Boswell Logo

Boswell Book Company

2559 North Downer Avenue at Webster Place

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

(414) 332-1181,

Our Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm

and we're always open at!

Boswell Book Company Newsletter                                      June 15, 2011, Day 803



As usual, I've got a lot to talk about, but it just doesn't seem right if I don't start with a couple of new books to call to your attention. On Tuesday, I spent some time combing through our Boswell's Best titles, looking for finds. I discussed several on the Boswell and Books blog, but these three stood out as email worthy. 
Ten Thousand SaintsJason informed me that Eleanor Henderson's debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints (Ecco), would be the front page feature of this Sunday's New York Times Book Review. It's the story of two teenage boys, Jude and Teddy, growing up in a world filled with drugs and alcohol and little in the way of parental guidance. When their lives collide with Eliza, there are tragic consequences, but being a fat sprawling novel, you know that there is a road out of this nightmare, only it's filled with potholes.  Ann Patchett offers this praise: "Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination. The resulting novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is the best thing I've read in a long time." More from Ms. Patchett later. (Publisher: $26.99, Boswell: $21.59).
Soho is a publisher whose reputation in crime fiction has few equals. One author whoseStagestruck backlist sales have continued to grow with us is Peter Lovesey, who has been awarded just about every award based on a weapon or famous detective that there is. His 11th Peter Diamond mystery, Stagestruck, finds our detective behind the scenes at a theater production in Bath, England. Our story begins when an actress on the comeback trail finds her makeup doctored with drain cleanser. Publishers Weekly snaps: "Once again, Lovesey proves he has few peers as a crafter of contemporary fair-play whodunits." (Publisher: $25.00, Boswell: $20.00).
Story of Charlotte's WebAnd finally, a book for book lovers in the meta sense.  Michael Sims's The Story of Charlotte's Web is a fine book in an attractive package that tackles one of our most beloved stories. E. B. White spent much of his childhood on a farm, forming relationships with animals that were transformed into fiction.  Yes, White said he felt a kinship with animals that he never formed with people.  I was intrigued to learn that one of White's formative influences was one of my childhood favorites, Don Marquis's Archy and Mehitabel. Of course--a cat and a cockroach!  And who wrote the notes for the annotated version?  Why, none other than Michael Sims himself! (Publisher: $25.00, Boswell: $20.00).

Feature Event-Ann Patchett on Wednesday, June 22 at Boswell, 7 pm.


state of wonderWhen Harper publicist Jane and I were planning our event for Ann Patchett's wondrous new novel, State of Wonder, we had a heart to heart about what kind of success we wanted out of this event. Did we want to sell the most books or have the most people? "Well, both are important, but I really want Ann to reach as many people as possible" was Jane's verbatim-ish thoughts on the subject.


Patchett's new novel returns to the South America of Bel Canto, but on a very different note, musically speaking. Dr. Marina Singh works for a pharmaceutical firm doing experiments in the Amazon. Her colleague, who has travelled into the jungle to find out why there has been so little progress in the company's work, is dead. Singh is dispatched next, to find out what is going on with Annickann patchett by melissa ann pinney Swenson's research anyway. Swenson's missives have been mighty odd, and being that she was Singh's one-time mentor, the situtation is odder still.  It's a modern update of Heart of Darkness, and though there have been some mixed reviews, booksellers around the country that I've spoken to agree that Patchett's newest is, to paraphrase Kirkus, a gripping thriller with spiritual depth. Yowza!


We're so thrilled to be hosting Ann Patchett, who is in the midst of opening an independent bookstore in Nashville, replacing the gaping hole where there once was a majestic Davis Kidd store. Sound familiar? Is this cool or what?  So let's celebrate and give her the biggest event we can. More on her new venture here.


All of ItAnd that's not all. You probably know how much I love it when authors really get behind other folks' books. Remember when Patchett came to the Schwartz Readers Retreat in Kohler, on the condition that we feature Patrick Ryan's story collection Send Me? (Just as an aside, I just saw Ryan in New York, and heard all about his hilarious young adult novel about twins who fall in love with a boy who may be a vampire, Gemini Bites, which I can't wait to read.) Well, on this book tour, Patchett is talking up the newly reissued cult classic novel, Jeanette Haien's The All of It, of an Irish priest who hears a deathbed confession that changes his life. 


So back to our point about us wanting as many people as possible to see Ann Patchett on Wednesday, June 22, 7 pm. Our event is free. Of course I would love it if you brought your book from us, but don't worry, it's ok to bring your books from home. Heck, bring your e-reader. And don't forget, you can download State of Wonder from our website and read it on your Nook, Sony, iPad, or smart phone The price is $12.99, the same price as anywhere else you've been shopping.


Would you like to send this note about Patchett's visit on to friends? Sure you would!  Just link here to a special Patchett-only email that you can forward.

