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To that end, please explore the following list of suggestions, many of which are available through the McBean Library. Please browse through to see what titles catch your interest, find them in your local public library or bookstore, then put up your feet, relax and enjoy your summer reads! If you need help or further assistance, please contact the Library Director, Mrs.

Kate Parker. A unique adaptation of the historical narrative genre, the novel blends three fictional American families and various actual historical figures into a framework that revolves around events, characters and ideas important in U. Upcoming Events. Parent Portal. General Inquiries. Admission Inquiries. Summer Reading. First published in and set in South Africa during the s and s, The Power of One tells the story of an Anglo-African boy who, through the course of the story, is sent to boarding school. Being the only English speaker in the largely Afrikaner school, he soon becomes the target of the other boys.

This novel depicts the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion in Umuofia—a fictional group of nine villages in Nigeria, inhabited by the Igbo ethnic group. In addition it focuses on his three wives, his children, and the influences of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on his traditional community. African American. In a small Cajun community in s Louisiana, a young black man is about to go to the electric chair for murder. A white shopkeeper had died during a robbery gone bad; though the young man on trial had not been armed and had not pulled the trigger, in that time and place, there could be no doubt of the verdict or the penalty.

American History. Particularly recommended for 9th and 10th grades: The Boat by Nam Le. The Boat catches people in moments of extremis, confronted by death or loss or terror or all three. In her first novel, award-winning Indian screenwriter Arundhati Roy conjures a whoosh of wordplay that rises from the pages like a brilliant jazz improvisation.

God of Small Things is nominally the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and the rest of their family, but the book feels like a million stories spinning out indefinitely. Asian American. This heartbreaking, bracingly unsentimental debut describes in poetic detail the travails of a Japanese family living in an internment camp during World War II, raising the specter of wartime injustice in bone-chilling fashion.

The Woman Warrior is a pungent, bitter, but beautifully written memoir of growing up Chinese American in Stockton, California. Descended from the last Emperor of Iran, Satrapi is nine when fundamentalist rebels overthrow the Shah. A graphic novel. Particularly recommended for 11th and 12th grades: The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Published in , this is the memoir of the American black militant religious leader and activist who was born Malcolm Little.

Written by Alex Haley, who had conducted extensive audiotaped interviews with Malcolm X just before his assassination in , the book gained renown as a classic work on black American experience. Boarding School. This true account of coming of age in an English boarding school, by an acclaimed young writer, is reminiscent of such books as A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye.

Old School is at once a celebration of literature and delicate hymn to a lost innocence of American life and art. Set in a New England prep school in the early s, the novel imagines a final, pastoral moment before the explosion of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the assassination of John F.

Kennedy, and the suicide of Ernest Hemingway. Particularly recommended: The Tortilla Curtain by T. In this explosive and timely novel, T. Boyle explores an issue that is at the forefront of the political arena. He confronts the controversy over illegal immigration head-on, illuminating through a poignant, gripping story the people on both sides of the issue, the haves and the have-nots. Chick Lit. Civil War. Particularly recommended: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. Tells the story of W. Set in a small Southern town during the Depression, this novel follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus—three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

Particularly recommended for 11th and 12th grades: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Coming of Age. John Grady Cole is a year-old boy who leaves his Texas home when his grandfather dies. With his parents already split up and his mother working in theater out of town, there is no longer reason for him to stay. He and his friend Lacey Rawlins ride their horses south into Mexico; they are joined by another boy, the mysterious Jimmy Blevins, a year-old sharpshooter.

Contemporary Fiction. Particularly recommended for 11th and 12th grades: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Frequently finding themselves in Cambridge, Mass. Particularly recommended: Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard. When Jack Foley, a career bank robber, surfaces after tunneling out of a medium-security penitentiary in Florida, he comes face to face with Karen Sisco, a beautiful federal marshal. Eco Fiction. Particularly recommended: Zodiac by Neal Stephenson. Taylor particularly wants to nab the polluters of Boston Harbor, whose toxic sludge he monitors by zipping from illegal pipeline to illegal pipeline in his inflatable Zodiac raft.

Edgy Fiction. Particularly recommended: White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Focuses on the later lives of two wartime friends — the Bangladeshi Samad Iqbal and the Englishman Archie Jones, and their families in London. Go Set a Watchman , by Harper Lee 6. Circling the Sun , by Paula McLain 9.

Program of the 31st Annual

Bream Gives me Hiccups , by Jesse Eisenberg Armada , by Ernie Cline Ryan Stradal The Fishbowl, by Bradley Somer The Cartel , by Don Winslow While it's got a pub date of September 8, hence the lack of mainstream reviews, Bream Gives me Hiccups , the new collection from Jesse Eisenberg, rolled into our store this week, and unlike the larger distribution channels, there's no timeline on when we should put the books out.

