Monday, April 26, 2021

This week in virtual world: Volcanologist Jess Phoenix with Davita Flowers-Shanklin of Urban Ecology Center, Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul virtual school visit, Suzanne Staubach for the Villa Terrace gardening series, Tayari Jones with Shannon Sims at Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries fundraiser

A little of everything - Boswell programs and cosponsorships week of April 26

Tuesday, April 27, 10 am
Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, authors of Peace
A virtual school visit
Register for this event here.

Jenny at Boswell has been working with school districts all over to bring authors to students. During Independent Bookstore Day, one Wauwatosa parent told me that the virtual visit with illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser (Escape Goat, Lambslide, Fancy Nancy) was a highlight of her daughter's year. Feedback like this warms my heart!

While the technology for many events are handled by schools and districts themselves, for about 25% of the events, we handle the back end on Zoom, and this sometimes gives us the opportunity to bring in more schools, sometimes just an individual classroom from a school, to the program. Students working remotely can also join in. And sometimes we're even able to open the program up to the public, like this event from Baptiste and Miranda Paul

In their new book, the Pauls teamed up with illustrator Estelí Meza to create an inspiring look at things we can all do to bring peace into our lives and world. Peace is on purpose. Peace is a choice. Peace lets the smallest of us have a voice. From a hello and pronouncing your friend’s name correctly to giving more than you take and saying I’m sorry, this simple concept book explores definitions of peace and actions small and big that foster it.

This beautiful book has been winning praise from trade outlets like Kirkus, which calls the book “A visually splendid primer on peace.” And in a starred review, the School Library Journal says “This striking picture book informs young readers of the benefits of peace and that it is attainable for each of us… Delivered in perfectly scanning rhyming couplets, this important lesson is easily understood in the words that define peace…. A valuable, necessary lesson that beautifully defines peace for children.”

Tuesday, April 27, 7 pm
Jess Phoenix, author of Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life
in conversation with Davita Flowers-Shanklin for a virtual event 
Donate to the Urban Ecology Center here.

The Urban Ecology Center and Boswell Book Company present volcanologist and extreme explorer Jess Phoenix, Executive Director of Blueprint Earth and a known expert on the Science and Discovery Channels. Do note that while this event is free, we encourage anyone who wants to attend to consider making a donation to the Urban Ecology Center, our event cohost. Donations help support the programming that the UEC offers. In conversation with Davita Flowers-Shanklin, the Volunteer Manager for the Urban Ecology Center.

Jess Phoenix is executive director and co-founder of Blueprint Earth. Phoenix is a fellow in the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society and a featured scientist on the Discovery and Science channels. As a volcanologist, Jess Phoenix has dedicated her life to scientific exploration. Her career path has also inspired her to devote her life to making science more inclusive and accessible.

Ms. Adventure skillfully blends personal memoir, daring adventure, and scientific exploration, following Phoenix’s journey from sites deep in Ecuadorian jungles to Andean glaciers. Readers will delight in her unbelievable adventures, all embarked on for the love of science. From Patton Oswalt, beloved funnyman: "Jess Phoenix's work encompasses science and representation in such a delightful melding that it could only come from as spry and playful a soul as hers! Open this book and jump into the volcano!"

Great for geologists like my niece Jocelyn.

Wednesday, April 28, 6:30 pm
Suzanne Staubach, author of A Garden Miscellany: An Illustrated Guide to the Elements of the Garden
A virtual event cosponsorship
Tickets for this event here. $10 goes to the Villa Terrace garden fund.

Back when a cosponsorship was often billed as an offsite, we'd be traveling all over the community supporting authors with book sales. Sometimes the organization would come up with the event itself, and sometimes we'd place the event, figuring that they could probably build a better base audience than we could. Sometimes the group would ask us to help find someone. And that's kind of what happened here, only virtually. We've worked with Villa Terrace on several interior design events in the past, and they hold a special place in my heart, because I actuallly did an offsite with them before I owned a car, walking the books over on a cart.

The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum has had a spring garden lecture series for years, with series sponsor Angela Westmore LLC Design Build and Susan Strecker in honor of the Memory of Barbara Strecker. The Friends raise money for that beautiful Italian garden you can see from the lakefront. And when they asked if we had a suggestion for the gardening series, I immediately thought of my old friend Suzanne Staubach, a retired bookseller at the U Conn Coop, who was also an avid gardener and ceramicist, also author of Clay: The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element and Guy Wolff: Master Potter in the Garden

Do you know a folly from a ha-ha? Can an allée be pleached? Does a skep belong on a plinth? Answers to these questions, plus a gazebo-ful of information, stories, and visual delights, await in this charming exploration of the stuff gardens are made of. Garden historian Suzanne Staubach covers everything from arbors to water features, reveling in the anecdotes that accompany each element. Filled with revelations and fanciful illustrations by Julia Yellow, A Garden Miscellany promises new discoveries with each reading - a book to be returned to again and again.

Thursday, April 29, 6 pm
Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
A Virtual event cosponsorship
Tickets to this fundraiser event here.

Raynor Memorial Libraries invites you to an evening with Tayari Jones, celebrated author of An American Marriage, a New York Times best-selling novel and Oprah's Book Club selection. Tayari is also the 2021 Marquette University Ralph H Metcalfe, Sr., Chair. Jones will be in conversation with WTMJ4 Anchor Shannon Sims. Tickets for this event start at $25 per person, which includes admission to the main program beginning at 6 pm CDT only. Tickets available for $50 include an optional pre-event virtual reception (5:30 pm CDT), a signed copy of An American Marriage, access to the 6:00 p.m. program, and a tax-deductible donation to support the Raynor Library Digital Scholarship Lab. Young alumni tickets for the program only are available for $15 to Marquette students and alumni, undergrad years 2011-21.

We've been fans of An American Marriage since its release, and what acclaim! Winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction. Winner of the NAACP Image Award. Long-listed for the National Book Award. We've event been lucky enough to host Jones for two events and a school visit to Riverside High School. But not all of you were able to attend these events, and you truly know what a special thing it is to hear Jones speak. Those of you who tuned in to our event with Nancy Jones for The Kindest Lie also know what a great job TMJ4 Anchor Shannon Sims does in an interview. Wow! Truly this is a great pairing.

Tayari Jones's An American Marriage is the novel that former President Barack Obama calls "a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple." This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. Jones is also author of the novels Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta and Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

I love that every event this week highlights another great asset of the Milwaukee area - The Urban Ecology Center, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, the Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University, and of course our K-12 schools. We've got schools from Racine, Pewaukee, West Allis/West Milwaukee, Cudahy, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, and Milwaukee signed up. And yes, at least one classroom from Dallas!

Check out the following week and the rest of our virtual event series on the Boswell upcoming event pages.

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