Monday, January 28, 2019

Boswell event forecast: snow, cold, but actually a lot of things going on: Tim Johnston, Nick Petrie, YA Boswell with Brigid Kemmerer, AC Gaughen, Mimi Yu, plus Paul Noth, Liam Callanan, Barbara Ransby, Christina Ward, Gregg Hurwitz

Wow, what a snow. Lots of closings today, but Boswell is open 10-ish am to 6 pm. Now that you don't have to work, you can come to our event with Tim Johnston.

Monday, January 28, now at 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
Tim Johnston, author of The Current

Due to Monday's storm, we're moving our event with Tim Johnston to 2:00 pm. Our thought is that we're not likely to see you at 7:00 pm, and we're not even likely to be open - right now we're at the mercy of nature and the accuracy of weather forecasters. Our mystery book club at 6:00 pm has been cancelled. Special offer - The Current is now 20% off, and if you come to the event and buy a copy of Johnston's hardcover, we'll pay two hours parking at the garage across the street. And please note, they only take dollar bills.

In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene, half frozen but alive. What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, whose killer may still live among them.

Here's a recommendation from Boswell's Tim McCarthy: "Tim Johnston is an excellent writer. The Current is a fine novel of suspense and an intricate study of how people react to tragedy and loss. Two young women are caught in a frightening situation that reopens a ten-year-old crime. The past and present events happen in the same river across two states, and the story has the feel of a strong current. Johnston's descriptions of the river, where lives suddenly change forever, have a gravity like the flowing water, and he captures the survivors' struggle over what they can never get back as time pushes them away from what they had. His use of places and things to reveal characters' emotions is masterful, and his characters' direct, honest dialog about the most difficult problems is compelling. With very few words Johnston quickly shows us the thoughts and actions of people who seem real."

Tim Johnston is author of Descent, Irish Girl, winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and the YA novel Never So Green, and he’s won the O. Henry Prize.

Tuesday, January 29, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
YA Boswell! Featuring Brigid Kemmerer, author A Curse So Dark and Lonely, AC Gaughen, author Imprison the Sky, and Mimi Yu, author The Girl King, in conversation with Jaime and Erin Arkin

Three awesome authors, one night only - It’s a YA Boswell! Party, where adults and teens have a chance to meet their next favorite YA writers, with interviews by Fiction Fare bloggers Erin and Jaime Arkin. Buy a copy of one of the three featured hardcovers and we will cover two hours of parking at the garage across the street.

Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series and Letters to the Lost, appears with A Curse So Dark and Lonely, her lush retelling of Beauty and the Beast, featuring a kingdom in peril and a heart-stopping romance that’s perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer. Booklist’s starred review called it “an absorbing, emotional roller coaster of a read.”

AC Gaughen, author of Scarlet, the Elementae Series continues with Imprison the Sky - fans of Sarah J. Maas will love with more magic and heart-stopping romance. 18-year-old Aspasia, an Elementae who controls air, gets caught in a battle between Cyrus, who forces her to capture slaves for market, and a queen whose husband experiments on Elementae.

Mimi Yu’s debut, The Girl King, is a richly imagined high fantasy inspired by East Asian history that fans of Sabaa Tahir will love. Lu, an ambitious princess, has her throne stolen by a conniving male cousin. At the same time, her meek sister Minyi is still trying to figure out where she belongs, and Nokhai, a boy born into a nation of shape-shifters, is unable to shift his shape.

Tuesday, January 29, 6:30 pm, at Whitefish Bay Library, 5420 N Marlborough Dr:
Nick Petrie, author of Tear It Down

Whitefish Bay’s own Nick Petrie appears for a special encore presentation of the latest installment in his thrilling Peter Ash series at Whitefish Bay Library.

Daniel Goldin (that's me) offers this recommendation: "Marine veteran Peter Ash is off to Memphis to help his girlfriend June’s photojournalist friend Wanda who is receiving death threats. She’s going to need a lot of help – a truck has just crashed into her house. While he’s helping fix the place up (and trying to keep his claustrophobia in control), Peter’s own truck is stolen by a teenager on the run from a heist, only what Eli is running towards might be even more dangerous than the law that he’s running from. I love how each player has their own sense of justice. There’s no way they can all get what they want, and it all plays out with the suspense turned up to maximum decibels, in this latest entry from the author of The Drifter."

