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Did you miss a virtual event you were excited about? Find recordings of a number of our past virtual events on our Event Video page
The Shorewood Public Library presents an even with author Zhanna Slor, whose debut novel is a unique literary mystery set in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood during the recession of 2008. Slor, born in the Soviet Union, moved to Shorewood in the early 90s and grew up there as a regular user of the library. Her novel weaves together the tale of two immigrant sisters with very different ideas of home. Masha remembers her childhood in the former USSR, but found her life and heart in Israel's Orthodox community. Anna, a young artist and student, is contacted by a stranger from their hometown and then disappears. Masha must come back to Wisconsin to find her. Visit the Shorewood Public Library’s website right here to find more information and to join this event, broadcast via Zoom. Here's the link.
Zhanna Slor’s work has been published in literary magazines, including Ninth Letter, Another Chicago Magazine, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and she is a frequent contributor to The Forward. She and her husband recently returned to live in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee author Todd Lazarski chats about his novel about a guy who’s an obsessive eater, half-hopeful novelist, reluctant food journalist, and football fanatic who returns home to Buffalo for maybe the last time. With Justin Kern, editor of The Milwaukee Anthology.
Click right here to register for this virtual event now. And purchase your copy of Spend It All today, too!
Teddy Rawski journeys to his hometown of Buffalo and ponders nascent adulthood's quandaries on the road over too many drinks and a beleaguered stomach. Set against the big-shouldered indifference of his present Chicago, between scattered half-stabs at professionalism, an unamused editor, unpolished manuscript, and a sputtering late-20's romance, Teddy wonders on a last ditch trip. For an assignment, maybe. To end it all, possibly. But also for a check on the tattered family he left behind, and the broken Buffalo Bills responsible for all life failures.
This is a story of the busted-gut death of a childhood, any idealism, all good health. Rife with chicken wings, pizza, and Proust, it is a reflection on football and futility, colored by a throat-punching uncle, slice-counting brother, and a smattering of ghosts and interior dialogue diarrhea. Spend It All is an after-hours vomitorium of fandom and frustration, a last-call fever dream of ideas and appetites.
Todd Lazarski is a freelance writer and the author of the novel Make the Road by Walking. Milwaukee writer Justin Kern has published work in three Belt anthologies as well as Utne Reader, Great Lakes Review, and Milwaukee Record.
Boswell welcomes Joan Silber author of novels such as Improvement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She'll chat about her new novel about which Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House, says, “It would be impossible to overstate just how good this book is." We're excited to have Silber in conversation with her longtime friend, fellow writer, and fellow instructor at the Warren Wilson MFA program CJ Hribal.
Click this link sentence to register for this virtual event. And preorder a copy of Secrets of Happiness for 20% off list price, too!
When a man discovers his father in New York has long had another, secret, family - a wife and two kids - the interlocking fates of both families lead to surprise loyalties, love triangles, and a reservoir of inner strength. Lithub calls it one of their Most Anticipated Books of 2021, and says, “A new Joan Silber book is always a reason to celebrate. Her latest is the story of a family - two families - exploding after a years-long infidelity comes to light, told in intersecting, polyphonic voices, like a tapestry of those affected.”
Ethan, a young lawyer in New York, learns that his father has long kept a second family: a Thai wife and two kids living in Queens. In the aftermath of this revelation, Ethan’s mother spends a year working abroad, returning much changed, as events introduce her to the other wife. Across town, Ethan’s half-brothers are caught in their own complicated journeys: one brother’s penchant for minor delinquency has escalated, and the other must travel to Bangkok to bail him out, while the bargains their mother has struck about love and money continue to shape their lives. Evoking a generous and humane spirit, and a story that ranges over three continents, Secrets of Happiness elucidates the ways people marshal the resources at hand to forge their own forms of joy.
Joan Silber is author of nine books of fiction, including Fools, which was long-listed for the National Book Award, The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for The Story Prize. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the Warren Wilson MFA program. CJ Hribal is author of The Company Car, which won the Anne Powers Book Award, and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Prize in Short Fiction. He is Professor of English at Marquette University.
Enjoy an evening featuring Sanjena Sathian in conversation with Milwaukee’s Rajurkar, author of American Betiya. Sathian’s debut novel is a brilliant Indian-American magical realist coming of age story and the debut of a major talent.
Click right here to register for this virtual event now. And preorder your copy of Gold Diggers for 20% off list price, too!
Gold Diggers is a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation in to questions of identity and coming of age that tears down American shibboleths. Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere, says “In a perfect alchemical blend of familiar and un-, Gold Diggers takes a wincingly hilarious coming-of-age story, laces it with magical realism and a trace of satire, and creates a world that’s both achingly familiar and marvelously inventive. Written with such assurance it’s hard to believe it’s Sanjena Sathian’s debut, this is a dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise novel about the seductive powers—and dangers—of borrowed ambition.”
Spanning two continents, two coasts, and four epochs, Gold Diggers expertly balances social satire and magical realism in a classic striver story that skewers the model minority narrative, asking what a community must do to achieve the American dream. In razor sharp and deeply funny prose, Sathian perfectly captures what it is to grow up as a member of a family, of a diaspora, and of the American meritocracy. This novel both entertains and levels a critique of what Americans of color must do to make their way.
Sanjena Sathian is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, an alumna of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and a former Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She has also worked as a journalist in San Francisco and in Mumbai. Anuradha D Rajurkar is the Milwaukee-based author of American Betya.
