Sunday, September 30, 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Boswell Bestseller List, week ending September 29, 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Boswell Bestseller List, week ending September 29, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green (event 10/1 with Dessa at UWM. Tickets here)
2. There There, by Tommy Orange
3. Undiscovered Country, by Kelly O'Connor McNees
4. Transcription, by Kate Atkinson
5. Desolation Mountain, by William Kent Krueger
6. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
7. Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith
8. Your Duck Is My Duck, by Deborah Eisenberg
9. Labyrinth of the Spirits, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
10. The Overstory, by Richard Powers

One of the most anticipated novels of fall is Kate Atkinson's Transcription, which returns to World War II London. Publishers Weekly offers that "Atkinson's suspenseful novel is enlivened by its heroine's witty, sardonic voice as she is transformed from an innocent, unsophisticated young woman into a spy for Britain's MI5 during WWII." I should have read this with Dear Mrs. Bird! And Janet Maslin writes in The New York Times: "I am one of many readers who view the publication date of each Atkinson novel as an answer to the title question of one of her earlier books, When Will There Be Good News? This one is a major event."

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. The One Percent Solution, by Gordon Lafer
2. Born Bright, by C. Nicole Mason
3. Fear, by Bob Woodward
4. Atlas Obscura, by Dylan Thuras, Joshua Foer, and Ella Morton
5. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
6. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda
7. Educated, by Tara Westover
8. People's History of Poverty in America, by Stephen Pimpare
9. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
10. The Secret Lives of Color, by Kassia St. Clair

Bob Woodward, legendary Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Journalist Author and Associate Editor of The Washington Post, is appearing at the Riverside Theater on October 25 for Fear. It's only book-with-ticket for VIPs. Tickets available here.

Paperback Fiction:
1. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer
2. Under a Dark Sky, by Lori Rader-Day
3. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
4. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
5. Tying the Scot, by Jennifer Trethewey
6. Sourdough, by Robin Sloan
7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy
8. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
9. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
10. Collected Stories, by Lydia Davis

It's conference and fundraiser season and that's keeping us busy running around town.This week's bestseller list is full of featured speakers, including Stephen Pimpare and C. Nicole Mason at the SDC Summit, Gordon Lafer at the AFL-CIO convention, and Jonathan Safran Foer, who was the guest at the Jewish Federation kickoff. His most recent book is Here I Am, now in paperback.This Atlantic essay from A.O.Scott contemplates the various questions raised by Foer's novel about Jewish identity. Note that we have signed copies.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Penguin Book of Hell, edited by Scott G. Bruce
2. The Harvest of American Racism, edited by Robert Shellow
3. Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens, by Stephen Pimpare
4. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
5. Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
6. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
7. Devotion, by Patti Smith
8. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
9. White Rage, by Carol Anderson (event at Shorewood Library, Fri 10/12, 6:30 pm)
10. Janesville, by Amy Goldstein

When the breeziest book in the top 10 is Patti Smith's Devotion: Why I Write, you know you've got a serious crowd on your hands. Her book, now in paperback, is part of the Windham-Campbell Lecture Series at Yale University (more here). Hilton Als did the first one and Patti Smith the second, in 2016. Speeches turned into books go a long way back - every spring brings a graduation speech turned into graduation present. Reviews were mixed on the book itself (here's Michael Lindgren in The Washington Post), but hey, it's Patti Smith and it's $9.95.

Books for Kids:
1. Atlas Obscura's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco
2. Property of the Rebel Librarian, by Allison Varnes
3. Merci Suarez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina
4. Illegal, by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
5. The Red Flex Clan V2 The Royal Ranger, by John Flanagan
6. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina
7. Penguin and Pinecone, by Salina Yoon
8. Be Kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller, with illustrations by Jill Hen
9. My Kite Is Stuck and Other Stories, by Salina Yoon
10. Be a Friend, by Salina Yoon

