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Boswell Book Company

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

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Boswell Book Company Newsletter               Day 1452, March 26, 2013



Welcome to another edition of the Boswell Book Company email newsletter. We've got another full slate of events to tell you about, but before we start, I wanted to let you know that our ebook program is up and running. It's now on the Kobo platform, as I promised in a previous newsletter. You can open a Kobo account and buy books on your tablet or phone, or you can even buy a device from us. We're currently selling the Glo and Mini and will soon also be selling the Arc tablet.

Our future is still fully grounded in the physical book. Unlike some retailers, I have no interest in trying to convert our customers from paper to virtual. Without physical books, there's no need for physical bookstores, and being that the margins are much smaller on ebooks, we'd hardly be able to be the service-y, bookseller-y, selection-y place that you love.

That said, there's a lot of you out there that already buy some physical books and some ebooks, and you've been telling us you want to buy your ebooks from an indie bookstore. So now we've got it sort of together, and Mel, Hannah, and Stacie decided that the best way to get the message out was by video. As Lawrence Welk would say, "A one an a two..."
Boswell Introduces Kobo
Boswell Introduces Kobo
And now, onto the events!

Michael Pollan Tickets Now on Sale for a Special Appearance at the Oriental Theatre on Monday, April 29, 7:30 pm. 


Michael Pollan Michael Pollan's books include The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, all national bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times Magazine, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.


We are thrilled to announce a ticketed appearance by Mr. Pollan at the Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Avenue, just blocks from the store. For those who haven't ever been to the theater, a pay surface lot is available one block east on Prospect Avenue. Doors will open at 7 pm, with our event starting at 7:30. Tickets are $30, and all attendees will receive a signed copy of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. On the night of the event only, a $20 Boswell gift card is available in lieu of the book. You can purchase your ticket on Oriental website, which can be reached via the handy Boswell ticketing page.


Cooked Cooked is a kitchen-focused exploration of the enduring power of the four classical elements-fire, water, air, and earth-to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Michael Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture.


Omnivore's Dilemma Starting with the theory that "Cooking, above all, connects us," Pollan ventures into the kitchens of others: a North Carolina barbecue pit master; a Chez Panisse-trained cook; a celebrated baker; and finally, several mad-genius "fermentos" (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers). Arguing that by giving over this practice to corporations, we weaken not only the sustainability of our communities, but also our most social relationships--the ones we have with family and friends. By reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, and learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, we can open the door to a more nourishing life.


You can reach the Oriental Theatre ticketing page for Pollan here. There is a $1 ticketing fee on the Landmark site.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jason Stein and Patrick Marley on the Battle for Wisconsin, Tuesday, March 26, 7 pm 


More than they bargained for Jason Stein and Patrick Marley both cover the Capitol for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Stein previously covered politics and business for the Wisconsin State Journal while Marley previously covered local government for the Kenosha News. The work of both has been nationally recognized. Together they will be discussing their new release, More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions and the Fight for Wisconsin on Tuesday, March 26, 7 pm, at Boswell.


Jason Stein and Patrick Marley When Wisconsin became the first state in the nation in 1959 to let public employees bargain with their employers, the legislation catalyzed changes to labor laws across the country. In March 2011, when newly elected Governor Scott Walker repealed most of that labor law and subsequent ones-and then became the first governor in the nation to survive a recall election fifteen months later-it sent a different message. Both times, Wisconsin took the lead, first empowering public unions and then weakening them. This book recounts the battle between the Republican governor and the unions.


Conducting new in-depth interviews with elected officials, labor leaders, cops, protestors, and other key figures, and drawing on new documents and their own years of experience as statehouse reporters, Stein and Marley have written a gripping account of the wildest sixteen months in Wisconsin politics since the era of Joe McCarthy.

Join Edward Kelsey Moore at Boswell on Wednesday, March 27, 7 pm, with Special Guest Star, His Cello. 


Supremes at Earls All You Can Eat When Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean meet as teenagers in the mid-sixties, the civil rights movement is moving along and so are their everyday lives. Their regular gathering place is Earl's All-You-Can-Eat diner, the first black-owned business in downtown Plainview, Indiana.  


Dubbed the Supremes by their friends, the inseparable trio is watched over by big-hearted Earl during their complicated high school days, and then every Sunday after church as they marry, and have children and grandchildren. Sitting at the same table for almost forty years, these best friends grow up, gossip, and face the world together with pointed humor, some sorrow, and much joy.     


