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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               November 20, 2015, Day 2423

At this point, our weather forecast for Saturday is split: Chris Van Allsburg's event at the library is still happening, but Allen Eskens event is cancelled - see below to details. Don't forget, we're also hosting James K. Nelsen, author of Educating Milwaukee:  How One City's History of Segregation and Struggle Shaped Its Schools tonight, November 20, 7 pm, at Boswell. Some of you were worried we might not have books in time since the pub date was moved, but don't worry, our books were drop-shipped from the printer!

Before we run down a few Boswell author appearances, here are a few staff recommendations. First up is Slade House, by David Mitchell, recommended by Conrad Silverberg: "Apparently, Mitchell is not done with the world he invented for The Bone Clocks. This novel functions as a sort of appendix. Immortals continue to feed on human souls to keep death at bay. Other immortals become our protectors and champions. A favorite character from Bone Clocks is reprised. Another is quickly dismissed and insulted (as is to be expected, as he is a pompous windbag). Mitchell remains uniquely capable of inhabiting his character's skin, breathing life into them, making them real. His talents are on full display here."

Boswellian Carly Lenz offers some lit love to Mary-Louise Parker in her write up for the new memoir, Dear Mr. You: "A stunning literary debut from a woman whose abilities as a writer are commensurate with her highly celebrated talents as an actress! Written in an epistolary format, Dear Mr. You comprises letters that Parker dedicates to myriad men who have impacted and influenced her life in one way or another, positively and negatively, ephemerally and permanently. In addition, the letters offer fascinating peeks into Parker's life, the troubles she has faced as a working actress/single mother, and the tragedies she has overcome concerning her family, health, and relationships. Completely original and told in beautifully meticulous language, Parker's memoir had me laughing, crying, and feeling inspired by the people in my life."

And finally, a book that has recommendations from both booksellers Jane Glaser and Sharon Nagel. Here's what Sharon has to say about The Improbability of Love, by Hannah Rothschild:  "It's a new thing for me when an inanimate object is one of the narrators in a story. Annie McDee is a chef who is trying to rebuild her life and her career after being dumped by her lover and business partner. She takes a job cooking for the household of wealthy art dealers who rarely eat anything more interesting than steamed fish. She buys a painting in a junk shop for her new boyfriend. When he stands her up for his birthday dinner, she keeps the painting, which has its own story to tell. The Improbability of Love is a joyful romp through the world of high-end art dealing, obsessive collectors, and family secrets."
Let it Snow! Chris Van Allsburg is Still Scheduled to Make a Stop at the Milwaukee Public Library Tomorrow, Saturday, November 21, 2 pm for the Polar Express Tour.
I'm sure you're wondering, with the storm predictions, whether our joint event with the Milwaukee Public Library for Chris Van Allsburg's stop on the Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition tour is on time at the station, or whether it's been derailed. We've been working things out with the publisher, and it looks like it's full steam ahead. Van Allsburg is driving up from Chicago to do his appearance at Oconomowoc High School this evening, then will head to Milwaukee to hunker down until our event at Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Activities for Polar Express day start at 1 pm. The library has a train exhibit from the local Lionel users group, a craft project from Artists Working in Education, and a big chess set for a Jumanji-style game. Then it's time for the main event, a talk from Chris Van Allsburg for the 30th anniversary of The Polar Express. The new edition includes a keepsake metal Christmas ornament.

Due to time restraints, and to make sure Mr. Van Allsburg can sign as many books as possible, there are signing restrictions on this event. Mr. Van Allsburg will sign up to two books from home, with a purchase of another book from Boswell at the event. He will personalize, but alas, no inscriptions. There are also no posed photos and no signing of memorabilia. We hope to start giving out line letters at Noon.

First published in 1985 The Polar Express has been honored with a Caldecott Medal, the highest accolade in children's books, and has inspired dozens of seasonal train rides around the country, served as the theme for countless elementary school pageants, and perhaps most important of all, remains a steadfast reminder to readers young and old of the true magic of Christmas.

With weather like this, anything can happen. If there's any change of plans, we'll keep you posted.
The First Major Milwaukee Snowstorm in 20 Years! Alas, Our Event with Allen Eskens is Cancelled.

