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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               February 15, 2016, day 2510.

Announcing a very special event at the Riverside Theater. Nick Offerman, best known as Ron Swanson from NBC's Parks and Recreation will be appearing on Thursday, April 7, 7 pm for a special celebration of the paperback release of Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers. Tickets are only $20, plus taxes and fees, and include a paperback copy of Gumption. A signing will follow the presentation. We will not be able to take signed copy requests for this event, but we may have signed copies after the show. And while many of you are not going to make the decision to attend based on how good the book is, here's a good review from Bill Jones at the AV Club anyway.

Unlike Offerman's last year's sold-out appearances with Megan Mullally, this is really a book talk. It's like going to an event at Boswell, only with a really, really, really popular actor, writer, and humorist. And don't forget, the Riverside Theater event will have assigned seats, so it's not like many of our other events where you can buy your tickets at the last minute and still get there early and sit in the first row. The best seats will go to the folks who buy their tickets early. And the Riverside has a special presale period, which I'm sure you're all familiar with. The presale starts Wednesday, February 17 at 12 noon, with ticket sales available to the general public on Friday at Midnight. As Boswell subscribers, you have an in; just use code GUMPTION.
Robin Pickering-Iazzi on the Mafia and Italian Culture, Wednesday, February 17, 7 pm, at Boswell.

The mafia continues to cast a long shadow over the way Italian culture is depicted in popular culture. What is their influence in contemporary Italian life? To measure the size of the mafia's real-life footprint, Robin Pickering-Iazzi, author of The Mafia in Italian Lives and Literature: Life Sentences and Their Geographies, draws on a wide variety of documents and texts from 1990 to the present, including diaries, testimonies, fiction, films, online video postings, and contributions to anti-mafia social networks. Through engagement with these voices, and a wider selection of texts and the latest theoretical approaches, Pickering-Iazzi encourages renewed critical reflection on the mafia's role in Italian society, while shedding light on our understandings of crime fiction, Sicily and Sicilian identity in literature, the discursive strategies of the new Italian epic, and the cultural and social functions of storytelling.

In this University of Toronto Press blog, Pickering-Iazzi discusses how she was inspired by the private diaries of Rita Atria, a young woman who turned state's witness but committed suicide after the Mafia bombings of 1992, fearing for her own life. Robin Pickering-Iazzi is a professor in the Department of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the editor of the widely acclaimed anthology Mafia and Outlaw Stories from Italian Life and Literature. Pickering-Iazzi will appear at Boswell on Wednesday, February 17, 7 pm. 
A Tale of World War II Germany from Kenneth Kapp, Thursday, February 18, 7 pm, at Boswell. 

Over the years, Kenneth M. Kapp has worked in turns as a researcher and teacher of mathematics, an artist, and as an industry professional at IBM. These days he is a writer, yoga instructor, and the founder of KMK Books. Now he debuts his first novel The Slow and Painful Awakening of Herr Wilhelm Neimann, a suspenseful tale of a man who returns from war to find the inhabitants of his small German village battling themselves and each other for sanity.

Wilhelm Neimann returned from the eastern front in 1944 shattered on many levels. He was a hero but the medals could not make up for the life he had planned as a teenager, the university position he had hoped for was now beyond his reach. He teaches history in a gymnasium in Schweinfort, a small village in southwestern Germany. As he becomes part of this small community, one where Jews always found refuge and rescue, he must find his own final solution. He and the villagers are challenged by a small group of students, the Jugendknote. One of them is convinced that the ashes from crematoria have entered into the food chain, making all Germans Jewish, from the inside out. Two others are determined to find the SS officer that killed their uncle during the war. Schweinfort has its own story going back centuries.

Kapp will be speaking at Boswell on Thursday, February 18, 7 pm.
Criminal Gang Researcher John Hagedorn Rescheduled at Boswell for Friday, February 19, 7 pm.

The In$ane Chicago Way is the untold story of a daring plan by Chicago gangs in the 1990s to create a Spanish Mafia-and why it failed. John M. Hagedorn traces how Chicago Latino gang leaders, following in Al Capone's footsteps, built a sophisticated organization dedicated to organizing crime and reducing violence. His lively stories of extensive cross-neighborhood gang
 organization, tales of police/gang corruption, and discovery of covert gang connections to Chicago's Mafia challenge conventional wisdom and offer lessons for the control of violence today.

John Hagedorn is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is also author of People and Folks and Forsaking Our Children, and editor of Female Gangs in America,. For more information, read this Chicago Reader piece from Annette Elliot in which Hagedorn discusses how he got information from "Sal Martino."
Speculative Great Brandon Sanderson Returns to Boswell on Tuesday, February 23, 7 pm.

From Brandon Sanderson, the bestselling author of the Mistborn series and Words of Radiance comes Calamity, the final book in the #1-New-York-Times-bestselling Reckoners series. Brandon Sanderson is also the author of the Stormlight Archive series, and was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in 25+ languages and have sold millions of copies. And great news for fans of his Alcatraz series - they are now being rereleased.