It's fall, and that means we were selling books at the Wisconsin SCBWI (Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators) conference. The two big hits of the show were Salina Yoon and Meg Medina, whose new book is Merci Suarez Changes Gears. The Kirkus starred review notes: "Merci navigates the challenges of being a scholarship kid at a posh South Florida private school and the expectations of and responsibilities to her intergenerational family."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins offers seven reasons to read 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die. Under It will spark many Debates reason: "Mustich joked that he could have called this 1,000 Arguments rather than 1,000 Books. Readers can and will dissent on both what he included and what he left out. For example, many Wallace Stegner fans have questioned his choice of the novel Angle of Repose (1971), telling him he should have picked Crossing to Safety (1987) instead." Read the whole story here and then register for our event on October 5. Bonus - we'll be doing a drawing of 10 $5 Boswell gift cards to folks who register and attend.

Also in the Journal Sentinel is a profile of Hank Green and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing from Brian Trewitt, originally from USA Today. He writes: "Making online videos with his superpopular young-adult-author brother John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) has helped Hank Green find his own following. But the 38-year-old vlogger, musician, educator and entrepreneur did more than just pull from his own life when he wrote his new book about the consequences of cyber-celebrity." Event is Monday, October 1, 7 pm, at UWM Union. Tickets here.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Boswell's Eventolution: Robert Shellow with Dean Strang, Kelly O'Connor McNees at Lynden, Tommy Orange with Kimberly Blaeser, Lori Rader-Day with Carole E. Barrowman, Scott Bruce on Hell, John Flanagan at Oak Creek Public Library, William Kent Krueger, Sarah Anne Carter at Milwaukee Art Museum, John Gurda at Centennial Hall, and Hank Green in conversation with Dessa at UWM

Monday, September 24, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Robert Shellow, editor of The Harvest of American Racism: The Political Meaning of Violence in the Summer of 1967, in conversation with Dean Strang

Robert Shellow, who led the team of social scientists researching the root causes of 1967’s violent protests for the Kerner Commision, will be in conversation with Dean Strang, discussing the first publication of the Harvest report after a half-century of being buried for political reasons. This event is cohosted by Wisconsin Justice Initiative.

In response to violent demonstrations that rocked cities across the US, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission, was formed. The Commission employed social scientists to research the root causes of the disturbances, including the role that law enforcement played. An early draft of the analysis, which uncovered political causes for unrest, was delivered in November of 1967. The team of researchers was fired, and the controversial report remained buried at the LBJ Presidential Library until now.

Robert Shellow was principal social scientist and Research Director for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission). He later directed the Pilot District Project, an experimental police-community relations program for the Washington, DC, Department of Public Safety.

Dean Strang is a criminal defense lawyer in Madison and author of Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror and a new book on America’s largest mass trial, to be published by the University of Wisconsin Press this winter.

Monday, September 24, 7:00 PM reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd:
Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of Undiscovered Country: A Novel Inspired by the Lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Boswell is pleased to cosponsor the Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Women’s Speaker Series, welcoming Kelly O’Connor McNees with her latest novel, Undiscovered Country. This series curated by Milwaukee Reads.

Tickets for this event are $30, $25 for Lynden members, and include admission to the event and sculpture garden, a copy of Undiscovered Country, and light refreshments. For tickets, go to or call (414) 446-8794.

In 1932, reporter Lorena “Hick” Hickok starts each day with a front page byline and finishes it swigging bourbon. But an assignment to write a feature on FDR’s wife Eleanor turns Hick’s independent life on its ear. Soon her work and secret entanglement with the new first lady will take her from New York and Washington to Scotts Run, West Virginia, where impoverished coal miners’ families fear the New Deal’s promised hope will pass them by. Together, Eleanor and Hick imagine how the new town of Arthurdale could change the fate of hundreds of lives.

Undiscovered Country artfully mixes fact and fiction to portray the intense relationship between this unlikely pair. Inspired by the more than three thousand letters Hick and Eleanor exchanged over a span of thirty years, McNees tells this story through Hick’s tough, tender, and unforgettable voice. A remarkable portrait of Depression-era America, this novel tells the poignant story of how a love that was forced to remain hidden nevertheless changed history.

