Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Selected upcoming events below. Visit our upcoming event page for a more complete listing.


You're on the Boswell Book Company page and our guess is that you want to know where we're located and how to get a hold of us. Here are the basics:

Our address is Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211. This is our only location. Don't let a yellow pages tell you otherwise. The store is located on the same block as the Downer Theater, up the bluff from Lincoln Memorial Drive. We're north of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and south of UWM. We're also pretty much on the southernmost tip of Lake Drive.

Our phone number is 414-332-1181. Sometimes you'll see other numbers appear on your phone when we call you, as we have multiple lines. This is our only number that has a classic exchange--EDgewood, if you are into these things.

Our email contact info is info@boswellbooks.com, if you'd like to place a special order or get basic info about an event or are wondering about our hours.

Speaking of hours, we're open 10 am to 9 pm from Monday through Saturday, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday. We're closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are about five holidays where we're open 10 am to 5 pm, plus we sometimes close early for events and meetings. You can assume that if we have a ticketed event in the store, we're closed to the public around 5:30.  

We've heard that after location and contact info, the reason why folks visit websites like ours is to find out about events. We keep our events on one upcoming event page, but some highlights are listed below, generally our ticketed events, but sometimes a few others are included.

And the third reason folks visit is to order books. Our site search engine is not as good as some of our well-financed online competitors, but it will do. One of the nice things we like to point out is that you can check inventory and even the subsection of the book, but be aware, the number does not take into account customer holds, receiving errors, and general misshelving. As we like to say, we just need one person to put a book back in the wrong place for it to be lost forever, or at least until we do our next section check. Our system allows you to put a book on hold without first registering an account. Try it!


Monday, October 16, 7 pm, at Boswell.

Author David McAninch joins us at Boswell for a conversation with Wisconsin Foodie host, Kyle Cherek, to discuss his new book that tackles the love of food in the south of France.

A delicious memoir about the eight months food writer David McAninch spent in Gascony - a deeply rural region of France virtually untouched by mass tourism - meeting extraordinary characters and eating the best meals of his life.

With wit and warmth, McAninch takes us deep into this enchanting world, a place almost frozen in time, where eating what makes you happy isn’t a sin but a commandment—and where, to the eternal surprise of outsiders, locals’ life expectancy is higher than in any other region of France. Featuring a dozen choice recipes and beautiful line drawings, Duck Season is an irresistible treat for Francophiles and gourmands alike.

About the author: David McAninch is the features editor at Chicago magazine and was an editor at Saveur for nine years. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, the New York Daily News, Newsday, Rodale's Organic Life, and Departures, among other publications.


A YA Pizza Party with Kara Thomas, author of Little Monsters,
Tara Goedjen, author of The Breathless,
and Karen M. McManus, author of One of Us is Lying
Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 pm, at Oak Creek Library, 8040 S 6th St

The Oak Creek Library and Boswell present three YA thriller writers! Join us for a night of suspense and mystery as Karen McManus, Tara Goedjen, and Kara Thomas delight fans with their thrilling tales of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. Pizza Man pizza will be provided. This event is free, but registration is requested.

Little Monsters tells the story of Kacey Young, a troubled young woman who has just moved cross country to live with her estranged father. After befriending two girls at school, life for Kacey seem to fall into place, that is until one of her friends goes missing

About the Author: Kara Thomas has written for everything from her high school newspaper to Warner Bros. Television. She is a true-crime addict who lives on Long Island with her husband and rescue cat. She is the author of The Darkest Corners, Little Monsters, and The Cheerleaders.

The Breathless is a gothic tale of deceit and secrets. A year after the death of her older sister, Mae’s home life has been off. When she discovers that her sister’s boyfriend has turned up after disappearing the night her sister died, Mae is determined to uncover her sister’s secrets; what she finds there may cause more problems than she bargained for.

About the Author: Tara Goedjen has a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and grew up in the south. The Breathless is her debut novel.

One of Us is Lying is a YA thriller packed full of intrigue. When Simon, the creator of a high school gossip app, dies under mysterious circumstances, five students come under fire for his murder. Each had their own reason for wanting him dead, and someone is lying, but it will take everything they have in order to solve the crime.

About the Author: Karen McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in Journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn’t working or writing in Cambridge, Mass, McManus loves to travel with her son. One of Us is Lying is her debut novel.


Wednesday. October 18, 7 pm, at Boswell

Joan Marie Johnson examines an understudied dimension of women's history in the United States: how a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advanced the status of all women through acts of philanthropy. This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street "Merchant Prince" William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune.

Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women's need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women's access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights, as well as to provide assistance to working-class women. In a time when women still wielded limited political power, philanthropy was perhaps the most potent tool they had. But even as these wealthy women exercised considerable influence, their activism had significant limits. As Johnson argues, restrictions tied to their giving engendered resentment and jeopardized efforts to establish coalitions across racial and class lines.

As the struggle for full economic and political power and self-determination for women continues today, this history reveals how generous women helped shape the movement. And Johnson shows us that tensions over wealth and power that persist in the modern movement have deep historical roots.

About the Author: Joan Marie Johnson is a historian and faculty coordinator for the Office of the Provost at Northwestern University.


Thursday, Ocotober 19, 4:00 pm, at Boswell

The Council on Black Male Achievement and DeRute Consulting Cooperative presents Chezare A. Warren, cosponsored by Boswell.

Chezare A. Warren chronicles the transition of a cohort of young Black males from Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men to their early experiences in higher education. A rich and closely observed account of a mission-driven school and its students, Urban Preparation makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how young males of color can best be served in schools throughout the United States today.

A founding teacher at Urban Prep, Warren offers a detailed exploration of what this single-sex public high school on the South Side of Chicago has managed to accomplish amid profoundly challenging circumstances. He provides a rich portrait of the school - its leaders, teachers, and professional staff; its students; and the community that the school aims to serve - and highlights how preparation for higher education is central to its mission. Warren focuses on three main goals: to describe Urban Prep's plans and efforts to prepare young Black males for college; to understand how race, community, poverty, and the school contributed, in complex and interrelated ways, to the academic goals of these students; and to offer a wide-ranging set of conclusions about the school environments and conditions that might help young Black males throughout the country succeed in high school and college.

About the Author: Chezare A. Warren is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, affiliate faculty member in Michigan State's Program for Mathematics Education, and president of the Critical Race Studies in Education Association.


Lil Rev, celebrating the release of Sing Song Daddy
Thursday, Ocotober 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Lil Rev’s brand-new album, Sing Song Daddy, “wrangles the best of American roots influences and runs ‘em thru a ukulele-playing, panhandler’s prism of originality. Turn it up and stake your claim. 15 new tunes, including “The Old Sheboygan Soft Shoe,” The Milwaukee Waltz,” and “The Night Dan Emmett Wrote Dixie” were all written by Lil Rev and recorded at SurroundinSoundStudio with Jonathan Leuber.

From Lil Rev: “Thank you for investing in the time-honored tradition of the troubadour. For over thirty years now, I have been collecting, interpreting, and writing songs for anyone and everyone who’ll listen. This endeavor has become like a rite of passage. As the years roll and the seasons change, so too, does the pen and palette. I hope you enjoy this collection of roots-based originals.”

Boswell’s event will feature many of the musicians featured on the sessions: Guy Florentini, Jason Klagstad, John Sieger, Robin Pluer, Jim Liban, Peter Roller, and James Eannelli. And we wouldn’t be surprised if some special guests joined at the last minute.

About the Author: Lil Rev was born and raised in Milwaukee, and now hangs his hat in Sheboygan, WI. Influenced heavily by the city’s industrial powerhouses, he has a strong appreciation for the working man, a theme that is prevalent in his music. Along with being an accomplished musician and educator, he is also the author of multiple instructional books for the harmonica and the ukulele.


Stacey Ballis, in conversation with Amy Reichert, author of How to Change a Life
Friday, October 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world's most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again. Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn't seem so lonely, until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

About the Author: Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels: Inappropriate Men, Sleeping Over, Room for Improvement, The Spinster Sisters, Good Enough to Eat, Off the Menu, Out to Lunch, Recipe for Disaster, Wedding Girl, and How to Change a Life. She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies: Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, and Living Jewishly.


A ticketed event with Scott Kelly, author of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
Monday, October 23, 7 pm, at UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd.

Boswell, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union, and the Manfred Olson Planetarium present an evening with Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station, in conversation with Bonnie North of WUWM’s Lake Effect.

Tickets are $32 and include admission to the event, all taxes and ticket fees, and a signed copy of Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Tickets are available at kellymke.brownpapertickets.com or you can order by phone at 800-838-3006. Tickets are also available to the UWM campus community at a special discounted price of $26 for students and $29 for faculty and staff, only at the UWM Student Union Information Desk.

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have: How does it feel to be launched in a rocket? What happens to your body in zero gravity? What do you do when you get a toothache 250 miles above the Earth?

