James BoswellBoswell Book Company
2559 North Downer Avenue at Webster Place
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211
(414) 332-1181, www.boswellbooks.com
New Hours! Monday-Saturday, 10 AM - 9 PM, Sunday, 10 AM - 6 PM
Boswell Book Company Newsletter#49 March 16, 2011


It seems like the literary sensation of spring has arrived. T�a Obreht's new novel, The Tiger's Wife (Random House), is winning raves everywhere. Not only did it have a wondTIGER'S WIFEerful review from Mike Fischer in our own Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it just captured the New York Times trifecta, with a daily rave from Michiko Kakutani, a front-page Sunday review from Liesl Schillinger, and a feature article. It's the #1 Indie Next pick for this month, and #1 on the just-released Indie Bound bestseller list. And here's what Boswellian Stacie M. Williams has to say:

"Sit down and let T�a Obreht tell you a story. Her words assembled with such precision and beauty; each sentence is crystal-strong and shining, yet fragile. In an unnamed Balkan country ravaged by war, a young doctor seeks to make peace with the death and dying that has happened around her as long atea obrehts she has been alive, but now it has come home: Natalia's inspiring physician grandfather has passed away and in the course of coping with his death, she begins a journey of both miles and memory. She learns of this loss while on a goodwill healthcare mission across the border of the recently-split nation and goes to his last-known location to find out more. In the process, she recalls a story her grandfather told her about a man who could not die which leads her to other stories she grew up with, all intrinsically about death and dying, but also lessons on how to live. Obreht's beautiful novel reminds us of the importance of storytelling as preservation of culture and keeper of human truths. A truly splendid, memorable read."
List Price: $25, Boswell's Best Price: $20.
Speaking of accolades, "The King's Speech" just received the Academy Award for Best Picture, among other honors. The film has been playing at the Downer Theatre for months, and let's just say we're thrilled on many levels, not least because it is very conKING'S SPEECHvenient to drop by the store before or after the show (as long as your "before or after" is before 9 pm). It's the only movie I've seen this year, and if that says nothing else, it's a testament to how many folks have told me how much they loved it and want to know more about the story. We've been selling the tie-in book,  The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy (Sterling, $14.95) very well, but many people are a bit confused by what exactly it is. Was it a book before the movie? Not exactly. But is it a novelization of the story? Absolutely not. The book is based on the actual diaries of Lionel Logue, compiled, edited, and yes, with additional writing by Mark Logue, Lionel's grandson, and Peter Conradi, the deputy foreign editor of the Sunday Times of London. Now I just have to see "Cedar Rapids" before it disappears from the Oriental. Ah, the best laid plans... 
Our Upcoming Events

First of all, my apologies for paraphrasing.  I'm so intimidated by how many events we have that my creative juices have dissipated.  Of course if I were a great writer, I'dAchatz and Kokonas chuck the bookstore to write the inspirational story of how a man and his niece bonded over who got kicked off last week's "Top Chef."  May I note that she would have loved our event with Grant Achatz last Sunday?  I bought her an autographed copy of Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat.  It's true, autographed copies make great gifts.  Do we have more signed copies of Grant Achatz's wonderful memoir?  Yes, we do.  Are they autographed personally to your niece and her fianc�?  No, but we might be able to fudge it. And now onto what's to come.


mke historic bowling alleysWednesday March 16, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Manya Kaczkowski, author of Milwaukee's Historic Bowling Alleys

Larry Widen, author of Milwaukee Movie Theaters.

I love urban history and these Arcadia books do a great job offering glimpses of the past at a great price.  mke ovie theatersWhen Emily the publicist told me about these two new books in the series, I knew we probably wouldn't get the launch event (I assumed Widen would do something at the theater and Kaczkowski at her favorite Lanes), but why not do something afterwards together?  Larry Widen is well-known for his previous books on Milwaukee theaters, and currently operates the historic Times and Rosebud Theaters, in Washington Heights and Wauwatosa respectively.  Manya Kaczkowski is a travel writer and yes, a former le5 very good reasonsague bowler.  I'd be up for league bowling too, if I could only find a team that didn't mind scores in the mid sixties.


