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Madison Writer Andrea Lochen, author of The Repeat Year, and Imaginary Things
Monday April 20, at 7:00 pm
Please join us as we welcome Madison author Andrea Lochen back to the Boswell stage, where she will read from and sign copies of her latest novel, Imaginary Things, a moving, eye-opening woman’s journey about facing the past and the power of imagination, and a must read for anyone learning how to confront their own demons.
Burned-out and broke, twenty-two-year-old single mother Anna Jennings moves to her grandparents’ rural home for the summer with her four-year-old son, David. The sudden appearance of shadowy dinosaurs forces Anna to admit that either she’s lost her mind or she can see her son’s active imagination. Frightened for David’s safety, Anna struggles to learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon, but what she uncovers is completely unexpected—revelations about what these creatures truly represent and dark secrets about her own childhood. Living right next door is Jamie Presswood, Anna’s childhood friend who has grown much more handsome and hardened than the boy she once knew—and rekindling their friendship proves easier said than done. Between the imaginary creatures stalking her son and her tumultuous relationship with David’s biological father, Anna doesn’t have room in her life, or heart for another man. But as David’s visions become more persistent and threatening, Anna must learn to differentiate between which dangers are real and which are imagined, and who she can truly trust.
"If it’s possible to write a witty modern fairy tale about a down-on-her-luck young mother, her erratic ex, and her charming four-year-old boy, Andrea Lochen has done it. Anna is not your typical overwhelmed mom, but her story feels like a friend’s. Imaginary Things reminded me again and again that the act of raising a child is a love story, a test of strength, and a thrill ride." —Susanna Daniel, author of Sea Creatures
About the Author: Andrea Lochen is the author of two novels, Imaginary Things and The Repeat Year, for which she received the Hopwood Award. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and lives in Madison with her husband.
Theatre Gigante presents a preview of Terminus
Tuesday April 21, at 7:00 pm (Please note correct day and date for this event).
We’re excited to host an evening preview of Theatre Gigante’s production of Terminus, the international sensation and tour de force of poetry and drama by Irish dramatist Mark O’Rowe. This event features a series of fascinating talks: Paul Kosidowski will set the stage, if you will, speaking about the play, Mark O’Rowe, and Irish drama, followed by a talk about the Milwaukee production by Theatre Gigante’s own Mark Andersen and Isabelle Kralj, and we’ll round off the evening with a craft talk from featured Terminus actors, Megan Kaminsky and Tom Reed. We’ll have copies of both editions of Terminus for sale. The play debuts May 1st and will run through May 16th; for tickets, call Theatre Gigante: 1-800-838-3006.
Terminus is a supernatural fantasy of interlocking monologues sweeping the audience on a helter-skelter ride through the wildest parts of the imagination, our greatest hopes, and our darkest fears. Be warned—it’s not for the faint of heart!
" The language is brilliant, a vertiginous concatenation of assonance and rhyme, whose rhythm remains limber enough to let the play—and its audience—breathe…Terminus is a luridly compelling waking nightmare of Dublin as an eighth circle of hell." —The Guardian
"It’s uncomfortable and exhilarating, pared-down, but full to bursting of linguistic, emotional, and imaginative riches…It’s not just a welcome reminder of what theater can do; it feels like what theater is for." —KQED Arts
"Gritty details, grotesque flourishes and internal rhymes pour from Mark O’Rowe’s characters with a velocity to match the ferocity of his narrative in Terminus." —San Francisco Gate
A Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center with Liz Carlisle and David Oien, author and subject (respectively!) of Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America
Thursday April 23, at 7:00 pm
Boswell is proud to be the bookseller of note for an exciting event with the author and subject of Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America, Liz Carlisle and David Oien at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, located 1500 E. Park Place in Milwaukee. Liz Carlisle is a protégé of Michael Pollan; Lentil Underground is the story of a little-known group of farmers who defied agribusiness by launching a unique sustainable farm-to-table food movement.
The story of the Lentil Underground begins on a 280-acre homestead rooted in America’s Great Plains: the Oien family farm. Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness told small farmers like the Oiens to "get big or get out." But twenty-seven-year-old David Oien decided to take a stand, becoming the first in his conservative Montana county to plant a radically different crop: organic lentils. Unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren’t beholden to industrial methods. Today, Oien leads an underground network of organic farmers who work with heirloom seeds and biologically diverse farm systems. Under the brand Timeless Natural Food, their unique business-cum-movement has grown into a million-dollar enterprise that sells to Whole Foods, hundreds of independent natural foods stores, and a host of renowned restaurants. From the heart of Big Sky Country comes this inspiring story of a handful of colorful pioneers who have successfully bucked the chemically-based food chain and the entrenched power of agribusiness’s 1 percent by stubbornly banding together. Journalist and native Montanan Liz Carlisle weaves an eye-opening and richly reported narrative that will be welcomed by readers of food and farm memoirs as well as everyone concerned with the future of American agriculture and natural food in an increasingly uncertain world.
"These farmers demonstrate how to build democracy and build soils at the same time. What a deal!" —Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind
"What does it take to farm sustainably—and make a living? Liz Carlisle tells the engrossing story of the ‘audacity rich but capital poor’ Montana farmers who thought lentils were the answer and stuck with them until proved right. Anyone who dreams of starting a farm or wants to know how organic farmers can overcome the obstacles they face will be inspired by this book." —Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of Food Politics
About the Author: Liz Carlisle holds a BA from Harvard University and a PhD in geography from the University of California at Berkeley. Carlisle is also a country music singer-songwriter who has opened shows for Travis Tritt, LeAnn Rimes, and Sugarland. She currently lives in Berkeley, California.
UWM professor and Local Author Jennifer A. Jordan, author of Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods
Friday April 24, at 7:00 pm
How does an apple become an antique and a tomato an heirloom? In her latest, Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods, UWM professor and local author Jennifer A. Jordan examines the ways that people around the world have sought to identify and preserve old-fashioned varieties of produce. In doing so, Jordan shows that these fruits and vegetables offer a powerful emotional and physical connection to a shared genetic, cultural, and culinary past. This event is co-sponsored by the UWM Urban Studies Department.
