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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

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Boswell Book Company Newsletter                     Day 992, December 21, 2011



As Jason noted as he and Amie were restocking the store this morning, "It all goes so fast." Who would have guessed that we would sell 250 copies of the glorious novel The Art of Fielding*? We thought we'd have enough for the season, but we didn't count on other retailers sending customers to us when they ran out. It's almost the same story for Gimbels Has It!, but never fear.We've been looking everywhere, and there might be more copies before Christmas. If you're looking for a copy, I'd recommend calling us at (414) 332-1181. In this particular case, I'm not at my computer station much over the next few days, so I might not catch your email if you reply with a hold request.
What else has been selling? Well, P.D. James gave us quite the last-minute Christmas gift with the release of Death Comes to Pemberley. It's several years into the marriage of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy and they are happier than ever, but can a murder destroy this couple's wedded bliss? The reviews and reads are great on this sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and who could resist James talking about her book on NPR? Did I mention she's in her nineties? Her wit isn't just quick, it's super speedy.
All the titles that were listed as the New York Times Book Review Best Books of 2011 have found new audiences. The death of Christopher Hitchens has led to sales spurts not just for Arguably, but for Hitch-22, his memoir, as well. And we're very excited to report that we'll be hosting Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints, another of the New York Times Best Books, when the paperback is released. Look for more about her February 29 appearance in an upcoming email.

Need some more ideas? If you didn't get our holiday gift guide, you can download one, or pick up one in the store. And Jason offers some overlooked gems on today's edition of Lake Effect.  Who knew that his favorite history book of 2011 was Peter Englund's The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War?

We're grateful for everyone's support this holiday season and I'm pleased to note that despite the incursion of ebooks into the sales equations, we're holding our own. It's time to remind you that when thinking about an ebook reader, we're able to sell you titles through the Google Editions app, but only if you buy something other than a Kindle. If you like tablets, the iPad and Droid apps both work well. If you prefer e-ink, go with a Nook or a Sony. This holds true for any indie bookstore who joins the ABA e-commerce network, including Next Chapter and Books and Company.  And in most cases, our pricing is competitive, since large publishers sell ebooks using the agency model.
Speaking of competitive, you'll see we have a few bargains in the store. Many new releases are Boswell's Best at 20% off, plus don't forget our second-hand titles and bargain book tables. In addition, we've got a number of gift items marked down 25%. And yes, we've cut the price a bit on Modernist Cuisine. It's now $500, plus you'll also get $50 back in Boswell Benefits coupons if you're on our loyalty program. That puts us within spitting distance of our big internet competitor. At this price, we're unable to offer returnability on this title, so make sure that special, special someone on your list really wants this six volume work of foodie art.
Our next newsletter will show off a full slate of 2012 events, but we still have two more programs in 2011. On December 26, we're offering a writing workshop with Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, a wonderful story set in the Depression-era South and what happens when a city school teacher shakes up a small town with dreams of an Arabian Nights festival. Her story looks at the changing dynamics of prejudice, contrasting images of African Americans and Muslims then and now, using the storytelling techniques of both cultures along the way.
This $40 program, sponsored by the Milwaukee Writers Circle,  includes a copy of the book, which is used as source material, and all the tips you need to create a perfect scene. Stefaniak has taught creative writing at Pacific University and at the Univ. of Nebraska, though is currently on faculty at Creighton University.

I wish I could tell you about more things going on, but I know we're all busy at this time of year. That said, I want to remind you to buy your tickets for the last hurrah of Iron Cupcake, coming up on Sunday, February 12 at Discovery World. Featured author/judges are Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of Hello Cupcake and the new collection, Cupcakes, Cookies and Pie, Oh My! Admission is $10 and gets you several samples, plus a Boswell coupon.

We're also hosting Lil' Rev, author of Ukulele Nation, a new book of poetry, on Thursday, December 29, at 7 pm. This is your last chance to hear Rev for several months, as he and his family are off on a national tour that should last until April. We're also selling his new album, "The Happiest Way to be Sad." Hope you'll join us for this special evening of words and acoustic music from a ukulele master.
We've received so many kind words of support this holiday season, but perhaps nothing struck me as closely as the six-year-old boy who was darting around the store yesterday. A bookseller noted to me afterwards that he turned to his Mom and said, "I love this store!"

Well, that's my Christmas-Chanukah-Kwanzaa-Solstice gift. Now let us help you find yours.
All the best,
Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Beverly, Conrad, Greg, Halley, Jason, Mark, Mel, Nick, Pam, Shane, Sharon, and Stacie.

*I'm not going to link to books we don't think we'll have in time for Christmas. That would be mean.