Friday, March 18, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Matthew Inman, author of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth. Theoatmeal.com launched in July of 2009 and already has more than 82 million page views. Inman's new collection of comic illustrations are life-bending guides are now available in a revolutionary book format, on handy paper that is bound together in a uniquely portable and readable way.  If you have been wondering why bacon is better than true love, or whether a loved one is planning to eat you, 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth is probably your best resource.  Will there be a slide show, using our new projector?  Yes.  Will this event be absolutely packed?  Absolutely.  Our friends at Tattered Cover and Changing Hands had 200+ attendees.  I'd suggest getting here early.


Sunday, March 20, 2 pm, at Boswell, free event

Scott Korb, author of Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Plife in year onealestine.  You want history?  We've got history. Wisconsin-bred* Scott Korb offers an animated, unexpected, and amusing look at the land Jesus called home, a troublesome backwater of the Roman Empire at the height of its power.  Korb has written an earthy, provocative, and fun history, laced with first-hand observations in his travels.  He's written for Harper's, Gastronomica, The Revealer, and Commonweal. His next book also sounds fascinating, a narrative of the first class at our nation's first four-year Muslim college. *One of our customers looked at Korb's photo and said to me, "I think I know him-can you tell me if he attended Union Theological Seminary?"  And yes, he did.


gregory boyleWednesday, March 23, 7 pm, at Marquette University's Eckstein Hall, free event: Father Gregory Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. The founder of Homeboy Industries will share his very personal experiences of working with gang members in Los Angeles.  Father Boyle started his first business, Homeboy Bakery, in Tattoos on the heart1992, in response to civil unrest in Los Angeles.  Today Homeboy Industries' nonprofit economic development enterprises include silkscreening and merchandise sales. Boyle's work has won praise from Jack Kornfield, Anne Lamott (coming to Alverno on April 12), and Marian Wright Edelman.


cake mix dr gluten freeFriday, March 25, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free, co-sponsored by Celiac in the City, Milwaukee Reads! and the Gluten Free Trading Company. Ann Byrn is the author of the bestselling Cake Mix Doctor series.  Now she teaches you how to transform gluten-free cake mixes into 76 rich, decadent, easy-to-make, impossible-to-resist desserts, from Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries to brownies, bars, muffins, and cookies.  Doctoring mixes with additions like almond Black Crackerextract, berries, coconut and cinnamon, Anne Byrn puts delicious desserts back on the gluten-free menu!


Monday, March 28, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Josh Alan Friedman, author of Black Cracker.

Josh Friedman is the only white kid at the last segregated school in New York. This tour of a Long Island boyhood is populated by unforgettable characters, with a teacher who moonlights on "The Lawrence Welk Show" and a principal (a woman, mind you) who wears boxing gloves.  At once funny and heartbreaking, this autobiographical novel is a fearless account of the now-forgotten poor, black shantytowns of Long Island. Friedman is Beyond DiMaggioa writer-guitarist who lives in Texas. Oh, and he wrote for Scr*w Magazine.  And yes, he's the son of acclaimed writer Bruce Jay Friedman.


Thursday, March 31, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Lawrence BaldassaroLawrence Baldassaro, author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball.

We've been waiting for this book for years!  This UWM professor emeritus offers a social history of Italian Americans in professional baseball, from 1897 to the present day.  Using first-hand interviews from more than fifty players, coaches, managers, and executives, Baldassaro looks at the historical, cultural, and political factors that affected early Italian players, and gives spirited life to the game and some of the most colorful characters in Major League Baseball.


Saturday, April 2, 2 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Nicholas Hartlep author of Going Public: Critical Race Theory and Issues of Social
Nicholas Hartlep Justice
, c
o-sponsored by OCA-WI (Organization of Chinese Americans, Wisconsin chapter).Hartlep, a Ph.D. student and fellow in the Educational Policy and Community Studies department at UWM, explores the effects of racism and social inequalities that harm our public schools and the children who attend them. Hartlep has written for The Journal of American Culture and the International Journal of Arts and Sciences.