Jordan begins with the heirloom tomato, inquiring into its botanical origins in South America and its culinary beginnings in Aztec cooking to show how the homely and homegrown tomato has since grown to be an object of wealth and taste, as well as a popular symbol of the farm-to-table and heritage foods movements. She shows how a shift in the 1940s away from open pollination resulted in a narrow range of hybrid tomato crops. But memory and the pursuit of flavor led to intense seed-saving efforts increasing in the 1970s, as local produce and seeds began to be recognized as living windows to the past. In the chapters that follow, Jordan combines lush description and thorough research as she investigates the long history of antique apples; changing tastes in turnips and related foods like kale and parsnips; the movement of vegetables and fruits around the globe in the wake of Columbus; and the poignant, perishable world of stone fruits and tropical fruit, in order to reveal the connections—the edible memories—these heirlooms offer for farmers, gardeners, chefs, diners, and home cooks. This deep culinary connection to the past influences not only the foods we grow and consume, but the ways we shape and imagine our farms, gardens, and local landscapes. From the farmers’ market to the seed bank to the neighborhood bistro, these foods offer essential keys not only to our past but also to the future of agriculture, the environment, and taste. By cultivating these edible memories, Jordan reveals, we can stay connected to a delicious heritage of historic flavors, and to the pleasures and possibilities for generations of feasts to come.
"Edible Memory deftly illustrates the power of food to create indelible, collective links to the past. Jordan’s lively prose elicits smells, sights, and even similar flavors as those that the book’s subjects worked so tirelessly to preserve. Scholars, foodies, and the general public alike will all benefit greatly from reading this thought-provoking work. " —Adam Shprintzen, author of The Vegetarian Crusade: The Rise of an American Reform Movement, 1817-1921
"Edible Memory is a compelling exploration of the lure and lore of foods that have become culinary ‘heirlooms,’ especially some kinds of tomatoes, but also apples, stone fruits, even leeks, and turnips. A meticulous scholar and an incisive sociologist, Jordan writes with verve and wit throughout this beautifully nuanced study. Exploring the many varieties of culinary nostalgia, she avoids sentimentality while investigating our sometimes paradoxical yearnings for fruits and vegetables we may not even have eaten in our own lives and our curiously Proustian longings for (even) Jell-O molds and boxed cakes. Her book is an important contribution both to food studies and, more generally, to the history of taste." —Sandra M. Gilbert, author of The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity
About the Author: Jennifer A. Jordan is associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is also the author of Structures of Memory: Understanding Urban Change in Berlin and Beyond.
A Cedarburg Public Library Event with Cedarburg native Susan Scott, author of Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea
Saturday April 25, at 1:30 pm
Please join us at the Cedarburg Public Library (located at W63 N589 Hanover Ave.) as we welcome registered nurse, marine biologist, and Cedarburg native, Susan Scott, who will share photos from her travels as she talks about her new memoir, Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea, which will resonate with those who love the sea, whether or not they’ve sailed, anyone intrigued by animals and nature, and anyone facing tough life challenges.
Sometimes risking everything is the only way to go. And so begins writer and marine biologist Susan Scott’s new memoir, Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea. As the book opens, we learn of Scott’s enviable existence—a home in Hawai’i, a prized 37-foot sailboat, and exciting international adventures—all shared with her physician husband in a marriage so intimate they called it the "Twinship." Yet, when her menopausal hormones rage and Craig grows preoccupied with triathlon training, this perfect life ends. The Twinship explodes in fights, silence, accusations, and failed counseling. With a mix of candor, humor, and wit, Scott navigates through her period of being "menopausally nuts" and her decision to sail to Palmyra Atoll. We follow Scott as she swims with manta rays, rescues baby sea turtles, bands seabirds, and corrals 10-pound coconut crabs that look like Godzillas with knife-blade claws. Call Me Captain is a modern love story, a harrowing sea tale, and a personal account of nature’s power to put life into perspective.
"Reading this memoir was like making a new friend. I think of it as Eat, Pray, Love meets Life of Pi. It would be an excellent book club selection." —Sheryl Lynch, public librarian
"Whether or not you have ever set foot upon a sailboat, you’ll find yourself rooting for Scott at every turn, smiling at her every revelation. This is storytelling at its finest." —Mark Panek, award-winning author of Hawai‘i: A Novel
About the Author: Susan Scott writes a weekly "Ocean Watch" column for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has written six books about nature in Hawaii. A registered nurse and marine biologist, Susan speaks frequently about her wildlife work, sailing trips, and her volunteer efforts in Bangladesh. A lifelong hiker, she has hiked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekked to Mt. Everest base camp, and crossed Pakistan’s Baltoro Glacier to spend her 50th birthday at the base of K2. Susan is a Wisconsin native who moved to Hawaii in 1983. She lives on the windward side of Oahu with Craig and their dog Lucy.
Wisconsinite Elizabeth Crawford, author of At the Table: A Recipes and Techniques
Sunday April 26, at 3:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to welcome teacher, caterer, spice seller, and Wisconsinite, Elizabeth Crawford, who will discuss and sign copies of her new cookbook, At the Table: Recipes and Techniques, in which she shares a selection of her "tried and true" favorites from 25 years in the culinary industry.
In At the Table: Recipes and Techniques, each recipe’s introduction reflects the sense of memoir, paying homage to the lessons Elizabeth Crawford has learned from her students and from cooks she’s met throughout her travels. With every dish, she places herself in the reader’s shoes, anticipating their experience level, questions, doubts, and emotional connections to food so that what could simply be a recipe becomes a narrative fueled by the dialogue between writer and cook. The fundamental philosophy behind At the Table is an understanding that food is essential for bringing people to the table, and once there, we all have the opportunity to share our hearts and ideas so that we may listen and be heard.
"I’ve had the privilege to hire and work with Elizabeth as part of our culinary program here at the Milwaukee Public Market and I am continually amazed at her knowledge, yet she always wants to interact with the students to learn from them as well. It’s such a passion that is evident in everything she does." —Jill Nickerson, Culinary Director, Milwaukee Public Market
About the Author: Wisconsinite Elizabeth Crawford is a self-taught cook in the classical French model, who is so enamored with the practice of Tai Chi that she weaves its principles into her cooking. A teacher, caterer, spice seller, consultant, and armchair anthropologist, she is currently hard at work on her next project.