Plus here's Lloyd Sachs in the Chicago Tribune: "Though there are some good action scenes in Tear It Down, Petrie's overall restraint and devotion to character are what set the novel apart. His best new creation is Eli, a skinny teenager under King Robbie's thumb to whom Ash takes a liking, even after the kid pulls a gun on him and steals his vintage Chevy pickup truck. One good reason: He's a prodigious blues guitarist whose future must be protected."

Postponed! Tuesday, January 29, 6:30 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library’s Krug Rare Books Room, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave:
Christopher Sturdevant, author of Cold War Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Public Library's event with Christopher Sturdevant for Cold War Wisconsin has been postponed, due to cold. It will be rescheduled.

RescheduledWednesday, January 30, 6:30 pm, at Boswell
Now scheduled for Saturday, February 2, Noon:
Paul Noth, author of How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth

It's the coolest book tour out there! Milwaukee native and regular cartoon contributor to The New Yorker, Paul Noth returns to Boswell with the second installment in his hilarious middle grade series of alien adventure. Cosponsored by Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.

Happy Conklin Jr. is probably the only 10-year-old who accidentally sold his entire family to aliens. He managed to save his family, but now he has a bigger problem. Hap wants a girl in his sixth-grade science class to be his lab partner but lacks the courage to even talk to her. As he and his powerful pet lizard work on a solution, he also, unfortunately, opens a black hole in his middle school that will swallow the solar system, unless he’s able to stop it.

New date for Paul Noth - Saturday, February 2, Noon

Paul Noth’s cartoons have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 2004. He has created short animated films for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and been an animation consultant for Saturday Night Live. He is the author of How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens.

Postponed! Thursday, January 31, Noon, at Marquette University's Eckstein Hall, 1215 W Michigan St:
Barbara Ransby, author of Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century

New date to come!

The Marquette Forum presents Barbara Ransby, Professor and Director of the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who will give the Martin Luther King, Jr lecture, “Black Women and Long Struggle for Racial, Gender and Economic Justice, 1969 to 2019."

Publishers Weekly offered this review of Making All Black Lives Matter: "Historian Ransby delivers an accessible analysis of contemporary American racial-justice organizing, focusing on the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter...This perceptive resource on radical black liberation movements in the 21st century can inform anyone wanting to better understand why these movements sprang up or how to make social change."
Ransby is also author of the award-winning biography, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson. Registration is free but today is the deadline. There is also a limited amount of garage parking available for $10. More information and registration here.

Thursday, January 31, 6:30 pm, at Elm Grove Public
Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd:
Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book

Celebrate the paperback release at Elm Grove Public Library of Milwaukee author Callanan’s charming novel about a missing person, a grieving family, and a curious clue: a half-finished manuscript set in Paris. Cosponsored by Boswell.

When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife, Leah, their daughters, and hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris. So Leah sets off for France with her girls. As the family settles into their new Parisian life, a series of startling discoveries forces Leah to consider that she may not be ready for what solving this mystery might do to her family. Haunting and triumphant, Paris by the Book follows one woman’s journey as she explores the power of family and the magic that hides within the pages of a book.

Paris by the Book, just released in paperback, has already charted on four regional independent bestseller lists in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Mountains and Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. Can't make this event? Liam will also be reading on Thursday, February 7 at Boswell for the United We Read Student and Faculty Reading. He'll also be at Mount Mary College on Monday, February 11, 6:30 pm. Callanan is the author of three other books and is Professor of English at UWM.

Friday, February 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Christina Ward, author of American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Bananas, Spam, and Jell-O

New event date! Christina Ward, author of Preservation: The Art and Science of Canning, Fermentation, and Dehydration and teacher of notoriously raucous preservation and food science classes, explores the world of twentieth century food culture and combines historic cookbook images and intelligent research into an entertaining, accessible history of food.

Connecting cultural, social, and geopolitical aspects, Ward uses her expertise to tell the fascinating, often infuriating story of American culinary culture. Loaded with full-color images, Ward pulls recipes and images from her vast collection of cookbooks and a wide swath of historical advertisements to show the influence of corporations on our food trends.