Tuesday, April 5, 11 AM, at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin, 813 East Kilbourn, $65 ticketed event, the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Luncheon. Donna Leon, author of Drawing Conclusions.

Drawing ConclusionsTickets include lunch and a copy of the book.  Reservations are only being taken through March 27, so RSVP to (414) 286-8720 or email [email protected]. Donna Leon is loved worldwide for her series of Venice-based mysteries featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti.  Starting with Death at La Fenice, Leon and her shrewd, sophisticated investigator have uncovered a window into the private Venice of her citizens, a world of incomparable beauty, shocking crime, and insidious corruption.  Here's what Boswellian Anne has to say:


"It could have been a natural death.  Costanza Altavilla died of a heart attack.  Yes, Donna Leonthere's some traces of bruising around the neck.  It could be natural causes...or not.  Inspector Brunetti suspects that there is more to the story, perhaps traced to Altavilla's work helping abused women.  In the end, the story doesn't go where you think it will.  Letter-of-the-law investigations and traditional moral solutions are not hallmarks of a Guido Brunetti case. The experience of reading Drawing Conclusions, however, goes well beyond the plotting.  Solitude of Prime NumbersEvery so often there's a turn of phrase that is positively breathtaking.  It blows my mind how consistently good Donna Leon is, but her newest is particularly wonderful." Anne would also add that Donna Leon is a wonderful speaker and this promises to be a great event.  Don't miss her.


Wednesday, April 6, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Paolo Giordano author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers,

Co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Run of the Italian Film Festival.Paolo Giordano

Winner of the Premio Strega, Giordano's novel of twin primes, two lonely misfits haunted by early tragedies, has won raves worldwide.  It's a charming story filled with sparkling moments and memorable characters, with a modern Italian esthetic.  The alternating playful and heartfelt vibe, tinged with sadness recalled to me The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  And that's not me paraphrasing, I really liked this book! Our event will feature Giordano reading in Italian, with guest reader Angela Damiani taking the English. 


Saturday, April 9, 2 pm, at Boswell, free event:

sorry i peed on youJeremy Greenberg, comedian and author of Sorry I Peed on You.

Ever wonder what toddlers are thinking when they chuck their spaghetti at the wall or refuse to play peek-a-boo?  Finally MSN's resident parenting blogger has the answers.  Sorry I Peed on You offers 50 humorous letters from the perspective of toddlers who feel the need to apologize (or at least enlighten) mom. It's the answer to the age-old question, "What was my baby thinking?" And yes, Greenberg is also appearing atBrookfield's Giggles Comedy Club on April 7, 8, and 9.  Click here for more info.


Monday, April 11, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Ronnie Hess, author of Eat Smart in France,eat smart in france

Co-sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee.

Designed for food aficionados and travelers who want to get to the heart of a culture through its cuisine, this richly-detailed culinary guidebook explains how to find the most delicious, authentic, and adventurous eating experiences in France. Ronnie Hess is an award-winning journalist based in Madison who has studied at the Postilion Restaurant and School of Culinary Arts in Fond du Lac. Eat Smart in France is the latest in a long-running international series, published by Madison's Gingko Press.


Tuesday, April 12, 7 pm, at Alverno College's Wehr Hall,  Anne Lamott, author of Anne LamottImperfect Birds. $16 ticketed event includes the book, now available in paperback. Acclaimed writer of the beloved writing guide, Bird by Bird, essay collections such as Traveling Mercies, and a series of novels featuring Rosie Ferguson, including Crooked Little Heart and Rosie, returns to Milwaukee with more of Rosie's exploits. Imperfect Birds, Lamott's newest novel, addresses themes crucial to us all-family, connection, addiction and forgiveness with the examination of a parent's darkest fears as a family comes to terms with a daughter's drug abuse, and the profound effects it has on each member.  One of myimperfect birds strongest event memories at Schwartz is Lamott flying in late during a snowstorm and getting a standing ovation.  She's that wonderful. 