Talk by Jessica Hagy, author of How to Be Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps) and The Art of War Visualized: The Sun Tzu Classic in Charts and Graphs, followed by a conversation with WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich
Monday April 27, at 7:00 pm
Join us at Boswell as we welcome cartoonist Jessica Hagy for a talk followed by a discussion with WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich about The Art of War Visualized, her illustrated adaptation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Not only the go-to guide for military strategy, The Art of War is also the must-read book for domination in politics, business, management, tech—any office, anywhere. With 2,500 years of dust shaken off, Hagy helps readers grasp Tzu’s complex concepts using 300 charts and diagrams in her distinctive, accessible style. You don’t want to miss this singular event!
A Bronze Age/Information Age marriage of Sun Tzu and Jessica Hagy, The Art of War Visualized is an inspired mash-up and the perfect meeting of two minds. Reenergizing the perennial bestseller and making it accessible to a new generation of students, entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists, seekers, lovers of games and game theory, and anyone else who knows the value of seeking guidance for the future in teachings of the past, The Art of War Visualized is a fresh, introspective, and inspired book.
About the Author: Jessica Hagy is an artist and author of How to Be Interesting and Indexed. She is also known for her Webby Award–winning blog, Indexed, and her cartoons, which appear regularly in The New York Times. She writes widely for national publications. Ms. Hagy lives in Seattle, Washington.
Bruce J. Hillman, co-author of The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History
Tuesday April 28, at 7:00 pm
Timed to the 60th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s death, Boswell Book Company is excited to welcome prolific author Dr. Bruce J. Hillman, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest, The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History, which highlights the little-known but important story about the antagonistic relationship between Albert Einstein and Philipp Lenard that changed the course of history and still influences the science of today.
Einstein and Lenard were opposites in virtually every way. That both men were brilliant scientists and Nobel laureates with opposing views about what constituted important, believable science made some degree of conflict inevitable. Lenard’s experimental physics and Einstein’s theoretical physics represent two opposing schools of thought that came into conflict throughout Europe. However, the enmity that each felt for the other was based on much more than their science. It was personal. Lenard was so consumed by his own narcissism, his envy of Einstein’s fame, and his hatred for Jews that he sacrificed the integrity of his science and his personal reputation among the community of scientists on the altar of his personal prejudices.
For nearly fifteen years, Lenard had led the opposition that finally forced Einstein to flee his native Germany. Driven by professional disagreement, intense envy over the public’s adoration of Einstein, and virulent anti-Semitism, Lenard unrelentingly harassed Einstein and publicly denigrated his theory of relativity. The Man Who Stalked Einstein traces the convergence of influences and events that turned Lenard from a productive and highly respected scientist to a man consumed by racial hatred and an early supporter of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Lenard and Einstein’s scientific differences sparked their heated interpersonal dispute that highlighted an era of intellectual tumult and led to the dismantling of the natural sciences in Germany. The resultant international diaspora of German natural scientists, the most accomplished scientific community of its era, had an important impact on the international scientific community that still reverberates today. Indeed, their mutual antagonism affected the direction of science long after 1933, when Einstein took flight to America and changed the history of two nations.
About the Author: Bruce J. Hillman, MD, Professor and former Chair of Radiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, has distinguished himself as a health services researcher, clinical trialist, and author. He has published over 300 medical articles and editorials and is the author of several books, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: How Medical Imaging is Changing Health Care. Dr. Hillman has served as Editor-in-Chief of three medical journals, including his current position with the Journal of the American College of Radiology. He was Deputy Editor of the online literary and humanities journal, Hospital Drive. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, his medical degree from the University of Rochester, and trained in radiology at Boston’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. He lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina, with his wife.
Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, and The Dead Lands
Wednesday April 29, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for an exciting evening with the award-winning author of Red Moon, Benjamin Percy, who will read from and sign copies of his latest novel The Dead Lands, a darkly reimagined Lewis and Clark saga told in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. And speaking of Stephen King, he calls The Dead Lands “a case of wonderful writing and compulsive reading” asserting that “[y]ou will not come across a finer work of sustained imagination this year. Good God, what a tale. Don’t miss it.” That’s high praise, indeed!
Benjamin Percy’s new thriller, The Dead Lands is a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga in which a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary—the remains of St. Louis—a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders. Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its walls. She reports on the outside world: west of the Cascades, rain falls, crops grow, civilization thrives. But there is danger too: the rising power of an army that pillages and enslaves every community they happen upon. Against the wishes of the Sanctuary, a small group sets out in secrecy. Led by Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark, they hope to expand their infant nation, and to reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight.
"Benjamin Percy’s The Dead Lands is a case of wonderful writing and compulsive reading. You will not come across a finer work of sustained imagination this year. Good God, what a tale. Don’t miss it." —Stephen King
About the Author: Benjamin Percy is the author of the novels Red Moon and The Wilding, and two short story collections, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His writing has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Time, Tin House and elsewhere. His honors include the Pushcart Prize, an NEA grant, the Plimpton Prize for Fiction, and a Whiting Award. Raised in the high desert of central Oregon, he lives in Minnesota.
A Villa Terrace Event with Charlie Scheips, author of Elsie de Wolfe’s Paris: Frivolity Before the Storm
Thursday April 30, at 5:00 pm reception and 6:00 pm presentation
Boswell Book Company invites you to join us at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum as we welcome cultural historian, curator, and author, Charlie Scheips, discussing and signing copies of his latest gorgeous book, Elsie de Wolfe’s Paris: Frivolity Before the Storm. Reception begins at 5 pm, followed by the presentation at 6 pm, and a signing immediately after. Admission is $20. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Villa Terrace. The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is located at 2220 N. Terrace Avenue in Milwaukee. Click here to read an excellent article about Charlie Scheips in Milwaukee's own M Magazine.
For every person who’s experienced the pangs of nostalgia or that fleeting moment where you felt you belonged in another time and place, Elsie de Wolfe’s Paris: Frivolity Before the Storm will be a delightful glimpse into another era. The American decorator Elsie de Wolfe (1858–1950) was the international set’s preeminent hostess in Paris during the interwar years. She had a legendary villa in Versailles, where in the late 1930s she held two fabulous parties—her Circus Balls—that marked the end of the social scene that her friend Cole Porter perfectly captured in his songs, as the clouds of war swept through Europe. Charlie Scheips tells the story of these glamorous parties using a wealth of previously unpublished photographs and introducing a large cast of aristocrats, beauties, politicians, fashion designers, movie stars, moguls, artists, caterers, florists, party planners, and decorators in a landmark work of social history and a poignant vision of a vanished world.
