Friday, February 21, 2014


Happy T-GIF from your Boswellians, and a big THANK YOU to Shelia Turnage, Mo, Dale, and all the lovely people who welcomed Shelia Turnage so warmly to Boswell at Wednesday night's event. If you didn't get a photo of the tour shirt, here are a couple (photo credit goes to Boswellian Sharon; face and shirt credits go to Boswellian Hannah).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowy Day Reminiscing: We're Glad to Have Met Malcolm Gladwell!!

At the end of January, your Boswellians had an extraordinary evening with a brilliant, successful, handsome man. No, this is not a post-Valentine's Day tale of romance: this is our post-event recap on last month's Malcolm Gladwell event! Thanks to all of the lovely attendees, to our Honorary Boswellian Jess, our Honorary Boswellians from the UWM Bookstore, and the esteemed and engaging Mr. Malcolm Gladwell. 

Your Boswellians and the one and only Malcolm Gladwell. Left to right: Jen, Jannis, Terrail, Malcolm Gladwell, Mel, Daniel, and Honorary Boswellian Jess!

Here's what Boswellian Terrail had to say about the event: 

The Malcolm Gladwell event was my first that was an offsite, which I think was an incomparable introduction! I was able to actually hang out with Gladwell and assist him with signing the mountainous collection of books stacked in front of us in under an hour. I believe his record is 1,500 books in 1.5 hours! After getting all of his books signed, I was able to take a picture with him before he took the stage. After making sure there were no immediate duties to attend to until after the event, I began roaming around the Zelazo Center. From the upstairs balcony I surveyed the engaged audience then converged with them into cognition. There were many great points of discussion beyond the book itself. One of the most resonating parts of Gladwell's monologue was his conclusive bottom-line where he spoke: "If you deny a person legitimacy, they will eventually rise up and defeat you". I can attest to this having gone through my entire life as a David with obscured resources. You can also ask anyone who has overcome the odds pit against them from an array of different circumstances. It is important to note that all it takes is one or a few to break down a proverbial barrier, so that the rest of us become witnesses. It allows us to recognize and expound, not only on the particular feat at hand, but yet position ourselves in the path to the other undiscovered possibilities out there. Anyway, when the event was over, I was fully charged. As if in my 2nd adolescence, I posted the picture Gladwell and I had taken onto Facebook where I received dozens of likes. All and all, it was a really cool experience. Im looking forward to the next one!

Here's that photo--"like" away!!

Terrail and Malcolm become best friends.

And here's what Honorary Boswellian Jess had to say about the event: 

So, recently I got to work the Malcolm Gladwell signing as an “Honorary Boswellian.” Which actually means Daniel got an extra bookslave at no extra cost! (pause for laughter) Really, though, I was in good company and I got off easy. I gave a little of my time to some awesome people and in trade, I was able to stand RIIIIIIIGHT NEXT to MALCOLM GLADWELL…for SEVERAL minutes!!! I am still geeking out about it.

I started reading Malcolm Gladwell as a psychology student in college. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking was assigned reading and it was the first non-fiction book I actually enjoyed. I read it in about 3 days. And it changed my life. Gladwell’s insights into the how’s and why’s we (as humans, a society, a culture, etc.) perceive, process and interact with the world around us continue to fascinate me. His ability to write about things that can be quite dry and clinical in a conversational and engaging manner is astounding. He can draw in any reader (and probably some non-readers, too) and he can hold them til the end. Not surprisingly, he is able to talk about his ideas and his books in an equally engaging way. For this event, he was in a huge auditorium (the Zelazo Center on the UWM Campus, which used to be a synagogue!) with some 800 people and he was able to easily fill the space with his personality.

You could hear a pin drop. 
He drew the audience in from the beginning with his exuberance and held everyone’s rapt attention for two hours. He was masterful, animated, engrossing, well-spoken and witty. He is the kind of speaker that anyone would enjoy listening to, whether or not you are interested in what he’s talking about.

