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!

Wednesday, October 26, 7:00 pm at Boswell

The history of the civil rights movement is commonly illustrated with well-known photographs from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma-leaving the visual story of the movement outside the South remaining to be told. In North of Dixie, historian Mark Speltz shines a light past the most iconic photographs of the era to focus on images of everyday activists who fought campaigns against segregation, police brutality, and job discrimination in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Des Moines, and many other cities.

With images by photojournalists, artists, and activists, including Bob Adelman, Charles Brittin, Diana Davies, Leonard Freed, Gordon Parks, and Art Shay, North of Dixie offers a broader and more complex view of the American civil rights movement than is usually presented by the media. North of Dixie also considers the camera as a tool that served both those in support of the movement and against it. Photographs inspired activists, galvanized public support, and implored local and national politicians to act, but they also provided means of surveillance and repression that were used against movement participants. North of Dixie brings to light numerous lesser-known images and illuminates the story of the civil rights movement in the American North and West.

About the Author: Mark Speltz is an author and historian who writes about civil rights photography, vernacular architecture, and Wisconsin culture and history. He is currently a senior historian at American Girl in Madison, Wisconsin.

Winchester leads us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands that lie in between. He recounts the atomic tests on the atoll of Bikini, which created a surreal landscape that must still be left vacant for fear of radiation poisoning. He takes us to the launch of “Gidget”—her movies, her TV show, and, most important, her surfboards, which would forever change how the world’s youth views a rising wave. Pacific also tells the story of the little transistor radio and how it sparked the digital revolution, from Japan to Silicon Valley, altering the ocean’s destiny. Winchester includes tales of alarming discoveries on the Great Barrier Reef and grand expeditions to mysterious vents on the ocean’s floor. He examines the geopolitical shifts that shaped the ocean’s vast land areas, from the rise of North Korea’s rogue state to the end of European colonization, and addresses the environmental degradation and climate shifts that now threaten this majestic body of water.

Calling upon Winchester’s many journeys throughout the Pacific and its surrounding areas, his formidable historical understanding, and his singular talent for storytelling, Pacific is a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty and myth that has long captured the imagination.

About the Author: Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006 Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen.

A Spook-tacular costume Halloween party featuring Nick Bruel, author of Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat
Friday, October 28, 6:30 pm at Boswell

Kitty wasn't always such a scaredy-cat. She used to be brave and lionhearted and nervy. That is, until one late October day a group of terrifying monsters showed up on her doorstop and Kitty became VERY scared. Then she decided to take matters into her own paws.

Come in costume, cat or otherwise, for this event. We’ll have refreshments. Registration requested but not required. Here’s the registration link. 

About the Author: Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of the phenomenally successful Bad Kitty series, including the 2012 and 2013 CBC Children's Choice Book Award winners Bad Kitty Meets the Baby and Bad Kitty for President. Bruel has also written and illustrated popular picture books, including Who is Melvin Bubble? and Bob and Otto.

Tuesday, November 1, 6:30 pm, at Elm Grove Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd, Elm Grove

A towering figure on the field for two decades who breezed into the Hall of Fame, Brett Favre was one of the game’s last cowboys, a fastball-throwing, tobacco-chewing gunslinger who refused to give up without a fight. This peerless quarterback guided the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls and one championship win, shattering countless NFL records along the way.

Gunslinger tells Brett Favre’s story for the first time, drawing on more than five hundred interviews, including many from the people closest to Favre. Jeff Pearlman charts an unparalleled journey from his rough rural childhood and lackluster high school football career to landing the last scholarship at Southern Mississippi to a car accident that nearly took his life. Favre clawed back, getting drafted into the NFL by the Atlanta Falcons, then finding his way to Green Bay, where he restored the Packers to greatness and inspired a fan base as passionate as any in the game. Yet he struggled with demons: addiction, infidelity, the loss of his father, and a fraught, painfully prolonged exit from the game he loved.