Christina Ward teaches preservation classes and serves as a volunteer mentor to urban farmers and small-scale food producers. She is a contributing writer to Serious Eats, resident food expert for Fox6 Milwaukee, and former columnist for Edible Milwaukee. She has also written for Remedy Quarterly, Put An Egg On It!, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Saturday, February 2, 3:00 pm, at Boswell:
Gregg Hurwitz, author of Out of the Dark: An Orphan X Novel, in conversation with Nick Petrie

Author of New York Times bestselling thrillers, screenwriter, and story creator for Marvel and DC comics, Gregg Hurwitz chats with Milwaukee’s Nick Petrie about the latest installment of the Orphan X series, in which Evan Smoak takes on his most impossible target, while facing his deadliest opponent yet. Cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

Taken from a group home and trained as part of the Orphan program, an off-the-books operation designed to create assassins, Evan Smoak was Orphan X. Until he disappeared. Now, someone is trying to clean up the Orphan program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. Evan decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the Orphan program, now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.

But President Bennett knows Orphan X is after him, and he's decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man with the skills and experience to take out Orphan X - the first recruit of the program, Orphan A. Now it's Orphan vs. Orphan, and the future of the country is on the line.

Gregg Hurwitz is author of thrillers like Hellbent and has penned stories for Marvel and DC, written screenplays such as The Book of Henry, and written, developed, and produced television programs like V. Nick Petrie is the Milwaukee-based author of the Peter Ash thriller series, including the Edgar-nominated first novel The Drifter.

Check our upcoming events page for the latest updates.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Boswell bestsellers, week ending January 26, 2019

It's the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 26, 2019. Amie and I are back from Winter Institute in Albuquerque and here's what sold while we were gone.

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Tear it Down V4, by Nick Petrie (Event Tue 1/29, 6:30 at Whitefish Bay Library)
2. The Current, by Tim Johnston (New time! Event is Monday, January 28, 2 pm)
3. There There, by Tommy Orange
4. The Red Address Book, by Sofia Lundberg
5. The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay
6. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
7. Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso
8. Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield
9. Map of Salt and Stars, by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
10. The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin

Jane is single-handedly getting The Red Address Book on our bestseller list. Quotes are from Fredrik Backman, Nina George, and this from Helen Simonson: "A sweet-tart Swedish romance steeped in memory and regret…The Red Address Book is just the sort of easy-reading tale that will inspire readers to pull up a comfy chair to the fire, grab a mug of cocoa and a box of tissues and get hygge with it.”

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Out of the Gobi, by Wijan Shan
2. The Poisoned City, by Anna Clark
3. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
4. America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook, from America's Test Kitchen
5. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat
6. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, by David Treuer
7. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
8. Maid, by Stephanie Land
9. You Can't Spell Truth without Ruth, edited by Mary Zaia
10. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, by Shoshana Zuboff

Winner of the James Beard Award for best cookbook and several IACP cookbook awards, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking is also notorious by booksellers for being extremely difficult to source this holiday season. Here's the secret in a nutshell: "Master the use of just four elements - Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn
2. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan (event Thu 1/31, 6:30 at Elm Grove Library)
3. The Drifter, by Nick Petrie
4. Best European Fiction 2018, edited by Alex Andriesse
5. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
6. The Fifth Season V1: Broken Earth by NK Jemisin
7. Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson
8. Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (In-Store Lit Group discussion Mon 2/4, 7 pm)
9. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
10. Misery, by Stephen King

We provide books for a few classes at UWM and you can see a little influence of that in this week's list - our #1 paperback fiction (Ishmael) and nonfiction (The Spell of the Sensuous) titles are course adoption. We're grateful to the professors and instructors who take the extra step of encouraging their students to visit a local bookstore. Best European Fiction 2018, with 30 entries from Iceland to Estonia, is also on a class list. Officially this is not the most recent anthology, only I did notice that 2019 did not arrive and it's no longer on order at our wholesaler. I have no idea what happened.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abrams
2. Call Them by Their True Names, by Rebecca Solnit
3. Inspiralized, by Ali Faffuci
4. Everything I Know I Learned from Baseball, by Phiip Theibert
5. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
6. The Baseball Codes, by Jason Turbow
7. I'm Not Here to Give a Speech, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. Healing the Human Body with God's Remedies, by Lester Carter
9. One Year Bible for Women, from Tyndale House
10. Mettle and Honor, by Mark Concannon

I sometimes take out the bulk sales orders on these lists, especially when they are older titles, but with a week in January when we had one storm and the aftermath of the other, I need to highlight every sale we get. Gabriel Garcia Marquez's recently released collection of nonfiction, I'm Not Here to Give a Speech, sold neither off our course adoption case nor our new paperback table, but off the impulse table at the front desk, where the most popular title of late has been the quotation book You Can't Spell Truth without Ruth.