Chicago-based Kelly O’Connor McNees is the author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, The Island of Doves, and In Need of a Good Wife, a finalist for the 2013 Willa Award. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Toast, and Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology.

Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Tommy Orange, author of There There, in conversation with UWM’s Kimberly Blaeser

We're thrilled to welcome Orange to Boswell, where he'll be in conversation with UWM Professor of English and American Indian Studies Kimberly Blaeser. This event is cosponsored by Electa Quinney Institute. Registration is free, or upgrade to a book-with-ticket for only $22, including tax, including ticket fee. That's 20% off the price of There There, and we'll guarantee a first edition copy. Tickets are at

From Boswell's Tim McCarthy: "The novel has 12 characters who eventually come together at the Big Oakland Powwow, people so diverse and also deeply intertwined, sometimes in ways they don't even know; but Dene seems central. He's won a project grant to document long ignored stories from Oakland Indians on video, with no director's agenda, just letting the 'content control the vision;' and that's exactly how I see this novel, as the characters' stories, told forcefully. They are often frightening and confusing, but with moments of revelation and clarity and power. They feel true, not crafted to turn out the way you or I would want. The people sometimes survive, sometimes don't, and for some we're not even sure at the end. This book is a brilliantly written, unflinching look at life as it is and the constant battle to find a sense of place."

Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California. Kimberly Blaeser is a poet, critic, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer, as well as Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A former Poet Laureate for Wisconsin, she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing.

Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Lori Rader-Day, author of Under a Dark Sky, in conversation with Carole Barrowman

Boswell and Crimespree Magazine are happy to cohost Lori Rader-Day for a conversation about her creepy, chaotic new novel with Carole E. Barrowman, novelist book critic, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Alverno College.

Boswell's Daniel Goldin offers this recommendation: "On the weekend of her anniversary, Eden Wallace heads to a dark park in rural Michigan. Despite her fear of the dark, it seems like a great remember her husband Dix, who had planned this celebration before his untimely death. On arriving, she learns that she’s actually sharing the guest house with six millennials, celebrating their own anniversary, only they seem to be spatting more than celebration. The next morning, one of them is dead, and Eden finds herself both amateur detective and suspect. Even more disturbing, her stay is leading to more disturbing revelations about her husband’s life and death. Under a Dark Sky offers a confessional psychological suspense tone wrapped around a classic locked-room plotline. There are a lot of twists in this compelling story, so you’ll want to pay attention."

Bestselling novelist Jeffery Deaver is also a fan: "A brilliant concept, brilliantly told! Under a Dark Sky is a novel that you simply can’t put down. Populated by living, breathing characters and filled with fresh prose and sharp dialogue, we thrill to spend a harrowing, yet redemptive, get-away with our wonderful protagonist, Eden Wallace. I guarantee this book will resonate with you. Because, let’s face it, aren’t we all afraid of the dark?"

Chicago-based Lori Rader-Day’s debut mystery, The Black Hour, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second novel, Little Pretty Things, received a starred review from Booklist and was named a 2015 “most arresting crime novel” by Kirkus Reviews. Carole E. Barrowman is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing Studies at Alverno College, crime fiction columnist for the Journal Sentinel, and coauthor of several books with her brother, including the Hollow Earth series.

Bonus event listing: Thursday, September 27, 6:30 pm, at The Pfister Hotel
Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Here I Am
As part of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation annual campaign kickoff celebration.

Boswell will be there selling books or you can bring yours from home to be signed. Tickets are $18 and include admission and light refreshments. More information on the Federation website.

Thursday, September 27, 7:00 PM, at Boswell:
Scott G. Bruce, author of The Penguin Book of Hell

Cohosted by Boswell and UWM’s Department of Art History, Fordham Professor of History Scott G. Bruce exhumes 3,000 years of visions of Hell, from the ancient Near East to modern America.

