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Boswell Book Company Newsletter               Thursday, July 5, 2012, Day 1188



Wow! I can't think of a July more filled with amazing authors in memory, and I'm including all my years as a bookseller here. How could you miss Chris Cleave? Or Alexandra Fuller? Or David Maraniss? Or Robert Goolrick?


And what about the hidden gems, like Donald Ray Pollock, Sheila Kohler, and Patrick Somerville with Dean Bakopoulos? It is mostly fiction and memoir/biography, but check out our sneak peek of August for some interesting foodways and science events.

Age of miraclesBut before we start, we probably should mention at least one book that's not an upcoming event. I suppose the novel of the moment is Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles (Random House). Stacie noted to me that Michiko Kakutani offered enthusiastic praise to the book, somewhat at the expense of Tom Perotta's The Leftovers. Almost at the same time, Ron Charles dished it, saying it didn't live up to The Leftovers. I don't know if you heard this, but Perotta's lastest just got scheduled to be an HBO mini-series.

But what do we think about The Age of Miracles? I'd say we're in the "pro" camp.


"The end of the world does not come with a bang but with a whisper in Walker's wonderful debut novel. Earth's rotation is slowing, the days are becoming longer, gravity mutates, radiation spikes, and still life must go on. The story is told through the eyes of 12-year-old Julia as she chronicles everything she sees happening in the world around her from shock and panic back to normal routines. This is not a flashy, bombastic apocalyptic novel, but a novel about how a family manages through unimaginable circumstances."

--Jason Kennedy (Boswellian)


And Shane called it " a striking debut novel that examines the yearning, despair, and hope of coming of age during an uncertain time." And note that unlike just about every other review out there, we're not obsessing over the advance. It was seven figures, by the way.

You Don't Know You Want to See Sheila Kohler on Monday, July 9, 7 pm, at Boswell, But You Do. Really.


Sheila KohlerAsk anyone who has attended the Bennington MFA writing program who the most underrated fiction writer is today, and Sheila Kohler will surely be on their shortlist. Truth be told, I know two grads and she made the grade on both; how's that for playing with statistics?


Kohler's day job is teaching at Princeton, and she's also the author of ten novels. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and O Magazine, included in the Best American Short Stories anthologies, and garnered her two O. Henry Prizes, an Open Fiction Award, and a Willa Cather Prize. Her newest, The Bay of Foxes, is outstanding. Here's a Boswellian take:


"Dawit, a young good-looking Ethiopian refugee is starving to death in Paris when he meets M., a famous French writer in a café. She is much older and very wealthy. She invites him to come and stay with her, which he does. M. is quite smitten with Dawit and showers him with expensive clothes and gifts. He is grateful to his benefactress, but cannot give her the thing she really wants from him, his body. When Dawit falls for Enrico, things at home with M. take a nasty turn. Sheila Kohler has given us an exotic and beautifully written story that will stay with the reader long after he has reached the end."

--Sharon Nagel (Boswellian)


Bay of foxesThe Bay of Foxes is a literary take on Patricia Highsmith, but weaves in Kohler's favorite themes of the line between love and violence, and the lasting reprecussions of political tyranny. Did I mention she grew up in South Africa? Read more about my take on Kohler, and authors who try hard not to repeat themselves, and how that can sometimes inhibit building audience, in this Boswell and Books blog post.


Kohler will be appearing at Boswell on Monday, July 9, 7 pm. The book is a paperback original, with French flaps and rough-cut edges--nice job, Penguin!  And we have a number of her backlist titles in stock, including Becoming Jane Eyre, which I've been told is her bestselling book to date (yes, it's about the Brontės), and Cracks, which I'm told is her best.

Alexandra Fuller, in Conversation with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich, at Boswell on Tuesday, July 10, 7 pm.


Alexandra Fuller 712Who can forget the breathtaking memoir Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight? The story of Ms. Fuller growing up as a young girl in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), was acclaimed by critics worldwide, and was a bestseller staple when first published. If this story passed you by the first time, why not read Michiko Kakutani's review in The New York Times, which offers this praise: "Ms. Fuller gives us in this book the Africa she knew as a girl, a place of cruel politics, violent heat and startling beauty, a land she makes vivid in all its incongruous, lawless, joyful, violent, upside-down, illogical certainty.''


