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Boswell Book Company

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

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Boswell Book Company Newsletter    Friday, September 4, 2015, Day 2346.
We're open 10 am to 5 pm on Labor Day.

Last week's gaffe, where we sent out the staff newsletter to our entire email list, proved strangely popular. So many of you replied back, enjoying the sneak peak behind the scenes at Boswell. Several of you said it was more interesting than the regular newsletter; we blame that on the illicit thrill factor. This week we've got two event announcements, which we classify under "old media meets new media." But first a few recommendations from the Boswellians.

September 8 is another big on-sale date for fall titles. One with a lot of buzz is Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine, by Damon Tweedy. Boswellian Sharon Nagel offers this recommendation: "Damon Tweedy is a bright and studious young man, attending Duke University Medical School on a full scholarship. Like most of his classmates, he is hardworking, motivated, and ambitious. What sets him apart is his race and socioeconomic status. Most of the other medical students come from white, privileged backgrounds. Damon is black, and attended a state university. In one of his first semesters, the professor asked him if he was there to fix the lights. When Tweedy replied that he was a medical student, the teacher was completely taken aback. This kind of prejudice is alive and well in today's practice of medicine. Dr. Tweedy explores encountering racial discrimination as both a physician and a patient. Fascinating and eye-opening, Black Man in a White Coat is a valuable read for anyone who thinks that the struggle for racial equality is over."

From Boswellian Conrad Silverberg comes an assessment of Salman Rushdie's newest, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. His take: "Go on. Look at a calendar or do the math. (Uh, let's see two times 365 plus 28 divided by 30 or 31 or maybe 30.5?, um... it's right at the tip of my tongue ...). You win the prize! 1001. That's right: Rushdie is retelling Scheherazade! Well, kind of. But, being Rushdie, this just serves as a jumping off point for much, much more. It's history and mythology, and historical mythology, and mythical history, and oh yes, romance entwined into a modern folktale for this too, too materialistic age. And the result is everything you would expect when such a master storyteller turns his eye on such a magical tale."

Stop by September 8 or put your copy on hold on our website.
Announcing Jenny Lawson at Boswell on Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 pm.

We're excited to welcome the Bloggess Jenny Lawson, author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened, to Boswell for a talk and signing of her new memoir, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things, which takes on living with severe depression, mental illness, and taxidermied roadkill raccoons. While this is not a ticketed event, you can preorder your book on Boswell's website or at the store, and secure an earlier line letter, before they are available to the general public on the day of the event.

In Furiously Happy, a humorous memoir tinged with tragedy and pathos, the Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest. Lauded as her magnum opus, Furiously Happy is full of odd stories from the darkly serious to the strangely baffling, all written in Lawson's signature style. Perfect for fans of inappropriate blurting, advice on surviving the zombie apocalypse, and people who like stories about man-eating swans, Furiously Happy is a seriously funny memoir all kinds of readers will find refreshing in honest, astonishing, and relatable ways.

What does Neil Gaiman say about Jenny Lawson? "The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh out loud, but you know that really you shouldn't be laughing and probably you'll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn't read it. That would be safer and wiser." What other recommendation do you need? 

Here's what you need to know. Lawson signs "David Sedaris style," meaning every attendee gets quality time with the author. It may take some time to get your book signed, but it will be well worth it. We'll be here as long as it takes, so we're expecting someone to buy us breakfast, if it comes to that. The magic date and time? Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 pm. Reserve your book and line letter here.
Announcing the Ticketed Tyler Oakley Signing at Boswell, Sunday, October 25, 7 pm.

Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that's earned him more than 21 million followers across social media.

For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the Internet, Tyler has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: experiencing a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; negotiating a tense stand-off with a White House official; crashing a car in front of his entire high school, in an Arby's uniform; projectile vomiting while bartering with a grandmother; and so much more. In Binge, Tyler delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with the trademark flair that made him a star. 