Edward Kelsey Moore This novel is complete and utter reading pleasure, a cross between Fannie Flagg and Terry McMillan, a mash up of "Steel Magnolias" and "Soul Food." The characters are , the plot is clever, there's some heart string tugging, but why not? It's got a strong sense of African American culture that's accessible to everyone (there's an Israeli version coming out!), and it's very, very funny. And I'm not the kind of person who casts the film versions when I read books, but how can you not think of Tyler Perry playing Odette's ghostly mom Dora?


The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat has become the breakout novel of the spring, just hitting the New York Times bestseller list. We're thrilled to be hosting Chicagoan Edward Kelsey Moore, whose short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines, including Indiana Review, African American Review, and Inkwell. His short story "Grandma and the Elusive Fifth Crucifix" was selected as an audience favorite on National Public Radio's Stories on Stage series. But Moore's connection to the arts does not stop with writing; he's also had a long career as a cellist. And to our delight, he has consented to bring his cello to his talk/reading, and treat us a few short pieces.  


Join us Wednesday, March 27, 7 pm, for this special event. More on today's blog

Christine Sneed with Mike Magnuson Together at Boswell on Thursday, March 28, 7 pm.


Christine Sneed Fresh off her front-page New York Times Book Review write up from Curtis Sittenfeld, Boswell is proud to host an event with Sneed and Mike Magnuson on Thursday, March 28, 7 pm. Her novel Little Known Facts brings the glamorous image of a movie star into intimate proximity with this story of one actor as he's known by those closest to him: his friends and family.


Little Known Facts The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature--his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery--long to experience the glow of his flame. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them. Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects--the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst.


Bike Tribes Christine Sneed teaches creative writing at DePaul University, Northwestern University and Pacific University. Her story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry, won AWP's 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction, named the Chicago Writer's Association Book of the Year, long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and named one of the seven best books of the year by Time Out Chicago.


MIke Magnuson When we chatted with Sneed about whether she might like to read with someone and who might that be, Mike Magnuson came up at the top of her list. Magnuson is the author of two novels and three books of nonfiction, including the recent Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists. Magnuson teaches prose writing in Pacific University's Brief-Residency MFA Program in Oregon, and is finishing a novel set in Wisconsin's Fox Valley region where he lives.

From Paris to Milwaukee, Cara Black at Boswell on Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm. 


In Murder Below Montparnasse, the latest installment in Cara Black's beMurder below Montparnassestselling Parisian mystery series, a long lost Modigliani painting brings rise to blood feuds and decades- buried Soviet secrets, making this Aimee Leduc's most exciting case yet. When Aimee's long-term partner and best friend Rene leaves their detective agency for a new job in Silicon Valley, Aimee knows she can handle the extra workload. At least, that's what she tells herself. Repeatedly.


BCara Black ut all bets are off when Yuri Volodya, a mysterious old Russian man, hires Aimee to protect a painting. By the time she gets to his Montparnasse atelier, the precious painting has already been stolen, leaving Aimee smelling a rat. The next day, Yuri is found tortured to death in his kitchen. To top it all off, it looks like Aimee isn't the only one looking for the painting. Some very dangerous people are threatening her and her coworkers, and witnesses are dropping like flies. Now Aimee has to find the painting, stop her attackers, and figure out what her long-missing mother, who is on Interpol's most wanted list, has to do with all this.


We're pleased to welcome Cara Black to Boswell on Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm, co-sponsored by Alliance FranÁaise. Can't make our event? She'll also be at Mystery One from 5-6 pm. Don't forget to tell Richard and Dave that Boswell sent you.  

Angelic Battles with Danielle Trussoni, Wednesday, April 3, 7 pm, at Boswell. 


Angelopolis Danielle Trussoni's first novel, Angelology, unfurled a brilliant tapestry of myth and biblical lore on our present-day world and plunged two star-crossed heroes into an ancient battle against mankind's greatest enemy: the fatally attractive angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim. With Angelopolis, which Booklist called "a stunning follow-up", the conflict deepens into an inferno of danger and passion unbound, as readers join in the chase of a dark angel from Paris to Siberia, and learn the true purpose of Fabergť's eggs. 