"Scheips utilizes 170 black-and-white and color images-some previously unpublished-to visually illuminate his fascinating narrative of this peerless woman's life, one that intersected with some of the most colorful and important characters of the day on both sides of the Atlantic, including Elsa Maxwell, William Randolph Hearst, Cecil Beaton, Janet Flanner, Gertrude Stein, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The tome culminates with de Wolfe’s final grand fête, the second Circus Ball, which defined the glamour and decadence of international society before the lights went out all over Europe." —Gotham
About the Author: Charlie Scheips is a curator, art advisor, artist, writer, and cultural historian who has curated exhibitions in the United States and Europe. He created The Art Set column, appearing weekly on Fridays, for newyorksocialdiary.com, and has contributed to Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Vanity Fair among others. He was the founding director of the Condé Nast Archive in New York. He lives in New York City.
A Walker’s Point Center of the Arts Event featuring Paul Koudounaris, author of Memento Mori:The Dead Among Us
Friday May 1, at 6:00 pm
Please join us at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (located at 836 South Fifth Street in Milwaukee) for a singular event with celebrated art historian and photographer, Paul Koudounaris, presenting his latest stunning collection, Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us, the astonishing story of how the dead live on in memorials and traditions across the globe, from Ethiopia and Nepal to Cambodia and Rwanda, told through arresting images and captivating narration.
Death is universal, but the human response to death varies widely. In Western society, death is usually medicalized and taboo, and kept apart from the world of the living, while in much of the rest of the world, and for much of human history, death has commonly been far more integrated into peoples’ daily existence, and human remains are as much a reminder of life, memento vitae, as of death, memento mori. Through photos taken at more than 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade, Paul Koudounaris has captured death around the world in his gorgeous new collection Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us. From Bolivia’s "festival of the little pug-nosed ones," where skulls are festooned with flowers and given cigarettes to smoke and beanie hats to protect them from the weather to Indonesian families who dress mummies and include them in their household routines; from naturally preserved Buddhist monks and memorials to genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia to the dramatic climax of Europe’s great ossuaries, Memento Mori defies taboo to demonstrate how the dead continue to be present in the lives of people everywhere.
"Prepared to be amazed by the splendor and beauty of ornamented skeletal remains." —Palm Springs Life
About the Author: Paul Koudounaris received his doctorate from the art history department at UCLA. His previous books include The Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies. He lives in Los Angeles.
Best of the UWM and Marquette Undergraduate Writing Programs, featuring Krystin Kantenwein, Sarah Smithy, and Michael Welch
Friday May 1, 7:00 pm
Please join us as we recognize and celebrate the best writers from UWM and Marquette University’s Undergraduate Writing Programs. Reading some of the high-quality work they’ve produced at university this semester are undergraduates Krystin Kantenwein, Sarah Smith, and Michael Welch. More details to follow.
Boswell Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day!
Saturday May 2, All Day
What is Independent Bookstore Day, you ask? Consider it a spoken-word version of National Record Store Day. When we open at 10 AM, we’ll have amazing things for sale that are not available anywhere else, like an "I Love to Read" bunsie onesie, a Roxane Gay chapbook, a beautiful Literary Map of the Seas print, sweet and salty literary tea towels, a Margaret Atwood stencil, Christopher Moore throx, Allie Brosh, Stephen King, and Dav Pilkey posters, and more. We’ll also have refreshments, a book-themed storytime led by Boswellian Jannis at 11 AM, and a literary quiz game at 2 PM, featuring local authors versus local critics. Call for more info, but no phone, web orders, or holds. Why? Because we want this to be as exciting as a Gimbels sale!
We're so excited, we're counting the seconds down!!
It’s Story Time with Boswellian Jannis, reading Lion, Lion
Sunday May 3, at 11:00 am
Prowl on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch, and other selections about lions and animals. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month’s Story Time will be a roaring good time!
A Whitefish Bay Library Event featuring Blue Balliett, author of Pieces and Players
Monday May 4, at 6:30 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to co-sponsor an event at the Whitefish Bay Library (located at 5420 N. Marlborough Drive in Milwaukee) with award-winning author the bestselling young adult art mystery novels Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3, Blue Balliett, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest mystery great for ages 8 and up, Pieces and Players, which School Library Journal calls "fun and engaging," and Kirkus Reviews calls "brain teasing adventure for thinking kids."
In Pieces and Players, thirteen extremely valuable pieces of art have been stolen from one of the most secretive museums in the world. A Vermeer has vanished. A Manet is missing. And nobody has any idea where they and the other eleven artworks might be…or who might have stolen them. Calder, Petra, and Tommy are no strangers to heists and puzzles. Now they’ve been matched with two new sleuths: Zoomy, a very small boy with very thick glasses, and Early, a girl who treasures words…and has a word or two to say about the missing treasure. The kids have been drawn in by the very mysterious Mrs. Sharpe, who may be playing her own kind of game with the clues. And it’s not just Mrs. Sharpe who’s acting suspiciously—there’s a ghost who mingles with the guards in the museum, a cat who acts like a spy, and bystanders in black jackets who keep popping up. With Pieces and Players, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic mystery sure to delight readers 8 and up!
"Juggling multiple pieces of art and multiple suspect players, Balliett again deftly merges mystery, art, and friendship into another perplexing puzzler." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: Blue Balliett is the award-winning author of the bestselling art mystery novels Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game, The Danger Box, and Hold Fast. Her debut novel, Chasing Vermeer, soared onto the New York Times best-seller list shortly after publication and garnered numerous awards including the Edgar Award, a Book Sense Book of the Year Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Additionally, Balliett has been awarded the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction, Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, the Agatha Award, and the Chicago Tribune’s 2010 Chicagoan of the Year for Literature. She has appeared twice on NBC’s Today Show and has garnered international praise and coverage for her mystery novels. Balliett’s books have been translated in 35 languages. Blue Balliett grew up in New York City, studied art history at Brown University, and has lived in Chicago for many years. She was a classroom teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School but now writes full-time, working in the laundry room of the Hyde Park home she shares with her husband.