The title comes from a series of stories Eisenberg wrote for McSweeneys , about a nine-year-old restaurant reviewer that reminds me a bit of Steven Millhauser's Edwin Mullhouse or perhaps a more even-keeled Simon Rich. But this is just one part of the new collection. Expect to see some strong reviews, being that the author is a well-known actor with not one but two major film projects out. Publishers Weekly calls the stories "charming, deftly written, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Being Mortal , by Atul Gawande 3. Brain Maker , by David Perlmutter 5. The Road to Character , by David Brooks 7. H is for Hawk , by Helen MacDonald 9. Don't worry Jason; I didn't change it in our inventory system. On the work of Jackson, who died at the age of 48, Paul Theroux writes in The New York Times : "Jackson remains one of the great practitioners of the literature of the darker impulses and in a term she uses in Hill House 'the underside of life.

The Martian , by Andy Weir 2. Perfidia, by James Ellroy 3. Reichert event Tue Oct 6, , at East Library 4. Shotgun Lovesongs , by Nickolas Butler 5. The Stone Mattress , by Margaret Atwood 6. Crooked River , by Valerie Geary 7. Euphoria , by Lily King 8. The Boston Girl , by Anita Diamant 9. Talk , by Linda Rosenkrantz It is nice to see that a staff rec can really make a difference.

Without any local connection or an author visit, our sales of Valerie Geary's Crooked River ties for sales at indie bookstores on the Above the Treeline inventory program. Boswellian Conrad Silverberg writes "Every few years, some pompous windbag comes along and informs us that the novel is dead; that there are no new things to say and no new ways to say them. They fail to remember that novels are simply storytelling. They fail to remember that the true test of the novel's worth is not the originality of its form or the uniqueness of its expression, but the strength, beauty and compelling attraction of its tale.

Crooked River delivers. Valerie Geary is the real deal. Our Final Melody , by Marian L. Freund 2. The Enchanted Forest , by Johanna Basford 6. One Man's Wilderness , by Sam Keith 7. Teacher Wars , by Dana Goldstein 9. The Nutshell Library , by Maurice Sendak 5. Appleblossom the Possum , by Holly Goldberg Sloan 6. Palacio 7. Bumble Ardy , by Maurice Sendak Imaginary , by A. Harrold The sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit has just come back and most agree that it is a worthy follow up.

Boswellian Jen Steele writes: "One day Duncan receives a stack of postcards. It seems Duncan has neglected some of his crayons and they've sent him postcards from all kinds of surprising places. These forgotten crayons have wound up under a couch, left by a swimming pool, down in the basement or in the clutches of Duncan's younger brother. Another awesome book from Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers!

Perhaps the Journal Sentinel book section will have some influence. The brooding Rebus of the dark novels never completely disappears — the character study 'Sunday' shows us the veteran detective wrestling with his conscience over killing a cornered drug dealer. But Rankin exposes other facets of this music-loving, pint-imbibing crazy diamond. One criminal is undone by Rebus' recognition of a Hockney print on the wall. In 'Trip Trap,' Rebus uses an incorrect crossword puzzle answer to prove a nasty old fellow was pushed down the stairs. The Club of Al Aswany's title — part DMV and part exclusive preserve for the foreigners owning most of the country's cars — embodies everything that made Gamal Abdel Nasser's revolution necessary.

She writes that "Manzano's book is a sincere, thought-provoking coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in turbulent times and in a home filled with chaos, violence, poverty, but also love. Fri, I am glad to say that after a several year hiatus, I am back on track of reading at least one math book per year. It was both enlightening and mind stretching, using aspects of everyday life to illuminate real problems. It was, as I called it, the Freakonomics of math. The book had an intriguing quote from Ellenberg himself: "Eugenia Cheng's charming new book embeds math in a casing of wry, homespun metaphors: math is like vegan brownies, math is like a subway map, math is like a messy desk.

Cheng is at home with math the way you're at home with brownies, maths, and desks, and by the end of How to Bake Pi, you might be too. Maybe it's because that aqua blue is now being associated with comic literary novels such as Where'd You Go, Bernadette? But as you can see at right, it's also easier to read online, especially in reduced size, with the high contrast and larger subtitle.

How to Bake Pi really uses recipes as a jumping off point into general mathematical theory, and then later on, into Cheng's special interest of category theory, which is often known as the mathematics of mathematics. I love the way Cheng's mind works with these recipes, looking for how to substitute, how to generalize, and the way she takes apart recipes to see exactly why they work. I love the idea of comparing external thinking to internal thinking by comparing shopping to make a particular meal and finding interesting ingredients and then figuring out what to do with them.

I'm going to be completely frank here; lay people will sometimes get slightly lost, but Cheng's teaching method will quickly get you back on track. She has an uncanny way of explaining difficult concepts a testament to her teaching skills, I would think and brings in lots of anecdotes, not just from the recipes, but from her daily life in London and Chicago, the two places she's made home.

Online shopping, tube station routes and prices, running marathons--they all become part of the math class, much the way my Swedish number theory teacher used to like to talk about soccer. Cheng photo credit Round Turner Photography I think that both lay and professional mathematicians will love this book, with a special plug for math teachers at the high school and college level.

This is the kind of book that says, "I will make you less afraid of math" and then does a good job at following through on that promise. If you've heard me long-windedly discuss book display theory, my pet peeve is displays where we simply pull books out of a section that you could have found yourself if you browsed the section.