From the Hebrew Bible’s shadowy realm of Sheol to twenty-first-century visions of Hell on earth, The Penguin Book of Hell takes us through three thousand years of eternal damnation. Along the way, you’ll take a ferry ride with Aeneas to Hades, across the river Acheron, meet the Devil as imagined by a twelfth-century Irish monk, a monster with a thousand giant hands, wander the nine circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, in which gluttons, liars, heretics, murderers, and hypocrites are made to endure crime-appropriate torture, and witness the debates that raged in Victorian England when new scientific advances cast doubt on the idea of an eternal hereafter.

Drawing upon religious poetry, epics, theological treatises, stories of miracles, and accounts of saints’ lives, this fascinating volume of hellscapes illuminates how Hell has long haunted us, in both life and death.

Scott G. Bruce is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Undead and author of three books about the monks of the abbey of Cluny. He was formerly the director of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. And yes, he worked his way through college as a grave digger.

Friday, September 28, 6:00 PM, at Oak Creek Public Library, 8040 S Sixth St in Drexel Town Center:
John Flanagan, author of The Red Fox Clan.

Cohosted by Boswell, Australian author of adventure John Flanagan brings the world of Ranger’s Apprentice to Oak Creek Public Library. Please register for this event right here.

The Red Fox Clan continues the story of fan favorite characters Will and Maddie. Picking up where The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning left off, this installment follows young apprentice Maddie and student-turned-master Will Treaty, as the time has come for the next generation to assume the mantle and become protectors of the kingdom of Araluen. This captivating series is perfect for fans of Tolkien, Redwall, and Game of Thrones!

After a successful career in advertising and television, John Flanagan began writing a series of short stories for his son to encourage him to read. Those stories eventually became the Ranger’s Apprentice series, which, along with the companion series Brotherband, have sold millions of copies and made readers of kids the world over.

Saturday, September 29, 3:00 PM, at Boswell:
William Kent Krueger, author of Desolation Mountain.

Boswell and Crimespree Magazine welcome back Edgar award-winning William Kent Krueger for an afternoon of mountaintop mystery and adventure with Desolation Mountain, Krueger’s latest installment in his bestselling Cork O’Conner series.

Here's a recommendation of Desolation Mountain from Boswellian Kay Wosewick: "Where has WK Krueger been all my life?! Cork, the central character in this and many other Krueger books, lives in a small town in northern Minnesota near a large reservation, doing double duty as owner of a burger joint and as a private investigator. A popular, liberal Minnesota Senator is on her way to meet with locals about a controversial mining proposal when her plane goes down on the reservation. Rez occupants, including Cork, are among the first to arrive on the scene to search for survivors, but they are chased away as officials quickly cordon off the crash area. By the next day, the town is besieged by the media as well as a variety of investigative groups, some with obvious affiliations (FBI), but others not readily identifiable. There are no survivors, and pilot error is officially ruled as cause of the crash. Despite the ruling, secretive investigations continue, and soon several of the rez folks who were first to arrive at the crash site disappear. Cork, of course, has his own investigation underway. Great pacing, a venerable setting, puzzling motives, and soulfully crafted characters who I’d love to meet make for fantastic reading, and a firm plan to read the first book in Krueger’s series starring Cork."

And here's Ginny Greene in the Star Tribune: "Krueger’s taut storytelling and intricate plots almost always center on a topic in the news, a compelling hook he’s researched well and has wrapped his tale around. His debut, Iron Lake, dealt with corruption in Indian casinos. In Sulphur Springs, it was the border drug cartels. Windigo Island took on the trafficking of Indian girls along Lake Superior’s boat docks and stretched to the oil fields of North Dakota. Bring on No. 18, Krueger. We’re waiting for our next Cork O’Connor rush."

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of 17 Cork O’Connor novels, including Tamarack County and Windigo Island, as well as Ordinary Grace, winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for best novel. He lives in the Twin Cities.