Kirstin Valdez Quade joins us for a conversation about her new novel, that’s been named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021 by Oprah Magazine, The Week, The Millions, and more. In conversation with Jennifer Morales, author of Meet Me Halfway, the current selection of the Wisconsin Public Radio Larry Meiller Book Club.
Click right here to register for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of The Five Wounds for 20% off list price, too!
In Valdez Quade’s novel, a book expanded from her story of the same name that appeared in The New Yorker, it's Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans. Their reunion sets her own life down a startling path.
From Luis Alberto Urrea, author of House of Broken Angels: “In this cruel and divisive era, Kirstin Valdez Quade has brought healing and regeneration with The Five Wounds. It is bracing and wise, and it breaks us in the best ways. Then builds us back up again. It should find many grateful readers.” And from Boswellian Jen Steele: “Kirstin Valdez Quade tells a captivating story about family, loss, redemption and the power of faith. I could not put this book down! You will laugh, cry, get angry, and want to hug these characters. Masterful storytelling!”
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, winner of the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. She is the recipient of a 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation, the Rome Prize, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Best American Short Stories, and The O Henry Prize Stories. She teaches at Princeton University. Jennifer Morales is a Wisconsin-based author and performance artist. She holds an MFA from the Creative Writing program at Antioch University-Los Angeles and her writing has appeared in Milwaukee Noir and Cutting Edge: Female Noir.
Shorewood author Hayes joins us for a conversation about his latest book, which chronicles an oft-overlooked part of Lloyd Wright’s architectural legacy - his forays into affordable housing. In conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Catherine Boldt. Cohosted by Shorewood Historical Society and Shorewood Public Library
Click here and register now for this virtual event. And preorder your copy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House now, too!
While the grandiosity of Fallingwater and elegance of Taliesin are recognized near universally, Frank Lloyd Wright’s work on his American System-Built Homes is less appreciated. The project fell apart following wartime shortages and disputes between the architect and his developer. While continuing to advocate for the design of affordable small homes, Wright never spoke publicly of ASBH. As a result, the heritage of many Wright-designed homes was forgotten.
When Nicholas and Angela Hayes became stewards of the unassuming Elizabeth Murphy House, they began to unearth evidence that ultimately revealed a one-hundred-year-old fiasco fueled by competing ambitions and conflicting visions of America. The couple’s forensic pursuit of the truth untangled the ways Wright’s ASBH experiment led to the architect’s most productive, creative period. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Forgotten House includes a wealth of drawings and photographs, many of which have never been previously published. Historians, architecture buffs, and Wrightophiles alike will be fascinated by this untold history that fills a crucial gap in the architect’s oeuvre.
Nicholas D Hayes leads innovation at a water technology company and is the award-winning author of Saving Sailing. A columnist for Sailing Magazine, he lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.
Linda Rui Feng chats about her new book, a lyrical novel set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution. This is a novel that’s won over the critics (starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist) and booksellers alike – our own Daniel calls it quietly beautiful.
Click right here to register for this virtual event right now. And order your copy of Swimming Back to Trout River from Boswell today, too!
1986 in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a letter from her parents who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing determination to stay in the idyllic countryside with her beloved grandparents threatens to derail her family’s shared future. What Junie doesn’t know is that her parents, Momo and Cassia, are newly estranged from one another in their adopted country, each holding close private tragedies and histories from the tumultuous years of their youth during China’s Cultural Revolution. In order for Junie’s father to fulfill his promise, he must make one last desperate attempt to reunite all three members of the family before Junie’s birthday, even if it means bringing painful family secrets to light.
From the aforementioned Booklist review: “Feng's lithe debut moves with grace from Communist China to San Francisco and the Great Plains, and from the 1960s to the 1980s, as it follows four interlocked lives… With the lightest of touches, Feng vividly portrays the experience of living in China during Mao's rule as well as the pressures of being a new immigrant. Looking deeply into the ‘invisible mesh’ that links her characters' lives, Feng weaves a plot both surprising and inevitable, with not a word to spare.”
Born in Shanghai, Linda Rui Feng has lived in San Francisco, New York, and Toronto. She is a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Universities and is currently Professor of Chinese Cultural History at the University of Toronto. She has been twice awarded a MacDowell Fellowship for her fiction, and her prose and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Fiddlehead, Kenyon Review Online, and Washington Square Review.
Boswell hosts an evening of conversation featuring Jerry Enzler, former Founding Director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, for his biography of the iconic frontiersman and mountain man of the American West, Jim Bridger. In conversation with historian Douglas Brinkley, author of books such as American Moonshot and The Wilderness Warrior.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And purchase your copy of Jim Bridger from Boswell now, too!
Even among iconic frontiersmen like John C Frémont, Kit Carson, and Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger stands out. Straddling the fur trade era and the age of exploration, Bridger lived the life legends are made of. In a biography that finally gives this outsize character his due, Enzler taps newly discovered sources and takes this frontiersman’s full measure for the first time and tells a story that would do Jim Bridger proud.
Born in 1804 and orphaned at thirteen, Bridger made his first western foray in 1822, traveling up the Missouri River with Mike Fink and a hundred enterprising young men to trap beaver. At twenty he “discovered” the Great Salt Lake. At twenty-one he was the first to paddle the Bighorn River’s Bad Pass. At twenty-two he explored the wonders of Yellowstone. Though he could neither read nor write, Bridger mapped the tribal boundaries for the Great Indian Treaty of 1851. Enzler charts Bridger’s path to becoming “King of the Mountain Men.”