Kelly discusses this and more in his new book, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, which recounts his year aboard the ISS as well as his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and what sparked his astounding career, changing his trajectory from an unfocused, below-average student to a record-setting astronaut. Kelly describes navigating the extreme challenges of long-term spaceflight: the devastating physical effects; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with orbital debris; what it’s like to know you won’t be home for a year (and the feeling of being unable to help when tragedy strikes at home).

He writes with candor about his journey, in space and on Earth, and tells fascinating (and often funny) stories about the Russian cosmonauts who accompanied him aboard the ISS. As Kelly says, a lesson he’s learned firsthand: “If we can dream it, we can do it.” Join him in conversation with Bonnie North to learn about his life on and off this planet, and what it will take to make the journey to Mars.

About the author: Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut.

About the moderator: Bonnie North joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of Milwaukee Public Radio’s weekday magazine program Lake Effect. Her introduction to public broadcasting came at Vermont Public Radio, where she spent seven years as host of classical and jazz shows, a production associate, and operations manager. North worked for twenty years in professional, educational, and community theater, and just prior to joining WUWM, she worked in the defense industry, managing interpreting and translation services in the Balkans.


A Book club afternoon with Ronald H. Balson, author of Karolina’s Twins
Tuesday, October 24, 3 pm, at Ovation Chai Point, Rubenstein Pavilion, 1400 N Prospect

Join us for an afternoon of book club picks with a focus on titles with Jewish authors and themes. Boswell’s Daniel Goldin will offer a number of suggestions, and following that, our featured author Ronald H. Balson will talk about Karolina’s Twins, a saga inspired by true events

Lena Woodward, elegant and poised, has lived a comfortable life among Chicago society since she immigrated to the US and began a new life at the end of World War II. But now something has resurfaced that Lena cannot ignore: an unfulfilled promise she made long ago that can no longer stay buried.

Driven to renew the quest that still keeps her awake at night, Lena enlists the help of lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart. Behind Lena's stoic facade are memories that will no longer be contained. She begins to recount a tale, harkening back to her harrowing past in Nazi-occupied Poland, of the bond she shared with her childhood friend Karolina. Karolina was vivacious and beautiful, athletic and charismatic, and Lena has cherished the memory of their friendship her whole life. But there is something about the story that is unfinished, questions that must be answered about what is true and what is not, and what Lena is willing to risk to uncover the past. Has the real story been hidden these many years? And if so, why?

Two girls, coming of age in a dangerous time, bearers of secrets that only they could share.

About the Author: Ronald H. Balson is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues, including villages in Poland that inspired his first novel, Once We Were Brothers.


A YA Pizza Party featuring Will Kostakis, author of The Sidekicks
and Jen Lancaster, author of The Gatekeepers
Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 pm, at River Room, 1218 13th Ave. Grafton

W J Niederkorn Library, Cedarburg Public Library, USS Liberty Memorial Public Library, and Boswell have come together to bring you two amazing writers for a YA Pizza party event! This event will take place at the River Room, in Grafton. This event is free, but registration is requested.

The Gatekeepers sheds light on a little known problem in a beautiful area. North Shore, IL, looks picture perfect but no one talks about the fact that the brilliant, talented kids in this town have a terrible history of throwing themselves in front of commuter trains, and that there's rampant opioid abuse that often leads to heroin usage.

Three students, each with their own struggles and issues, are shocked when a lovable football player takes his own life and the tragedy becomes a suicide cluster. With so many students facing their own demons, can they find a way to save each other—as well as themselves?

About the Author: New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster has sold well over a million books. From Bitter Is the New Black to The Tao of Martha, Jen has made a career out of documenting her attempts to shape up, grow up, and have it all—sometimes with disastrous results. Jen has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Fox News, NPR All Things Considered, and the Joy Behar Show, among others. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her many dogs and cats.

In The Sidekicks, three boys are left to face the death of their best friend, Isaac. None of the boys know each other, but their relationship to Isaac starts to bring them all closer together as they struggle to deal with their grief.

About the Author: Will Kostakis lives in Sydney where he writes books for teens and the adults who like to read about them. In his native Australia, he’s a critically-acclaimed and award-winning author, having won the Gold Inky Award and been shortlisted for both the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the CBC Australia Book of the Year Award for his sophomore novel, The First Third. The Sidekicks is his American debut.


Ronald H. Balson, author of The Trust
Tuesday, October 24, 7 pm, at Boswell

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral - a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he'd anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland's bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus's estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

About the Author: Ronald H. Balson is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues, including villages in Poland that inspired his first novel, Once We Were Brothers.