About the Author: Jeff Pearlman is the best-selling author of seven books, including Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s; Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton; Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty; and The Bad Guys Won.

This event is cosponsored by OnMilwaukee.

Glen Jeansonne, author of Herbert Hoover: A Life with an introduction by David Luhrssen of the Shepard Express
Tuesday, November 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Orphaned at an early age and raised with strict Quaker values, Hoover earned his way through Stanford University, created a successful career as an engineer and multinational businessman, led a humanitarian effort that fed millions, and helped modernize and galvanize American industry—all before becoming the first chief executive to harness federal power to combat a crippling global recession.

Though remembered as a do-nothing president, Hoover was in fact a steadfast leader who became the moral voice of the GOP and a champion of Republican principles. A compelling and rich examination of his character, accomplishments and failings, this is the magnificent biography of Herbert Hoover we have long waited for.

About the Author: Glen Jeansonne is UWM Professor of History Emeritus. David Luhrssen is the Arts and Entertainment editor of the Shepard Express. Jeansonne and Luhrssen most recently collaborated on War on the Silver Screen: Shaping America’s Perception of History.

Brenda DeVita, speaking on Why Shakespeare?
Wednesday, November 2, 7: 00 pm, at Boswell

Brenda DeVita, Artistic Director of American Players Theatre, discusses why Shakespeare's work has endured through four centuries and how it thrives specifically at American Players Theatre. She'll also discuss the question that she and the American Players Theatre artists struggle with continually: what makes a classic a classic? A practical, visceral, artist's eye view of how to produce Shakespeare for a 21st- century audience, and why it's so important.

This talk is part of the Shakespeare in Wisconsin yearlong schedule of programming, in conjunction with the Shakespeare's First Folio exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison. The First Folio, published in 1623, is the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, many of which were not published during his lifetime. Two of Shakespeare's fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays to preserve them for future generations. Without their efforts, the world may have never known 18 of these plays, including Macbeth and Hamlet. The exhibit runs from November 3 through December 11.

This event is sponsored by American Players Theatre and the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Thursday, November 3, 6:30 pm, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave 

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm accepted a job babysitting salmon eggs for seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. 25 years later, he was asked to return to the wilderness to babysit more fish eggs. No longer a footloose twenty-year old, at forty-five, he was the father of two young sons. He left again, alone, straight into the heart of Montana’s Bob Marshall wilderness, walking a daily ten-mile loop to his fish eggs through deer and elk and the highest density of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states.

The Names of the Stars is not only a story of wilderness and bears but also a trek through a life lived at its edges, showing how an impulsive kid transformed into a father without losing his love for the wilds. From loon calls echoing across Northwood lakes to the grim realities of life-guarding in the Nevada desert, through the isolation of Indian Creek, and years spent running the Snake and Rio Grande as a river ranger, Pete seeks out the source of this passion for wildness, and explores fatherhood, and mortality, and the costs, risks, and rewards of life lived on its own terms.

About the Author: Shorewoodian Pete Fromm is a five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for his novels If Not For This, As Cool as I Am, and How All This Started, his story collection Dry Rain, and the memoir Indian Creek Chronicles. The film of As Cool as I Am was released in 2013. He is also the author of four other story collections and has published over two hundred stories in magazines.


Susan Firer, author of The Transit of Venus
Thursday, November 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Susan Firer, winner of the Posner Award, the Backwaters Prize, and the Lorine Niedecker Award, presents her fifth collection of poetry where place, often the western shore of Lake Michigan, provides an imagistic and sonic landscape in which language explores the empire of skin with its daily happinesses and sorrows, gifts and losses. William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound’s poems say 'use everything,' and Firer does: receipts, anatomy, astronomy, clothes poles, paintings, checklists, quagga mussels, questions and grapefruit. Help us celebrate The Transit of Venus’s release, for just a fleeting moment, with one of our former Poet Laureates of Milwaukee.