A Capitol Library Event featuring Steve Berry (via Skype!), author of The Patriot Threat
Tuesday May 5, at 6:00 pm
Boswell is proud to be the bookseller of note for an event with #1 internationally bestselling Cotton Malone series author, Steve Berry, presenting The Patriot Threat, the series’ latest. Mr. Berry will be joining us via Skype at the Capitol Library, located at 3969 N. 74th St. in Milwaukee. This event will include a discussion, reading, and Q&A with the author, and Boswell will be selling copies of The Patriot Threat as well as select backlist titles.
Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files-the kind that could bring the United States to its knees-Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.
With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: what if the Federal income tax is illegal?
About the Author: Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of ten Cotton Malone novels, and four standalones. He has 19 million books in print, translated into 40 languages. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, which is dedicated to historical preservation. He serves as a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president.
Okla Elliott, co-translator* of The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, with Opening Readers (and Local Authors!) David Bowen, Loretta McCormick, and Molly Boutell
Tuesday May 5, at 7:00 pm
Please join us at Boswell Book Company as we welcome Chicago author Okla Elliott, who will read from and talk about the recently unearthed, epic science fiction novel, The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, written by Aleksandr Tuvim*, which Kirkus Reviews is calling "an epic novel of good and evil" and Praying Drunk author Kyle Minor calls "a dystopian masterpiece." The Doors Your Mark Are Your Own is the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic novels exploring an alternate reality where water is power and revolution is inevitable.
Joshua City is one of seven city-states in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce and technology is at mid-twentieth-century Soviet levels. As The Doors Your Mark Are Your Own opens, the Baikal Sea has been poisoned, causing a major outbreak of a flesh-eating disease called nekrosis. Against this backdrop of political corruption, violence, and oppression, a struggle for control of Joshua City ensues, and a revolutionary group called The Underground emerges. The Doors You Mark Are Your Own is a sweeping literary epic—the result of years of painstaking writing and world-building by two brilliantly imaginative minds—that readers will get lost in and never want to end.
About the co-translator: Okla Elliott is currently an Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois, where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. He also holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University. His work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, A Public Space, The Southeast Review, and Subtropics, among others. He is the author of a collection of short fiction, From the Crooked Timber, and a collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Ink.
* This is high concept. The translators are actually the authors. Think of this as David Foster Wallace crossed with Michael Chabon.
A Milwaukee Public Library Event with James Bradley, author of Flags of our Fathers, and The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia
Wednesday May 6, at 7:00 pm
Please join us in the Loos Room at Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall, located 733 N. Eighth Street in Milwaukee, for a special evening with Wisconsinite, founder of the James Bradley Peace Foundation, and Flyboys author, James Bradley, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest, The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia, a fascinating take on U.S.-China relations from the 19th century through World War II by the son of one of the US Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in the iconic WWII photo.
From the bestselling author of Flags of our Fathers, Flyboys, and The Imperial Cruise, a spellbinding history of turbulent U.S.-China relations from the 19th century to World War II and Mao’s ascent. In each of his books, James Bradley has exposed the hidden truths behind America’s engagement in Asia. Now comes his most engrossing work yet. Beginning in the 1850s, Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans who made their fortunes in the China opium trade. As they—good Christians all—profitably addicted millions, American missionaries arrived, promising salvation for those who adopted Western ways. And that was just the beginning. From drug dealer Warren Delano to his grandson Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from the port of Hong Kong to the towers of Princeton University, from the era of Appomattox to the age of the A-Bomb, The China Mirage explores a difficult century that defines U.S.-Chinese relations to this day.
About the Author: James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Imperial Cruise, Flyboys, and Flags of Our Fathers, and the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He lives in New York.
National Children’s Book Week Middle Grade Panel with Emily Demuth Ishida, author of Hattie’s War, Sandy Brehl, author of Odin’s Promise, and Julie Mata, author of Bride of Slugman
Thursday May 7, at 6:30 pm
Boswell Book Company invites you to join us in celebrating National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), with a distinguished panel of middle grade authors! Joining us for five-minute discussions of their books, followed by a Q&A and signing are: Wisconsinite Julie Mata, presenting the latest in her Kate Walden Directs series, Bride of Slug Man; local author Sandy Brehl, presenting Odin’s Promise, a tale of the first year of WWII and the German occupation in Norway; and native Wisconsinite Emily Demuth Ishida, presenting Hattie’s War, the story of Hattie Bigelow, who lives in Milwaukee near the end of the Civil War. This event is perfect for ages 9 and up, and is co-sponsored by MKE Teacher SPAce.
Hattie’s War, co-authored by Emily Demuth Ishida, is a middle-grade historical novel about a girl, Hattie Bigelow, who lives in Milwaukee near the end of the Civil War and is far more interested in the emerging sport of base ball than in sewing circles and other women’s efforts to support the Union cause.
Odin’s Promise is local author Sandy Brehl’s debut historical novel and the tale of the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of eleven-year-old Mari, who is supported and protected by her faithful elkhound, Odin.
After her huge success with her first feature-length movie, seventh-grader Kate Walden is eager to start on her next film, a sci-fi romance called Bride of Slug Man in the latest in the Kate Walden Directs series by Juile Mata, a hilarious story about friendship and two rival filmmakers that tweens will adore.
Emily Demuth Ishida Bio: Emily Demuth Ishida lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and children. She spends her days as a grade school library aide and computer lab assistant. A free-lance writing for many years, primarily devotionals, curricula, and global education resources for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Augsburg Fortress Publishers, she is a regular contributor to The Little Lutheran and The Little Christian.
Sandy Brehl Bio: Sandy Brehl is an educator and active member of SCBWI. She enjoys art, gardening, and travel to Norway (of course). She lives in Muskego, Wisconsin.
Julie Mata Bio: Julie Mata grew up outside Chicago and currently lives in Wisconsin. She loves movies and once wrote and directed her own short film. She also loves traveling, gardening, and reading a really good book. She is the author of Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens.
