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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               March 15, 2017, day 2904

The Friends of the UWM Golda Meir Library presents a special evening with the great Sara Paretsky at the Golda Meir fourth floor Conference Center on Thursday, May 11, 7 pm. This event is free, but registration is requested. She will be appearing in conjunction with Fallout, the 18th novel in the V.I. Warshawski series, or the 19th if you include a collection of Warshawski stories. 

Before there was Lisbeth Salander or Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. Warshawski. Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. in  Indemnity Only . By creating a believable investigator with the grit and the smarts to tackle problems on the mean streets, Paretsky challenged a genre in which women typically were either vamps or victims. Critics, readers, and even fellow crime writers have been championing Paretsky for 35 years, with P.D. James saying "For me, the most remarkable of the moderns is Sara Paretsky...No other crime writer has so powerfully and effectively combined a well-crafted detective story with the novel of social realism."

In Fallout, Paretsky takes Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski out of Chicago for the first time ever when the search for a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star leads her to Kansas. Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks the pair through a university town, across fields dotted by Cold War-era missile silos, and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions that holds the key to the mysteries of the present. But every answer V. I. finds unveils another mystery and leads to another dead body. 

We're so excited to be partnering with the Friends of the Golda Meir Library to bring Sara Paretsky back to Milwaukee. Seating is limited, so  register now for the event and mark your calendar for Thursday, May 11, 7 pm. The UWM Gold Meir Library is located at 2311 E Hartford Ave. There is an inexpensive surface lot on the north side of Hartford, underground parking at the UWM Student Union, and street parking on Maryland or Downer Aves.
A Special Literary Debut with Former Milwaukeean Patty Yumi Cottrell, Monday, March 20, 7 pm, at Boswell

Join us for an evening with Patty Yumi Cottrell, author of the stellar debut novel Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, which is quickly becoming a literary favorite. We meet Helen Moran, 32, single and childless, a college-educated, partly employed guardian of troubled young people in New York. Her uncle calls to break the news: Helen's adoptive brother is dead. Helen knows that she alone is qualified to launch a serious investigation into his death, so she purchases a one-way ticket to Milwaukee. Where she faces her estranged family, her brother's few friends, and discovers what it truly means to be alive.

Cottrell's debut is gathering much deserved praise. Helen Oyeyemi, author of  What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours offers: "Patty Yumi Cottrell's prose does so many of my favorite things - some too subtle to talk about without spoiling, but one thing I have to mention is the way in which her heroine's investigation of a suicide draws the reader right into the heart of this wonderfully spiky hedgehog of a book and then elbows us yet further along into what is ultimately a tremendously moving act of imagination." And Jesse Ball, author of How to Set a Fire and Why, offered: " Patty Yumi Cottrell's adoption of the rambling and specific absurd will and must delight!"

Early reviews are great.  Publishers Weekly called Sorry to Disrupt the Peace " complex and mysterious, yet, in the end, deeply human and empathetic." This isn't a book to miss - Boswell's Daniel Goldin called it "a powerfully hypnotic narrative of estrangement."  Celebrate the success of this former Milwaukeean by joining us on Monday, March 20, 7 pm. 
Explore Chicago's Musical History with Renée Rosen at Boswell, Tuesday, March 21,  1 pm, Cosponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning 

The bestselling author of  White Collar Girl  (about the  Chicago Tribune) and What the Lady Wants  (inspired by the retailer Marshall Field and Company) explores one woman's journey of self-discovery in the world of Chicago blues. Windy City Blues is inspired by the true-life history of Chess Records, a label run by Polish Jews on the South Side of Chicago that helped bring to popularity Chicago blues musicians such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and rock and roll legends Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. 

The story follows Leeba Groski, a budding songwriter whose passion for music  is not lost on her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.  With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and the two of them shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

We've hosted Renée Rosen twice before, for What the Lady Wants, a novel about Marshall Field and his store, and White Collar Girl, based on the lives of women at the Chicago Tribune in the 1960s. She always gives a great historical presentation and that's why we've partnered with The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM for this event.  Osher is designed for older adults who share a love of learning throughout their lifetimes.  Members enjoy innovative and enriching programs in a congenial setting with others who share their interests. 

Folks who register with UWM Osher Lifelong Learning for this event will get 10% off their copy of Windy City Blues. And everyone attending will have an enjoyable and informative afternoon with Renée Rosen on Tuesday, March 21, 1 pm.
Another Chance to See Dan Egan Discuss the Fate of the Great Lakes, Wednesday, March 22, 7 pm, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

If you weren't able to attend our very popular event with Journal  Sentinel reporter Dan Egan, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, for The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, you have another chance. Egan will be appearing at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Egan was recently on Minnesota Public Radio talking about the book with Tom Weber. He notes: "As Egan explains in his new book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, the Clean Water Act took steps in battling industrial pollution. But it failed to deal with biological pollution, which today is causing damage at an alarming speed. Invasive species like sea lamprey and zebra mussels have destroyed ecosystems and set the stage for new disasters, like the toxic algae bloom that cut off Toledo, Ohio's drinking water in 2014."

