|Boswell Book Company
2559 North Downer Avenue at Webster Place
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211
|Boswell Book Company Newsletter
|#48 February 21, 2011
Our buyer Jason Kennedy has been diligently reading new releases, and it's a good thing he's a much faster reader than I am. I finally finished Peter Hessler's Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip,
and that's a week after our event. Perhaps I'm commemorating Hessler's debut appearance on The New York Times
bestseller list for nonfiction paperbacks. Our contact at HarperCollins told me that the book has been particularly successful in the independent channel. We're thrilled to have helped. But we can't depend on me for recs. Here are two new books with Jason's seal of approval.
The Paris Wife
by Paula McLain (Ballantine, on sale tomorrow).
"I love reading Ernest Hemingway, but I was a bit hesitant about this novel based on his life in Paris after World War I, told from the point of view of his first wife Hadley. I found the voice rich, authentic and captivating, as McLain captured the rich cast of literary figures and their lives in Paris and the rest of Europe perfectly. Even with knowledge that the marriage is doomed to end, I came to realize that Ernest needed Hadley as much as she needed him, perhaps more so, and I ended up rooting for her. A wonderful story that I highly recommend." List price: $25, Boswell's Best Price: $20.A Discovery of Witches
, by Deborah Harkness (Viking).
"This is not your teen vampire novel. Yes, there is a vampire love interest, but Diana Bishop is not some girl confused about her life with or without a vampire in it. She is smart, very smart. She is a scholar, and a witch, something she wants nothing to do with. When she finds a manuscript in a library that she was never meant to find, different beings take interest in her. They all want to know about the knowledge she has unleashed from that magical manuscript, particularly a very old and powerful vampire named Matthew. When they team up, the results are a blur of adventure and excitement. Harkness has developed a world that rich, full, and completely believable." List Price: $28.95, Boswell's Best Price: $23.16.
Our Upcoming Events
What a week for events! And of course I write this on a Sunday evening, when this rain/snow mix is in full bloom.
Monday, February 21 (that's tonight and yes, it's on!) at 7 pm, we are hosting Wisconsin's own Paul McComas
back for a new collection of stories. Following Twenty Questions
and Planet of the Dates
, the new book is Unforgettable: Harrowing Futures, Horrors, and (Dark) Humor
. From aliens to zombies, from prehistoric monsters to monstrously conceived tomorrows, this collection comprises Paul McComas' fifty best speculative-fiction, horror, and dark-comic works -- most of them never before published. And yes, there is an excerpt from Logan's Journey, the first "Logan" novel (Logan's Run) in over 25 years, cowritten with the original author, William Nolan. Read more in McComas's interview with Onmilwaukee.com.
Tuesday, February 22, 7 pm at the Sunset Playhouse--Jennifer Chiaverini
, author of the
Elm Creek Quilt novels, the newest being The Union Quilters.
The story is set in 1862 Walter's Ford, Pennsylvania. The men have gone off to w
ar, leaving the women to keep the home front together. Once again our friends at Patched Works
are co-sponsoring the event. They've done a fabulous job getting RSVPs to the Facebook page--and have created Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilt out of Civil War-type patterns. As is traditional in a Chiaverini event, there is a commemorative pin with the purchase of The Union Quilters
. More on blog
. No charge! Doors open at 6:30. The Sunset Playhouse is located at 800 Elm Grove Road, just north of Bluemound--Elm Grove would be approximately 130th Street if it were numbered.
We're delighted to be co-hosting Lisa Paul's launch event at the Shorewood Public Library for Swimming in the Daylight: An American Student, a Soviet-Jewish Dissident, and the Gift of Hope. Mark your calendar for this special event--Wednesday, February 23, at a special time of 6:30 pm. It's the story of Paul's friendship with Inna Kitrosskaya Meiman, a Soviet Jew who is denied the right to leave the country for specialized medical care. They started as teacher and student, but their bond solidified when Paul took up Maiman's cause. And the title of the book? It's based on a story Maiman once told Paul about a fish who wouldn't swim in the daylight, for fear that other fish would eat him. It's a story of confronting fears and being brave. More on Paul's website. The Shorewood Public Library is located at 3920 North Murray Avenue.
Back at the store, we have a late addition to our schedule, with Sarah Blake, author of the bestselling novel, The Postmistress, appearing on Wednesday, February 23, 7 pm. Set in the time just before Pearl Harbor, when Europe was at war but the United States was officially neutral, it's the story of three women: a journalist, a young bride, and Iris James, the aforementioned Postmistress, and what happens when James decides not to deliver a letter. Recent visitor Chris Bohjalian reviewed this novel for the Washington Post, praising, in particular, the middle section, which he calls "poignant" and "authentic." Visit the author's website.
Barbara Kingsolver is also a fan, with a piece in Sunday's New York Times Book Review. She calls "a novel of many merits" and reassures Boyle's fans that they will find "everything they expect in the way of manic plotlines, flamboyant obsessions and cool comeuppance outlandishly delivered." Not enough enouragement? Read more recommendations from Boswellians Sharon and Carl on our blog. This event is going to be very popular, so please come early for good seats.