It was thrilling to see. It was equally thrilling to stand next to him afterward, and watch him interact with gushing fans while he signed and personalized books. He was a man transformed. After the curtain falls, Malcolm Gladwell is this soft-spoken, gracious, seemingly shy man of genius. And he is the FASTEST book signer in the world. Seriously. Four hands could not collect, open and position books fast enough. He would be the quickest draw in the west, hands down. If you haven’t read any of his stuff, do it. NOW. It might not be Blink for you, but something he wrote will hook you in and make you see the universe differently. Malcolm Gladwell will change your life, too. And you’ll be glad he did!

You really get a sense of the speed at which Gladwell signs in this photo. 
Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with my inner bookseller and I am honored to have been brought into the fold for a night. Thank you, actual Boswellians (and especially Daniel), for allowing me to tag along and fangirl out on the Malcolm Gladwell event. It was an evening I’ll never forget!

Larry and Mo--what salesmen!

Friday, February 14, 2014

T-GIF & Happy Valentine's Day from Your Boswellians!

For our inaugural Friday "T-GiF" post (a week-end-ly celebration of all things Boswell presented in GIF form) your Boswellians would like to say in oh-so-many melancholy tones with heavy, well-timed sighs: if you can't be with the one you love... love the one you GIF. 

Dear Voraciously Reading Valentines, 

It's tragic, but literary love doesn't always end well. No matter what erratic plot twists this Valentine's Day, your Boswellians present classic tales of love and tragedy to see you through this weekend. 

It's a well-known fact that book lovers are the best between the covers. But if you're looking to spice things up this year, Jen recommends a date outdoors for some romance on the moors á la Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Sharon suggests something nice at a reasonable price, adding that you shouldn't go crazy--but if you do, go crazy with a copy of William Styron's Sophie's Choice. Hannah sighs that love is to die for, especially when your star-crossed lover slips you the Little Master Shakespeare board book version of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Anne adds: one surefire way to avoid a case of the Havishams is travel! Wherever you go, take your adoration with your portmanteau--but also pack in that bag a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Jannis chides: don't whine, Valentine! There's no need to be green with envy about someone else's gift since Boswell is always well-stocked with hardcover copies of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars! And no matter what happens from daybreak Friday to your weekend's denouement, just remember that sometimes loving means you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, as in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited

Here's to hot nights in bed with books you love, and Happy Valentine's Day, 

Your Beloved Boswellians 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Shelia Turnage You Say?! YAAAAAY!!!!!

 Boswellians Hannah and Mel talk about how much they love Shelia Turnage and her hot-off-the-presses sequel to Three Times Lucky: The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing
Dear Ms. Turnage: Can we please be in your club? We want to hang out with you!
 ***************SPOILER ALERT****************
Mel: Hannah, go find your favorite quotes from Three Times Lucky because I just finished The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing and we're blogging our fav lines!

Hannah: Oh yeah, what'd you think of it? 

Mel: It had all the good stuff of Three Times Lucky, but with a paranormal twist! There were some funny quotes: (as Mel remembers it) "The truth is like spandex.  At first it doesn't seem like it would be a good fit but then you have to put it on and wiggle around a bit." Something like that anyways. I remember "truth," "spandex," and "wiggle."

Hannah: I love Mo.  I think we were both like her as kids, sassy and not afraid to state our opinions.

Mel: My family nickname is Mo, but she's way more brave than I ever was growing up. I like that she and Dale are friends and that Harm comes along and is also friends with Dale and Mo doesn't fight with him about it. It's good to see young girls friends with young dudes--and sharing friends--in middle grade fiction.  

Hannah: Yeah, usually the girl gets her panties in a knicker. 
Mel: Do you mean she gets her knickers in a twist?

Hannah: I suck at idioms!

Mel: I feel like there's someone in Tupelo Landing who would say "gets her panties in a knicker." Prolly Miss Lana. No--Grandmother Miss Lacy. I like how Mo says that she's built like a rollerderby queen. And then she says one of your favorite lines--

Hannah:--one that'd make a great t-shirt: "Puberty happens."

Mel: I want to make tons of Turnage-phrase shirts.

Hannah: Like "turn of phrase," but "Turnage-phrase?"

Mel: Heck yeah! So, does Mo have a crush on Harm at the end?

