lock Company, she been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Milwaukee Times Black Excellence Award and the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award.

Her new book, Playing Through the Fence, is part memoir and part self-help, a manual emerging leaders or anyone seeking inspiration while facing obstacles on their career journey. Nineteen women, including the author, share powerful reflections of fortitude and accomplishments in their lives and careers, sometimes against what seemed like impossible odds, as they challenged barriers on their paths to success.

A metaphor for these barriers, The Fence represents the crossroads where struggle meets opportunity. The stories shared by these women are snapshots in time when they chose the path of opportunity. We are reminded that we are not alone, and that success, though sometimes appearing elusive, is always within reach.

Monday, November 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Mary Alice Monroe, author of A Lowcountry Christmas, with opening reader Jim Kryns, author of Marry Her Anyway.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.

Then Taylor’s service dog arrives, a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can't afford, he takes the dog for company, and accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Mary Alice Monroe is the bestselling author of many novels, including The Summer Girls, The Summer Wind, and The Four Seasons. Her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Book Award for Green Fiction.

This event is a family affair, with brother Jim Kryns opening for Monroe. And Monroe has local ties too - for a time, she lived in Wauwatosa.

Tuesday, November 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo, authors of Milwuakee Frozen Custard

Frozen custard is more than a dessert in Milwaukee. It’s a culture, a lifestyle, and a passion. From the stand that inspired television’s Happy Days to the big three Gilles, Leon’s and Kopp’s, take a tour through the history of this guilty pleasure. Learn about its humble origins as an unexpected rival to ice cream and its phenomenal success as a concession at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 that made the snack famous. Find the stories behind your favorite flavor at local festivals and homegrown neighborhood stands. Milwaukee authors and editors Kathleen McCann and Robert Tanzilo launch a celebration of custard lore, featuring a stand guide and much more. Dig into what makes Milwaukee the Frozen Custard Capital of the World.

Kathleen McCann is a Milwaukee-based writer and editor. She’s currently editor of a health care system magazine, and previously worked in media and public relations. Robert Tanzilo has written three books for The History Press – The Milwaukee Police Station Bomb of 1917, Historic Milwaukee Public Schoolhouses and Hidden History of Milwaukee. He is managing editor of OnMilwaukee, a daily online city magazine, where he writes about history, food, and architecture. While the authors once favored Dairy Queen and Carvel (look it up if you are not Fudgie the Whale proficient), they now prefer Wisconsin custard of course.

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