If you have a teenage girl, you're going to want to know more details about this event. It's a ticketed signing, available on Brown Paper Tickets on Wednesday, September 9, 9 am. Until we have more details, you can find the event by searching "brown paper tickets tyler oakley boswell." There are only 500 tickets available. Your ticket will get you one signed copy of the book and one photo, taken by a professional photographer. And yes, we know there were some problems with our Donald Driver event regarding photos; this will not be repeated. There are no selfies or cell phone photos, no personalizations, and no inscriptions. These restrictions are so that Tyler Oakley can meet as many people as possible.

Once we sell out of tickets, there is a small chance that another batch of tickets may go on order, if the first few signings go faster than expected. We'll keep you posted. And please note, you must buy a ticket to get a signed copy of Binge.
Local Launch for John Plaski at Boswell on Saturday, September 5, 7 pm.

Wisconsin Lutheran College freshman and devoted writer John Plaski is coming to Boswell to celebrate the release of his debut novel. Filled with heroes, legends, and mystery, Gods in Oslo is a gripping and imaginative tale where secrets become reality and the main character's world turns upside down.
Here's more about the book. People are dying in Europe. They were not ordinary people, though. They had secret lives and unbelievable abilities. The murderers had stronger, stranger powers. All of them, attackers and victims, belong to Olympus: an organization built with myths, heroes, and legends. Three agents stole a list of names and disappeared. Who are they? There's FoxGemini, a faceless monster; HiberniaRex, an altered assassin; and PsycheSpecter, an icy truth-seeker. These three are killing their comrades. Now, after a full year of terror, the traitors have entered Oslo. Three agents are their next targets: Marc, a scarred veteran; Claire, a fiery warrior; and Kaitlin, a unique case shrouded in secret. The fight, from the anonymous streets to the frigid North, will unveil the past and darken the future for everybody involved.
Join us to celebrate John Plaski's launch on Saturday, September 5, 7 pm, at Boswell.
Bradley Beaulieu's Fantasy Based on The Arabian Nights, Tuesday, September 8, 7 pm, at Boswell.

In the city of Sharakhai, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape by a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai. Then on the holy night when the powerful yet wretched creatures known as the Asirim wander the city and take tribute in order to protect the Kings, one of them tells Çeda the origin of their dark bargain. And this dangerous secret may be the very key she needs to throw off the iron grip the Kings have had over Sharakhai...

After three books at Nightshade, Bradley Beaulieu joins the DAW list for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, the first book in The Song of Shattered Sands trilogy. Robin Hobb has been a huge supporter. She writes: "Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is the gateway to what promises to be an intricate and exotic tale. The characters are well defined and have lives and histories that extend past the boundaries of the plot. The culture is well fleshed out and traditional gender roles are exploded. Çeda and Emre share a relationship seldom explored in fantasy, one that will be tried to the utmost as similar ideals provoke them to explore different paths. I expect that this universe will continue to expand in Beaulieu's skillful prose. Wise readers will hop on this train now, as the journey promises to be breathtaking."
Bradley Beaulieu, author of the Lays of Anuskaya trilogy, has garnered many accolades, including a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination and Debut of the Year by Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. Publishers Weekly called the new work "an impressive performance." Look for a profile of Beaulieu in this Sunday's Journal Sentinel book page. And join us for our event for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai on Tuesday, September 8, 7 pm.
Makeup Tips to Beautify the Ten Eye Shapes and Other Secrets from Cosmotologist Daniel Klingler, at Boswell on Friday, September 11, 7 pm.

Here's the thing about Daniel Klingler. He may now be in Indianapolis as the owner of Neck Up Design, where he creates hair and makeup design for theater, events, and individuals, but it seems like just about everyone in Milwaukee either knows him or knows someone who knows him. But is that surprising? Klingler, an AVEDA-trained cosmetologist, was at the Waukesha's Paul Mitchell School as well as Neroli Salon. He's done styling for both M and Milwaukee magazines, and was also an instructor at AVEDA.