You've got to bring together books that the browser wouldn't normally find. Since Cheng did such a good job at telling stories, I thought, why not feature math fiction? I knew that we could come up with several titles without even doing research. And then there was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time , by Mark Haddon, which has seen a recent increase in sales because of its new status as a hit Broadway show. Not all mathematicians love the book, but just the chapter headings alone made the book memorable for me.

This led to me noticing that there are two levels of math books, one with mathematicians sort of as general academics, and a higher level of novel that actually uses math in the story. Todd immediately thought of John Green's An Abundance of Katherines , the story of a two guys who take a road trip when one, a former prodigy, has had enough of being dumped and tries to come up with a mathematical theory of love.

Did I describe that right? Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel reminded me of The Housekeeper and the Professo r , the novel of the mathematician who has lost his short-term memory after an accident, who starts tutoring a young boy he nicknames Root. It was one of our first sleeper hits at Boswell after we opened in Of course my first mathematical fiction love was Flatlan d , the classic novel by Edward Abbott.

Let me just say, when I was in junior high, it pretty much blew my mind. At the time, I had no idea it was a parody of Victorian society. See how math and real life intersect? There's also a sequel called Sphereland, which I'm not sure I read. But I was wrong.

According to Wikipedia, the British edition has a recipe for subtraction stew! I mean what could be more appropriate for the blog. It's the story of a line that has a thing for a dot, who in turn is charmed by a squiggle. The author, Paolo Giordano, was a scientist, but the mathematical premise is that the characters, like prime numbers, never quite come together. They is always something between them, much like 11 and Here are some more books with mathematicians as the heroes: Anathem , by Neal Stephenson. No surprise that Stephenson would be dabbling in mathematical theory.

Yes, one of the protagonists is a math student. See, you're not afraid of math after all. Contact , by Carl Sagan. Sagan's most popular novel, which we shelve in science fiction, is about the quest for alien life, and features a mathematician, though of course an astronomer is truly the star of the story. You know the story, about a movie so entertaining you can't do anything else, and how it affects a halfway house and a tennis academy. But did you know there's an extended mathematical proof in the story. I actually have read only one David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System, which of course was I think was an advance reader, and I had no idea who this fellow was.

I just remember liking that it was set in Cleveland. I think I should start each year with a great task like reading An Infinite Jest , but my plan to read Middlemarch fell flat, so these pronouncements can't be trusted. The list continued-- Brazzaville Beach , by William Boyd, The Eight , by Katherine Neville, several novels by Thomas Pynchon but most notably Gravity's Rainbow , but then when I was chatting to someone in the know Professor Ellenberg, it turned out, whose own novel, The Grasshopper King , is not about a mathematician but a poet , he clued me into this exhaustive list of math novels.

Visitors rate their books both on their quality and their mathiness. Compiled by Alex Kasten at the College of Charleston, the list is obsessive and exhaustive and cannot be improved upon. OK, it can be improved in one way--his link to purchase button. Speaking of which, we have a copy in stock of every book I have linked to, at least at the time of posting. If we're out of stock, we should have one back in shortly. If you follow the link in , I cannot guarantee anything.

So there you are, a recipe for numerical and nutritional happiness. Consider making olive oil plum cake, baked Alaska, or raw chocolate cookies, and think about the mathematical concepts behind the recipe. Read a good math novel. A Picture Book Roundup. Wed, While we're always trying to come up with interesting display tables, like " eighty-something is the new thirty-something " that was just highlighted and thanks for all the additional suggestions, by the way!

You'll be hard pressed to find a bookstore without tables Mother's and Father's Day, Valentine's, and Halloween, for example, and if you have separate displays for kids' books, add to that the back to school season. There are so many books published into this subgenre, but much like holiday books, they have a short window of about two months of sale, unless the book is so great that it transcends the genre. But while there's plenty of new books that come out each year, if a book has a strong sale, we bring it back the next year.

The story, a follow up to The Pout-Pout Fish, has a very nice read-aloud chant that becomes almost a chorus in Pout-Pout Fish's story song about the first day of school. In this story, Flo goes to school with her new bow and a bucket of fish for lunch. She meets Bob, who likes her bucket. I mean, he really likes her bucket! And the first day is filled with different uses for the bucket, until Bob gets stuck and Flo has to save the day. And guess what she uses? The story about a dad's worries when his son Oliver goes off the school for the first day. He procrastinates, hides, and has a panic attack.

The teacher gently removes him from the class, but he can't stop thinking about whether Oliver is ready for school. He goes back to spy on him and realizes Oliver's ready, so he's ready too. I wanted to go to his barber seriously, the guy who cut my hair just moved to Portland, Oregon. Boswellian Phoebe is also a fan. She writes: "I especially like when the teacher carries the dad out crying when it's time for him to separate from Oliver because it's a scene that plays out the opposite way so often with the teacher holding the student while the parent leaves.