After a few other nonfiction works, Scribbling the Cat, and The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, both highly praised, she returned to her family in her Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. Now in paperback, she focuses on her mother, the charismatic Nicola Fuller of Central Africa. Compelled to live in Africa despite her claim of being "one million percent Scottish," she led the family across the continent, searching for land amidst the African beauty, the second coming of Isak Dinesen.


Cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulnessWe've got two fans of the book, in Jane and I, coming from two different perspectives. Jane is a long-time reader of Fuller, whereas this is my first take. You can read my piece in this Boswell and Books post. Here's Jane's rec:


"In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller pens a portrait of her British parents and their ingrained passion for an Africa that is not only lush in its beauty, but, often, is in the midst of political unrest. In spite of accompanying personal tragedies, Nicola (Mum) and Tim prevail and eventually find 'home' on a Zambian farm. Yet, the focus of this gracefully written memoir is on Nicola, who figuratively becomes that legendary 'tree of forgetfulness' that grows from a single stick into the sturdy limbs of an indomitable spirit.A brillantly captivating read!"

--Jane Glaser (Boswellian)


Mitch Teich smallAnother of Fuller's fans is Mitch Teich:

"That book really represented the first time I'd considered the memoir form-- as opposed to simply autobiography. Maybe I was naļve then, but it was a revelation to read such a remarkable life lived by a contemporary who was not a world leader, or a historic figure. Her life was both ordinary and extraordinary, and I was completely captivated by it. And frankly, it was instructive for someone who interviews people for a living, just in the sense that it's evidence that everyone has a remarkable story to tell, if you can figure out how to get to it."


So no wonder that we're structuring our event as a conversation between Teich and Fuller. Join us on Tuesday, July 10 for this big event. And this event will be taped to air on Lake Effect at a future date.


Two of Our Favorite Writers in A Read Off-- Patrick Somerville and Dean Bakopoulos Together, Wednesday, July 11, 7 pm. 


Patrick SomervilleEarlier this year, we had the pleasure of hearing Patrick Somerville read from his new book, This Bright River, at Sugar Maple. It was an ominous story about a man about to be murdered. And it was the prologue for his new novel, the story of two folks, Ben and Lauren, who meet up again after many years, outside Madison, both at the end of their rope. More in this rec.


This bright river"This Bright River is about puzzles. It is about family, and piecing a life back together after ruin. And it is about evil and death. Ben is a recovering alcoholic and heroin addict who, after being released from a white-collar prison in Portland, is lured home to Wisconsin by his father to fix up his deceased uncle's home and sell it. He soon becomes obsessed with solving the puzzle of his cousin's mysterious death, and finds unlikely companionship in Lauren, a girl that he barely knew in high school, now recovering from an abusive relationship with a dangerous man. Starting as a dark comedy, the novel becomes a gripping nightmare worthy of David Lynch as Ben and Lauren violently confront their haunted pasts."

--Shane Papendorf (Boswellian)

dean bakopoulosNeed more encouragement? Here's another rec for This Bright River:

"When Ben's mother says 'It's darker and stranger in small towns than almost anywhere,' it's as if a thunderclap booms down from the sky, scoring the mild darkness that has come before and foreshadowing what still lies ahead in Somerville's twisted new novel. A puzzle of a story, its opening presents a mystery that even when we finish, we're not entirely sure what exactly happened, and yet, it's immensely satisfying."

--Stacie M. Williams (Boswellian)


And regarding Mr. Somerville's previous novel, Jane said to me, everybody should read The Cradle; that's all there is to it.


My American UnhappinessWe're also excited about the paperback release of Dean Bakopoulos's My American Unhappiness. So when Bakopoulos and Somerville suggested reading together, all I could think of was the old Mickey Mouse Club's Anything Can Happen Day. If you look at our history of author pairings involving Somerville, by the way, I think you could map a literary geography of the midwest. But before I get to an extra special pitch as to why you should come to this event, let me say a few more words about My American Unhappiness.