About the Author: Susan Firer is the author of five previous books of poetry, including Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: New and Selected Poems 1979-2007 and The Lives of the Saints and Everything. Her books have been awarded the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, the Posner Award, and the Backwaters Prize. She has also been the recipient of a Milwaukee County Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, and the Lorine Niedecker Award. Her poem Call Me Pier is included in the Poetry Foundation's Poetry Everywhere series. Her poems The Beautiful Pain of Too Much and Call Me Pier have been choreographed by Janet Lilly and performed at St. Mark's in the Bowery, New York City, and at the 2010 Milwaukee Lakefront Festival of the Arts. From 2008 to 2010, she was Poet Laureate of the City of Milwaukee. Firer was a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. She lives and writes within hearing distance of Lake Michigan.

Sarah Rosenblatt, author of Where Are We in This Story? 
Friday, November 4, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Sarah Rosenblatt laments, celebrates and questions the meaning of the ongoing story of time. Seasons speak but don’t recognize us. Time creeps through the windows in the same way it did with our ancestors. Light shines through and touches hope and sweetness but this is only fleeting, leaving us to a vast sky that doesn’t name us or our troubles. Leaves on the trees watch, hold and rot. The collection challenges the guts and touches the heart and soul of being alive in a story in which we are challenged to find meaning.

About the Author: Sarah Rosenblatt received an MFA from Brooklyn College, and an MSW from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. She is a child and family therapist and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A ticketed day of thrills at Murder and Mayhem Conference
Saturday, November 5, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, at Irish Cultural Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave

Join Crimespree Magazine's Jon Jordan, Ruth Jordan, Erica Ruth Neubauer, and Penny Halle for an amazing day of talks, panels, interviews, and author signings. It's Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee, and it's all at the Irish Cultural Center, 2133 W Wisconsin Ave, on Saturday, November 5.

Featured authors at this event are Kristi Belcamino, Lou Berney, Cara Black, Stephen Blackmore, Dana Cameron, Matthew Clemens, Blake Crouch, Meg Gardiner, Heather Graham, Alex Grecian, Timothy Hallinan, Chris Holm, Joe Lansdale, Jess Lourey, Lisa Lutz, David Morrell, Daniel Palmer, Sara Paretsky, Brad Parks, Nicholas Petrie, Bryon Quertermous, Janet Reid, Todd Robinson, Marcus Sakey, Alex Segura, and Johnny Shaw.

Tickets to this event are $40 ($42.39 with service fee) and includes admission for the whole day. Tickets can be purchased here.

This event is sponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

A ticketed event featuring Historian Jon Meacham, author of Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush in conversation with
Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich
Sunday, November 6, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell presents a ticketed evening with Jon Meacham, in conversation with Mitch Teich of WUWM’s Lake Effect. Tickets are $20, including admission for one, a paperback copy of Destiny and Power, and all taxes and fees. On the night of the event, a $13 gift card is available in place of the book.You can purchase your ticket at Brown Paper Tickets.

Destiny and Power, now in paperback, is the intimate and detailed life story of George H.W. Bush, a man known only through his politics or from a distance. From interviews and unprecedented access to Bush's presidential diaries, Meacham brings Bush and the great American family vividly to life, beginning in the Midwest in the late 1800s and moving on to George H. W. Bush's childhood, his heroic service in World War II, Texas, and his political rise. With Meacham's trademark compelling narration, historic depth, and contemporary insight, this stunning biography reveals the unusual self-reflections and distinctive American life of a man from the Greatest Generation who pursued a life of service as a guardian of America in the way of Eisenhower, and was one of the last gentleman in our political world.

Our event with Jon Meacham in conversation with Mitch Teich is only two days before the general election: the perfect respite from Campaign 2016!

About the Author: Jon Meacham is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 biography American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and is an executive editor at Random House.

About the Conversationalist: Mitch Teich is the Executive Producer and cohost of WUMW’s Lake Effect and has over 25 years of experience in broadcasting.