Books for Kids:
1. Nevermoor V1: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend (paperback)
2. Wundersmith V2: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend
3. Nevermoor V1: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend (hardcover)
4. A Place for Pluto, by Stef Wade, with illustrations by Manie Demmer
5. How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth V2, by Paul Noth
6. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef
7. Dog Man V6: Brawl of the Wild, by Dav Pilkey
8. Love, Hate, and Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed
9. 42 Is Not Just a Number, by Doreen Rappaport
10. Ghost V1, by Jason Reynolds

It's rare that we book school visits eight months in advance, but that's what sort of happened with Jessica Townsend's Trials of Morrigan Crow series. The second book in the series, Wundersmith, was originally going to come out early enough for us to do schools in September and to do this, we booked them at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. The book was delayed and the tour was moved to January. Ruth Davis Konigsburg rounded up some sequels in The New York Times Book Review last November, writing: "Townsend’s skillful, suspense-filled storytelling in “Wundersmith” will keep readers entertained, as Morrigan and her eccentric classmates face a test of loyalty and bravery in what will surely be the first of many to come. After all, Morrigan’s got five more years of school ahead of her."

Over at the Journal Sentinel...

--Steph Cha of USA Today reviews The Dreamers, from Karen Thompson Walker: "Walker offers a novel bursting with ideas, probing the scary and tantalizing possibilities at the edges of our existence." We had a great read on this novel from our buyer Jason.

--Marion Winik from USA Today discusses Dani Shapiro's Inheritance: "When she receives the results of her genetic testing from – done more or less on a lark – she learns she is only half Ashkenazi Jew; the rest a mix of French, Irish, English and German. And when she compares her results with those of her half sister Susie, it turns out they’re not even related. And since Susie looks exactly like their father ... well, Dani’s father has to be someone else."

--Hillel Italie in AP looks at immigration novels, focusing on upcoming titles like Samira Ahmed's Internment (due March 19 - she's on our bestseller list this week with Love, Hate, and Other Filters) and Nicole Dennis-Benn's Patsy (which I just finished and enjoyed - pub date is June 4).

Don't forget, we've moved our Monday event from 7 pm to 2 pm. More to come on this.

Monday, January 21, 2019

This week in Milwaukee: Anna Clark at Marquette on the lead water crisis, archivist Laura Rose Wagner at UWM, plus MLK celebrations at MLK Library. Next week: Tim Johnston!

What's going on this week?

Monday, January 21, 9 am to 5 pm at the Milwaukee Public Library Martin Luther King Branch, 310 W Locust St

While we don't have special Martin Luther King Jr. Day programming, the nearby Martin Luther King Library has a full day of activities. Per the library, it's a "celebration filled with poetry, music, dance, crafts, games and community services. Programming for the celebration is funded by the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation." More information here.

Wednesday, January 23, 5:00 pm, at Weasler Auditorium, Marquette University, 1506 W Wisconsin Ave:
Anna Clark, author of The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy

Marquette Forum presents award-winning journalist Anna Clark, who has covered the Flint, Michigan water scandal from its beginnings, for a talk about her account of the crisis. Register for this event here.

This event is cosponsored by Marquette University College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering, the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities, Friends and Alumni of Marquette English, and the Office of Student Development.

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. In the first full-length account of this epic failure, Clark recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water, the people who caused it, and those who suffered from it. It is a chronicle of one town, but also a story of neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision-making. Cities like Flint are set up to fail, and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences may be mortal.

Detroit-based Anna Clark is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Columbia Journalism Review. She edited A Detroit Anthology, a Michigan Notable Book, and was a Fulbright fellow in Kenya and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. The Poisoned City was named a Notable Book of 2018 by The Washington Post.

In addition to her talk at 5 pm, there is an open-to-the-public question-and-answer program with Clark at Sensenbrenner Hall at 2 pm. More information here.