It is interesting to note all the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop connections to this book and event. Egan's agent is Barney Karpfinger, a former Milwaukean whose sister worked at Schwartz. Egan's editor Matt Weiland appeared at the Downer Schwartz Bookshop in 2008 for his anthology State By State: A Portrait of America. And Egan's event at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, located at 1111 E Brown Deer Rd in Bayside, was coordinated by Nancy Quinn, the former Schwartz marketing director. Please note that this event, on Wednesday, March 22, 7 pm is free with Schlitz Audubon membership or your paid admission to the grounds. Registration requested.
A Ticketed Signing with Therstronesa Caputo Saturday,  March 25, 11: 30 am at Boswell 

Theresa Caputo, the star of TLC's 
Long Island Medium and New York Times bestselling author, provides a guide to overcoming grief, in her latest, Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones, and Learn to Live Again. Filled with inspiring lessons from Spirit and astonishing stories from the clients who have been empowered by Theresa's spiritual readings. Good Grief will help you to feel stronger and more optimistic about what the future has in store for you.

After more than a decade of being a practicing medium, Theresa knows that sometimes you need spiritual guidance to help with putting back together the pieces of a life marked by loss, which is never easy. In almost every reading Caputo gives, Spirit insists that people must begin to find happiness in the wake of tragedy and embrace their lives again.  

To ensure everyone gets through the signing line, there are signing restrictions in place, including no personalizations, inscriptions, or signing of memorabilia. Theresa will pose for photos, which will be taken by a professional photographer. Cell phones are prohibited from the signing area. You may bring a gift for Ms. Caputo; however it must be unwrapped or in clear plastic. We strongly recommend that you be in the line by the time the signing starts. See Brown Paper Ticket's website for a complete listing of signing restrictions.

Tickets for the signing are $25.99 which includes admission and a signed copy of the book. There is no gift card option or companion ticket available. Join us for this event on Saturday, March 25, 11:30 am, in advance of her evening show, Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience, at the Riverside Theater.
Naomi Shahib Nye Featured at Deb Marett's "15 Minutes of Fame," at Racine's Preservation Hall, Saturday, March 25, 6:30 pm

Racine artist Deb Marett will be presenting a touring solo show, Famous. The art exhibition is a collection of narrative portraiture inspired by the poem "Famous," by poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Marett was specifically moved by the first line "The river is famous to the fish." The concept is that everyone is famous to the people whose lives they have touched. In addition to Naomi Shahib Nye, tour subjects include Timothy Westbrook, Racine poet Nick Demske, and Downer Ave's own Thea Kovac. 

The show is at the Racine Arts Council gallery at 316 6th St through March 25 and will have a closing program at Preservation Hall, 740 Lake Ave, also in Racine on Saturday, March 25, 6:30 pm. This show, called "15 Minutes of Fame," includes talks from Naomi Shahib Nye and other portrait subjects. Tickets are $5 and are available on Marett's website

Naomi Shihab Nye is an internationally acclaimed poet and children's author whose latest book is The Turtle of Oman. She is an author of many poetry and children's fiction books. Her poems are based on heritage and peace, and are connected to her experience as an Arab-American. In 2014, she was awarded the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. Boswell will be at this event selling an assortment of Nye's and other attendee's books. 
Waitman Wade Beorn Chronicles the German Army's Descent into Genocide, Sunday, March 26, 3 pm, at Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn, Lecturer in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and consultant and content writer for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, presents the talk "We Knew Then That the Jews Would be Shot: Wehrmacht's Role in the Holocaust by Bullets." Based on his book Marching Into Darkness, it is is a bone-chilling exposé of the ordinary footsoldiers who participated in the Final Solution on a daily basis.

Author and historian Beorn uses military and legal records, survivor testimonies, and eyewitness interviews to paint a searing portrait of a professional army's descent into ever more intimate participation in genocide. Of this winner of the 2012 Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize., Choice magazine writes: "The author combines excellent research, careful analysis, and clarity of writing to produce a model work of humane historical scholarship."

Jewish Museum Milwaukee is located at 1360 N Prospect Ave and is hosting a related exhibit, Holocaust by Bullets, from April 19 through May 21. This event, on Sunday, Mary 26, 3 pm, is sponsored by the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Research Center. RSVP for this event to Brittany Hager McNeely at 414-963-2714 or
Mount Mary University's Graduate English Program Presents Chrissy Kolaya on Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm

As part of their Writers on Writing Series, the English Graduate Program at Mount Mary University presents Chrissy Kolaya, poet and fiction writer whose first novel, Charmed Particles, was published by Dzanc Books in 2015. Kirkus Reviews offered this take: "Part immigration story, part Midwestern pastoral, Kolaya's charming debut maps the schisms of a small Illinois town that's divided over a proposal to build a Superconducting Super Collider at the local research lab."