CoDanielle Trussoninceived against an astonishing fresh tableau of history and science, Angelopolis plumbs Russia's imperial past, modern genetics, and ancient depictions of that most potent angelic appearance--the Annunciation of Gabriel--in a high-octane tale of abduction, treasure seeking, and divine warfare as the fate of humanity once again hangs in the balance.  Our bookseller Jane has been a fan of the series, talking up the artistic way that the author has woven together disparate strands of history and legend into a compelling narrative.


Danielle Trussoni will be appearing at Boswell on Wednesday, April 3, 7 pm. She's is also author of the debut memoir, Falling Through the Earth, which was selected as one of the Ten Best Books of 2006 by The New York Times. While you're looking at our website's Angelology page, deciding whether you're asking us to get one or two copies signed, you can read her conversation with Justin Cronin, where they talk about literary vs. commercial writing, sequels, mythology, and supernatural archetypes.   

Two Events with Jessica Hagy, Wednesday April 3 at the Lynden Sculpture Garden and Thursday, April 4 at Open MiKE 


How to be interesting You want to leave a mark, not a blemish. Be a hero, not a spectator. You want to be interesting. (Who doesn't?) But sometimes it takes a nudge, a wake-up call, an intervention!-and a little help. This is where Jessica Hagy, author of How to Be Interesting (in Ten Simple Steps) comes in. A writer and illustrator of great economy, charm, and insight, she's created How to Be Interesting, a uniquely inspirational how-to that combines fresh and pithy lessons with deceptively simple diagrams and charts.


We are co-sponsoring not one but two great events for Jessica Hagy's visit to Milwaukee. On Wednesday, April 3, at 7 pm, she'll be at the Lynden Sculpture Garden as part of their Women's Speaker Series. $15 gets you admission to the grounds, a copy of How to Be Interesting (a $10.95 value) , refreshments and wine. You will definitely be more interesting at the end of the evening. The Lynden Sculpture Garden is located at 2145 W. Brown Deer Rd. Tickets available here or call (414) 446-8794.


For youJessica Hagy early risers, Hagy will be at Open MiKE: Innovation in Milwaukee, located on the second floor of the Plankinton Arcade of the Grand Avenue, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. This event, starting 7:30 am on Thursday, April 4, is co-sponsored by the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee. Register for this free event here.


Originally conceived for, Hagy's "How to Be Interesting" blog post  went viral, attracting 1.4 million viewers. Now she's deeply explored the ideas that resonated with so many readers to create this small and quirky book with a large and universal message. Tips include:


--Talk to strangers.

--Expose yourself to ridicule.

--Remember how amazing the world was before you learned to be cynical.

--Never take in the welcome mat.

--Take daily vacations...if only for a few minutes.

--Whatever you're doing, enjoy it, embrace it, master it as well as you can.

--If you're not courageous, you're going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy that actually is.


Morning or evening, city or suburb, one way or another, we're going to get you networked, innovative, and interesting. 

Alyson NoŽl, C.C. Hunter, and Rainbow Rowell at the Greenfield Public Library, Thursday, April 4. 


Three dynamic writers for teens present reads about fantasy, the supernatural and a romance between two high school misfits.


From Alyson NoŽl, author of the bestselling Immortals series comAlyson Noeles Echo, the second installment of Soul Seekers, which follows Daire Santos, a young woman who inherits a magical destiny with roots in shamanism and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. But then she falls in love with one of them.   


C.C. Hunter C.C. Hunter brings us Whispers at Moonrise, the fourth book in the bestselling Shadow Falls series. Kylie Galen attends a camp for supernatural teens, with the expected struggles of adolescence alongside the more unexpected surprises of life on the dark side.   


Rainbow Rowell And from newcomer Rainbow Rowell, there's Eleanor and Park, the story of two star-crossed misfits in mid-1980s Omaha, Nebraska--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. As John Green said in his enthusiastic essay in The New York Times Book Review, "Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book."  


Our joint event will take place at the Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W. Layton Avenue, just off highway 894,  on Thursday, April 4, 6:30 pm.   

Kid Favorite Brandon Mull at the Elm Grove Library, Friday, April 5, at a Special Time of 4 pm. 


Brandon Mull Brandon Mull is the author of the bestselling Candy Shop War and Fablehaven series. He had such a great time in Milwaukee last year that he's back on the road, leaving behind Utah to visit more schools and meet more kids. Librarians and teachers alike have told us how much their students have enjoyed Mull's writing. His public event will be at the Elm Grove Library, 13600 W. Juneau Blvd., 53122, a bit north of Bluemound and west of 124th St,  at a special starting time of 4 pm.