Children and parents alike will enjoy this adorable story with cute illustrations and a great ending! I'm right in the middle of Eugenia Cheng's How to Bake Pi , where she notes that knowing how to recite the numbers as a child often has nothing to do with knowing how to count; to a kid, it's just another poem they've memorized yes, I'm doing that third person plural thing again and similarly, knowing the alphabet doesn't mean you can read or spell, but nevertheless it feels like an accomplishment and is generally followed by reading and spelling, so why mess with a good thing.

I love the Cheng book, and I think math teachers would find it particularly interesting. Katz with illustrations by Lynn Munsinger. The school day plays out for little bears, with each activity beginning with a different letter. I'm always interested in Q, X, and Z, and those little bears outsmart the alphabet by playing Duck, Duck, Goose quack! There's a little rhymin' action going on as well.

Yes, little Magnolia thought that bringing an alligator to show and tell was a good thing, but really, it isn't. Alligators cause a lot of trouble and it's not just about eating other little kids; it's about throwing paper airplanes and playing with gum, and eating not just their own lunch but yours too.

Forthcoming historical novels for 12222

No, it's a lot of trouble. And since Wisconsin is one of those states that has loose laws on exotic pets we learned this when a lion was set to be loose on the northwest side of the city , it could happen! I am trying to decide if Amie particularly likes this book because she could imagine her daughter bringing an alligator to school.

I can think of a number of young visitors to Boswell who would find the idea delightful, so this book is a very good warning to them. In it, Little Monster meets his teacher Mr. Drool, and finds a friend in Fang, his neighbor. At recess they ride dragons and for lunch, they eat worms and octopus arms and bat wings.

It really all goes quite well, with Lester's rhymes and Leick's creepily cute illustrations. M is at top left on the blog. Our thanks to Bonnie Leick for letting us use this image. Oh, and it wouldn't be a back-to-school season without some gear. We've got a nice selection of backpacks, lunch bags, bento boxes, and water bottles from Sugarbooger. Celebrate back to school with us. We'll have a story time, a little monster coloring, and then you can get your Go to School, Little Monster book signed. Best of all, Leick will draw a picture in your book as well.

That's the bonus of hosting artists! From the publisher: Sandman Slim investigates Death's death in this hip, propulsive urban fantasy through a phantasmagoric LA rife with murder, mayhem, and magic. James Stark has met his share of demons and angels, on earth and beyond. Now, he's come face to face with the one entity few care to meet: Death. Someone has tried to kill Death--ripping the heart right out of him--or rather the body he's inhabiting. Death needs Sandman Slim's help: he believes anyone who can beat Lucifer and the old gods at their own game is the only one who can solve his murder.

But that doesn't mean we've seen the last of Stark; you just never know with urban fantasy. The new novel reads like a stand-alone, more of a noir mystery with supernatural elements than a pure fantasy. Even though we know it will happen, no one wants to talk about what really goes on when a a parent is dying. Do you know how to live in the face of death? Do you know where to draw strength during times of powerlessness?

Do you know how to emotionally support your loved one without imposing your own agenda? Do you know how to create closeness that will sustain you forever? Marian L. Freund received her master's degree in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. For the past fifteen years, she has been a licensed psychotherapist based in Waukesha. Affectionately known as the "Grief Lady," Marian offers workshops and coaching on topics such as moving through the dying process, creating a family legacy, and using effective communication skills.

His laptop is full of ideas, but the only one to really take root is Zombie Wars. When Josh comes home to discover his landlord, an unhinged army vet, rifling through his dirty laundry, he decides to move in with his girlfriend, Kimmy. It's domestic bliss for a moment, but Josh becomes entangled with a student, a Bosnian woman named Ana, whose husband is jealous and violent.

Disaster ensues, and as Josh's choices move from silly to profoundly absurd, The Making of Zombie Wars takes on real consequence. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father s past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. When the prized elephant of a traveling circus keels over dead, the small-town minister tasked with burying its remains comes to question his own faith.

In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction. These transporting, deeply moving stories some inspired by her own family history amply demonstrate Makkai s extraordinary range as a storyteller, and confirm her as a master of the short story form. They do not classify easily as either likable or unlikable. They operate outside that too-simple, and much debated dichotomy. Sometimes they operate outside of morality too But with Music for Wartime, Makkai takes her place — one she deserves — among the artists with aplomb.

One of huge ideas and microscopic morality, where soaring, noble ideals crash-land into depressing, filthy reality. A fictional riff on consumerism, death, sex, violence and American culture. They share an agent one of the best, Nicole Aragi , and themes, the overlap is much more noticeable if your read Makkai's stories. For more, read my earlier blog , which discusses both books and our upcoming event.

The publisher writes: "The court s decision in 'Varnum v. Brien' made Iowa only the third state in the nation to permit same-sex couples to wed in moderate, midwestern Iowa, years before such left-leaning coastal states as California and New York. And unlike the earlier decisions in Massachusetts and Connecticut, 'Varnum v.