Sunday, September 30, 2:00 PM, at Milwaukee Art Museum's Lubar Auditorium:
Sarah Anne Carter, author of Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Learned to Make Sense of the Material World

Cosponsored by Milwaukee Art Museum, Chipstone Foundation, and Boswell, Sarah Anne Carter takes us from the Museum’s Lubar Auditorium to a nineteenth-century world where ideas were taught with objects. This event is free with Museum admission or membership.

For modern scholars, an "object lesson" is simply a timeworn metaphor used to describe any sort of reasoning from concrete to abstract. Object lessons helped children to learn about the world through their senses, touching and seeing rather than memorizing and repeating. Carter argues that object lessons taught Americans how to comprehend the information in things, from a type-metal fragment to a whalebone sample, and offers the object lesson as a tool for contemporary scholars to interpret the meanings of nineteenth-century material, cultural, and intellectual life.

Sarah Anne Carter is Curator and Director of Research at the Chipstone Foundation. She has published, lectured, and taught courses on material culture, museum practice, and American cultural history. At Chipstone, Carter has collaboratively curated many exhibitions, including Mrs. M. ---- 's Cabinet, and directs Chipstone's Think Tank Program.

Monday, October 1, 6:00 PM, at Milwaukee Public Library’s Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St:
John Gurda, author of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water

Milwaukee’s preeminent historian appears with his latest book, expanding upon his popular PBS Milwaukee documentary to relate the mucky history of the waters that gave Milwaukee life. This event is free and open to the public, no registration required.

Gurda explores the city’s complicated connection with its most precious resource and greatest challenge. Generations of people, from a Potawatomi chief to fur traders and fishermen, settled on the small spit of land known as Jones Island. Learn how Milwaukee’s unique water composition creates its distinct cream-colored bricks, visit Wisconsin’s first waterparks, and see how city leaders transformed the Milwaukee River, once described as a “vast sewer” with an “odorous tide,” into today’s lively and lovely Riverwalk.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, churches, and industries. He is also a photographer, lecturer, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gurda is an eight-time winner of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Award of Merit.

Monday, October 1, 7:00 PM, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd:
A Ticketed Event with Hank Green, author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, in conversation with Dessa

Join Hank Green and special guest Dessa on tour in support of Hank's debut novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this multimedia event, Hank and Dessa will talk about their books, answer audience questions, perform live music, and more. All tickets include an autographed copy of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

Tickets are available at for $30, including all taxes and fees. ID required for meet and greet. Dessa's new book, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, will also be available for sale at the show. Please note there is no public signing for this event. Mr. Green will not be able to personalize, sign memorabilia, or pose for pictures. Note that VIP tickets are sold out for this event.

This is Tim McCarthy's week! Here's his recommendation for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: "23-year-old April May is walking home on a New York City sidewalk at 3:00 am when she looks up to suddenly find a huge, impressive, armored robot sculpture standing directly in her path. April's a bit jaded by seeing so much in New York that's remarkable, but this is different, strange enough to make her immediately call her irritated friend Andy out to film her with the statue, which she affectionately names Carl.

"Within hours of launching their video, it's clear that Carl's impact will be extraordinary, and April was the first to see him. I love Green's sharp, natural dialog, his clever but nonthreatening use of math and science and music, and how April talks to us directly about her steep, deeply human learning curve. She's openly confused about the allure and cost of instant fame, and about hateful divisions growing from fear. She's equally clear about the ultimate beauty of people who unite against ugliness. This will be a fast, fun, thought provoking read for adults of any age."

Specially priced tickets for UWM Students, Faculty, and Staff are available at the UWM Box Office. ID required. This event is cosponsored by the UWM Student Union and UWM Student Involvement.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Notes from the Bestseller Listener: Boswell's Top Tens for the Week Ending September 22, 2018

Notes from the Bestseller Listener: Boswell's Top Tens for the Week Ending September 22, 2018

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Lethal White V4, by Robert Galbraith
2. My Struggle V6, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
3. Time's Convert V1, by Deborah Harkness
4. There There, by Tommy Orange (Register for this event on Tue 9/25, 7 pm, here)
5. The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai
6. Labyrinth of the Spirits, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
7. The Fall of Gondolin, by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
9. The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason (event Mon 11/5, 7 pm, at Boswell)
10. Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart

The fourth Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) is Lethal White, which Sarah Lyall in The New York Times wrote is "a big, stuffed-to-the-brim, complicated bouillabaisse of a book, not least because of the busy inner lives of its protagonists. It features, among other things, blackmail and counter-blackmail, deception and betrayal; a high-profile suicide that might be murder; paintings and jewelry that could be worth a lot, or not much at all; intimations of a deeply distasteful business venture that no one wants to talk about; a killing that may have taken place years ago; and generally sketchy behavior extending from the Houses of Parliament to a socialist resistance movement to a crumbling countryside estate."

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. Fear, by Bob Woodward
2. High-Risers, by Ben Austen
3. Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, by John Gurda
4. These Truths, by Jill Lepore
5. Educated, by Tara Westover
6. Leadership, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
7. The Good Neighbor, by Maxwell King
8. Tommy, by Tommy Thompson and Doug Moe
9. Atlas Obscura, by Dylan Thuras, Joshua Foer, and Ella Morton
10. The Road to Disaster, by Brian Vandemark

Michael Schaub, on NPR, looks at These Truths: A History of the United States. He writes: "She has chosen to look at America through the lens of the lens of the promises America has made to itself, and whether we've kept them. One of the earliest of the country's broken promises was slavery, which the authors of the Declaration of Independence failed to mention in their document. 'The Declaration that Congress did adopt was a stunning rhetorical feat, an act of extraordinary political courage,' Lepore writes. 'It also marked a colossal failure of political will, in holding back the tide of opposition to slavery by ignoring it, for the sake of a union that, in the end, could not and would not last.'"

Paperback Fiction:
1. At the End of the War, by DeWitt Clinton
2. Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke
3. Hotel Silence, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
4. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
5. The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
6. Forest Dark, by Nicole Krauss
7. The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish
8. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
9. The Gustav Sonata, by Rose Tremain
10. The Readymade Thief, by Augustus Rose

When I talk to customers about their favorite authors, Geraldine Brooks is one author who comes up with regularity. One of her most popular novel is People of the Book. But Brooks, much as we'd like her too, cannot have a new book all the time. It turns out that several readers have told me that Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink. is a great recommendation for those fans. It received the National Jewish Book Award Publishers Weekly compared the novel to A.S. Byatt's Possession.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Homeward, by Bruce Western
2. Night Moves, by Jessica Hopper
3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan
4. Ecological Aesthetics, by Nathaniel Stern
5. Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends, by Anna Lardinois
6. Somos Latinas, by Andrea Arenas and Elois Gómez
7. The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore (Tickets for Thu 10/11 event at Lynden here)
8. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
9. Great Lakes Water Wars 2E, by Peter Annin
10. Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance

Peter Annin will be launching the second edition of Great Lakes Water Wars at Discovery World on October 3, for an event cosponsored by Northland College, the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, and the Joyce Foundation. The new edition includes information on Foxconn, Waukesha, and the massive Chicago diversion. Register for this event here.

Books for Kids:
1. Illegal paperback edition, by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
2. The Great Shelby Holmes V1, by Elizabeth Eulberg
3. Illegal hardcover edition, by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
4. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case V3, by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. Seeds and Trees, by Brandon Walden
6. The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match V2, by Elizabeth Eulberg
7. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
8. Atlas Obscura's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras, Rosemary Mosco, and Joy Ang
9. Lord of the Fleas V5, by Dav Pilkey
10. Dog Man V1, by Dav Pilkey

We've hosted Elizabeth Eulberg in the past for her YA novels but this is our first day of school visits for her middle grade series, the newest of which is The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case. Of the first book in the series, Publishers Weekly wrote: "Readers will delight in Shelby’s ability to read clues in this well-plotted mystery and sympathize with Watson who, along with the rest of the supporting cast, is generally two steps behind Shelby."