Come in your curly best for our event with Lorraine Massey, author of The Curly Girl Handbook, on Saturday, February 26, at 2 pm. Massey is co-owner of the Deva Salon, so it makes sense that we are co-sponsoring the event with Downer Avenue's Studio D'Angeli. Massey will be doing an in-store makeover, and we're doing a giveaway of Massey's products. Are you a writer or blogger who would like to interview Massey prior to the event? Contact me and I can get you connected!
Wednesday, March 2, 7 pm, is our event with Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates will Find Their Way. This Indie Bound pick has won raves from professional and amateur critics alike. I count Stacie and myself among the latter. Stacie praises the "clean, crisp prose" that "takes a plain subject and turns it upward, sweeping the reader along with the tide." More from me on the blog.
And more from Stacie, who recommends that all budding writers come to this event--Pittard teaches at Chicago's DePaul. "I got to have dinner with her in Chicago last month and she is not only a smart, energetic, talented young writer but she's also pretty damn cool. If I was a creative writing grad student, Hannah Pittard would be high on my to-see list."
March 3 at 7:30 pm is the time and UWM's Hefter Center at 3271 North Lake Drive is the place to hear acclaimed poet Matthew Zapruder, whose most recent collection, Come On All You Ghosts, is a favorite of professor and poet Susan Firer. "Reader when I think of you, you are in a giant purple chair in a Starbucks gradually leaking power while Neil Young eats a campfire then drinks a glass of tears on satellite radio." More on the Paris Review website with the correct line breaks.
March 4 through 6 is quite an exciting weekend. We'll be at the UWM Spring Writers Festival, with featured speakers David Rhodes, Jane Hamilton, and Kao Kalia Yang. We'll also be at Rodney Crowell's 8 pm concert for his memoir Chinaberry Sidewalks at Turner Hall on Friday, March 4. And on Saturday March 5, we'll be drinking tea with Jane Austen and Vermeer at Marsha Huff's lecture at the Milwaukee Public Library at 2 pm.
All three events are ticketed.
Meanwhile, on Saturday March 5 at 7 pm at Boswell, we're hosting Lori Horbas's discussion of Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic. Known for her column, "The Joy of Food", in the Outpost Exchange, Horbas is a certified land-ethic facilitator, and this event is just one of a number of programs taking place during Aldo Leopold weekend.
What Else is Going on in Milwaukee?
At Mequon's Next Chapter, Roberta Gately, author of the novel, Lipstick in Afghanistan, is appearing on Wednesday, February 23rd. Using her knowledge as a humanitarian worker, she's written the story of a Boston nurse in an Afghan clinic. The talk starts at 7 pm.
You're not going to believe this, but also on Wednesday, February 23rd (in addition to our event at the Shorewood Library for Swimming in the Daylight and our last-minute addition in the store of Sarah Blake's The Postmistress, Terry McMillan, author of several novels, most recently Getting to Happy, is appearing at UWM's Union Ballroom at 7 pm. This event is open to the general public, but is ticketed. More here. And yes, Azar Nafisi is at Marquette, according to this link. All this in February, on the same day? Wow! There's no excuse for staying home tonight.
If you were too busy with holiday business to see Elaine Schmidt at Boswell, she's appearing at Next Chapter on Thursday, February 24th, at 7 pm. Her book,Hey Mom, Listen to This: A Parent's Guide to Music, is a wonderful introduction to choosing an instrument, finding a teacher, and taking advantage of performance opportunities.
Nearby Mystery One on Prospect Avenue is hosting Tim Dorsey, author of the Serge Storms series, including the newest, Electric Barracuda, on Saturday, March 5, 2 pm. Dorsey is perfect for folks who like Carl Hiaasen, but he's so hilariously bizarre that I would probably also recommend him to fans of Christopher Moore. More on their website. And don't forget about Ian Rankin on March 19th. The new book is said to be a return to the genius of the Inspector Rebus series.
Buy your tickets now for Jodi Picoult, appearing at the Pitman Theater on the Alverno College Campus for her latest novel, Sing You Home, on Wednesday, March 9, at 7 pm. This one is sponsored by Next Chapter and will feature Picoult's friend Ellen Wilbur, composer of a music CD inspired by the novel. You know the drill on this! Tickets are $32 and include a copy of a book. There's a service charge per order, so we recommend groups by their tix in one transaction. Buy tickets on the Alverno website. No, we're not involved, but we will be hosting Anne Lamott on April 12th at Alverno, so you can practice driving there. I like the Holt exit off I43 myself, although Miller Parkway off I94 also works fine, and this way you can stop at Pho43, which is quite a real find, inexpensive and delicious.
As always, thank you for your patronage,
Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Beverly, Carl, Conrad, Greg, Jason, Jocelyn, Mark, Pam, Sharon, and Stacie.
Boswell Book Company