Jerry Enzler served as founding director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium for thirty-seven years. He has written and curated national exhibitions and films and has published historical articles on Jim Bridger, river history, and more. Douglas Brinkley is Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair and Professor of History at Rice University, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and CNN’s official historian.
Madison-based essayist Swanson chats about his debut book of reportage, in which he embarks on a personal quest across the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate. He’ll chat with Steven Wright, author of the novel The Coyotes of Carthage.
Click right here on this red sentence to register for this Zoom event. And preorder your copy of Lost in Summerland for 20% off list price now, too! We'll take personalized autograph requests for orders placed before May 14th.
Traversing the country, Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country’s political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs.
From Publishers Weekly: “Journalist Swanson investigates in his searching debut what he sees as America’s pervasive spiritual restlessness and alienation. Full of measured skepticism, Swanson’s sharp interrogation of contemporary American life hits hard and true.”
Barrett Swanson’s essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Travel Writing. He was the Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Swanson grew up in the Milwaukee area.
The Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, sponsored by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company, welcome Mary Alice Monroe back to Milwaukee for a virtual, BYOS (bring-your-own-snacks) event for her latest novel, the latest in her New York Times bestselling Beach House series.
Tickets are $5 plus sales tax and ticket fee, or upgrade to admission-with-book for $28. Books can be picked up at Boswell or, for an additional fee, shipped via USPS media mail. $5 from each ticket will be donated to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Purchase your tickets now at monroelynden.eventbrite.com.
This tender and compassionate novel follows the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, a spirit of unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the season. Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature sensitive storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.
From Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers: "Like so many of you, I start my summer season with the enchanting novels of Mary Alice Monroe. I'm a devoted fan of her magical depictions of the lowcountry and the charms of her characters.”
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books and an active conservationist. She’s been inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the Southern Book Prize for Fiction. She is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.
Boswell Book Company hosts an evening with award-winning poet and screenwriter Brian Broome for a conversation about his debut memoir, a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction. He’ll chat with Chris Lee of Boswell Book Company.
Click right here to register for this Zoom virtual event now. And preorder your copy of Punch Me Up to the Gods for 20% off list price, too!
Broome’s memoir chronicles his early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys, his move to Pittsburgh as a young man, and his years of self-discovery, indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use. He recounts his experiences in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory to reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.
From Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: “obliterates what we thought were the limitations of not just the American memoir, but the possibilities of the American paragraph.” And from Boswell's Chris Lee, himself a former Pittsburgher: “Generous, fearless, funny, and gentle, Broome chronicles his own story to understand how and where he (along with so many other Black outsiders) doesn’t fit in America. His sentences are pure style, a joy to read, and he slips between as many voices as he has existences: Black, gay, poor, masculine, abused, uncool, scared, addicted, ashamed, angry, proud, and full of joy. And on and on. Broome interrogates the world with the rigor and tenacity of the greats, and Punch Me Up to the Gods is everything a great memoir should be.”
Brian Broome is a poet, screenwriter, and the K Leroy Irvis Fellow in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism. Chris Lee holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Boswell presents a conversation between two authors – Yelena Moskovich, author of the novels Virtuoso and The Natashas, and Kate Zambreno, author of Heroines and Green Girl.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast on Zoom. And purchase your copy of both authors from Boswell now – click the titles above to order.
In Yelena Moskovich's spellbinding new novel we meet Olga, who immigrates as part of the Soviet diaspora to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Publishers Weekly: “Moskovich mystifies with this vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991... The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender."
And from Kate Zambreno, a haunting and compulsively readable portrait of creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. She photographs her neighborhood, haunts bookstores and galleries, and records her thoughts in a notebook that soon subsumes her work on the novel. As winter closes in, a series of disturbances - the comings and goings of enigmatic figures, the burglary of her apartment - leaves her unsettled… until an intense and tender disruption changes everything.
Yelena Moskovich is a novelist, playwright, critic, and curator for the 2018 Los Angeles Queer Biennial. She has written for New Statesman and Paris Review and in French for Mixt(e) Magazine, and won the 2017 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize. Kate Zambreno is author of several acclaimed books and her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, VQR, and elsewhere. She teaches in the writing programs at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.
Boswell hosts Wisconsin YA author Jamie Pacton for a chat with Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters. Pacton’s new novel is the story of a teen who wins the lottery and the suspicion and jealousy in her small town - a funny, poignant reflection on what money can and can’t fix. Perfect for Rainbow Rowell fans.
Click right here to register for this virtual event. And purchase a copy of Lucky Girl foir 20% off list price now, too!
58,642,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize. Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket or worse. She could let her hoarder mother cash it, but the last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then there’s Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, who declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town. It’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life and has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.
Noelle Salazar, bestselling author of The Flight Girls, says “Lucky Girl is for every person who has ever felt unable to help those they love, stuck and yearning for a better life, and unwilling to give up on themself - or others.” And Joy McCullough adds, “With heart, humor, and honesty, Lucky Girl explores what it truly means to have enough. Jamie Pacton has written another smart, relatable heroine readers will rootfor to the last page (and beyond!).”
Jamie Pacton is author of The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. Elise Bryant earned a BA in Africana studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her MA in special education from Loyola Marymount University. She is author of Happily Ever Afters.
Boswell presents an evening with Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, in conversation with Wisconsinite Clancy, author of The Second Home and the forthcoming Shoulder Season. Rowley has written a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.
Click right here to register for this virtual event now. And preorder your copy of The Guncle for 20% off list price today, too.
Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is overwhelmed. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick's brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly as primary guardian. Despite having "Guncle Rules" ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting isn't solved with treats and jokes, Patrick's eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you're unfailingly human.
The Gunlce is one of O, The Oprah Magazine's "32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021" – the article calls it “a laugh-out-loud heartwarmer.” And Daniel Goldin adds, “As Patrick’s disagreeable sister Clara notes, Patrick is no Rosalind Russell, but that doesn’t stop The Guncle from calling to mind Auntie Mame, notably when the ready-made family has a Christmas-in-July party. I’m well aware that quirky children are a shortcut to sympathy – ask any screenwriter – but Maisie and Grant (or Grantelope; nicknames don’t become Maisie) do a particularly good job of forcing Patrick to overcome his grief-fueled-malaise. And like Rowley’s novel, they are also charming and funny.”
Steven Rowley is author of The Editor and Lily and the Octopus. He has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, and screenwriter. Rowley is a graduate of Emerson College. Christina Clancy is the Wisconsinite author of The Second Home and the forthcoming novel Shoulder Season and holds a PhD from UWM.
Boswell hosts an evening featuring Jordan Ellenberg, Professor of Mathematics at UW-Madison and the New York Times-bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong. He’ll chat about his latest, a far-ranging exploration of the power of geometry. In conversation with retired NFL player Urschel, who holds a PhD in Mathematics from MIT and is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institue for Advanced Studies. Cohosted by the UWM Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Please click right here to register for this event now. And preorder your copy of Shape for 20% off list price now, too!
If you're like most people, geometry is a sterile and dimly remembered exercise you gladly left behind in the dust of ninth grade, along with your braces and active romantic interest in pop singers. If you recall any of it, it's plodding through a series of miniscule steps only to prove some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That's not geometry. Okay, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, which has as much to do with geometry in all its flush modern richness as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel.
Shape reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face. Geometry asks: Where are things? Which things are near each other? How can you get from one thing to another thing? Those are important questions. The word 'geometry' comes from the Greek for measuring the world, and if anything, that's an undersell. Geometry doesn't just measure the world - it explains it. Shape shows us how.
Jordan Ellenberg is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics at UW-Madison. His writing has appeared in Slate, the New York Times, Wired, and more. Urschel has written about advanced statistics for The Players' Tribune. He retired in 2016 from the Baltimore Ravens.
Boswell joins forces with three other independent bookshops to present an evening with Sebastian Junger, author of books such as Tribe and War for a discussion of his new work, Freedom, Junger’s story of a journey on foot through America and a profound rumination on the concept of freedom. Cohosted by Left Bank Books of St Louis, Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville and Downer's Grove, and McLean & Eakin Booksellers of Petoskey.
This is a ticketed event, and admission-plus-book begins at $23.39 (10% off list price of Freedom) plus sales tax and ticket fee. Media mail shipping is available for an additional $4. If you're out of state, we highly recommend choosing USPS priority shipping for $8. Visit jungermke.eventbrite.com to purchase your tickets now!
For much of a year, acclaimed author Sebastian Junger and three friends - a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets - walked the railroad lines of the East Coast. It was an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence. Dodging railroad cops, sleeping under bridges, cooking over fires, and drinking from creeks and rivers, the four men forged a unique reliance on one another.
In his new book, Junger weaves his account of this journey together with primatology and boxing strategy, the history of labor strikes and Apache raiders, the role of women in resistance movements, and the brutal reality of life on the Pennsylvania frontier. Written in exquisite, razor-sharp prose, the result is a powerful examination of the primary desire that defines us.
Sebastian Junger is the New York Times bestselling author of Tribe, War, and The Perfect Storm, and co-director of the documentary Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the winner of a Peabody Award and the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Sarah Chayes is author of On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake.
The June edition of our great Readings from Oconomowaukee series of virtual events presents an afternoon of conversation with Maggie Shipstead, author of the Dylan Thomas Prize-winner Seating Arrangements, for her novel of a daring female aviator in Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London, and modern LA. In conversation with bookstore proprietors Goldin and Baudoin.
Click right here this moment to register for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of Great Circle for 20% off list price – either right here from Boswell, or right here from Books & Company.
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There, Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.
A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Shipstead.
Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center presents an author event with Jo Ivester, a part of their Tapestry Arts & Ideas series of events. In his mid-twenties, Jo’s son Jeremy began taking testosterone and had surgery to remove his breasts. This family memoir shares Jeremy Ivester’s journey from childhood through coming out as transgender and eventually emerging as an advocate for the transgender community. This is not only Jeremy’s story but also that of his family, told from multiple perspectives - those of the siblings who struggled to understand the brother they once saw as a sister, and of the parents who ultimately joined him in the battle against discrimination. Click right here to register for this virtual event.
Jo Ivester is author of the award-winning memoir The Outskirts of Hope, and has led to numerous speaking engagements about racial relations. In the last few years, she has broadened her focus to raise awareness about the transgender community, and now serves on the board of Equality Texas, a non-profit LGBTQ rights organization.
Join us for an evening with Christopher Buehlman, author of books such as Between Two Fires and The Lesser Dead. He’ll chat about his new fantasy novel set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, which takes you on a dazzling fantasy adventure unlike any other. In conversation with Jason Kennedy of Boswell Book Company.
Click this red sentence to head to the registration page right now. And preorder your copy of The Blacktongue Thief for 20% off list price right now, too.