Everyday Makeup Secrets, part of the Idiot's Guides series, offers years of Klingler's experience distilled into 250 pages. Complete with line drawings and photos, you'll learn how to highlight, contour, and apply blush based on face shape (there are six basic ones), the five types of setting powder, how to create your own lipstick palette, and how to use highlighting to change the way your nose looks!

Our event with Daniel Klingler is cosponsored by Nail Bar Milwaukee, across the street from us on Downer Avenue, because after you've got your makeup worked out, how can you not schedule a manicure and pedicure? Just this week, a customer whose daughter was at Nail Bar told us that she says there is no other place comparable in the Milwaukee area. A complete look is just one book and appointment away, but just to be on the safe side, why not join us at Daniel Klingler's event on Friday, September 11, 7 pm for some extra pointers?
Pack Your Backpack and Head to Story Time with Jannis on Sunday, September 13, 11 am.

Skip on down to Boswell for Story Time! This month, Boswellian Jannis will read Goose Goes to Schoolby Laura Wall and more selections about going back to school. Perfect for ages 18 months and up, this month's Story Time will put you at the head of the class.
Introducing Lauren Holmes, Appearing Monday, September 14, 7 pm.

We're always a little nervous when we host a new fiction writer without local ties, but our friends at Riverhead assured us that Lauren Holmes's first collection, Barbara The Slut and Other People was special, and that has proved to be the case.

Our first staff read was from Carly Lenz, one of our most avid short-story readers. Her recommendation: "Barbara the Slut is just one of the numerous realistically nuanced characters you will come across in this collection of short stories by Lauren Holmes. Each story conveys human emotions, interactions, and relationships that I swear I have witnessed in real life, either from observation or from personal experience. Lauren Holmes has a freshly simplistic voice that can draw humor, poignancy, and intimacy out of her parade of characters with envious ease, and she will leave you wanting to hear more details about their life stories."

Then Boswellian Scott Espinoza read it. His take: "This is a series of short stories written in honest, some people would say profane, uncompromising language. Readers may recognize fragments of themselves in more than a few of these characters, certainly they will recognize their friends and lovers. Holmes is often brutal in the way in which she relates devastating states of self-awareness."

Reviewers have been equally enthusiastic. Kevin Nance in the Chicago Tribune wrote: "In this funny yet penetrating look at modern sexual politics, the author asks her readers - even as she's entertaining them with droll comedy about contemporary manners - to think seriously about the inequities in how we expect men and women to behave as sexual beings, both in and out of the bedroom, and how we punish them when they don't obey our rules."

Barbara the Slut has been lauded by Buzzfeed, Esquire, Bust, Ms., and Granta. See what all the buzz is about when Lauren Holmes visits Boswell on Monday, September 14, 7 pm.
Lauren Fox at the Shorewood Public Library, Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 pm.

Are you feeling regret that you missed our emotion-packed event with Lauren Fox last August for her new novel, Days of Awe? Worry no more, as Fox willl be at the Shorewood Public Library for a return engagement.

While the book has been reviewed all over the place, we're particularly giddy that the great Ron Charles totally got the book and wrote a very strong review in The Washington Post. An excerpt: "Fox is a master of emotional misdirection, and what she presents here tastes like carbonated grief, an elixir of sorrow gassed up with her nervous humor."

Days of Awe, Fox has created a winding internal monologue as Isabel tries to catch her bearings in a world that suddenly seems out of kilter... Leavened with wry silliness that fans will remember from Fox's previous novels, Friends Like Us and Still Life with Husband... [Isabel is] an extremely endearing narrator, the kind of woman who makes straight-faced jokes that her uptight colleagues don't get, and then feels both superior and mortified." 

Already saw Fox? The author promises that this will be a completely different presentation, more focused on the writing process. Tell your friends about this event, Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 pm, at the Shorewood Public Library, located at 3920 N. Murray Ave. Contact them at (414) 847-2670 if you have any questions.
Celebrating Terry Pratchett with James South and Friends on Tuesday, September 15, 7 pm, at Boswell.