Brien' was unanimous and unequivocal. It catalyzed the unprecedented and rapid shift in law and public opinion that continues today. Redhail , when the U. Supreme Court overturned a state law denying so-called deadbeat dads the 'fundamental right' to marry. Does one put cases in quotes or does one just list the year after in parentheses? That's what happens when you quote two sources and don't have a law degree. Hopefully Witosky will straighten this out. That means he ll be meeting all the other little monsters, including one who has really big teeth and draws scary pictures.

Who will ride the ogres and dragons with Little Monster at recess, and listen with him during story time? And what happens when "gulp" Little Monster realizes he forgot his lunch? It s a good thing Mr. Drool is there to guide Little Monster the whole day through. Her work appears in Highlights and Highlights High Five. She writes: "There's no twist in this rhyming story, but Bonnie Leick's detail-packed watercolor illustrations are infectiously fun. You'll be giggling all the way — and rereading this one.

Next week, we don't have an event on Monday, August 24 but Tuesday, August 25th is our event with Obie Yadgar reading from and discussing Will's Music. Days of Awe , by Lauren Fox 2. The Marriage of Opposites , by Alice Hoffman 3. The Girl on a Train , by Paula Hawkins 5. Paris, He Said , by Christine Sneed 8. In the Dark Places , by Peter Robinson The English Spy , by Daniel Silva Speak , by Louisa Hall Alice Hoffman's move to historical fiction has generated her third hit in a row. Per the publisher, The Marriage of Opposites is a love story set on the tropical island of St.

Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro--the Father of Impressionism. I love the fact that Hoffman's early novels were called domestic magical realism, and now she's come full circle, with Sarah Mayer in O, The Oprah Magazine comparing the work to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Broadcasting Happiness , by Michelle Gielan 2. The Contemporaries , by Roger White 5. Dead Wake , by Erik Larson 6. Being Mortal , Atul Gawande 7. Wisconsin Supper Clubs , by Ron Faiola 8. Grain Brain , by David Perlmutter 9. Milwaukee Then and Now , by Sandra Ackerman Going to Hell in a Hen Basket , by Robert Rubin Alden A former editor at Algonquin who has also been a journalist and college English instructor has created a illustrated collection of malapropism, "a word or phrase that has been mistaken for another, usually because of its sound rather than its meaning," per the publisher.

Going to Hell in a Hen Basket: An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Maloproprisms touches on such gems as "without further adieu" and "hone on in," plus the longer journey from "bear-faced lie" to "bald-faced" and finally "bold-faced. Here's an excerpt on the Grammar Girl blog. Shotgun Lovesongs , by Nickolas Butler 2. Galway Bay , by Mary Pat Kelly 3. Boston Girl , by Anita Diamant 4.

Station Eleven, by Emily St. My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante 7. Reichert 8. Euphoria, by Lily King 9. That and the codger lit table and all the handselling on the part of that bookseller at the other store might have given it the momentum needed to get into our top ten. Here's an interesting column in the Huffington Post actually written by the publicist for the book.

It's like a pitch letter, no, it is a pitch letter, which is sort of odd, and yet it's also a very good pitch letter, so more power to Ariele Stewart! Lundberg 2. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer 4. Foster 5. The Enchanted Forest, by Johanna Basford 6. How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh 7. Books for Kids: 1. What Pet Should I Get? Seuss 2. Appleblossum the Possum, by Holly Goldberg Sloan 4.

Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black 7. Billy's Booger, by William Joyce 8. Pieces and Players , by Blue Balliett 9. A customer called us that morning and said, you have five copies and the bookseller thought, "What is this person talking about that they mentioned how many copies we had" but it turns out I did tell the reporter and it made it into the story. And yes, we found the book as it was on our impulse table up front, just as I promised. But now we've sold out! Boswellian Barbara Katz has a great rec on Appleblossom the Possum : "Filled with humor, theatrical happenings and perfect expressive illustrations, this book is super special!

It's the year of the short story at Boswell, with eight upcoming events celebrating short fiction this summer and fall, and I guess the Journal Sentinel is celebrating too with this review from Mike Fischer of Clarice Lispector's The Complete Stories.

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The newly translated volume of her more than 80 short stories underscores how wary Lispector would have been of this praise, reflecting the suspicion one continually sees in her writing of all such efforts to categorize and define. Barrowman's Paging Through Mysteries , she gives this month's picks.

Lynch writes tha the narrative "spotlights the human players and streamlines the legal complexities of a case that boils down to this: What should disqualify a same-sex Iowa couple from legally forming a family? Nothing, the courts finally ruled. And a child played a crucial role in legal proceedings that had never before considered the most vulnerable. One day young McKinley heard about her parents' situation, asked 'Why aren't you married?

Fri, There are lots of reasons why I pick books for the in-store lit group. Sometimes we have an event coming up and I want to read the author's book and also encourage others, like our August 31st selection of Richard Ford's Canada. Sometimes I already own the book and it keeps staring at me on the bookshelf, whispering "Read me, already. But when it comes to our most recent book topic, My Brilliant Friend , it was classic word of mouth. It was one of those books that customers would start talking about at the front register, and be so passionate about the series, now numbering three books.

Profile's a bit of an odd word because Elena Ferrante the author hasn't been spotted. Her second novel ten years later, I giorni dell'abbandono , was the first book published in the United States as Days of Abandonment, and before this series, was her best known work to date.