We love Buehlman for his collection of top-notch horror novels and for his days as an insult comic at Bristol Renaissance Faire when he visited Boswell on his breaks. But this book takes him to another level - as Boswell's Ogi Ubiparivpovic says, "A cut above most other fantasy books, The Blacktongue Thief is a masterclass in world building, storytelling, and humor." and Jason Kennedy says of The Blacktounge Thief, “Christopher Buehlman hasn’t just written a really good epic fantasy; he has taken the reader and dunked them into a world full of joy, wonder, heartbreak, foulness, horror, and hope. Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. The prose! And the dialogue was so perfect, I was laughing out loud from the snark that Kinch Na Shannack narrated his story with, and I was cringing from vicious, nasty goblin attacks or towering giants tossing trees.”
Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler who crosses his path. But today, he has picked the wrong mark. Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva, a survivor from the brutal goblin wars. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.
Christopher Buehlman is an author of books such as The Necromancer’s House, The Suicide Motor Club, and Those Across the River. A comedian and screenwriter, he who tours the country most years, writing and performing at renaissance festivals.
Boswell is excited to welcome fiction writer and essayist Lyndsey Ellis, winner of the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Jackson Literary Award in 2016 and grant recipient from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund in 2018. For this event, Ellis will be in conversation Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton.
Click right here to register for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of Bone Broth from Boswell Book Company, too!
Bone Broth centers on an African-American family navigating the Midwest’s convoluted history and social landscape, set during the civil unrest following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Chris L Terry, author of Black Card, notes that “With a sharp eye for detail that brings every character to bright, shining life, Lyndsey Ellis fearlessly explores the secrets that are a family’s true inheritance.”
Set in a struggling suburb of North St. Louis, Ellis excavates the social and familial issues that one Black family and their loved ones must navigate in order to survive. After the passing of their volatile patriarch, Justine and her adult children find themselves within one another’s daily orbit in trying ways. Through these linked perspectives, Bone Broth delivers the touchstones of an inequitable society: violence, suppression, and the human capacity to continue in the face of extreme adversity. With clear, cutting, biting prose, Ellis explores how trauma affects family dynamics, how it permeates every aspect of life, and how reckoning and reconciliation require the strength and courage to confront all the broken, jagged memories from the past.
Lyndsey Ellis earned a BA in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, and creative change agent. She is author of three collections of poetry and two novels and has recorded four spoken word CDs.
Scotland’s Boswell Book Festival presents a conversation featuring Lady Anne Glenconnor, a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret who will chat about her memoir, which offers unprecedented insights into the royal family that are witty, candid, and dramatic. At times heart-breaking, this is the personal story of a life in a golden cage for a woman with no inheritance. In conversation with broadcaster and biographer Hugo Vickers, author of books such as The Quest for Queen Mary and The Windsors I Knew. For more information about how to tune into this virtual event, visit the festival website right here, right now!
Scotland’s Boswell Book Festival is the world’s premier literary festival dedicated to biography and memoir. Held at the magnificent Dumfries House, the Festival has become one of the most prestigious cultural events in Scotland. Inspired by the great Ayrshire writer James Boswell of Auchinleck, for whom Boswell Book Company is also named. The festival’s unique theme is taken from the genre at which Boswell excelled, namely the telling of people’s life stories.
Milwaukee-based Vo, a Hugo Award finalist and author of the acclaimed novellas When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain and The Empress of Salt and Fortune, visits with her latest, her first full length novel that’s a reinvention of The Great Gatsby as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess focused on a queer Vietnamese adoptee living in a world where important doors are closed to her. Cohosted by the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
Click right here to register now for this virtual event. And order your copy of The Chosen and the Beautiful for 20% off list price
Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society - she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.
But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. Named a Most Anticipated Book for 2021 by Oprah Magazine, USA Today, Buzzfeed, and many more!
Nghi Vo is a Hugo Award and Ignyte Award finalist and the winner of the Crawford Award. She lives in Milwaukee.
Click right here to register for this Zoom event. And preorder your copy of City on the Edge now for 20% off list price.
13-year-old Graham moves with his family to Beirut, a city on the edge of the sea and cataclysmic violence. Inquisitive by nature, Graham suspects his State Department father is a CIA operative and that his family's fragile domesticity is a front for American efforts along the Israeli border. Over the course of 1974, Graham's life will utterly change. Two men are murdered, his parents' marriage disintegrates, and Graham will run afoul of forces he cannot understand.
City on the Edge is elegiac, atmospheric, and utterly authentic. It’s the story of innocents caught within the American net of espionage, of the Lebanese transformed by such interference, of the children who ran dangerously beside the churning wheel of history. A perfect blend of Stephen King’s "The Body" and John le Carre’s A Perfect Spy, it’s a transformative crime story told with heart and genuine experience.
David Swinson is a retired police detective from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, having been assigned to Major Crimes. He is the author of The Second Girl, Crime Song, and Trigger.
Benjamin Percy, author of books like The Dark Net and The Dead Lands, and Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy and West of Here, join us virtually for a novelist-to-novelist chat about their latest books.
Click right here to register for this Zoom-broadcast event. And order both author’s books from Boswell, too – be sure to ask for your autographed bookplates.
Percy’s latest, The Ninth Metal, is a speculative thriller that begins a new Comet Cycle book series in which a powerful new metal arrives on Earth in the wake of a meteor shower, triggering a massive new gold rush in the Midwest and turning life as we know it on its head. Booker Prize-winner Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, says, “Take one part dystopia, one part sci-fi, two parts apocalypse, then ride them roughshod through a bleak and bloody western, and it still wouldn't get close to what Ben Percy does here, which is blow open the core of humanity's dark heart.”
