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Boswell Book Company

2559 North Downer Avenue at Webster Place

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

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Boswell Book Company Newsletter              October 30, 2015, Day 2402

Wow, what an autumn season! How great were Jenny Lawson, Richard Ford, Tyler Oakley, Brian Selznick, and Katherine Applegate?And there's so much more to come, with upcoming events from Jesse Eisenberg, Sarah Vowell, Marlon James, and that's just in the next few days. 

Thank you all for updating your address in the last email so that you could receive our print holiday newsletter. Jason, Amie, and Jen have picked some great holiday gift ideas, and all the Boswellians have contributed with their favorite books of 2015. Mel has been furiously working to put it all together. What's your guess as to what will be included?
Jesse Eisenberg Tonight at 7, Friday, October 30, at Boswell. 

You may know Jesse Eisenberg from his roles in The Social Network, Zombieland, and The Squid and the Whale, but he's also an accomplished writer. In addition to two plays, he's the author of a collection called Bream Gives Me Hiccups, which Publishers Weekly called "a quick, witty read" that is "charming, deftly written, and laugh-out-loud funny."

And from Patrick Ryan in USA Today: "Bream's most captivating section is its first, written as restaurant reviews from the perspective of a 9-year-old boy. Wryly commenting on the food itself - expensive sushi, frozen yogurt and a vegan family's Thanksgiving dinner - the short passages also chip away at the boy's dysfunctional relationship with his alcoholic single mom, whose brusque demeanor could be mistaken for bad parenting. Eisenberg nicely balances cynicism and sincerity here, and continually comes back to the complex bond of boys and their mothers (a satirical chapter about separation anxiety while at sleepaway camp is particularly sharp)."

The event is free, but please note that Mr. Eisenberg will sign books only. Hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. 
Sarah Vowell at Centennial Hall, Saturday, October 31, 7 pm.

You probably didn't expect to celebrate Halloween contemplating American history, but when Sarah Vowell's in town, what choice do you have? It's time to don your colonial duds and get down to the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall, 733 N. 8th St., for an evening celebrating Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, her new work exploring Marquis de Lafayette, the once wildly popular French military leader who played an important role in the American Revolution.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, is about the only Frenchman that all of America has ever agreed upon, our Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. In her inimitable lively style, Vowell reconstructs how a swashbuckling French aristocratic orphan decided to pin his teenage ambitions on helping the American colonies break away from the British and how the American revolutionaries, facing very long odds of winning this war and in desperate need of funds, were more than happy to embrace this rich French teenager as one of their own.

There's good reason to come early for this one - doors open at six. For one thing, we'll be having an American Revolution-themed costume contest. We'll be giving away $100 in Boswell gift cards as prizes. For your second reason, we'll have Lauzun's Legion in the Loos Room before our event. Lauzun's Legion is "a living history organization devoted to the research and portrayal of French and other European soldiers who were part of the French military establishment and served in the American colonies during the American War for Independence."

It's all free so remember, doors open at 6 pm for the costume contest and re-enactors, and 7 pm is Sarah Vowell's talk. And don't forget, this is the last of our preorder signing priority events for fall, so if you bought your book from us, don't forget to bring your line letter bookmark. 
Rob Reischel on the Best Packers Quarterbacks, Sunday, November 1, 2 pm, at Zablocki Library.

At 6-0, the Green Bay Packers are having another great season. In Leaders of the Pack: Starr, Favre, Rodgers and Why Green Bay's Quarterback Trio Is the Best in NFL History, veteran writer Rob Reischel explains what exactly is responsible for this dynasty, a trio of world famous quarterbacks. From Bart Starr's Super Bowl victories and Brett Favre's collection of NFL records, to Aaron Rodgers's ascent into becoming one of the best players in today's NFL, Reischel traces the history of all three players, highlighting what it means to be a Packers quarterback both on and off the field, and then expands his insight to the rest of the league. 

We're excited to be working with the Milwaukee Public Library's Zablocki branch, located at 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., to bring you this event. And we're particularly excited that Reischel's publisher, Triumph Books, is providing a signed copy of Favre, the book written by Bret Favre and Ron Wolf, as a raffle prize. This long-unavailable classic bio would make an amazing gift for someone on your holiday list. Must be present to win!
Man Booker Prize Winner Marlon James at Boswell, Sunday, November 1, 3 pm.

Marlon James's novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was one of the best reviewed books of 2014, and we were thrilled when we were scheduled for a visit in October for the paperback. Then the book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, probably the biggest honor in English language publishing, and a problem came up - our event was scheduled for the night of the award. We're grateful that James and his publisher were able to reschedule him for Sunday, November 1, 3 pm. 