We've been so excited about our upcoming event with Allen Eskens. With booksseller Anne at the forefront, we've sold over 60 copies of his books in the last year. But alas, sometimes weather gets in the way. And when Allen Eskens told us he was driving from Oconomowoc to Madison to Milwaukee, with at least part of that trip during tomorrow's snowstorm, together we came to the conclusion that it would be safer for him to head straight home to Mankato, Minnesota after the Madison events. So alas, the author of The Guise of Another and The Life We Bury will not be appearing at Boswell on Saturday, November 21, 2 pm. But don't worry, we'll be sure to host him in November 2016 for his third novel. 
A Journey Through Milwaukee's Culinary History with Lori Fredrich on Tuesday, November 24, 7 pm, at Boswell. 

In Milwaukee Food: A History of Cream City Cuisine, Milwaukee native and food writer Lori Fredrich serves up the story of a bustling blue-collar town that became a mecca for food lovers and a rising star in the sphere of urban farming. Please join us at Boswell for an exciting event with Fredrich in conversation with former Sanford owner Sandy D'Amato. 

In, Fredrich recently talked to Bobby Tanzilo about Milwaukee Food. He asked her what she learned while writing this book, and one of the big reveals was how interconnected the food scene is here. Is this where we say "Smallwaukee?"

From Fredrich: "I learned so much. I don't think it's possible to complete a project like this and not acquire a wealth of knowledge in the process. In fact, one of the most rewarding aspects of writing the book was spending time really getting to know Milwaukee chefs - their inspirations, motivations and feelings about the direction that the culinary scene is going."

As dining writer for, through her blog Burp, or her book Milwaukee Food, Lori Fredrich aims to bring a fresh perspective to the burgeoning culinary scene, shedding light on the talent in the Milwaukee metro area and using the power of food to build bridges and promote a sense of community in the city. Join us on Tuesday, November 24, 7 pm for an evening with Lori Friedrich and Sanford D'Amato.
The Answer to All Your Magazine Needs at The Old Magazine Store.

At least once a month we're asked about an old issue of a magazine, and we've been at a bit of a loss to answer the query. In the old days, many publishers provided services, and you could even sometimes find old magazines in the secondhand bookstores of Milwaukee. So it was a nice surprise to meet Bob Katzman, the proprietor of The Old Magazine Store of Skokie. He recently moved to Wisconsin (though his business is still in Illinois) and finds himself traveling more to Milwaukee. You should not be surprised, for example, that he loves the Oriental Theatre. 

Per its website, The Old Magazine Store has 100,000 volumes going back over a century, including many issues of The New Yorker, Time, Life, and Ebony. As Katzman writes, "Buy a magazine from the week or month your mother was born or married, when your grandpa was in the army or opened a business, when your grandma was sweet 16; when a favorite uncle bought his first car, the country your family came from and a million variations on that concept."

The Old Magazine Store is located at 4906 Oakton St. in Skokie, Illinois. You can reach Bob by phone at (847) 677-9444 or by email at [email protected]. The store is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Monday through Friday and from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday. And here's where we have to give you the bad news - they are happy to sell you any number of magazines, but they are not buying any at this time.
Buy Local Book Fair at the Domes on Sunday, November 29, 9 am to 4 pm. 

We're back at the Buy Local Gift Fair, now at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory AKA The Domes, on Sunday, November 29, 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is $7, with plenty of free parking. The Domes are located at 524 S. Layton Blvd., just north of National Ave. 

Vendors include Indulgence Chocolatiers, Brew City Promotions, Milwaukee Empty Bowls, Rishi Tea, The Waxwing, Treat Bake Shop, Four Corners of the World Fair Trade Store, Racine Art Museum, and more.  Here's a complete list of vendors.
Thank you for your patronage, as always. As we go into the holiday season, remember that while we are open on many other holidays, we are closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Also please note that as we go into the holiday season, we'll be closing earlier on the evenings that we have performances for The Story of My Life, which is December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12. You say you haven't bought your tickets yet for this two-person musical, a collaboration between The Milwaukee Opera Theatre and The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre? Don't you know that each production only has 150 tickets available? Maybe you should buy your tickets now.
As always, apologies for the typos,
Daniel Goldin with Amie, Anne, Barb, Carly, Chris, Conrad,  Jason, Jane, Jannis, Jen, Mel, Olivia, Pam, Peter, Phoebe, Scott, Sharon, and Todd