And while some of her other books have taken a long time to come out Stateside we note that the fact that all of an Italian writer's work would be translated and published here is an amazing feat in itself , the Neopolitan Novel cycle originally said to be a trilogy, but as of now a quartet is translated with some speed by Ann Goldstein. Knowledgeable readers will already know the story. Her friend Rafaella Cerullo, also known as Lina and sometimes Lila, is from a family of shoemakers. Yes, at one point I got a little irritated with the War-and-Peace like multiple names for characters.

In primary school they are more competitive than anything else, but as their fates start to diverge Elena's parents pay for middle school and Lina's do not , they become more intricately bound, as Lina continues to read and study and help Elena. But there are other pressures on the two girls--violent, sexual, economic. And while the neighborhood can be eccentrically charming, it's also claustrophobic and dangerous. At one point when Elena is sent away for the summer, it seems like she's on an exotic island in another country, whereas really it is just a bus ride away to another neighborhood.

So what did the book club think of My Brilliant Friend? Yes, we had a few attendees who fell in love with the book in textbook-style form. They had already read the second and third books in the series. Many of the rest of the attendees liked the book, and of course several did not. Would it be a good discussion otherwise? We had an interesting discussion about the ending of the story, which without giving anything away, was a bit polarizing. If you were planning to read the whole series, it sort of gave you no choice but to start reading The Story of a New Name immediately.

If you wanted closure, the audience was divided. Some felt left hanging, while others thought it ended on a clever twist and they felt comfortable writing the endings for the characters themselves. Martha is one of the folks who loved the book, and noted that while these stores are actually toned down from the previous works from Ferrante, the violence against women is definitely an undercurrent in the story. We thought there was at least one implied rape, and in another case, a young character had to fend off the sexual advances of a much older man.

And yes, he's the father of the boy she's fond of, which makes it a little difficult to see him. Gail loved the friendship in particular. It was so complicated and nuanced. They were often dependent on each other. Who is "My Brilliant Friend"? The answer was probably that they both were at different times. At right is the book in Turkish!

We also talked about the significance of clothes in the story, and not just the shoes that Lina designs, though they have a fairy tale like significance to the story. Especially because Elena is looking back on the story from a sixty-something year old, these are memories and the clothes are probably akin to Madeleines which I really don't want to capitalize, but the internet insists. And then I should note that some of the attendees were bored. Albert and Juli bonded over this, but after thinking their tastes were in sync, they found they diverged greatly for our next bonus book discussion, for Rebecca Makkai's The Hundred-Year House.

One of them loved, loved, loved it, the other not so much. There are lot of interesting pieces on Elena Ferrante, but this long piece in The New York Review of Books from Rachel Donadio should satisfy your Ferrante fever until the new book comes out on September 1. I should note that one rumor that follows the author is that the books are actually written by the man, or that she's already a well-known person writing under a pseudonym.

Her writing denies this, but of course that could be part of the ruse. Well, actually this essay by Rebecca Falkoff in Public Books really lays it on the line, including offering the two schools of thought in Italy, as Ferrante's work has finally become an important topic, now that her popularity has grown some say "exploded" in the United States, coming to a head as they discussed whether her work should be nominated for the Strega Prize. The two groups are either self-flagellating or condescending. Italy has been beset by fraudulent Ferrante letters. It's really fascinating. She discusses who they think is actually Ferrante, and why the works of Christa Wolf come into play.

It's a spoiler zone, so please only come if you've finished the book. And yes, Makkai will come at the end to answer questions. Don't forget, 6 pm. It's a ticketed event but there's no discussion group.

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Feel free to organize your own. Perhaps you need a little prodding to pick this up. The Codger Table? Wed, One trend that you cannot miss in publishing, but has not really been written about fully or at least I haven't been able to find a definitive story on this is the steady rise in novels with senior citizen heroes. And we're not talking sixty-somethings here, but seventy and eighty-somethings. What do they have in common? They are generally comedies, or have comic elements. One would call them quirky. And for some reason, we tend to really like them. I bought it on a recent trip to visit my sister and gave it to her when she complained that I was only sending her sad books.

One book coming in paperback that Jane has been hot on is Florence Gordon , by Brian Morton, and I've picked this as our November selection for our in-store lit group. The paperback is out on September 1 Here's her review. When an unexpected diagnosis further intrudes on Florence's plans, and she is forced to make life altering decisions, it is to her trusted granddaughter Emily that Florence looks for assistance.

Readers will be both captivated and annoyed by this family's attempt to resolve their conflicts and by a fascinating matriarch who is all the more valued for her inherent straightforwardness. Florence Gordon is one literary character I would love to meet for lunch! Here's Jane Glaser's review on The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: "Miss Queenie Hennessy is dying and she starts writing an extended letter that takes readers into the backstory of her relationship with former brewery colleague, Harold Fry, who is walking a mile trek to see her, sending postcards along the way, asking her to 'wait for me.