Boswellian Eric Beaumont called A Brief History of Seven Killings "the best novel I've read in twenty years." John Domini of The Washington Post posited that "the third novel by Marlon James cuts a swath across recent Jamaican history. It leaves its Kingston ghettos strewn with victims, a few of them lovers, all of them spattered with blood. Seven killings? That's just for starters. This compelling, not-so-brief history brings off a social portrait worthy of Diego Rivera, antic and engag�, a fascinating tangle of the naked and the dead." Zachary Lazar in The New York Times Book Review compared the book to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Reviewers have referenced V.S. Naipaul's The Middle Passage and the films of Quentin Tarantino.

However you describe it, Marlon James's book is a masterpiece, and now it's certified as such by the judges of the Man Booker Prize. The event is free on Sunday, November 1, 3 pm. We don't expect a capacity crowd but it could be crowded; come early if you want a good seat. And don't forget, we've got books for sale, but if you're planning on getting a hardcover, we've got them in limited supply so you might want to purchase it in advance. 
UWM's Lisa Silverman on the Holocaust's Portrayal, Tuesday, November 3, 7 pm, at the JCC.

At the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center on Tuesday is a talk from Lisa Silverman, associate professor of history and Jewish studies at UW-Milwaukee. The topic is her new book, Holocaust Representations in History: An Introduction, written with Daniel Magilow, which surveys the representation of the Holocaust in art, photography, memoirs, comics, theater, and museums.

Darcy Buerkle, associate professor of history at Smith College, calls Silverman's work "an extraordinary contribution that distinguishes itself as a beacon for critical pedagogy," praising the format where "nuanced philosophical provocation meets historical context and bibliographic substance." This event is cosponsored by the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies. The event, being held on Tuesday, November 3, 7 pm, at the Sampson Family JCC,  located at 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd. in Whitefish Bay.
Juneau Black (Jocelyn Koehler and Sharon Nagel) at Boswell on Wednesday, November 4, 7 pm.  

One fall day, inspired by a cache of adorable animal-shaped puppets, Boswellians Jocelyn Koehler and Sharon Nagel got an idea. They created characters, conflicts, and a quirky woodland setting for a series of books. Spurred on by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), they wrote
the first draft of what would eventually become 
Shady Hollow, a mystery novel that celebrates old-fashioned storytelling with a new cast of characters so civilized on the surface and so beastly underneath they're almost human. Imagine the world of Beatrix Potter all grown up and re-imagined by Agatha Christie.

ere's a little more about the book. Deep in the forest is a place where moose and mice, owls and bears, and other woodland creatures live together in harmony...until the day a toad is found floating face down in the millpond. It's something the residents of Shady Hollow haven't seen before: a murder. It's up to Vera Vixen, a foxy reporter with a nose for news, to follow the stench into the darker corners of this charming village. As she stirs up still waters, the fox fishes out more than one mystery, finding a "shady" side to her new neighbors - some are shifty, but others appear downright dangerous. Someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder and it will take all of Vera's cunning and quickness to come out alive.

Celebrate Shady Hollow's release on Wednesday, October 4, 7 pm
Jennifer Chiaverini Returns for a Holiday-Themed Story, Thursday, November 5, 6:30 pm, at the Just-Renovated Hose Tower in Greendale. 

In Christmas BellsJennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's classic poem "Christmas Bells," and its refrain that echoes across the centuries. Longfellow penned the verse in 1863, bringing hope to a nation enduring the conflict of the Civil War, even as he suffered the sudden loss of his wife and worried for his son in service to a war-torn Union. In Chiaverini's tale, that story alternates with one in present-day Boston, where a dedicated teacher is stunned by somber holiday tidings as she prepares for a holiday concert at her church. Can she be inspired anew by the glory of Longfellow's timeless words?

We're so excited to be hosting one of the first events at the renovated Greendale Cultural Center at Hose Tower, which just had its grand opening on October 25. This historic structure is just across from our cosponsor, the Greendale Public Library and in its own way,
 evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song, just like Chiaverini's new novel. The event is free, and space is limited, so don't be late to our event for Christmas Bells on Thursday, November 5, 6:30 pm at the Greendale Cultural Center, 5699 Parking St. in Greendale, just off 60th and Grange.
John Garofolo on Dickey Chapelle at Shorewood Village Center, Thursday, November 5, 7 pm.

Dickey Chapelle fought to be taken seriously as a war correspondent and broke down gender barriers for future generations of female journalists. She embedded herself with military units on front lines around the globe, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam. Dickey sometimes risked her life to tell the story - after smuggling aid to refugees fleeing Hungary, she spent almost two months in a Hungarian prison. For twenty-five years, Dickey's photographs graced the pages of National Geographic, The National ObserverLife, and others.

