Friday, March 28, 2014

Doing T-GIF a Little Differently...

Hi All! This week's T-GIF is a little different...instead of "Thank goodness it's a GIF," the theme is "Thank Goodness It's FINISHED," meaning today Boswellian Mel put together a display window for the Fifth Anniversary Celebration of Boswell and it's *finally* finished! Here's the pic. It's looks really neat at night, or as onw Boswellian put it: "It looks like birthday threw up all over the window, which is exactly what you'd want in a birthday display."

Mel says there are fives hidden throughout the window....

You are cordially invited to join us at Boswell Book Company on Monday, April 28th at 7 PM as we celebrate Five Years of Boswell Awesomeness. Boswellian and Owner, Daniel Goldin, will give a State of the Store Talk, there will be refreshments, and we'll hear from author Gabrielle Zevin as she reads from her #1 April Indie Next Pick, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, which Daniel calls "a celebration of books and the people who read them, write them, and sell them." 

Thank you for five years of sharing your love for books with us.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy T-GIF from Your Boswellians!

Shall we play a round of What's In The Box?

You know Brad doesn't want to play.
Working at an independent bookstore has it's perks. One of them is that occasionally, Chuck Palahniuk sends a care package. So far here at Boswell, we've opened boxes from Uncle Chuck that held demon masks, plush kittens, and monogrammed condoms.

To prove that, when it comes to Chuck Palaniuk, truth really is Stranger Than Fiction, here's the care package Uncle Chuck sent to Boswell this week:

(Editor's Note: this Chuck Palahniuk box heralds a new novel this fall called Beautiful You. Needless to say, we're looking forward to it.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Children's Books to Look Out For with Boswellian Jannis

Welcome to my first inaugural blog post of children's book to look out for! I'm going to focus on 4 books, three brand new titles and one slightly not so new. There's no rhyme or reason to why I selected these other than I like them and I think you will too. 

Hi, Koo!: A Year of SeasonsFirst up is Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth. Jon J. Muth has written and illustrated many previous picture books, most notably Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, and Zen Ghosts. Hi, Koo! features Koo the panda and his two friends as he travels through the seasons of the year narrated by 26 haiku poems. As Muth points out in the introduction, he deviates from the traditional 5-7-5 syllable pattern of haiku poetry. He has also hidden the alphabet in every poem by capitalizing a certain word. His beautiful watercolor illustrations perfectly capture the tranquil, joyous and sometimes humorous moments that Koo shares with his two friends. The last page is a stunner with Koo sitting on a branch, his back to the reader, with a Cardinal sitting in a nest atop his head. The poem reads:

becoming so quiet
Zero sound
only breath.

This is a wonderful introduction to not only haiku, but poetry in general, for children ages 5 and up.
What's Your Favorite Animal? Next up is What's Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle and Friends. Eric Carle is a rock star in the picture book world. I'm not sure there's a child that doesn't know The Very Hungry Caterpillar by heart. I know that when I used to read it in storytime, children would inevitably recite it along with me. This book is something different. Eric Carle has asked 14 well know picture book illustrators to draw their favorite animal and explain why they love them. Steven Kellogg, Nick Bruel, Mo Willems and many others have contributed. My favorite is from Peter Sis, who explains why the carp is his particular favorite. The illustration accompanying Sis's selection depicts the three wise men as kittens riding atop a very large carp with wings. It's quite funny. Nick Bruel's entry is a graphic novel style illustration with Bad Kitty (of book fame) taking over the page and making it all about himself instead of the octopus. Children will enjoy the humor found within the pages of this unique book. Eric Carle is donating all proceeds from the book to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a museum that introduces children to the world of art and literature in Amherst, Massachusetts.
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract ArtI was an art history major as an undergraduate and am always interested in picture books that introduce children to artists. The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock with illustrations by Mary GrandPre, is a terrific introduction to Wassily Kandinsky. Plus, the Milwaukee Art Museum is going to have a major exhibit of his art this summer. Here's my rec:

Wassily Kandinsky (nicknamed Vasya) is considered one of the first abstract painters of the 20th century. Before he achieved fame as a painter, he was a boy who loved to paint the colors he heard in his head. Although he loved to paint, he followed a career into the law, but the sounds of the colors never left. Kandinsky left the law and followed his dream as a painter and eventually went on to join the Bauhaus and form the Blue Rider group of painters. Barb Rosenstock's language and Mary GrandPre's illustrations bring Kandinsky's story alive with gorgeous sweeps of words and colors that swirl around the artist. This book makes a beautiful introduction to one of the 20th century's most fascinating artists.