Celebrate National Children’s Book Week with Local Author Silvia Acevedo, launching her debut young adult novel God Awful Loser
Friday May 8, at 7:00 pm
To continue our celebration of National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), Boswell launches God Awful Loser, the debut young adult novel by award-winning journalist and local author, Silvia Acevedo. God Awful Loser is a new tale of mythology (perfect for ages 12 and up!) in which a carefree Cupid is dethroned by a powerful stranger and exiled to Earth where he finds more enemies and a plot to overthrow Olympus.
Cupid, the son of the God of War has it all, and the smooth-talking, jet-setting master knows it. The once chubby cherub now has adoring fans, a shiny red limousine, and a mansion nearly, almost, not quite big enough to hold his enormous and ever-growing ego. But everything changes for the sloppy, ill-aiming love god when a meddling stranger challenges him for his crown. Not even the advice of his war-mongering father, Mars, and embarrassingly underdressed mother, Venus, can save Cupid from the skids. Facing enraged immortals, epic battles against hell’s most vile creatures, and the dread of becoming mortal himself, Cupid teams up with an unlikely band of misfit fallen angels in the hopes of saving himself, the Olympic kingdom, and humans the world over. But can such an inept team of losers finally win when it counts? Funny, rude, and planted smack in modern times, God Awful Loser is a new chapter on the ancient gods’ bad — and hugely entertaining — choices, that will entertain readers 12 and up!
About the Author: Silvia Acevedo earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in Journalism, Spanish, and Latin American/Iberian Studies. A regular host on WTMJ-TV’s The Morning Blend, she has written and presented news for KTBC-TV, KRDO-TV, WISN-TV, The Milwaukee Sentinel, and The Badger Herald, to name a few. Acevedo and her husband, world-renowned fantasy illustrator Jeff Miracola, are the founders of Three Points Publishing, a Wisconsin-based imprint dedicated to producing entertaining books and engaging art instructional videos. God Awful Loser is her first book.
National Children’s Book Week Picture Book Panel with Jamie A. Swenson, author of If You Were a Dog, Kashmira Sheth, author of Sona and the Wedding Game, and Janet Halfmann, author of Animal Teachers
Saturday May 9, at 2:00 pm
To continue our celebration of National Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country (established in 1919), Boswell Book Company welcomes a fantastic panel of picture book authors! Joining us for five-minute discussions of their books, followed by a Q&A and signing are: If You Were a Dog author and Wisconsinite Jamie A. Swenson, Sona and the Wedding Game author Kashmira Sheth, and Animal Teachers author and local author Janet Halfmann. This event is perfect for ages 18 months and up, and is co-sponsored by MKE Teacher SPAce.
Wisconsin author Jamie A. Swenson, writer of Boom! Boom! Boom!, returns with playful interactive picture book perfect for reading aloud, If You Were a Dog, which uses spare, rhythmic, onomatopoeic text to draw in readers of all ages into the animal kingdom.
In Kashmira Sheth’s latest picture book, Sona and the Wedding Game, Sona’s big sister is getting married and she’s been given the job of stealing the groom’s shoes, no small feat for a girl who has never attended a wedding before and is unfamiliar with this Indian tradition—as well as many of the other magical experiences that will occur before and during the special event.
Award-winning local author, Janet Halfmann, presents her latest gorgeous picture book, Animal Teachers, which explores the world’s outdoor "classrooms" and the kinds of lessons baby animals learn in them, showcasing—in an entertaining combination of science and storytelling—the teacher-student dynamic between young and adult animals as they are taught crucial skills needed to handle daily challenges.
Jamie A. Swenson Bio: Jamie A. Swenson works as an associate librarian and early literacy storyteller. She is also the author of Boom! Boom! Boom!, illustrated by David Walker. She lives in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Kashmira Sheth Bio: Kashmira Sheth was four years old at the first Indian wedding she remembers, and she still cherishes the memory of the festivities in her grandparents’ house. Since then she has attended many weddings but, unlike Sona, has never successfully stolen a groom’s shoes. She is the author of many acclaimed books, including Tiger in My Soup, My Dadima Wears a Sari, and Monsoon Afternoon. Sheth teaches at Pine Manor College, in their Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Janet Halfmann Bio: Janet Halfmann is the author of over forty fiction and nonfiction books for children, including Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?, A Rainbow of Birds, Home in the Cave, and Seven Miles to Freedom: the Robert Smalls Story, to name a few. Before becoming a children’s author, Janet Halfmann was a daily newspaper reporter, children’s magazine managing editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. When Janet isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living-history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, WI.
Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree and Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land
Monday May 11, at 7:00 pm
We’re excited to welcome journalist, USC professor, and author of The Lemon Tree, Sandy Tolan, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, Children of Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land, the touching story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a child from a Palestinian refugee camp, who confronts an occupying army, gets an education, masters an instrument, dreams of something much bigger than himself, and then, through his charisma and persistence, inspires scores of others to work with him to make that dream real. The dream: a school to transform the lives of thousands of children—as Ramzi’s life was transformed—through music.
Musicians from all over the world came to help. A violist left the London Symphony Orchestra, in part to work with Ramzi at his new school, Al Kamandjati. An aspiring British opera singer moved to the West Bank to teach voice lessons. Daniel Barenboim, the eminent Israeli conductor, invited Ramzi to join his West Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he founded with the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said. Since then the two have played together frequently. Children of the Stone chronicles Ramzi’s journey—from stone thrower to music student to school founder—and shows how through his love of music he created something lasting and beautiful in a land torn by violence and war. This is a story about the power of music, first, but also about freedom and conflict, determination and vision. It’s a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the prospects of musical collaboration across the Israeli–Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children everywhere see new possibilities for their lives.
"Eye-opening…Tolan’s exhaustive research and journalistic attention to detail shine through every page of this sweeping chronicle." —Publishers Weekly
"A resolute, heart-rending story of real change and possibility in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank and The Lemon Tree. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for NPR and PRI. He has also written for more than forty magazines and newspapers. He was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Milwaukee Author Dasha Kelly launches her new novel, Almost Crimson
Tuesday May 12, at 7:00 pm
Please join us for a special evening with celebrated Milwaukee spoken-word artist and author, Dasha Kelly, launching her latest novel, Almost Crimson, an uplifting story of one woman’s struggle to overcome her mother’s sadness, her father’s absence, and to become an independent woman. This event is co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Public Library, who will be remotely issuing library cards, so if you don’t have one, come on down and sign up, meet a lovely local author, and hear an excerpt of her new heartwarming, singular tale.
