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Join us for an evening featuring, per Peter Carlson in the Washington Post, America’s funniest science writer Mary Roach, who will take us along for an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet. For this event, Mary Roach will be in conversation with Roman Mars, host and creator of 99% Invisible and author of The 99% Invisible City.
Click right here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And preorder your copy of Fuzz now, too! Order your signed copy. While supplies last, your order comes with a special Fuzz patch.
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A breaking and entering bear? Murderous trees? Hundreds of years ago, animals that broke the law were put on trial. These days, as Roach discovers, the answers are better found in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.
Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to "problem" wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem - and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.
Mary Roach is author of best-selling books of nonfiction such as Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and, most recently, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War. Her writing has appeared in Outside, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine.
Enjoy a Bonus Readings from Oconomowaukee in September, featuring Milwaukee’s Lauren Fox, celebrating the paperback release event for her nationally bestselling novel with a special fall reading conversation featuring recommendations from both store proprietors and the author.
Click here to register for this virtual event. And be sure to get your paperback copy of Send for Me, too! Order right here from Boswell and right here from Books & Company. Order your signed copy. Your book can be personalized.
Lauren Fox’s Send for Me was a Today Show Read with Jenna book club pick, an instant New York Times bestseller, and an Indie Next Great Read. From Suzanne Perez, writing for NPR.com: “Fox’s writing is so deft, the story so subtle and sad, flipping seamlessly from World War II Germany to modern-day Milwaukee. It doesn’t put you smack dab in the center of Nazi violence or concentration camp nightmares, but flits around the edges of that brutal history to tell a new, altogether different tale - a story of lucky ones who escaped, and the guilt that haunts them… a richly imagined, lyrically written story that belongs among novels such as The Book Thief and All the Light We Cannot See. The year is still young, but I’ll guarantee this will be on my list of favorites from 2021."
An achingly beautiful work of historical fiction that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present-day Wisconsin, unspooling a thread of love, longing, and the powerful bonds of family. Based on letters from Lauren Fox's own family, Send for Me is a major departure for this acclaimed author, an epic and intimate exploration of mothers and daughters, duty and obligation, hope and forgiveness.
Lauren Fox earned an MFA from the University of Minnesota and is author of the novels Days of Awe, Still Life with Husband, and Friends Like Us. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, The Rumpus, and Salon.
Boswell Book Company and the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee present an evening with author María Amparo Escandón for a conversation about her fun, fast-paced novel of a Mexican American family wrestling with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal. In conversation with Daniel Goldin of Boswell and Tessa Bartels of the HPGM Book Club.
Click here to register now for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And be sure to order a copy of LA Weather now, too! Ask for your signed bookplate.
Storm clouds are on the horizon. LA is parched, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters - Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude, Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt, and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers - are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way.
Daniel says, “LA Weather’s outrageous plot twists have a telenovela quality, as the Alvarados contend with just about every complication a family can face, except for maybe locusts. But they make it through (mostly), a little wiser for the journey, and it’s hard not to fall in love with them and all their messiness.” And Boswellian Kay Wosewick adds, “This LA-set story will quickly set its claws and pull you through a manic year in the lives of a well-off Mexican American family. You will smile gleefully as the family completes the eventful year with stronger bonds than ever.”
María Amparo Escandón is author of Esperanza’s Box of Saints and González & Daughter Trucking Co and was named a writer to watch by both Newsweek and the LA Times.
Milwaukee’s award-winning spiritual writer and Saint Francis scholar Jon M Sweeney joins us for a discussion of his latest work, a consideration of the spiritual practices that can be found in the life and teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi.
This event has been converted to virtual and will be broadcast via Zoom Webinar. Please click here to register for this virtual event now. Everyone who registered for this as an in-person event will be signed up for the virtual event. You can also preorder your copy of Feed the Wolf, and Sweeney will be autographing our copies of the book. Yes, we can take personalization requests, too!
In Feed the Wolf, Sweeney explores fifteen spiritual practices drawn from the essential wisdom of Saint Francis to ease fear and uncertainty in our twenty-first-century lives: touch what is frightening; refuse power, have nothing to lose, spend time in the woods, pray with the moon, turn toward what's simple, and more. The world's most popular saint has illuminated a peaceful path forward for those of us navigating today's precarious times.