Journal Sentinel book page reviews:
--Jocelyn McClurg reviews In Pieces, the new memoir from Sally Field. (USA Today)
--Jeff Ayers reviews Trust Me, a thriller from Hank Phillippi Ryan (Associated Press)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

YA, Boswell!: Hank Green with Dessa, Epic Reads (Kendare Blake, Mackenzi Lee, Elana K. Arnold, Claire Legrand, Anna Godbersen) Meet-Up, Laini Taylor at West Allis Public Library, and Marissa Meyer at Boswell

This fall brings the best YA lineup to Milwaukee in memory* with four amazing events at Boswell and our partner locations. Please note that two events are free with registration and two are ticketed, but on of the ticketed events has a free signing following. And also note that while our first event is a novel published as an trade adult title, we know that Hank Green, who along with brother John Green, has a large YA following.

Event #1: Hank Green with Dessa
When: Monday, October 1, 7 pm
Where: UWM Student Union, 2200 E Kenmore Blvd
Cost: $30, includes signed book
Ticket info (general public):
Featured title: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

"Join Hank Green and special guest Dessa on tour in support of Hanks debut novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this multimedia event, Hank and Dessa will talk about their books, answer audience questions, and more. Of the book, Kirkus writes:"A young graphic artist inspires worldwide hysteria when she accidentally makes first contact with an alien.Famous multimedia wunderkind Green is brother to that John Green, so no pressure or anything on his debut novel."

What Boswellian Tim McCarthy said about the book: "I love Green's sharp, natural dialog, his clever but nonthreatening use of math and science and music, and how April talks to us directly about her steep, deeply human learning curve. She's openly confused about the allure and cost of instant fame, and about hateful divisions growing from fear. She's equally clear about the ultimate beauty of people who unite against ugliness. This will be a fast, fun, thought provoking read for adults of any age."

What you get: A signed book and an amazing show. Alas, the VIP meet-and-greet is sold out. There is no public signing for this book, so no personalizations and no backlist signed. Please note there are specially priced tickets for UWM students, faculty, and staff, available at the UWM Student Union Box Office. Signed copies of Dessa's new memoir, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, will also be available for sale at this event.

Event #2: Epic Reads Meetup, with Kendare Blake, Mackenzi Lee, Elana K. Arnold, Claire Legrand, and Anna Godbersen When: Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 pm
Where: Boswell Book Company, 2559 N Downer Ave
Cost: $21, including your choice of five featured titles. And yes, there will be swag!
Ticket info:
Featured titles: Five altogether! Check out the linked titles below.

So many YA books, so little time. Epic Reads invites readers of all ages to join a round-table where you'll get to strike up conversation with authors who will gab about their books and other fan favorites. It's like every attendee is a VIP. And because we'll be rotating the authors, you'll get quality time with all five of our YA stars.

Kendare Blake's Two Dark Reigns is the third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns series, which Kirkus called "Tragic, devastating, horrifying, enthralling. In Blake's latest installment, a queen that has long been dead makes a chilling return to Fennbirn Island. Of Three Dark Crowns and its sequels, Boswellian Jen Steele says that "Kendare Blake's series is a dark, creepy fantasy that will keep you spellbound to the very last moment."

Boswell welcomes back Mackenzi Lee for The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. In this highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor, even if she has to turn to a life of crime to do it. From Boswell's Jenny Chou: "Don’t miss this delightful return to the 18th century world of siblings Felicity and Monty Montague. The banter between Felicity and her roguish brother is just as hilarious, but this time around it’s clear that as much as they provoke each other, beneath it all is affection."

Also returning to Boswell is National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold, whose latest novel is Damsel, a stunning new YA fairy tale turned askew. A prince slays a dragon and takes his princess, but when Ama wakes up in the arms of Prince Emory, it's not going to be happily ever after, not with this prince. Jenny Chou writes: "My favorite part about Damsel was the very last page, but don’t even think of reading that first! Enjoy every word of this this fiercely feminist novel."

