Monday, August 5, 2019

Boswell events - Claire Lombardo plus book recs from our Penguin Random House sales rep Jason, Joe Sacksteder's stories, Marty Peck's golf course memoir, Robert Crais in conversation with Nick Petrie, Howard Reich at the JCC

Here are the Boswell events for this week.

Tuesday, August 6, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, and Book Club Recommendations from Jason Gobble

Boswell hosts a book club summer celebration, featuring a talk by Chicago novelist Claire Lombardo about her sweeping debut novel and book club recommendations from Lombardo and Penguin Random House Sales Rep Jason Gobble.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. The Most Fun We Ever Had has been named a most anticipated book of the summer by O Magazine, People, Chicago Tribune, and too many more publications to list.

Read Friday's blog for more on Claire Lombardo's debut and our special event with Jason Gobble. The book is selling very strongly in the Milwaukee market (per Bookscan), but it's possible that your friend reading it might not know Lombardo is coming, because they might not get the Boswell email newsletter or subscribe to this blog on Feedburner. Do them a favor and help us get the word out.

Wednesday, August 7, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Joe Sacksteder, author of Make/Shift

Joe Sacksteder, Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts, appears at Boswell to talk about and read from his collection of stories, winner of the 2017 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature.

Situated in the absurd and pop culture, these stories land athletes, actors, musicians, and grievers at the center of more dire spectacles than they’d anticipated. Matt Bell, author of Scrapper calls Make/Shift, “a marvelously inventive book, formally restless, endlessly playful even at its bleakest, a Rube Goldberg machine of experimental fiction artfully hammered together.” And Caitlin Horrocks, author of This is Not Your City, says, “Sacksteder shapes the noisy ‘and and and’ of modern life into wonderfully surprising, unruly stories.”

Sacksteder confronts moments in which status and ceremony are destabilized - sorting through the suddenly unfamiliar contents of a time capsule, hanging poolside with parents while their hockey player sons devastate a hotel, and wandering the memory palace of a traumatized valedictorian during a commencement address. He includes flash vignettes based on corporate slogans that saturate the story collection with greater and greater frequency, like the commercials of a TV movie.

Thursday, August 8, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Marty Peck, author of One Country Club Drive: Stories Across Three Generations of Greenskeeping

Marty Peck grew up on the links, experiencing the sport from behind the scenes. Marty Peck is Principal of Creative Lighting Design and Engineering and has worked on historic projects including The Ghost Train in Shorewood, NASA’s Rocket Garden at Cape Kennedy, and the 1890’s Great Fire recreation in the Third Ward. In his new book, Peck talks about what it was like to grow up on a golf course, with behind-the-scenes escapades right out of a movie like Caddyshack.

Peck shares the stories of three generations of greenskeepers, blending themes of coming of age and fatherhood with golf history and plenty of humorous and lifelong lessons. In One Country Club Drive, Peck depicts the evolution of a historic course, beginning with its horse-drawn construction one-hundred years ago. Peck shares stories of humble caretakers, slot-machine con artists, ravaging fires and floods, and watching the likes of Walter Hagan, Ben Hogan, and Arnold Palmer play in their back yard.

Sunday, August 11, 2 pm, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd:
Howard Reich, author of The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel

Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC and Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center present an afternoon with Chicago Tribune staff writer Reich, the son of Holocaust survivors, whose book recounts the newspaper assignment to interview Elie Wiesel that evolved into a friendship.

Howard Reich is author of five previous books, including Prisoner of Her Past: A Son's Memoir. Reich has won an Emmy Award, and the Chicago Journalists Association named him Chicago Journalist of the Year in 2011.

In his latest, Reich offers an unprecedented, in-depth look at his conversations with Elie Wiesel. During the last four years of Wiesel’s life, he met frequently with Reich to discuss the subject that linked them: Reich’s father Robert and Wiesel, both liberated from the Buchenwald death camp on April 11, 1945.

Reich and Wiesel believed their colloquy represented a unique exchange between two generations deeply affected by a cataclysmic event. Wiesel looks back on his ideas and writings on the Holocaust, synthesizing them in his conversations with Reich. Reich illuminates Wiesel’s insights on life, ethics, and memory to help not only descendants of Holocaust survivors, but everyone, young or old.

Sunday, August 11, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Robert Crais, author of A Dangerous Man, in conversation with Nick Petrie

Robert Crais is author of twenty-one novels. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and LA Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his stand alone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis.

Now Crais visits Boswell for the first time to chat with Nick Petrie, author of the Peter Ash series, about the latest Cole and Pike thriller. Cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine. Register for free at

Joe Pike didn’t expect to rescue anyone that day. He was just running errands. But when bank teller Izzy is abducted, Joe gets involved. Two men are arrested, but that’s only the beginning of Joe and Izzy’s trouble. After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?

Kirkus Reviews offered a starred review to A Dangerous Man, praising it as "a taut, exceptional thriller." The reviewer went on to note: "If you’ve always wished Lee Child’s Jack Reacher had a little more balance in his life - but the same formidable talents - you'll love Joe Pike and the latest book in this long, superb series."

Monday, August 12, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Paul Salsini, author of The Ghosts of the Garfagnana: Seven Strange Stories from Haunted Tuscany

Paul Salsini is the Milwaukee-based author of The Cielo, Sparrow's Revenge, and The Fearless Flag Thrower of Lucca. Salsini is an instructor at Marquette University and formerly worked for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Now Salsini continues his fictional explorations of the haunted side of Tuscany.

Strange things are known to happen in the rugged Garfagnana region. It is a little-known area of high mountains, either brilliantly white or deeply forested, small villages, some of them abandoned, and rippling streams. And there is something eerie and mysterious about it.

This was the place with a bridge built by a devil in the Middle Ages, a mountain that contains a witches’ coven, an underground cavern where voices can be heard, and a village that had been flooded but whose church bells can be heard under the lake on cold winter nights. Salsini reflects this mood with supernatural stories - a friendly ghost haunts a monastery, a statue cures the sick, and a village sleeps for a hundred years. All these and more make their appearance in Salsini’s latest, The Ghosts of the Garfagnana.

More upcoming events on the Boswell upcoming events page.

Photo credits
Claire Lombardo: Michael Lionstar
Robert Crais: Aaron Rapoport

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