Although local booksellers never really shut down the author appearances, thankfully, things definitely quiet down in summer. But the Packers have kicked off, the Brewers may be tanking and that means the writers are arriving en masse again.
Being dead for 202 years has done nothing to hurt Jane Austen's popularity. For proof, just look at the success of Laurie Viera Rigler's "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict," out in hardcover.
In the novel, Viera Rigler -- who comes to Schwartz Bookshop in Mequon on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. -- conjures Courtney Stone, a Los Angeles woman who uses Austen's beloved novels to heal her aching heart and finds herself transported, figuratively and literally.
On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Schwartz Bookshops -- which by far brings the most authors to meet Milwaukee-area readers -- has two events on tap. The Bay View location hosts Melissa Fay Greene, author of "There Is No Me Without You," while Amy Bloom, author of the novel "Away," comes to Shorewood. Both events are at 7 p.m.
Greene's book -- which won Elle's 2006 readers' prize for non-fiction -- is the story of a middle class Ethiopian woman who took in a pair of orphans with AIDS and found herself inundated by children who wanted to also be taken in. In this emotional and hard-hitting work or reportage, Greene explains how Haregewoin Teferra not only converted her home into an orphanage but began to facilitate adoptions around the world.
Bloom's fifth novel follows Lillian Leyb, a 22-year-old Russian jewish woman who arrives in New York in 1924 after her parents were killed in a pogrom.
Also set in the past is "The Spanish Bow," by Andromeda Romano-Lax, who visits Schwartz Bookshop in Brookfield on Monday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. The book is the author's debut and it is a story of love, music and political unrest in Spain -- but it also takes us to France and Germany -- between 1892 and 1940. It was inspired by the life of cellist Pablo Casals and, a statement says, "others who wrestled with the competing demands of art and conscience in times of war."
With subject matter a little closer to home is Nancy Horan's first novel "Loving Frank," which fictionalizes the real-life love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheyney and Frank Lloyd Wright. Cheyney was the wife of a couple for whom Wright designed an Oak Park, Ill. home in 1903.
The two fled their families and headed to Europe to be together, sparking headlines. This is their story, told in a fictional account, by an Oak Park author who comes to Schwartz Bookshop in Mequon on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
The last of the novels we'll mention here comes from Ann Packer, who, for the record, is not from Green Bay. She's from California, and her second novel, "Songs Without Words," follows the acclaimed "The Dive From Clausen's Pier." In the new book, two women find their lifelong friendship tested by a terrible crisis. Packer visits Schwartz's Brookfield location on Monday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.
All of these events are free and open to all.
In the distant future, keep your eyes out for a pair of Milwaukee appearances by Jonathan Kozol, who visits as part of a tour for his new book, "Letters to a Young Teacher." Kozol, author of the landmark book "Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools," appears at Alverno College at 2 p.m. and at Marquette University at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.