In Dasha Kelly’s latest novel, Almost Crimson, CeCe couldn’t remember when her mother became too weak to carry anything but tears. When the Sad started to come, pressing her mother to their bed, her Mama cried slick silent tears for a long, long time. Longer than a game of hopscotch. Longer than singing the alphabet in her head five times. Longer than a nap, even. The Sad made her mother cry all the time. From a young age CeCe copes with her mother’s crippling depression, their severe poverty, an absentee father, and her own insecurities. With gorgeous language, a vivid cast of characters, and an eye for poignant detail, Dasha Kelly tells the story of CeCe’s struggle to break free from the grips of codependency and poverty to find confidence and success in her career and her personal life, finally becoming the strong woman she’s always dreamed of being.
"Dasha Kelly writes with equal parts sweetness and sadness about being a human. She writes about girls and women, family, friendship and aching love. Almost Crimson offers a full teacup of emotions, past and present, delicately balanced on a wildly beating heart. This author, this novel—blessings to readers and storytellers alike." —Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss A War
About the Author: Dasha Kelly is a nationally-respected writer, artist, and social entrepreneur. As a spoken word artist, Dasha has performed throughout the U.S., in Canada, and appeared on the final season of HBO presents Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. Dasha holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is an alum of the iconic Squaw Valley Writers Community, the former writer-in-residence for the historic Pfister Hotel, and founder of Still Waters Collective, an arts education and community-building initiative. In 2014, Dasha was selected as a U.S. Embassy Arts Envoy to teach and perform in Botswana, Africa. She is the author of one chapbook, Hither, and three books: All Fall Down, Hershey Eats Peanuts, and Call It Forth. She lives in Milwaukee.
A Reading for Peace with Local Author Kathie Giorgio, author of Rise from the River
Wednesday May 13, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is proud to co-sponsor a very special reading benefiting Milwaukee’s Sojourner Family Peace Center, established in 1975 and dedicated to the mission of transforming lives impacted by domestic violence. Novelist Kathie Giorgio is coming to Boswell to read from, discuss, and sign copies of her latest novel, Rise from the River, to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women. A percentage of every book sold at the event will be donated directly to the Sojourner Family Peace Center to aid their important mission of working with families affected by domestic violence to achieve safety, justice, and well-being.
In Kathie Giorgio’s new novel Rise from the River, we meet young single mother Rainey Milbright whose life is shattered by a violent assault, an assault witnessed by her young daughter Tish. With compassion and unflinching honesty, Giorgio chronicles the way a night of violence reverberates through Rainey’s life, the life of her young daughter Tish, and this family’s emotional journey to healing.
"Say that Kathie Giorgio’s new novel, Rise from the River, is an assault on the senses, a torrent of feeling. Say that it is a manifesto for independent choices, a primer on women’s issues taken to their extreme. That it is funny and awful and poignant and that you will be unable to put it down. It’s all these things, but most of all it’s about Rainey, to whom the unthinkable happens, and who then has to make one of a woman’s most difficult choices..." —Mary Grimm, author of Left to Themselves
About the Author: Kathie Giorgio lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with her family and an even number of beagles and cats. She is the director and founder of All Writers’ Workplace & Workshop, an international creative writing studio that offers online and onsite support, encouragement, and education for writers of every genre and ability. She holds her BA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her MFA in Fiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kathie is an internationally known short story writer whose short stories and poetry have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies.
The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library present the Spring Literary Luncheon featuring Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover
Thursday May 14, at 11:00 am
The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library and Boswell Book Company are proud to present bestselling author, Elizabeth Berg, as the featured speaker for this year’s annual Spring Literary Luncheon at the Wisconsin Club, located at 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The meet-and-greet and signing begin at 11 AM, and lunch begins at noon. Tickets are $65 ($55 for Friends members) and include admission to and lunch for one at the Wisconsin Club, and an autographed hardcover copy of The Dream Lover, a novel about George Sand, Paris, fashion, desire, love, art, the power of family to define us, and the strength it takes to break free. Please call (414-286-8720) or email the library (Friends@mpl.org) to make your reservation and purchase tickets.
In The Dream Lover, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she renames herself George and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle. Illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society, The Dream Lover features many of Sand’s famous lovers and friends including Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, Alfred de Musset, and more. Considered one of the most gifted geniuses of her time, Sand welcomes fame as she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, the pain of her childhood, and the disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter.
Here’s what Boswellian Sharon has to say about The Dream Lover: "My knowledge of George Sand is somewhat limited. I know that she was a French writer who used a man’s name, and that she had once had an affair with Frederic Chopin. There, my information ends. Elizabeth Berg’s new historical novel fleshes her out quite nicely. George Sand wasn’t just a writer; she was France’s most successful female novelist of the time, and her affair with Chopin was just one of many. She was a passionate woman with a social conscience who was constantly looking for love, as well as a disciplined writer, and solicitous mother. She dressed in men’s clothes, at first because it was cheaper to get into the theatre, and then because she appreciated the freedom they allowed her, both in movement and activities. She lived life on her own terms, leaving her husband to pursue her writing career in Paris, taking lovers and dropping them when she pleased, and managing her own money and property. The Dream Lover is a departure for Elizabeth Berg, but definitely one that readers will be glad that she took."
About the Author: Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Talk Before Sleep, The Pull of the Moon, Tapestry of Fortunes, The Last Time I Saw You, Home Safe, The Year of Pleasures, and Dream When You’re Feeling Blue. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year. Berg has been honored by the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. Her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. She divides her time between Chicago and San Francisco.
Jen Lancaster, author of I Regret Nothing: A Memoir, with an Introduction to Self-Defense by Local Martial Artist, Personal Trainer, and Special Guest Paul Boyajian
Monday May 18, at 7:00 pm
Set aside your regrets and join us for a once-in-a-lifetime event with the "absolutely hilarious" (Chicago Sun-Times) Jen Lancaster, who will discuss and sign copies of her latest memoir about turning a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, I Regret Nothing, with an introduction to self-defense by a special guest: local martial artist, personal trainer, and founder of Anthro EX, Paul Boyajian. You’ll absolutely regret missing this event, so come on down to #learnselfdefense with Paul and hear some of Jen’s signature outrageous storytelling!