Chasing the Prophecy This time he's telling us about the third and concluding volume of the Beyonders series, Chasing the Prophecy, a #1 New York Times bestseller. Publishers Weekly called this "a dark tale that updates classic tropes with solid contemporary characters." After being transported to Lyrian from our world, fourteen-year-old Jason met up with Rachel, and they embarked on a journey to defeat an evil wizard emperor alongside that world's rebels. Along the way they developed their own abilities and powers, moved back and forth between the worlds, and found a new place to call home. They are armed with the prophecy of a dying oracle and accompanied by brave and powerful allies, in one final attempt to save their beloved adopted world.

Dean A. Strang on the Milwaukee Trial That Shook the Nation, Friday, April 5, 7 pm, at Boswell. 


Worse than the devil 313In 1917, a bomb exploded in a Milwaukee police station, killing a civilian and nine officers in an Italian neighborhood already suffering a great deal of tension. Days later, eleven alleged anarchists went to trial for the crime.

Against the backdrop of World War I, and amidst a prevailing hatred and fear of radical immigrants comes Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror, Dean Strang's new book that captures the controversies over the incident and subsequent trial and how these events raise broad questions still relevant today about how justice is administered to newcomers and outsiders.


Dean Strang Stanley Kutler, author of Wars of Watergate offers this praise: "A probing, sensitive account. Dean A. Strang, himself a skillful defense attorney, has exposed American racism at its worst, and perversion and corruption of the legal system at its best."


Strang is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Madison. One of the founders of the Wisconsin Coalition Against the Death Penalty, he has taught at Marquette University Law School and served over 12 years on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. 

Jerry Apps at the Shorewood Village Center, Saturday April 6, 10:30 am. 


What Wisconsinite doesn't love Jerry Apps? Whether he isTamarack River Ghost writing about country farms or urban gardens, Apps speak to the land and the folks that grew up on it. We're grateful to the Shorewood Historical Society and the Shorewood Public Library for asking up to team up for this special event on Saturday, April 6, 10:30 am. The Shorewood Public Library is located at 3920 N. Murray Avenue.

Apps is as prolific as a writer can be. Among his works are Barns of Wisconsin, Limping through Life, Rural Wit and Wisdom, When Horses Moved the Plow, and a series of novels, including In a Pickle.

Garden Wisdom In Garden Wisdom: Lessons Learned from 60 Years of Gardening, Apps offers a treasure trove of tips, recollections, and recipes. Jerry combines his hard-earned advice for garden success with a discussion of how tending a garden leads to a deeper understanding of nature and the land.


Letters from Hillside Farm In his novel, Tamarack River Ghost, a journalist Josh Wittmore moves to the national office of Farm County News in Wisconsin, discovering the biggest story of his career, just when his paper is threatened with closure, to be replaced with a New York based internet-only operation. Can he get word out about the environmental hazards of the new hog farm before it's too late?

And in one of his titles for kids, Letters from Hillside Farm, he records several months in the life of a Wisconsin farm, in a book that Kirkus said had echoes of the middle volumes of the Little House series.


We'll have an APP-etizing assortment of Apps literature in conjunction with this event. For more information, visit the Shorewood Historical Society web page.

Almost Time for Our Anne Lamott Event on Saturday, April 6, 7 pm. Buy Your Ticket Now. 


Some Assembly Required There's still time to get tickets to our event with Anne Lamott on Saturday, April 6, 7 pm. $15 (plus tax) gets you entrance to the event, plus a copy of Some Assembly Required. For the night of the event only, you'll also have a $10 gift card as an option. Any of you who have been to one of Lamott's events know how wonderful they are, whether it was that snowy day at the Shorewood Schwartz, the evening at Alverno, or that Brookfield one that I actually didn't attend. Hey, you can't be everywhere! 


Always tender and funny, the author of the New York Times bestsellers Help, Thanks, Wow and Traveling Mercies, is adored for her ability to offer unsparing honesty with a generous heart. Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax's life, a journal which became Some Assembly Required


In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam--about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions--struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child. Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her own experiences with Sam when she was a single mother. Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.

Buy your ticket here. Or maybe buy two and give one to a friend as a gift. 

More April Events, But Not Quite All of Them.  