It's time to pick up your fedora and embark on a philosophical journey through Discworld! The recently deceased Terry Pratchett was world-famous for the narrative verve and surreal humour (note: we're acting British here) of his novels. But there was another Pratchett in the shadows, a man of serious metaphysical ideas and sophisticated philosophical insights. 

In Philosophy and Terry Pratchett, thirteen professional philosophers survey such key philosophical issues as personal identity, the nature of destiny, the value of individuality, the meaning of existentialism, the reality of universals, and the existence of alternative realities.
Featured at the event is editor James B. South, associate professor of philosophy at Marquette, Susanne E. Foster, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of philosophy at Marquette, and Kevin S. Guilfoy, associate professor of philosophy at Carroll University.

Join us for an evening of Discworld meets Wittgenstein, Tuesday, September 15, 7 pm, at Boswell. 
Liesl Shurtliff at Cudahy Family Library, Wednesday, September 16, 6:30 pm.

Jack has always been told that giants are not real. But if that's the case, how do you explain the huge, foot-shaped pond in the yard, or the strange storms in which the earth rumbles and dirt rains from the sky? When his father disappears in such a storm, Jack reluctantly, with his bothersome little sister Annabella in tow, gives chase in the only logical way: by trading the family cow for some magic beans that will help them get to the land above the clouds. They arrive to find that the giants themselves have giant-sized troubles. With the help of Annabella, a magic goose, and a chatty cook (who is not interested in grinding human bones into bread, thank you very much), Jack sets out to save his dad.

As you may know, Boswell brings a lot of authors to schools during the academic year. Sometimes hits come out of left field. For example, we had no idea how many of you loved Liesl Shurtliff, author of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin and now Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We had more school and library requests than we could handle for this delightful event promoting these books (that are fun for ages 8 and up).

For her public event, Liesl Shurtliff will be appearing at the Cudahy Family Library, located on 3500 Library Dr. just south of Layton Ave., on Wednesday, September 16, 6:30 pm. Need more recommendations? Kids' favorite Brandon Mull calls the books "light and inventive" while Tim Federle offers that "Shurtliff has the uncanny ability to make magical worlds feel utterly real, and the best part is: you don't even need a beanstalk to visit them."

Raised in Salt Lake City, Liesl Shurtliff graduated from BYU with a degree in music and now lives in Chicago. Her book Rump won an IRA award, a Texas Bluebonnet nomination, a Whitney nomination and a starred Kirkus Review. Her next book will be a fractured retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
More September Events 

Thursday, September 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Water Museum. If you've never heard Urrea speak, you're in for a treat!

Friday, September 18, 7 pm, at Boswell:
David DiValerio, author of The Holy Madmen of Tibet.
UWM's DiValerio offers the first comprehensive study of Tibet's "holy madmen" drawing on their biographies and writings, as well as tantric commentaries, later histories, and oral traditions.

Saturday, September 19, 2 pm, at Boswell:
Eugenia Cheng, author of How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics. More on the Boswell and Books blog.

Monday, September 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Michelle Weldon, author of Escape Points.
Weldon provides a potent antidote to the harried single mom stereotype in this memoir of raising three sons alone in the face of cancer, an ambitious career, and the shadow of her ex.

Thursday, September 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Alex Brunkhorst, author of The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine
Welcome Brunkhorst back to Milwaukee to celebrate her second novel's release, a Gatsby-esque story of love among the elite of Los Angeles.

Friday, September 25, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw.
Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan, offers the tale of a homeless boy and his imaginary friend. This event is in conjunction with a food drive for Hunger Task Force. Pre-order a copy now and get an early line letter for the signing.

Sunday, September 27, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Marco Politi, author of Pope Francis Among the Wolves: The Inside Story of a Revolution. Marco Politi is a journalist with the newspaper il Fatto Quotidiano and was the Vatican correspondent for La Repubblica. He wrote His Holiness with Carl Bernstein.

