Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Boswellian Kira on Shopping Small, Nestled Pines, and Ornamentation

Hello! My name is Kira, and I’ve been a bookseller just shy of five months.  Allow me to introduce myself — I ride my bike through sunshine and sleet alike. I kill most of the plants I bring home, regardless of how much love I smother them with. I go climbing as much as I can without shredding my hands to bits, and if I’m not climbing, there’s a good chance I’m reading about it. Not least of all, I’m a huge advocate for supporting and frequenting small businesses, as I think my fellow booksellers could attest to. I’ve been working for small businesses essentially my entire working life, sixteen on, and I wouldn’t have it any other way — trust me. I tried my hand at a few corporations over the years, and I think my record for longest employment was a measly four months before I respectfully quit, thank you very much. 

My excitement over Boswell’s 2019 holiday ornament (designed by Boswellian Aaron Boyd) should come as no surprise then — it’s not only created by any old small business, but the Wisconsin-based Nestled Pines Woodworking, who I happened to work for throughout high school. They were my first job! I vividly remember walking in my first day, overwhelmed by the smell of freshly engraved wood and nervous as all hell. I was beyond relieved when my new boss Amie was wearing Converse All Stars. I figured we’d get along just fine after that, because I was also wearing my super cool Converse sneakers. Sophomore logic, eh? I apparently hadn’t had enough of them after high school was over, because I went back to complete my college internship a couple of years later. How could I not? The owners of Nestled Pines, Matt & Amie, are truly some of the most genuine, hard working people I know. 

Not to be overly sentimental, but they treated me like family at a time when I certainly needed a little more parental guidance than I was receiving at home. Matt, Amie — thank you for all of your wisdom, home-cooked meals, and lessons on how to be unequivocally true to yourself. Truly, though, I don’t know how the two of them do it. Especially every December — it’s the most chaotic time of the year, with numerous all-nighters, frantic bow-tying, and Epilog lasers engraving quite literally 24/7 to complete every order on time. Even though December was so insanely busy, they somehow found time to make it to some pretty important trade shows. The first time I went along to one, we found ourselves stuck in Chicago during a brutal snowstorm. I’m sure they were somewhat distraught not to head home and keep working after the show was complete, but 17-year-old me was definitely over the moon to be stuck overnight in a beautiful hotel with my role models in a city I’d never been to.

Matt & Amie aren’t only wonderful role models, they’re also ethical, eco-conscious brand owners. Thought and care clearly goes into every step of their process, from sustainably grown woods, USA-made ribbons, and packaging/shipping materials from a fellow Wisconsin company (plus, the community of Monticello, where Nestled Pines is based, is encouraged to bring in pre-loved shipping materials, rather than tossing them out). The ornaments themselves, of course, biodegradable, rather than plastic or other icky materials. Nestled Pines Woodworking has partnerships all over the country, from national parks to museums and the like, so if you’re travelling this season, there’s a good chance you’ll happen upon more of their creations!

But if all this isn’t quite enough to convince you that shopping locally is great — here’s why you should personally consider it whenever you can. It keeps your dollars within your community; you’re supporting businesses owners who care about your city because they live alongside you, rather than thousands of miles away; and one that I personally care about deeply —  if the businesses you frequent (like Boswell!) carry locally made goods, it has the potential to lower your environmental impact. Let me explain, in case you’re not sure what I’m talking about — if you purchase something made all the way across the globe, it must be created, potentially with questionable labor practices; packaged, often in lots of plastic that can’t be recycled; loaded onto a boat or a plane or a train or a truck, and brought all the way to you from who knows how far away. All those miles the item has to travel to get to you add up to a fair amount of burned fossil fuels. Alternatively, if your item only comes from a few towns away, that means less non-renewable resources are consumed in transport, and you know who made your goods,as well as how! When you visit Boswell this season, keep your eye out for a few of the brands we carry that are local, Wisconsin companies — Tabal chocolates, Mayana chocolates, HANmade Milwaukee puzzles & gifts, and, as you know, Nestled Pines Woodworking. There’s no better way to do Christmas than with locally crafted, eco-friendly, gorgeous ornaments on your tree, in my humble opinion. Especially when it’s made by a couple who are so truly wonderful to work for and with. Happy holidays, y’all.
- Kira McGrigg

Friday, October 18, 2019

All About Puzzles

When the weather starts to turn a bit chilly, some of us think it's puzzle time. There's something cozy about it. Maybe it's the escape of daily stresses or the warmth and charm it brings when people gather around and work on a puzzle together. Are you a 1,000 piece puzzler? Or do you prefer the 500 piece puzzles to occupy your mind? We have a variety of puzzles to choose from; we even have a few puzzles that are over 1,000 pieces for the more adventurous person.