Friday, January 25, 2:30 pm, at American Geographic Society Library, Golda Meir Library, 2311 E Hartford Ave:
Laura Rose Wagner, author of Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go: A Novel of Haiti

The LACUSL speaker series presents a special afternoon event in two parts, featuring author Laura Rose Wagner, archivist for the Radio Haiti project at the David M. Rubenstein Library at Duke University. Cosponsored by UWM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the department of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities Lab, UWM Libraries, Master of Arts in Language, Literature, and Translation, and Boswell Book Company.

Part one of this event, at 2:30 pm, is titled “Bringing Memory Home: The Digital Repatriation of the Archive of Radio Haïti-Inter" and focuses on a discussion about Radio Haiti, the archive and digitization project, and the challenges of keeping memory alive. From the early 1970s until 2003, Haiti's first independent radio station broadcast investigative reporting and critical analysis in Haitian Creole. Since 2014, the Rubenstein Library at Duke University, where Wagner is an archivist, has been digitizing the audio archive of Radio Haiti.

Part two of this event, at 3:45 pm, features conversation and readings with Laura Rose Wagner from Hold Tight, Don't Let Go, her young adult novel about a girl's journey out of the rubble of the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince.

And don't forget about Monday, January 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Tim Johnston, author of The Current

Author of the bestselling novel Descent comes to Boswell with The Current, a tour de force literary thriller about the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people in small Minnesota town. This book goes on sales on Tuesday, January 22 (tomorrow).

In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene, half frozen but alive. What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, whose killer may still live among them.

A starred recommendation from Kirkus Reviews calls The Current, “deceptively thick yet brutally delicate as winter ice itself… An apt title that functions as a beautiful metaphor for all the secrets and emotions roiling beneath the surface of every human life.” And just in from Elfrieda Abba at the Star Tribune: "Pick up Tim Johnston’s suspenseful novel The Current and you risk finding yourself glued to your chair, eyes to the pages, no thought of attending to daily obligations."

Our Mystery Book Club will be meeting at a special time of 6 pm, where they will discuss Johnston's previous novel Descent. If you'd like to join them, we just request that you have already read Descent. 

Tim Johnston is author of Descent, Irish Girl, winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and the YA novel Never So Green. Tim’s stories have appeared in New England Review, The Iowa Review, and Narrative Magazine, and he’s won the O. Henry Prize. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

You bought 'em, we write about 'em - Boswell bestsellers for the week ending January 19, 2019

You bought 'em, we write about 'em.

Hardcover Fiction
1. Tear It Down V4, by Nick Petrie
2. The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay
3. Kingdom of the Blind V14, by Louise Penny
4. There There, by Tommy Orange
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
7. Fire and Blood, by George R.R. Martin
8. Devotions, by Mary Oliver
9. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver
10. New Iberia Blues V22, by James Lee Burke

Of James Lee Burke's New Iberia Blues, Booklist wrote: "At 82, Burke just keeps getting better, his familiar theme of an idyllic past at war with a demon-drenched present taking on more subtle levels of meaning; his storied lyricism drawing on a new range of powerfully resonant minor chords." His latest has Dave Robicheaux investigating the death of a young actress that took place near the home of a famous director, who also happens to be an old friend.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. Well That Escalated Quickly, by Franchesca Ramsey
2. Becoming, by Michelle Obama
3. Educated, by Tara Westover
4. The Making of Milwaukee 4e, by John Gurda
5. The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
6. The First Conspiracy, Brad Meltzer and
7. Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook, by NMAAHC
8. How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
9. Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher
10. Gift of Our Wounds, by Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka

Clinical psychologist Piper looks at women in the transition between "late middle and old age" in Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age. Kirkus Reviews wrote: "Eloquently compassionate and sure to appeal to late-life women, Pipher’s book draws from a deep well of insight that is both refreshing and spiritually aware."

Paperback Fiction:
1. Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan
2. Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday
3. The Drifter V1, by Nick Petrie
4. Burning Bright V2, by Nick Petrie
5. The Milkman, by Anna Burns
6. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
7. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
8. Girl of the Limberlost, a play by Marie Kohler
9. The Power, by Naomi Alderman
10. Space Opera, by Catherynne Valente

The Boswell-run book clubs own three slots in this week's top ten. The In-Store Lit Group is reading Asymmetry on March 4, but we've also seemed to have landed on one of the break-out books of the holiday season. The Sci Fi Book Club is reading Catherynne Valente's Space Opera on February 11 and the Books and Beer Book Club is reading The Power on March 18 (all the selections here with links to purchase or get more info). The Power was a hardcover hit for us, with Boswell selling just under 100 copies (that's good, especially with no event).