"Zeke Pappas is the head of a small nonprofit that grants funds for cultural projects in the Midwest, He lives in Madison. Doesn't sound so bad, right? OK, he's also a widower who is taking care of his two nieces after they've lost their parents. His mom, who officially has custody, is dying of cancer, and has decreed that if Zeke isn't married, the kids go to his sister-in-law. Oh, don't worry, he's got prospects. Sort of. His secretary. A barrista. Sofia Coppola. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to let their biggest donor use his GMHI credit cards for his sexual trysts, even if he did reimburse the org with big donations. But this could endanger Zeke's pet project, the Inventory of American Unhappiness, a "This I Believe" for the distraught. It's a totally different tone from Bakopoulos's first novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon, but this gloriously funny-sad novel perhaps hits even closer to home, particularly as it takes elements of the author's own life (happily married, with kids) and twists them in a funhouse mirror."

--Daniel Goldin (Boswellian)


bakopoulos and somerville in lego 712Hey, that's me. And if I'm implying that My American Unhappiness is funny, you ain't seen nothing yet. I think you probably need to come to Boswell on Wednesday, July 11, 7 pm, to understand what I'm talking about. But meanwhile, perhaps you should admire Bakopoulos's artistic rendition of his upcoming event. Yes, that's Bakopoulos and Somerville as rendered in Lego. It's going to be that kind of evening.

We're Just Going to Mention Once More that Chris Cleave is Coming to Boswell on Monday, July 16, 7 pm.


Chris Cleave credit Lou AbercrombieWe're hoping that with Gold's release this week, all of you are ready to have an amazing evening with Chris Cleave. As he did with Little Bee, Chris Cleave will be chronicling his complete tour on Tumblr, and dag nab it, we better have a good event or the whole world is going to laugh at us.


I'm reading the first reviews that are coming in, and I think Alex Preston gets it exactly right in the Observer, who worries that Cleave will get some grief for turning us all into blubbering masses of jelly. I love this line, except for the branded reference to a certain e-reader. "Gold is indeed a sentimental novel but it has that rare gift of getting past the urban sneer to move and gratify, to stir us because it does, indeed, matter. It is bold and brave and, when you're on your way to the games this summer, and the person opposite you on the train is sobbing hot tears on to their Kindle, you'll have a pretty good idea what they're reading." You can read his entire review here.


Gold 712 smallAnd much thanks to Halley, who told me she never, ever reads fiction, but found herself compelled by Gold's premise:

"I never thought that I would, or for that matter, could care about the work and lives of Olympic cyclists. Chris Cleave surprisingly sucked me into their world, and made me really feel for Kate and Zoe, two athletes and best friends vying for the same sole position on the English Olympic team. Cleave writes some of the most believable characters that I've read in ficton, and it's no wonder that I openly laughed and cried while reading Gold. This is a great book to read in time for the 2012 London Olympics, and puts an excellent perspective on the athletes as regular human beings like you and I."

--Halley Pucker (Boswellian)


Don't forget that after you finish Gold and you have a good weep, you will be thinking that you absolutely want to know more about helping kids with cancer and they're caregivers. And that's why our event is a fundraiser for The Pablove Foundation. We'll have some representatives there who'll give you a better idea of the great things their doing. And what's their main fundraiser for fall? Bike races, of course.


Boswell closes to the public at 6 pm on Monday, July 16, for this special ticketed event. Tickets are $5 (plus tax) and we're donating the ticket amount to Pablove, and on top of that, you will get 20% off your copies of Gold. Just make sure you let us know before we ring you up. More on the blog.


Someday You'll Be Able to Tell Your Grandkids You Saw Donald Ray Pollock, But Not if You Don't Show Up. It's Tuesday, July 17, 7 pm, at Boswell, and Now He's Reading with Jeff Kerr.


Donald Ray PollockHe's been called a modern Flannery O'Connor. And he came out of nowhere. Thirty years working at a paper mill. Didn't finish high school. And when he decided to put his thoughts to words, he wrote a killer book of short stories, Knockemstiff. And following that, a novel, The Devil All the Time, that rivals Natural Born Killers for sheer intensity.  We idolize Pollack, even me, despite being too soft in the stomach to read him. Here's Shane's take:


Devil all the time"Donald Ray Pollock creates a gritty world in The Devil All the Time where the Devil truly is alive and well. Set in 1950's Southern Ohio and West Virginia, the novel follows a cast of hard up, sorrowful characters as they attempt to wring a decent life from the coal choked lands that they're stuck in. Willard Russell, in an effort to save his dying wife from cancer, roams the countryside for blood to pour on his prayer log. Two hack preachers, Roy and Theodore, are on the run after a botched attempt at resurrection makes them murderers. And if that isn't enough, a husband and wife serial killing duo scours the Midwest highways for unwitting hitchhikers to fulfill their bloodlust. Propelled by volatile characters and violent imagery, Pollock's relentless prose grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the chilling conclusion that will haunt you long after the final page is turned."