In Dickey Chapelle Under Fire: Photographs by the First American Female War Correspondent Killed in Action, John Garofolo has created a work that highlights the tenacity, courage, and compassion that shines through her work. She was born in Shorewood and in 1965, she became the first female American war correspondent to be killed in action. Dickey Chapelle Under Fire highlights her remarkable story and showcases Chapelle's work as a photographer.

This event is presented by the Shorewood Historical Society on Thursday, November 5, 7 pm. The Shorewood Village Center is below the Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N. Murray Ave., just south of Capitol Dr. Please note that Garofolo will also be at the Milwaukee Rotary Club on Tuesday, but this event is by invitation only. But if you can't attend either, don't forget that the documentary about Chapelle, Behind the Pearl Earrings, premieres on Milwaukee Public Television on November 3 as well. Details on the MPTV website.
Science Fiction from Patrick Tomlinson, Friday, November 6, 7 pm, at Boswell.

If you love science fiction, consider Angry Robot, an independent publishing house that has been discovering great new authors that have gone on to great success, like Wesley Chu and Lauren Beukes. Their latest discovery is Milwaukee's own Patrick Tomlinson, the son of an ex-hippie psychologist and ex-cowboy electrician, who in addition to his science fiction and fantasy writing, has developed a reputation as a popular stand-up comic, hosting events at 42 Lounge.

In his new book, The Ark, humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation spaceship, affectionately named the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark's greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can't be beat. But when a crew member goes missing, Benson is thrust into the center of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Benson finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind's home into its tomb.

Patrick Rakunas writes that The Ark, the first volume of the Children of a Dead Earth series, is "a locked-room murder mystery, bare-knuckle action, and the kind of hard-boiled science fiction that will make your brain pop." Celebrate its release along with Patrick Tomlinson at Boswell on Friday, November 6, 7 pm, at Boswell.  
Welcome To Night Vale Authors in Conversation with Patrick Rothfuss, Tuesday, November 10, 7 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom.

If you hadn't before heard of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, you probably have now. Attention has skyrocketed with the release of the first novel, also titled Welcome to Night Vale, from co-creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. We're so excited to be working with the Pabst Theater Group, to present the authors in conversation with Wisconsin's own Patrick Rothfuss, author of the classic fantasy novels, The Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear.

The novel focuses on a few of Night Vale's residents, Diane Crayton, an office worker and PTA leader, whose son is a shape shifter, and pawn-shop-owner Jackie Fierro, who is given a mysterious piece of paper with "King City" written on it, which she can't seem to get rid of. And then one of Diane's coworkers disappears, and everyone denies his existence. Twin Peaks, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman are all the reference points we'd use when talking it up. And Kirkus Reviews writes: "It's all pretty far out there on the weird-ometer, but the novel is definitely as addictive as its source material."

Tickets are available on the Pabst website for $22 plus taxes and fees, and include a copy of the book. It's open seating at Turner Hall Ballroom 1040 N. 4th St. The event is Tuesday, November 10, 7 pm, with doors opening at 6 pm.
RadioMilwaukee Presents Jessica Hopper at Boswell, Wednesday, November 11, 7 pm.

Don't miss prolific professional music and culture critic Jessica Hopper, author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. Not merely a selection of Hopper's most engaging, thoughtful, and humorous writing over two decades, this book documents the last 20 years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. Our co-sponsor for this event is 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

Jessica Hopper's music criticism has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but the culture around it. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic journeys through the truths of Riot Grrrl's empowering insurgence, decamps to Gary, Indiana, on the eve of Michael Jackson's death, explodes the grunge-era mythologies of Nirvana and Courtney Love, and examines emo's rise. Through this vast range of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music. 

Rob Sheffield, author of the cult classic, Love is a Mix Tape, offers this praise: "I read Hopper's work with a sense of bewildered gratitude. She concedes nothing to the idea that it is dumb to care so much. The excitement in her work comes from her faith that these things are worth scrapping about." Hope you can mix it up with Hopper on Wednesday, November 11, 7 pm, at Boswell, sponsored by 88Nine, RadioMilwaukee.
Rainn Wilson, Now in Conversation with Victor DeLorenzo, Thursday, November 12, 7 pm, at the Pabst Theater.

Just in! Rainn Wilson's live event at the Pabst Theater, in celebration of his all new book The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy, will now be moderated by Victor Delorenzo, founding member of the Violent Femmes. This moderation will be precluded by a performance from Victor Delorenzo's band, Nineteen Thirteen.  Tickets are $26.50 and include a copy of The Bassoon King. 

Rainn Wilson's memoir is the story of his journey from geeky kid, growing up in the Baha'i faith, in the suburbs of Seattle and Chicago, with a detour to Central America. From Model U.N. to his love of punk and new wave music to his discovery of acting, Wilson's story has some detours along the way, but he finally reset his course by rediscovering the lessons of his upbringing. It's a funny story, with yes, some insider details from the hit television show, The Office. Did you know the whole backstory of the family beet farm started with an offhand improv remark?

