Monday, July 17, 2017

Event blog! David Grann, Evelyn M. Perry with Mitch Teich, Where's Waldo, Tim Taranto, Bianca Marais, Kathleen Davis

Monday, July 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

From The New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West - where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror," roamed--many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Here's a recommendation from Tim McCarthy at Boswell: "The terrifying, sad story is expertly told by David Grann, whose ability to keep diverse characters fresh and create compelling suspense is truly impressive. Grann weaves together a story that includes very carefully researched history about: the west and U.S. expansion; the Texas Rangers, and how one former Ranger became the heroic lead investigator of these crimes during the earliest days of J Edgar Hoover's five decades in leading the FBI; the nation's first uses of careful evidence gathering and fingerprinting; and the ridiculous willingness of many white Americans to throw away lives considered less important than their own, for the sake of greed. Reading this book was like watching a train wreck - I couldn't have been at once more horrified and also transfixed."

David Grann is the best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, which was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. His work has garnered several honors for outstanding journalism, including a George Polk Award.

Tuesday, July 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Evelyn M. Perry, author of Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood, in conversation with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.

While conventional wisdom asserts that residential racial and economic integration holds great promise for reducing inequality in the United States, Americans are demonstrably not very good at living with difference. Perry's analysis of the multiethnic, mixed-income Milwaukee community of Riverwest, where residents maintain relative stability without insisting on conformity, advances our understanding of why and how neighborhoods matter.

In response to the myriad urban quantitative assessments, Perry examines the impacts of neighborhood diversity using more than three years of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. Her in-depth examination of life "on the block" expands our understanding of the mechanisms by which neighborhoods shape the perceptions, behaviors, and opportunities of those who live in them. Perry challenges researchers' assumptions about what "good" communities look like and what well-regulated communities want. Live and Let Live shifts the conventional scholarly focus from "What can integration do?" to "How is integration done?"

Evelyn M. Perry received her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Sociology, Indiana University. Perry is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis. Mitch Teich is the Executive Producer of Lake Effect.

Thursday, July 20, 4:00 pm, at Boswell:
Where's Waldo 30th Celebration Party!

Join Boswell as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beloved search and find character Waldo! This celebration is family fun for all, we’ll have a raffle, games, photo booth, and light refreshments. And as an added bonus, all Waldo books, will be 20% off the month of July.

So what should you expect? A fun-filled day for the whole family. Here's what we have going on:
a. A Waldo scavenger hunt
b. Pin the hat on Waldo
c. Make a Waldo hat and other activities
d. The great Waldo raffle, including Boswell gift cards
f. A Waldo photo booth
g. Light refreshments.

Bust out your binoculars and celebrate the 30th anniversary of Where's Waldo.

Thursday, July 20, 7:00 pm at Boswell:
Tim Taranto, author of Ars Botanica.

A moving meditation on grief, memory, and the way we return to ourselves after loss.

Written as letters to his unborn child, Tim Taranto's Ars Botanica describes the infinite pleasures of falling in love: the small discoveries of each other's otherness, the crush of desire, the frightening closeness, and the terrifying impossibility of losing someone. Through examinations of the ways in which various cultures and religions process grief, Taranto discovers the emotional instincts that shape his own mourning. At times astonishingly personal and even painful, Ars Botanica is also playfully funny, a rich hybrid of memoir, poetry, and illustration that delightfully defies categorization.

From Karen Russell, the author of Swamplandia!: "Ars Botanica is a gorgeous hybrid: a memoir in letters to a phantom addressee, an introduction to life on this planet, a primer for how to live, a meditation on family. It also winds up being a beautiful and highly personal field guide to the natural world. It’s one of the most wrenching and honest accounts of falling in and out of love, of moving through a season of grief, that I’ve ever read."

Tim Taranto is a writer, visual artist, and poet. His work has been featured in Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and The Paris Review. Taranto is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Sunday, July 23, 2 pm at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd:
The Women's Speaker Series presents a ticketed event Bianca Marais, author of Hum If You Don’t Know the Words. This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Reads.

Perfect for readers of The Secret Life of Bees and The Help, Hum If You Don't Know the Words is a perceptive and searing look at Apartheid-era South Africa, told through one unique family brought together by tragedy.

Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970’s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband's death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built and shatters their worlds when Robin's parents are left dead and Beauty's daughter goes missing.

Told through Beauty and Robin's alternating perspectives, the interwoven narratives create a rich and complex tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid-era South Africa. Hum If You Don't Know the Words is a beautifully rendered look at loss, racism, and the creation of family.

No less than four Boswellians have loved Hum If You Don't Know the Words, which was also picked as an Indies Introduce title by the American Booksellers Association. Here's our buyer Jason Kennedy's review: "Set during the Apartheid in South Africa, the story follows two characters who live in different worlds but the same country. There is Beauty, who will stop at nothing to find her daughter during the Soweto Uprising, and there is ten-year-old Robin who goes through some horrific tragedy of her own that turns her world upside down. Robin and Beauty work at picking up the pieces of their shattered lives. They find each other, and though, they are from different worlds, they recognize the same sadness, anxiety, and fear inside the other. Bianca Marais does a remarkable job at breathing life into such a sad and tense time in South Africa's history; this is a book many people should have on their must-read lists of 2017."

Tickets for this event are $30, $25 for members, the book is included as well as tax and fees. For more information, here's an interview with Marais about the book.

Bianca Marais holds a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto's SCS, and her work has been published in World Enough and Crime. Before turning to writing, she started a corporate training company and volunteered with Cotlands, where she assisted care workers in Soweto with providing aid for HIV/AIDS orphans.

Monday, July 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Kathleen Davis, author of You Never Told Me That!: A Crash Course in Preparing Your Kids for Independence.

The day is finally coming when your baby bird will fly away from the family nest. But is he or she ready? Are you? There are thousands of handbooks on raising infants, toddlers, and adolescents, but no proper manual for preparing your social media-obsessed teen for life in the real world until now.

In this informative guide, Whitefish Bay mom Kathleen Davis offers invaluable, commonsense advice to help you help your kid become a successful-or at least functional-adult. She covers the big and small stuff, from doing laundry to paying bills to building character and showing empathy for others. And she doesn't shy away from tough topics like drinking, drugs, and sex. You Never Told Me That! throws a lifeline to soon-to-be empty nesters. Whether your kids are off to college, their first apartments, or new jobs, it's time to get them ready for real life.

Kathleen Davis is a writer, painter, and Realtor who is currently raising her two teenage sons, Henry and George, in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.  In her spare time, she has spent several years volunteering as a coach and mentoring middle and high school students. She is passionate about the importance of education and worked with the school district of Whitefish Bay to develop its anti-bullying program so that all kids could come to school and feel safe.

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