--Shane Papendorf (Boswellian)


And it's not just us. Bob Minzenheimer in USA Today writes that Pollock "mines the grace and guilt in the hopelessness of lost souls," comparing the author not just to O'Connor, but also Raymond Chandler.  And here's upcoming visitor Robert Goolrick on Pollock in the Washington Post: "The book is grotesque, violent, haunting, perverse and harrowing - and very good. You may be repelled, you may be shocked, you will almost certainly be horrified, but you will read every last word."

 Jeff Kerr

And just because I can't really stop finding amazing reviews to quote from, here's Josh Ritter in The New York Times: "Pollock's prose is as sickly beautiful as it is hard-boiled. His scenes have a rare and unsettling ability to make the reader woozy, the ends of the chapters flicking like black horseflies off the page."


Now opening for Pollock is Jeff Kerr, author of Hillbilly Rich: New and Collected Stories. Jeff Kerr's work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then, and other publications. He has performed his work everywhere from San Quentin Prison to WMSE Radio and events from Los Angeles to Chicago. He has deep roots in the Appalachian border country of Virginia and Kentucky on both sides of his family.

David Maraniss on Barack Obama, Wednesday, July 18, 7 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall.


David Maraniss 712We are honored to be co-sponsoring David Maraniss's visit to Milwaukee, where he will speak about Barack Obama: The Story at Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall, 733 North Eighth Street. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. This event is free and open to the public.


Maraniss spoke to New York magazine about how social media has changed the way nonfiction books are promoted, with the juicy bits being circulated more quickly and exhaustively than could ever be possible before.


Thanks to Simon and Schuster, we have our own teaser interview to get you all pumped up to attend our event. Here's a sample. We've got the rest posted on our Facebook event page. And please use that page to make sure all your friends know about the event!


Barack Obama the storyQ: What compelled you to write this book on President Obama?

DM: I had written several long profiles of Barack Obama for The Washington Post during the 2008 campaign, but had not committed to writing a book about him because of my dismay over the modern American political culture, which I felt made it increasingly problematic for serious political historians to pursue fact and truth amid the ideological rubble and rabble of the moment. But the morning after Obama's election, I woke up realizing that his was a great story in and of itself and I wanted to go after it. I would not write a book unless the subject obsessed me in some fashion, and I thought I could add to the understanding of the subject. In the end, the Obama story more than met those requirements, and from that point I devoted years to figuring out his story-the real story, not the myths.


MIlwaukee Public LibraryQ: Why did you choose to write what you call a "generational biography" as opposed to a more traditional biography of President Obama??

DM: I chose to write a generational biography because the part of the story that first captured my interest was the world that created him. His very being seemed so unlikely, so against the odds. And the melding of so many different cultures in his creation offered me a large canvas, the sort I love to work on. In the making of Barack Obama I could write about much of the world: the colonial and postcolonial struggles of Kenya and Africa, the polyglot culture of Hawaii, the Asian perspective from Indonesia, the middle American culture of Kansas; and then follow Obama on his way through the major American cities of Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.


St. Sukie De La Croix on LGBT History in Chicago, Along with Poet and Arts Writer Gregg Shapiro, Tuesday, July 24, 7 pm, at Boswell. Co-Sponsored by the Wisconsin Gazette.


St Sukie de La CroixA conversation between LGBT historian St. Sukie de la Croix and Wisconsin Gazette arts editor and poet is just the thing for a summer evening. Here's a bit more about Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall.



Chicago WhispersJournalist St. Sukie de la Croix, drawing on years of archival research and personal interviews, reclaims Chicago's LGBT past that had been forgotten, suppressed, or overlooked. Included here are Jane Addams, the pioneer of American social work; blues legend Ma Rainey, who recorded "Sissy Blues" in Chicago in 1926; commercial artist J. C. Leyendecker, who used his lover as the model for "The Arrow Collar Man" advertisements; and celebrated playwright Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun. 