And in Evison's Legends of the North Cascades, a man’s life is unravelling as he finds himself in the grip of PTSD after his third tour of Iraq. When his wife dies, he and his young daughter go off the grid to live in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. In a cave in the Cascade mountains,, his daughter begins to sense the presence of other people, a mother and son who retreated there during the last Ice Age in an effort to survive. Willy Vlautin, author of The Night Always Comes, says, “Only a writer of Evison’s talent could so brilliantly weave the struggles of a PTSD-stricken veteran and the ghosts of an ancient family into such a powerful social commentary. Wildly original and breathtakingly big-hearted.”
Benjamin Percy is author of The Unfamiliar Garden, Red Moon, and the essay collection Thrill Me. He also writes Wolverine and X-Force for Marvel Comics and has won a Whiting Award, a Plimpton Prize, and an NEA fellowship. Jonathan Evison is author of novels such as All About Lulu, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!.
Boswell presents an evening with Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Award winner Sujata Massey for a conversation about her latest Perveen Mistry mystery, The Bombay Prince, with award-winning Milwaukee writer Shauna Singh Baldwin.
Click here to register for this virtual event right now! And preorder your copy of The Bombay Prince right now for 20% off list price.
It’s the 1920s and Bombay’s first female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, is compelled to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as Bombay’s streets erupt in riots to protest British colonial rule.
Massey’s latest installment in this series is earning advance praise already! Kate Quinn, author of The Rose Code, says “Heroine Perveen is much more than a sari-clad Miss Marple: she’s Bombay’s first female lawyer as well as a keenly intelligent sleuth, a trail-blazing woman balancing the weight of family tradition with her own dreams. Perveen’s investigation into the mysterious death of a young university student coincides with the imperial visit of the future Edward VIII, and the resulting trail of breadcrumbs through royal receptions, street riots, squalid jails, and lavish hotels makes for a deliciously satisfying read!”
Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany and grew up in St Paul, Minnesota. She was a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun before becoming a full-time novelist. The first Perveen Mistry novel, The Widows of Malabar Hill, was an international bestseller and won the Agatha, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. Shauna Singh Baldwin is author of Reluctant Rebellions: New and Selected Stories, We Are Not in Pakistan, and What the Body Remembers, winner of the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best Book.
The Lynden Sculpture Garden Women’s Speakers Series presents Rosen with her novel about the rivalry between the Astors and the Vanderbilts during the Gilded Age. Cosponsored by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company.
Tickets are $5, or upgrade to book-with-ticket for $17. Taxes and fees not included. Shipping is available for an additional cost as well. A portion of each admission is donated back to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Purchase your tickets and find more information at rosenlynden.eventbrite.com.
In the glittering world of Manhattan's upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands' infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor - the Mrs. Astor.
But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America's richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? When it carries on just as it has done for generations? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything. Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this gripping novel follows these two women as they try to outdo and outsmart each other at every turn. As Caroline comes closer to defeat and Alva closer to victory, both will make surprising discoveries about themselves and what's truly at stake.
Renée Rosen is the bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer, Windy City Blues, and White Collar Girl. She is also the author of the YA novel Every Crooked Pot.
The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin and Boswell Book Company present a special daytime event with social historian Judith Flanders. Her new book, which tells the story of how the alphabet ordered our world, has been named a Times (UK) Best Book of 2020.
Click right here to register for this virtual event now! And purchase your copy of A Place for Everything from Boswell as well.
Flanders has written the first-ever history of alphabetization, from the Library of Alexandria to Wikipedia. The story of alphabetical order has been shaped by some of history's most compelling characters, such as industrious and enthusiastic early adopter Samuel Pepys and dedicated alphabet champion Denis Diderot. But though even George Washington was a proponent, many others stuck to older forms of classification - Yale listed its students by their family's social status until 1886. And yet, while the order of the alphabet now rules - libraries, phone books, reference books, even the order of entry for the teams at the Olympic Games - it has remained curiously invisible.
With abundant inquisitiveness and wry humor, Flanders traces the triumph of alphabetical order and offers a compendium of Western knowledge, from A to Z. From The New York Times: "Fascinating... A Place for Everything rewards us with a fresh take on our quest to stockpile knowledge. It feels particularly relevant now that search engines are rendering old ways of organizing information obsolete...That we have acquired so much knowledge is astounding; that we have devised ways to find what we need to know quickly is what merits this original and impressive book."
Judith Flanders is author of the bestselling The Invention of Murder, Inside the Victorian Home, and The Victorian City. She is senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, as well as a frequent contributor to the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal.
Edgar nominee Ashley Weaver chats about her delightful new WWII-Era mystery novel, which is set in England and full of spies, murder, romance, and wit, with Milwaukee’s Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of the dashing Jane Wunderly historical mystery series.
Click right here to register now for this virtual event. And order a copy of A Peculiar Combination for 20% off list price now, too.
Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie's cousins are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick's more honorable business as a locksmith can't pay the bills any more.
So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned - until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.
Ashley Weaver is author of the Amory Ames series, which includes novels such as A Deception at Thornecrest, A Most Novel Revenge, and A Dangerous Engagement. She works as the technical services coordinator at the Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, Louisiana. Milwaukee’s Erica Ruth Neubauer is author of Murder at Wedgefield Manor and Murder at the Mena House. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America
Boswell presents an evening with Angeline Boulley, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Firekeeper's Daughter, which NPR called "a powerhouse of a debut." For this special event, Boulley will be in conversation with Margaret Noodin, UWM Professor, Director of Electa Quinney Institute, and author of the Boswell bestseller, What the Chickadee Knows. This event will be a celebration of young adult literature, poetry, and the Anishinaabemowin language.
