Boswell Books

Dark Dwarf / Flickr

Even people who didn’t major in the classics or theater history have some passing knowledge of the Trojan War.  Like any good epic story, it’s full of larger-than-life characters, revenge, lust and sacrifice.

Ever since Homer included it as part of his Odyssey, many of the stories have become fodder for other works of art.  Aeschylus is considered the first of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Greece and his Orestia trilogy includes the story of the Trojan War. 

We’re in a racially charged period in the country’s history – going from a high point – the nation’s first African American president –to a low, in the tensions that are mounting over the treatment of black people by some police forces in the country.

It is obviously not the first time race has been a contentious issue in the United States.  Wisconsin native Andrew Maraniss looks back at a little known story from the Civil Rights era in his new book.

boswell.indiebound.com

Wisconsin writer Lesley Kagen applies a nostalgic look to difficult circumstances in many of her novels. In her latest title, The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, the difficult circumstances come fast and furious.

There’s mental illness, cancer, aging, loneliness and even marital stress. But through it all, Kagen maintains perspective, and often a lighter tone. 

Milwaukee Opera Theatre / facebook.com

There have been many stage plays, movies, and books that are about booksellers or people in the literary world.  But a new production by Milwaukee Opera Theater takes it to its logical conclusion.

The Story of My Life” is about friendships, writers, and books, and is set in a bookstore.  So it only made sense to actually stage the musical among the stacks at Boswell Book Company. 

Random House

The last time Lake Effect spoke with writer Adam Johnson, his novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, had recently been released to some critical acclaim.

Penguin Random House

If you don’t know anything about Alexandra Petri’s column for the Washington Post, the fact that it’s called “Compost” should tip you off.  It’s a humor column, at least most of the time, appearing multiple times a week online and weekly in print.

Petri grew up partly in Fond du Lac and partly in Washington, D.C., while her dad, Tom Petri, represented his Wisconsin district in Congress.

Lauren Fox / laurenfoxwriter.com

Lauren Fox's third novel, Days of Awe, is a first person narrative that sends it's protagonist, Isabel, on a very difficult journey.

Throughout the course of a year, the character loses her best friend and her marriage. Isabel also metaphorically loses her daughter, a fairly typical teenager with the mood swings.

Michael Perry

    

Michael Perry has been known  for his non-fiction work about his life in rural Western Wisconsin. He has accumulated a mass of fans around the world drawn to stories touching on topics from raising poultry to parenting.

After writing his first children's book, Perry is making his first attempt at a novel geared towards adults with his latest book, The Jesus Cow.

Boswell Books

For those wanting to learn more about our planet and those surrounding us, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago has been a go-to spot. The Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee is a great place to go when it’s not dark enough to see the night sky, or if you’d like to learn more about what you’re seeing.

But it’s not the only planetarium in Wisconsin.  In the tiny town of Monico there’s a unique planetarium created by a unique man. It’s the Kovac Planetarium and it is the creation of  Frank Kovac, Junior.

kathiegiorgio.org

The term “rape culture” has been used to describe recent stories of fraternity scandals and the assault allegations against celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Jian Gomeshi, football player Ray Rice and others.

Now, a story that Wisconsin author Kathie Giorgio originally started two decades ago has been published as a response to the increased attention to rape and the attitudes towards its victims.

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