Reminiscent in tone, with a supportive cast of well-drawn characters who are a blend of heartbreak, humor, and joy, Queenie's journey is storytelling at its best. Read as a companion to the Man Booker shortlisted title The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or as a stand-alone compassionate portrait of one woman's life filled with selfless love and steadfast hope, this is an engaging story that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Sandra Selects Archives

I loved it! I read it and can vouch that it stands at the intersection of quirky and creepy. Can you think of other books in this sub-genre? I think Honore de Balzac's Old Goriot fits the bill. I haven't read the book so I'm not sure if the character is really present in the novel as , or it's simply a framing device. Here's Boswellian Jannis Mindel's rec for Tyler's latest: "Anne Tyler's new book delves into the inner workings of multiple generations of the Whitshank family. The narrative moves back and forth through the decades examining the various members of the family as they gather for vacations and live changing events.

Abby and Red live in the house that Red's father Junior built back in Eventually the couple's adopted son Stem moves in with his family after Abby suffers one too many bouts of forgetfulness. Older son Denny, always the one to drive a wedge into situations, decides to move back in as well, causing further strife. Tyler is spot on when she shines her lens on families and her hometown of Baltimore. A Spool of Blue Thread is another thoroughly engaging novel by a master storyteller.

It's a novel by Alice Adams called Second Chances. But looking back, they felt they were so old but I'm now suspecting the characters were too young to qualify for this piece. I'll bet they weren't even Now I've got to reread it and find out. But the new book that's got us thinking about this, because there's always something new that has me take up the pen, and most likely there's an event too, is Jonathan Evison's This is Your Life, Harriet Chance.

We've already had three great reads on this book and we're so looking forward to his event at Boswell on Tuesday, September Here's Boswellian Sarah Lange, to tell us a little more about the book: "After Harriet's husband dies, she takes his place on an Alaskan cruise. But is he really gone, and can Harriet forgive him when she finds out his secret?

As her daughter joins her on the trip in another unwelcome surprise and Harriet's present story unfolds, Evison makes use of a series of smart, engaging flashbacks--this is Harriet's life, after all. Filled with charm, humor and hope, Harriet Chance will appeal to the author's many fans and those of Wally Lamb. It will also earn Evison new admirers, as there's plenty to love in this insightful, feel-good story. The anonymous critic writes "Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break.

A lovely, forgiving character study that's a pleasure to read. And in the meantime, do you have a favorite entry in the flourishing codger lit genre? Please share it with us! I'm going to let Boswellian Sharon Nagel give you the scoop on this one: "You know the adage — Be careful what you wish for?

Jayne is a young women struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan. She dreams of being an artist, but is too busy working two jobs to pursue this fantasy. She enters into an affair with a wealthy, older Frenchman who fortunately owns several galleries. He offers her the opportunity of a lifetime when he invites to live with him in Paris, covers all of her expenses, and allows her the time to paint. This seems like the ideal situation — Laurent is handsome and charming, and he denies her nothing. However, he is also seeing other women.

Jayne must decide if becoming a successful artist is worth the choices that she has to make. A most romantic and enjoyable read that will transport the reader to Paris, at least in his or her imagination. If you love the City of Light or have always wanted to travel there, Paris, He Said is worth a visit. You'll come for the story but stay for Sneed's painterly homage to the city's art and culture.

Hope to see you there, mon ami. It's the story of Trudy, a Minnesota professor, whose past haunts her there's an incriminating picture of her, her mom, and a Nazi officer and she decides to find out exactly what was her family story before an American soldier liberated them. Blum's novel was a word-of-mouth bestseller, helped along first by hand-selling at independent bookstores, and taken to the next level by the late Borders, that did a good job breaking out novels in paperback.

Coincidentally the editor of this anthology is Melanie Benjamin, who previously appeared at the Women's Speaker Series. The event is also cosponsored by Bronze Optical. The Lynden Sculpture Garden is at W. Brown Deer Rd. Irish Fest actually begins on Thursday, August 13, but I was thinking it's a preview before the Friday festivities start at 4 pm. And we're hosting an afternoon preview event featuring Mary Pat Kelly, author of two historicals, Galway Bay and its sequel, Of Irish Blood, who is also featured at the Fest.

Here's the publisher's take: "It's Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to the Old World her family had fled. But when she stumbles into the centuries-old College des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland's revolutionary women challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

I'm pretty sure that both Alexander Walker and Emmett J. That said, they are both in town to discuss their anthology, Finding Masculinity, which they call stories, but I would say are personal essays. But I digress. Finding Masculinity examines the many facets of life that transition impacts; transitioning on the job, emotional and spiritual growth, family, navigating the medical community, as well as romantic relationships. The authors or perhaps its the publisher specifically call this a "small cross section" but it seems pretty diverse to me.

In addition to their writing, Walker works in special education and Lundberg is a filmmaker who has won accolades for his web series, Brothers, which is also about transgender men.

Video Game Relativity: Resident Evil Books

In addition to some large skeletons for our front window, we bought some smaller ones, skeleton garland, so to speak. Yes, Sandman Slim is sort of noir means fantasy. In Killing Pretty , per the publisher, "someone has tried to kill Death ripping the heart right out of him or rather, the body he's inhabiting. So Death wants Sandman Slim's help, because the man who can beat Lucifer and the old gods at their own game is the only one who can solve the murder of someone who can't die.