Milwaukee-Area Bookstores Clamor for Kids Books


The new list of kids' picks from the American Booksellers Association stores are out for summer, and Milwaukee-area booksellers have no less than five recommendations.  Come into our shop for a flier with a complete list of titles, or link here.  And if you're link averse, here are three Wisconsinite-recommended winners:


True...Sort ofTrue . . . Sort of, by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow).
"This is a book I want to hand to people and say 'just read it' because it is so difficult to put into words how truly touching and tender this story is. It's about a group of misunderstood loners, including one with a difficult secret, who find each other and are healed through friendship. Involved are a wonderful family, a secret 'hideaways,' a snarly cat, and even the game of basketball. Delly Pattison, an impossible-to-forget, self-avowed troublemaker with an imaginative and descriptive vocabulary, is the kind of character you'd like to leap off the page and into your life." -- Pam Stilp, Boswell.


Marty McGuireMarty McGuire, by Kate Messner (Scholastic).
"Third-grader Marty McGuire prefers fishing in the creek to putting on pink frilly dresses and acting ladylike. When she is chosen for the lead in her class play and must wear a tiara, Marty determines to put her own twist on the production, with hilarious results. Messner has introduced a spunky new character that young readers will take to their hearts and eagerly await her next adventure." -- Kathy Carrigan, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI


The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, by Jane Birdsall (Knopf)
Penderwicks at Point"The Penderwicks are surely one of the most memorable families in the world of recent children's books. Now, Skye, Jane, Batty, and Hound are off to spend two weeks with their Aunt Claire at Birches, a house on the Maine coast. Skye worries that with her as OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick), the vacation is sure to be a disaster. Instead, what awaits is a summer filled with friends old and new, surprising discoveries, and lots of adventures! A seal serenade, a golf ball collection, a boy on a skateboard, and a boisterous dog all play a part in an unforgettable vacation. I can't wait for the next book!" -- Joyce Tiber, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

More June Events...Plus a Special Plea for an Event at Next Chapter.


Due to some logistical issues, our luncheon with Darin Strauss is no longer takingdarin strauss place.  However, you'll be sure to find me at Next Chapter in Mequon to hear Mr. Strauss read from and discuss his National Book Critics Circle Award-winning memoir, Half a Life, on Monday, June 20, at 7 pm. Details here. You say you don't drive and you need a ride?  I'll be leaving from the store at around 6 pm, and have room for four Strauss fans, returning between 8 and 8:30 pm. I'm happy to get you there and back.  Email me.


robert k elderWednesday, June 15, 7 pm (tonight!): Robert K. Elder, author of The Film that Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark. We welcome back Elder, who last visited Boswell for Last Words of the Executed. Keeping in the vein of oral history, but moving to the world of technicolor, Elder interviewed folks like Bill Condon, Atom Egoyan, Kevin Smith, and Guy Maddin to get a handle on what inspired them to greatness. Co-sponsoring this event is Milwaukee Independent Film Society and the Milwaukee Short Film Festival, which will be presenting on November 4 and 5 at the Lubar Auditorium at the Milwaukee Art Museum. More details here. If you want to hear a great interview about a filmmaker's influence, listen to J.J. Abrams discussing Super8 on Fresh Air here.

 brian tuohy

Thursday, June 16, 7 pm: Brian Tuohy, author of The Fix Is in: The Showbiz Manipulations of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NASCAR. Tuohy classifies himself as the nation's most skeptical fan and #1 sports conspiracist. If you sometimes wonder if those Cinderella stories and amazing upsets are too good to be true, Tuohy would tell you that they are. In short, the case in The Fix is In is that professional sports manipulates games. Skeptical, yes, but he's still a fan. Hear Tuohy make his case at Boswell this Thursday. And there's more on his website.


demetri martinOn Saturday, June 18, say hi to us at the Pabst Theater, where we'll be selling copies of Demetri Martin's cerebrally silly opus, This is a Book, tying into his appearance. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are still available with all seats are $31.25 (not including taxes and fees); visit the Pabst/Riverside site to buy yours. And if you've never had the pleasure of watching Martin in action, here's a taste.

 julie pandl

Sunday, June 19, from our 10 am opening until you head off to lunch: Julia Pandl, author of Memoir of a Sunday Brunch. So your dad is not into movies or sports. How about food?  Does he like food?  He probably would love Pandl's humorous and poignant memoir of growing up under the watch of Mr. Pandl himself.  There's no official talk at this event, just a signing that offers a great last-minute Father's Day gift, tying in to a Sunday profile in a local media outlet.


jeffrey merrickThursday, June 23, 7 pm: Jeffrey Merrick, author of Homosexuality in French History and Culture. Co-sponsored by the Cream City Foundation, it's a visit to Gay Paree, featuring lauded UWM professor Merrick. Coordinator of the national LGBT history project in the 1990s and co-founder of the LGBT studies at UWM, Merrick has also chaired the Department of History and currently serves as Associate Dean for the Humanities in the College of Letters and Science.