Gregg ShapiroAnd GREGG SHAPIRO: 77 is a collection of autobiographical poems featuring each year in the decade of the 70s, charts the poet's life from adolescence to coming into his own as a gay man on the cusp of a new decade. Our apologies to Shapiro, as Stacie and I originally formatted the title incorrectly. but I kept looking at the book and I thought, "Hey, this is the Talking Heads album." And now I won't get it wrong, because every time I think about this event, I think "Uh oh love comes to town" and there it is.


A little more about de la Croix. An expat from Bath, England, he found himself moving to Chicago at the age of 39. He was rather amazed. In England, we don't have the mafia, we have bake sales. Well, that's a bit of parapharsing on my part. But you can read an interview with Misha Davenport, a real journalist (as opposed to a bookseller churning out email newsletters), in this Chicago Sun Times article.


Milwaukee's Own Nick Weber, Wednesday, July 25, 7 pm, at Boswell.


Nick WeberIn 1970, Nick Weber was ordained as a Jesuit priest. Inspired by the California street theater of the sixties and backed by degrees in philosophy, sacred theology and drama, he then built "a performance platform that embedded core parable and poetry in the pageant of the circus." The result was the Royal Lichtenstein Circus, an official ministry of the California Province of the Society of Jesus. Long retired from circus work, Weber now lives in Milwaukee, where he writes and coaches senior retirees in a unique program titled "Shakespeare, Just for Fun!"


I canCircus who ran away't say this will always work, but I had so many of you come in wondering when Nick Weber would be appearing at Boswell, that we had no choice but to set aside a night for Nick to recount his adventures, as chronicled in The Circus that Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest: Memoir of a Delible Character. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 25, 7 pm.


Do you need some more encouragement? Author Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and many other acclaimed novels,  calls The Circus that Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest a "fascinating, enthralling, candid, beautifully written reminiscence."

Win a Book Club Date with Robert Goolrick on Monday, July 30, Plus Everyone's Invited to His Boswell Appearance at 7 pm.


Robert GoolrickIt is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of a few hundred people, nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money. 


Robert Goolrick sure knows how to set the stage. Gothic still, but with the stage moved from snowy Wisconsin to steamy Virginia. The setting may be Southern, but Goolrick's still coming to Wisconsin for Heading Out to Wonderful. He'll be at Boswell on Monday, July 30, with events also at Books and Company and Next Chapter. Stacie's been telling everyone that it's even better than A Reliable Wife, and just let me know that Sharon's finished it as well, a newly converted fan. We printed Stacie's rec in the last email newsletter, so instead, let's check out an early review.


Heading Out to WonderfulEmily Carter raves about Goolrick's latest in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis: "There is, as any experienced reader knows, nothing so fraught with menace and melancholy as a Southern Gothic novel. Is it the region's history of race-based atrocities? The unaccepted burden of historical guilt, the economic and cultural isolation? Or is it just that all that Spanish moss hanging from the trees makes everything seem obscured and portentous? Whatever the reason, the Southern novel comes in two main varieties: The first is the Gothic, best typified by William Faulkner's enervated lyricism. Then there's the sharp and sorrowful style of which Robert Goolrick is shaping up to be a master. Goolrick's second novel is called Heading Out to Wonderful, but from the moment the proverbial stranger arrives in town, we know his characters are headed for anything but." Read the rest here. 


Our contest for your book club to win a date with Robert Goolrick to discuss A Reliable Wife is still going on. Just email your contact information and question to Stacie by July 15. We'll contact the lucky group as soon as possible after that. You'll meet at Boswell at 6 pm on the day of the event, Monday, July 30.

August Event Preview.


Office GirlWednesday, August 1, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Ron Tanner, author of From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story from the author of the novel, Kiss Me, Stranger. Like Matthew Batt's recent memoir, this is the story of a fixer upper; you've got to see this one to believe it.


Thursday, August 2, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Joe Meno returns for his latest novel, Office Girl, with opening poet Dan Nowak. We've already had three staff recs on Meno's latest, which is a collaborative work with an illustrator and photographer.


Magician KingTuesday, August 7, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Lev Grossman, author of the Boswellian-beloved The Magicians and  The Magican King. Opening for Grossman will be Michael Poore, author of Up Jumps the Devil, which is Mel's new favorite novel.