Each spiritual lesson from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi begins with an invitation to embrace the wolf - to consider another viewpoint, to befriend our fears, and to discover something new. The path Saint Francis discovered is the way of faith made tangible - and his way was always a way of peace.
Jon M Sweeney is author of thirty books, including The Complete Francis of Assisi, and is considered the authoritative voice on the life and spirituality of Saint Francis. He is also a regular speaker at literary and spirituality conferences.
Join us for an in-person event that’s great for kids and adults with Anna Lardinois, founder of Gothic Milwaukee, featuring her latest book that’s full of ghost stories from the Brew City. So creepy, fun, and full of mystery!
This event is live and in-person, and will take place outside the store, weather permitting. Due to our limited in-person capacity, registration is required - click here to visit ghostlymke.eventbrite.com and register now. If we are close to capacity, admission will be prioritized for those who have registered. And order your copy of The Ghostly Tales of Milwaukee, too!
Milwaukee's haunted history comes to life - even when the main players are dead. Explore the caves below the Miller Brewery to see if they're really haunted. Listen at the Lake Park Lions Bridge to hear the laughter of ghostly children. Or tiptoe through La Belle Cemetery to see if the spirit of a young girl throws herself into Fowler Lake (she usually does). Dive into this spooky chapter book for suspenseful tales of bumps in the night, paranormal investigations, and the unexplained. Just be sure to keep the light on.
Anna Lardinois tingles the spines of Milwaukee locals and visitors through her haunted, historical walking tours known as Gothic Milwaukee. The former English teacher is an ardent collector of stories, an avid walker and a sweet treat enthusiast. She happily resides in a historic home in Milwaukee that, at this time, does not appear to be haunted.
Boswell presents a special YA, Boswell! evening with Wisconsin author Sara Biren for a conversation about her latest romance novel about a teen rock star who returns home to Minnesota and finds himself falling for a local farm girl. In conversation with Andrew DeYoung, author of The Exo Project, winner of the Minnesota Book Award.
Click right here and register right now for this virtual event. You can also order your copy of Bend in the Road now.
Seventeen-year-old Gabe’s life is a mess. Once an overnight sensation, his second album has tanked, he just got dumped by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, and he’s desperate to come up with the money he needs to fix a major screwup. The only place he can be free from the paparazzi and rumors is the family farm in Minnesota.
Seventeen-year-old Juniper’s family has managed that farm since before she was born. When Juniper learns that Gabe’s about to inherit the farm, she worries that he’ll sell it. She comes up with a plan to get close to him and stop that from happening. At first, Juniper and Gabe couldn’t be more at odds, but the more time they spend with each other, the more they grow to like each other. Can they set aside their differences to do what’s best for the farm and each other?
Sara Biren is author of The Last Thing You Said and Cold Day in the Sun. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Andrew DeYoung is author of the forthcoming book The Temps.
Boswell presents an evening with food and culture writer Matt Siegel for a conversation about his new book with Milwaukee culinary historian Kyle Cherek. The Secret History of Food offers up an irreverent, surprising, and entirely entertaining look at the little-known history surrounding the foods we know and love.
Click right here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Secret History of Food right now, too!
Is Italian olive oil really Italian, or are we dipping our bread in lamp oil? Why are we masochistically drawn to foods that can hurt us, like hot peppers? Far from being a classic American dish, is apple pie actually… English? The Secret History of Food is a rich and satisfying exploration of the historical, cultural, scientific, sexual, and, yes, culinary subcultures of this most essential realm. Siegel is an armchair Bourdain, armed not with a chef’s knife but with knowledge derived from medieval food-related manuscripts, ancient Chinese scrolls, and obscure culinary journals. Funny and fascinating, this is essential reading for all foodies and anyone else who, well, eats.
Daniel Goldin offers this recommendation: “Vanilla ice cream, breakfast cereal, corn, tomatoes, and several other foods become the jumping-off point for Matt Siegel’s meandering and quirky food history. How is honey kosher if most samples likely have traces of unkosher insects? Why did Nathan’s Famous employ college students who dress like doctors? Could it possibly be true that the USDA is responsible for open-faced sandwiches, but the FDA monitors closed-faced ones? So much food ephemera! Best of all, there are often interesting points to be made about human nature slathered between the easily transportable iceberg lettuce and tasteless-but-great looking tomato. A multi-course feast of delights!