Not sure if puzzles are your thing. Here's what our Boswellians have to say about puzzling:

Kay says "Puzzles pull me deeply into a world of color, pattern, shape, visual texture and rhythm, often at a very micro level. The world outside the puzzle melts away. When I’m finished, I have an intimate appreciation of the imagination and skill that went into creating the piece which I, in a sense, have just recreated. It’s a totally healthy addiction!"

Aaron says "I puzzle because it's good for the mind and soul as well as being fun. No matter the puzzle I have found once it's spread out on a table most people cannot help but take a seat and place a few pieces. It allows me to go inside to a quiet place where I can relax and stretch my mind at the same time. There is no pace or pressure, just fun. "

Conrad likes puzzle because "Puzzles are problem solving that can be done alone or with others. I love them around the holidays as people drift in and out of working on them."

Madi, one of our newest Boswellians, declares "How do I love puzzles? Let me count the ways. There's nothing quite as satisfying as finishing a puzzle. You know what the picture is going to look like, and yet still feel accomplished when all the pieces come together to show the picture you've been trying to match the whole time. It's both calming and challenging, and the perfect way to spend a relaxing night."

Stop by Boswell and we'd be happy to talk puzzles!

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Effervescence of Boswell's Maltiest Book Club

Want to know more about Boswell's newest book club?

The Books & Beer Book Club meets the third Monday of every month at Café Hollander on Downer. Now, you may be wondering what type of books a Books & Beer book club will read? Boswellian Jen has chosen genre-bending novels, often with speculative elements: those quirky books you may not have chosen for yourself to read. The books that may tend to fall through the cracks of other book clubs. And where does the beer fit in? By having our book club meet at Café Hollander, there's a certain camaraderie when you're gathered with fellow readers talking books, and beer just adds to the warmth of that gathering. Of course wine/cocktail drinkers are welcome; it's not a book club for beer drinkers only!

What is the Books & Beer Book Club like?

We have lively discussions, but a few books in particular have stayed with the group and sometimes at the end of the night we tend to revisit those books. I always enjoy those surprise moments where someone will bring the book out in a different light. I love seeing what people take away from the books, because we all bring our own experience to a book.

Do we read any books about beer? Not yet, but who knows? I'm on the lookout for any speculative novels about beer. A fun thing did happen at our June meeting. Café Hollander's Bier Master was able to offer beer pairing suggestions for The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. We're hoping to offer beer pairing suggestions for some of the other books we will be discussing.

If you're considering joining a book club, and you enjoy reading or want to read unconventional literature, then why not join the Books & Beer Book Club? We're discussing The Emissary by Yoko Tawada July 15th. An infusion of fairytale, dystopia and light-hearted insight. Why not try Hitachino Nest White Ale, a complex mix of flavors perfect for a light yet complex book!

For more upcoming selections, visit our Boswell-run book clubs page.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Boswellians Read The Current

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what’s going to be the next big hit - literary darling debuts, new releases from authors who are longtime old favorites, and memoirs by certain former First Ladies are all easy checks on the list. Sometimes, though, new books creep up on us, and advance copies get passed from one bookseller to another in the break room with whispers and notes that say things like, “this is such an Amie book,” and “you love Tana French so I know you’re going to love this,” or simply, “you’ve gotta read this right now.” Being that we’re all professional book suggesters, sometimes we even get it right. Recently, one of the books we’re passing around is Tim Johnston’s new mystery, The Current.

Johnston’s first novel, Descent, hit The New York Times and USA Today lists and was a bestseller in indie bookstores around the country, and it had fans here at Boswell, too. So we were definitely excited when Tim agreed to visit Boswell on his tour for The Current this winter. He’ll be here on Monday, January 28, at 7 pm, and our mystery book club is reading Descent right now, to discuss at their meeting at 6, right before Johnston’s event. How cool is that?