Click here to register for this virtual event. And be sure to purchase your copy of Boulley and Noodin’s books from Boswell, too!
Boulley’s book, a Reese Witherspoon X Hello Sunshine Book Club YA Pick is soon to be adapted at Netflix for TV by the Obama’s production company, Higher Ground. This is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.
Noodin’s poetry collection is a gesture toward a future that includes Anishinaabemowin and other indigenous languages seeing growth and revitalization. This bilingual collection includes Anishinaabemowin and English, with the poems mirroring one another on facing pages. Boswell’s Tim McCarthy says, “It's a literary gift to suddenly find profound inspiration.”
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Margaret Noodin is Professor of English and American Indian studies at the UWM, where she is Associate Dean of the Humanities. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and Weweni, a collection of bilingual poems in Anishinaabemowin and English.
Lana Bastašić, the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature winner, chats about her debut novel, Catch the Rabbit, a story of estranged friends who take a road trip through post-war Bosnia and into their illusive shared history. In conversation with Chris Lee of Boswell, who says: “A heart-wrenching, wondrous book. Prepare to be split in two – WOW!”
Click right here right now to register for this virtual Zoom event. And order your copy of Catch the Rabbit right now for 10% off list price.
This powerful debut is an emotionally rich excavation of the complicated friendship between two women in a fractured, post-war Bosnia. Catch the Rabbit is something like Lewis Carroll meeting Elena Ferrante in a Balkan wonderland. Here’s Chris’s take: “More than a decade ago, Sara left Bosnia, never to return. Now, drawn back by a long-lost childhood friend, she’s on a road trip through the Western Balkans, her own past, and a landscape scarred by social and political violence. Bastašić wrestles questions of obligation and understanding into one woman’s deeply personal reckoning. It’s a story of how a person can misunderstand her friend and herself and then be completely wrecked and rebuilt as she grows to a new understanding of her world.” And from Publishers Weekly: "This unforgettable tour de force surprises at every turn."
It's been twelve years since inseparable childhood friends Lejla and Sara have spoken, but an unexpected phone call thrusts Sara back into a world she left behind, a language she's buried, and painful memories that rise unbidden to the surface. Embarking on a road trip from Bosnia to Vienna in search of Lejla's exiled brother Armin, the two travel down the rabbit hole of their shared past and question how they've arrived at their present, disparate realities.
Lana Bastašić is a Yugoslav-born writer, and Catch the Rabbit was shortlisted for the 2019 NIN award. She majored in English and holds a master's degree in cultural studies.
Boswell and Books & Company present an evening with Christina Clancy, author of The Second Home and her latest novel, a coming-of-age story set in the 70s at the bygone Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. For this event, she will be in conversation with Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book.
Click right here to register for this virtual event today! And preorder your copy of Shoulder Season now, too.
A small town in Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life.
From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose- and gain - when we leave home. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart.
Christina Clancy is author of The Second Home. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, and in literary journals like Glimmer Train, Pleiades, and Hobart. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and lives in Madison, WI with her family. Liam Callanan is Professor of English at UWM and author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and Listen: Stories.
Boswell is pleased to present another great evening with Anna Lardinois of Gothic Milwaukee. In her latest, Lardinois covers the sensational wrecks and maritime disasters from each of the five Great Lakes.
Click right here to register for this fun virtual event. And purchase your copy of Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes for 10% off list price, too!
It is estimated that over 30,000 sailors have lost their lives in Great Lakes wrecks. For many, these icy, inland seas have become their final resting place, but their last moments live on as a part of maritime history. The tales, all true and well-documented, feature some of the most notable tragedies on each of the lakes. Sailors are a superstitious group, and the stories are sprinkled with omens and maritime protocols that guide decisions made on the water.
Maritime disaster enthusiast Anna Lardinois owns Gothic Milwaukee, the Brew City’s most popular haunted, historical walking tour company. The the 11th Pfister Narrator, Lardinois loves to celebrate the best Milwaukee has to offer. Lardinois is author of Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends and Storied and Scandalous Wisconsin.
Debut author Willa C Richards chats about her novel, set in Milwaukee during the 'Dahmer Summer' of 1991, about two sisters - one who disappears and one who is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. In conversation with UWM Professor Valerie Laken.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And preorder your copy of The Comfort of Monsters now for 20% off list price.
A heartbreaking page-turner for fans of Mary Gaitskill and Gillian Flynn, Richards’ novel tells the story of a broken family looking for answers in the face of the unknown, and asks us to reconsider the power and truth of memory.
Teenaged Dee McBride vanished. Thirty years later, her sister Peg is haunted by her sister's disappearance. Their mother, on her deathbed, is desperate to find out what happened. Soon, Peg back to the past, to those final carefree months when she last saw Dee—the summer the Journal Sentinel called “the deadliest . . . in the history of Milwaukee,” when Jeffrey Dahmer’s heinous crimes dominated the headlines. Digging deep into her memory raises doubts and terrifying questions. Was there anything Peg could have done to prevent Dee’s disappearance? Who was really to blame for the family's loss? And what does it mean to bear witness in a world where even our own stories are inherently suspect?
Willa C Richards is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her story, “Failure to Thrive,” was published by The Paris Review and won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Emerging Writers. Valerie Laken is author of Dream House and Separate Kingdoms.
