Thursday, October 21, 2010

*LOCAL AUTHOR* and other Readings, TONIGHT!

Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia

Milwaukee native Mary Helen Stefaniak and author of The Turk and My Mother, will read from and sign her latest novel, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia. An IndieNext Pick for September, the book (set in the 1930s) is narrated by a spunky young Southern girl whose teacher, Miss Spivey, turns the small Georgia town upside-down. Miss Spivey doesn't believe black children and white children should be segregated, and aims to broaden her students' horizons by teaching them about other cultures. Though she succeeds, it is at a terrifying cost.


Mona Simpson, author of My Hollywood

Thursday, October 21 @7pm, Boswell Book Company

Click for NY Times Review!

My Hollywood tells the story of two women whose lives entwine and unfold behind the glittery surface of Hollywood. Claire, a composer and a new mother, comes to LA so her husband can follow his passion for writing television comedy. Suddenly the marriage—once a genuine 50/50 arrangement—changes, with Paul working long hours and Claire left at home with a baby, William, whom she adores but has no idea how to care for. Lola, a fifty-two-year-old mother of five who is working in America to pay for her own children’s higher education back in the Philippines, becomes their nanny. Lola stabilizes the rocky household and soon other parents try to lure her away. What she sacrifices to stay with Claire and “Williamo” remains her own closely guarded secret. 

In a novel at turns satirical and heartbreaking, where mothers’ modern ideas are given practical overhauls by nannies, we meet Lola’s vast network of fellow caregivers, each with her own story to tell. We see the upstairs competition for the best nanny and the downstairs competition for the best deal, and are forced to ask whether it is possible to buy love for our children and what that transaction costs us all. We look into two contemporary marriages—one in America and one in the Philippines—and witness their endangerment, despite the best of intentions.
 mona Simpson
Author bio: Mona Simpson is the author of Anywhere But Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, and Off Keck Road, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the Heartland Prize of the Chicago Tribune. She has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim grant, a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and, recently, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Santa Monica, California. She spent her formative years in Green Bay, WI.


Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers

Thursday, October 21 @7pm, MPLs Centennial Hall 

Nancy Pearl will visit Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall to read from her new book, Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers

In this new installment in the Book Lust series, Pearl writes about 120 places to read about before you go. Consider the entry “Indicative of Indonesia,” in which Nancy Pearl urges travelers to read V.S. Naipaul’s Among the Believers and Christopher J. Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously. Wanderlust-y reading for prospective travelers to Ireland begins with the cheeky: “Let’s not start with James Joyce and just say we did, okay?” then goes on to recommend such gems as Nuala O’Faolain’s Are you Somebody? and J. P. Dunleavy’s Ireland In All Her Sins and Some of Her Graces. This enthusiastic, literary globetrotting includes stops in Korea, Sweden, Afghanistan, Albania, Parma, Patagonia, Texas, and Timbuktu. 
But Nancy Pearl is a reader and a librarian, not a travel agent, so she can’t resist recommending reading for “Travel to Imaginary Places” (including Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Wizard of Earthsea and Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union) and stories of chucking it all and moving to Spain or Greece under the heading “So We/I Bought (or Built) a House In…” Book Lust to Go combines Pearl’s amazing ability to summon the perfect book with a particular interest with the art of having an adventure—whether it requires a passport or just an armchair.
Nancy PearlThis free event takes place at the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall, located at 733 N. Eighth Street, between Wells and Wisconsin in Downtown Milwaukee.
Author bio: Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Crush, is America’s rock star librarian. She regularly recommends books on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and lectures widely on books and reading. Pearl is librarian-at-large with the King County Library System in Seattle, where she lives. Learn more about her at 


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