Monday, September 28, 7 pm, at Boswell, cosponsored by OCA-WICeleste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You. We've just added a second daytime event for Ng, at Mount Mary College's Steimke Hall, 2 pm. Both events are free!

Tuesday, September 29, 7 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at the Lynden Sculpture Garden: P.S. Duffy, author of The Cartographer of No Man's Land, as part of the Women's Speaker Series, produced by Milwaukee Reads. Tickets are $25, $20 for Lynden members.

Tuesday, September 29, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jonathan Evison, author of This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, in conversation with Mitch Teich of WUWM's Lake Effect. We love this book! Look for it on our "eighty-something is the new thirty-something" table.
One Last Rec Before We Go. OK, Maybe Two.

Before we go, here are a few recommendations from Boswellians. First up is Pam Stilp's endorsement of The Letter for the King, the new novel from Tonke Dragt, recommended for readers 12 and up. "On the eve of his knighthood, 16-year-old Tiuri is spending the required vigil in quiet contemplation. When he hears a voice desperately pleading for help, he feels he must respond, even though it may cost him his chance to finally fulfill his dream of becoming a knight. He is sent on an urgent mission by a dying man to deliver a message that may decide the fate of the three kingdoms involved, traveling across treacherous terrain and facing enemies bent on preventing him from completing his task. This novel is filled with old-fashioned chivalry and courage and has a very cinematic quality to it. The Letter for the King was written and illustrated in 1962 by this award-winning Dutch author, and recently translated into English. This story has the feel of a legend and reminded me of childhood memories reading about King Author and the Knights of the Round Table."

If you've been shopping at Boswell lately and you like teen fiction, your new favorite bookseller has got to be Phoebe Dyer. Her enthusiasm for YA is completely contagious. Right now she's touting Drowning is Inevitable, a new novel from Shalanda Stanley, coming out September 8, and best for readers 13 and up. "Olivia has spent her entire life in the shadow of her mother's suicide. Everyone in her small town is waiting for the same thing to befall Olivia. Her best friend and next-door neighbor Jamie has always been her rock, and when the unthinkable happens after a fight with his dad, Olivia doesn't hesitate to act. Now Jamie, Olivia, their mutual friend Maggie, and Olivia's on-again off-again boyfriend Max are on the run from the law, from their small town, and from the weight it puts on all of them. They head to New Orleans and find refuge in the bustling city. But they can't hide from the past forever, even if they wish they could. This book is emotional and made me feel everything the characters were feeling on a deep level. The writing is gorgeous and flows's an amazing book about love, about expectations, and about friendship in its fiercest and most powerful form."

Want more recommendations of kids' books? Please consider joining our special email newsletter list for kids. We'll have recommendations of everything from picture books to young adult, plus we'll highlight our kids' events and story times. It's not an either/or sort of thing - we'll still have our kids' events in the regular newsletter and the occasional recommendation as well, and because the newsletter will only come out less frequently, there may be kids' events that only show up in our general newsletter. Sign up here!
It's not too late to get tickets to our Christopher Moore event on Wednesday, September 9, 7 pm, at Boswell. Secondhand Souls came out August 25 and has been winning raves from critics. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post review from John Wilwol: "Crammed with colorful, macabre characters who would feel right at home in a Tim Burton movie, this weird, expletive-laden, wildly entertaining sequel to Moore's 2006 bestseller, A Dirty Job, is the perfect palate cleanser before the fall's literary entrees (which include new novels from Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen and Salman Rushdie)."

$29 gets you admission and a signed book. Lucky attendees will get a Skele-Sophie mask. How crazy is that?
As always, thank you for your patronage and apologies for the typos,
Daniel Goldin with Amie, Anne, Barb, Carly, Conrad, Eric, Jason, Jane, Jannis, Jen, Mel, Pam, Phoebe, Sarah, Scott, Sharon, and Todd