Among the Boswellians, Kay finished The Current first. She’s the one who convinced me to pick it up off my stack – when I asked her what she thought, she pretty much just shouted at me, “I LOVED it! Lots of twists and turns and very well-developed characters.”

Tim finished reading it next and says it is “a fine novel of suspense and an intricate study of how people react to tragedy and loss from an excellent writer. Johnston's descriptions of places in and around the river, where lives suddenly change forever, have a gravity like the flowing water, and he captures the survivors' struggle over what they can never get back as time pushes them away from what they had. His use of places and things to reveal characters' emotions is masterful, and his characters' direct, honest dialog about the most difficult problems is compelling. With very few words Johnston quickly shows us the thoughts and actions of people who seem real”

I’m about halfway through the book as I’m writing this*, and I am loving it, too. It’s kind of the season 1 of True Detective of books, with a story that jumps back and forth between characters and a winter in Minnesota setting you can feel creeping off the page until you feel like you’ve lived there a little too long yourself. Yeah, it’s really good.

And what of Anne, the Boswellian who runs our Mystery Book Club? Her group is reading The Descent at 6 pm, and then heading to the rear of the store to hear Johnston speak. Want more info about our in-store book clubs? Visit this page right here!

So that’s four booksellers eagerly anticipating Johnston’s visit to Boswell (friendly reminder: Monday, January 28, at 2 pm**) for The Current. Kay, I know, already has a prepared list of several questions for him, and I suppose Tim will be adding another autographed first edition to his collection.

*Editor's Note: I finished the book. Guess what? I, too, LOVED IT. Here's my full write up about The Current:
If we’re comparing books to television, and why shouldn’t we be, then Johnston’s second novel is clearly the critical darling mini-series from your premium subscription-package channel kind of TV. You know the shows I’m talking about. If really good cozies are Masterpiece Theater, and maybe the not-so-good ones are Lifetime movies, and the middling psychological thrillers are the ones that get made into, well, middling psychological thriller series that drag on for three to seven seasons on channels that bored people sort of half watch while they’re ironing, then The Current is that show that’s filling up your Twitter feed, the one all the cool people won’t shut up about with the arty opening credit sequence. So what’s it about, right? Well, yeah, it is another book about dead girls, and if that’s a story that you’re understandably tired of, then this book won’t convince you otherwise. But, to Johnston’s credit, it’s also about the strength and humanity of those girls and women, and the book does confront men who do bad things and deals honestly with good men and how they respond to bad actions, what they do and what they leave undone. The story twists and weaves through these people’s lives before, during, and after a crime is committed.  There are several times in the novel where all questions seem answered, where Johnston could have wrapped up the story all nice and neat, but that’s not the writer he is – he keeps pushing, deeper and deeper, in this masterful performance that plumbs the depths of life’s extremes.
- Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company

**Due to a storm forecast, we have changed the time of this event from 7 pm to 2 pm.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Games and Puzzles

I can't think of a single argument why we shouldn't play games. Games and Puzzles are a great way to interact with your friends and family. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a little friendly competition during game night? Here are some great games and puzzle you may want to consider for your next gathering.

Photosynthesis by Blue Orange Games is a 2018 Mensa Select Winner. And 2017 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee. The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadow of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don't forget that the sun revolves around the forest. This green strategy board game is great for ages 10 and up!

Forbidden Desert by Gamewright is a thematic sequel to Forbidden Island. Players take on the roles of brave adventurers who must throw caution to the wind and survive both blistering heat and blustering sand in order to recover a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city. For ages 10 and up.

A game for the 18+ crowd is Bards Dispense Profanity: a Party Game Based on the Works of William Shakespeare put out by whysoever games. This is a party game in which you use direct quotations from Shakespeare's plays to propose answers to mock-serious questions. It's a hilarious game about playing irreverently with words and meanings.

A puzzle recommendation from boswellian Conrad: Vintage Library by Phat Dog  "Perfect for the holidays. It has all the elements that make working a puzzle fun."  This 1000 piece foil stamped puzzle would make a great gift for the puzzle lover in your life.
Another new party game is Coaster games by Ginger Fox. This is a set of 25 double-sided cardboard party coasters. Worthy of adorning any coffee or dining table, this eclectic collection of games and challenges will keep visitors of all ages entertained, puzzled or simply in hysterics!