Note the divergent paperback publishing strategies, which used to be solidly one year until paperback. Asymmetry only took 8 months to paperback publication while The Power extended its hardcover run to 15 months.

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Cali'flour Kitchen, by Amy Lacey
2. The Diane Chronicles, by Diane S. Forman
3. Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff
4. The Complete Book of Chakra Healing, by Cyndi Dale
5. Cold War Wisconsin, by Christopher Sturdevant (event 1/29 at MPL's Rare Book Room)
6. American Advertising Cookbooks, by Christina Ward (event 2/1, 7 pm, at Boswell)
7. Anxiety Journal, by Corinne Sweet
8. The Recovering, by Leslie Jamison
9. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Kimmerer
10. Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker

Leslie Jamison's The Recovering only went nine months to paperback, but because of its pub date, it still got a hardcover Christmas, unlike the Nick Petrie series (see above, all four titles) which is always out in trade and mass market before the holiday season. Jamison's latest looks at artists whose lives were shaped by substance addiction and subsequent recovery. Sophie Gilbert has a nuanced review in The Atlantic: "There’s so much to consider here that you almost wish Jamison - who notes that 'the Old Drunk Legends were all men' — had sidelined their too-familiar stories to make more space for Rhys, and Marguerite Duras, and Billie Holiday. But it’s her book, and she follows the paths that intrigue her."

Books for Kids:
1. A Dreadful Fairy Book, by John Etter
2. Wundersmith V2: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend
3. Nevermoor V1 (paperback), by Jessica Townsend
4. Nevermoor V1 (hardcover), by Jessica Townsend
5. Dog Man V6 Brawl of the Wild, by Dav Pilkey
6. Cinderella, a pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart
7. The Jungle Book, a pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart
8. Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen M. McManus
9. Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee, by Barbara Joosse, with illustrations by Renée Graef
10. Max and the Midknights, by Lincoln Peirce

After the holidays, it's back to school visits making a mark on our top ten. This week sees the appearance of area educator Jon Etter's A Dreadful Fairy Book. The book got a strong review in Kirkus: "With an exasperated narrator who would much prefer a story whose fairies and plots behave the way they ought and with characters that not only question, but outright shatter the status quo to embrace difference, Etter offers readers a rich world of complexity and moral ambiguity as Shade navigates loss, betrayal, magic, and friendship in pursuit of the wonders of books and self-love. It’s difficult to give Etter credit for diverse racial representation in a world of multihued nonhuman creatures; nevertheless, this chubby brown protagonist full of flaws and wit and heart is quite welcome."

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Higgins reviews Tear It Down, the latest thriller from Nick Petrie: "Ash, a Marine veteran of Fallujah, is a lethal warrior with significant PTSD, which he dubs 'the white static.' It makes him so restless he can barely sleep indoors. So Petrie has kindly turned him into a roving knight errant, with butt-kicking adventures to date in Ash’s hometown of Milwaukee (The Drifter), the Pacific northwest (Burning Bright) and cannabis-laced Colorado (Light It Up). For Tear It Down, Ash lands in Memphis, dispatched by his sweetheart June Cassidy to aid her friend, combat photographer Wanda Wyatt. He arrives right after someone has driven a truck into the dilapidated old house she bought in an auction. More here.

From USA Today comes a review of The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, written by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, "a breezily entertaining account of a treasonous plot among various pro-crown figures, including some of Washington’s bodyguards, to assassinate the general and turn the tide of the Revolutionary War."

And finally, here are five books to read after Bird Box from Mary Cadden, also at USA Today.
1. The Silence, by Tim Lebbon
2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
3. The Fireman, by Joe Hill
4. The Passage, by Justin Cronin
5. Blindness, by Jose Saramago

Our buyer Jason is a fan of Josh Malerman's work and has read several of his novels, including Bird Box.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Events this week: Nick Petrie with Bonnie North, Midhuri Vijay at Shorewood Library, Marie Kohler, Diane S. Forman

Here's what's going on this week.