Matt Siegel has written about food and culture for publications including the Atlantic and the Paris Review. Previously an English professor, he now writes full time and consults with brands in the food and beverage industries. His dog’s name is Waffles. Kyle Cherek was the host of Wisconsin Foodie on PBS and has twice been awarded the Wisconsin Broadcast Association Award for his compelling essays on food culture.
Boswell Book Company is thrilled to present a virtual event with Amor Towles, the bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, for a conversation about his new book, a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America. Towles will chat with Ann Patchett, author of novels such as The Dutch House and Commonwealth. Patchett's Nashville bookstore Parnassus Books is hosting this event, along with The Book Stall of Winnetka, Blue Willow Bookshop of Houston, and Boswell.
Please click here to purchase your tickets at towlesmke.eventbrite.com. Each ticket costs $30 and includes a copy of The Lincoln Highway and admission for one electronic device. $5 from each ticket will be donated back to BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which helps booksellers in need. Shipping and pickup information on the ticketing website.
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction - to New York City.
Advance praise for The Lincoln Highway is glowing. Tana French calls it, “An absolute beauty of a book. Every character is a gem, the many locations spring to vivid life, the book is an intricate and moving exploration of journeys and the infinite unexpected turns they can take - and somehow Towles makes it all seem effortless. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again.” And from Kirkus’s starred review: “even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow… An exhilarating ride through Americana.”
Amor Towles is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow. The two novels have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Ann Patchett is author of seven novels, including Commonwealth, State of Wonder, and Bel Canto, as well as three books of nonfiction. She’s been awarded the Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among many others.
Enjoy an evening with Zoraida Córdova, author of a contemporary fantasy drama that follows three cousins who retrace their family lineage from Four Rivers, USA, to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in an attempt to discover the source of their power and why their family is being murdered by an unknown entity.
Click here to register for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina now, too! Click here to purchase from Boswell, or click here to purchase from La Revo Books, a new Milwaukee bookstore focused on carefully selecting new and used books for and by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
Córdova’s book is being called One Hundred Years of Solitude meets Practical Magic. The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won't ever leave their home in Four Rivers - even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.
Early praise for the book includes this from VE Schwab, author of of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: “An expertly woven tale of family power, threaded with as much mystery as magic. This book is simply exquisite.” And from Pulitzer finalist Kelly Link: “I fell hard for this book. The dynamic, powerful mixture of secrets, stories, and longing that bind families together is Zoraida Córdova’s narrative engine, but her ability to evoke landscape and the numinous make The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina feel like an invitation into an enchanted garden.”
Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and romance novels such as Zoey Castile. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, and is the coeditor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, as well as the cohost of the writing podcast Deadline City.
The October entry in the locally loved Readings from Oconomowaukee virtual event series presents Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane, a 1970s coming of age novel about a girl nannying for a progressive couple who are secretly hiding a rock star for the summer.
This virtual event will be broadcast via Zoom – click here and register for it now! And be sure to order your copy of Mary Jane now, too! Click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from Books & Company.
In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess. The doctor has cleared his summer for one job - helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in. Mary Jane gets a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy).
Boswellian Margaret Kennedy loves this book! Here’s her take: “Amidst the clashing viewpoints and lifestyles of 1970s America one teen girl tries to make sense of it all and find out who she wants to be. Mary Jane is surprised and strangely delighted when the Cones turn out to be a bohemian, openly amorous rock n' roll couple with a rock star and his famous wife living in the attic. Throughout the summer, Mary Jane encounters and embraces new music, new clothes, and a new way of looking at herself and what she wants to be, all while inadvertently helping the Cone family and their guests grow as well. A wonderful read about found families and finding yourself - this is already one of my favorites of the year!"
Jessica Anya Blau is author of four novels, including The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and, most recently, The Trouble with Lexie. Her novels have been recommended and featured on CNN, NPR, the Today show, and in Vanity Fair, Cosmo, and Oprah’s Summer Reads. Anya Blau co-wrote the script for Love on the Run and has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, and The Fashion Institute of Technology.
All event times are Central Time. To see a full event listing, visit our Upcoming Events page here. Read posts from The Boswellians (our bookseller contributed) here and Boswell and Books (from Daniel Goldin) right here blogs, and visit our blog post archive right here.