Claire Legrand's new nail-biter is Sawkill Girls, a frightening standalone contemporary teen horror novel about three girls who take on an insidious monster that preys upon young women. Legrand's Some Kind of Happiness was an Edgar Award finalist. From Booklist's starred review: "Through this dank, atmospheric, and genuinely frightening narrative, Legrand weaves powerful threads about the dangerous journey of growing up female. In a world where monsters linger at the edges, this is an intensely character-driven story about girls who support each other, girls who betray each other, and girls who love each other in many complicated ways. Strange, eerie, and unforgettable."

When We Caught Fire, by Anna Godbersen, is set during Chicago's Great Fire of 1871 and features a young woman swept up in high society and a lady's maid, her childhood friend, who are both in love with the same young man. Godbersen is author of the popular Luxe series. School Library Journal writes calls this "a steamy romance set amid the tragic Chicago fire of 1871 that will intrigue fans of dramatic, swoony historical fiction."

Authors will personalize and take photos. Yes, you can bring additional books from home. And yes, if you don't want to be part o the Meet-Up but still want to get books signed, Boswell reopens to the general public at 8 pm and all are welcome to join the signing line.

Event #3: Laini Tylor When: Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 pm
Where: West Allis Public Library, 7421 W National Ave
Cost: Free!
Registration here for this event.
Featured title: Muse of Nightmares

National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the hugely popular Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, comes to West Allis Public Library with Muse of Nightmares, the highly anticipated sequel to her novel Strange the Dreamer. Strange the Dreamer was named a Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association.

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation clash in Muse of Nightmares, which is, according to Kirkus Reviews, “a sequel that surpasses the original." And Boswell's Jenny Chou exclaims: "In Muse of Nightmares, Laini Taylor pulled me back into the ingeniously-built world of Strange the Dreamer and didn’t let me go for 500 riveting pages. Set aside a weekend (or one intense all-nighter), and prepare to be emotionally drained but exhilarated by this novel."

From Jonathan Hunt in Horn Book Magazine: "Taylor's prodigious imagination is on full display: marvelous world-building, suspenseful plotting, complex characterization, finely crafted prose, and grand thematic flourishes make her one of the most formidable contemporary writers in the YA fantasy genre."

Boswell will be at this event selling books. Yes, you bring Taylor's backlist from home to be signed. And yes, Taylor will personalize and pose for photos.

Event #4: Marissa Meyer
When: Thursday, November 8, 7 pm
Where: Boswell Book Company, 2559 N Downer Ave
Register for free or upgrade to include a copy of for signing line priority at
Featured title: Archenemies

Boswell is thrilled to be hosting an appearance from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer. Fans of Renegades will be eagerly awaiting Archenemies, the long-awaited second installment after Renegades.

Our event will include a talk, a question-and-answer period, and a signing. While Meyer will sign all copies brought to the event, she will only personalize copies of Archenemies, as well as one other title of the attendee's choice. She will sign memorabilia and pose for photos.

Publishers Weekly writes: ""In a vividly dark and fully imagined universe where special abilities are feared unless they can be strictly controlled and labeled, Meyer celebrates and subverts popular superhero tropes while mining the gray area between malevolence and virtue...Beyond the capes and masks is a strikingly grounded story of star-crossed would-be lovers, deception, and the recognition that most of humanity exists between the extremes of good and evil."

Are you as excited about these events as we are and would you like to help spread the word so that we can get more great YA authors to the Milwaukee area? Make sure your friends get this info. And if you have a place to post this info, we've got 11x17 posters featuring all four events. Stop by Boswell and ask for one - while supplies last.

To summarize (click to registration or ticket link):
Monday, October 1: Hank Green with Dessa at UWM
Wednesday, October 3: Epic Reads Meetup at Boswell, with Kendare Blake, Mackenzi Lee, Elana K. Arnold, Claire Legrand, and Anna Godbersen
Tuesday, October 9: Laini Taylor at West Allis Public Library
Thursday, November 8: Marissa Meyer at Boswell

*That said, my memory can be a mess. But I don't think we've ever had more than two YA events in a season and certainly not one with five authors.