Monday, August 6, 2018

Just Because It's August Doesn't Mean There Aren't Book Events to Enjoy: Amy E. Reichert, Jenna Blum, Duane Scott Cerny

Just Because It's August Doesn't Mean There Aren't Book Events to Enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 6:30 pm, at Zablocki Library, 3500 W Oklahoma Ave: The Great American Read presents Amy E. Reichert, author of The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go.

It's time for the Great American Read Summer Reading Picnic at the Zablocki Branch of Milwaukee Public Library. Meet Milwaukee Author Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and other great novels. Amy loves to write stories that end with characters you'd invite to dinner. Reichert will talk about love and its influence on stories.

Bring your lawn chair or blanket, a picnic basket if you want to, and get ready to enjoy a spirited discussion on how books influence our own self-discovery and life journey. Bring any book you are interested in discussing as well. Register here.

This event is also cosponsored by Milwaukee Repertory Theater and and Literacy Services of Wisconsin. Don't forget that after you read (or reread) Pride and Prejudice, you'll want to get tickets for Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley. Get them here.

Thursday, August 9, 7 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 West Brown Deer Rd in River Hills:
A ticketed event with Jenna Blum, author of The Lost Family

Milwaukee Reads and Boswell welcome Jenna Blum as a part of the Lynden Sculpture Garden Women’s Speaker Series. Tickets are $32, $27 for Lynden members, and include admission to the event, autographed copy of The Lost Family, and light refreshments from MKE Localicious.

Tickets available for this event online, at

Manhattan, 1965. Patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its Brisket Bourguignon and admire its dashing owner. With movie-star good looks and a tragic past, Peter is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the women hoping to catch his eye. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of a Nazi death camp while his wife, the restaurant’s namesake, and his two young daughters perished.

Then June Bouquet, an up-and-coming model, appears, piercing Peter’s guard. Over the next two decades, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways. Spanning three cinematic decades, from the explosive 1960s to the glittering 1980s, Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by grief, a wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born.

Blum’s novel, which People calls “an exquisite page-turner,” is positioned to be a perfect book club read, and has earned starred reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly.

Jenna Blum is the international bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. She has taught novel workshops for 20 years at Grub Street Writers in Boston, where she earned her M.A. at Boston University. In addition to interviewing Holocaust survivors for the Shoah Foundation, Jenna is a public speaker and avid cook: she creates and tests all the recipes in her novels.

Friday, August 10, 3:00 pm, at Antiques on Pierce, 1512 W Pierce St:
Duane Scott Cerny, author of Selling Dead People's Things: Inexplicably True Tales, Vintage Fails and Objects of Objectionable Estates

Boswell and Antiques on Pierce are pleased to cosponsor a lively afternoon of stories from the dead. Duane Scott Cerny is co-owner of The Broadway Antiques Market, Chicago’s oldest and largest vintage shopping market. He’ll give a wry, behind-the-curtains peek into the world of antiques and their obsessive owners, in life and after their passing.

An amusing observer of the human condition, Cerny entertains in illuminating, scary, sad, or frightfully funny resale tales and essays. Whether processing the estate of a hoarding beekeeper, disassembling the retro remains of an infamous haunted hospital, or conducting an impromptu appraisal during a shiva gone disturbingly wrong, every day is a twisted treasure hunt for this twenty-first-century antiques dealer.

While digging deep into the basements, attics, and souls of the most interesting collectors imaginable, traveling from one odd house call to the curious next, resale predicaments will confound your every turn. Be careful where you step, watch what you touch, and gird your heart - Antiques Roadshow, this ain't!

Duane Scott Cerny’s writing has appeared across a myriad media forms, from essays in The New York Times to stage plays, poetry, and musical releases on nearly a dozen international record labels.

Wednesday, August 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Michael Zadoorian (right), author of Beautiful Music 
Peter Coviello (left), author of Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs

Michael Zadoorian, author of the novel that became this year’s film from Sony Pictures Classics, The Leisure Seekers joins Peter Coviello, whose previous work tackled Steely Dan, Prince, and the history of sexuality, for an evening of music-inspired fiction and memoir.

Zadoorian’s novel Beautiful Music is a funny, poignant, novel about love, fear, death, race, music, and the intense passions of youth. In 1970s Detroit, Danny Yzemski listens to CKLW on his radio. Dad loves music too - the beautiful instrumentals we now call elevator music. Mom drinks and rants. Danny dodges the bullies at school and work, and things get worse before they get better, with the family disintegrating and racial tensions ratcheting up.

Coviello’s memoir Long Players considers grief and the things that keep us alive, namely sex, talk, and dancing. It’s about the different ways we have of falling in love: with bands and songs and books, but also with our friends, lovers, the families we imagine, and the families we make. It’s a story of heartbreak, (ex)stepparenthood, and the limitless grace of pop songs for anyone who has loved a record like their life depended on it.

Publishers Weekly praised both books, calling Beautiful Music a “raucous bildungsroman… full of energy, pain, growth, and great music,” and saying Long Players is “memorably passionate… a sprawling and tempestuous affair.”

Michael Zadoorian is also the author of Second Hand and The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit. Zadoorian is a recipient of a Kresge Artist Fellowship, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and the Michigan Notable Book Award. His fiction has appeared in the Literary Review, American Short Fiction, and North American Review.

Peter Coviello, a professor of English at University of Illinois at Chicago, has written about Walt Whitman, Mormon polygamy, and Prince, and his work has appeared in The Believer, Raritan, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He was also a 2017-18 fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

More on Peter Coviello's memoir:

--Jennifer Finney Boylan in The New York Times talks about how Coviello coming through his depression through music led her to make her own playlist.

--Large Hearted Boy maps out the Coviello playlist on his blog.

Find out more on our upcoming events page.

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