The inspiration for the pairing came from a reading of The Bassoon King, where Victor DeLorenzo and The Violent Femmes got several shout outs. Of course Milwaukeeans also know about DeLorenzo's long acting career, and while Wilson and DeLorenzo never met, their paths have covered much of the same territory and it turned out they knew several people in common. 
Gina Athena Ulysse on the Haitian Experience, Saturday, November 14, 7 pm, at Boswell. 

In conjunction with the National Women's Studies Conference that is in Milwaukee this week, Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology at Wesleyan will speak at Boswell on Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle, in which she makes sense of her homeland in the wake of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

Per Ulysse, mainstream news coverage in the wake of the earthquake has reproduced longstanding narratives of Haiti and stereotypes of Haitians. As an ethnographer and member of the diaspora, Ulysse delivers critical analysis of geopolitics of daily life in a series of dispatches, opinion pieces and articles (from sources such as The Haitian Times and Ms. Magazine) on post-quake Haiti, aiming to make sense of how a nation and its subjects continue to negotiate sovereignty and being in a world where "all people are human, but all humans are not the same." 

Ulysse is also author of Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica. Mark your calendars for Saturday November 14, 7 pm at Boswell. 
More November Happenings.

While our dinner with Graham Elliot at Bacchus tonight is sold out, there are many other things for you to do in the first half of November. We should have some signed copies available after the event, so check back with us.

Tuesday, November 3, 7:30 pm, at the Riverside Theater, Christopher Kimball and America's Test Kitchen Live in conjunction with the release of 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials. We're not helping produce this one but we will be selling books in the lobby. Note that Mr. Kimball is not signing them. Tickets are available on the Pabst website and note that available tickets do not include a book.

Saturday, November 8, 11 am, at Boswell: Story Time with Jannis. Can't get your child to sleep? Enjoy a selection of sleepytime narratives, featuring Todd Tarpley's Beep Beep Go to Sleep. Event is free and no registration is needed.  

Sunday, November 8, 3 pm, at the North Shore Congregational Church, 7330 N. Santa Monica Blvd: A free screening of Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation, the new documentary from Vicki Abeles. You must register for this event. The tie-in book will be available for sale, provided by Boswell.

Thursday, November 12, at the UWM Union Wisconsin Room: the distinguished lecture series presents Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground. This event is free for students but has a ticket charge for other attendees from $10-14, depending on whether you register in advance and if you're UWM faculty or staff. More here.

Sunday, November 15, 4 pm, at the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.: Michelle Brafman, author of Washing the Dead, in conversation with Jody Hirsh. It's the story of a Secular Jew who returns to her Orthodox community after the death of a beloved teacher.

Monday, November 16, 7 pm (reception), 7:30 (presentation), at the Lynden Sculpture Garden: Ren�e Rosen, author of White Collar Girl, the story of a Chicago newswoman in the 1960s. Produced by Milwaukee Reads and cosponsored by Bronze Optical, with treats from MKE Localicious, this event also features a book club pick presentation from Daniel Goldin and Jane Glaser. Tickets are $22, $18 for Lynden members, and include a copy of White Collar Girl.
Staff Recommendation for The Lake House

Jane Glaser is a huge Kate Morton fan and she tells us that Morton's newest, The Lake House, does not disappoint: "Set along Cornwall's winding coast, Loeanneth, the lake house estate of Eleanor and Anthony Edevane and their four children, holds the answer to the mysterious 1933 disappearance of the youngest child, Theo, during the family's annual Midsummer Eve party  Devastated, the Edevanes abandon their beloved lake house and live their remaining years in London. Seventy years later, Alice Edevane, Theo's sister and successful writer of suspense novels, realizes that she can no longer escape the inexplicable secrets of her family's shattered past. Momentum gathers when London Sgt. Det. Sadie Sparrow, on administrative leave, retreats to her grandfather's house in Cornwall and discovers an overgrown path leading to the neglected Loeanneth. Gradually, she unravels the tangled threads of the Edevane's multigenerational fabric of betrayal and deception, challenging everything Alice has ever known about her family ties. This is author Kate Morton at her best with masterful storytelling to be savored on lingering warm autumn days or during long chilly winter nights!"
At left is our Harry Potter pumpkin waiting for his scarf. And on a sadder note, we're saying good bye to two booksellers in the next few weeks, Sarah and Eric. Thank you for your time here and all the best on the next step in your journey.
As always, thank you for your patronage and apologies for the typos,
Daniel Goldin with Amie, Anne, Barb, Carly, Chris, Conrad, Eric, Jason, Jane, Jannis, Jen, Mel, Olivia, Pam, Phoebe, Sarah, Scott, Sharon, and Todd