Hannah: Well Harm definitely has a crush on her.  I think it's more that she tolerates his presence on behalf of Dale.  Mo is still in love with Lavender. I like that Lavender is nice to her about it. 

Mel: And Lavender dances with her! I totally have a crush on Lavender.

Hannah: Duh--everyone does. That's one thing I liked about The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing.  I think every character had more depth added with this novel.  I want to spend a lot of time with them.

Mel: Yeah, we know more about the town and the people who live there. It's way more fun than Faulkner, this Turnage-ian town-as-character motif. I can't wait to meet Sheila Turnage. Boswellian Pam sat next to her at an author dinner and said she's a lot of fun.

Hannah: I can't wait to worship at the feet of her awesomeness.

Mel: Maybe we can set up an outdoor scene in the back of the store. Have the event in a gazebo or treehouse set-up. Do you think Daniel will let us do that?

Hannah: Only if we have real, live trees. And NO animals. Sorry Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Isaac Newton!

Mel: Or maybe we could go with a haunted dance. Everyone wears a costume, and dances, and, well, there's a ghost...?

Hannah: There's a ghost in Boswell.

Mel: I wonder if our ghost has a crush on anyone... I wish we could ask the Desperado Detective Agency over to do an investigation in the bookstore. 

Hannah: That'd be cool! We could be junior Desperados!

Mel: And I wonder if Shelia Turnage has a logo made for the Agency. If so, I'd like ten t-shirts of it, please!
Hannah: And buttons!

Mel: And knee-socks!!




And so, the Boswellian Book-tective Agency begins with another fantastic read brought to you by Newbery Honor-Winning author, Shelia Turnage, and ends with cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes to be exact. Don't miss your chance to talk Turnage and ask a zillion questions about your favorite characters when Shelia Turnage comes to Boswell Book Company on Wednesday, February 19th at 7 PM
It's going to be a LOT of FUN*!!

*(Especially if you bring chocolate cupcakes)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meet Your Boswellians: Jannis Mindel!

This month's Featured Boswellian is our Ambassador of Story Times, Jannis! Swing by the kids' section the second Sunday of every month at 11 AM to hear Jannis read some of your favorite stories!
 1. What do you love about working at Boswell Book Company?

The chance to hear and sometimes meet some of my favorite authors. It's still a thrill and makes me act like a ridiculous fan girl.

    2. What’s your absolute most favorite of all the things in Boswell right now?
 I love our collection of Folkmanis puppets. They're beautifully made and kids gravitate to them the minute they walk into the childrens department.
    3. What’s your absolute most favorite of all the books ever?
I think it's always hard for a voracious reader of books to choose just one favorite. However, Charlotte's Web is probably the book I've come back to again and again even as an adult. The language and the story are beautiful and universal. And no matter how many times I've read it I always cry at the end.  
    4. What’s on your staff rec shelf?
Jumping Penguins-gorgeous illustrations and quirky facts about animals. Eleanor and Park- sad and sweet story of first love in Omaha in the 80's. Burial Rites-haunting historical fiction about the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1829. More than This - Patrick Ness' brilliant and hard to describe sort of futuristic teen novel. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel-fantastic graphic novel of the the beloved classic.
    5. For which writer—living or dead—would you take a bullet?
 Sherman Alexie. I've had the chance to see him speak a few times and he's hilarious. Plus his books are wonderful, especially The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
    6. With which character can you most relate and why?
 Harriet the Spy. She's smart, inquisitive and weird.
    7. Someone wrote your biography – what is the title?
 Loud Fast Rules.
    8. If you were a super hero/ine, what would be your name, and what’s your power?  
 Hmmm, I can't think of a good superhero name but I'd love to have the ability to grow taller.
    9. Which band or artist would you drop everything to party with?
 That's a hard one. Probably the Talking Heads. They were so strange, smart and innovative. I came of age with their music.
    10. What’s your spirit animal?
 Panda. I have no idea why but I've loved them since I was a kid.
    11. Forget “you are what you eat.” We’re talking dranks—what beverage are you?
Beer forever and always.
12. Now we’re talking…dreams. What’s yours? 
To finally write the book I've been thinking about for the past 8 years...