The Silver ButtonLast up is The Silver Button by Bob Graham. Bob Graham has long been one of my favorite picture book authors having penned one of my favorite dog stories "Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate. This time around the author has found beauty in the small and everyday moments of a young child's life. While Jodie is working on a drawing, her baby brother, Jonathan, starts to take his first steps. The story pulls out further into the surrounding community to other moments occurring within that exact same minute: a grandfather and his granddaughter playing in leaves, a baby being born, and a leaf from a pigeon floating down from its nest. This is a quiet and touching story. Check out some other Bob Graham titles while you’re at it: you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for tuning in this month. I’ll be back next month with some more recommendations!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy T-GIF from Your Boswellians!

This past Tuesday, something amazing happened at Boswell Book Company with a die-hard Brandon Sanderson fan and a brand new copy of Words of Radiance (the epic follow-up to The Way of Kings and the second volume of The Stormlight Archive).

We won't name any names, but said die-hard fan bought a hardcover copy of Words of Radiance and sat from 10 AM to 8:55 PM reading. After almost eleven hours, he'd read half of the book--pretty fantastic pace for a book well over 1,000 pages. That's how epic fantasy lovers roll!! The best part? Well that would have to be when a bookseller told him that we're having an event with Brandon Sanderson at Boswell on March 22nd at 7 PM. He had a total excited mindsplosion!!

It didn't look exactly like this, but Mel re-enacts the moment for our weekly Boswellian TGIF:

Yes! Brandon Sanderson is coming to Boswell to read from and sign copies of Words of Radiance, to talk all things fantasy and sci-fi news, to meet you, and for another surprise or two that we won't spoil here. See you all there for an exciting night with a living legend!!!

Hurry in today for your copy of Words of Radiance and pick up a free Stormlight Archives magnet (see below)!

Aren't these cool?! HURRY!! SUPPLIES ARE GOING FAST!!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meet Your Boswellians: Terrail

This month's Featured Boswellian is our philosophy guru Terrail! Whether it's waxing poetic about who should play the angel in the Socrates/Darwin pair (see photo above) or geeking out over Malcolm Gladwell, Terrail is always having a good time (see cheekiness below). 

1. What do you love about working at Boswell Book Company? 

As a reader/writer of mostly nonfiction interests AND an English student, I feel right at home within this literary inner-circle of trust. It's cool to have the knowledge of and access to endless amounts of books--fiction included, which I plan to get more into to give my brain a break. The discounts, the Marquette game (in the suite), author events, etc. are okay too, I guess...

2. What’s your absolute most favorite of all the things in Boswell right now? 

The customers can be idiosycratic--very different than in other retail stores. Book-lovers are a special breed of people.

3. What’s your absolute most favorite of all the books ever? 

Haha, I like that this question purposefully poses something so impossible to do. Ah, The Catcher In the Rye.

4. What’s on your staff rec shelf?

Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes; Tao of Wu by RZA; 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene; and Decoded by Jay-Z

5. For which writer—living or dead—would you take a bullet?

Well, I have a weird tendency to like my authors stiff-and-rotten. Perhaps, I would take a bullet for someone of the Malcolm Gladwell persuasion in hopes of my posthumous writings building off of such a magnanimous act.

6. With which character can you most relate and why?

Franz Kafka's character in Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa. He, for the most part, accepts change and appearance knowing that we aren't really in control of anything except for our reactive or proactive decisions.

7. Someone wrote your biography – what is the title?

The Erroneous Truth: Terrail's Life According to You

8. If you were a super hero/ine, what would be your name, and what’s your power?  

Luminous Fluxx! Superpower: the ability to maximize people's unique gifts!

9. Which band or artist would you drop everything to party with?

Easy, Tori Amos, in a heartbeat.

10. What’s your spirit animal?
11. Forget “you are what you eat.” We’re talking dranks—what beverage are you?
Whiskey and Sprite, cheers!
12. Now we’re talking…dreams. What’s yours?  

Wait, so life isn't a dream?!