Kolaya has received a Norman Mailer Writer's Colony summer scholarship, an Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies fellowship, and a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota Morris, where she's one of the co-founders of the Prairie Gate Literary Festival. Her work has been included in the anthologies New Sudden Fiction, Fiction on a Stick, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems.

Mount Mary's event is on Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm, at their North Dining Hall. Park at lot B off 92 St. Books will be provided at the event by B&N College Stores, but yes, you can bring a copy of Charmed Particles from home to get signed. Reserve your spot today via or contact Karen Murray at or 414-930-3359.
We've Got More Great March and April Events Listed Here

Monday, March 27, 7 pm at Boswell: Boris Fishman, author of Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo, in conversation with UWM's Joel Berkowitz, cosponsored by the Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

Tuesday, March 28, 7 pm at Boswell: Greg Pearson, author of  Maybe Next Year: Long-Suffering Sports Fans and the Teams That Never Deliver.

Wednesday, March 29, 7 pm at Boswell: Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up, in conversation with writer Wendy McClure. Read the Journal Sentinel review of All Grown Up from Elfrieda Abbe.

Thursday, March 30, 7 pm, Boswell will be selling books at the UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood, for Thomas Frank, author of the paperback release of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

Thursday, March 30, 7 pm, at Boswell: Donna Seaman, author of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists.

Friday, March 31, 7 pm, at Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E Locust: Evelyn M. Perry, author of Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood. 

Sunday, April 2, 4:30 pm, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd: Michelle Brafman, author of Bertrand Court. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2 pm, Discovery World Homeschool Day, 500 N Harbor Dr.: Jessica Garrett, coauthor of Oh, Ick: 114 Science Experiments Guaranteed to Gross You Out! Cost is $8 for children, $12 for adults; registration is required and closes on March 28. 

Wednesday, April 5, 7 pm, at Boswell: Bob Buege, author of Borchert Field: Stories from Milwaukee's Legendary Ballpark

Thursday, April 6, 7 pm, at Boswell: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's  Jim Higgins, author of Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar. 

Monday, April 10, 7 pm, at Boswell: A ticketed event with Andrew McCarthy, author of Just Fly Away. 

Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm, at Boswell: A launch event with former Milwaukeean Lindsey Becker, author of  the Indies Introduce title The Star Thief, the beginning of a new series for kids 8 and up.

And don't forget about these upcoming events:

Wednesday, March 15, 7 pm, at Boswell: Beloit College Professor of Religious Studies Debra Majeed, author of  Polygyny: What It Means When African American Muslim Women Share Their Husbands.

Thursday, March 16, 7 pm, at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center: UW-Eau Claire Associate Professor of English B.J. Hollars, author of Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds. $10,  $5 for UEC members.
Picture This! Great Illustrated Book Recommendations from Boswell

Boswellian Barbara Katz always has the perfect book to share. Her latest love is Life on Mars , written and illustrated by Jon Agee. From Barb: " Readers will laugh out loud as they follow a young boy astronaut's adventures on Mars. While he is looking for life on Mars, readers will see what he doesn't - a huge creature is following him! Visual jokes are on each page, as the creature's expressions are the same as the astronaut's. Gentle sly humor throughout the book extends to the last page, when the astronaut, and readers, get a big surprise! This captivating book is sure to become a favorite!"

Jen Steele also has a new favorite, and it's  If I Had a Little Dream , written by Nina Laden and ilustrated by Melissa Castrillon, which like  Life on Mars, is a Spring Indies Next Selection from the American Booksellers Association. Jen says " This is a sweet and charming picture book about finding the joy and wonder in the every day. If I Had a Little Dream is one of those perfect read-aloud bedtime tales. The beautiful illustrations add to the wonder of the story." Find more Kids Indie Next Selections here

And finally, from Boswell's Todd Wellman comes Tidy, the new book from Emily Gravett, just in time for spring cleaning! The rec from Todd: "Pete really wants the forest to be clean - but he surely goes too far in this book that explores the consequences of single-minded vision gone awry. While Pete starts as a very helpful badger who wants his friends to be cleaner and therefore happier, his push for purity squeezes the life out of the forest and almost condemns himself and his friends to the ultimate kind of clean: sterile, lifeless, without them. Lots of discussions with readers are brewing here in this story that manages to wrap complex ideas in a short story." (Note that Tidy goes on sale March 21, but you can reserve a copy on our website without registering.)
Do you love  our Boswell kids recommendations? If so, mark your calendar for Boswell's educator night on Tuesday, May 2, 7 pm. We'll have picks from booksellers and Jenny, our HarperCollins rep too, plus special guest John David Anderson (at right), author of Sidekicked, Ms. Bixby's Last Day, and Posted, which goes on sale the night of our event.  Register here .
Thanks to Teasha for helping put together this newsletter. And as always, thank you for your patronage and apologies for the typos,
Daniel Goldin with Amie, Anne, Barb, Caroline, Chris, Conrad, Jason, Jane, Jen, Kay, Kelli, Olivia S, Olivia V, Peter, Scott, Sharon, Teasha, Tim, and Todd