 kelly dorfman

At the Capitol Drive Outpost Natural Foods' new Community Room on Monday, June 27, 7 pm: Kelly Dorfman, author of What's Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments. Dorfman is a nutritionist who specializes in working with children. She has served, by governor appointment, on the Maryland Board of Dietetic Practice, has consulted for WebMD, and has been a go-to authority on nutrition for The Washington PostVisit the Outpost site here.


jackson kaguri by eric ruddTuesday, June 28, 7 pm: Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, author of A School for My Village: A Promise to the Orphans of Nyaka. Overcoming amazing odds, Kaguri followed his dream to build a school for AIDS orphans in his homeland of Uganda. His memoir weaves together tales from his youth with his passionate adulthood quest.


Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was raised in Uganda, graduated from Makerere University, and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. In addition to being founder and director of the Nyaka and Kutamba AIDS Orphans School in Uganda, he is a director of development at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

What Are Our In-Store Book Clubs Reading?


Don't forget that we have three in-store book clubs run by Boswellians that welcome curious readers, plus two book clubs that meet in the shop that are open to new members.  Here are our upcoming meeting times, along with some info about our upcoming selected titles--apologies for the paraphrasing.


Mystery Group...hosted by Anne:Ghosts of Belfast

Monday, June 27, Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville.

Praised by John Connolly and James Ellroy as one of the finest thrillers, no, Irish novels of any genre, in years, Ghosts of Belfast chronicles an IRA hit man haunted by the ghosts of his victims. And in order to put the voices to rest, he's going to have to kill the man who gave him his orders.


room in paperbackIn-store Lit Group...hosted by Daniel:

Monday, July 4, 11 am (special holiday meet time), Room, by Emma Donoghue.

A woman and her son are held captive, but she's created a world where her son thinks of the captivity as normal. She's desperate for an escape plan, but success could lead to unforeseen problems. Shortlisted for the Man Booker, and the Indie Bound book of the year, an award selected by independent booksellers, Room is the must-read book of summer.  We meet at our regular time of Monday, August 1, 7 pm, to discuss A Visit from the Goon Squad.


Science Fiction Group...hosted by Jason:To say nothing of the dog

Monday, July 11, 7 pm, To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis

In this time travel romp, Ned Henry has been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump. It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over 100 years earlier. But then a fellow time traveler inadvertently brings back something from the past that may alter history itself, and Ned must do all he can to set things right.



For information on joining Readers of the Lost Art or Page Turners, please check with a bookseller.

Two Saturdays to Watch Out For if You Like Bike Races


Le Tour de DownerThe Downer Classic bike race, part of the Tour of America's Dairyland, is on Saturday, June 25. More on the races here. We'll be participating in the Le Tour de Downer Treasure Hunt, organized by Andie, whose new store at the corner of Farwell and Greenwich, Little Monsters, should be open this summer.


Le Tour de Downer treasure hunt runs from 10 am to 4 pm for one day only and is for kids 3 to 12.  Pick up your clue sheet at Paperwork on the day of the race; then solve them for swaggy stuff at merchants along the street!


It's all about the bikeBoth Saturday, June 25 and Saturday, July 16 (the day of the other Downer bike race), will be great days to walk, so be ready to park several blocks from Boswell.  South of Bradford is suggested.  Parking restrictions start early in the morning.


So what's the best book to read on the subject?  There's no question that Robert Penn's It's All about the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels is the hot title in the genre. Penn, a seasoned bike journalist, embarks on a quest to build his dream machine, and all along the way, offers history, culture, and lore.  Kirkus says: "If you don't long for your own bike at the end of this book, you will at least never look at one the same way again." Meanwhile, check out this list of bike slang!

While You're on Downer Avenue, Say Hello to Gossip.
Before I go, I wanted to alert you to some great things going on at Downer, in addition to the upcoming bike race.
  downer avenue merchants
1. The Downer Avenue brunch-and-shop promotion starts Father's Day and continues on Sundays through August. You'll get a promotional postcard when you eat at Cafe Hollander, Via Downer, The Original Pancake House, or Henry's. Choose one of a variety of promotional offers, including ours.
gossip on downer2. Gossip is open! Downer's new women's clothing shop, on the same block as Downer Wines and Spirits and Paperwork, joins Olive Organic and Ma Jolie to make us a fashion focal point. Combined with Boswell's popular tee shirt selection, it's getting to where you can fill your wardrobe and your bookshelves in a two-block radius.
As always, thanks for your patronage. We wouldn't have a bookstore without you,
Daniel Goldin, with Alex, Amie, Anne, Beverly, Carl, Conrad, Greg, Jason, Mark, Pam, Shane, Sharon, and Stacie (and proofing by Jocelyn).