Wednesday, October 25, 7 pm, at Boswell

Hildebrand writes of landscapes in dispute: Native Alaskan groups are pitted against each other over oil development, Hmong emigrants jostle locals in a public hunting ground, farmers battle a formidable company town and city hall. Nature itself is also in flux as timber wolves and Sandhill cranes reclaim lost ground and a marine biologist gauges the effect of an invading species on previously undisturbed areas.

A Northern Front reflects the day-by-day disappearance of wild places and the ever-changing face of the American landscape. Hildebrand's characters are unforgettable, and his stories gracefully capture the spirit of all people who care deeply about the land.

About the Author: John Hildebrand's nonfiction has appeared in Harper's Magazine, Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Harrowsmith, and The Missouri Review. He is the author of Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family (Minnesota Historical Society Press) and Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has recently built a cabin in northern Wisconsin


Thursday, October 26, 7 pm, at Boswell.

The nationally renowned Bard Prison Initiative demonstrates how the liberal arts can alter the landscape inside prisons by expanding access to the transformative power of American higher education. American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative, however, is different. As this compelling new book reveals, BPI has fostered a remarkable transformation in the lives of thousands of prisoners.

College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided high-quality liberal arts education - with courses ranging from anthropology to Mandarin to advanced mathematics - to New York State prisoners who, upon release, have gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how institutions can be reimagined and reformed in order to give people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities.

Drawing upon fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI's development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts the educational histories of individual students, tracking both their intellectual progress and the many obstacles they must face. Analyzing the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions - the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary - he makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States.

About the Author: Daniel Karpowitz is the director of policy and academics for the Bard Prison Initiative and lecturer in law and the humanities at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He is the cofounder of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, an organization that launches and cultivates college-in-prison programs across the country, and he has also been a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Institute, a fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellow in Kathmandu, Nepal.


A ticketed event with Kate DiCamillo, author of

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc’s Books & Company, and Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company present a very special event with Kate DiCamillo, the author of many books for children, including Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which received Newbery Medals.

Tickets are $22.00 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of DiCamillo’s latest picture book, La La La. A signing will follow the talk. 

Kate DiCamillo is not just one of the most acclaimed children’s book authors writing today - she’s also one of the most beloved. Her events are incredibly popular and it’s hard to walk away from her presentations without being moved to tears. DiCamillo only does a handful of public speaking events in the United States each year. Boswell and our two partners are excited to be one of those select events, bringing fans the first metro Milwaukee event with DICamillo in five years.

In La La La, a little girl stands alone and sings, but hears no response. Gathering her courage and her curiosity, she skips farther out into the world, singing away to the trees and the pond and the reeds, but no song comes back to her. Day passes into night, and the girl dares to venture into the darkness toward the light of the moon, becoming more insistent in her singing, climbing as high as she can, but still there is silence in return. Dejected, she falls asleep on the ground, only to be awakened by an amazing sound. She has been heard, at last. With the simplest of narratives and the near absence of words, Kate DiCamillo conveys a lonely child’s yearning for someone who understands.

While an unlimited of La La La can be signed and personalized, attendees are limited to three backlist titles (from home or bought at the Wilson Center), one of which can be personalized. There is no gift card option for this event, but don't forget, La La La will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season. Here's another link for tickets

About the Author: Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for children, including Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which received Newbery Medals. Her other middle grade titles include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn-Dixie, and Raymie Nightingale. She is also the author of two chapter book series, one featuring Mercy Watson, and the other, in collaboration with Alison McGhee, starring Bink and Gollie. She is also the former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a First Stage production opening January 12.


Ticketed Event: Fill the Shelves with Alexander McCall Smith, author of The House of Unexpected Sisters
Thursday, November 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell and the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library announce a very special event with Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and other titles featuring Precious Ramotswe, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, 44 Scotland Street, and many other beloved titles. Tickets are $29, including admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of The House of Unexpected Sisters. $5 from each ticket to this event will be donated back to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.

Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. But with the generosity and good humor that guide all her endeavors, Mma Ramotswe will untangle these questions for herself and for her loved ones, ultimately bringing to light important truths about friendship and family - both the one you’re born with and the one you choose.

This event is the launch of the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Fill the Shelves program. Fill the Shelves is a wonderful way to donate a book into library circulation, complete with a bookplate indicating you as the donor. Purchase one of the selected titles at Boswell, featured from November 16 through the end of 2017, and we’ll handle the details. You’ll even get a donation acknowledgement from the Friends.

About the author: Scotland-based Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels and a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers

Check out a more complete listing of our upcoming events here.