His sixth and latest Sandman Slim novel, The Getaway God, came out last week, and like the five installments that precede it, the book runs down the urban-fantasy checklist with aplomb. This is urban fantasy writ large. And just saying, a really huge event might attract the eye of Neil Gaiman.

A bookseller can dream, right? Sun, Hardcover Fiction: 1. Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee 3. The Girl on the Train , by Paula Hawkins 5. Circling the Sun , by Paula McLain 7. Brush Back , by Sara Paretsky 9. Fishbowl , by Bradley Somer Things are heating up on the event front, as we had a nice first week for Barbara the Slut, whose author is coming to Boswell on September But one breakout with no track or event on the horizon appears to be The Fishbowl , which had a great read from Boswellian Sharon and is an Indie Next Pick as well.

Sharon's take: "Ian is a goldfish who lives on the 27th floor of a large apartment building. One day, he escapes from his bowl and finds himself in a precarious position. As he plunges to the street below, life goes on as usual around him. This first novel is unique and fun, covering the daily lives and activities of the residents of Seville on Roxy, an apartment building.

Birth and death, betrayal and secrets are all taking place in the brief moments that it takes Ian to fall 27 floors. The Road to Character , by David Brooks 4. Dead Wake, by Erik Larson 5. Red Notice , by Bill Browder 6. Pirate Hunters , by Robert Kurson 7. The Quartet, by Joseph Ellis 8. The Birth of the Pill , by Jonathan Eig 9. Stoned , by David Casarett The Theft of Memory , by Jonathan Kozol A Friend of Boswell came up to me this week and asked me about selections for their nonfiction book club, asking in particular about Joseph Ellis's The Quarte t , which had a small pop in sales this week.

It's Ellis's premise in his newest book that the United States truly became a nation through The Constitution, and profiles the four get it? Euphoria , by Lily King 2. Boy, Snow, Bird , by Helen Oyeyemi 6. The Bone Clocks , David Mitchell 8. Listen and Other Stories , by Liam Callanan 9. The Secret Place , by Tana French The Boston Girl , by Anita Diamant One of the generalizations I've noticed of late is that women tend to outnumber men on the paperback fiction bestseller list, while men have 9 of the top 10 slots on hardcover nonfiction.

The book had a strong run in hardcover, probably her best since The Red Tent. I think we will easily beat our numbers for her last, Day After Night. I read that one but The Boston Girl probably had an even better indicator of success, my mom, who gave it this good recommendation: "It's good!

People Tools , by Alan Fox 2. The Thriver's Edge, by Donna Stoneham 3. Tangible Things, by Sarah Anne Carter 4. Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect, by Jeffrey Gingold 5. Schrakenberg 7. On Writing Well, by William Zinsser 8. The Delorme Wisconsin Atlas and Gazetteer Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain You may recognize four of the top five by past events, but somebody's obviously doing something with The Secret Lives of the Supreme Court , but I'm embarrassed to say, I don't know what. The book is about six years old with minimal stock at our wholesalers, but we've had about five months of decent sales, sales that dwarf our track record for years one through five.

I have no references to this book to offer, but here's a Toledo Blade column about why so many courthouses have stone statues of The Ten Commandments, using Schnakenberg's The Secret Lives of the Great Filmmakers as a reference. Schankenberg's most popular book to date at Boswell has been Old Man Drinks. Paper Towns , by John Green 6. Home , by Carson Ellis You can see that while many of Sendak's titles have been popular, Where the Wild Things are been one the big bestseller, both in hardcover and paperback.

We even sold several copies in Spanish. He writes that the book "blows my mind with its big-picture storytelling, hard-science speculation and fiendish conundrums that confront mere mortal humans. Aliens embark on a quest to take over earth; the one advantage of humans as that the folks from the dying planet of Trisolaris are incapable of lying, and thus do not understand deceit of subterfuge. To be fair, you really need to read The Three-Body Problem first, in order to tackle this. One doesn't often think of Milwaukee as being influential in African American culture where's our Milwaukee sound?

Jim Higgins explains: "Milwaukee started Robert Beck on the path to selling millions of books, though not in a way that chambers of commerce like to brag about. While incarcerated in the Wisconsin State Reformatory and later Waupun in the late s and early '40s for crimes he committed in Milwaukee, Beck learned the psychological tricks of pimping from older inmates. After his release, he became a rich pimp in Chicago and elsewhere, when he wasn't dodging potential Mann Act prosecution and other threats.

Fri, With the presidential race in full swing, I find myself unable to avoid being drawn into reading about politics. I was just talking to my fellow Boswellian Jane about this, and she said she liked the presidential races as it gave her a chance to recommend not just the last political platforms, but books that offered insight into Washington and the political process. I don't really think about me reading politics but I do like books about media, which is not surprising since I am an On the Media Junkie.

You can read more about my thoughts on that book in this earlier post.