Tuesday, August 14, 7 pm, at Boswell, the poetic triumvirate:

Francesca Abbate, author of Troy, Unincorporated,

Tyler Farrell, author of The Land of Give and Take,

Andrea Potos, author of We Lit the Lamps Ourselves.


OrphanmasterWednesday, August 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Jean Zimmerman, author of Jason's pick, historical thriller The Orphanmaster and her recently published work of American history, Love, Fiercely.


Thursday, August 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Kenosha-bred Josh Schonwald, author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food.


Wednesday, August 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Medical doctor and poet Jon Mukand, author of The Man with the Bionic Brain: And Other Victories Over Paralysis. 


Evel Knievel DaysThursday, August 23, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Pauls Toutonghi, author Evel Knievel Days and Red Weather.


Friday, August 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Wisconsin favorite Michael Perry with his new release, Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace.


Saturday, August 25, 1 pm, at the Urban Ecology Center, co-sponsored by Outpost.

Terese Allen, author of The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids, as part of the Eat Local Challenge Open House.


Wednesday, August 29, 7 pm, at Boswell:

University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, author of Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul. 


What Else is Going on Around Town for Bookish Sorts Like You?


Wednesday, July 18, 7 pm, at Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 Forest Street, presented by Books and Company: Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls and The Night Strangers.

Folks interested in traveling west can treat themselves with a wonderful evening with Chris Bohjalian, who truly is in the running for world's nicest author. His new novel, The Sandcastle Girls, is two parallel stories. The first tells of a woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier during the historic Armenian genocide; the second is the contemporary tale of a New Yorker prompted to discover her Armenian past. Several of my favorite novels have explored this moment in history, from Zabelle to Rise the Euphrates. Publishers Weekly called his new novel a "beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read."

 Shadow of Night

Tuesday, July 24, 7 pm, at Barnes and Noble Mayfair: Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night.

Scheduled in between their Nook tutorials (they have a lot of them), the B&N at Mayfair has an event so cool that we're jealous, but also so great that we owe it to you to tell you about it. It's in conjunction with the release of the second volume of Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy. If you didn't read The Discovery of Witches, you're in for a treat. Our buyer Jason called this a vampire novel for grownups, creating a world that is "full, rich, and believable." There's no ticket required, but if you want more info, call them at (414) 475-6070. And tell them Boswell sent you! 


Thursday, July 26, 7 pm, at Next Chapter Bookshop, 10976 N Port Washington Road: Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. Several of you have come in lately looking specifically for summer reading. Here's another title for my pile. It's about a woman, who after the loss of her close friend, inherits her journals, and decides to read them while summering in Great Rock Island.  Bernier has received nice advance praise, not just from J. Courtney Sullivan, but also Jenna Blum and Vanessa Diffenbaugh. And to make things interesting for book lovers, Bernier also writes a great book blog, which I'm linking you to right here. And she's also one of the contributors to Beyond the Margins.

A few more things to report:

London table1) I haven't been listing our book clubs, but they are going strong. We've got one to join for each of the first four Mondays of the month (in-store lit, science fiction, mystery, and a customer-driven potpourri, plus another on Tuesdays that organizes through Plus register your book club with us for additional discount and assurance that we'll have your next selection in stock. Plus you can browse what other clubs are reading on our book club wall. Email Anne for more information.

2) Boswell has more than books, of course. One of my favorite finds of this year are our imported Polish boxes. The detail work is lovely, and they are surprisingly affordable. Recent gift displays have featured London, rubber ducks and octopi. And beyond that, we continue to get the most gratifying compliments on our card selection. We add a new vendor every few months--sometimes the cards are made out of wood, sometimes they are found image collages, or perhaps block prints. But what they all have in common is our enthusiasm.

3) Fall is just around the corner, and we're just about ready to book school events for kids' authors. Would you like to be on list of potential sites for events? You need to put together a group of 150-300 kids, allow us to sell the books through the school or PTO, and make the morning or afternoon a special experience for the author. The amazing thing is that there is no cost to the school, and doing this yourself can cost as much as $5000. It's a truly great experience for the kids, and we have a lot of fun too. Email me if you'd like to chat more.
Thanks for Your Patronage,
Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Beverly, Conrad, Greg, Halley, Jane, Jason, Mel, Nick, Pam, Shane, Sharon, and Stacie.