Here's a little more about Calamity from the publisher. When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David's fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy. David knew Prof's secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the leader of the Reckoners, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He's disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there's no turning back....But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics - Megan proved it. They're not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Brandon Sanderson (photo credit Nazrilof) will speak on Tuesday, February 23, 7 pm, at Boswell, followed by a signing. He will personalize up to three books, and sign all books, new and old, as well as memorabilia, but alas, not body parts. We'll have line letters available for the signing starting at 5 pm. For families with young children, pregnant, and the disabled, please ask for a special X letter. Yes, we'll have backlist hardcovers for sale - you can call to have a particular copy held. And of course you can also order Calamity or The Bands of Mourning (released January) or The Shadows of Self (released November 2015) or even the much-coveted Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (reissued February 2016)
Don't Miss a Ticketed Event with LeVar Burton at UWM on Wednesday, February 24, 7 pm.

The Distinguished Lecture Series at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Geek Week present LeVar Burton. An acclaimed actor, producer and writer, recognized globally for his commitment to promoting literacy, LeVar Burton has been entertaining, educating and inspiring audiences around the world for four decades. Burton rose to fame playing Kunta Kinte in Roots at the age of 19, achieved further acclaim as Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for 26 years, hosted the acclaimed Reading Rainbow program on PBS. And now he has his own Reading Rainbow book, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm.

Tickets to this talk, "LeVar Burton: From Roots to Reading Rainbow: The Power of Stories," are $10 for non-UWM students, $12 for the campus community, and $14 to the general public, with a $2 discount if you purchase in advance. Admission to the event at the Wisconsin Room at the UWM Union is free to UWM students, but you must register to guarantee admission. Call (414) 229-5780 or email for more information about Burton's appearance on Wednesday, February 24, 7 pm. This event is sponsored by UWM Student Involvement, Geek Culture Corp., and Sociocultural Programming.
More February and March Events at Boswell.

Wednesday, February 24, 7 pm, at Boswell: Joel Kriofske, author of And Good Night to All the Beautiful Young Women: A Tale of Episodic Dementia - The Parent Becomes the Child.

Thursday, February 25, 6:30 pm, at Boswell: J.A. White, author of The Thickety V3: Well of Witches. We're having a free pizza party with pizza from Ian's Pizza. We request that you register here. Of the new book, Boswellian Jen Steele says: "The third installment of The Thickety is magically action packed. It does not disappoint!"

Monday, February 29, 7 pm, at Boswell: Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, authors of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War.

Tuesday, March 1, 7 pm, at the Virginia Henes Young Theater, USM, 2100 W. Fairy Chasm Rd in River Hills: Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. (Photo credit Robert Muller)

Tuesday March 1, 7 pm, at Boswell: Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Cosponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

Wednesday, March 2, 7 pm, at Boswell: Mary Rickert, Cedarburg author of the story collection,You Have Never Been Here, as well as the novel, The Memory Garden.

Wednesday, March 2, 7 pm, at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N Terrace Ave: a ticketed event with Peter Hatch author of A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. Admission is $25, $20 for FOVT members. Sign up on their Facebook pag or calll (414) 271-3656.

Monday, March 7, 6:30 pm, at the new Oak Creek Public Library, 8040 S Sixth St: Alison McGhee and Kathi Appelt, authors of Maybe a Fox.

Tuesday, March 8, 7 pm, at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E Park Pl: Lucie Amundsen, author of Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm - From Scratch. Suggested donation of $10 for this event, $5 for Urban Ecology Center members. (Photo credit Rolf Hagberg)

Wednesday, March 9, 7 pm, at Boswell: Brittany Cavallaro, author of A Study in Charlotte, a young adult contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes from a recent student at the UWM creative writing PhD program. (Photo credit Kit Williamson)

Wednesday, March 9, 7 pm, at the UWM Golda Meir Conference Center, 2311 E Hartford Ave: Samuel Kassow, editor of In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz. This event is sponsored by the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM.

Thursday, March 10, 6:30 pm, at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W Greenfield Ave: Lauren Tarshis, author of I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937. This is Tarshis's first national tour! (Photo credit David Dreyfuss)

Thursday, March 10, 7 pm, at Boswell: Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither. Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, this tour is made possible by the Irish Arts Center (new York). Boswellian Anne McMahon is in love with this book!

Friday, March 11, 6:30 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St: Markus Zusak, appearing for The Book Thief Tenth Anniversary Edition. Also available in a special hardcover.

Friday, March 11, 7 pm, at Boswell: Amina Gautier, author of The Loss of All Lost Things, winner of the Elixir Press Fiction Prize.

More on the Boswell upcoming events page!
Five Reasons Why We Need a Kids Newsletter, At Least Occasionally.