William Kent Krueger Monday, April 8, 7 pm, at Boswell:

William Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace and the Cork O'Connor mysteries. 


Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm, at the Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Avenue: Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, co-sponsored by the Oak Creek Public Library. 


Christina Schwarz Tuesday, April 9, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Christina Schwarz, author of The Edge of the Earth and Drowning Ruth. co-sponsored by Paperwork


Wednesday, April 10, 7 pm, at Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. Virginia: Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants, co-sponsored by Great Lakes Distillery and the Friends of the Boerner Botanical Gardens.   


Lee Sandlin Thursday, April 11, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Lee Sandlin, author of Storm Kings: The Untold History of America's First Tornado Chasers and Wicked River.   


Monday, April 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Dan Schultz, author of Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West 


Daniel Maguire Tuesday, April 16, 7 pm, at Boswell:  

Daniel Maguire, author of A Merry Memoir of Sex, Death, and Religion. 


Wednesday, April 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:

Corliss Phillabaum and the Florentine Opera Studio, presenting Opera Insights: "The Marriage of Figaro."


Kate Atkinson Friday, April 19, 6:30 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N. Water Street: Kate Atkinson, headlining the Milwaukee Public Library's Fill the Shelves event, author of Life After Life, co-sponsored by the Katie Gingrass Gallery. Read today's review from Janet Maslin in The New York Times.  


Saturday, April 20, 11 am, at Mequon's Frank P. Weyenberg Library, 11345 N. Cedarburg Road: William Alexander, author of Ghoulish Song and the National-Book-Award winning Goblin Secrets.


 Keep up with the latest additions to our schedule on the upcoming events page of the Boswell Book Company website. 

Tickets Available to "May the Schwartz Be With You" and the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Lunch with Elinor Lipman. 


May the Schwartz-Cedar Block We're celebrating our heritage in April with two events that play off the lineage of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. The first is the Saturday, April 20 performance of "May the Schwartz be With You" at Turner Hall. Last year, the creative collective Cedar Block (led by ringmaster Brent Gohde) made their Alverno Presents debut with Sexy Results: Cedar Block's Dig for the Higgs & How the Quest was Won. Performing to a jam-packed Turner Hall Ballroom, Gohde & Co. set out to discover the purpose and meaning of the universe through art, story, song and film.

This year, they're back- in search of something as elusive yet central as the purpose and meaning of the universe: the purpose and meaning of community. "May The Schwartz Be With You" finds Gohde and friends back at the much loved (and missed) Milwaukee bookstore, Harry W. Schwartz on Downer Avenue. It was here that Gohde met the friends, booksellers and customers who went on to become the artists, musicians, curators and entrepreneurs who now define what is most valued and idiosyncratic in Milwaukee culture. Through stories, songs, film and art, the past will be reclaimed, and the future will be that much brighter. Tickets are $15; you can buy them here


ThElinor Lipman e second is the annual Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Lunch, which has been a bookstore partnership for as long as I can remember. This year's soiree, on Tuesday, April 23, starting at 11 AM, features Elinor Lipman, author of numerous novels, including the brand new and incredibly delightful thinking person's comedy, The View from Penthouse D. As you may remember, Lipman was one of the trio of author's who cut the ribbon on our grand opening, and for those reasons and more, holds a special place in my heart.

The newest is a New York comedy about two sisters one widowed, the other divorced, who decide to share digs as they get their lives together; complications ensue. As Hannah and I can attest, read this book and you won't be able to stop smiling. Library Journal says "Middle-age love, family dynamics, and friendship makes her latest jarringly funny, touching, and vividly amusing." A $65 ticket gets you lunch at the Pifster and a copy of Elinor Lipman's latest. You can visit the MPL events page to download an invite or buy your ticket here.
Starbucks entrance After two weeks of construction noise and varnish smells, Starbucks has reopened, slightly larger and looking rather sophisticated. We're still getting used to the connecting door not being propped open, and trying to figure out how to reset our bookcase over the new wooden exterior treatment, but don't worry about us--we're creative! The word is that Pizza Man is on schedule to open in the old Lixx and Dry Cleaner space by May. That's a lot of excitement for Downer Avenue in one year. Please say hi when you're visiting.
Thanks for Your Patronage and apologies for the typos in advance,
Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Conrad, Greg, Halley, Hannah, Jane, Jannis, Jason, Mel, Nick, Pam, Paul, Sharon, and Stacie.