And for the younger crowd:

Where's Mr. Wolf? by Blue Orange Games is an entertaining cooperative game for ages 4 and up. Work together to help all the farm animals get back to their barns for the night before Mr. Wolf comes around!&nbspKeep an eye out for him as you flip over the animal tokens. Every time you find Mr. Wolf, he creeps one space closer, and every time you find a farm animal, try to remember to which barn they belong. Fill the barns before Mr. Wolf comes around, and you all win!

Monkey Around: The Wiggle & Giggle Game by Peaceable Kingdom for ages 2 and up. Monkey Around is a wonderful first board game for kids that was created specifically for you and your two year old. Kids love getting to move about while playing a game!
And last but not least, these 500 piece puzzles from Hanmade Milwaukee make a perfect gift and souvenir! Easy enough for kids, but challenging for serious puzzlers. Interesting shaped pieces and unusual sizes make this a great family activity at the cabin or cottage-or anywhere, anytime!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

From Boswellian Jen Steele - Why I Love the Kopp Sisters Novels

I admit it. The first time I saw Amy Stewart’s book Girl Waits with Gun, I judged it by its cover. In fairness, though, it’s an eye-catching cover. This thing pops. Plus, I’m a total sucker for historic novels, especially starring strong women who refuse to conform to the expectations of their time. Constance Kopp is the middle sister of three real women who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century, and she is just the kind of woman I love to read about. She was strong in a time when women were expected to be meek. She was a trailblazer, the kind you never hear of or find in history books. Add on top of all that an engrossing, mysterious tale, and I could not put this book down.

It's 1914 and the world is changing fast. Yet Constance and her sisters, Norma and Fleurette, live a quiet life out in the country. They tend to their farm animals and chores and go into town only when supplies are needed, until one ordinary day, when an automobile crashes into their buggy while in town. The reckless driver turns out to be Henry Kaufman, an ill-behaved Industrialist, the spoiled brat heir to a local textiles fortune, armed with his very own gang. Following the crash, his constant threats and harassments shatter the Kopp sisters' quiet existence.

Constance could easily have backed down and hid out on the family farm until the whole thing had been forgotten. But she won’t let her family be taken advantage of. Still, Henry Kaufman runs with the wrong crowd, and soon bullets are flying and bricks are crashing through the Kopps’ windows.

Constance does not back down. Instead, she learns how to shoot and intends to use her gun, if needed, to protect her family. All Constance wants is justice for the car accident. But as she chases after justice, a whole new world is opened up for her. Once she has a taste for making things right, she can’t stop.

I am not a big mystery reader. I definitely gravitated to this book more because of its historic angle, though I can see how some will classify it as a kind of light noir, or perhaps even fit it in with the cozies, though to me it doesn’t feel like that’s the heart of the novel. Rather, it’s this funny, quirky world based around the sisters’ relationships to the town and to each other that drew me in. There’s Constance’s homing-pigeon loving older sister Norma, who marches to the beat of her own drum and has no time or interest for anything going on in town. And then there’s Fleurette, Constance’s younger sister who wants to be a star – she’s pretty, feminine, a wannabe actress in love with the theater and all the gossip around it. And then there’s Constance, who I can best describe as the Bea Arthur type (there’s a great scene of her beating up a quite unsuspecting tough guy) whose strong will drags all of them into the center of attention in town.

I’ve read along as the series has continued. Stewart’s Kopp Sisters continue to chronicle women who, just by being themselves, rather than what they are told, broke into the boy’s clubs of nearly a century ago. Like the journalist Constance meets in the second book who’s trying to get out of writing a paper’s ‘women’s interest’ column and into the hard news on the front page. Or the paralegal who wants to become a lawyer, definitely not a woman’s job. The Kopp Sisters series is a great alternative look at history and the women decided to live their lives the way they want!

Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company


Amy Stewart appears at Boswell for the Kopp Sisters series on Wednesday, August 22, 7 pm. Tickets are $17 and include a copy of Girl Waits with Gun, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit, or upgrade to the forthcoming (available September 11) Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions for just $24. Purchase your ticket at stewartmke.bpt.me.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Boswellian Top 5's of 2017 part the last

Jenny has only recently started work at Boswell, but I worked with back in the days of Harry W. Schwartz bookshops. I can say that she knows her books and she knows the publishing industry. She has an extensive knowledge of YA and teen books (and much, much more besides!). Even though, she is new here, Jenny has read a lot of the great books in 2017, and here are her top 5 books to prove it:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Starr Carter is one of the few black kids at Williamson Prep, where she plays Varsity basketball and has a cute, white boyfriend. At night she goes home to a neighborhood of gun violence and gangs. When her unarmed friend, Khalil, is shot by a cop and Starr is the only witness, her two worlds crash together, leaving her devastated and questioning not only her long-time friendships but also her place in the world. Angie Thomas has written a smart and compassionate character in Starr and brought her struggles brilliantly to life. Please don't miss this important book, a great read for both teens and adults.
$17.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $14.39
 At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
Ozzie's boyfriend Tommy has disappeared. Not run away or been kidnapped, but literally vanished from the minds and memories of his friends and family. Only Ozzie remembers. His parents drag him to psychiatrists and in between visits, Ozzie searches for clues. Soon he realizes that not only is Tommy gone, but bit by bit the entire universe is vanishing, too. Shaun David Hutchinson's sharp writing veers between funny and poignant as he captures the heartbreak of losing your first love. His previous book, WE ARE THE ANTS, was one of my top reads of 2016.   

$17.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $14.39

City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Tina is a teenage street-thief who wants to know two things- who killed her mother and why? Set in Kenya, this YA thriller is fast paced, with memorable yet flawed characters. Tina's divided loyalties between the boy she loves but doesn't trust and her gang of fellow thieves force her to make tough choices as long buried secrets about her mother’s past are revealed.  $18.99 

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Young Adult sibling stories are my favorites-those complicated, often messy relationships with the people who are in your life for good. Ramona and Hattie are so endearing as they struggle through the year where EVERYTHING is changing. Six foot tall, blue-haired Ramona wants out of the small Mississippi town that never recovered from hurricane Katrina, but she’s wrangling with the guilt of abandoning her needy family, especially now that Hattie is pregnant. And then her childhood friend Freddie moves back. With his middle-class upbringing, college is a given for him. Over the course of senior year they bond over a shared passion for swimming that leads to a surprising romance. Brilliant characterization is the strength of this novel, which asks readers to contemplate the fluidity and complexities of love. $17.99

Warcross by Marie Lu
In a futuristic world, the virtual reality battle game of Warcross is a world-wide obsession. When Emiko hacks into a match, she catches the attention of the game’s reclusive creator who offers her a job-as a spy. Out of money and in danger of eviction, she has no choice but to accept Hideo’s offer. As their relationship turns romantic, Emiko learns some shocking news about Hideo’s past and the secret behind the creation of Warcross. A great read for teens and anyone who loved READY PLAYER ONE. $18.99

Peter has been on the this block a long while, starting back with his days working at Starbucks. When he was looking for something a bit more full time, I knew we had to bring him over. His reading fills in gaps of our knowledge when it comes to comics and graphic novels. If you ever want to know how the Marvel or DC universes work, then come on over and ask! Here are his top 5's for 2017:

On the Camino by Jason

Norwegian cartoonist Jason, in his first autobiographical work, marks his 50th birthday by walking the Camino de Santiago. A pilgrimage in north west part of Spain that leads to a cathedral, Camino de Santiago, in honor of the apostle James (or jimmy, if you're friends). Jason's humor dry and absurd. How he interacts with people he meets on the trail, and just the simple things such as washing your socks or finding a good coffee. I enjoyed the calm ride of this story and is great reflective story that partners well with a cafe con leche (black coffee works fine too).

$24.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $19.99

Descender by Jeff Lemire, art by Dustin Nguyen

 A sci-fi odyssey that is grand in it's size, but beautifully presented through the perspectives of Tim-21, a robot boy, and his unlikely companions. A incident leads to a conflict of humans against machine, with Tim-21 possibly being the hope ease this conflict, but with danger of bounty hunters and the dangers of their own personal shortcomings, how can they hope survive? This deluxe volume is the perfect presentation for such a breathtaking conceived story, from the intensely personal story to the visual stunning art. $49.99

PaperGirls by Brain K. Vaughn, artist Cliff Chiang 

Four young girls are on a paper route in the early Halloween morning in 1988, when they discover an invasion has come to their Cleveland suburb, but from where, from when! Amazingly well written, beautifully presented.