Monday, January 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Nick Petrie, author of Tear It Down, in conversation with Bonnie North

Petrie, Milwaukee’s hometown hero, returns to Boswell for a special launch celebration of the latest edge-of-your-seat entry into the award-winning Peter Ash series, which he’ll discuss with WUWM Lake Effect’s incomparable Bonnie North.

Peter Ash is in Memphis to help Wanda, a war correspondent who’s been receiving peculiar threats. It seems someone has just driven a dump truck into Wanda’s living room. At the same time, a young street musician is roped into a heist that doesn’t go as planned. Now he’s holding a sack full of Rolexes and running for his life. When his getaway car breaks down, he steals a new one at gunpoint - Peter’s pickup truck. Peter likes the kid’s attitude but soon discovers the desperate musician is in worse trouble than he knows. And Wanda’s troubles are only beginning.

Bonnie North previewed the conversation on WUWM's Lake Effect: "The goal with every book is to move him farther down his timeline. And when I started all of this, I don't think I knew enough about Post-Traumatic Stress and what a big deal it is for many people. I felt I'd write one book about Post-Traumatic Stress and then he'll get better and it'll be about something else." Read more here.

Whitefish Bay-based Nick Petrie is author of three novels in the Peter Ash series. His debut, The Drifter, won the ITW Thriller award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Edgar and the Hammett awards. His third novel, Light It Up, was just named Apple Thriller of the Year.

Tuesday, January 15, 6:30 pm, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave:
Madhuri Vijay, author of The Far Field

Lawrence University alum, Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate, and Pushcart Prize-winner Vijay visits Shorewood Public Library to talk about her sweeping, elegant debut novel.

The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent. In the wake of her mother’s death, a privileged, restless young woman from Bangalore sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Her journey brings her face to face with Kashmir’s politics and the tangled history. Village life turns volatile, old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, and the wandering woman is forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.

With rare acumen and evocative prose, Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.

Ron Charles raves about The Far Field in The Washington Post: "What seems at first like a quiet, ruminative story of one woman’s grief slowly begins to spark with the energy of religious conflicts and political battles. Vijay draws us into the bloody history of this contested region and the cruel conundrum of ordinary lives trapped between outside agitators and foreign conquerors."

Madhuri Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is a graduate of Lawrence University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her story “Lorry Raja” won the 2011 Narrative 30 Below Story Contest and was selected for The Pushcart Prize Series and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013.

Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Marie Kohler, author of A Girl of the Limberlost

Director, actor, and award-winning playwright Marie Kohler appears at Boswell for a special presentation of her latest work, an adaptation of Gene Stratton-Porter’s beloved classic novel. The evening will feature scene readings and Kohler chatting about the play and the adaptation process. Cosponsored by Red Oak Writing.

A Girl of the Limberlost transports us to Indiana’s once-vast Limberlost Swamp. Meet Elnora, a 14-year-old girl with a passion for butterflies and moths. She loves the Limberlost but longs to attend high school in the city. Elnora works to find her footing at school and at home. Will she achieve her academic ambitions? Will she warm her mother's heart? Find out in this beautifully visual adaptation of an enduring story beloved by generations.

A Girl of the Limberlost is adapted from the classic 1909 novel of the same title by Gene Stratton-Porter. The JK Rowling of her era, Stratton-Porter’s novel once even out-sold Gone with the Wind.

Marie Kohler is Resident Playwright and a cofounder of Renaissance Theaterworks, where she served as CoArtistic Director from 1993 to 2012. She has been Playwright Respondent and Director Respondent at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Thursday, January 17, 2:00 pm, at Boswell: Diane S Forman, author of The Diane Chronicles

Milwaukee memoirist Diane S. Forman shares her account of an unexpected life with The Diane Chronicles, which tells her tale with a strong narrative voice, quiet poems, and photos that illustrate the people, past and present, who have shaped her life.

Forman found herself caught in the social upheavals and technological changes of her generation, challenges that shook the foundation of her world and enriched it. Amid the roadblocks and detours, Forman's humor, determination, spirit, and grit make her personal journey into a story universal to all.

Diane S. Forman graduated from Duke University with a degree in English, taught school, and later taught and acquired the Wisconsin franchise for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics. She is author of Common Threads: Nine Women's Journeys through Love, Loss, and Healing and The Storyteller.

More on Boswell's upcoming events page.