Mistakes are one thing; regrets are another. After a girls’ weekend in Savannah makes Jen Lancaster realize that she is—yikes!—middle-aged (binge watching is so the new binge drinking), Jen decides to make a bucket list and seize the day, even if that means having her tattoo removed at one hundred times the cost of putting it on. From attempting a juice cleanse to studying Italian, from learning to ride a bike to starting a new business, and from sampling pasta in Rome to training for a 5K, in I Regret Nothing, Jen turns a mid-life crisis into a mid-life opportunity, sharing her sometimes bumpy—but always hilarious—attempts to better her life…again.
Paul Boyajian Bio: With over 30 years of martial arts experience, personal trainer and founder of Anthro EX Corrective Exercise & Functional Training Programs Paul Boyajian is skilled in Tae Kwon Do, Thai Boxing, Savate, Jeet Kune Do, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to name a few. He is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and fitness nutritionist and a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, and has taught and trained clients of all ages locally for many years in various disciplines, including a popular class on self-defense for women that he co-developed in the late 1980s. In the 90s, as a group-home manager, he designed and implemented new restraint and defense programs to reinforce the safety of residents and workers. For more information and to schedule your training session, visit Anthro EX on Facebook.
About the Author: Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous books (Twisted Sisters, The Tao of Martha, Here I Go Again, Jeneration X, If You Were Here, My Fair Lazy, Pretty in Plaid, Such a Pretty Fat, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and Bitter Is the New Black). She has appeared on Today, The Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their ever-expanding menagerie of ill-behaved pets.
Adam Rockoff, author of The Horror of It All: One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead
Wednesday May 20, at 7:00 pm
Bolt the door and grab some popcorn: presenting horror film aficionado, filmmaker, and Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986 author, Adam Rockoff, talking about and signing copies of his latest, The Horror of It All: One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead, a memoir form the front lines of the industry that dissects (and occasionally defends) the hugely popular phenomenon of scary movies.
Pop culture history meets blood-soaked memoir as a horror film aficionado and screenwriter recalls a life spent watching blockbuster slasher films, cult classics, and everything in between. Horror films have simultaneously captivated and terrified audiences for generations, racking up billions of dollars at the box office and infusing our nightmares with unrelenting zombies, chainsaw-wielding madmen, and myriad incarnations of ghosts, ghouls, and the devil himself. Despite evolving modes of storytelling and the fluctuating popularity of other genres, horror endures. In The Horror of It All author Adam Rockoff traces the highs and lows of the horror genre through the lens of his own obsessive fandom, born in the aisles of his local video store and nurtured with a steady diet of cable trash. From Siskel and Ebert’s crusade against slasher films to horror’s Renaissance in the wake of Scream, Rockoff mines the rich history of the genre, braiding critical analysis with his own firsthand experiences. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
"Rockoff is an amiable and often amusing guide…a passionate defender of the creative rights of filmmakers, no matter how shocking or disturbing their creations might be, and a convincing advocate for scary movies as transgressive art—or just plain fun." —Kirkus
About the Author: Adam Rockoff is the screenwriter of Wicked Lake, a film so depraved it caused Ron Jeremy to storm out of the theater in anger. However, his 2010 adaptation of the classic exploitation film, I Spit on Your Grave, received nearly unanimous praise from horror critics. His first book, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986, a critical examination of the slasher genre, was made into a documentary which premiered on STARZ. When he’s not getting his hands bloody, Rockoff runs the television production company, FlashRock Films.
A Ticketed Event with Neal Stephenson, author of Reamde, Snow Crash, and Seveneves
Friday June 5, at 7:00 pm
Boswell Book Company is excited to present a ticketed event with Neal Stephenson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatham, Reamde, and Snow Crash, who will discuss and sign copies of his latest thought provoking science fiction epic, Seveneves, a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years. Tickets are $36, include taxes and fees, admission for one, and an autographed hardcover of Seveneves, and are available on Brown Paper Tickets, event #1409332. A $28 gift card is available in lieu of the book on event night only.
In Neal Stephenson’s latest science fiction epic, Seveneves, a catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain. Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
Neal Stephenson, a writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in Seveneves, a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
Here’s what Boswellian Jason had to say about Seveneves: “This could well be Neal Stephenson’s best work to date, equal parts Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World. An event occurs that leaves humanity on the brink of extinction with very little time on the clock to attempt to survive. Most writers would start well after the event and leave out all the important how parts, the parts readers want to know, like how does civilization continue or barring that, humanity. The leaders of Earth hatch a harsh plan to save humanity; nothing is easy and survival is not assured, but there is true heroism in the early pages of this novel as humanity has to learn to live in a foreign environment without the cozy confines of atmosphere or terra firma. To say this was a great novel does not do it justice; Stephenson creates a breathtaking take on the catastrophic ending of the world and the saving of the human race. Then he brings it full circle, leaving me completely in awe.”
About the Author: Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, the three-volume historical epic The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Please join us at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center for a Ticketed Event with Daniel Silva, author of The Unlikely Spy, The Heist, and The English Spy, in conversation with the JCC’s Jody Hirsh
Monday July 6, at 7:00 pm
Boswell is excited to present a ticketed event at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center with Daniel Silva, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Heist, and The English Assassin, joined in conversation by the JCC’s Jody Hirsh, discussing Silva’s latest stunning thriller, The English Spy, an action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon. Tickets are $30, include taxes and fees, admission for one, and an autographed hardcover of The English Spy, and are available on Brown Paper Tickets, event #1476403. The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center is located at 6255 N. Santa Monica Boulevard in Whitefish Bay.
Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with seventeen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant hero, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar. Following the success of his smash hit The Heist, Daniel Silva returns with another blockbuster—The English Spy—a powerhouse novel featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.
About the Author: Daniel Silva is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, and The Heist. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and is married to journalist Jamie Gangel. Silva lives in Florida with his wife and their two children.
Other Confirmed Author Appearances
Monday, July 27, 6:30 pm - A Special, One-Time Screening of Chasing Red (awarded Best Feature and Best of the Fest at the 2015 LA Indie Film Festival!), featuring Chicago Author and Golden Gloves Champ Bill Hillmann, author of The Old Neighborhood, at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, located at 2230 North Farwell Avenue--tickets available soon via Tugg