$34.99 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $27.99

Doom Patrol by Gerard Way, illustrated by Nick Derington
“The Worlds Strangest Superheros.” Surreal and experimental fun. This title gets written off because it's weird, but part of the fun is to embrace strange. Is Casey, a young E.M.T., a daydream of a sentient ambulance? Who will protect us from the men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., a robot with a human brain, a person made of living negative energy or perhaps Crazy Jane? What are you feeding your cat? All and nothing will be answered, it's 3am and nothing makes sense but it's all beautiful. $16.99
Shade:The Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci,illustrated by Marley Zarcone 

Loma Shade is bored with her life on Meta. So she drops out of school, breaks up with her boyfriend and steals the madness coat, an multidimensional doorway which allows Loma to leave her word as an astral projection. Loma travels to Earth, by way of the madness coat, where she takes up residence the body of Megan, a popular high school “mean girl,” who had suffered brain damaged and at death's door. Loma, who now just goes by Shade, in Megan's body tries to experience life on Earth. Surving the reputation that Megan had left as a bully, and not succumbing to the “madness” that ties her to this world. Surreal and existential fun that's wonderfully written and astoundingly gorgeous artwork. $16.99

Chris is a bit of a chameleon here at the shop. He works in Second Hand Books, receiving room, offsite events and, I believe, he has introduced authors in the shop as well. His book selections are always interesting, as he has a way of finding a gem, in the midst of tons of small press books that appeal to our customers. His top 5 of 2017 is exactly what you didn't know you wanted:
The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan
A nurse and a teacher marry and divorce in a small town in West Virginia. This is the greatest love story ever written. Scott stares down Sarah with crocodile tears shimmering in his eyes and laughter growling inside his toothy grin. His heart is punch-drunk, and he dies every day then gets up again the next morning, fists swinging and full of life. His writing will humble you with its honesty and leave you embarrassed by every tiny fib and little white lie you've ever told in your whole life. If you don't like this book, you must already be dead inside. $16.95

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann

Terrifying. Reading Kehlmann's latest novel is like watching a horror movie from the inside. A writer takes his family for a mountain retreat, hoping to escape the city, finish his newest screenplay, and maybe find a bit of serenity. But something in the rented house isn't right. Rooms shift, hallways expand, reflections fade. Brisk and gripping, you'll read this slim novel in one sitting, consumed, disappearing into the book as the writer disappears into the house, stunned as you turn the last page, compelled to check in a mirror to be sure you still exist, then turning back to the first page to immediately begin rereading. $18.00

Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell
DeShawn looks in the mirror and sees a man absent from himself. A San Francisco punk, he feels his hard-won years of partying and promiscuity coming to a close yet cannot envision the rest of his life. An uncle’s death brings him home to the deep south of rural Alabama, his mother’s church and the women who raised him, the specter of his father, and the boys and men of his youth who shaped him. A deeply human story of a man unapologetically defining himself against expectations and labels yet struggling to feel that he still deserves to be loved. $17.95

Vacationland by John Hodgman
It's the book we've been waiting for. Hodgman puts his one man show onto the page with all the personality and wit, at once absurdly silly and bone dry, of his unmistakable voice. And this time, it's personal. Really -- there's only one fake fact in the whole thing. Hodgman writes about summers spent in Maine and Western Massachusetts, telling wry stories of trash dump laws, kitchen-drawer-usurping mice, and taking drugs at the swimming hole, using them as windows into his reflections on approaching middle-age, parenting, inheritance and loss, grief and mortality. The book is perfectly balanced, honest and vulnerable, and funny as ever, unfolding ideas like the best deep-thought, figure-out-your-whole-life daydreams you've ever had on vacation.

$25.00 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $20.00
South and West by Joan Didion
This one I couldn't find anything written by Chris but I wanted to include all his picks!
$21.00 on Boswellian Best till the end of the year for $16.80

That is it for 2017--bring 2018! It looks like it will start off with some wonderful new books!