What's that you say? "Hey, I have a copy of Imperfect Birds already.  Do you have a gift card option?Yes, we do, for $10, making admission a very reasonably priced $6.  But don't forget my opening pronouncement that autographed books make great gifts. I think you have a cousin who would love a note from Anne Lamott. For tickets, contact Alverno's box office at (414) 382-6044 or go online to Alverno's website.


pearl of chinaBut that's not all.  More Events!

Wednesday, April 13, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Anchee Min author of Pearl of China


Thursday, April 14, 8 pm, at Boswell, free event

Michelle Tea, author of Rent Girl, Valencia, and Without a Net,

 as part of the Sister Spit tour, co-sponsored by The Tool Shed.


Friday, April 15, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Valerie Laken, author of the new short-story collection, Separate Kingdoms.separate kingdoms


Saturday, April 16, 2 pm, at Boswell, free event:

Lee Sandlin, author of Wicked River: The Mississippi When it Last Ran Wild.


Monday, April 18, Noon, at Bacchus, $95 ticketed event includes the book, meal, tax, and tip, Patricia Wells, author of Salad as a Meal.

This event is almost sold out.  For reservations, contact (414) 765-1166.


grant woodThursday, April 21, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

R. Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life.

Co-sponsored by the Cream City Foundation's Joseph R. Pabst Infrastructure Fund.


Friday, April 22, 7 pm, at Boswell, free event

Kurt Michael Friese, co-author of Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail.


Saturday, April 23, 2 pm, at Boswell, book launch, free event

Bradley Beaulieu, author of The Winds of Khalakovo.

Even more on our event page, which Carl recently updated! 

New Stuff 


Finally, things are looking fun around here.  Just when weather was its gloomiest, we put up our spring table and we all immediately felt happier.  Filled with birds and butterflies,ladybug stuff the blues and greens of these assorted goodies (push toys and jewelry boxes and beautiful and surprisingly inexpensive bird figurines) turned out to be the perfect antidote to seasonal affective disorder.


It turns out that ladybugs are the new owls, or at least are the spring equivalent.  I just can't say no to anything ladybug, even though nobody gets the number of spots right (there seaster chickshould be seven).  By far our most popular item is our magnetic music box, which shows that even ladybugs have a sense of rhythm, if you play the right song.


The Easter collection is just arriving, and though we've still got a soft spot for bunnies, there is no question that 2011 is the year of the chick.  We've got cute chick mugs, candles, and finger puppets.  There are lots of options in the store for Easter baskets.


Our  kits and puzzles are restocked in kids, with a focus this month on arts and crafts.  We've got crayons in princess and truckarty stuff cases, glitter glue, markers, and doodle pads too, including some that double as placemats.  Soon it will be warm enough for outdoor fun, and I'm particularly excited about the many ways you can blow bubbles.


But that's not all; we're celebrating  Women's History Month with lovely paperweights, the opening of baseball season with a cool tin baseball bank, and the fact that everyone makes summer travel plans in March with some map-themed coasters and notecards.  The bendable robots are back, as well as new Whatzit animals.  Let me just say they are getting a lot of action from customers of all ages at the front desk. 

In Closing
What's a good excuse for three weeks between newsletters? We're way too busy putting on great events?  We're out selling books at area libraries, concerts, conferences, and speakers coming to town? (Please contact me if you have an opportunity and want a dependable and friendly bookseller to provide added value to your author program) Constant Contact makes me shudder?
They all sound wimpy to me.  There's no good excuse.  That said, if you want more Boswell, why not "like" us on Facebook, or better yet, subscribe to my blog on RSS feed, to get a daily dose of Boswell.  Or better still, visit us!  I'm glad to say that it seems like every day, we chat with another book lover who discovers our shared literary enthuasiasms. 
I should also mention we have a special promotion coming soon, our galleon galley giveaway.  On March 24, 25, and 26, you'll be able to pick from our cart of advance reader's copies with each new book purchase (yes, that excludes second-hand and remainders).  It's a while-supplies-last offer, so mark your calendars. 
Thank you, as always, for your patronage.
Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Beverly, Carl, Conrad, Greg, Jason, Jocelyn, Mark, Pam, Sharon, and Stacie.
Boswell Book Company