1. We have so many kids* events! Forward it to your friends.
2. We have more book recommendations for kids than space in our traditional email newsletter.
3. Kids want to subscribe to our newsletter, but sometimes it needs a bit of an explanation from mom, dad, or another adult.
4. As part of our attempt to build school outreach, we want to let folks know about authors doing school visits for Boswell that have no public event component. Next time maybe your school could be in the running for Linda Sue Park, who is visiting schools on March 1. Her schedule is booked but we have lots more authors making school visits in the coming months. Contact Todd for more information.
5. Why not? Sign up for our kids newsletter here

With a pitch like that, we better offer up at least a couple of recommendations from kids books. From Barbara Katz, here is a favorable review for ABC Dream, written and illustrated by Kim Krans: "Striking black and white illustrations highlighted by bold splashes of color on each page create this beautiful alphabet book. Each letter of the alphabet has from one to eight objects readers can look for and identify, like H for hedgehog, hat, hinges and hearts. Readers could easily tell a story for each letter, as for example, M: a mouse looks into a mirror while standing near mountains and is under the moon. Plenty of white spaces on each page highlight the bold graphics. This is a special and unique book!"
With more snow on the way, Todd Wellman recommends  Arctic White, a picture book written by Danna Smith, with illustrations by Lee White: "The world is all sorts of white in the Arctic, so the people who live there learn the shades of difference they see -- and celebrate the bright alterations of the night sky -- care of the aurora borealis. The main character expresses appreciation for the starkness of the landscape as well as the hope found in realizing joy may arise when a mind is inspired to find it."

And finally, a big shout out to Thelma Lynne Godin, a writer who was a regular at the old Brookfield location of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, whose new book is How to Dress a Dragon, with illustrations by Eric Barclay. As the text notes: "If you have to dress a dragon, you must be prepared to catch him as he flies by. Also, beware of ticklish toes, shirts with buttons, and hats that do not fit neatly between his horns." Honestly, dragons do not like shirts. But they do like capes. Kirkus Reviews writes:  Simple, direct text and the extra-large dragon squeezing into tiny clothes--plus the underwear endpapers--make for fine fun."

Oh, and don't forget, our kids newsletter, along with our book club emails, are quite irregular. To keep up with our events, including the most current info on our kids programming, continue to subscribe to our general email newsletter. 
"The Snow" is a Fantastical Grimmsian Tale, Opening at First Stage on February 26.

Milwaukee is so lucky to have a children's theater company like First Stage! So much of their programming is adapted from great books, like their most recent production of Holes, based on the Louis Sachar novel. But First Stage is also initiating great original pieces as well. As part of The Wisconsin Cycle, celebrating the history and people of Wisconsin, First Stage is pleased to present The Snow. This play is a world premiere, written by Finegan Kruckemeyer, commissioned and developed by First Stage with Oregon Children's Theatre and Magic Theatre, debuting on February 26, and running through March 20.

Here's a little more about The Snow. When an epic snowfall seemingly imprisons the residents of the tiny village of Kishka, young Theodore Sutton proposes the villagers build a catapult to fling him and send six of the village's bravest and strongest out over the snow in search of a solution. The catapult is hastily assembled, and Theodore and the heroes are launched over the snow and into the grandest of adventures. Whimsical and humorous, dark and mysterious, heartfelt and sincere, this is a fantastical Grimmsian tale for the entire family, with a caveat that Theodore's journey leads him to confront danger, loss, and the darkness.

Performances for The Snow run Saturday and Sunday afternoons with the premiere on Friday, February 26, 7 pm. Tickets range from $12.50 to $32.50, with a special sensory-friendly performance on March 5. Grants from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America, the Milwaukee Arts Board, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the State of Wisconsin made the presentation possible, with more help from media sponsor The Shepherd Express.
America's Black Holocaust Museum at the Centennial Hall, Saturday, February 27, 5 pm book signing, 6 pm performance.

While the America's Black Holocaust Museum currently does not have a physical home, it lives on as a nonprofit, continuing the work of Dr. James Cameron. At the upcoming "Black Voices Matter!: A Celebration of Art and Culture," the group will be celebrating the release of the new edition of Cameron's work, A Time of Terror: A Survivor's Story, which continues to be used in coursework. 

The doors open at 5 pm for a book signing and unveiling of a new museum exhibit. And then at 6 pm, there is a performance of three one-act plays. Safe, by Georgia Douglas-Johnson, is a domestic drama set in 1889 and is performed by the Hansberry-Sands Theater Company. The Survivor, performed by Reggie Jackson, with vocalist Erika Wade, is inspired by the writings of Cameron. And A Walk with Ida B. Wells is a one-woman piece from Marti Gobel, inspired by Wells's work as a journalist and activist. 

The Museum will be selling books at their event, but we expect to have copies for sale at Boswell shortly. The celebration begins 5 pm on February 27, at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall, 733 N. Eighth St.53233. Visit Eventbrite for tickets, which are $35 for adults, $55 including a book, and $13 for students. 
So we're already getting requests for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 and 2, the new script book arriving on July 31. It's based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, and the new play by Jack Thorne debuts in London's West End on July 30. 

In this eighth installment, Harry Potter is now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Can you preorder here? Yes, you can! And yes, it will be a Boswell's Best title, at 20% off. 

Congratulations to Carly, who is leaving to be an archivist! And as always, thank you for your patronage and apologies for the typos,
Daniel Goldin with Amie, Anne, Barb, Carly, Caroline, Chris, Conrad, Jason, Jane, Jen, Kelli, Mel, Olivia, Pam, Peter, Scott, Sharon, and Teasha, Tim, Todd