InkLink Book of East Troy and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company join forces once again to present an Ink/Well Virtual Event. Join us for an evening with Elinor Lipman, one of America's funniest novelists, for her mischievous novel of political satire. In conversation with her long-time friend Jane Hamilton, acclaimed author of The Excellent Lombards and A Map of the World.
Click right here to register for this virtual conversation, broadcast via Zoom. And purchase your copy of Rachel to the Rescue for 10% off list price today, too.
Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticizing Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call "a personal friend of the President." Does that explain the flowers, the get-well wishes at a press briefing, the hush money offered by a lawyer at her hospital bedside?
Rachel’s recovery is soothed by comically doting parents, matchmaking room-mates, a new job as aide to a journalist whose books aim to defame the President, and unexpected love at the local wine store. But secrets leak, and Rachel’s new-found happiness has to make room for more than a little chaos. Will she bring down the President? Or will he manage to do that all by himself?
Elinor Lipman is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including The View from Penthouse B and The Inn at Lake Devine, the essay collection I Can't Complain, and Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. Wisconsin author Jane Hamilton is author of novels such as The Book of Ruth, Laura Rider’s Masterpiece, and Disobedience.
We welcome back SA Cosby, author of Boswellian favorite Blacktop Wasteland, for a conversation about his sophomore novel with mystery critic and author Carole E Barrowman. Cosby's latest is the story of a Black father and a white father who join foces to get revenge on the men who murdered their gay sons.
Click right here to register for this virtual event. And preorder your copy of Razorblade Tears right now for 20% off list price.
We loved our event last summer with the dynamic Cosby, so it’s a thrill to have him return for this provocative, fast-paced novel. Here's more about it: Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid. The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband Derek. Isiah was a gay black man in the American South; Ike couldn’t bring himself to attend his son’s wedding. Derek’s father Buddy Lee is also suffering. He’d barely spoken to his son in five years; he was as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.
Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, alpha-males Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices, about each other and their sons, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.
SA Cosby is author of Blacktop Wasteland, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist, as well as the books Brotherhood of the Blade and My Darkest Prayer. He won an Anthony Award for best short story as well. Carole E Barrowman is Director of Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno College and a regular contributor on books to WTMJ4’s The Morning Blend. She is coauthor of the Hollow Earth series and has written comics for DC and Titan.
Milwaukee food and travel writer Kristine Hansen chats about Wisconsin Farms and Farmer's Markets: Tours, Trails and Attractions, her new book that covers Badger State farm stays, pick your owns, trail rides, farming museums, county fairs, cheese trails, dairy centers, wine tastings, petting zoos, tree farms, farmer's markets, and so much more.
Click this sentence now to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And order your copy of Wisconsin Farms and Farmers Markets for 10% off list price, too.
With its fertile soil and more than a century of agricultural heritage, Wisconsin ranks #2 in the nation for its number of organic farms, second only to California. From the boho-chic Driftless Region to cherry orchards hugging Lake Michigan in Door County, not to mention pizza farms nestled along the Mississippi River, the Dairy State is the ideal vacation for farm-loving travelers in search of authentic culinary experiences. Whether it’s stepping into a cranberry bog or sipping cider fermented from antique apples, this book’s profiles of farms (and its farmers) has that itinerary covered. The agritourism opportunities abound throughout the state.
Kristine Hansen is a nationally recognized food and travel writer who has covered Wisconsin’s cheese producers for Travel + Leisure, Fodors, and Cheese Professor. Her writing has appeared in Time Magazine, Midwest Living, and Milwaukee Magazine. She is the author of Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook: Creamy, Cheesy, Sweet, and Savory Recipes from the State’s Best Creameries.
Join us for a special Readings from Oconomowaukee afternoon featuring Mike Gayle, author of a delightful novel about Jamaican immigrant Hubert, who rediscovers the world he'd turned his back on this warm, funny novel. Cohosted by Books & Company of Oconomowoc, this is our monthly series readers have been loving in which we host authors for a conversation with bookstore proprietors Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin. Gayle joins us all the way from Birmingham, UK.
Click here to register for this virtual conversation, broadcast on Zoom. And order your copy of All the Lonely People, offered at 20% off list price by both Boswell (click here) and Books & Company (or click here).
Here’s Daniel’s recommendation for this book: “Hubert Bird is an 84-year-old widower living in Bromley. Every week his daughter Rose calls from Australia, and he entertains her with stories of his friends. Only one problem – he’s lying. So when Rose tells him she’s coming to visit, he realizes he’s got a limited time to make some real friends, perhaps starting with the new neighbor, a single woman, and her daughter. The story jumps back and forth and time, where we learn that he once had a wife named Joyce, a best friend named Gus, and a son named David in his life. What happened to them? And what will happen to Hubert as he’s slowly roped into a town-wide anti-loneliness crusade. This story, equal parts sad, happy, and funny, also shines a light on the indignities that a Jamaican immigrant would have suffered in London. Hubert’s spirit, despite numerous incidents that would break another person, is what keeps him going, the same spirit that makes All the Lonely People compelling reading.
This is the book fans of A Man Called Ove have been waiting for. With the origin of Hubert’s isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long? All the Lonely People is by turns a funny and moving meditation on love, race, old age, and friendship that will not only charm and uplift, but also remind you of the power of ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference.
Mike Gayle wrote an advice column for a teenage girls' magazine before becoming Features Editor for another teen magazine. He has written for a variety of publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and Cosmo. He has written thirteen novels, which have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Please visit our Boswell-Run Book Club page for an updated schedule of our book club discussions.
Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to arrive early.