Monday, January 16, 2017

Events this week! Michael O'Hear, Katrina Cravy, Nicholas Petrie (two library events), Ayad Akhtar, and preview for Elizabeth McKenzie

Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Michael O'Hear, author of Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era: How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Happened Anyway.

Michael O’Hear, Professor of Criminal Law at Marquette Law School, tracks the effects of sentencing laws and politics in Wisconsin from the eve of the imprisonment boom in 1970 up to the 2010s. Drawing on archival research, original public-opinion polling, and interviews with dozens of key policymakers, he reveals important dimensions that have been missed by others. He draws out the lessons from the incarcerations that have cost taxpayers billions of dollars and caused untold misery to millions of inmates and their families.

You can listen to O'Hear discuss this issue on the Joy Cardin Show, originally broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio on January 12.

This event is sponsored by the American Constitution Society, Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter. Refreshments provided by St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Thursday, January 19, 7 pm at Boswell:
Katrina Cravy, author of On Air: Broadcast Your Business: Insider Secrets to Attract the Media and Get Free Publicity.

Katrina Cravy appeared on Fox6 Milwaukee as their Contact6 reporter, and now she's written On Air, a book for any individual, nonprofit, or business that wants to get their message featured in major media. One of her tips is you must have a professional headshot if you want to be taken seriously by the media.

Folks who RSVP to this event on Cravy's Facebook Page will be entered into a raffle to win a free headshot session with the amazing Brian Slawson, the photographer who took all Cravy's pictures. Cravy notes that On Air contains valuable publicity ideas worth far more than the price tag of the book. Should be a fun evening, right? RSVP here.

Friday, January 20, 6:30 pm, at Greendale Public Library's Hose Tower event, and Saturday, January 21, 1 pm, at Whitefish Bay Public Library:
Nick Petrie, author of Burning Bright.

Following an appearance on Entertainment Weekly's Must List last week, this week's issue as a great review from Tina Jordan: "For me, no crime-fiction character has ever measured up to Jack Reacher—until, that is, I met Peter Ash, a former Marine lieutenant deeply damaged by his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (his PTSD manifests itself as intense claustrophobia)."

While reviewing Petrie's website, I came across this great recommendation from thriller writer John Lescroart: "With The Drifter, Nicholas Petrie has written just about the perfect thriller. I haven't read such a well-crafted and gripping story in a month of Sundays. If this is Petrie's first novel, watch out for the second one. But why wait? This one's here now, and it's a home run.” And now of course, you can read #2 as well!

Want to read more? Here's Rob Thomas in The Cap Times. And if you missed this link in a former post, the Journal Sentinel's Jim Higgins profiled Nick Petrie in advance of Burning Bright's release.

Wherever you live in the metro area, there's a Nick Petrie event for you. He'll also be at Books and Company on Thursday, January 19, and there's a to-be-scheduled event at Craft in Port Washington as well. Greendale Public Library Hose Tower event space is located at 6600 Schoolway, in the lot behind the library. Whitefish Bay Library is located at 5420 N Marlborough Dr.

Saturday, January 21, 11 am, at Boswell:
Ayad Akhtar, author of Disgraced.

The Pulitzer Prize winning play by Brookfield native Ayad Akhtar is coming to the Milwaukee Rep, opening January 17 and running through February 12. The original New York Times review by Charles Isherwood explains the setup well, two couples coming together at a dinner party: "The players are a quartet of accomplished New Yorkers of differing races, creeds and, yes, colors, although they have all arrived at the same high plateau of worldly achievement and can agree on the important things, like the tastiness of the fennel and anchovy salad and the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. What they cannot agree on — and what will ultimately tear apart at least one of the relationships in the play — is who they really are and what they stand for, once the veneer of civilized achievement has been scraped away to reveal more atavistic urges."

Jim Higgins profiled Akhtar in a recent Journal Sentinel piece, where Akhtar noted: ""Increasingly, it’s become impossible to exist in any non-politicized way in this country if you’re Muslim...The way that people are speaking to each other now in public — when I wrote the play you could never have imagined that people would actually say those things in public that they were saying on stage."

Our event is a short talk at Boswell on Saturday, January 21, 11 am. For those of you who have tickets and are attending one of the talk-backs, you're covered. But if you were intrigued with this prize-winning play and the exciting Milwaukee Rep production, this is a great chance to learn more. And don't forget about Mr. Akhtar's novel, American Dervish.

Monday, January 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen.

From Jennifer Senior in The New York Times: "One of the great pleasures of reading Elizabeth McKenzie is that she hears the musical potential in language that others do not — in the manufactured jargon of economics, in the Latin taxonomy of the animal kingdom, even in the names of our own humble body parts (who knew about the eye’s 'zonule of Zinn'?). Her dialogue has real fizz and snappity-pop. It leaves a bubbled contrail.

And here's Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air: "A sweet, sharply written, romantic comedy about the pitfalls of approaching marriage McKenzie imbues her characters with such psychological acuity that they, as well as the off-kilter world they inhabit, feel fully formed and authentic. With its inspired eccentricities and screwball plot choreography, McKenzie's novel perceptively delves into that difficult life stage when young adults finally separate or not from their parents. In the end, The Portable Veblen is a novel as wise as it is squirrely."

Read more about The Portable Veblen and why it makes a great selection for your reading group on a previous Boswell and Books blog post.

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